Spirituality or Pathology?

Elkapan, modified 5 Years ago at 7/2/18 7:38 PM
Created 5 Years ago at 7/2/18 7:23 PM

Spirituality or Pathology?

Posts: 3 Join Date: 7/2/18 Recent Posts
This might seem like a post from a crazy person, and I understand completely if you can not offer advice. I turn to you in desperation.

I have always been disgusted by the way the world is organized. Capitalism is the greatest crime committed on humanity. Robbing the workers of their substance, value, and tying us down to slavery, debts, artificial need, and fetishizing the meagre material junk it expects us to mythologise. I read a great deal of Marxist literature in my youth, and understood, capitalism and society was a criminal hoax, using technology to which ought to free us, to enslave us. So, I always avoid wage-slavery, whenever possible.

However, around a year ago, a perverse desire struck me: a desired to suffer, to be exploited by capitalism, to be amidst its most exploited—to feel my body abused, my spirit crushed by laborous, and meaningless suffering. There was just such a job, as a picker for a well known company, in the middle of a rundown industrial estate known for brutally exploiting unskilled, foreign nationals. I applied and got the job. Sure enough, it was everything I desired. I watched (shamefully thrilled) as workers collapsed through exhausation, only to be taken away by an ambulance. The work was so taxing in our 20-30km day treks, that welts and blisters the size of garden peas would burst inside my steel toe cap boots, causing a glorious shower of pain.
The more I suffered the more I desired to suffer. An endless loop of suffering-desire. And desiring-suffering. That was only the beginning.The more I exhausted my body, the more I was disabused and mistreated, oppressed, ground-down the more I reveled in it. It felt as if the more my body was exhausted to its limit, with meaningless labour, the more my spirit soared.

This period of crushing self-abuse, last around 4-5 months.
At the beginning of this year—after 6 months of unemployment—I again applied for the same job to experience "suffering" anew. However, when I started, it was not the same. It was not the glorious, mortification of body it once was—it was empty and meaningless, shameful, and reducing. I found myself on the top floor of the factory contemplating leaping off.
I left the job, and had a mini-breakdown at the unemployment office, I was referred to my GP, and was given a "sick note" for one month. But it was only foreshadowing something more profound—the coming total collapse of identity, and any, and all conceptual framework and beliefs: total existential nihilism. I was stripped of what little I had left: friends, family, employment, hope, faith, self-assurance, stability, energy. Drained, so drained, of any motivation, and fatigued beyond words. 
Even when I spoke, it would sound foreign to me: "That's not my voice—why are you putting on a voice?" But I could not seem to "speak" right. Everything about myself was foreign and alien, I felt ignorant, empty of knowledge, empty of substance. It was completely different to the regular depressive experience, in both its enormity and power. It felt as if I was plunged into an cold-water abyss. Isolated and alone, I have been stripped totally of everything—even at times, my sanity. I've heard this experience is known as the "The Dark Night of the Soul".
But, I didn't expect it to last for seven months, with no sign of abating.

During the first period, I thought a renewed turn to spirituality would cure me of this deep, deep depression. Since, I have always been a very sensitive and spiritual person, in essence. But had given up practicing meditation a few years ago.January, I started meditation with Chakra work—the third eye; a few days later, I saw an immensely bright light, whilst meditating as if someone switched on a light in the room: on awakening in the morning everything seemed so bright, and I heard phantom chimes, like a xylophone ring a melody from nowhere. At night, in darkness, my sight  would "flash", like a camera flash lightening up the room. And on awakening, at times, I would see a strange writing on the walls, almost cuniform, strange, glowing and undecipherable. But this practice of third eye meditation was not working for me, as I felt even more "burnt out". My head stuffed with tension, and my depression was not lifted. In the mean time, I tried root chakra meditations to try to balance myself out. 
Despite a brief period of relief (1-2 days). I am everyday unable to leave home, to speak to anyone. Every face I look upon is soulless, and empty; just form. Every external thing, devoid of meaning or value. The world is a sick theatre of empty self-abusing desires. And in me, is only a desire to fall, and to fail. I often think to myself, I need 100 lifetimes to get through this. 

The doctor gave me, sertraline, zispin, mertazpine, citalapram.... one almost each month. Nothing works. Therapists, they are bourgeois stooges, only interested in producing a nice complient, obiendent slave. I am not interesting in their pyschiatry. I hear voices when I am tired. I don't know if this is spiritual or I am slowly losing my mind.
A part of me also knows the only "real" way out this is long meditations (perhaps as long as 15 hours per day) and extreme fasting. And there is a very powerful part of myself, saying: "you are really, truly ignorant of such things, you'll only be wasting your time. People already question your sanity enough, what would they think, and what will I become if I simply sat in a chair for 15 hours a day in silence—perhaps, for month, or even years?" And is not this experience, if it were indeed a spiritual desolation, the domain of great monks: St. John of the Cross; Great Buddhists, and masters? Who attain this Night after great spiritual strides and tribulations? Who is anyone to cheapen and degrade the experience? Especially a louse like me. 

