Why is this particular reality so solidified?

Ricky Lee Nuthman, modified 5 Years ago at 5/17/18 12:41 AM
Created 5 Years ago at 5/16/18 8:03 PM

Why is this particular reality so solidified?

Posts: 92 Join Date: 4/22/18 Recent Posts
First, a very short explanation of myself. Feel free to skip these first paragraphs! Sorry for my lack of terminology, I am kind of new to discussing my experiences with other people besides a few freaked out individuals.

This site was suggested to me by a guy at a vipassana retreat after hearing some of my bizarre experiences. My journey began back in the mid-80s after a stupid gasoline fume huffing experience. From that moment until age 40 I was stuck in a perpetual terrifying hallucination. Of course, I'd still be in it had someone not told me about vipassana. I did my first 10 day retreat that year and I've done another 10 day and a 4 day since then. I also meditate more than I really have time for in my normal life. To me, being in a state of altered consciousness is as natural as not being in one, but I can sort of remember before the gas incident when I had a much more normal way of seeing the world. The cure for my mental illness was particularly strange to me because the realization of the very thing that was scaring the shit out of me turned out to be my salvation. Impermanence. My entire madness was based around the fear of it. It's probably impossible to explain the state that I was in for 26 years but I can kind of get the point across. The first thing that changed about me after the gas event was that I noticed that I was no longer just me, but me as well following myself around. I could see out of my eyes, but I could also see that I was observing myself slightly in front of myself looking in the same direction. Yeah, I know... I used to endlessly try to fight this but gave up. I actually still experience this, but it doesn't scare me now.

Back then I would have constant episodes that would always begin with my sinuses popping, which would be followed by dry mouth and throat, then finally a fully blown anxiety attack. Then the psychotic episode: This psychotic state always was with me on some level, but during the anxiety attack it became fully pronounced. This is the part that is impossible to properly put in to words. I, quite terrifyingly, would realize that I was trapped in the middle of infinite existence, a victim of the endless chain of previous causes which lead to this extremely fleeting present moment of inevitable perpetual effect. I bounced from strange reality to strange reality and all manner of warped perception with extreme rapidity. But in every discrete instance of time it was torturingly apparent that change was imminent. No matter what I did, it was futile. even my thoughts were futile because every thought, even the thoughts about the thoughts were scripted and impermanent. I felt on a fundamental level that I was a cog in a completely interdependent machine that nothing could be added to or taken away from. The terror was choking but utterly hopeless feeling because this is just how things are/were. At any rate, I'm rambling now. I could talk about this stuff all day. The point is, once I learned to not react during my first meditation retreat, it all became rather fascinating and not the least bit scary. In fact, I actually enjoy these episodes now when they rarely present themselves. 


Anyway, to the point of my post. It seems to me that we all exist in this particular shared realm (for lack of a better word?) because of some sort of unspoken consensual agreement on the way things are. But I wonder if anyone has ever explored the reason why 'conventional reality' is the way that it is?

It seems to me that our sensual interpretations of reality are all metaphors for the underlying truth. I was thinking about this the other day while observing a homeless man who was behaving like an insane person; that is, he was gesticulating around and talking to invisible beings and otherwise in his own world. Although he was completely out of phase with my reality, he was still bound by the laws of it. ie, he wasn't flying around or conjuring demons that I could see 

It seems to me that reality could be anything as long as it conforms to the universal real laws of nature. I'm not talking about Newtonian or Einstein physics, but actual reality. I'm not sure if I'm making any sense at all. I have a terrible difficulty expressing my thoughts in a coherent way. 

If anyone does understand, please tell me your thoughts. Why do so many people agree on the same reality? Or do they not agree on the same reality, but it just seems that way because each of us has built our own reality. Kind of like the idea that my green may be your red, but how could anyone ever know that since it's still wired to the same part of the brain that attaches emotion to color. Anyway, let's talk!
Robin Woods, modified 5 Years ago at 5/16/18 10:40 PM
Created 5 Years ago at 5/16/18 10:40 PM

RE: Why is this particular reality so solidified?

Posts: 189 Join Date: 5/28/12 Recent Posts
Have you read Daniel’s essay on Magick? 
Ricky Lee Nuthman, modified 5 Years ago at 5/17/18 12:39 AM
Created 5 Years ago at 5/17/18 12:39 AM

RE: Why is this particular reality so solidified?

Posts: 92 Join Date: 4/22/18 Recent Posts
No I haven't, I've only just recently learned about this site and now Daniel. I started reading some of his stuff today and watched a couple of interviews. It's kind of funny. He reminds me of myself in a lot of ways. Probably the gen Xer stuff. Maybe it was something in the cereal or Saturday morning cartoons.
Thor, modified 5 Years ago at 5/17/18 2:11 PM
Created 5 Years ago at 5/17/18 2:11 PM

RE: Why is this particular reality so solidified?

