To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

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To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby Midnight » Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:29 pm

I write this now, pretty much out of answers.

Throughout the ages, many people have written about the experience of feeling like there is ‘no-self’.

They have expressed it through works of art, through literature, through the spoken word, but to experience it in life is quite another.

You cannot know it unless it is experienced. You can speculate, and try to imagine, but it cannot adequately describe the feeling.

I’m not a guru, or a spiritual teacher, but I was a very unhappy young guy who came to spirituality looking for happiness. It’s that simple. I wanted to be content in my own skin; I am here to tell anyone who cares, honestly, that no-self is a horrible discovery, and to clearly advise you to look elsewhere for what you want.

To live your life without emotions, without a sense of whom you are, without a familiar sense of reality, is a life not worth living. It seems like everyone is looking for a way to detach from their experience, and I’m pretty certain I was one of them, yet now regular experience seems so long ago and so distant that I can’t even really remember what it was like to feel normal, to feel like I had a personality, to feel like life was a rich tapestry of experiences. To feel like the future and the past existed, to dream big, to be able to emotionally relate to others, to feel like life is REAL and I am REAL.

I used to pray that my mind would quieten down and I would find ‘stillness’, in between wanting to get rid of the strong emotions I would feel.

I would give ANYTHING to go back to the way things were, ANYTHING. I would give anything to feel those raw emotions, that sadness, that anger, and to fully experience them, in the moment, and be ripped open by emotion.

Everyone is so sure of spirituality, so sure of the teachers, so sure of the teachings, but dare to be sceptical; dare to scrutinise those who are supposedly offering you some kind of ultimate experience.

I’m not saying what happened to me is a spiritual experience, because in my heart, I deeply hope that this is not what is supposed to happen
.

Now I am just drifting through life, but what happens when I want to meet the woman of my dreams? What if I want to hold down a challenging job? It won’t happen. My body and mind no longer function normally.

Eckhart even talks about it in his books. He talks about ‘alertness’. A sufferer of depersonalization feels constantly on edge, as if under some sort of threat, but the threat in question is not real. The body and mind prepare to defend themselves. Imagine this, 24/7.

Eckhart also talks about how your thoughts and emotions become ‘depersonalized’ through awareness. It’s genuinely that explicit, he literally says it straight up, no sugar coating it, nothing. Do you want this? If you don’t believe me check the book, I can’t remember if it’s a new earth or TPON but just read it for yourselves.


I was stupid enough to blindly accept what he was saying; it hurts me to say that, because I used to be very fond of Eckhart, I used to love listening to him. Now it just seems like he is selling mental instability.

I’ve not come from a cult forum or anything as you well know, because you know I’ve been posting about this stuff for ages, but seriously – have we all been sold a lie? Who can honestly say – HONESTLY, that Eckhart’s teachings have benefited your life? Have you discovered who you are? If so, how does that feel – and why don’t I feel it?

I don’t want to go on living like a husk of a man, without a soul or perfectly rational mind. It’s hell on earth, I have no doubts about it.

I know people are SICK of reading this, but what the hell can I do? I've spoken to 'professionals' and Mooji won't return any of my emails or answer my questions, it's like "Hey, you followed my advice and now you feel like your losing your mind - cya!"

To whom should I turn in your opinion?
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Re: To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby tod » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:26 am

To whom should I turn in your opinion?

Take part in this forum: http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/viewforum.php?f=4
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Re: To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby GiveUpTheGhost » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:03 am

Midnight,

I've been reading your posts for a while now and I thought I'd chip in. I feel the same way as you do, I am largely numb to emotion and I am apathetically drifting through life, I know how terrible this dissociated state of being can seem and how it drives you to desperation. Wanting to feel anything even if it's bad, It's not something that can be understood by people who haven't experienced it, but there are others like us, you aren't alone. Similar to you, the professionals I've spoken to don't seem to be very clued up on it either.

In my case, this state wasn't caused by meditation, as I was 14 when I became like this (i'm not sure why it happened, although I was suffering acutely at that time), many years before I ever read anything by Tolle. I am now 23 and I read TPON about a year ago, in that time I have been practicing Tolle's advice intensely and had many experiences of feeling very much alive again, I cannot describe the relief of feeling things again after being numb for so many years. As it stands, these experiences are still the exception for me rather than the rule, but they are happening more frequently and for longer, although I often fall into frustration with the process. My point is that you can heal, and in my case Tolle has been more effective than anything else. Are you 100% sure that spirituality caused this? I'm not doubting your account but it's worth considering if other factors were involved. As it happens, I remember feeling quite weird after watching some Mooji videos, something a little ungrounded about his teaching perhaps.

If you like I could share more specific insights I have had into the nature of this problem and what pointers have been helpful for me, although as I said, still a work in progress.

