Home/Main Menu     Site Map

Spiritual Emergency/Emergence/Counseling
Record Type: Review   ID: 293

Healing the Split: Madness or Transcendence? A New Understanding of the Crisis and Treatment of the Mentally Ill

Nelson, John E.

 An experienced psychiatrist presents a four-fold approach to mental illness, drawing on biochemical, psychological, transpersonal, and tantric yoga components to promote understanding of madness and to heal "the split" not only within mentally ill individuals but also medical, psychiatric, holistic, and spiritual views of madness and how to deal with it. In a sense, although in four parts, basically the book is split into two: physical, physiological, psychiatric, and subjective characterizations/descriptions of mental illness and nontraditional and spiritual (especially yogic chakra psychology) approaches to healing the split, including the classification of madness provided by the seven chakras of occult psychology, or what Nelson calls artful healing. Of special relevance to EHEs, especially the EHE process, is chapter 12 on spiritual emergencies. He provides valuable information on how to live in the ordinary world while having extraordinary experiences and the process involved first in incorporation, and then in a new identity and way of life. Also relevant are chapters on creative, psychical, and mystical experiences, respectively. To me associating these EHEs with specific chakras is unnecessary and even misleading. Psychic experiences can occur at any stage, as can mystical and creative experiences. The more conscious one is the better one is equipped to incorporate and assimilate these sometimes quite extraordinary experiences, but I prefer the image of a spiral in which most EHEs could occur at any turn, but the higher one goes one is able to have a more in-depth and expanded view of one’s present expereince as well as one’s past. Nelson is of course aware of this, but I think his exposition would be clearer if he simply let the experiences speak for themselves rather make them fit the chakra structure. This is not to say that chakra psychology is irrelevant to exceptional experiences. In the final two chapters, which are on artful healing, he describes his five-prong approach of physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and social healing of schizophrenia, borderline conditions, spiritual emergencies, and mania. Compared to most psychiatric approaches to nonordinary/exceptional experiences this is a groundbreaking work and should be read by therapists of all kinds from physical to spiritual as well as anyone having exceptional human experiences.
Publisher Information:Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1990. 442p. Chap. notes: 420-433; Ind: 434-442
Previous Record Previous
in this

List All Titles in This Category (26)

Book Reviews Menu
in this

Click a section below to move around the EHEN website.
Home/Menu       About EHEs      EHE Autobiographies      EHE Book Reviews      EHE FAQ      EHE Network      Email Talk      Experiences Library      Info/Contact      Join Us!      Living EHEs      Parapsychology      Rhea White      Web Links      Web Talk      What's New     

All website graphics, materials and content copyright © 1997-2003
by EHE Network. All rights reserved. For permissions
please contact EHEN's Executive Director, Rhea A. White.

Web Media Management by Palyne Gaenir of ScienceHorizon.

Exceptional Human Experience Network
Exceptional Human Experience Network