by Katie Mottram
Coming Out of the Spiritual Closet
We’re entering a new evolutionary period for humanity, it’s time we normalised spiritual experiences to end stigma and the pathologising of them; International #Emerging Proud day aims to initiate this on 12th May 2017!
Normalising spiritual experiences is fundamentally a Human Rights issue.
Article 9 of the Human Rights Act states a right to Freedom of thought, belief and Religion. And yet certain spiritual beliefs are still being pathologised as mental illness.
The inclusion in the DSM-IV (1994; Diagnostic and statistical manual) of a diagnostic category called “Religious or Spiritual Problem” was heralded as a significant breakthrough. It was intended as an acknowledgment of distressing spiritual experiences as non-pathological problems. But they continue to be pathologised and are little spoken about within the psychiatric world due to fear and misunderstanding. It’s time that changed.
We only have to look at the magnitude of positive change that the Black Rights movement and Gay Pride created; now we need to do the same, but for people experiencing spiritual phenomena. The launch of International #Emerging Proud day aims to expand the public perception of ‘normal’ all over the world.
In 2012 I experienced a spiritual awakening. During the most intense period of my awakening, I received the following channeled message:
“You are a vehicle to bring about spiritual awareness; you will help to develop an easily comprehensible framework about spiritual crisis to reduce the stigma of mental illness, and to increase the understanding of us as spiritual beings within modern society. Mental illness will be redefined in terms of spirituality.”
At the time I thought it was ridiculous. Now it feels like a necessity if humanity is to evolve.
Millions of people around the world are waking up to an expanded level of consciousness and thus experiencing spiritual phenomena. For many of these people the journey of awakening is a turbulent roller-coaster ride into the abyss of a misunderstood Universe, and as such, it can also be a fast admission ticket into the world of psychiatry. If the world is to evolve, our Western cultural perception of spiritual phenomena has to evolve too.
As we know the current portrayal of spiritual experiences, not just in psychiatry, but also in mainstream media, can be so destructive, and by increasing understanding and thus reducing fear, more people should be able to journey through their awakening process with a reduced level of crisis; this is about assisting a spiritual ‘emergence’ as opposed to an ‘emergency’.
In October 2016 spirit urged me to start an anti-stigma campaign; #Emerging Proud; Coming out of the spiritual closet.
The aim of this campaign is to initiate an International #Emerging Proud day on 12th May 2017, as part of Mental Health week, in order to raise awareness about the spectrum of spiritual experiences, and ultimately, to normalise them.
www.emergingproud.com features photographs, video accounts of personal stories and interviews featuring people all around the world #emergingproud and talking openly about their own spiritual emergence experiences, many of whom were labelled as mentally ill.
These photos, stories and videos, collected over the last five months, will form a montage for a full length film to be premiered on the first official International #Emerging Proud day on 12th May 2017, in order to help the thousands of people going through the spiritual emergence process worldwide.
Go to www.emergingproud.com to watch intriguing interviews with special guests, read powerful stories and risqué blogs covering some of the more extreme ends of spiritual emergence experiences, and see the faces of those who have pledged to #emergeproud and end stigma to support those going through the shift.
All donations will go to this work to positively affect the lives of those going through spiritual emergence for years to come; nobody should have to hide their reality or be ashamed to talk openly about their spiritual experiences – we can help reduce the stigma and by normalizing these experiences we can save people from the isolation and pathologising that exists today. Will you be #Emerging Proud with us on Friday 12th May 2017?
Meet the author: Katie Mottram is an author, international speaker and workshop facilitator. In early 2012, after a period of intense personal crisis, Katie experienced a spiritual awakening whilst working in the mental health system which perceived these experiences as pathological. Katie was presented with a huge dichotomy and struggled at first to maintain a foot in both the Western psychiatric and spiritual worlds, as her framework for understanding mental ‘illness’ fell apart. She now works to normalize spiritual experiences in the mental health system, and hopes that through providing education the gap between psychiatry and spirituality may lessen, alleviating the distress experienced by many in our society today. For further information on the Emerging Proud movement visit the website.
emerging proud, issue 49, spirituality