Rob
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Re: To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby Midnight » Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:40 pm

Thanks Rob - you really started feeling alive again after Tolle? What specifically? I'm glad you understand what I'm talking about. It's just hard to know whether this is a physical problem or just anxiety... not sure anymore.
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Re: To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby heidi » Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:41 pm

Hi Midnight - It seems that although you realize there's no "you" you are still so much in your head that you've forgotten your heart. There may be no "you" but there is the miracle that is You beating your heart and breathing your breath every moment; it's that same "not you" that you have realized, but not hollow and empty but spacious and filled with possibilities.
Your soul's still there, but your head is in the way. How about "taking the elevator down" to your heart and dwelling there in that miracle? There's a lot to be said for gratitude and appreciation for the miracle of being. :D
Thanks so much for sharing, as I know you speak for many here.
To whom should I turn in your opinion?
Turn to your heart. :)
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Re: To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby ugotlammad » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:31 pm

I just wanted to quickly point out that in much of Buddhism, Anatta/no-self/not-self/self all are the same and can be used interchangeably.

I have a few perspectives on this that may prove to be helpful

First, notice how the Buddha speaks in negatives for the sake of speaking in negatives. This is because it is closer to the truth to point out what is NOT true. Siddhartha Gautama realized that we cannot speak of the truth using language, so if he can teach how to strip away the things that are untrue from one's experience, what remains is truth. That's the theory he had, anyway.

Secondly, Ensure that you are not getting caught up in the word no-self because A) it is a mere translation from Pali or Sanskrit that use a more precise definition than our language and B) it was designed as a very powerful tool, and as with all powerful tools they can be misused.

Thirdly, I would check out this video by Shinzen Young on the subject which may be more relevant: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=812I4KYLMF8

I know exactly what you mean because in the beginning of my discovering Tolle a few years ago, I was very separate from my personality. It was like a "took a break" from myself. Now it seems that I am more fully in my personality, if that makes sense.

Would it help to take a break from reading about spirituality? It is easy to get caught up in the concepts and freak out over that. Thats okay. I think everyone experiences that because the words are designed to shake up mental blocks, reshape who we are, etc. I would take a break, get some fresh air, get a beer with some friends, try a new restaurant, watch a little comedy on TV. Cognitive Therapy is very useful in this situation too. Anything that will get you back to YOU.

MoodGYM is a good resource.


I turn to my journal in my hour of need. Write things down as often as you'd like. If you meditate, keep a journal nearby. It really helps me feel more relaxed and focused.
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Re: To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby tod » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:58 am

Midnight wrote:I am here to tell anyone who cares, honestly, that no-self is a horrible discovery, and to clearly advise you to look elsewhere for what you want.

To live your life without emotions, without a sense of whom you are, without a familiar sense of reality, is a life not worth living.


No self does not have, own, possess, life. If you are there or here or anywhere, no matter how horrible, that is not no self. That is a position taken by a thought to be self. See this!

It's just hard to know whether this is a physical problem or just anxiety... not sure anymore.


This is a position taken by a self, yourself, and that self is the very problem. Any problem, including either a physical or mental one is not had by no self as there is no self.

Now, and only now and now and now is there no self. Any notion you have of yourself at all is entirely in imagination.

It is only a self that needs to identify, sort out, it's problems. Not existing, 'you' have no problems. Any definition of yourself is a potential problem. See this!
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Re: To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby Ralph » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:09 am

Midnight wrote:To whom should I turn in your opinion?

Well, Midnight, there is Eckhart Tolle, Mooji, Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta, just to mention a few ... but you refuse to follow their pointers. Yes, they will lead you to the end of who you take yourself to be but it is clear to me that you refuse to go there because it will mean the end of you as you know it and you don't like that one bit, do you ?

So, you're stuck in nowhere land, what's you're next move ? ... and btw, blaming the spiritual teachers for fucking you up, is definitely a copout.
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Re: To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby far_eastofwest » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:21 am

well midnight, you can turn to rob.... everyone is a mooji or an eckhart really..... yours guide may be rob
(i have my own robert/guide so maybe there's something in that). :D
as for midnight not following the pointers, apparently he did and therein lays the problem.
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Especially when there is no cat....
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Re: To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby Midnight » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:58 am

Ralph wrote:
Midnight wrote:To whom should I turn in your opinion?

it will mean the end of you as you know it and you don't like that one bit, do you ?

So, you're stuck in nowhere land, what's you're next move ? ... and btw, blaming the spiritual teachers for fucking you up, is definitely a copout.


How is it a copout Ralph? It seems like I followed their pointers to the letter, for all I feel is that only the present moment exists and there is no past or future!

