Jon Brooks 3 min read

Jules Evans — Finding a Way Through Spiritual Emergency

Psychedelics & Drugs jules evans Podcast

spiritual emergency Jules Evans
breaking open Jules Evans

Have you ever experienced a spiritual emergency?

Are you even familiar with that term?

I wasn’t when I first interviewed Jules Evans on the podcast last time to discuss his two previous books: Philosophy For Life And Other Dangerous Situations and The Art of Losing Control.

In that episode, we talked at length about the benefits of Stoicism, but also where reason-based philosophical frameworks might be lacking if one wishes to experience a rich, integrated human life.

We dove into topics like meditation, eastern philosophy, and psychedelics as useful additions in our psychological toolkit.

When I asked Jules what he was working on next, he explained that he was in the process of co-editing a book with psychiatry expert Tim Read all about spiritual emergencies.

Spiritual Emergency

Considering I am involved in the psychedelic and spirituality space, I was surprised to find that I knew very little about this important topic.

30, years ago Stanislav Grof and his wife Christina wrote a book called Spiritual Emergency where they defined this phenomenon as follows:

One of the most important implications… is the realization that many of the conditions, which are currently diagnosed as psychotic and indiscriminately treated by suppressive medication, are actually difficult stages of a radical personality transformation and of spiritual opening. If they are correctly understood and supported, these psychospiritual crises can result in emotional and psychosomatic healing, remarkable psychological transformation, and consciousness evolution.

With the resurgence of psychedelics and increased popularity of spiritual practices, information on how one might recognise and navigate their way through a spiritual emergency has never been more important.

In this episode of the HighExistence Podcast, Jules and I discuss his new book that he edited on this topic called Breaking Open: Finding Your Way Through Spiritual Emergency.

I have read the book, and I can’t express how important I found it. If you are in any way interested in pursuing spiritual transformation, this book book is indispensable.

It could really help you, or just as likely it could give you some insight into how you might help others who are going through a difficult spiritual experience.

To learn more about Breaking Open and the topic of spiritual emergencies, my conversation here with Jules is a perfect place to begin.


  • What is a spiritual emergency?
  • Tips for dealing with difficult spiritual experiences
  • The creative process behind the book Breaking Open
  • Jules’ own spiritual emergency and ayahuasca experience
  • Useful guidelines for attending psychedelic retreats
  • Psychosis vs. spiritual emergency
  • Psychedelic intergration
  • The usefulness of psychotherapy
  • The dark side of spirituality


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Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is a Stoicism teacher and, crucially, practitioner. His Stoic meditations have accumulated thousands of listens, and he has created his own Stoic training program for modern-day Stoics.

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