To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

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

Postby Midnight » Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:00 pm

Fear of the unknown I suppose Rick.

Thanks for your comment, maybe I should have a look at her book, it seems interesting. It worries me that it's included in a book about depersonalization though, if you know what I mean. Kind of means that enlightenment = DP, I guess..

I had alot of investment in my self image and was a control freak, so this whole thing is confusing to me, as all.
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Re: To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby kiki » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:47 am

I had alot of investment in my self image and was a control freak, so this whole thing is confusing to me, as all.

Seems to me this is the crux of the whole matter - all of that investment in me. Jeeze, what a waste!

When the rug got pulled out beneath the feet of your imagined self and you saw that you were no longer in control of anything what remained for you was the fear of not being being in control, a huge component of your previous identity. Fear of any kind is a mental state, and this raw fear is still this self image kicking and screaming in its attempt to hang on. That's the protective mode that works best for "Midnight".

You still haven't fully accepted the presence of this void because you are still trying to maintain some control over your life - that's what you really want. You want life to be how you want it, not how it actually is. As long as you continue to try to remain in control you will feel this fear. It takes enormous courage to step head long into the abyss of nothingness, of not knowing what awaits, of unknowing, but that's the only place you will find salvation. The "control freak" part of "Midnight" will do whatever it can to prevent that from happening, and its most effective tool is fear. Until you realize this and take that next step you will be stuck right where you are. You can't unlearn what you've already discovered, so your only option is to remain stuck in fear or to take the next step.
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Re: To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby Ralph » Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:08 am

Well, I think what kiki just wrote there says it all.

Midnight, would you care to comment ?
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Re: To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby Midnight » Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:16 pm

Yes, thanks Kiki.

To come to that point though, I will have to meditate again, and I'm worried that I'l just feel like a zombie/hypnotised even more. I know the mind isn't to be trusted, but surely this dysfunctional state is trying to tell me something, I'm just not sure what.
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Re: To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby GiveUpTheGhost » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:18 pm

If you want to feel more alive, then come back to the present moment... more specifically, notice the ways in which you are resisting this moment and allow that resistance to be there; bring a 'yes' into the 'no'. The 'no' may be very subtle, but if you become still you will perceive how your mind is struggling against this moment, if you stay with this you may also become aware of your body's reaction to this struggle in the form of subtle physical tension, again, all you have to do is allow that tension to be there, bring it into awareness as much as possible. Don't strain to do this, it is very subtle. The resistance is alive.

I hope this helps.

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

Postby Rick » Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:40 am

Midnight mentioned a condition called DP or depersonalization and it has struck my interest, especially when he alluded to himself having the disorder. I've done some checking into the concept and found it to be a disorder officially recognized by the mental health profession, although that doesn't mean too much on the scale of things. I certainly believe that there are those "suffering" from the condition, but I suspected it to be much more than just a mental disorder, and found some evidence to support that position. I will get to that in a bit.

In the meantime, to lay a foundation about what is depersonalization disorder, lets start with what Wikipedia says about it: "(It) is an anomaly of the mechanism by which an individual has self-awareness. It is a feeling of watching oneself act, while having control over a situation.[1] Sufferers feel they have changed, and the world has become less real, vague, dreamlike, or lacking in significance. It can be a disturbing experience, since many feel that, indeed, they are living in a "dream".

My wife, being a psychiatrist, helped me to find a bit more information in the DSM-IV, the Mental Health professions common language and standards of mental disorders manual. It lists the following symptoms of DP to "include a sense of automation, going through the motions of life but not experiencing it, feeling as though one is in a movie, loss of conviction with one's identity, feeling as though one is in a dream, feeling a disconnection from one's body, out-of-body experience (a detachment from one's body), and difficulty relating oneself to reality and the environment"

Now to put a more human face on it. Here is how one "sufferer" put it:

"Imagine that you're looking at a familiar room with familiar people. One day you realize that there is something "fuzzy" about the boundaries/outlines of everything you see. Soon you begin to see the movie projectors above the ceiling. You see rays of colored lights being beamed to every object in the room. You follow the trails. Soon you get it. Every single thing that you have ever seen is nothing but a projection of light. A virtual reality. A lie. Smoke. Mirrors. Dust in rays of light that form images. As you walk towards the objects, people and existence that you had believed all your life, they start to vanish. You realize they were nothing but ghost images ("wisps" as Dreamer says). Then you realize the big one. You are nothing either (b)ut vague dusty light rays. And as you think of that, you begin to fade. The only way to NOT fade (you believe) is to not "know" this anymore. So you spend the rest of your days trying to NOT know. to NOT think. Trying to not let yourself disappear into utter oblivion. See, not only is your BODY an illusion, your self is an illusion. There is no core. Whatever you once thought of when you said your own name is gone. There is no one in there. And never was. Then you realize that even oblivion is a facade. Nothing Is. And you spend the rest of your days in silent abject horror. THAT, my dear, is Depersonalization. At its deepest"

