Does any of this sound familiar?

Andrew McNeeley, modified 10 Years ago.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Posts: 17 Join Date: 10/15/10 Recent Posts
Hi everyone,

My name is Andrew and this is my first post. Besides the interest I've had for some time in meditation, I am here because I am looking for a different perspective on a psychedelic experience I had recently. I realize that entheogens are less than beloved here, but please give this a read. I think it will be worth your while.

I've been on a few dozen high dose psilocybin (mushroom) trips, and this is the only one that has caused long lasting effects. Within a few minutes of drinking the tea I knew it was going to be a rough ride. Sparing you the details I initially resisted the trip, but around hour 2 I gave in as best I could and let it take me. This culminated with me passing through a doorway of some kind and seeing Fear. Here's what I wrote that night-

I began to seek the answer to my "question". The "why" of everything in my life to this point. As I went deeper and deeper I eventually found it- Fear.

This culminated with me "seeing" fear at it's most basic. Unfiltered by the mind an all encompassing.

Here's the thing..When a man points a gun at your head you feel afraid. Even so you've got options. He may shoot you, he may not. If he does you may die, you may not. If you die, there may be a heaven, there may not. All of these choices limit the amount of fear you experience.

What I saw had none of those limitations. I was fear in it's purest form. A literally energy that to look at, even for a second, may as well been a lifetime. I have never felt anything like that before.

Everything I have ever done is a result of this fear. Even being here, chasing the "why" with my mind is a result of this fear.


The feeling I got in that place was so intense I literally pulled myself out of the trip because I don't think I would have been OK had I looked at it for more than a split-second.

After the trip I was tired but OK. however, the next evening I was home alone and got hit with a wave a fear unlike anything I have ever experienced. This was followed by a week of derealization, dread, anxiety, and moments where I literally had to lean on something to stand because the pain was so intense. I thought seriously about getting mental therapy during this week. emoticon

It gradually got better and I am now about 2 months out. The feelings are still here, but below the surface. I was woken up at 3AM by a roommate and when I went to the bathroom my mind was basically where it was during that first week...so it's still on my mind. Horror movies can bring it out and so can large doses of weed alone. (Panic attack anyone?)

What is harder to deal with are the changes in my perceptions. I have lost interest in a lot of things I loved before...but I don't miss them. I am unable to lie to myself anymore. Someone asked me the other day what I think happens when we die...I looked them in the eye and truthfully said I have no idea. And I meant it. The profoundness of this didn't really hit me until later that day.

I have more empathy now, and more compassion...but I feel like the purpose in life has been taken from me. That life may in fact be meaningless beyond the meaning I give it...that's a big responsibility.

Does any of this sound familiar somehow?

Thanks!
Andrew
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tarin greco, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Does any of this sound familiar?

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
Andrew McNeeley:
Hi everyone,

My name is Andrew and this is my first post.

hi andrew,

welcome to the dho.


Andrew McNeeley:

I began to seek the answer to my "question". The "why" of everything in my life to this point. As I went deeper and deeper I eventually found it- Fear.

This culminated with me "seeing" fear at it's most basic. Unfiltered by the mind an all encompassing.

Here's the thing..When a man points a gun at your head you feel afraid. Even so you've got options. He may shoot you, he may not. If he does you may die, you may not. If you die, there may be a heaven, there may not. All of these choices limit the amount of fear you experience.

What I saw had none of those limitations. I was fear in it's purest form. A literally energy that to look at, even for a second, may as well been a lifetime. I have never felt anything like that before.

Everything I have ever done is a result of this fear. Even being here, chasing the "why" with my mind is a result of this fear.


The feeling I got in that place was so intense I literally pulled myself out of the trip because I don't think I would have been OK had I looked at it for more than a split-second.

(...)

What is harder to deal with are the changes in my perceptions. I have lost interest in a lot of things I loved before...but I don't miss them. I am unable to lie to myself anymore. Someone asked me the other day what I think happens when we die...I looked them in the eye and truthfully said I have no idea. And I meant it. The profoundness of this didn't really hit me until later that day.

(...)

Does any of this sound familiar somehow?

yes; particularly 'This culminated with me "seeing" fear at it's most basic. Unfiltered by the mind an all encompassing', and 'I was fear in it's purest form. A literally energy that to look at, even for a second, may as well been a lifetime. I have never felt anything like that before.'


