Schizoid and chronic Dark Nights

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K R, modified 2 Months ago.

Schizoid and chronic Dark Nights

Posts: 2 Join Date: 9/24/21 Recent Posts
I believe I have schizoid personality disorder (secret schizoid, specifically). I'm in the process of finding professionals, but so far they're pretty lost since the DSM doesn't encourage knowledge-gathering for this due to its "rarity". I mention this because I think I have become one of those chronic Dark Nighters that "chanced upon this stage outside the context of a well-developed insight tradition" due to this condition (quote from Daniel M. Ingram). I am hyper aware of my “shit” as the shit is happening and I didn’t get here through disciplined meditation. I expect this to offend many of you because I can imagine the great deal of work you’ve put into all this. I don’t mean to offend so you’ve my apologies if I do. If I had to guess how I got here, I'd say it's that the neurology of schizoids have different wiring regarding sense of self, attachment, and emotion, which make the first steps of “awakening” more easy, if not entirely natural. Plus I’ve always struggled with hobbies. So no friends, no hobbies, no real distractions; instead great nothingness, and peace with that nothingness, has been my home for at least 15 years of my life and from a young age (I am 25). Don’t mistake this as a brag. This robbed a great deal.

I’m decent at self compassion because of much past pain; that is when I’d meditate and apply love along with caring detachment more purposefully, but I never meditated regularly. I never needed to. More often than not, I feel empty/peaceful/playful and hyper aware. 

But now there’s been a new kind of vague “shit” happening, and it’s becoming much more frequent. I think it started after reading proper literature on this schizoid thing ~6 months ago, which allowed great clarity into my patterns of shit and made the experience through them extremely granular. Painfully granular. I feel like a machine watching itself function poorly, all in detail, while being completely unable to fix it. Eventually I feel nothing but non-sad tiredness from being stuck watching this rotten body’s wired mechanisms. I then step up and forcefully remember all the roses and give self compassion, but there’s another part of me that is so terribly bored with doing this again and again, just to come back again and again. It's like how some of us need to cut out toxic family; you see them for who they are and its such an unworkable, energy draining mess that the reasonable, self loving, solemn but right thing to do is to shut them out of your life and move on. Except that instead of it being a relative, I am feeling the same about my body.

I tried explaining it to a friend before finding the book I linked above, and what came out was me calling my entire being/perspective a maggot plate. I practice good habits and mindfulness so that I can appreciate the food that comes to me, and even learn how to better grab good servings for myself, but occasionally I can't help but notice how the very plate itself is actually just a bunch of maggots rather than a plate, and a thought resembling, “lol wtf how are you still eating off this” hits. Every revisit there seems to build on something that is becoming massive now, like a vague conclusion I am scared of what the outcome will be. My psyche now tends toward associating myself/awareness itself with worms, sex, spiders, endlessly complex thought loops that are valid but useless,.. etc. A lot of dark jhana. And yeah, I can do more “right” things, and I will, like a machine knowing what lever to pull within itself, but since that’s just still working on top of the inescapable maggot plate, it adds to an indescribable, subtle tiredness I cannot reason with or manipulate or shape or trick or pull toward a bit more light.

Is this Dark Night?

When I do go there, if it is Dark Night, I feel I fly past fear and misery, probably because of childhood practice, but get stuck in disgust and desire-for-deliverence. Reading the book linked above did make me feel more hopeful because it implies that else is possible. I will take all his wisdom with me on my next cycle when I oscillate again from peace to that dark place...

But I'd love input on what you think may be going on here. Am I completely off the mark? I know it might be hard giving an informed opinion without more info on schizoid (the wiki page's intro is terrible), but maybe it doesn't matter. If it is Dark Night, what is this other more peaceful place I equally live in?

Maybe I just keep fucking up the re-observation stage due to the schizoid trait of alexithymia; it’s like my emotions never are clear enough for a dog to manifest out of them and properly bark at me, so I never clearly see the lesson from this stage. So I rationalise a different something to get elsewhere away from these cycles…. Is that scrambling my re-observation (failed)? As in, am I missing out on the lesson of re-observation by searching for a solution or better understanding that doesn’t actually exist? Like searching for non-death deliverance that just isn’t, and thus staying in the Dark? Is succeeding through re-observation remembering to submit to it all/nothingness after recovering from pain plus the energy to scram away from it?

