SEA Literature

God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.

All PDF downloads:
The Following Purpose, Common Problems and Sample Script are copyright Spiritual Emergence Anonymous
SEA Manual Draft pdf
Purpose of SEA pdf
SEA Common Problems pdf 
SEA Sample Script 2018

The following Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, Twelve Helpful Concepts, Twelve Promises, Just for Today’s are adapted from AA and/or EA
TWELVE STEPS of SEA pdf
TWELVE TRADITIONS of SEA pdf
Twelve Concepts of SEA pdf
Twelve Promises of SEA pdf
Just for todays pdf


 

The Following Purpose, Common Problems and Sample Script are copyright Spiritual Emergence Anonymous

SEA Manual Draft pdf

Purpose of SEA
Purpose of SEA pdf

Spiritual Emergence Anonymous is a fellowship of people who share our experience, strength and hope to solve their common problems. The Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions of Spiritual Emergence Anonymous (SEA) provide a safe environment to encourage authentic sharing and support among people who are integrating or have formerly integrated spiritual emergence.

Spiritual emergence differs from following a spiritual path or devoting oneself to spiritual practice, in that in spiritual emergence, the emerger has experienced sudden and overwhelming spiritual awareness that can be very disorienting (as in near-death experiences, mystical experiences, etc.). The goal then is to ground this new spiritual awareness with recovery, a sense of unity and new behaviors including service, which often involves accepting discomfort of the process while stabilizing their lives. Spiritual emergency is a crisis that occurs when emerging spirituality happens faster or more powerfully than is possible to gracefully integrate. This can create imbalance or cause disturbing psychotic effects until the person is able to adjust to grounding this new awareness. There are occasions when a person with a medical condition of psychosis concurrently goes through a spiritual emergence. It is not up to SEA to distinguish between the two. SEA is not a substitute for medical treatment for these individuals. The only requirement for SEA membership is a desire to integrate spiritual experience.

Spiritual Emergence Anonymous (SEA) Common Problems

SEA Common Problems pdf 

(short version) Problems for emergers usually revolve around (1) longing, even addicted to, returning to the blissful state we experienced during a spiritually transforming experience with accompanying discomfort fitting in to our former life identity, and (2) egotistical delusions of self-grandeur thinking that we are more advanced conscious beings than most other humans.

(academic version) Common problems for people undergoing spiritual emergence and in various states of spiritual emergency fall into the following two different categories, which are not mutually exclusive.

  1. The challenges emergers are most aware of involve changes that are difficult to manage and can wear away at self-confidence. These include possible hypersensitivity to other people’s feelings, to environmental situations (noise, light, etc.), to electromagnetic fields, to toxic chemicals, and sometimes newly acquired senses of telepathy, clairvoyance, and awareness of non-corporeal beings. This may be accompanied by extreme sleep deprivation, manic episodes, debilitating fatigue, mental confusion, or paranoia. Another common challenge is a relatively sudden increase in ethical and moral awareness in which compassion, sensitivity to suffering, tenderness and vulnerability become more magnified, often motivating a person to change work situations, living situations, relationships, etc. Divorce and quitting jobs are common during and following a spiritual emergency. A strong desire to “return” to mystical states of consciousness drive some people to withdraw from society, jump into dangerous spiritual cults, take drugs, or even to commit suicide to “return to the other realm.” One survey showed that 30% of emergers contemplated suicide for this reason, and 7.5% attempted it (ACISTE, 2011). It is not uncommon for emergers to have symptoms such as energetic or mood swings; seeing, hearing, or sensing non-corporeal beings; and extreme inner psychic confusion. These symptoms may be diagnosed as pathological (bi-polar, psychosis and schizophrenia, for example) and treated with psychiatric medications that often exacerbate the problems.
  2. A challenge an emerger is less likely to be aware of is a phenomenon or phase known as “spiritual bypass.” This occurs sometimes when spiritual emergence seems to catapult an emerger so quickly into advanced intellectual spiritual understandings or mood euphoria that the emerger bypasses their own emotional issues and blames their problems on other people or the culture’s misunderstanding of their seemingly advanced state of consciousness. Spiritual bypass can sometimes cause inflated self-confidence associated with charismatic power to sway others. Spiritual bypass may lead to increased strength of psychological denial and ego defensiveness. Rather than the gradual decrease of ego defenses that occur with true spiritual growth, emergers may “bypass” the difficult inner growth that comes from self-examination and humility, thus closing themselves off from inner growth as their egotism expands and their pride feeds off of other people’s admiration.

