CITE: Grof S, Grof C. Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes a Crisis. Tarcher Perigee; 1990.


In Spiritual Emergency, Stanislav and Christina Grof provide an overview of the phenomenon of spiritual emergencies – episodes of intense and sometimes challenging psychological and spiritual transformation that can occur in the context of spiritual practice, as well as without warning. The authors draw on their own experiences as well as the experiences of others to offer insights into the nature of spiritual emergencies, the stages of the process, and the potential benefits and risks involved.


  • The authors define spiritual emergencies as “the movement of an individual to a more expanded way of being that involves enhanced emotional and psychosomatic health, greater freedom of personal choices, and a sense of deeper connection with other people, nature, and the cosmos” (p. 1)
  • The book describes various types of spiritual emergencies, including spontaneous spiritual awakenings, near-death experiences, encounters with non-ordinary realities, and kundalini awakenings.
  • The authors emphasize the importance of proper support and guidance during spiritual emergencies, both to ensure safety and to facilitate the integration of the transformative experiences.
  • Spiritual Emergence includes case studies of individuals who have undergone spiritual emergencies, as well as guidelines for professionals who work with individuals in crisis.


  • “What is needed for successful navigation through the spiritual emergency is a new kind of wisdom – a knowledge of the nature and dynamics of the inner world, and the tools to navigate it safely and effectively” (p. 23)
  • “The spiritual emergency is not a disease, but rather a developmental crisis, a rite of passage, a difficult and often overwhelming transformation of self and world” (p. 8)
  • “The spiritual emergency offers the possibility of profound personal transformation and the discovery of previously unimagined potentials” (p. 3)
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