Experiencers need time to psychologically integrate a powerful STE. This integration process usually lasts years: as the Experiencer gradually deepens in their understanding about their STE and its after-effects; as they heal old psychological issues that have been exposed by the STE; and as they deepen in their new spiritual understandings.
Many STE psychological after-effects begin immediately after the STE. Some after-effects may be immediate and temporary reactions to the STE. Other psychological after-effects may last for the rest of the Experiencer’s life.
Positive Psychological STE After-Effects
- Abandons self-destructive habits. After a powerful STE, many Experiencers suddenly find the inner strength and motivation to stop unhealthy habits and addictions, such as to stop smoking cigarettes, to stop using marijuana and other drugs, or to reduce or eliminate alcohol intake.
- Sets healthier boundaries. STE Experiencers may find a new inner clarity and strength to set healthier boundaries in their relationships, and to stop tolerating and perhaps walk away from unhealthy or toxic situations.
- Stronger self-confidence. STEs often give the Experiencer a stronger sense of self, and greater self-confidence to express their personal views and opinions.
- Greater humility. Powerful STEs often have a humbling effect on the Experiencer, as they realize their smallness in relation to the Higher Power or Cosmic Intelligence. Humility is also strengthened by the Experiencer’s realization that all beings are equally loved by the universal Higher Power.
- Re-evaluates jobs and relationships. After a powerful STE, Experiencers may re-evaluate the appropriateness of their former jobs and some friendships. They may find the inner strength to leave unhealthy or unhappy situations, and find or develop ones that are more satisfactory.
- Stronger sense of life-purpose. Many Experiencers have a stronger sense of life purpose, or even a “mission”, after their STE. Usually this purpose or mission relates to being of service to others.
- New interests. After a powerful STE, Experiencers often develop new interests related to their STE. Frequently Experiencers become more interested in spiritual topics, begin reading books about different types of STEs, begin to explore diverse spiritual paths, or to explore different self-development methods.
- More creative. Many Experiencers notice an increase in their creativity after a powerful STE. They may develop a new urge to journal regularly, to write poetry, to paint or draw pictures, to photograph nature, to dance, or to compose music. Some Experiencers suddenly develop a new outstanding creative talent, seemingly as an after-effect to their STE.
- Repressed memories surface for healing. STE Experiencers often find that after their STE unresolved emotional issues start spontaneously surfacing to their awareness, so that they can be examined and resolved. This may include repressed childhood memories. Many Experiencers find journaling and seeing a supportive psychotherapist helps them heal the surfacing memories and issues. This process is sometimes called “spontaneous psychospiritual house-cleaning”.
- Embraces personal healing and recovery work. After a powerful STE, Experiencers may find the inner clarity and strength to embrace their personal healing and recovery work: to go into rehab for their addictions; or to seek therapy to deal with childhood abuse issues.
Challenging Psychological STE After-Effects
- Difficulties with relationships. Many STE Experiencers have challenges in their friendships, family, and/or marital relationships after a powerful STE. This is because the Experiencer is not the same person they were before the STE: they have new and very different perspectives on many issues. The relationship challenges may be further intensified if the Experiencer feels they cannot talk to their loved ones about their STE, or if their loved-ones do not believe their STE story.
- Confusion, anxiety. Some Experiencers feel anxious and confused after their STE, because they are unsure of the nature of their experience. Often Experiencers struggle to even find words to describe their STE. Anxiety is usually reduced after the Experiencer finds information about STEs, discovers others have had similar experiences, and learns the “name” for their type of STE.
- Fear of losing control or being crazy. Following a powerful STE, some Experiencers think they might be “going crazy”, and that they are losing their mental self-control. They may fear their STE was a sign they are developing a new mental illness.
- Fear of being labeled “crazy”. Many STE Experiencers fear that if they share their STE story with others, they will be labelled as mentally ill or hallucinating.
- Fixation with the STE. Some STE Experiencers become very preoccupied with thinking about their STE and its implications, to the point that this fixation begins to interfere with their daily life.
- Despair that the STE bliss and joy has ended. Some STE Experiencers feel great upset and grief afterwards – sadness that the bliss, joy, and love that they experienced during their STE has ended.
- Recall of unresolved issues may cause a crisis. Some STE Experiencers go into a psychological crisis or a spiritual emergency after their STE, due to unresolved traumatic memories which begin to spontaneously surface to their awareness. The Experiencer may be totally surprised, shocked, or even overwhelmed when they unblock very traumatic memories.
[Reference: Kason, Yvonne. Touched by the Light. 2019]
Suggested Further Readings on Psychological STE After-Effects:
Bragdon, Emma. The Call of Spiritual Emergency: From Person Crisis to Personal Transformation. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1990.
Grof, Stanislav, and Christina Grof, eds. Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes a Crisis. Los Angeles: Tarcher. 1989.
Greenwell, Bonnie. Energies of Transformation: A guide to the Kundalini Process. Cupertino, California: Shakti River, 1990.
Kason, Yvonne. Touched by the Light: Exploring Spiritually Transformative Experiences. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2019.
Krishna, Gopi. Living with Kundalini: The Autobiography of Gopi Krishna. Edited by Leslie Shepard. Boston: Shambhala, 1993.