I have an ongoing fear of insanity. Serious insanity, but it’s not that I’ll lose grip on reality – it’s that reality itself is the insanity. I don’t believe there is such thing as insanity, the way our medical texts describe it. Rather, insanity is the warping of our own reality before us into something which makes us feel negative, a fearful state, a state of suffering and pain. That is insanity, and in most religions, it is equated with hell. Thus, I find little difference between the diagnosis of insanity, and the religious ideology of hell.
My fear is not simple, and is accompanied by a very heavy weight. One in which I find difficult to bear at it’s most potent times.
It began on a night when I began to, not necessarily hallucinate, but my perspective of humans started to warp. Their faces became caricatures, that which I had seen in them before, now became blindingly obvious. Those that desired sex became sex-craved. Those that desired drugs, became drug-craved. Their subtle features pronounced themselves violently in my vision, both physically and mentally. No longer was that which I called a friend simply a friend in which I empathized with. Now, the human was foreign to me, as if the soul and character had been removed, and this devilish caricature had been replaced. Almost as if to mock my own perspectives of this person, almost as if to punish me for judging their behavior.
This escalated into sober life, suddenly going to the store became a struggle with my grip for reality. People seemed like animals, behaving as if directionless and empty, as if the consciousness had been sucked out of them. In a way, it really make me value the beauty of consciousness, in this moment. But these were hard times, the fear crept it’s tentacles in every crevice of my being – no meditation or activity seemed to distract me from the elephant in the universe – that something was deeply arigh with reality, or at least my perspective of it.
I developed a fear of eye contact. An entire year went by where I had to avoid it, or face the emptiness with which I had created in other’s. A blank stare, a soul-less automaton staring back at me. It became all encompassing, that even suicide was not an option, for the fear presented itself after death as well – it was all of reality, not simply this Earth. All of existence had dropped from meaning, and left me alone and isolated from consciousness, the interconnectedness of all.
The fear grew even more irrational, shaping itself into a cosmic truman show, that this was intentionally done to me, to watch me suffer. That the entire universe itself was watching my fear grow and distort, almost for its own enjoyment, it’s own purpose that was far, far secluded from my grasp, so that not even the meaning of my suffering could be known to me.
I walked upon Earth with a kind of existential crisis the size of the solar system, acting engaged in the cosmic play before me, attempting to ‘reground’ myself in the nostalgia of once believing people were conscious, loving beings. What could I do otherwise? I had no choice but to play the game. I was confronted with the fear that claiming insanity, that attempting suicide, that removing all care for repercussions would make the fear more palatable, more present, more gripping. The fear was inescapable, and the only option was to reintegrate into the past. What I had ‘seen’ needed to be forgotten, I was assured.
This ‘assurance’ came in many different forms, most often it was in the form of some sort of communication through psychedelic experiences. I would see this ‘part’ of the universe I suppose I was not meant to see, a horrifying, deathly place, cold, expansive, and conscious-less. I had visited it and revisited it, hoping that this wasn’t all there was to see on “the other side” – that one of these days, one of these trips, or at the very least, one of these meditations, would free me from this perspective, and show me the ‘all encompassing’ love I’d read so much about.
The more I tried, the more psychotic I felt, the more distant and chaotic the world seemed, and ultimately, my will to thrive was diminished. I had become stuck between the largest rock, and the hardest place. Life was unbearable and death was no escape. I was to simply ride out an eternity of false ideologies, beliefs that what I was doing made sense and meant something, however, with a cringing nagging negative feeling, like a dagger dripping of tar, shanked into my side, as I was reminded relentlessly that I was separate, that the universe was just watching me, like a frightened pup, and showed no remorse.
This fear still hangs over my head, and is the largest most pervasive thought I have. I have spent the majority of my waking hours, ever since I was 16, devoted to over coming it, understanding it, and prospectively, dominating it. That day has not yet come, but it has shown me lessons in life that are so far beyond what anything else can teach me. I feel so far removed from worldly issues at times, that I sometimes seem to be unable to relate for the opposite reason; not that the universe is cold and dark, but that reality is not to be taken so seriously. Even this life on Earth seems to be a minor blip in what my spirit body, or soul, or mind, or consciousness, what have you, is destined for. And I’ve seen hints of massive, positive, omnipotent love as well.
