clunk, lights out

C C C, modified 10 Years ago.

clunk, lights out

Posts: 946 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
Was lying in bed this morning in a sort of half-sleep reverie, there was thought going on but I wouldn't say I was awake, but not dreaming either. Then 'clunk, lights out' like someone just switched off the mains power. It's like the blackest of black behind my eyes, panic like I'm dying or dead. Not a nice feeling but I've had similar things before when on meds, but this is the first time without meds. My body reacts by sitting bolt upright while frantically slapping myself in the head to (I imagine) affirm that I'm here and alive.

Could this be a sort of transition to a self-less state? If it is, why does it feel so wrong and frightening. If you were to say "just relax into it", to me that would be like saying "just relax into having a lethal injection" because I don't want to die as a person. I know I've posted stuff like this before but I'm just hoping for a fresh angle on it. Or is it just a "nothing" event, unrelated to any spiritual practice?

Thanks.

edit: just read Daniels post on AP diagnosis. Two days ago I woke with left sided neck pain extending to my index finger with numbness and horrible electric shocks, sharp medial scapular pain with every breath and ulcers right through the left side of my mouth. All symptoms came out of nowhere. I thought it was due to lack of sleep. Would be nice if it was something else.
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Bruno Loff, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: clunk, lights out

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Could be A&P, an unknowing event apparently happens for some people on some occasions around that territory. I've had blink outs, they won't kill you (or your 'ego'). You can think like this: you black out every night when you go to sleep, why would this be any different?

What happens for me with such odd events is that after one such event having occurred a number of times, I get used to it and instead of getting scared, or thinking I'm going to die, I think "there it goes again," and that's it.
C C C, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: clunk, lights out

Posts: 946 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
Hi Bruno, it's different in that it feels differently. It's like a complete system shut down. I get the feeling if I could let go into it there might be something interesting there, but it appears far too suddenly for me to relax and let go. It's like waking up and finding you're standing on the edge of a cliff. The fact that it happens occasionally is not really a big problems for me. I want to know how to use it.

tommy, my practice is aimed at achieving a strong sense of self. I believe it's essential for me to have this as a base. I also do it to try and avoid the bad reactions I get when i try to do normal meditation (severe aching joints, malaise, shivering (from cold, not vibrations)). I review the most clingy aspects of the ego - physical appearance, current circumstances/achievements with as much attention and non-judgment as possible. This seems to get me into something that is close to first jhana, though certainly not solid. I get a few seconds of it at best.

I don't do drugs, so it's not a bad trip, and it's not a panic attack because I've had one of them before.
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: clunk, lights out

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
I don't do drugs, so it's not a bad trip, and it's not a panic attack because I've had one of them before.


I didn't think it was either of those to be honest, I was just giving a couple of examples so my apologies if you thought I was implying anything.

tommy, my practice is aimed at achieving a strong sense of self. I believe it's essential for me to have this as a base. I also do it to try and avoid the bad reactions I get when i try to do normal meditation (severe aching joints, malaise, shivering (from cold, not vibrations)). I review the most clingy aspects of the ego - physical appearance, current circumstances/achievements with as much attention and non-judgment as possible. This seems to get me into something that is close to first jhana, though certainly not solid. I get a few seconds of it at best.


So what is it about reviewing "the most clingy aspects of the ego" specifically which strengthens your sense of self? I'm interested to know more about what you're doing because I love to see people develop their own techniques and see how they stand up to testing by other people. Would you mind giving a brief outline of how you go about this?

The physical pain and general malaise you experience during normal meditation may very well reveal what you're looking for, that all sounds like Three Characteristics territory, particularly the aching. I don't know, it's just me speculating based on my own experience with similar things but I know that you're approaching this from a different angle so I could be totally wrong.

Have you done any work with samatha jhanas on their own? It might be worth working on your concentration and seeing how that can affect the passage through the 3rd vipasssana jhana, it definitely makes the process a bit smoother as you can note these pains and "who" is experiencing them much more clearly with 1st samatha jhana to work from. Obviously I'm going to speak based on my own experience and recommend practices which have helped me so you're free to take it or leave it, it's just an opinion.