Posts: 8 Join Date: 5/17/18 Recent Posts
"we all exist in this particular shared realm"  That is called "reality". Something which you are obviously unaware of due to your previous paragraphs. It has nothing to do with an unspoken consensual agreement, it has to do with the laws of the physical universe. As to your other assertions, they are based on completely irrational observations. 

I am not suggesting that you are a lost cause, I am saying that you need a more fundimental teaching of basic logic and reasoning before you experiment with mind altering techniques.
Ricky Lee Nuthman, modified 5 Years ago at 5/17/18 3:04 PM
Created 5 Years ago at 5/17/18 3:04 PM

RE: Why is this particular reality so solidified?

Posts: 92 Join Date: 4/22/18 Recent Posts
Hello Thor!

I appreciate your response! I should be more careful with my language. I realize that hearing words like realm can generate all kinds of annoying sensations. Religious and Magickal language can immediately put one into a frenzy of aversion. I was just talking about this with my wife yesterday. I think I'm not expressing my thoughts effectively. 

Of course we are bound the laws of the physical universe. The consensual agreement has to do with a shared interpretation of the manifestation of the objects in this universe; not an actual change in the nature of those objects. Interpretation is the key word. 

As a computer programmer I am bound by the laws of logic and reasoning which are certainly very useful in my day to day life. However, conventional frozen mindsets can get us into a lot of trouble while attempting to penetrate the cloud that engulfs reality as it really is. I think that this is why so many highly intelligent people find it exceedingly difficult to attain higher levels of insight.

However on some level I do agree with you. The whole purpose of this dhamma is to purify the mind and rid ourselves of our 'irrational observations', or more succinctly, rid ourself of our irrational interpretations of our observations.
seth tapper, modified 5 Years ago at 5/17/18 4:31 PM
Created 5 Years ago at 5/17/18 4:31 PM

RE: Why is this particular reality so solidified?

Posts: 477 Join Date: 8/19/17 Recent Posts
Interesting stuff to think about.  The good news is, real reality exists in the current moment and all the differences between different realities - no matter how apparently real or imaginary - exist in some time sequence.  In the current moment, its always the same, always perfect and always all of us.  

In my opinion, happiness lies in not caring what is apparently happening and just being satisfied with what is. 
Ricky Lee Nuthman, modified 5 Years ago at 5/17/18 6:20 PM
Created 5 Years ago at 5/17/18 6:20 PM

RE: Why is this particular reality so solidified?

Posts: 92 Join Date: 4/22/18 Recent Posts
I couldn't agree more, Seth!

I kind of knew that I'd open a can of worms starting this thread, but the forum sub was here so I figured why not! Seemed like a safe place to discuss these ideas. 

Equanimity with all sensations is certainly the gateway to full awakening. Which is kind of the point of my post to begin with. If you had talked to me a couple of years ago I would have been very hesitant to mix discussions of insight with what some would consider imaginary realms. However a few months after my first retreat I fell into an extremely deep and debilitating dark night (not knowing what it was because no one mentioned this sort of thing in my Goenka retreats). I got extremely obsessed with the misery of arising and passing away to the point that I wanted to die. I mean really die, not like anything I'd ever experienced before. 

After 2 years of this deep misery I decided to do another 10 day retreat, where on day 5 my perception shifted dramatically. I reached a particularly high level of equanimity and intense clarity of mind. One after the other I started to see the 3 characteristics in a much more experiential way. First I was intrigued by the rapidity at which every part of my existence was emerging and dissolving. Then I noticed how annoying that it was (I noticed the annoyance as an object but didn't own it). I mean very subtly annoying. Like a little niggling sensation or irritation in every sensation. Even the most pleasurable sensation was missing something. Then of course I realized that I could not find any boundaries to myself. Where did I start, where did I begin? In fact, each thought about 'I' seemed more and more an exercise in futility and kind of humorous.

After these experiences I have gone on to be able to look at my 'other worldly' thoughts and experiences objectively and with equanimity. The result is that I understand that objectively, it doesn't matter what is real or isn't real from an insight standpoint. If you see ghosts floating around the room and I don't, it doesn't really matter from your perspective.

The point is this. Imagine that you see an angry clown faced ghost floating around and it screams at you, and the next day a guy in a dark alley comes at you screaming. In both cases let's say you become terrified and run away from the situation. From a dhamma perspective the results are exactly the same.