Is there a name for this phenomenon?

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suomalainen
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Re: Is there a name for this phenomenon?

Post by suomalainen »

twinsies!

Hristo Botev
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Re: Is there a name for this phenomenon?

Post by Hristo Botev »

suomalainen wrote:
Wed Oct 26, 2022 8:12 am
The name of the realization is self-awareness. The name of what you realized is known by various names depending on your priors and the intensity of the experience, but pleasure principle and hedonism are obvious places to start.
Ha! Beat me to it @Suo; as always we tend to be about 85% of the same mind.

AnalyticalEngine
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Re: Is there a name for this phenomenon?

Post by AnalyticalEngine »

M wrote:
Wed Oct 26, 2022 6:01 am
If you release the void then you are confronted with some sort of infinite energy source that obliterates 'you' and you experience dying. My understanding is this is a permanent shift that can't be undone.

...

I have read accounts of people who made this shift struggling to re activate various parts of their thinking mind afterward, such as general thoughts, having no desires or urges even the desire to eat is gone, having to basically think of the body as a pet you need to take care of to keep alive, various other perceptual distortions.
Do you know where I can read some accounts about this? I've been curious to see what other people have gone through. I've had some weird experiences with meditation myself, including managing to convince myself I didn't exist for a bit, but I was doing a secular type of meditation/"brainhacking."

jacob
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Re: Is there a name for this phenomenon?

Post by jacob »

AnalyticalEngine wrote:
Wed Oct 26, 2022 11:37 am
Do you know where I can read some accounts about this? I've been curious to see what other people have gone through. I've had some weird experiences with meditation myself, including managing to convince myself I didn't exist for a bit, but I was doing a secular type of meditation/"brainhacking."
It sounds like the transpersonal stages mentioned here https://www.amazon.com/One-Taste-Reflec ... 570625476/ ... but I'd also be interested in more detail.

AnalyticalEngine
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Re: Is there a name for this phenomenon?

Post by AnalyticalEngine »

I found this essay, which was informative:

https://harpers.org/archive/2021/04/los ... editation/
n 2017, Britton and her team published their findings in PLOS One, a prominent scientific journal. The report presented a taxonomy of “meditation-related difficulties,” including anxiety and panic, traumatic flashbacks, visual and auditory hallucinations, loss of conceptual meaning structures, non-referential fear, affective flattening, involuntary movements, and distressing changes in feelings of self. Some of the study participants were new to meditation, but nearly half had at least ten thousand hours of practice. The majority of the sample—forty-three out of sixty meditators representing Theravada, Zen, and Tibetan traditions—had experienced moderate to severe impairment in their day-to-day functioning. Ten had required inpatient hospitalization. “Hearing those stories, one after the other, I was like, wow, there’s a lot of suffering here,” Britton said. “That study changed everyone who worked on it. I just couldn’t be the evangelist that I had been.”

Some of the individuals in the study had preexisting psychiatric conditions, but most did not. For Britton, the takeaway was that adverse effects routinely occur even under optimal conditions, with healthy people meditating correctly under supervision. “It’s so easy to assign a latent vulnerability after the fact,” Britton said, “but we are seeing people who really had no indicators.”
The Buddhist ascetics who took up meditation in the fifth century bc did not view it as a form of stress relief. “These contemplative practices were invented for monastics who had renounced possessions, social position, wealth, family, comfort, and work,” writes David McMahan, a professor of religious studies at Franklin and Marshall College, in a 2017 book, Meditation, Buddhism, and Science. Monks and nuns sought to transcend the world and its cycles of rebirth and awaken in nirvana, an unfathomable state of equanimity beyond space and time, or at least avoid being reincarnated as a mountain goat or a hungry spirit in the hell realm underground. In the Pali suttas, the earliest Buddhist texts, the Buddha discusses meditation almost exclusively with audiences of followers ready to reject all earthly belongings. “Generally meditation is presented as something monastics aspiring to full awakening do,” McMahan writes, “an activity that is part of a way of being in the world that is ultimately aimed at exiting the world, rather than a means to a happier, more fulfilling life within it.”

In other words, mindfulness was not invoked to savor the beauty of nature or to be a more present, thoughtful spouse. According to the Pali suttas, the point of meditation was to cultivate disgust and disenchantment with the everyday world and one’s attachments to people and things. Aspiring Buddhas were “asked to contemplate the body from head to toe, inside and out,” McMahan writes, “not for relaxation and even less for body acceptance, but to bring to full realization its utter repulsiveness, coursing as it is with blood, phlegm, and pus.” If meditation conferred any practical benefit, it was in helping ascetics “accept the discomfort of a hard bed and a growling stomach or in preventing them from being beguiled by physical beauty.”