And here is another:

"I feel as though I'm viewing a movie that has me playing a role. I talk but I don't feel like the words are my own, but just a computer program that is simulating a conservation. It happens often when I'm in a new environment or with people that I feel uncomfortable around. I have also found that I don't feel physical pain as much when I'm depersonalizing."

Can you hear detached awareness AND egoic reaction in these statements? It is a common theme I've found. It's like the spiritual and the material are inhabiting the same space at the same time. Its like God and the devil are in the same room but with Gods light preventing the devil from doing too much for lack of darkness to do it. He can still complain however, shake his fist and curse the light. But most of his illusion are revealed as the curtain has been pulled back. For the completely unsuspecting I can see how terribly disconcerting this condition could be.

Some common themes I discovered: Many stumbled into this situation seemingly by accident rather than design i.e. alcohol and/or drug use, often the first time they got high. One lady I read about came to this condition after having chemo-therapy for cancer. Trauma and abuse is cited as well as a cause of onset. In some cases it comes on spontaneously for no apparent reason. Many times it starts in adolescence or as a teen. Still others speak of onset being spontaneous But alcohol and drug use seem to be the most prevalent stated cause for bringing on the condition, at least in what I found in the books, blogs and DP forums I've read. Story after story speaks of drug use, often first time drug use, as being a cause. http://www.depersonalization.info/stories.html

Another common theme I observed is an angry resistance and a strong desire to be rid of the condition. It is viewed almost universally as an enemy, at least initially. The attitude seems to be "I didn't ask for this, I want my life back God damn it!!" The reality these see make denial nearly impossible because the impermanence of material existence is seen whether one wants to see it or not, even as resentment of the Awareness survives. This, to me, shows that ego identification is not completely dead. As Kiki said, it may be the ego's last chance to hold on to any semblance of control. And to me, it is the reason many seem unable to escape the no mans land between heaven and hell. But the good news is that I found a few who learned to make peace with the condition and experienced surprising results. More on that below.

Somewhat surprisingly, I found quite a bit of discussion about enlightenment vs depersonalization. To many non-dualists some of the discussions would certainly perk an ear. Below is one example. This person is arguing that depersonalization is not the same as enlightenment even as his comments could have been spoken by a Zen Master:

"Yesterday I stood in the bus station. The freezing air cut my fingers as I smoked my cigarette, the traffic roared, the workmen drilled, the people milled, gossiped and shouted. I felt like bursting out laughing for a few beautiful moments when I forgot myself and (forgot) my "Headguard" (the imploded head view I watch life through) was gone. "

Does this not sound like the Watcher, like a beautiful moment of No-mind, of clarity, of Mushin? But he seems to abort the Beauty and Realization of the moment by adding doubt and judgement to it when he continues the thought saying: "It was all almost "clear" and almost "real." He has no idea how close to Reality he really is. The complete thread where this and the rest of some very brilliant discussion can be found is here: http://www.dpselfhelp.com/forum/index.php?/topic/24916-dpd-v-enlightenment/

Elsewhere I found probably the single most important statement I've found regarding the "cure" for DP. The problem with the comment is the lack of writing skills of the author i.e use of all capitals, poor grammar, run-on sentences with no periods etc. However, if you read it carefully you will find within it a powerful testimony of acceptance and surrender leading to healing and new life. For example, he says (with minor edits by me):

"LET ME TELL YOU THE KEY, THE KEY IS TO ACTUALLY FIND THE STATE IN YOUR MIND WERE YOU ARE NOT AFRAID OF DEATH(,) W(h)ERE YOU ARE READY TO FULLY ACCEPT (that) ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN TO YOU (at) ANY SECOND, AND (that) YOU WILL (perhaps) BE AWAY FROM EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE YOU LOVE (forever more)"