Though, now I have no one. And it was the funniest way they all abandonned me—just the slightest things... like forgetting to perform a favour. Each his/her own excuse. So cruel, and so heartbreaking. I don't know whether I am experiencing the "Dark Night", or whether I am like so many others; mystifying a profoundly ordinary experience.
I hope you can please, briefly, shine some light on this, I realize I do not sound "pyschologically" right. And please don't feel obligated to reply at all. I know I am abusing this forum somewhat, by contacting you this way. But I do feel desperate, I thank you kindly, for any words of advice you can offer.

Kind Regards,

Elkapan, modified 5 Years ago at 7/2/18 8:53 PM
Created 5 Years ago at 7/2/18 8:53 PM

RE: Spirituality or Pathology?

Posts: 3 Join Date: 7/2/18 Recent Posts
Michael V:
Stephen Craig Livingstone:
I hear voices when I am tired.  

I'm sorry to hear about your troubles. Have you mentioned the auditory hallucinations to your doctor? Are they frequent? 
Only around once per month: laughter, babies crying, phones ringing, doors slamming.... that sort of thing. During this episode, I am rarely able to sleep at the right time, until early morning, and it usually only happens after large doses of coffee.
Yesterday, I lay in bed, and could hear the traffic passing half-a-mile away even though the window was closed, and the refridgerator humming from the basement.Everything, at times seems hypersensitive, at others, almost shizophrenic.  
Jim Smith, modified 5 Years ago at 7/3/18 12:44 AM
Created 5 Years ago at 7/3/18 12:39 AM

RE: Spirituality or Pathology?

Posts: 1734 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
"Spirituality or Pathology?"

It sounds like pathology to me. I understand it can seem like a spiritual thing but that is part of the pathology,  when the brain is not working right it is hard to tell. 

Particularly with depression, it makes you question the meaning of existence and you feel like you just have to think things through ... but it is just your brain chemistry doing that to you.
angelicphase, modified 5 Years ago at 7/3/18 2:03 AM
Created 5 Years ago at 7/3/18 2:02 AM

RE: Spirituality or Pathology?

Posts: 7 Join Date: 7/3/18 Recent Posts
Hi Elkapan

Reading your post you come off as very articulate and intellectually sound. It would be almost impossible for anyone to asses you over the internet, although it certainly sounds like it could be a case of spiritual emergence. I believe the vast majority of cases of problematic spiritual emergence come down to mis-organisation of person’s psyche or egoic structure due to emotional trauma in adolescence and childhood, and the manner in which people like our parents related to us. Having a stable egoic foundation is something that is essential for coping in the world and spiritual development, which is often in spiritual circles something that is almost completely neglected. There is saying that essentially goes that psychotherapy is about growing up, whereas spirituality is about waking up. And everyone to one extent or another can certainly benefit from the former. 

I was wondering, do you think this self-abuse you describe could be something you may have experienced earlier on in your life?

Elkapan, modified 5 Years ago at 7/4/18 8:13 PM
Created 5 Years ago at 7/4/18 8:13 PM

RE: Spirituality or Pathology?

Posts: 3 Join Date: 7/2/18 Recent Posts
Thank you, everyone, for your insightful posts. I am sorry for the late reponse, I often sleep 16-17 hours a day. The poster who mentioned childhood trauma was right. I suffered a great deal of physical abuse from my step-father, (a terrifying man), often beaten unconcious, and the same to some degree from my natural father. Emotional abuse also. I have since been through a great deal of trauma in early adult life. Life has been very unkind to me. So I am more inclined to believe all this is unaddressed issues, and therefore, pathological; not spiritual in origin. Only this morning, I awoke to see a feather I have pinned about a picture opposite my bed, as a bird, which flew into, and morphed into the feather. These hullicinations are not constant, but they are subtle. I will seek out clinical therapy. I thank everyone kindly, for their input. This will be my last post.
angelicphase, modified 5 Years ago at 7/5/18 8:22 AM
Created 5 Years ago at 7/5/18 8:21 AM

RE: Spirituality or Pathology?

Posts: 7 Join Date: 7/3/18 Recent Posts
I'm glad to hear you've considered therapy. My suggestion would be to seek out a therapist who specialises in trauma. Modalities such as somatic experiencing or EMDR can be very effective depending on the therapist. Wishing you all the best Elkapan. 
Stickman2, modified 5 Years ago at 7/7/18 8:19 AM
Created 5 Years ago at 7/7/18 8:19 AM

RE: Spirituality or Pathology?

Posts: 375 Join Date: 7/24/17 Recent Posts
Sounds like union membership would be as helpful as meds and chakra work here.