It took me years to first see any glimmer of hope – any light at the end of a long, dismal tunnel, and the only thing I really had to do, was ask. And I had to ask honestly. I asked myself, my higher, true self, to see love and feel love. I wanted to feel the opposite end of the spectrum, and stop attempting to see “above” this dismal haze, but rather simply flip the spectrum. I had been going downwards, with the hopes that the farther down I went in the abyss of nothingness, that eventually I would reach some logic, some master-working that would tell me that this negativity I feel is nothing more than a figment. But the farther I went, the more engulfing it became. I reset to ground zero, and looked up. I asked to see the other side, to understand goodness.
In many of these scenarios, I was aided fully by substances like DMT, psilocybin, or LSD. This particular event – the first of any experience in which I felt a positive outcome – I was showered with love. A feeling of total euphoria rushed over me and became me. I felt as if I was being cradled by my mother, and that mother was the universe itself, that love was the universe itself. I began to weep uncontrollably. As I came down to sobriety, I was yanked back down to the abyss, almost as if I was showing myself that these two exist simultaneously, but that I had become more accustomed to the dimness of what was below – almost as if I felt safer there, because I understood it.
I am here today with a great intent to overcome this fear to a rational point – a point where I understand it’s existence, and that I can acknowledge its power – but that it no longer interferes with the majority of my days, that it no longer interferes with my waking life more so than my experience in this body and interactions with these people on this lovely planet. I’d like to thank all of you in this community for a place to speak, to sort through myself, and hear myself. The world is a beautiful, magnificent place when you can see the consciousness in others, the twinkle of your own essence in another – that connectedness of life and the mind.
One day I will understand enough to move on, so to speak. A place where contentedness out-weighs the unease of the unknown. That my understanding of the balance – the ying and yang – of the universe is enough to place me in the middle, and not run me askew.
I venture forth.
My experience of suffering is much like this. I still avoid a lot of social situations, but the planet thrives by the relationships between all the energy bodies. Hierarchy is the main thing I see which has created our disconnection. When you look people in the eye, you are asked to honor them at the same level, acknowledging their divinity as an equal. We sense the boundaries in one another, the friction of competition that we have labeled “survival of the fittest”. Our hearts sense the wounds and the false validations used to posture the lost essence, and we layer our own defenses. I think we used to honor all pieces of the planet for the function they serve with a mighty humble respect, because we would not be thriving without its contribution. But we don’t even realize the miracle of our heart beating and legs walking enough to begin honoring that which makes those things possible. I think the abyss is the potential for love.
“I think the abyss is the potential for love.” That kind of thinking is what dragged me down. I kept thinking that there cannot be innate negativity – that all things can be seen in a positive light. Now, that has changed. I respect the abyss as it is, something to give value to love and connectedness, it is the complete removal of integration and one-ness. It is the complete removal of good. I’ve begun to see the universe in more of a ying and yang light, rather than from a “we’re all one no matter what” perspective.
I like to think everything is either love or a call for love. Since the yin and yang symbol is generally black and white I think it leads people to feel that the nature of good and evil is black and white, light and dark. It leads people to demonize one of them, usually the yin, but dark is not the opposite of love. Whatever it is that isn’t kindness and integration is not black. But that is definitely where my understanding stops.
if I may add something: the yin and yang symbol is absoultely beautiful. it really shows that love (white) is contained as a dot in the abyss (black). and on the other hand the abyss( black) is contained as a dot in love (white). its not about demonizing the one because it carries the seed of love in it. we are just so attached to our mental picture of perfection and beauty and how things should be (conscious individuals for instance, a better world), that we can never see directly to that which is. we are projecting the abyss, we are projecting the love. work harder on yourself (and not to blame any substances), but leave away those substances. Substances are strong and they just increase the tendency of the mind to produce and flourish. while in reality we are here to escape the mind, and not get lost in it. to come to the point where mind is not playing its games on you. when we come to see the origin of the mind. for that you need to regain control of the mind, and all that is necessery is your willpower your consciousness. do not rely on external factors. none can find himself that way, because the doubt remains : the mind knows that this plant or substance was necessery to find yourself. even if you think you found yourself, it was induced externally. it did not come about by consciousness itself. therefore you cannot see the smaller more subtle and more important parts of the minds, which in reality are much simpler than symbolic experiences on any trip. Lastly I strongly believe that we are in no way able to get forward in this way as I see it happening nowadays – trying to achieve conscious levels with pressure with a feeling of having to get there, to get enlightened and to reach. This is the biggest hurdle and it is no wonder to see such misery even among sincere seekers. you cannot find by seeking. it finds you. and you need patience to accept your current state. that is the only weapon we have. patience and remaining conscious. it may seem like nothing, because mind always looks for something specia, this experience that experience. in relality its the most powerful spiritual weapon (if you may want to call it that way), to bring about real change in you. silence, patience and consciousness. drop the rest. I think you are on the good way , when you say i have come to respect the abyss as it is. Thats perfect. no more struggle, no more effort. live consciously and pariently. change will come by itself, it always comes byitself. you are not do a thing.
