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Dealing with the Dark Night

The Dark Night can fuck up your life

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The Dark Night can fuck up your life
Answer
10/4/14 5:13 PM
I've been doing Reichian bodywork found from Droll's resources posted in his Reichian therapy thread (thanks Droll!) The author of the Reichian Home Therapy book (Jack Willis) emphasizes the need to go slowly, else one's life devolve into chaos, ironically he (the author) mentions an exercise called a "passive session" which is essentially noting body sensations out loud, the author claims that the exercise is extremely powerful and that it should only be attempted after a year (after certain requirements have been met).

Moreover we have cases of people practicing classical New Burmese insight meditation and getting into all sorts of psychiatric problems.

Anyways I just mentioned this because I believe (or rather speculate) that I may have crossed the A&P and thus have been dark-night-ing since beginning this body work. Beginning last week (the 27th) the dark night started to bleed into my daily life, I started missing classes and having episodes of pretty intense suicidal ideation.

This is probably because I am applying the method of abdominal relaxation in daily life, thankfully though on the flipside I've been having good conversations with my parents about pent-up psychological issues and removing blockages to this body functioning without a regulator (ego).

I am pretty in love with Reichian psychology, which emphasizes the idea that a healthy individual functions without a "watcher" (Ingram's agent), and thus functions freely, on faith. Whereas an unhealthy person functions using a regulator, my goal is to remove the regulator (Chogyam Trungpa's "watcher") and slip back into blissful ignorance, if that makes sense.

Cheers friends,

James

RE: The Dark Night can fuck up your life
Answer
10/4/14 6:33 PM as a reply to J J.
I'm glad you find the Western bodywork helpful. If you like Willis I would definitely recommend reading Lowen and maybe Pierrakos. Pierrakos integrates the Western bodywork with spirituality more completely.

I admire the Western bodywork approach because it emphasizes the experience of feelings in the body, not unlike vipassana and actualism. The content/cognitive side is also accounted for without naively assuming that behavior can be radically changed without addressing feelings and the body.

I consider it unfortunate when Buddhism is reduced to therapy, especially cognitive. I consider it unfortunate when people swim in content without ever applying the techniques exactly according to instructions for extended periods of time. But, I think in reacting to the prevalent psychologized mushroom culture the pragmatic dharma movement may have created another serious shadow side: the naive hope that one could see experience as experience and attain Paths without having to uncover and integrate mass amounts of painful psychological material.

One can think of themselves as psychologically together, but simply by virtue of interacting with society at large one is sucked into 'The Emotional Plague' (as Reich called it), to various degrees. Terence McKenna once remarked that the Judeo-Christian myth and guilt of original sin are 'in the air that we breathe'. I agree. One necessarily confronts all kinds of social taboos on the path to enlightenment. Keeping it together when you realize that a majority of people are in a robotic state of semi-conscious hypnosis isn't easy, especially when you yourself are still partially a robot. A few sane psychological models are helpful for this.

This has all been on my mind lately, so sorry if I just derailed your thread with my rambling. I hope this was helpful in some way.

RE: The Dark Night can fuck up your life
Answer
10/4/14 8:27 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Hey Droll! No worries, I actually come here to listen to people ramble, I come for the opinions.

Functioning is extremely difficult for me, despite what I feel as "trying", I often fuck up royally. It's probably the case that I am interfering with natural bodily rives that would otherwise lead me to a state of equilibrium if I didn't fuck with him. For example: I have near zero libido, I don't masturbate anymore.

I consider this a disturbed state of bodily functioning, adopting the hardcore/pragmatic attitude has helped with alleviating certain emotional issues (sadness), so has taking medication, I have no feeling though.

I speculate that I originally underwent a bodily "opening" in my early teens (15-16), that, when I feared my own insanity, craziness or lack of control, I reflexively became aware and decided to start to control myself, after that I went mute for two years.

During the opening I was definitely on a roller coaster, very manic, I was kicked out my high school, depressed, suicidal, living with relatives in a different country (than my hometown), eventually I think I caved or began to try to regulate myself instead of trusting myself. I attempted several times and had to leave my relatives to live with my parents.

I don't see how I could have ordinarily trusted myself anyway, I went through a lot of crap. So I sort of just stopped talking for two years (in my day to day life), after that I started participating here but committed a lot faux pas.

(A friend of mine commented that I had probably diminished the effect of what I went through on my life, this is the case, as I rarely give credence to what happened to me. In the following years I had problems with drug use that lead to suspension, I also had issues with socialization (due to having never properly been in a group environment for a long time); I committed a lot of social faux pas that were viewed as sexual harassment.

Anyways, I feel like I just dropped a bomb. Thanks for letting me ramble too! I will indeed check out Pierrakos and Lowen some more, I originally bought Lowen's Narcissism book, however did not read into any of his other work.