Slevin
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Re: Is there a name for this phenomenon?

Post by Slevin »

^ I once had a panic attack while doing an hour long standing meditation (dont move any muscles, don't swallow, etc) during a movement intensive back in like 2018 or 2019. I talked with the teacher afterwards, and he basically said "Yeah, if you do standing meditation enough, sometimes you will get panic attacks. Its probably a function of total sensory deprivation, but can't be sure. If you do this long enough you will learn to handle the panic attacks and be able to continue through it." It isn't necessarily supposed to be a thing that has no downsides, or only improves life, etc, and wasn't invented for that, as the essay above highlights.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Is there a name for this phenomenon?

Post by Hristo Botev »

Reminds me of the Stigmata.

M
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Re: Is there a name for this phenomenon?

Post by M »

AnalyticalEngine wrote:
Wed Oct 26, 2022 11:37 am
Do you know where I can read some accounts about this? I've been curious to see what other people have gone through. I've had some weird experiences with meditation myself, including managing to convince myself I didn't exist for a bit, but I was doing a secular type of meditation/"brainhacking."
Some of the best accounts that are similar which I read came from the David R. Hawkins books, which is where I learned the non-dual meditation practices. In his books this is referred to as the ego death/final doorway/ enlightenment experience. There are similar accounts elsewhere, just not as detailed.

I have had panic attacks before and can say this was NOT a panic attack. Similar to auditory and visual hallucinations. These things are surprisingly common when people first start out.

There were many other experiences leading up to it, which oddly matched what Dr. Hawkins described. Kundalini energy experiences where I could feel energy going up my back then overwhelming the senses, states of extreme bliss 'flashes' of random timelessness in day to day life. A feeling of God or holiness everywhere. Eventually the Void opened up one night at 2 am. I just woke up in this eternal void state with no perception of space or time. My awareness 'frequency' skyrocketed. There was an infinite energy source that I was in complete awe of which started destroying my thoughts. Then it started destroying me and I experienced myself dying. It's like 'myself' and anything associated with me could not exist wth this infinite energy source. I was dying and terrified and sheer terror took over. I could not let myself die.

I woke up in an ice cold sweat with adranaline pumping. My hands had grasped my arms so tight I had red marks there for days. For the next 2 weeks I woke up at 2 am in sheer terror. I spent the next 20 years waking up randomly in sheer terror at 2 am. I have only recently recovered really.

In Dr. Hawkins books, and some other books like A course in miracles, the basic idea is we have created an illusion for ourselves, and a false 'self' and fake world that arose as a projection from this Void. Time and Space also arose as a sort of projection from this eternity. Behind this void is eternity and God/Self, which our awareness merges with, as we surrender our personal self. The idea is that our entire universe was something we created ourselves to shield our awareness from God/Self. That is the spiritual idea behind it.

I don't know what to believe, really, but I understand if you 'walk forward, all fear is illusion' as Dr Hawkins suggests there is no going back to your former self. You are basically putting faith in spirituality and not the material world.

I'm ironically an agnostic. I would never have believed in any of this stuff if I did not have extremely personal experience.

M
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Re: Is there a name for this phenomenon?

Post by M »

I will add here that - it's not clear that this Presence/Infinite energy source isn't simply some sort of awareness of something new that exists in the subjective mind as one enters this altered state of awareness.

i.e. It's possible the mind will systematically enter this altered state of consciousness as a sort of defect we can exploit. I'm almost 100% certain anyone can get to this state if you can continue meditation into day to day life. I'm too scared to go through with the process though.

If someone else wants to continue non-duel meditation in day to day life for a few months/ years until the final doorway opens up and go through with the process then report the results back to this thread, that would be great.

We would still have no way to test the theory that some underlying infinite energy source underlies our universe and is what the energy of the universe all came from.

It's possible all the mystics throughout history did the same thing in one way or another and entered this altered state of consciousness and were like 'woah, this must be God' but were, basically, hallucinating.

It's hard for me to say really. It just seems like at a certain point in meditation you have to go through some pretty dramatic shifts of awareness that might make it hard to function for a while in day to day life as the mind/brain reorganizes itself, if that makes sense.

M
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Re: Is there a name for this phenomenon?