SEA Sample Script 2018.pdf

Open 15 minutes before the Meeting starts

  • Inform all participants to make their names anonymous if they have not already done so.
  • Instruct how to “raise hands” and keep their shares to 3 minutes so everyone gets time to share
  • Mention other Meetings and Times
  • Anyone interested in being a speaker and sharing your story, let secretary know before or after the meetings, If you do not get what you need, please stay after and the Secretary will be available to speak with you
  • There is no crosstalk or giving advice on any subjects during the meeting
  1. Good Afternoon/Evening . This is the regular meeting of the __________ group of S.E.A. My name is___________and I am a Spiritual Emerger and your Secretary.
  2. Let us open the meeting with a moment of silence to do with as you wish followed by the Serenity Prayer:

God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.

  1. S.E.A. is a fellowship of people who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from the effects of Spiritual Emergence. The only requirement for membership is a desire to seek sanity. There are no dues or fees for S.E.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions.  S.E.A is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes.  Our primary purpose is to stay sane and help other Spiritual Emergers to achieve sanity.
  2. ____________will now read The 12 Steps of Spiritual Emergence Anonymous ( Some groups ask other members to read in addition to the Steps, The S.E.A. Traditions, S.E.A. Promises, Just for Today, S.E.A. Concepts)
  3. If it is the custom of the group to start the Meeting with a “Check In” Please state your first name, where you are from if you wish (state, country), if you are new to the S.E.A. meeting and how you are feeling and/or what you are struggling with today. Keep all shares to under 3 minutes to enable everyone the opportunity to share. If you wish to pass, please just state “Pass.”
  4. Introduce the Chairperson or Speaker for the meeting, or Step Number. If yours is a discussion type meeting, the Secretary conducts the discussion. Raise your hand to share. Keep all shares to 3 minutes
  5. Thank the Speaker or Chairperson as well as, any others who read.
  6. Make regular announcements about group business, events and announcements from The Treasury Report, and information about the availability of literature. Ask for announcements from the floor.
  7. “Pass the basket(s).” The secretary can say something like:
  • We have no dues or fees in S.E.A. We are entirely self-supporting, declining outside contributions. This self-support includes: Zoom, Website and Pay Pal
  • Explanation of Pay Pal
  • Contributions are optional and not mandatory, no one is turned away due to lack of funds
  1. Close the meeting in the manner determined by the group conscience/Serenity Prayer

(NOTE: Make every effort to open and close the meeting on time.



The following Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, Twelve Helpful Concepts, Twelve Promises, Just for Today’s are adapted from AA and/or EA

Twelve Steps of SPIRITUAL EMERGENCE ANONYMOUS
TWELVE STEPS of SEA pdf

  1. We admitted we were powerless over the effects of spiritual emergence — that our lives had become unmanageable
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Twelve Traditions of SPIRITUAL EMERGENCE ANONYMOUS
TWELVE TRADITIONS of SEA pdf

  1. Our common welfare should come first; personal spiritual emergence depends upon S.E.A. unity.
  2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as God may express Itself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
  3. The only requirement for S.E.A. membership is a desire to integrate spiritual emergence.
  4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or S.E.A. as a whole.
  5. Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the emergers who still suffer.
  6. An S.E.A. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the S.E.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
  7. Every S.E.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
  8. Spiritual Emergence Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
  9. S.E.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
  10. Spiritual Emergence Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the S.E.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
  11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.
  12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.


Twelve Helpful Concepts of
SPIRITUAL EMERGENCE ANONYMOUS
Twelve Concepts of SEA pdf

