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Just being, but no one there
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8/10/18 11:30 AM
Dear community. 

Last night I went out to a bar. Had a few beers and 4 hits on a joint. I have been smoking weed all my twenties. So I am really experienced when it comes to weed. But I stopped smoking for nearly 3 years now, except for 5 exceptions. And these exceptions shifted my consciousness way more than any psychedelic trip. Of course not that trippy and stuff like that, but a total shift of awareness/being. 

Yesterday I had a really strange shift in consciousness. I could speak of me being a stream. It was not "me" speaking. But rather the stream of events, the stream of consciousness spoke about itself. At that moment there was no sense of self. But it was not really stable. It was stable maybe for 5 min. then consciousness shifted back to the "normal" view. This shift occurred approximately 3 times during 45 Minutes or so. The shift just happened on its own. And I really can't write about it now in a adequate way, since I am not at the place of being "it".

I don't know if anything of the above makes any sense to you. But the state I was in just felt like the "truth". It was the truth, because it was not me speaking. It was it. "It" spoke about itself, without there being somebody. The process of a stream of events, spoke in clarity about itself. It was the presence speaking of the presence.

My apologizes. I should have recorded it.

I can not make my standpoint quite clear here, because I am not in that zone right now. I have a memory of it. But my perception of reality is totally back to "normal".

Any thoughts on what has happened, what this state could be named (it was not being drunk or simply high; it was rather extreme awareness with a total shift of perception and something like non-duality(?)).
 

RE: Just being, but no one there
Answer
8/10/18 1:58 PM as a reply to Jonas.
Hi Jonas,

I'm just a coffee drinker now, but I used be a connoisseur of drugs. I've done a lot of drugs. I've had similar experiences as you mention on everything from ketamine to salvia divinorum (especially this one) to LSD.  There's a tendancy to hope to be able to classify these experiences and put them on some spiritual map. But really, it's just the drugs man. They're fun, crazy, awesome, frightening, insightful (usually only for the duration of the trip), terrible and everything in between. In my case and for many others, psychedelics (and potentially even weed) can act as a spiritual primer, but I think that most seekers will agree that they won't take you very far. 

So you had a non-dual or no-self experience, but did it bring about lasting insight? Do you suffer less or have new abilities? Are you able to use these experiences to the benefit of yourself and all beings? If the answer is yes, I'm sure you will find a way to mold it into your practice. If the answer is no, I wouldn't take the experience to the bank, chalk it up as "its just the drugs, man" and get back on the cushion.

All the love. Best wishes to you and your practice! 

RE: Just being, but no one there
Answer
8/11/18 6:17 AM as a reply to Jonas.
Sounds like a cool unitive experience. You can have these on or off of drugs. Once I was playing the banjo--monotonously doing three-finger rolls over and over again--and "I" completely disappeared. All that was left was the room and a human body and the sound of the banjo. Early in practice, I had a number of unitive experiences like this out at state parks and on hiking trails. I would completely disappear amid silent Nature just doing its thing, utterly beautiful. I'm drug and alcohol free these days, but about three grams of dried mushrooms will get you there as well! :-D 

All of the above are just memories. They aren't entirely useless. They leave an impression and help show you the mutability of your own subjective experience. The key is never to chase them. Chasing after stuff like this is an awful trap. 

Always the question is, "How is it now--right now?" 

RE: Just being, but no one there
Answer
8/11/18 9:41 AM as a reply to Tashi Tharpa.
As noted in detail in the above responses, drugs can induce insights, as well as all sorts of other things, but, in this case, the insight is into what the Buddha called “no-self”, or “not-self”, one of the Three Characteristics of all experience, with the other two being impermanence (all experiences arise and vanish), and suffering (all experiences from which we extrapolate false dualities or static selves through misperception cause fundamental suffering).

There are numerous standard insight stages that can present with people reporting along the lines you are describing, one of which is the first insight stage, which can occur during daily life in a reasonable number of people, both high and sober. In this stage, we notice thoughts as thoughts, with thoughts able to be perceived as experiences that are just happening, not an “I” or “mine”, just phenomena occurring naturally.

The other commonly reported stage that is commonly described in the way you are thinking of is a stage called the Arising and Passing Away, insight stage 4, which represents even deeper levels of insight into things happening on their own, arising and vanishing naturally, and is typically the stage about which people say, “I had this amazing experience!”

Both of these lower level insights give serious clues about what can become permanent experiences later as we develop in insight and learn to perceive these basic truths more and more often and in more categories of mental and physical experiences. Thus, if you find yourself liking insights, consider more training in the path of insight, of course reading the standard maps to get a sense of what you might be headed into, as not all of the stages are as fun as what you described.