Post by M »

https://enlightened-people.com/eckhart- ... ent-story/

Here is another story that sounds similar.

I have noticed common themes from several people, including myself. Originally being in a state of deep existential depression about life for some reason seems common. Then getting into meditation (Although Tolle skipped this step). Experiencing extreme bliss, combined with a general perception of perfection and beauty in everything. Before the event there are generally warning signs, such as random periods of timelessness in everyday life, as well as random experiences of existential fear and dread that seem out of nowhere.

There is generally a mention of an expansive void of eternity, as well as a vortex of energy or infinite energy that they get sucked into or destroyed by...then there is always oblivion. Then they wake up later in their body again.

Some people then claim they are 'enlightened' or whatever, then go onto earn a living selling books and speaking.

I suspect most people just never say anything though.

I also suspect a 'Lot' of people, like myself, have this experience but refuse to be destroyed by the energy source then never say anything and quietly stop their meditation practices, lol.

ertyu
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Re: Is there a name for this phenomenon?

Post by ertyu »

M wrote:
Thu Oct 27, 2022 6:13 am
I also suspect a 'Lot' of people, like myself, have this experience but refuse to be destroyed by the energy source then never say anything and quietly stop their meditation practices, lol.
Do you regret having done it? If you could go back to the time before you started meditating, would you rather never have started, or are you alright with how things are now?

M
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Re: Is there a name for this phenomenon?

Post by M »

ertyu wrote:
Thu Oct 27, 2022 6:39 am
Do you regret having done it? If you could go back to the time before you started meditating, would you rather never have started, or are you alright with how things are now?
No - I have no regrets. Overall it was a lot of amazing experiences. I have a much greater ability now to maintain inner peace and happiness in life. Negative emotions still occur but it's *extremely* easy for me to simply observe them pass through perception and die away.

It's very easy to maintain a state of inner calm. Thoughts still occur but I am always sort of observing the thoughts. They don't really feel like 'my' thoughts like they used to.

I used to fear dying a lot before the experience. There was always this existential fear of death in the background of life.

This fear vanished completely. There was some residual flashbacks of the experience which were traumatic but over the years that went away as well. It feels like I have finally 'released' that fearful experience.

I don't experience fear anymore...Except for residual fears around this event. It feels like the 'fear' part of me was lost. I have no reactions to frightening situations, real or imagined. People try and come up behind me and startle me for fun but there is no reaction, even when I have no idea someone is there.

I can still meditate and bring back the blissful experience of feeling connected to all of life.

The experience itself still confuses me though...and frightens me some. I think - if I meditate deeply will I experience death agan?

It was a very traumatic experience.

Overall though I have no regrets at all. The experience of inner transformation and the rewards are far far greater than any material thing life can bring.

Sometimes the experiences along the way are very confusing though, to me anyway.

chenda
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Re: Is there a name for this phenomenon?

Post by chenda »

M wrote:
Thu Oct 27, 2022 8:27 am
I used to fear dying a lot before the experience. There was always this existential fear of death in the background of life.
Is that because you have glimpsed the afterlife ? Or another reason ?

M
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Re: Is there a name for this phenomenon?

Post by M »

chenda wrote:
Thu Oct 27, 2022 8:58 am
Is that because you have glimpsed the afterlife ? Or another reason ?
I don't know. It feels like that part of me simply did not exist after the death experience when I woke up.

The entire 'fear' emotions just don't exist in awareness anymore.

I can still experience joy, and happiness, and sadness and depression, and love and lust...but fear just never occurs anymore.

I can still sort of remember what fear feels like by thinking back on this experience but even that has slowly disapeared over the years.

It is confusing.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Is there a name for this phenomenon?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Another way to pretty much eliminate your tendency towards feeling fear is to get somebody to wrap you up tightly in plastic wrap from your neck to your toes and then pick you up and dangle you over the edge of a deck.

M
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Re: Is there a name for this phenomenon?

Post by M »

Thinking about this some more - I should probably reword this. I can still *experience* fear. It is just incredibly reduce in severity and occurrence.

For example, up until a few months ago I could remember this death experience and there will still be the experience of fear as I recall the memory. So I can still *experience* fear at times, by recalling past events.

It is just present experiences since then that have not caused a fear response.

Fears can generally be traced back to the fear of death.

For example, are you afraid of getting fired? Why? Then you will have no money. Why are you scared of running out of money? Well then you might be homeless. Why are you scared of homelessness? Well you might freeze/starve to death then. So the fear of death is why you are scared of being fired.