  1. We come to SEA to learn how to live a new way of life through the twelve-step program of Spiritual Emergence Anonymous which consists of Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, concepts, the Serenity Prayer, slogans, Just for Todays, SEA literature, weekly meetings, telephone and personal contacts, and living the program one day at a time. We do not come for another person — we come to help ourselves and to share our experiences, strength, and hope with others.
  2. We are experts only on our own stories, how we try to live the program, how the program works for us, and what SEA has done for us. No one speaks for Spiritual Emergence Anonymous as a whole.
  3. We respect anonymity – no questions are asked. We aim for an atmosphere of love and acceptance. We do not care who you are or what you have done. You are welcome.
  4. We do not judge; we do not criticize; we do not argue. We do not give advice regarding personal or family affairs.
  5. SEA is not a sounding board for continually reviewing our miseries, but a way to learn to detach ourselves from them. Part of our serenity comes from being able to live at peace with unsolved problems.
  6. We never discuss religion, politics, national or international issues, or other belief systems or policies. SEA has no opinion on outside issues.
  7. Spiritual Emergence Anonymous is a spiritual program, not a religious program. We do not advocate any particular belief system.
  8. The Steps suggest a belief in a Power greater than ourselves – “God as we understand God”, This can be human love, a force for good, the group, nature, the universe, God, or any entity a member chooses as a personal Higher Power.
  9. We utilize the program we do not analyze it. Understanding comes with experience. Each day we apply some part of the program to our personal lives.
  10. We have not found it helpful to place labels on any degree of illness or health. We may have different symptoms, but the underlying emotions are the same or similar. We discover we are not unique in our difficulties and/or illnesses.
  11. Each person is entitled to his or her own opinions and may express them at a meeting within the guidelines of SEA. We are all equal no one is more important than another.
  12. Part of the beauty and wonder of the SEA program is that at meetings we can say anything and know it stays there. Anything we hear at a meeting, on the telephone, or from another member is confidential and is not to be repeated to anyone SEA members, mates, families, relatives or friends.


Twelve Promises of
SPIRITUAL EMERGENCE ANONYMOUS
Twelve Promises of SEA pdf

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development:

  1. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
  2. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
  3. We will comprehend the word serenity, and we will know peace of mind.
  4. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.
  5. The feelings of uselessness and self-pity lessen.
  6. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in others.
  7. Self-seeking will slip away.
  8. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
  9. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
  10. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
  11. We acquire a feeling of security within ourselves
  12. We realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

These may seem like extravagant promises, but they are not. They are being fulfilled among us, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.


Just for Todays
Just for todays pdf

  1.  Just for Today I will try to live through this day only, not tackling all of my problems at once. I can do something at this moment that would discourage me if I had to continue it for a lifetime.
  2. Just for Today I will try to be happy, realizing that my happiness does not depend on what others do or say or what happens around me. Happiness is a result of being at peace with myself.
  3. Just for Today I will try to adjust myself to what is and not force everything to adjust to my own desires. I will accept my family, my friends, my business, my circumstances as they come.
  4. Just for Today I will take care of my physical health; I will exercise my mind; I will read something spiritual.
  5. Just for Today I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out. If anyone knows of it, it will not count. I will do at least one thing I don’t want to do, and I will perform some small act of love for my neighbor.
  6. Just for Today I will try to go out of my way to be kind to someone I meet. I will be considerate, talk low, and look as good as I can. I will not engage in unnecessary criticism or finding fault, not try to improve or regulate anybody except myself.
  7. Just for Today I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. I will save myself from two pests–hurry and indecision.
  8. Just for Today I will stop saying “If I had time.” I will never find time for anything. If I want time, I must take it.
  9. Just for Today I will have a quiet time of meditation wherein I shall think of my Higher Power, of myself, and of my neighbor. I shall relax and seek truth.
  10. Just for Today I shall be unafraid. Particularly, I shall be unafraid to be happy, to enjoy what is good, what is beautiful, and what is lovely in life.
  11. Just for Today I will not compare myself with others. I will accept myself and live to the best of my ability.
  12. Just for Today I choose to believe that I can live this one day.

 

References

A new category in the American Psychiatric Association’s fourth edition of the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-IV) entitled “Religious and Spiritual Problems” was introduced by Dr. David Lukoff in 1994, inspired by his concern of mis-diagnosis of people in spiritual emergency within psychiatric medicine (Lukoff, 2011).

American Center for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences (ACISTE). (2011). Raw data from ACISTE Experiencer Needs Survey #1. Unpublished raw data.

American Center for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences (ACISTE). (2017a). About STEs: Common challenges following an STE. Retrieved from https://aciste.org/about-stes/common-challenges-following-an-ste/

American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Boisen, A. T. (1952). The exploration of the inner world: A study of mental disorder and religious experience. New York, NY: Harper & Brothers. (Original work published 1936).