I finally bit the bullet and bought a book about DP - It's called 'Feeling Unreal', and guess what? All throughout it gives personal accounts from people (some famous from history) who talk about feelings of no self.. the void... the present moment, yet these are not terms which are used in a positive sense! It mirrors everything all the teachers talk about, except it seems to me like some people have actually realized that it is NOT the right way to go!

What Eckhart describes sounds wonderful and light but really, it's losing your sense of self and identity. No Ralph, I don't want to lose that. It's absolutely terrifying. I doubt you've come anywhere close otherwise you wouldn't be so sure of yourself. To look into that absolute emptiness.... no memory of yourself in there, no memory of all those you love and cherish.. I challenge anyone not to fall to pieces in the face of that.

Here's something I just read:-
"It was a fear of being engulfed forever, of being lost, annihilated, or blacking out and possibly never returning. In such moments, to ward off the fear, I would make some movement of abandoning my fate to God- a gesture of the will, a thought, some type of protection. And everytime I did this I would gradually return to my usual self-and security. Then, one day, this was not to be the case."



After my sense of self started unravelling last year, I sat on a sofa and let everything come and go. Eventually, my mind relaxed so much that I came to a point at which I realized that I was the witness.

I cannot adequately describe how terrifying that was. I don't want to go there again, but I feel like it's an inevitability.
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Re: To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby Ralph » Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:41 am

Midnight wrote:What Eckhart describes sounds wonderful and light but really, it's losing your sense of self and identity. No Ralph, I don't want to lose that. It's absolutely terrifying.

What I got from the teachings was that you lose nothing but instead you gain EVERYTHING. That's what I got but it looks like for you , it was the total opposite.
Midnight wrote:I doubt you've come anywhere close otherwise you wouldn't be so sure of yourself. To look into that absolute emptiness.... no memory of yourself in there, no memory of all those you love and cherish.. I challenge anyone not to fall to pieces in the face of that.

Well actually, I think I do because many years ago,I experienced something close to what you are talking about but it was very short lived.That feeling never returned but I have never forgotten about it to this day. What scared the shit out of me back then was the thought, "what if I get swallowed up by this emptiness, this totat dark and ugly VOID permanently ?

All I can say is that I think there is a reason for all of this that is happening to you and I feel strongly that there is light at the end of this dark, dark tunnel that you are in presently. Hang in there Midnight, these authentic teachers are the real deal, I say this because with their pointers, It freed me and I now live in peace within the turmoil of everyday living.
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Re: To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby ashley72 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:58 am

Ralph wrote:Well actually, I think I do because many years ago,I experienced something close to what you are talking about but it was very short lived.That feeling never returned but I have never forgotten about it to this day. What scared the shit out of me back then was the thought, "what if I get swallowed up by this emptiness, this totat dark and ugly VOID permanently ?


Good post Ralph. All troublesome thoughts come & go.... each arising thought is short lived. Identifying with a concept...."what if I get swallowed up by this emptiness".... is maintained by strongly attaching to that concept (belief). Each concept has an opposite.... "I won't get swallowed up in emptiness" negates that strongly held concept (belief). By turning a belief around 180 degrees... a belief can be negated. Midnight - Check out Byron Katie's "The Work"
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Re: To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby Midnight » Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:19 pm

Thanks, at the time it's happening as I recall however, it doesn't feel like a belief. It's a raw fear inside the body, fight or flight response kinda thing.

There must be a reason why it's feared, it's not supposed to happen. Tolle says were supposed to feel the body, listen to the body, for gods sake - the body is telling us "Stop what your doing!" Atleast in my experience :?
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Re: To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby arel » Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:39 pm

Fear response/adrenaline dump is known be handled conciously by deeper breathing and moving/flexing your muscles.
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Re: To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby Rick » Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:02 pm

Midnight wrote:
Here's something I just read:-
"It was a fear of being engulfed forever, of being lost, annihilated, or blacking out and possibly never returning. In such moments, to ward off the fear, I would make some movement of abandoning my fate to God- a gesture of the will, a thought, some type of protection. And everytime I did this I would gradually return to my usual self-and security. Then, one day, this was not to be the case."



Interesting quote there Midnight. It is by Bernadette Roberts in the book "The Experience of No-Self". She also wrote "The Path to No-Self" and "What is Self?". Hers is a fascinating story indeed. Another quote from the book is ""So this was the end of the line. I had finally come upon the great truth: that all was void, that self had merely filled the void, and that all man's words were empty labels forged by a mind that doesn't know a thing about its world and cannot tolerate a state of unknowing."

Assuming for a moment Midnight that Roberts is correct and that all IS Void, and the self merely obscures this truth, what does it say about one who would cling to the memory of a self that no longer exists rather than face the current reality of the Void that is? And isn't the Void your present reality Midnight? What wisdom is there is in putting ones head in the sand of whining and complaining about what is rather than getting up a bucket of guts to accept what is and see what happens after that?
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