You can trace back most fears to the fear of death. Now why are you scared to die?

We all die. There is no escaping physical death. The only choice you really have is to live in fear of death, then die, or live without the fear of death and then die. Either way the physical body dies.

Also - I don't really have a good answer for who I am, so I'm also not sure *why* I should be scared of death. Who is dying exactly? I have no idea. All experiences are temporary. Are you afraid of today ending? Are you scared of lunch being over? Why fear the end of the life experience?

I don't really know who I am anyway.

This is sort of what underpins this. I don't really know who I am. So I don't know *who* is dying exactly.

M
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Re: Is there a name for this phenomenon?

Post by M »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Thu Oct 27, 2022 10:11 am
Another way to pretty much eliminate your tendency towards feeling fear is to get somebody to wrap you up tightly in plastic wrap from your neck to your toes and then pick you up and dangle you over the edge of a deck.
Hahahaha - yes. Perhaps it is simply the experience of a huge amount of fear that lessons future fear responses. This is probably a good idea imo, assuming you are actually safe.

When I was a kid I was scared of heights. I took a ropes course which was terrifying at first. I let go of the fear then no longer was scared of heights.

I guess it is a similar experience just on a fear of death level.

ertyu
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Re: Is there a name for this phenomenon?

Post by ertyu »

M wrote:
Thu Oct 27, 2022 8:27 am

The experience itself still confuses me though...and frightens me some. I think - if I meditate deeply will I experience death agan?

It was a very traumatic experience.
you know what i wonder? would EMDR work on this?

one-time sharply traumatic events is exactly what EMDR is for

you could try

also, what type of meditation did you do?

M
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Re: Is there a name for this phenomenon?

Post by M »

ertyu wrote:
Thu Oct 27, 2022 10:24 am
you know what i wonder? would EMDR work on this?

one-time sharply traumatic events is exactly what EMDR is for

you could try

also, what type of meditation did you do?
EMDR would probably work. It doesn't really create a fear response now though.

The meditation is a constant surrender meditation. It is dead simple and is basically just like the process of letting go of my fear of heights when I was a child on the ropes course.

1. Act and think with universal compassion, gentleness, and kindness toward all things, people, etc. Including your own thoughts and feelings, at all time, with no exceptions. If you slip up, forgive yourself. Hold no ill will toward yourself or others. Forgive everyone.

2. After completing step 1, surrender all personal desires, fears, and thoughts to God as they arise in every moment at all time. Simply observe the thoughts and 'surrender' the underlying desires, fears, pleasures, etc to God. Let everything go at all time. Always focus on either whatever you are doing right now, or focus on the 'awareness' / observer. The purpose is to let things go.

3. As you do this process attention capacity increases and your ability to go about life without experiencing thoughts increases. You 'meditate' all the time. But eventually it requires no effort.

Traditional seated meditation can help speed up the process but ideally this is your constant focus in every moment. It is like a relaxed awareness, not a strained focus, and the goal is to 'let things go'.

The process is like a rocket ship. At first it is very very hard for someone to sit down and let things go. As time goes on the process becomes habitual and easy and you carry this inner peace into your everyday life.

One trick to bypass a lot of the surrender process is to simply and 110% completely accept the idea that everything is perfect, and will always be perfect at all times, so there is nothing you need to do or desire or fear. Developing a deep appreciation for life and for being alive can also help with the surrender process.

Eventually your experience of life shifts and things become very peaceful and you always have this calm joy on the inside, regardless of what is going on in the outside world.

M
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Re: Is there a name for this phenomenon?

Post by M »

I will note it's not about 'forcing' thoughts to stop or extreme focus or awareness per se. It is simply about surrendering the underlying reasons why you are thinking. Having a high level of attention can help, but it's not 'the process'. Thoughts arise from a certain desire or fear. There is an underlying desire to think even, which can be surrendered. 'The process' is to surrender and let go.

A lot of our thought process is actually stressful on a certain level, but most people don't realize this until they let go of whatever was driving their thinking or whatever they are 'getting out of' their thinking. i.e. Some people are thinking all the time because they actually get a certain amount of 'entertainment' or pleasure from their thoughts. Or they derive some sort of meaning or purpose like they are accomplishing things by thinking. Yet other people are thinking anxiety thoughts about the future, or depressing thoughts about the future, or the past, and there really is no purpose in this thinking anyway. etc...

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