I’m sharing this in hope to get insight from people who have gone through ground settling times on their path. A few months back, I had experienced what for me was the peak of a cumulative progression in the realm of dream and psyche. After several years of study and practice, and even though I was already seeing the fruits of my labor, I still wanted to get a taste of a full on mystical experience. Oddly enough, my wish materialized, and for a few days I was able to experience the world in an entirely fluid state, where the subtle thoughts that usually creep in the backstages were now lived through.
To those who had any kind of experiences that are so radically different than in usual states: How does one integrate this into his usual practice and perception?
I have experienced a few quantum shifts in my life due to this practice in the last two years. When the plates shift and realign I look deep to those forces that I somehow brought to bear on them and hold those forces close in day and night meditation until they become completely woven in with the fabric of my life.
In this way…anomaly can become the norm.
Hi officemendel, welcome to Night Club. Are you suggesting that you believe the “full on mystical experience” you reference was a psychotic state? Or could be mistaken for one, or is a potential risk factor for you or…? Could you give one or more example of what you experienced in terms of “living through subtle thoughts that usually creep in the backstages?” Were you unable to function adequately in the world while this was going on?
You may be interested in a book by Robert Augustus Masters called Darkness Shining Wild: An Odyssey to the Heart of Hell & Beyond: Meditations on Sanity, Suffering, Spirituality & Liberation. (available as an ebook, out of print in physical form). He describes a prolonged psychotic breakdown / spiritual breakthrough he experienced following an ill-advised 5-Meo-DMT experience that almost killed him. It is quite fascinating. Robert was an accomplished spiritual teacher and psychologist at the time of his experience, and was able to observe and describe what he was going through quite lucidly.
First of all thank you so much for the interesting book recommendation. Reading through the first chapters I can already see this is touching on a lot of questions that have arised due to my own experience.
Touching a bit more on that, I do in fact think that what I have gone through what can be seen as a Psychotic break from reality. While for the most part I was able to communicate with others and do some of the other bare necessities, I did experience moments of total incapacity and fear. One of them was me standing in the kitchen with an egg in my hand, realizing that this new world is even too distracting for me to make an omelet in.
When I was feeling Optimism about my current situation the world would glow: the grass shinned in full brightness, and I could see into the far distance, seeing far away sights as they were standing 5 ft. away from me (And very beautiful sights were those works of the mind). When doubts and fear started creeping in about the longevity of this condition however, I saw my face melting in the mirror among other horrors. My view of the world was shaped by the thoughts and feelings that often lie hidden.
Thanks, officemendel. I seem to recall @Andrew talking/writing about an experience in his twenties in which he was in a prolonged state in which it was hard to distinguish between waking life and dreams. Maybe you could ask him about this in one of the Night Club Q&A sessions?
Hi Arthur. FYI - Robert Augustus Masters was a pretty notorious cult leader. Is it possible he has reformed? Is it possible his books have value? Perhaps. But I question whether narcissistic, sociopathic personalities really change, or they just change their persona.
Check out this post:
A hidden(?) page from Master’s website:
I can’t speak to the period when he was leading international spiritual communities. I started working with Robert a few years after his 5-Meo-DMT experience and aftermath as reported in Darkness Shining Wild (it was that book that first got me interested in his work). Subsequently I did numerous individual sessions, some group work, and a year-long practicum with him and his wife / therapeutic partner Diane Masters. This work had an enormous positive influence on my life.
My experience of him is as a therapist with integrity, compassion and insight. I would not use the term “narcissistic” or “psychopathic” to describe him. I derived great value from my work with him (which ended about a decade ago). I would say he has some degree of arrogance, though certainly not to an abusive extent, and like any human (including every therapist I’ve done work with) has some blind spots. That said, he was definitely the best therapist I’ve worked with and I would recommend him to anyone drawn to his work.
If anyone is drawn to his work but has concerns based on the accusations made against him, I would recommend they read Darkness Shining Wild, his brief statement Clarifying My Past, and make up their own mind. (Working with my friend Iyeshka Farmer, who was trained by Robert and is an accomplished therapist in her own right, would be another option.)
Also, I think he would make an excellent guest on Night Club; it would be very interesting to hear a conversation between Robert and @aholecek. Robert is a powerful lucid dreamer and also experienced a combo psychotic breakdown / spiritual breakthrough, which he was able to observe lucidly and describe in beautiful detail in Darkness Shining Wild.
By the way I interviewed Robert about lucid dreaming in 2006; anyone interested can read that here.
Thanks Arthur. I may check out that book ‘Darkness Shining Wild’. I do believe it is possible for anyone to transform, so perhaps that was the case with Robert Masters. I’m sure his story is a very interesting one. I have his Spiritual Bypassing book, which I though was quite good when I read it some years ago.
If Andrew interviews him, it would be good to mention his cult period, so he can at least explain what it was and how he broke through those destructive dynamics.