Or maybe I keep fighting the desire-for-deliverance? I suppose I partially am… How could I fully fall into desire-for-deliverance and know I can still work tomorrow? On some level, diving into that does affect one on a physiological level. I’m scared of getting fucked. I don’t have friends or family; at the end of the day, I would be jobless alone. How am I supposed to navigate that/truly let go? Lol do I just have to have enough savings before doing this?

Now I am okay and in peace and can really appreciate the absurdity of moving from here to there, and often I can appreciate it while there too. I have great respect for all I see as I see it..... but that strange, vague building tiredness is beginning to scare me. It's very undialogued, very deep, so I don't know how to work with it. 
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Ni Nurta, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Schizoid and chronic Dark Nights

Posts: 778 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
What professionals?
You must be joking.

Get this shizoid nonsense out of your head.
You are not shizoid, you are you. And what you will be is up to you and what you do with yourself.
Your whole soul can feel like full of thorns and other bad things but it is just protection system. It doesn't even have anything to do with any of your thoughts. Ignorte thoughts, they are rubbish. Just reroute around hurting places and be delicate with hurting places and in few months/years you will be fine. If you do it right it won't even hurt while it is healing.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Schizoid and chronic Dark Nights

Posts: 5981 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Hi and welcome to this forum! Sounds like darknight to me. I got there outside a tradition of disciplined meditation too, and after quite some time of chronic darknighting without practice, it only took me six months of daily practice to get to stream entry. I'm atypically wired too. In my case it's autism, ADHD and Tourettes. It doesn't surprise me at all that someone who is schizoid would have the kind of rich inner life you describe and that it would lead to the path. I know a schizoid guy who spent most of his time lucid dreaming for many years. He has a richer inner life than anyone else I have ever met, and yet he finds that something is missing. He's not really into the path, so I have no business telling him to do some hardcore meditation even though I'm pretty sure he would ace it if he were into it. You, however, are actually asking for advice. I think you can work with this and go beyond what you are dealing with regularly now. There will be new challenges after that, but it's worth a lot moving past this first quagmire. 

I'm not sure what kind of pointers would be most helpful for you, but for what it's worth, you can work with the nanas on a less formed level. You don't necessarily need to identify feelings and label them at this stage. Insight occurs at an intuitive level in my experience. At some point, later in the path, you may find that emotions present more clearly (while at the same time also more nebulously; they can be both at the same time). There's no need to push the river. Don't overthink it. The process knows the way. Just let it do its thing. Reobservation is inherently unstable. You can't get stuck there. In fact, all the nanas are unstable, but especially reobservation is, as Daniel puts it, "all fluff and no substance". It's a lot about letting go of the perceived need for control.

I can't map the peaceful state for you based on so little information. Equanimity is peaceful but so is Mind and body, and it's possible to be at peace all over the map with the right mindset. 

It is possible to get to stream entry while at the same time having a job. I started out with 20 minutes of formal practice per day as a minimum. When I took lessons I set the bar to a minimum of 30 minutes per day. Everything beyond that was a bonus. It set its own pace, so some days I meditated for hours because I felt that meditation wanted to happen. Sometimes meditation would just happen on its own when I was trying to get some sleep, so sure, it might be a little unpractical once in a while, but overall, it didn't impact negatively on my work. You don't need to leave everything else behind to be on the path. The path finds its own ways, and you can apply mindfullness to anything you do. Honestly, I don't think you have that much of a choice. It sounds like meditation is already doing you.

As for the really heavy part, the vague undialogued tiredness, I think I know what you are referring to, at least approximately. I struggle with that too, much less now than before, but when I'm there, it's really sticky. Remember that it feeds itself. It will make you think stuff that makes you maintain it. I don't know how that manifests for you, but in my case it makes me believe that I need to rest from the very things that would take me out of it. It makes me avoid many things that would actually help. I know that from experience, because when I do some of that anyway, it really does help. Even knowing that, it makes me think "So what? Even if it makes me feel better it's just meaningless anyway" and things like that. I can really relate to your maggot plate. But when I do feel better, it doesn't seem meaningless anymore. That maggoty mood thinks that it sees things so clearly, but it's caught in its own tunnel vision. It's bullshit. When we are stuck in it, we need to zoom out, if that makes any sense. 

Well, these are my few cents for the moment. My very best wishes for your wellbeing and practice! 
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Chris Marti, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Schizoid and chronic Dark Nights

Posts: 4073 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
I'm in the process of finding professionals...

Yes.

​​​​​​​Please do that, assuming you're serious about your issue.