I’m a little confused you bring up substances because I didn’t say anything about them.. were you just adding that in, or maybe replying to someone else? I don’t use substances, and I like what you say about not grasping towards enlightenment. I don’t like seeing the yin/yang symbol to represent good and bad or love and it’s opposite, partly because the black is the feminine yin, which I don’t see as the opposite of good or love. I see the dark to be just as serene and healing as the light.. it’s only an imbalance of the two which causes suffering imo.
I felt goosebumps as i scrolled down this piece. It was difficult for me to gulp the fact that somebody could produce an exact replication of my thoughts and situation, that somebody has realized the arbitrariness of existence in a manner so close to my own. Obviously the fact that it dawned upon us in completely different places & cultures changes some of our observations…yet most of your suffering is easily relatable for me. I overcame my anxiety through this poem to give myself the reasons to move on and endure the mysteries of reality.
Hi there. I found this experience you had very similar to one I had when I was younger, and I bet a lot of other people have felt this too. So I was inspired to write something too. Let me know what you think.
And also, while reading and writing, I couldn’t help to think about the story of Noah (both the biblical story and the movie, but a bit more about the movie since I saw it recently), which I thought was great (the movie) and fit very well into this subject.
Pretty much every step to higher understanding involves having your existing world crushed and becoming totally disturbed to find out everything you valued was an illusion.
Many peek their head out of the ceiling and are horrified only to crawl back to the world they knew in negativity and fear.
A courageous few venture on in faith they will find what they are looking for in the madness.
This winter has been especially hard for me… So hard in fact, that it actually became a bit liberating. Blood Clots, Stage 2 hypertension, slow pulse… I hate doctors. I have a fear of them. I thought that fear INSANE. 7 spine surgeries, followed up with a horrific accident in 07. 2 more surgeries, followed by a 60 day hospital and rehabilitation stay. I guess that would be enough. I don’t know if it was the head injury or just all of this time I have playing Mr. Mom? I educated myself, I devoured knowledge, history, science, religions, wars, civics, cultures, people, philosophers, more, more, more…. I concluded that all we have been taught is bullshit! Insanity? Because you are not like everyone else??? Smoke a fucking cigar! If you have finally figured out that the whole world is bat Shit crazy and that you are the sane one, then you have won. Wisdom and knowledge have finally met… Now get out there and alert others. Waste no time on the smaller things. Start with your family, friends, and neighbors. Gardening, sewing and trade. Needs. Now go…
I keep trying. I’m on a tablet, and not to tech savvy. U are okay and not alone. Wow, what a winter. Keep living and easy on the pharms… No, just be careful. I’m 47. Married 19 years. I got a 13yo boy, and my Girl starts college in the fall. Every thing that you have been taught is a lie. As knowledge and wisdom begin to meld it becomes much easier. It was hard teaching my kids. I plant a seed and they usually return seeking advice. Find an understanding friend… peace bro, it is cold out here… Dad’s night time joint. Lol.
I’d like to say something to those who are going through something similar, and perhaps have even gotten to the point of contemplating suicide. I’ve had days where I wasn’t sure if I was going to outlive them. There were nights where death seemed to be the best possible choice of many, where the fear of survival outweighed that of death. I am deeply humbled by those experiences, deeply. They have changed who I am completely, and brought me to a state of being that I wouldn’t have obtained if I had not experienced them.
In a way, they have removed fear, they have removed ego, and they have removed barriers that I would have otherwise kept with me. Teetering on the edge of conscious life, and that of death, has allowed me to see both the fragility of our perspectives, our experience on Earth, but so to has it shown me that small things are rather quite small.
“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; its the pebble in your shoe.”
This is a pertinent quote, for this was true to the younger me – this was true to the less aware, former self. The pebbles were what brought me down, slowly dismantling my ego-shell, making me angry, upset, and asking “Why me?” The slow nagging of small things going wrong made me pessimistic, depressed, angry.