Andrew McNeeley:

I have more empathy now, and more compassion...but I feel like the purpose in life has been taken from me. That life may in fact be meaningless beyond the meaning I give it...that's a big responsibility.

well, what does it mean if your life is meaningless?

tarin
Andrew McNeeley, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Does any of this sound familiar?

Posts: 17 Join Date: 10/15/10 Recent Posts
well, what does it mean if your life is meaningless?


Right now it means that I have had multiple extremely rough days where I just can't imagine another 50 years of beating my head against the wall for nothing. Without a purpose of some kind you are left in a title fight- You vs The Universe. Round after bloody round and for what? You will inevitably lose and when you do eventually no one will care.

Men don't march to war for nothing! We want to believe. I simply can't right now. My old world view was based in fear. Fear of death, fear of being alone, fear of life being meaningless, etc.

I am trying to find a peace with the world as it is, and myself as well. That's part of why I am here.

yes; particularly...


Well that's reassuring! Would you care to put the experience in some sort of context with the Buddhist tradition? I have found only a couple guys in the psychedelic community I frequent who have experienced anything like this. It generally sets the tone for them.
C C C, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Does any of this sound familiar?

Posts: 946 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
I have experienced this same fear Andrew. It's my main task to get beyond it, and I know exactly the sensation you experienced.

The ego runs on fear. It's like the software that holds it in place. So when you say "Everything I have ever done is a result of this fear. Even being here, chasing the "why" with my mind is a result of this fear", that looks like real insight to me.

Unless you have transcended it, your ego dictates every single thought and action you can imagine, even the selfless-looking actions. Turning to myself: Who is writing this response?... Answer: my ego. Why? Does it want to be recognized or praised? Or is it a matter of: "I want to help myself undertsand this better, and writing this response will help me in that"? Or has my ego co-opted this situation entirely in order to formulate a nice-sounding statement such as: "I want to help Andrew, my fellow man!" when what I really want is to help myself? All good questions with the same unsettling answer I'm afraid! Even the most selfless acts we see on the planet are often motivated by an individual's or group's ego.

So far, I found the best answers in fictional writing. All the great writers have Fear and Love as a central themes.

So maybe have a look at Deepak Chopra's 'The Return of Merlin'. Chopra views Fear not so much as an entity in itself, but a symptom of lack of Love.

Or the work of Carlos Castaneda*, where you can download snippets for free at prismagems website. eg. "Every step of learning is a new task, and the fear the man is experiencing begins to mount mercilessly, unyieldingly. His purpose becomes a battlefield. And thus he has stumbled upon the first of his natural enemies: fear!"

Or JK Rowlings Harry Potter stuff regarding 'Boggarts' or 'Dementors'. Her basic theme is laughing at Fear, and not being too serious about it. Kid's stuff? Yes and no.

Some may scoff, but these authors are World wide best-sellers for very good reason. They take universal themes and integrate them beautifully into story format where the subconscious can easily pick up the message. The subconscious (where your fear of pain and death exists) relates much more easily to stories, myths and symbolism.


Andrew you say: "I have more empathy now, and more compassion...but I feel like the purpose in life has been taken from me. That life may in fact be meaningless beyond the meaning I give it...that's a big responsibility".

None of this ^^ is good. Not even the compassion part. Compassion is self-pity in disguise. What's happened is that by coming face to face with Fear, you have recoiled and dulled your senses so as not to feel the fear, leading to depression (evidenced by lack of meaning and purpose). Depression is the body's response to fear. In the face of extreme Fear, you either break down or break through. I see it as the final frontier. 'Freedom' requires you pay the price, I guess. Castaneda and Rowling both suggest that insanity is a real possibility if Fear isn't handled correctly, which is why a method is probably a good diea, even if that method is something as basic as your local doctor's guide to 'how to handle a panic attack'.


A 'fall back' position which will ease your symptoms temporarily would be to leave aside anything spiritual (practice, reading etc) and cater to your ego. Sex, money, status, power - all that stuff will get the 'meaning' and 'purpose' feelings flowing again, but probably with less intensity this time. Indulging your desires is a short-term and incomplete measure for combatting Fear, but it's much, much better than nothing. Definitely worth doing.

multiple edits - adding stuff as I think of it.
*[I view Castaneda's works as fact dressed up with fiction in order to make it saleable, if you catch my drift. Academics view it as pure fiction because they found inconsistensies in his writings. A moot point - it's great reading].
Bilbo Baggins, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Does any of this sound familiar?

