Trials of the Visionary Mind: Spiritual Emergency and the Renewal Process

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Stress may cause highly activated mythic images to erupt from the psyche's deepest levels in the form of turbulent visionary experience. Depending on whether the interactions between the individual and the immediate surroundings lean toward affirmation or invalidation, comprehension of these visions can turn the visionary experience into a step in growth or into a disorder, as an acute psychosis. Based on his clinical and scholarly investigations, John Weir Perry has found and formulated a mental syndrome which, ...
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Overview

Stress may cause highly activated mythic images to erupt from the psyche's deepest levels in the form of turbulent visionary experience. Depending on whether the interactions between the individual and the immediate surroundings lean toward affirmation or invalidation, comprehension of these visions can turn the visionary experience into a step in growth or into a disorder, as an acute psychosis. Based on his clinical and scholarly investigations, John Weir Perry has found and formulated a mental syndrome which, though customarily regarded as acute psychosis, is in actuality a more natural effort of the psyche to mend its imbalances. If the upset is received in the spirit of empathy and understanding, and allowed to run its course, an acute episode can be found to reveal a self-organizing process that has self-healing potential. This book examines what the acute "psychotic" experience stirs up in the psyche and how to empathetically respond. Understanding the function of mythic themes is reached through the author's investigation into myth and ritual of antiquity and also the visionary experience undergone by prophets and social reformers in various ages and parts of the world.
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Editorial Reviews

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Argues that the mythic images that can be roused from the deepest psychic levels by stress, rather than an attack of acute psychosis, are a natural effort of the psyche to mend its imbalances. Whether the experience leads to a step in growth or into disorder depends largely, says Perry, on whether it is received with affirmation or invalidation. He suggests that allowing the episode to run its course reveals a self-organizing and self-healing potential. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
1 Treatment or Therapy? 3
2 Thoughts on Thought Disorder 15
3 Psychosis or Visionary State? 25
4 Alternative Ways 31
5 Transitions in Outlook 41
6 Psychological Methods 51
7 Jung's Approach 63
8 Relationship as Healing 73
9 Love and Power in Myth and Ritual 81
10 Individuality in Myth and Ritual 87
11 Healing in Myth and Ritual 99
12 Visionary Experience in Myth and Ritual 113
Summary in Respect to Spiritual Emergency 127
App. A Addendum Queries on Chapter 8 143
App. B Setting Up a Residence Facility 151
App. C Alternatives to Hospitalization: A Report on Diabasis 159
Notes 167
Bibliography 183
Index 191
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