I gather by your previous postings and mention of having had panic attacks that you experience some form of mental illness, be it clinical depression or something else, or at least have done in the past. What do you think would allow you to begin examining the sensation which imply a "self" without risking your mental health?

I ask because I've been treated for depression myself and there's a prevalence of mental health issues in my family so it's interesting to learn how others deal with reality from that point of view. I understand what you mean about the strong sense of self and admire your willingness to admit to lacking it, your ambition to establish it and your resolve to do things your own way. It'll be good to see how things go for you and I'm looking forward to seeing your own system as it develops.
C C C, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: clunk, lights out

Posts: 946 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
I try to review things that I might possibly consider unattractive about myself. Castaneda considers physical appearance to be the one main thing that traps and binds the mind, but in a broader sense, anything that could be considered an achievement or possession (including "possessing" a relationship) could potentially bind the mind. I guess everyone knows that anyway, but I wasn't aware that appearance was so problematic.

I aim to 'take back' and 'own' any aspects of myself that I have rejected and create a strong healthy self that way. I equate "rejection" with "lack of non-judgmental attention", so what i do in the practice is pay that much-needed attention to those aspects. I'm aiming to 'own' my whole self, every part of it, especially the bits I don't necessarily like. I believe that my previous difficulties with meditation have been caused by failing to prepare myself with a strong self-acceptance. My mind is stuck on what's not perfect.

My ego doesn't want me to accept anything but perfection in appearance and achievement, so by accepting it, I figure I disempower it, opening the way for a quiet mind and concentration practice.

Only had one panic attack resulting from abrupt cessation of meds. Impending doom, sweating, tachycardia...the usual signs and symptoms.

I'm trying to work out how to incorporate humour into my practice, because I think it has some special way of breaking through blocks.

While I haven't tried illegal drugs, I don't rule them out. It's not the illegality that would stop me, it's the potential for further damage. I need more research on that before I'd go there, and if I did, it would be on a "one-off" basis I think.

That's pretty much it.
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: clunk, lights out

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
I try to review things that I might possibly consider unattractive about myself. Castaneda considers physical appearance to be the one main thing that traps and binds the mind, but in a broader sense, anything that could be considered an achievement or possession (including "possessing" a relationship) could potentially bind the mind. I guess everyone knows that anyway, but I wasn't aware that appearance was so problematic.


Right, I get you. Isn't that a gargantuan undertaking though? What's your desired outcome from this practice?

By words like "acheivement" and "possession" am I right in thinking that you're talking about attatchment to phenomena?

Do you consider physical appearance to be one of the main things that traps and binds the mind? Is so, why is this?

I aim to 'take back' and 'own' any aspects of myself that I have rejected and create a strong healthy self that way. I equate "rejection" with "lack of non-judgmental attention", so what i do in the practice is pay that much-needed attention to those aspects. I'm aiming to 'own' my whole self, every part of it, especially the bits I don't necessarily like. I believe that my previous difficulties with meditation have been caused by failing to prepare myself with a strong self-acceptance. My mind is stuck on what's not perfect.


What do you mean by "own"? Are you talking about becoming aware of these aspects existing and accepting them?
How do you intend to correct or alter those things which are, in your words, no perfect?

My ego doesn't want me to accept anything but perfection in appearance and achievement, so by accepting it, I figure I disempower it, opening the way for a quiet mind and concentration practice.


If you want some advice about moving on to concentration practice then here it is: You don't really silence the mind. There are beneficial things such as being relaxed, mindful and present in the moment but the mind still does it's thing 'cause you're focussing on something which isn't thought. If you pick the breath, focussing on it to work on concentration does not require anything more than consistent practice because all you're doing is watching the breath (and if it helps, counting from one to ten then restarting). If you loose your place, start again and don't think you're an idiot or beat yourself up over it 'cause it's sooooo not worth it. You will see your concentration improve if you do this and practice, practice, practice, I absolutely guarantee it.