Posts: 26 Join Date: 8/23/10 Recent Posts
I wouldn't touch Chopra or Castaneda with a bargepole, both way too dishonest and delusional both. Mental health doesn't lay in that direction sir.
C C C, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Does any of this sound familiar?

Posts: 946 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
Thanks for the book ref Andrew, I've just been reading through the reviews on Amazon. I stopped after reading India Turners review because it made me think of something.

I don't know if this will help you, but...

I meet a lot of different people in my work and I get to talk to them about all manner of things in their lives, including their health. I'm also very good at seeing past the facades that people put up, and can out-analyze the best of them (even tho that's not my job, I do it out of interest). It continues to amaze me, but the happiest and healthiest people have almost always been reasonably well-to-do high achievers (and not really into spiritual pursuits at all). They get stuff done, make things happen and enjoy the fruits of that. Other traits I've noticed about very happy, healthy people is that their actions seem to be directed solely by "what feels good" most of the time. They're quite self-centered and they rarely do anything that doesn't have some feel good payoff for them personally. They don't really care too much what others think of them, they want something and they go after it. This weight of evidence (hundreds of individuals I've analysed) is pretty convincing, to me at least.

It's easy for the ego to create all manner of defense mechanisms when desires aren't met. A very common one is "Well I didn't really want it anyway - what's the point? I'll just want something else after that! Desire never ends! It's a loser's game!" - all of that sort of stuff. Bruno does this a lot - no offense meant. Again, that's the voice of depression.

Assume (without waiting for proof) that people like and respect you. Everything flows from this attitude that is called self-esteem. Desire is a good thing. I have a theory that Dark Night can be largely avoided by living this way.
And don't believe all the various attainments that people tell you they have. Only half of them are true!
Andrew McNeeley, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Does any of this sound familiar?

Posts: 17 Join Date: 10/15/10 Recent Posts
C C C:
Thanks for the book ref Andrew, I've just been reading through the reviews on Amazon.


You're welcome. I wouldn't usually recommend that book on a whim but since you've already run into your fear I figure you'd find it amazingly insightful. I read that book and had multiple "A-Ha" moments. You can also check out Terror Management Theory research. There's a video on Hulu which is basically a 90 minute condensed version of the book. Video Link Don't let the star rating fool you, most people don't like to put under a scope like that.

It continues to amaze me, but the happiest and healthiest people have almost always been reasonably well-to-do high achievers (and not really into spiritual pursuits at all). They get stuff done, make things happen and enjoy the fruits of that.


Yeah and that's what i was trying to get at above when I talked about feeling "better" than other people. After lots of tripping I was convinced that I "knew" what was going on...that the people I met were ridiculous one very level...that I was special.

It was only after having a near nervous breakdown that I truly realized I wasn't. In many ways a life of delusion is "better" than the spiritual path as you allude to. Before this experience I was an arrogant little dude sometimes. I "had" to tell people about it and I "had" to answer questions they weren't asking. Douchebag behavior really.

And don't believe all the various attainments that people tell you they have. Only half of them are true!


LOL They must love you here. emoticon I try to believe or not believe purposely. Belief for me is in personal experience and my default is not to pretend to know.

As Terrance said "Trust yourself...everything else is unconfirmable rumor, useless, probably lies."

Of course, to be fair. if half the claims are false, that still leaves half that are true.

emoticon
A B, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Does any of this sound familiar?

Posts: 17 Join Date: 10/15/10 Recent Posts
I can't believe my initial posts here happened 2 weeks ago. Seems like 2 years.

Want to start off by apologizing to Tarin and Bruno for the post (which I have deleted) which kinda threw what you were saying under the bus. I was very wrapped up in the concept of it all being in my head. Emphasis on my head.

At the time, I still didn't have a firm grasp of the concept of "no self. Out of nowhere a few days ago it just clicked. I can't really describe it, but for the first time in my life I "got" it.

The relief was instant and profound. The realization was this- All the pain and suffering in my life up to this point...was being experienced and carried by a personality which simply does not exist outside of my head.

And if a distinct individual doesn't exist then I am really just a small part of everything else. This brought me incredible feelings and I came close to tears.

I mean you read about this stuff, but reading about it and stumbling into it are 2 different things. I have always believed in an individual eternal self of some kind so coming to this realization was a big deal for me.

That doesn't mean everything is super awesome though. I still have fear, though through observation I've gotten the fear down to it's basic component...which is the fear of death. Both physical and a more ethereal one that I'm going to lose myself is some la la land of no identity.

