The global Spiritual Emergence Networks only exist due to the dedication of people who have been through the emergence process, and their resulting desire to support others who might be suffering when they experience this profound shift in human consciousness.
Ella Linwood, from New Zealand but living in Australia, is one such ‘peer’, working tirelessly behind the scenes to provide a safe virtual space for Australians to go to for connection, understanding, and to talk about their profound experiences safe in the knowledge they will not be judged or pathologised.
Here Ella bravely describes what the spiritual emergence process entailed for her:
When I was in a profoundly altered state, I would take off my clothes and walk naked along the road and visit neighbours. In some episodes I believed that I had died. Beyond fear and suffering, I always entered blissful experiences of a kind of Unity Consciousness. Amongst other benefits, I brought back new abilities, deep learning, personal and relationship healing. These experiences typically lasted for a week and once for ten days.
In an early episode (when I still had a high degree of unprocessed trauma), I thought that I needed to wake people up by giving them a shock – which regretfully I did. From the infamy and diagnosis that resulted, I became an inferior class of person…. damaged and ‘other’.
I lived in a rural community and the father of my 18 month old daughter lived nearby. I was forced to relinquish custody and we played out the drama triangle (victim-rescuer-persecutor) dynamics of my youth. There was pressure to be medicated. However as a Natural Health Practitioner I aimed to work with nature, rather than against. Also, because my grandmother had been in an asylum for the final 35 years of her life, it became a mission for me to discover how people can be supported during a crisis rather than undergo ‘treatment’.
In the early 1990’s there just wasn’t the information available that can be gained today online. Awareness came with Arnold Mindell’s Process Work, and then the Spiritual Emergence Network.
I became my own experimental guinea pig in further episodes, which included more involuntary hospitalisations over 7 years. At last, I received what my grandmother had not … protection and support from an organised group of compassionate friends! The altered states then stopped, except for one further, fifteen years later. Part of the reason for this near cessation, is that at particularly vulnerable times I became willing to take sedative (and rarely, antipsychotic) medication for a few days … so as not to put people out for me again, and to minimise risk to a wonderful and stable life.
I had suffered depression from childhood. What worked to shift the remaining undertone of depression was www.madnessradio.net . Thanks to this I was able to abandon the ‘mental illness’ description, with its inherent ‘wrong-making’. Instead I consider that some of us have a lower threshold for profound altered states than others do. These have a rightful purpose, and can be approached via a person’s mind-body-spirit Dreaming, when reason cannot.
I think that the westernised world has unintentionally enabled the flourishing of people and organisations with predominantly psychopathic characteristics; unemotional, self-centred, charismatic, deceptive and socially skilful. However those of us who are especially sensitive are the polar opposite of this a lot of the time!
I think that if we can value ourselves and how we are, then not only will we change but the culture will also change.