But having seen the option of death, mere minutes away from me, that all my existence could simply end, had I so willed it, have allowed all the pebbles in life to transition away from the foreground of the mind. Pebbles are now to be seen just as that in meditation – a leaf floating down a river. I am able to watch what would normally stress those of us to pulling our hair out, as if it were completely detached from me. The pebble is no longer something to be removed, but something that is just there. Not something to be given active, negative thought, but rather exists much like the clouds in the sky, I know they are there, and need I acknowledge them, I can at any time.
Things have not calmed, but the ability to extract myself from the weight of chaos has been a significant support to my life. The ability to see the pebbles as clouds in the sky – things that will always be present, but are optionally acknowledge and dealt with. Some times its cloudy, some times it is sunny.
! That is all !
What a trip…wow! Perhaps the drugs opened a window that the rest of you wasn’t prepared to see. Maybe we should be a bit more cautious about allowing desire become our directive. Imagine having the ability to place yourself into any human being at any time…yet it would truly be the you who enters into the shell of another human being. Lets say you decided to enter into a brain surgeons’ body at the precise moment they were performing a delicate procedure. Poof…there you are tools in hand…looking through the eyes of that brain surgeon…now what?
You have the gift to open doors…yet sometimes it is more comfortable when the door is opened for you…neither good nor bad…just a choice.
WOW, your third sentence….. Now I can’t body jump to the extent that you describe however I have a “gift”, well, that is what my grandmother called it. Me, I am not so sure.
It could be the second Tuesday in August or later when i rum to the coroner store. What happens??/ I meet someone and instantly I am burdened with their emotions. Sometimes just a little. Sometimes I know thing that are just impossible to explain.
I am NOT a psychic nor am I even sure If I believe in such things. What I do believe is that there are times whn my words can be of comfort to a person that is hurting. Sure, I IMAGINED that maybe I saw or heard a dead person…. But logical thinking told me that all I was doing was hearing my own voice tell me what a hurting person may want to hear from a loved one… Especially when i know a bit about these people.
Are you still with me?? Then there are the exceptions which i usually ignore…. BUT>>>>
Last summer at was at the Peach Festival in Scranton, Pa. It is a 4 day concert hosted by the Allman Brothers. I NEVER miss it. Not being able to walk very far I opted to watch one band while my friends went there way. It was all cool. Now a girl and her boyfriend set up their hang spot just a few feet away. There was no crying, sdddness, or anything of the sort just the two young lovers hanging out and having a good time.
Then the voices started ALONG with the empathetic feelings…. FUCK ME!!! A motor cycle accident? Her twin brother? Say something to her? Please, please??? NEVER!!! This had happened before but like I said NEVER…. I always figured it was my over active imagination.
So my friends are not around…. The chances of me ever seeing this couple again were a million to one,…. I figured what the hell… I waited until there was a set break…. I even shared a joint with them while the music was playing. WE DID NOT TALK at ALL! “Hey thanks” the dude says and I just give him the nod….
The set breaks and i make my move…. I address the man and ask if i can ask his girlfriend a question. He had no problem with that. I said that this may sound weird and feel free to just walk away if you find this offensive in any way. I did my best to cover my sanity and not get punched….
“Sometimes my brain does funny things and i just have a question or maybe a message,” I tell the girl. Now no more quote marks because i can not be sure of exactly what i said. Anyway, I just spit it out… Did you have a brother that died in a motorcycle accident???? Her hands go to her mouth. The tears are immediate…. She look at her BF. She babbles a bunch of quick questions and i assure her that Shit like this just happens sometimes and i figured since i didn’t know ya that i would at least give it a shot….. She is balling.. Is he here, is he here???? he was but I didn’t say that because I can’t explain it…. He had died exactly 2 years to the day. Either missing the Peach, after the Peach or on the way home…. Not sure… All I know is that she was his TWIN and she was there in his honor….. She blamed herself because she was supposed to have drove??? There was some reason she felt guilt and the dead dude just wanted her to STOP BLAMING herself…. She hugged me to death and wanted my contact info…. I gave her fake info… I still feel bad but what could I do???
I chalk this one up to the frequency of music and how i have come to know it as a spiritual guide…. I am no psychic…. I think that I can just tune in better to the universe we are all connected to…. Damn, I am glad that i found this site…
Hey SD67. It would seem that you approached this event with kindness and the results were pretty kickass. Good for you and the girl. Thats an awesome example of a door being opened. My experience has shown “me” that if I can just get out of the way of myself…the most positive results come forward. Neither good nor bad…just a choice.