What I've been doing is finding that fear through a variety of means and then simply observing it. it usually starts in the pit of my stomach and when it peaks it has me by the throat pretty good. When it's really bad my teeth actually rattle a bit.

When observing I don't try to make it stop or hide from it...just experience it. Sometimes it goes away quickly, this evening it took almost 90 minutes to resolve.

While I would appreciate any comments on the above one thing I would like to ask about specifically are these spontaneous trance like states I've slipped into a couple of times. The last one was Thursday. I pulled up to a friends house and it started to rain. I sat in the car listening to the rain and within a few minutes I was in such a deep trance...I sat out there for almost 30 minutes. During the experience I couldn't get the idea out of mind that my attachment to this world is slipping further and further away.

Then I got very tired and an hour later took a 3 hour nap despite a full nights sleep. It's happened a few times now. Any ideas?
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Paul S., modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Does any of this sound familiar?

Posts: 196 Join Date: 8/16/10 Recent Posts
Hi AB, I can relate to much of what you are saying. I would recommend not looking to much into what stuff 'means', but try to have more of a 'it is what it is' attitude. Also for me it helped getting my intentions straight; 'what do I really want?, and why?'. Lastly plot your game-plan while your in a netrual or happy mood, don't try to 'figure it out' while in the middle of confusion and despair.

Anyway I can't even seems to follow my own advice half the time, read MCTB it will answer a lot of your questions.
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Bruno Loff, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Does any of this sound familiar?

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Hey A B,

So you have had a few opportunities to see how happiness really depends on what's happening inside, hun?

I have also noticed that when I am happy inside, whatever happens around me turns out a lot better. Have you noticed that, too?


I am really convinced that being happy isn't about some "achievement trip." More than that, I have spend hours analysing my own achievement trips, and have understood, through meditative introspection, the phenomenological components that formed such trips in myself.

I myself once was an "achiever," and I was doing it to chase the energetic high caused by reinforcing a psychological identity --- one likes to see oneself as "good/successful/intelligent/seductive/beautiful/whatever," and each event in one's life which is seen as a confirmation of that self-image causes somatic pleasure, --- and of course each shred of evidence against such self-image causes mental pain --- and it is this pleasure that was chased after, and this pain which was avoided. In my case the self-image was "I am intelligent." This was basically addictive behavior, and I'm glad to slowly be getting rid of that.

While there was enough stuff happening to support my own self-image, I was indeed "happy." However I was also completely unsensitive to what was happening inside me, and I couldn't see my own self-image-of-intelligent-person-addiction pulling the strings. This self-image made me say and do silly things, act defensively and aggressively, it made me feel superior to others, it made me feel somehow "apart from the world." To get you an idea of things that I felt at the time, I will use this theatrical dramatic voice: Oh! How lonely it is to be so intelligent! What a stupid world full of stupid people so-unlike-me! How can so many people not see the obvious! Oh, I am so right! (etc). Maybe other super-achievers feel this sort of things also? Maybe my happiness was tainted by delusion?

Not to mention that, after my own achievement-trip crashed (it turns out I wasn't as intelligent as I'd like to think after all!), I suffered a great deal. Furthermore, when I got the nerve to look at it for what it really was (a silly fantasy), I found it best to do away with this achievement trip as soon as I possibly could. And I'm happier since.

Of course, I don't know if the super-achievers CCC has come in contact with act with similar motivations, or engage in similar silly self-engrandising fantasies --- unlike CCC claims, I can not "out-analyse the best of them", and over time I have come to prefer analysing myself, letting others analyse themselves. Maybe you would prefer to do that too?

A B:

What I've been doing is finding that fear through a variety of means and then simply observing it. it usually starts in the pit of my stomach and when it peaks it has me by the throat pretty good. When it's really bad my teeth actually rattle a bit.

You seem to be investigating a specific piece of your psychology, and you seem to be doing it well. I suspect that whatever you have to learn from this specific aspect will eventually be learned, and you'll be able to deal with fear a whole lot better because of having done this. Then you will move on, and there will be more stuff, different stuff. (but maybe it'll be something else entirely!)

Take care,
Bruno
A B, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Does any of this sound familiar?

Posts: 17 Join Date: 10/15/10 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:

So you have had a few opportunities to see how happiness really depends on what's happening inside, huh?

I am really convinced that being happy isn't about some "achievement trip."


