Rethinking Madness: Psychosis and Spiritual Awakening

Rethinking Madness: Psychosis and Spiritual Awakening

I’m often asked why I chose the topic of mental health for my first feature length documentary. My usual answer is ‘the topic chose me’. When I first met Adam, our main subject in the film, I was intending to do a film exploring the effects of meditation and mindfulness on well-being. During one of our first interviews with him he mentioned something that caught my attention. He said, “When it [his psychosis] first occurred it was very fun and exciting. It was just this total shattering, and my mind just opened and I started thinking of all these different things. In that sense it was beautiful. It was the first time I experienced a real connection to the universe, where I really felt a part of this—that I was this and this was me. It was incredible! Then I kept going and I went way too far, and then it got scary!”   It sounded like what many sages and holy men have written about their spiritual experiences.

Notes from Adam’s Notebook 2004

Over the past five years we have interviewed psychologists and psychiatrists that have told us what Adam described is common with someone experiencing a psychological crisis. Also, many people we interviewed who have successfully navigated a crisis are convinced the crisis initiated a spiritual awakening for them.

Notes from Adam’s Notebook 2004

While our film concentrates on the obvious problems with the Bio-Medical Paradigm, which frames a psychotic experience as a disease of the brain that has no reliable cure, it’s the potential transformation that can lead to an expansion of consciousness and an increase in compassion and well-being that fascinates me. It’s why I believe it’s time to Rethink Madness. Is it just a breakdown or a can it be a breakthrough? So many have told us it can!


Phil Borges


1 Comment

  1. Judy Watts 10 months ago

    In January of 1980 I had what I know without any doubt now was an awakening of the Kundalini energy. I have tracked back how and why it happened and have written about my 36 years of experiences in what I call the Pandora Process. Diagnosed as bi-polar in 1984, I took the prescribed lithium, was hospitalized countless times and realizing that mental illness had nothing to do with what I was experiencing, I flushed it away in the spring of 1990. It was only then that I started to really do my research; one of the first resources for me was the work of Dr. Stanislov and Christina Grof. From there the mystery has unwound as the ‘word’ is getting out that what I was going through – as well as countless others at this time on Earth – is definitely “something else”.

    In looking up the definition of ‘psychosis’ (to be out of one’s mind) I soon realized that what is happening to humanity as a whole in this awakening of consciousness is that we are moving “out of the ‘tiny mind’ and evolving into the 4th and 5th dimensional awareness…the larger mind, body and spirit faculties always inherently in our DNA spectrum. It has not been an easy journey; however I couldn’t imagine being without the experiences and how I can now assist others understand what is happening to them.

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