Experiencing the "Holy Spirit" as a teenager

thumbnail
Adam DuHame, modified 4 Months ago.

Experiencing the "Holy Spirit" as a teenager

Posts: 21 Join Date: 10/29/20 Recent Posts
I've spent the last few days more or less obsessed with this board. I've been thinking about these states and experiences of consciousness for years but I've never found a community where they are so openly discussed. With that in mind I'm eager to discuss one of the big mysterious experiences of my life --- my Christian conversion experience. Please bear with me. I always get verbose when I try to talk about this. The first paragraph is just background and can be skipped. 

I was an angry teenager, like school shooter angry. Classic trailer park story story, crack addicted dad, single mom never around because she's trying to pay the bills waiting tables, violence in the home, abuse. School wasn't any better. Though I was a fighter and physically formidable I got picked on a lot because I was different, a little crazy. I came to believe that all of my peers hated me and thus I hated them back. But then I got invited to start hanging out at this Christian youth group; I was 15. I was expressly an atheist and didn't "want to go" per say but I was friendless, it was halloween, there were girls there. What I found was, these people were kind, like, really kind. They treated everyone with a love and respect that could break your heart, especially if you're an angry teenager who has really only ever seen meanness practiced amongst his peers. When near the end of the night they went all Christian and sang a bunch of worship songs I just sat there and thought about it. This was a little weird. Then the pastor got up on stage and preached at us for a bit. He told us that God's holiness was like a giant white sheet, perfectly clean and pure, and that the sin that was in every one of us was like a "woman's used menstrual cloth" by comparison. This probably should have been off putting, but the image stayed with me. Yes. I did feel like all of this anger and hatred inside of me, all of my selfishness, my lust, was like a bloody stain on the perfect holiness I sensed was meant for my soul. 

Weeks later my life had come to revolve around the youth group and I found myself cramped into the basement of the pastor's house with a hundred or so other teenagers. When they sang their worship songs the house would shake. It was a just a 20 year old dude with an acoustic guitar leading it, but these people were singing like they meant every word. Very few of them had any musical talent. It was an unbearably beautiful sound. But I didn't sing. The worship leader always instructed us not to sing unless the words were true for us and I still wasn't sure about the Christianity thing. Finally there was a song they were singing - the chorus went "You're all I want, you're all I need, you're everything, everything." and somehow I was sure that this lord they were all singing to was indeed all I wanted and needed. So I began to pray. I told God that I knew I couldn't stop sinning against him. I didn't have the power. But, I said, I want you to take the sin away from me, if you have to kill me, kill me. I don't want to sin against you anymore." And then it happened. My whole being lit up with this incredible blue light. I felt pure love pulsing from my chest out into my limbs. I felt utterly held and loved. I felt truly safe for the first time in my life. The sensation of joy and pulsing blue light or energy was really strong. It's hard to find something to compare it to. Stronger than the sensations of a strong mushroom trip. Of course at the time the only interpretation for this experience available to me was that I'd been filled with the holy spirit; God himself had come to live in my chest. I'd been "saved." 

For the next six weeks this sensation stayed with me more or less all the time. It would fade in intensity but any time I did a devotional practice, mostly singing punk rock worship songs alone in my room, I would again be flooded by this light. I really felt that there was another intelligence living in my body with me, one of pure love. It transformed my life at home and at school. I would be eating dinner with my mom, and I would notice that she was tired, and reflect on how hard she worked for us. Somehow, obsessed with my pain and rage, I'd never payed that kind of attention to her before. I found myself saying things like "please mom, go sit down, I can do the dishes." I had made a lot of enemies at school but when I tried to think angry thoughts about them the presence inside of me would show me how sad and angry each one of them was, that all their meanness was just a symptom of suffering. I felt an unreasonable amount of love for these kids and at one point freaked one out when I told him that I loved him and tried to hug him. Again, more or less 24/7 the blue light of love and joy pulsed from my chest. I often felt that God was breathing with me. 

I did notice that when I'd perform my daily teenage masturbation ritual the presence would fade, but afterward when approached prayerfully it would return. God doesn't like it when I jerk off, I decided. 

Finally I ended up on a youth group retreat where I had three days to worship the lord and listen to preaching. That trip was the happiest experience of my young life. The light of God grew even brighter inside of me and I prayed and wept every day. I was so in love with all the other Christians, my first real friends as an adolescent, and even got to hold hands with a girl. But there was this preacher there who insisted that there was something holding each of us back in our relationships with the lord. We needed to write that thing down on a piece of paper and surrender it to the lord. We would symbolize this by burning the papers. I knew immediately what to write on my paper. It was the jerking off. God didn't like it. 

A couple days later I was home with my family. By now my Mom had a new boyfriend and we were hanging out with him and his son. We watched a movie together - this was the early 2000's and it was still cool to objectify women - and this movie featured a really attractive woman. As a 15 year old boy who hadn't masturbated in several days I was horny as hell. That night I snuck down to the living room and took the dvd back up to my room for some private watching time. The lord would forgive me I reasoned. He always had. Well... this time he didn't. After I came an intense blackness filled my body. It was almost the opposite sensation of the electric blue joy that had been filling me. Given the interpretive structure I had to work with the only conclusion I could come to was that I'd been abandoned by God. The holy spirit had left me. 

The blackness stayed with me for months. Each time I went to the youth group I was hopeful that the lord and his blue light would return but it didn't happen. I became a miserable teenager again. Except where before it had been me against the world now all of my hatred and anger was directed inwardly. I was the one who had failed. I was the one who had betrayed the lord. I was the one who'd fucked up and lost the only good thing I'd ever had. 


