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Lost, confused, advice?
12/13/14 2:37 PM
Hey everyone. I'll try to make this brief and explain the best I can. Events are listed chronologically in accordance with my biological age. 

16 - I meditate for the first time. I continue to do this intermittently, on and off, through to today (though rarely now). 
25 - I read Eckhart Tolle's "the power of now". It causes me to view life differently, quit my job, and otherwise change a few things. I start desiring to be more present though rarely actually experience that state. 
26 - I read Jed McKenna's "spiritually incorrect enlightenment". I have several profound experiences in succession, practice self-autolysis, and over time lose many of the attachments I thought I had. 

I continue to lose many of my beliefs. I also seem to have lost the sense of "self" that I used to have. It's very strange and confusing. For several months, I continue going through the motions of my life but with few feelings other than anguish, fury, despair, and a deep, profound feeling that nothing is real. In this period I often feel anger or lack of comprehension at other people for what feels like insincere behaviour, false statements, etc. I "think I know the truth". 

Recently, out of ideas on how to get out of this constant feeling of anger, unhappiness and despair, I started practicing lovingkindness - first and foremost to my own thoughts. I have been working on accept all my thoughts, no matter how they come to me. Yesterday, for the first time, I felt my body completely, and perceived my thoughts in a similar way to my other senses (touch, hearing). It didn't last long, and I seem to feel differently now, but it was a new way of feeling for me. 

(Maybe I should also mention that since practicing lovingkindness, I've had a much easier time interacting with people? A few weeks ago, I don't think I could've written this message because I was kind of scared of people.)

Anyway... The thing is, I feel so conflicted sometimes. I am me, but I am not me. I often present, but I still think thoughts and am sometimes bothered by them. Often, when I think these thoughts - or maybe "when these thoughts are thought", or "when these thoughts appear" is a more accurate statement of my perception - I feel defeated, or I don't understand who is thinking these thoughts, or who I mean when I think "I"... The second I try to look upon my "self" inwardly, understand it, observe it, it escapes me, causing only more frustration. I see myself doing things, but I don't know why I do them. I have so many questions, but at the same time asking any of them feels irrelevant. Even in writing this, I feel like there can be no answer, no answer that "I" can understand that will solve "me". 

And through all this, I feel a pull, and I don't know if it's real or not, but it scares me. I'm fucking scared of this pull, because I feel like it's taking me to do something that will destroy me, or kill me, and that fills me with sadness and grief. I don't want to die, and I don't want the people I love to die to me, either. I don't know what I'm thinking right now, my head is a bowl of soup... 

I know this is about dharma; a concept that, like any other concept, is difficult for me to subscribe to. However, maybe there's someone who can help me understand what's happening, to whatever degree that may be possible? 

I don't know if I should have mentioned other things, but I've had many other changes lately. Things like (these are mostly on and off):

-Deep concentration in tasks and quick, low-effort progress. Answers often come automatically, knowledge appears when necessary, etc. 
-"Enlightenment" turned from a very desirable idea of eternal happiness to something I don't understand. The concept seems strange now. 
-I want things, I have strong desire and act out my ego, but I also perceive the ego when acting it out, and don't feel much if I don't "get what I want". 
-Low sex drive, difficulty getting turned on in the ways I used to before (although I appear to be fully physically healthy and still have an active sex life)
-More aggressive impulses than before. It's a new kind of aggression to me - not an angry or malicious aggression, but a natural, happy, almost joyful aggression at times. If I feel indignant in the moment, I will say it - something I couldn't do before. 

I don't know if that's helpful or useful at all, I don't know much at all right now, hoping for help! 

RE: Lost, confused, advice?
12/13/14 3:04 PM as a reply to George - P.
I'm sure that others will reply with more specific and helpful advice, but your story reminded me of the topics addressed in this short talk by Shinzen Young.

RE: Lost, confused, advice?
12/13/14 4:09 PM as a reply to C P M.
C P M:
I'm sure that others will reply with more specific and helpful advice, but your story reminded me of the topics addressed in this short talk by Shinzen Young.

Thank you very much. I believe that following his advice on creating a new, happier identity/ego/self would be possible in my case. However, I'm interested if others can help me manage and deal with what he referred to as "the freakout". 

RE: Lost, confused, advice?
12/13/14 4:50 PM as a reply to George - P.
In case it helps anyone, I would like to write how I (temporarily?) solved my problem (the freakout). I don't know if it's gonna stick, but it's a semi-regular method I use to accept recurring painful thoughts. 

First, I imagined my grandfathers. They both died when I was quite young, and maybe that's why they're the people I feel a lot of kindness and love flowing to and from. Anyway, I imagine their benevolent figures loving me, and me loving them back. In this case, as in all cases, I then drew their attention to the problem I currently face. Then I visualized my grandfathers reassuring me that what I feel is normal, after which I used the power of their love and kindness for me, to accept and embrace the emotions I was previously resisting. 

I then repeated the same process, imagining myself at various points in the future (starting from near future through this body's death). I remain in my body, but simultaneously imagine that I am older, and pause to visualize and/or hear my grandfathers telling me that what I feel is good, natural, and that I should value and accept it. The trick, to me, is to remain present in my body while visualizing. If I don't do this, the visualization overpowers my presence and things start going awry (more negative emotions). 

Perhaps these thoughts will be useful to someone one day.