Good concentration is essential and will help you to no end, if you're finding that you're having difficulty exploring these less pleasent aspects of your "self" then work on concentration first. It will help. I can't make it any plainer than that.

I'm trying to work out how to incorporate humour into my practice, because I think it has some special way of breaking through blocks.


Yes, yes, a thousand million times yes. Well, for me anyway but others may disagree. Such is life. Want to know the quickest way to incoporate humour into practice? Learn to laugh at yourself. There's nothing wrong with thinking "Shit, I really acted like a total idiot there" and, instead of feeling ashamed or embarrassed, laughing at yourself and thinking of another way to view the situation. It makes you feel much better about things if you can laugh at the absurdity of the world, the foolishness of robotic people and how utterly random and bizarre events in life can seem. If not, you can wander down conspiracy theories, paranoia and a negative outlook for a long time before learning there's nothing worth knowing down that way. Been there, almost drove myself bonkers by taking on that reality-tunnel and it took me quite a while to learn that simple lesson.

While I haven't tried illegal drugs, I don't rule them out. It's not the illegality that would stop me, it's the potential for further damage. I need more research on that before I'd go there, and if I did, it would be on a "one-off" basis I think.


First thing I'd say is that I don't encourage anyone, particularly anyone with a pre-existing psychological condition, predisposition towards anxiety/panic attacks or any other major mental or emotional traumas, to explore this path. It is a very high-speed, unpredictable path which is potentially rewarding while being just as likely to leave one unable to function in the real-world for a long time. I'm deadly serious, I've explored meditation and magick using a variety of substances with varying degrees of success and there's a tightrope between learning and loosing the plot which I would rather not advise someone to walk. That said, if someone were to choose to engage in such a thing then I can suggest two things:

1. Learn as much as you can about what you're thinking of doing, read everything from Erowid to genuine medical studies and don't bullshit yourself. If you feel you're not ready for it, do not do it. Educate yourself as much as you possibly can, ask questions, join forums, get as much information as you can before you do anything else.

2. There are three main things to remember - Set, Setting, Dosage: Set refers to your own mindset, know yourself and how you feel about what you're doing. Take the appropriate steps to establish physical comfort, mental relaxation and whatever you need to do to feel as comfortable (in every sense) as you want to be. Setting refers to physical surroundings, be somewhere you know and where you're safe. This is majorly important and make all the difference. Be in the company of someone you can trust, a sitter, and avoid doing these things alone if possible as it can make all the difference. Dosage refers to how much you're taking which, unfortunately, is rarely taken into consideration by many but the most scientifically inclined of psychonauts. Control the dosage whenever possible. Know what you're taking, how much and keep records.

This raises an important point, obtaining whatever substance you're talking about. Without going into the legal implications, you would rarely, if ever, know exactly what the pure percentage of content of a substance purchased on the street is so avoid this as much as possible. Most entheogens can be purchased legally through various sites so do some research and go back to point 1. again and again.

That's pretty much it.


Yeah, me too.....Ha!
C C C, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: clunk, lights out

Posts: 946 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
I guess I view depression as an obsession with the negative aspects, which I want to free myself from.

"Not this bank, not the other bank, but the river in between" - can't remember who said this, but I'm firmly on one bank. Occasionally I get off it, only to find myself on the other friggin' bank.

By doing this practice, I push myself off one bank. I've had enough experiences of flow to know that when you're in it, desires are very easy to fulfill. Which sort of links in to my thread about lottery etc.
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: clunk, lights out

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Would you mind talking a bit more about your practice? I know you use your own techniques so it'd be interesting to know what it is that you do as it would make it easier to offer any diagnosis, or opinion at least.

In this "lights out" experience you're talking about, is there any sense of being aware of anything?

It sounds like it could be anything from a panic attack to a bad trip, not that I'm implying anything like that but what you're saying doesn't indicate what you were doing beforehand, what sort of practice you do, or anything about the conditions leading up to this. Give a bit more info and perhaps it'll be easier to talk about and get more varied opinions on.