Feel free to copy these articles provided you reproduce them in full, acknowledging the source: Marlyse Carroll Author of Am I Going Mad? The Unsettling Phenomena of Spiritual Evolution www.amigoingmad.com.au
1 of 9 – Spiritual Evolution
Would you agree that, as human beings, we all change over time? Not just during childhood, but throughout our adult years as well?
No doubt you have noticed that some personalities expand in various ways whilst others contract. Because in terms of personal evolution, the variety of human experiences is enormous.
We all dance to a different tune – we choose different partners and different paths. Yet at some point, most of us encounter similar landmarks along our journey. Some experiences are wonderful whilst others challenge our ego! …more
2 of 9 – What are Spiritual Initiations?
Initiations are tipping points that mark a transition from an old to a new level of attainment. They can take place in various ways: physically, socially, symbolically and/or spiritually. They can involve other people or not. Some initiations can be witnessed externally and others remain highly personal.
Here are a few examples of initiations, ranging from gross to subtle:
- Brutal rituals of ‘bastardisation’ linked to some military and police organisations
- Sexual practices linked to specific religious or cultural traditions
- Entry rituals into secret societies
- Traditional shamanic rites of passage
- Familial and/or religious ceremonies such as baptisms, bar mitzvahs, confirmations, weddings and funerals
- Energetic transmission of knowledge or wisdom from a master to a student, which is known as shaktipat
- Inner experiences of a spiritual nature that mark a new stage of growth
3 of 9 – Kundalini Explained
If you don’t know much about the chakras, please read this article first.
The word ‘Kundalini’ comes from the Hindu tradition. It is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘coiled’, which refers to ‘Serpent Power’, and also to a spiral. Metaphorically, it stands for ‘the power of the Higher Self’, or the power of Consciousness’. There is no equivalent in English, apart maybe from the Christian concept of ‘Holy Spirit’.
As the power of consciousness, Kundalini is a psycho-spiritual energy that has enormous power, both creative and destructive. Considered female, this invisible energy is often symbolically represented as a serpent, a goddess, an ocean or a spiral.
Even though the above concepts might appear terribly abstract, Kundalini’s energy is real. It’s built into our DNA, exists in every human body, is electrical in nature, and is either turned off or turned on. To use a more conventional language, Kundalini is either dormant or awake.
4 of 9 – Enlightenment Explained
In deeply spiritual societies such as the Australian Aboriginal culture, having mystical experiences is considered a normal part of life. It’s known as ‘entering the DREAMTIME’. In other cultures, prophets are revered for their REVELATIONS. Shamans are chosen for their VISIONS. Mystics seek ENLIGHTENMENT and religious texts revolve around ILLUMINATIONS.
Yet, in our society, such experiences are usually considered pathological and labelled HALLUCINATIONS.
So, Dreamtime, revelations, visions, illuminations, enlightenment or hallucinations – what are we experiencing when our consciousness expands into new realms?
In this article, we’ll focus on enlightenment, which is a very specific type of mystical experience. One shared by many people on the spiritual path, regardless of their religious beliefs and cultural background. Yet those who experience it rarely understand or talk about enlightenment â€“ with good reasons too! …more
5 of 9 – Spiritual Emergency Explained
Transpersonal psychology acknowledges two types of spiritual crises that are vastly different from each other:
- A pre-awakening crisis called ‘existential crisis’ when it involves young people and ‘mid-life crisis’ for older men and women.
- A post-awakening crisis, or ‘spiritual emergency’.
In this article, we’ll focus exclusively on the second scenario. The type of crises that can occur as a result of a profound and/or sudden spiritual awakening involving Kundalini. Enlightenment experiences, in particular, can have very disruptive effects on both body and mind if they aren’t handled properly. For more information on these topics, please refer to our previous articles ‘Kundalini Explained’ and Enlightenment Explained’ …more
6 of 9 – Religion, Spirituality and Psychiatry
Let us now turn to the most common danger on the spiritual path. The risk of being mistaken for a mentally ill person, because of the unusual phenomena linked to spiritual experiences.
Spirituality vs Religion
There are major differences between spirituality and religion.
Spirituality is essentially a private and personal affair. It is based on direct experiences of the sacred dimensions of reality. These non-ordinary experiences do not need an appointed place, a specific ritual or a mediator to occur. The only temple required is our own body, and nature tends to play an important role in our connection to the sacred. …more
7 of 9 – Spiritual Regression
In this article, we’ll address another type of spiritual crisis that is often misdiagnosed as clinical depression.
We’re now well engaged on the spiritual path. We’ve had a few powerful spiritual experiences, we’ve integrated them into ego-consciousness and we’ve grown in noticeable ways. We have become more joyful, energetic, loving and compassionate. Life is wonderful and we only see the best in everyone and everything. We believe that this brilliant inner landscape will last forever.
If the illumination is strong enough, but not too strong, the change is permanent and enlightened living becomes a way of life. Ego and Self have found a good balance that leads to self-actualisation.
But if the flash-flood of inner light is not strong enough to be permanent, more challenges might be on the way. In most cases, even though they can be painful, they are the equivalent of taking a few steps backwards in order to jump further. …more
8 of 9 – Complexity Science Explained
In this article, we’re turning to science for a contemporary perspective on the ups and downs of personal growth.
Today, a well-respected scientific model backs up Dr Carl Jung in acknowledging that perturbation is a normal stage of evolution. One that is essential to reaching higher, more sophisticated levels of functionality.
So maybe, the challenges that we face along our life journey aren’t just the result of bad luck, a poor upbringing, unfortunate genes or unpleasant acquaintances!
Could it be that our psyche is so beautifully programmed for growth that we follow universal laws regarding evolution and perturbation?
If so, complexity science offers us a perfect mathematical model. …more
9 of 9 – Spiritual Transmutation Explained
In this article, you’ll find twelve practical tools to consciously change your personality for the better.
Most people who have profound spiritual experiences notice that, after a while, the ‘glow’ and the love they felt at some stage ends up receding. Sometimes they disappear altogether. As ancient Taoists masters said: ‘Before enlightenment, chop wood carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood carry water.’
So, if everything goes back to normal after a peak experience, why are numinous encounters important? …more