Bray, P. (2010). A broader framework for exploring the influence of spiritual experience in the wake of stressful life events: Examining connections between posttraumatic growth and psycho-spiritual transformation. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 13(3), 293-308. doi:10.1080/13674670903367199

Exline, J. J. (2013). Religious and spiritual struggles. In K. I. Pargament, J. J. Exline, & J. W. Jones (Eds.), APA handbook of psychology, religion and spirituality (Vol. 1): Context, theory, and research (pp. 459-475). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Goretzki, M., Thalbourne, M. A., & Storm, L. (2013). Development of a spiritual emergency scale. The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 45(2), 105-107.

Greyson, B. (1983). The Near Death Experience Scale: Construction, reliability, and validity. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disorders, 17(6), 369-375.

Greyson, B., & Ring, K. (2004). The Life Changes Inventory – Revised. Journal of Near-Death Studies, 23(1), 41-54.

Grof, S., & Grof, C. (Eds.). (1989). Spiritual emergency: When personal transformation becomes a crisis. Los Angeles, CA: Jeremy P. Tarcher.

Holden, J. M. (2012). Aftermath: Counting the aftereffects of potentially spiritually transformative experiences. Journal of Near-Death Studies, 31(2), 65-78.

Holden, J. M., Greyson, B., & James, D. (2009). The field of near-death studies: Past, present, and future. In J. Holden, B. Greyson, & D. James (Eds.), The handbook of near-death experiences: Thirty years of investigation (pp. 1-16). Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.

Holden, J., VanPelt-Tess, P., & Warren, S. (1999). Spiritual emergency: An introduction and case example. Counseling & Values, 43(3), 163-177.

Hood, R. W., & Francis, L. J. (2013). Mystical experience: Conceptualizations, measurement, and correlates. In K. I. Pargament, J. J. Exline, & J. W. Jones (Eds.), APA handbook of psychology, religion and spirituality (Vol. 1): Context, theory, and research (pp. 391-405). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

International Spiritual Emergence Network (ISEN) 2017. Retrieved at http://www.spiritualemergencenetwork.org

Kason, Y. (2008). Farther shores: Exploring how near-death, kundalini and mystical experiences can transform ordinary lives. New York, NY: HarperCollins. (Original work published 1994)

Lukoff, D. (1985). The diagnosis of mystical experiences with psychotic features. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 17(2), 155-181.

Lukoff, D., Lu, F., & Yang, C. P. (2011). DSM-IV religious and spiritual problems. In J. Peteet, F. Lu, & W. Narrow (Eds.), Religious and spiritual issues in psychiatric diagnosis: A research agenda for DSM-V (pp. 171-198). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Palmer, G. (1999). Disclosure and assimilation of exceptional human experiences: Meaningful, transformative and spiritual aspects. Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 9932122)

Paloutzian, R. F. (2005). Religious conversion and spiritual transformation: A meaning-system analysis. In R. F. Paloutzian & C. L. Park (Eds.), Handbook of the psychology of religion and spirituality (pp. 331–347). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Pargament, K., Mahoney, A., Shafranske, E. P., Exline, J. J., & Jones, J. W. (2013). From research to practice: Toward an applied psychology of religion and spirituality. In K. I. Pargament, A. Mahoney, & E. P. Shafranske (Eds.), APA handbook of psychology, religion and spirituality (Vol. 2): An applied psychology of religion and spirituality (pp. 3-22). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Rominger, R. (2004). Exploring the integration of the aftereffects of the near-death experience: An intuitive and artistic inquiry. Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3129588)

Rominger, R. (2014). Integration models for the STE. Presentation at ACISTE Annual Conference, Dallas, TX.

Sandage, S. J., & Moe, S. P. (2013). Spiritual experience: Conversion and transformation. In K. I. Pargament, J. J. Exline, & J. W. Jones (Eds.), APA handbook of psychology, religion and spirituality (Vol. 1): Context, theory, and research (pp. 407-422). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Spiritual Competency Resource Center. (2017). Continuing education for mental health professionals. Retrieved from http://spiritualcompetency.com/

Spiritual Emergence Network (SEN). (2017). Welcome to the Spiritual Emergence Network (SEN). Retrieved from http://spiritualemergence.info

Stout, Y. M., Jacquin, L. A., & Atwater, P. M. H. (2006). Six major challenges faced by near death experiencers. Journal of Near-Death Studies, 25(1), 49-62.

Turner, R., Lukoff, D., Barnhouse, R., & Lu, F. (1995). Religious or spiritual problem: A culturally sensitive diagnostic category in the DSM-IV. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 183(7), 435-444.

Vieten, C., & Scammell, S. (2015). Spiritual & religious competencies in clinical practice. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.