This fascinating and important post in its entirety can be found here:http://pub48.bravenet.com/forum/static/show.phpusernum=4086229120&frmid=72&msgid=697027&cmd=show

At this point I am convinced that the condition called Depersonalization Disorder is the result of a kind of seeming spontaneous eruption of Awareness. Whether via abuse, trauma or drugs, whether wanted or not, a kind of accident (from the egos view) in the sense that some event triggers an unexpected rise of the Aware Watcher before the ego has been weakened and loosed from its grip on the mind by Understanding. As one "sufferer" said: "Enlightenment is usually attained through meditation, particularly meditation that focuses on peace and love. Meditation, therefore, could bring about not only a loss of ego, but a simultaneous gain of activity in the parts of the brain associated with positive feelings. It could be that DP happens so fast, through drugs or due to stress, that the ego just slips away, with no other part of the brain developed enough to "take over" for it. The result would be that DP leaves the mind truly blank, while "enlightenment" is more like remodeling it to function more harmoniously. Just a theory"

I think he is very close to the Truth here.

But in the end I have to fall back to what Tolle says about circumstances in one's life. If it is happening, it is what is needed. This sentiment is echoed by one "sufferer" who said: ""For all we know, this experience is happening to us because we need it to". Just brilliant! And that reminds me of another common theme amongst those who find themselves with the condition. They are some of the most naturally brilliant, and usually gentle hearted people I've had the pleasure to read. That one post alone, by the guy who didn't know much about grammar and punctuation posted above, speaks of a Truth more brilliantly than most poets I've ever read. That everything is an exercise in total emotional acceptance.
Daily life IS spiritual exercise.
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Re: To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby alex » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:53 am

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.



Midnight I've come close n crossed the line. It's all just fear that the mind is creating. Its comlpetely to be expected when the mind is where you had your entire identity caught up.
One day you'll smile when you remember those fears, one day you'll see how absolutely fictious they were. Long after the mind loses hold your life goes on, it's quite funny, the realisation that nothing even changes. You just get to live your life here and now, clearly, without peering through the murk of the mind. All of life is SO much richer, SO much more beautiful.
I love what Adyashanti says, "sure you lose that limited mind made identity but you get the ENTIRE universe in return!".
From the bottom of my heart midnight I know that spirituality has enrichened my life beyond imagining. I NEVER suffer anymore. Don't think that all the teachers throughout history are telling us a big lie, coz they aint!
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Re: To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby ashley72 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:38 pm

Rick,

Thanks for sharing those insights, in what appears to be a very "mysterious" disorder. You've obvisously looked "deeply" at the matter. It's good to see some very awake individuals attempting to put those insights into words on this forum... for no other reason then to help others. :D

Those insights into DP certainly resonated with some of my own personal experiences. There may be a very fine line between being awake & stuck in a DP state of mind... as you seem to be pointing out.
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Re: To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby goldieflower » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:34 pm

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Last edited by goldieflower on Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby GiveUpTheGhost » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:41 pm

Having experienced symptoms of DP, I would be very wary about equating this disorder with some sort of spiritual initiation. Whilst sufferers descriptions of losing themselves may on the surface sound like a sort of awakening, this is not the egoless state described by ET and others. Tolle describes how rich and radiantly alive the present moment has become to him, he is able to experience emotions (I remember him saying that he is moved to tears by scenes of suffering or great beauty) and is at peace. With DP, the world is muffled, distant and drained of emotional content. I think DP happens when the mind is under great stress, it cuts itself off from experience and starts to experience itself as a tightly contracted point of awareness in the head, that's why the body is perceived as alien or not felt at all. DP is the mind saying NO to life imo. Becoming aware of the 'NO' is the next step.

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

Postby randomguy » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:56 pm

I'm worried that I'l just feel like a zombie/hypnotised even more. I know the mind isn't to be trusted, but surely this dysfunctional state is trying to tell me something, I'm just not sure what.

That attachment to ideas muddies up happiness?

Seems to me there is a use for unhypnotising from the ideas at the center of this desperate clinging to a notion of normal life. Is it possible that you assume it is injurious to continue to see what is false when in reality it is clinging to the false that perpetuates the worry? I'm not suggesting that your experiences are false, just perhaps the interpretations clung to.

If I may make a recommendation, recognize when fear arises in defense of an idea and change your relationship with fear from one of blind respect to curious investigation/observation.
Do the yellow-rose petals
tremble and fall
at the rapid's roar?
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Re: To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby Midnight » Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:00 pm

Wow, this really is a great discussion, Rick that was so nice of you to write that whole thing in response, makes me feel like people actually have some sort of an idea about what this mind state is like.