Before I started my mental explorations I viewed feelings as actual things...and as having a kind of reactionary nature to them. IOW You be mean to me, I'll get angry at you. After a few shroom trips and starting to get a good look inside my head I changed my views a bit. Emotion was still real but a choice as involved. I.E. You be mean to me, and then I choose to be angry at you. Or not.

Having gone even deeper into the nature of things it seems clear that the traditional view on emotions is a bit backwards. The usual way to define a certain emotion is to talk about what's present, but I think a more accurate way is to talk about what's missing.

What really got me thinking about this was what CCC said above about compassion being manifested self-pity. If I'm really honest with myself I can't really see anyway around this. We are sensitive to others pain because we've been there/are there. So, then I started doing some deep reflection on where exactly emotions come from.

What Is tumbled into is the reality that instead of existing by itself, every emotion comes with a partner with which it is intimated linked. For example jealousy is really a lack of self-confidence and self-confidence can equally be defined as a lack of jealousy. Boil it down far enough and true, unshakable happiness/peace/compassion/etc can only come through the the removal of fear.

IME Thus far beating fear is inseparable from dissolving the self. The self is, after all, the source of the fear. I've been/seen beyond that and there is no fear there.

Cultivating and observing the fear seems to be doing amazing things. My main focus is to get some control over it because deep in the center of my being I know that to move beyond it is going to take a level of trauma that I am not looking forward to. Everything up to here has been stutter steps, but that last scream as the self slides off the cliff is going to hurt.

One thing I wish I could so is stay in these states I get into a little longer. After that fear resolved friday night I was in super calm and insightful head space for about 12 hours. I made a few profound realizations during this time and then around 2pm the next day it just stopped. I remembered what I "learned" but it was like I was completely cut off. My mind was super noisy and I actually had to do some breath meditation just to quiet it down far enough to sleep.

I stayed this way until a a few hours ago and now I am slowly getting back "there" It's like a pendulum swing.

BTW- I am more or less winging it with this. I try to be objective and pay attention to what needs attention. That said, if anyone is reading this and sees that it lines up well with any particular brand of buddhism or other teaching please feel free to say so or message me. My impression is that I already somehow know what I am supposed to be doing, but any input is welcome!

OK I'm going to stop rambling now!
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Bruno Loff, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Does any of this sound familiar?

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Hmm, I have had some experience recently with trying to "chase the sense of self" with a destructive poise. I was not able to go anywhere with this kind of practice, and it resulted in having a very very noisy mind, head pain, tension and discomfort. It turns out that other practitioners tried to do it this way at some point and had similar bad results.

The last few posts in this thread report that aspect of my practice, as well as replies I got from other practitioners. Start maybe with post 50-51.

Now, I'm not saying that's what you're doing, but I would watch out for any practice that resembles "chasing the sense of self with an intent of destroying it/throwing it off a cliff." If you start feeling awful, with a noisy mind, and if it seems as if you were mentally tired all the time (can't focus), then I would recommend you back off for a while and then proceed with some more standard practice.

That said, I have at various points in my meditative career simply did what seemed to "feel like the right way to go," regardless of the formal instructions, with some amount of success.

I would really expect to have to go through a lot of layers of shit, that it won't end with just this exercise to investigate fear. But I am far from being an expert.

Take care,
Bruno
A B, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Does any of this sound familiar?

Posts: 17 Join Date: 10/15/10 Recent Posts
Hey Bruno,

Thanks for the link to your practice journal. I can relate directly to what you're saying in there about work losing it's meaning and your inability to complete your PHD. I am in the midst of starting a new business and this thing I am going through overshadows everything else. I have days were I have absolutely zero interest in anything beyond my head and other days where I have absolutely zero interest in whats going on upstairs.

It makes long term planning tough.

As far as "killing the self" goes, I may not be explaining myself correctly but it's the best way I know to describe it. There seems to be a pattern I am repeating. I have some days which are more or less normal, then I have a day or two which are weird, then I face my fear, then I have a certain amount of time after wards where I am at the doorstep of what I would define as enlightenment.

Complete peace, loss of self, understanding of things well beyond my normal levels, etc.

Each time I go through this cycle the "enlightened" period is longer and more profound. The last one...I would gladly give an arm/leg/you pick to be there permanently.

So, this is what I am talking about. I have an intuitive feeling that I need to somehow create the conditions for a final showdown between me and the fear. It's like highlander- There can be only one. emoticon
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Bruno Loff, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Does any of this sound familiar?