Peace.

RE: The Dark Night can fuck up your life
Answer
10/4/14 8:43 PM as a reply to J J.
I hit the dark night hard two years ago and yes, it really fucked with my head and almost ruined my life. 

But other stages can fuck up your life as well. For example, alienating and/or freaking out your friends and family with evangelical bliss-junkie mania during the A&P. 

Moral of the story... keep calm and note like a motherfucker.

RE: The Dark Night can fuck up your life
Answer
10/4/14 9:12 PM as a reply to J J.
All note that J J is James Yen; he just changed his name on that account. Proof here, screenshot here.

RE: The Dark Night can fuck up your life
Answer
10/4/14 10:28 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Way too busy to deal with your shit bro, if you have some problem with me maintaining some semblance of anonymity on this internet forum, then I have changed my name back to James Yen.

Peace


Edit:

I changed my name because I wanted to keep my offline and online life separate, it had nothing to do with avoiding people knowing (people who know me here), that I'm James Yen. I'm assuming that's what you thought. Unless you have some other reason for wanting me to be known as James Yen.

Peace!

Edit 2:

Sorry for lashing out, in the moment that you pointed out who I was I felt very exposed.

Cheers,

James

RE: The Dark Night can fuck up your life
Answer
10/5/14 6:57 AM as a reply to J J.
I've been playing with this idea of a watcher, too.  I call it the "guard" (as in, letting down the guard).  I think it really is the basis for the negative emotions - especially anxiety and anger.  It's like we're trying to remember something and the emotion keeps it in out heads.  By letting go of control, we allow ourselves to forget the trigger and it becomes weaker.  It seems to help to adopt a kind of "reckless" mentality - trust the benevolent nature of the universe, so to speak. emoticon

P.s. I've noticed a few posts you've edited to be kinder, and I just wanted to say thank you for making this a nicer place.  It takes a lot of guts to do that.  I'll try to follow your example.

RE: The Dark Night can fuck up your life
Answer
10/5/14 4:54 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Hey Not Tao!

Yes that's exactly it, the guard must be let down, although a distinction between volitionally (willfully) letting down the guard and letting go of control must be made. In the Reichian idea, which I'm trying to pursue, one does not "surrender", rather the guard one "lets go of control", has trust in, and has faith in one's body, there is no act of will in letting down the guard, one just surrenders. Contradictory, I know. Thanks for hanging around this forum, BTW.

Some other generic thoughts:

I choose to define the dark night as being non-distinct from the bleed-through that is most often said to be a symptom of the dark night, the dark night is the bleed-through, just as Chogyam Trungpa defines Vipashyana as being the subsequent infiltration of post-meditation experience into daily life, the dark night is none other than the uncontrollable nature of one's life, one's "breaking out", of the cultural poison that one has accepted into one's body.

Once a dark-night-er starts acting out, he or she is effectively surrendering to the actions of the body to willfully, break free and oust the foreign objects of poison (the khandhas, often called barbs), sometimes "culture" that have infiltrated one's body.

Therefore the neurotic and seemingly insane actions of a dark night yogi, are actually the sane reactions to an insane world.

Moreover the sense of a ride is pronounced, which is where faith and trust come in. One has no choice but to trust the process, which will hopefully liberate one from the cancer of kamma (intention, will).

On sex.

I personally don't think anyone should ever engage in sex, ideally, but seeing as that this is impossible (people will likely engage in sex, regardless of what people tell them) they should at least practice it safely, as in morally and harmlessly.

The problem I view with our sexual culture is that it sexualizes young men and women at a far too early age, this leads them to constrict their body and muscles around an early age in order to make it fit an idealized image, as a result the body stays forever child-like and immature, moreover the vulnerability of said person is made obvious by the fact that he or she is simply looking for love and affection, which they now view as contingent upon their body.

This is a sad state of affairs because if the person were to realize that said cultural poisons of needing love or love being contingent on how-you-are (which is not what love is, love is unconditional) were ultimately unhelpful, said person would grow normally, into a mature and full-bodied human being.

Me being on a college campus, I notice a lot of legally-aged adult young women, who are still child-like in their bodies, moreover their need and desperation for affection is so obvious that it feels like a violation to even take advantage of them and is in fact ethically wrong to fuck with their emotions.

As such the cultural poison of sexuality is so rampant that I view it as an act of rebelliousness to be a virgin and celibate, the very nature of thirst is harmful, but the point is nobody is ever actually ready for sex, or emotionally mature enough for it.

It really is a violation of one's body, mind and rights, no matter when or in what context the act is performed. So I abstain from it. I mean the very act itself is of sticking an appendage into an open wound.

