Individuals who have participated in Sacred Ceremony and had Holy Experiences, Psychedelic and Mystical in nature. need support with integration after such an experience, without which they are often unable to integrate their lessons in life and go through experiences which seem unnatural and unsettling.
The integration process after a Sacred Ceremony or Psychedelic experiences is essential, which can empower individuals.
Without such support, the Holy Experience might do harm than heal. If the individual goes through depression, doctor’s may prescribe opioids, which may do further harm. Especially, individuals who may be predisposed to genetic mental health conditions, like schizophrenia, unless they are assessed by experts and have the integration support are at risk.
“THERE EXISTS INCREASING EVIDENCE that many individuals experiencing episodes of non-ordinary states of consciousness accompanied by various emotional, perceptual, and psychosomatic manifestations are undergoing an evolutionary crisis rather than suffering from a mental disease.” The Grofs wrote in a paper entitled Spiritual Emergency: The Understanding and Treatment of Transpersonal Crises in 1986. “Traditional psychiatry does not recognise the difference between mystical and psychotic experiences. All unusual states of consciousness are essentially seen as pathological and attributed to anatomical, physiological, and biochemical changes in the brain, or other medical causes… Psychiatry thus routinely and indiscriminately uses controlling and suppressive approaches to terminate such experiences.”
In the field of psychology, there have been decades long debate over how to treat an individual who have gone through spiritual experiences which has also led to state of instability. Mystical experiences which induce feeling of self-dissolution are considered very important for healing by Johns Hopkins and other reputed institutions. Also it is normal to feel unsettled after a profound mystical experience, as such can bring to surface emotions which are still processing.
Therapists are trained to prepare patients in clinical trials for the unpredictability of a Psychedelic experience, including, potentially, extreme discomfort, disorientation, or a complete loss of ‘self’. The preparation is intended to help patients embrace and trust their Psychedelic experience as a part of the ‘healing’ process, regardless what they experienced.
Bill Richards, a researcher conducting clinical trials into the therapeutic potential of Psychedelics since the sixties, gave all his study participants “instructions” as follows:-
“In you experience the sensation of dying, melting, dissolving, exploding, going crazy etc., – go ahead. Experience the experience. Remember that the death/transcendence of your ego or your everyday self is always followed by Rebirth/Return to the normative world of space & time. Safest way to return to normal is to entrust self unconditionally to the emerging experiences.”
Individuals going through ‘Holy Experiences’ without such instructions from experts may gone through horrible experiences by resisting the process, and feel wrongly about their ‘healing’ due to lack of instructions and guidance. It is essential to surrender to the experience, otherwise the un-integrated Holy Experience can be damaging.
Importance of Screening participants before a Sacred Ceremony
Screening is considered vital for Psychedelic clinical trials and by credible Psychedelic guides, both aboveground ones at legal Retreat centers abroad as well as underground ones organising Sacred Ceremonies. The screening process helps exclude individuals with risky profile, like those with history and situation which could have negative effects. At majority of Retreat centers, they disqualify participants with heart conditions, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, active ongoing addictions, as well as those under psychiatric medications such as SSRIs. However, trauma may not always a disqualifier, depending on the person and the depth of trauma which may pose risk of destabilization if they open up “too much too fast”.
Individuals can learn from their everyday life and adapt with their circumstances effectively by continuing to effectively and positively implement the lessons learnt from their Holy Experiences from Sacred Ceremonies from the Holy and Divine Mother Ayahuasca.
- Hartman S., 2021, Spiritual Emergency, Double Blind Magazine, Vol. 5, p44-49