I am a registered member of DPselfhelp (the forum) and I read a fair amount of stuff there. It seems alot of people have different types of DP/DR, some say they can experience normal emotions and they are actually hyper-aware of them. They say they are also hyper-aware of existence in general and their thought processes.

Personally I feel like the opposite, and I also think I have (if I do 'have' it) mildly, but enough so that it disrupts my life.

I don't want to equate spiritual teachings with depersonalization, but it just so happened that I definately only started feeling this way after self-inquiry.
Perhaps it had been brewing for some time, because I was very emotional and unhappy before it started as I recall, so as GiveUpTheGhost said, the mind may have just become suddenly overloaded. The problem is I only have theories about why it's happening, so I struggle for answers.

By the way guys, alot of people have been suggesting that the reason I am suffering is because of my interpretation of whats going on. That's fair enough, but whether I interpret what's happening or not, it doesn't go away; it's always lurking. Infact, I've stopped complaining in my mind about it, and have accepted it. This is the 'new' normal, it's just a horrible normal.

If the mind is overloaded, how to relax?
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Re: To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby Rick » Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:00 pm

GiveUpTheGhost wrote:Whilst sufferers descriptions of losing themselves may on the surface sound like a sort of awakening, this is not the egoless state described by ET and others.


This is true and I do not think anyone on this forum said such a thing. What some are saying is that it is a blessing in disguise, and in some ways puts the sufferer close to the Kingdom of Heaven on the fast track. While it is NOT the egoless state as you point out, it is certainly bumping up very close to it. As shown already, when a sufferer drops all resistance to the condition and finally surrenders and accepts it completely without any resistance, even being willing to die and lose all in the process, the condition may be transmuted from a hell state to a blessed state.

Midnight, you are welcome. Just wanted you to know that I heard you.

Recently I went back and read all of your posts from the beginning. (You were here long before I) and what I saw was an anxious young man determined to find enlightenment immediately. You were trying to force what can not be forced and yes, this lead to your present situation. They say "be careful what you wish for" for a reason. In any case, this IS the horse you are now saddled with. I would just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. Use it all as an opportunity to become objective to your thinking mind and let life unfold as it will in the meantime. Watch, wait and see what happens next.

BTW, here are some words of wisdom I found one "sufferer" speak to another here: http://forum.grasscity.com/spirituality-philosophy/768029-enlightenment-depersonalization-derealization.html

"If it is happening naturally as a result of your discovery of truth (which I think it probably is if I remember the reasons for it correctly), then I would assume you know that it is just a big transition that takes some getting used to. It can certainly be startling to realize that everything you used to think you were was not who you were, and to begin to understand the nature of reality. It's okay to feel wierd when going through it... but once the wierdness passes it is so wonderful. Again though, just let it happen, don't get involved in your thoughts. Who you really are is in complete control, always. Your true self is deep within, always in a place full of love, in a place of complete calm and control."
Daily life IS spiritual exercise.
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Re: To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby ashley72 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:38 pm

Rick wrote:Its like God and the devil are in the same room but with Gods light preventing the devil from doing too much for lack of darkness to do it. He can still complain however, shake his fist and curse the light. But most of his illusion are revealed as the curtain has been pulled back. For the completely unsuspecting I can see how terribly disconcerting this condition could be.


Rick,

Have you ever heard about the polarization of light?

A good analogy might be that the source (God) is like unpolarized light. Whilst depersonalization (devil) is the process of partial polarization of the source. Full polarization of the source cuts you off completely from the source... complete darkness. :cry:
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Re: To whom should I turn in my hour of need?

Postby Rick » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:48 pm

ashley72 wrote:
Rick wrote:Its like God and the devil are in the same room but with Gods light preventing the devil from doing too much for lack of darkness to do it. He can still complain however, shake his fist and curse the light. But most of his illusion are revealed as the curtain has been pulled back. For the completely unsuspecting I can see how terribly disconcerting this condition could be.


Rick,

Have you ever heard about the polarization of light?

A good analogy might be that the source (God) is like unpolarized light. Whilst depersonalization (devil) is the process of partial polarization of the source. Full polarization of the source cuts you off completely from the source... complete darkness. :cry:


Interesting analogy Ash. Neat video. Thanks for sharing.
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