Regards,

James

RE: The Dark Night can fuck up your life
Answer
10/5/14 5:55 PM as a reply to J J.
J J:
...moreover their need and desperation for affection is so obvious that it feels like a violation to even take advantage of them and is in fact ethically wrong to fuck with their emotions.

As such the cultural poison of sexuality is so rampant that I view it as an act of rebelliousness to be a virgin and celibate, the very nature of thirst is harmful, but the point is nobody is ever actually ready for sex, or emotionally mature enough for it. It really is a violation of one's body, mind and rights, no matter when or in what context the act is performed. So I abstain from it. I mean the very act itself is of sticking an appendage into an open wound.


For what it's worth, I agree with the first paragraph and lived my life that way in my younger life. It was hard, but I'm happy I did. (I'll also say that I recognized my own need and desperation for affection, which is also important. I didn't want to have sex if I began from that foundation.

And for what it's worth, I really doubt the second paragraph is true, but I can see why you say that. I think you really can be ready for sex, so can someone else, and it can be a very mature thing when both are ready for it. But it takes two to tango and the wait for the appropriate dance partner can seem like a long wait. That said, sometimes it is time to dance. And when you do, wear your shoes. In fact, it best to buy your shoes before you might dance, if you know what I mean.

Not saying this dogmatically, just what I've experienced. I'm 40, so you know, lots of miles travelled...

RE: The Dark Night can fuck up your life
Answer
10/7/14 12:54 AM as a reply to J J.
I think you can go overboard both ways in terms of sexual indulgence or suppression.  It is, undoubtedly, one of the most powerful drivers in our life, so it's worth taking the time and effort to make peace with it.

JJ, I've been in your shoes.  I was still a virgin after college, and I was raised catholic, so I've had my share of emotional investment.  It was something I spent a lot of time thinking about back then.  The thing is, though, once I finally had sex, it lost about 90% of its drama and importance.  As an American (I don't know if you are too), I think a lot of the problems our culture has with sexuality is due to the importance it's given.  It's seen as a sinful and dirty thing, so it becomes thrilling or titillating to the people who want it, and horrifying to the people who wish they could avoid it.  The truth is, though, if we strip it down to what it actually is, there's nothing really there - either to fear or to want desperately.  The feelings we have about sex are programmed into us by the cultural environment we live in. It's not "natural" to feel the way most humans do about it. Consider this, I was visiting a farm the other day, and I saw a rooster jump up on a hen and they did their thing. It took all of 10-20 seconds, then they shook their feathers out and walked off. That's what nature thinks of sex. They might have just shook hands, haha.

If you want to remain a virgin forever, that's perfectly fine (and somewhat understandable, considering you could catch a disease) but there's no reason to feel the way you do about sexuality from a moral standpoint. If you grew up learning that eating ice cream was sinful or depraved, you'd probably feel the same way you do about ice cream. But really, Ice cream is just something that tastes good and can make you fat if you eat it too much. Some people avoid it to stay healthy, but they don't have any reason to judge people who eat it or to feel bad if they want it. They might see ice cream and drool a little, but they don't philosophize about it on their couch late into the evening or try to stop eating all together (haha, that's what I've done in the past - EDIT: metaphrically speaking.  I didn't have an eating disorder...).

I guess what I'm saying is, if you really want to be free from the feeling of urgency and desire that is associated with sexuality - it's good to realize that it's not your biology that's giving you trouble, it's your culture and your desire to suppress your feelings. If you want to live as a single person happily free from those feelings 99% of the time, then have a wank once in a while and make peace with the fact that you see other people as sexually attractive. Your feelings are a complement to them, anyway, and they can be pleasant rather than urgent if you allow yourself to simply enjoy their physicality without the emotional baggage.

I hope that was helpful in some way.

RE: The Dark Night can fuck up your life
Answer
10/7/14 11:22 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
That was actually very helpful, and very accurate. I will not comment too much on it. But thank you.

RE: The Dark Night can fuck up your life
Answer
10/8/14 3:17 AM as a reply to J J.
You're one of my favorite posters, James.

Stay Strong.  The Dark Night fucked up my life a little bit.  But one the other side, my life completely fixed itself in every freakin way.  So whatever happens during this time for you is unimportant since it will all fix itself when the period is completed.  Just remind yourself if you need to that you Know by Gnosis that this is a truth.

I think the Dark Night is essential precisely for its weight in suicidal drives and self-destructive tendencies.  When Enlightenment first reveals to us What is Not, The ego begans to die.  In the last phases of this, for me, the desire for suicide was so strong that my meditation practice became a kind of 'mental suicide' where I killed all cares for the temporal life and decided to live, from that moment on, completely for other people.

What happened when this practice produced the desired result is inevitable.  You are going to be a powerful force in the world.  It is inevitable. It is sorely needed.