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

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SUNY Press, Jan 1, 1999 - Psychology - 197 pages
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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Contents

Treatment or Therapy?
3
Thoughts on Thought Disorder
15
Psychosis or Visionary State?
25
Alternative Ways
31
Transitions in Outlook
41
Psychological Methods
51
Part II
61
Jungs Approach
63
Healing in Myth and Ritual
99
Visionary Experience in Myth and Ritual
113
Summary in Respect to Spiritual Emergency
127
Appendices
141
Addendum Queries cm Chapter 8
143
Setting Up a Residence Facility
151
Alternatives to Hospitalization A Report on Diabasis
159
Notes
167

Relationship as Healing
73
Love and Power in Myth and Ritual
81
Individuality in Myth and Ritual
87

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About the author (1999)

John Weir Perry is Former Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Francisco. He is the author of The Heart of History: Individuality in Evolution, published by SUNY Press; The Self in Psychotic Process: Its Symbolization in Schizophrenia; Lord of the Four Quarters: Myths of the Royal Father; The Far Side of Madness; and Roots of Renewal in Myth and Madness.

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