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Hope you're right and make it there real quick :-)
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tarin greco, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Does any of this sound familiar?

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
Andrew McNeeley:
well, what does it mean if your life is meaningless?


Right now it means that I have had multiple extremely rough days where I just can't imagine another 50 years of beating my head against the wall for nothing. Without a purpose of some kind you are left in a title fight- You vs The Universe. Round after bloody round and for what? You will inevitably lose and when you do eventually no one will care.

Men don't march to war for nothing! We want to believe. I simply can't right now. My old world view was based in fear. Fear of death, fear of being alone, fear of life being meaningless, etc.

well, by that rationale, at least you won't be marching off to war, eh?

but my point (which you may - and i do only mean may - have missed) is that, if life is truly meaningless, what meaning has either meaning or meaninglessness?

further, what meaning has fear?


Andrew McNeeley:

I am trying to find a peace with the world as it is, and myself as well. That's part of why I am here.

why do you, like you alluded above, 'beat [your] head against the wall? is it something intrinsic about living in with the world that causes you to do this? if so, what is it? if not, can you stop?

clearly, you suffer .. but what causes you to?


Andrew McNeeley:

yes; particularly...

Well that's reassuring! Would you care to put the experience in some sort of context with the Buddhist tradition? I have found only a couple guys in the psychedelic community I frequent who have experienced anything like this. It generally sets the tone for them.

based on what you've written, you almost certainly crossed the stage of arising and passing away[1], which, in theravadan buddhist communities which follow the commentarial tradition (that is, virtually all of them), is a way of saying you crossed the point of no return as far as spiritual questing goes[2]; you can fight it, you can ignore it, you can attempt to psychologise it away, but it is unlikely that anything but address of the matter of some sort will resolve the issue for you.

the question is, how will you go about it? in your introductory post, you wrote: 'I am here because I am looking for a different perspective on a psychedelic experience I had recently'. now that i - as well as the poster above me, c c c - have given you some of those different perspectives you sought, what do you seek further?

tarin

[1] sometimes referred to as the knowledge of arising and passing away, or udayabbaya-nana if you want the pali (the old indian literary language in which the only complete early buddhist canon survives).

[2] daniel ingram's book, mastering the core teachings of the buddha, is a good place for, among other things (including very practical and to-the-point meditation instruction and advice), information on the topic of the stage of arising and passing away as well as what typically follows. many, if not most, forum posters here have read it, and it i advise you to do so as well; start at the 'foreword and warning'.
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Bruno Loff, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Does any of this sound familiar?

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Hey Andrew,

Something very similar happened to me, due to an LSD trip. A small storyline might give you the picture:

- during LSD trip realized I was going to die; although of course this was rationally known, it actually came as a big shock to really understand and process what that meant.
- following this I had a period of about three months when everything in my life seemed to be getting worst and worst.
- after that I was suffering from severe depression, including many odd and very unpleasant phenomena, one of which was panic attacks like you describe, derealization, and severe mental pain. Life seemed as meaningless as it possibly could; living was, and the following word is used in its full power and meaning, terrible.
- I tried several "off the shelf" solutions, such as sports, going out more, drinking, and antidepressants. None worked, and in fact my depressive condition managed to turn everything that was once pleasant into foulness.
- I had two episodes of euphoria, during which I witnessed all that seemed like shit turn into gold. This made it pretty obvious that happiness came from within, from my own mental condition. I became to severely suspect the truth of "life is meaningless," since it was so dependent on the whim of my mental conditon.
- Started meditating in March 2009. Saw the utter mess that was my own mind.
- After doing meditation daily and going on two 10-day retreats, in December 30 2009 I got stream entry
- Things got much better since, and although they get rough every once in a while, stuff seems to be improving all the time


I can clearly see today that life is wonderful, and full of meaning, and that the reason I couldn't see it before was because of all the fear and mental pain. Don't underestimate the power of pain and fear to really cloud your good judgement. Other than that, I would agree with Tarin's assessment of what happened to you (psychedelic induced A&P), but don't let that stop you from really investigating the matter for yourself and come to your own decision and evaluation.

Read Daniel's book, I think that any psychonaut will find it a fascinating read.

Bruno
Andrew McNeeley, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Does any of this sound familiar?

Posts: 17 Join Date: 10/15/10 Recent Posts
Wow guys! Thanks for the great responses. I know it took a while to write them up.