Postmark deadline: 15th January, 2013
Theme: Spiritual Emergencies
Task: You need to select one of the following from your arsenal of life experiences thus far (if you’ve had them) and describe it in detail: a peak experience, a near-death experience, a past-life memory, an opening to life myth, a psychic opening, or a shamanic crisis. Your job is to evoke an emotional response from your reader: make me laugh, cry, fret, revel in bliss, quake with excitement, or squirm in agitation. The three pieces I deem most powerful and explosive and which leave a lasting impression will win the competition. There is no word limit on this exercise. It can be as short or as long as you like.
These can be so overwhelming for someone who has never been ecstatic before that there can be fears of going crazy. To be out of touch with ordinary reality, even for a short period of time, is for some people an impossibly worrying event. They can be called experiences of bliss. Such experiences are sought in meditation, where they can be described better as serious extravertive mysticism. They always seem to have a sense of truth about them – ‘this is the way things really are’ – which is particularly disconcerting for people who think they know already how things really are.
These are the experiences when people are declared physically dead, and are then revived.
If the person has, for any reason, a vivid memory which appears to refer to a previous life, this may be very disturbing for the person, particularly if they do not believe in reincarnation. Often such memories have a life-or-death quality to them, which may make them hard to take, at the same time as they make them very meaningful. People may be quite unafraid of death after such an experience.
Opening to Life Myth
Here the person seems to go on a journey to the centre, to the central meaning of life. The person may feel that they are at the centre of global or even cosmic events. Death and rebirth, masculine and feminine energies–these can be central concerns on a grand scale. It can be healing and very positive, if handled correctly.
This is an initiatory crisis often involving a visit to the underworld, where annihilation takes place, followed by a rebirth and perhaps an ascent to heaven. Power animals are often involved, sometimes in quite horrifying ways.
This is the arrival of psychic powers of one kind or another, perhaps quite suddenly and surprisingly. All sorts of paranormal phenomena can be involved here, including poltergeist phenomena. Out-of-body experiences are quite common–apparent journeying through space, leaving one’s solid body behind. Loss of identity may be experienced, and this can be frightening, too.
Contest Requirements: All entries are to be in the English language and submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org. The competition is open to all universities and schools, and to all ages. No identifying details save for your initials and an e-mail contact should be included with your submission. If your piece is chosen as a winner you will be contacted for additional details.
The 1st place trophy: a fresh twist on the classic 'victory' symbol, this beautifully handmade art crystal symbolises the pinnacle in achievement. The winner will proudly display this crystal award forever.
The 2nd place trophy: Individually handmade and shaped directly at the furnace without the use of any moulds. A truly unique award that will be treasured for generations, this stunning crystal tear drop is displayed on a clear crystal base where the engraving will be located.
1st place: The Victory trophy and publication on my website.
2nd place: The Teardrop trophy and publication on my website.
3rd place: You will receive signed copies of my three published works and publication on my website.
Contest decisions: The winners will be posted at www.paulkiritsis.net on February 15th 2013 and in the English edition of the Neos Kosmos newspaper the following week. Contest entries are judged by Dr. Paul Kiritsis whose decisions will be final.