Anywho... 

Is there any language outside Christianity for these kinds of religious experiences? I can definitely see some A&P/Dark Night elements as this was sort of an energetic awakening followed by a deep depression. The sense of having a wiser more loving intelligence share my body with me - that's a pretty specific thing. Are there any traditions that deal with these kinds of experiences? I'd love to hear any rational thought about this at all. Of course I've long since abandoned the Christian interpretation of things and since I've been working with altered states of consciousness and vibrational energy it all seems much more reasonable now as a thing that the mind can do, but I've still never really been satisfied that I know exactly how to think about what that was all about. 

Edward, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Experiencing the "Holy Spirit" as a teenager

Posts: 73 Join Date: 6/10/19 Recent Posts
Be careful not to replace the Christ Cult with the DhO cult..
thumbnail
Adam DuHame, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Experiencing the "Holy Spirit" as a teenager

Posts: 21 Join Date: 10/29/20 Recent Posts
Edward:
Be careful not to replace the Christ Cult with the DhO cult..


Oh don't worry. I've pretty much deconstructed the part of me that "believes" in stuff. I'm sure my obsession with the board with subside pretty soon. 
thumbnail
Ole Henry, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Experiencing the "Holy Spirit" as a teenager

Posts: 9 Join Date: 10/31/20 Recent Posts
This sounds familiar to the normal side-effects often called meditation sickness in different religions. Going too fast and leaping into it without proper guidance. Have you read something about chaos magic, maybe you'll find something that might explain how this can be created, and also who is the creator? I've encountered in my own practice to end up in emptiness evil twin-brother, total nihilistic infinite space, with no way out, and the sense of always been trapped there. That depression stayed with me almost a year before I came to understand how I had misinterpreted the experiences. 
The blackness I saw was my own making, made during my years as a tortured sensitive little boy who pressed all my being into a little dark hole inside, keeping this as a refuge when things went bad., and later forgetting doing it, before it naturally arrived in my mind after years of intense, very intense practice ...
thumbnail
Adam DuHame, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Experiencing the "Holy Spirit" as a teenager

Posts: 21 Join Date: 10/29/20 Recent Posts
Ole Henry:
Have you read something about chaos magic, maybe you'll find something that might explain how this can be created, and also who is the creator? 

Any suggestions for where to start with chaos magic? I know Crowley is the big name. 
thumbnail
Ole Henry, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Experiencing the "Holy Spirit" as a teenager

Posts: 9 Join Date: 10/31/20 Recent Posts
Adam DuHame:
Ole Henry:
Have you read something about chaos magic, maybe you'll find something that might explain how this can be created, and also who is the creator? 

Any suggestions for where to start with chaos magic? I know Crowley is the big name. 

It's quite a simple "teaching" and I don't find it interesting enough, but the essence of it is to go for one's own powers of creating/ be one's own teacher if one believes 100% and just go full throttle. It's quite "crazy", but I found it more than interesting and learned a lot about the stuff we are made of. I don't believe anybody can learn this from anybody else, one has to do it all alone, that's real magic. I read about CM after I've done it a lot myself. 
thumbnail
HouseOnFire, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Experiencing the "Holy Spirit" as a teenager

Posts: 21 Join Date: 10/29/20 Recent Posts
Ole Henry:
Adam DuHame:
Ole Henry:
Have you read something about chaos magic, maybe you'll find something that might explain how this can be created, and also who is the creator? 

Any suggestions for where to start with chaos magic? I know Crowley is the big name. 

It's quite a simple "teaching" and I don't find it interesting enough, but the essence of it is to go for one's own powers of creating/ be one's own teacher if one believes 100% and just go full throttle. It's quite "crazy", but I found it more than interesting and learned a lot about the stuff we are made of. I don't believe anybody can learn this from anybody else, one has to do it all alone, that's real magic. I read about CM after I've done it a lot myself. 

I'm actually super attracted to that idea --- however as I'm less than a year from my last trip to the mental hospital and my concentration powers are getting pretty decent, I think I should hold off on that for now. 
thumbnail
Ole Henry, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Experiencing the "Holy Spirit" as a teenager

Posts: 9 Join Date: 10/31/20 Recent Posts
HouseOnFire:

I'm actually super attracted to that idea --- however as I'm less than a year from my last trip to the mental hospital and my concentration powers are getting pretty decent, I think I should hold off on that for now. 

Well, I'm attracted too, but I see the need of cooling down, consolidate or embody what's been learned, and develop energy in a more balanced way. So, I think you are wise to settle in some more before trying to make a breakthrough.
The main thing or point is that one acknowledges that this is nothing "special", it's mystic ok, but not something one has to keep away from. That's why I don't listen to much to other practitioners who try to convince me that this has nothing to do with the main goal, which in my sect is to end suffering, because what do they actually know when they never walked one step in my shoes.
thumbnail
HouseOnFire, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Experiencing the "Holy Spirit" as a teenager

Posts: 21 Join Date: 10/29/20 Recent Posts
Ole Henry:
The main thing or point is that one acknowledges that this is nothing "special", it's mystic ok, but not something one has to keep away from. That's why I don't listen to much to other practitioners who try to convince me that this has nothing to do with the main goal, which in my sect is to end suffering, because what do they actually know when they never walked one step in my shoes.

That's what I like about Ingram and this board. Yes, everyone is learning from all this ancient wisdom that is available to us, and yes we recognize that there can be pitfalls and dangers, but there is also a spirit of adventure. In a sense each of us is finding our own way and doing it for the first time.