Breaking Open - Navigating Spiritual Emergency with Jules Evans and Tim Read

  • Thu 18th Jun 2020, 7pm – 9pm UK time (UTC +01:00)
  • Online
Hosted by The Psychedelic Society
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A spiritual emergency is a period of intense and extended disturbance to a person’s ordinary sense of self and reality, which can involve psychotic-like symptoms such as mania, ego-dissolution, a heightened sense of meaning, hallucinations and a confusion of inner and outer worlds. These experiences can be treated as symptoms of chronic brain disorders requiring psychotropic medication. However, they are better understood as attempts by the psyche to seek greater wholeness. If properly handled, they can be transitions to greater maturity, flourishing and wisdom.

As more and more people take psychedelics and have ecstatic experiences, some of these experiences will be messy 'spiritual emergencies' and it's important that our culture (and particularly psychedelic culture) learns more about these experiences and how to navigate them. 

On this evening webinar Jules Evans and Dr Tim Read will gather together first-person accounts of spiritual emergencies and explore what they’re like and what self-care practices help people through. They will draw on their new book Breaking Open -Finding a Way Through Spiritual Emergency, which collects 14 people's account of their experiences and what helped them through. 

Tim Read is a medical doctor, psychiatrist and psychotherapist based in London. He is consultant psychiatrist at Imperial College's psychedelic lab, and at Synthesis, a psychedelic retreat centre in Holland. He was Consultant Psychiatrist at the Royal London Hospital for 20 years leading the Emergency Liaison service and the Crisis Intervention Service. He has trained in psychoanalytic therapy (IGA) and in transpersonal therapy (GTT). He is a certified facilitator of Holotropic Breathwork and has a special interest in working with expanded states of consciousness. His book Walking Shadows: Archetype and Psyche in Crisis and Growth was published in 2015.

Jules Evans is an author, broadcaster and academic philosopher. He is a research fellow at the Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary, University of London. He also organizes the London Philosophy Club, the largest philosophy club in the world. He is the author of Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations (2012) , The Art of Losing Control (2017). and Holiday from the Self: An Accidental Ayahuasca Adventure (2019). His website is

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