I’m going to start with the TL;DR because this is going to be a long post and I really need as much advice as I can get
TL;DR: I’ve had a very confusing and spotty relationship with spirituality over the past year, and it’s led me to a point where I’m completely lost and a little jaded. Could use advice from any more spiritually advanced resistors willing to lend a hand.
With that out of the way, strap in if you’re willing to help me out, I really appreciate it.
My spiritual journey really begins at the end of my senior year of high school. I had been into Zen Buddhism my entire high school career, started by a love of the Big Lebowski, and had been meditating for over 2 years. Near the third quarter of my senior year I started to get really into the work of Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, and started to get really into the concept of magic and hermetic philosophy. My belief system adapted into this weird blend of Zen, Tao, Hermeticism, and Dudeism, all without really understanding any of them.
Around the same time I got really into psychedelics. I had been smoking pot daily for over a year, and at that point I was dropping shrooms or acid once or twice a month. That said, I was always doing low doses, I didn’t like having crazy intense psychological experiences and I was content with my slight mind-altering adventures.
That said, my life changed forever when I had my first bad trip. I was tripping with some friends I didn’t know very well, and on a whim I took 3 and a half gel tabs of acid, dosage unknown. I had a nightmare trip, I thought I was in hell, I saw all of my friends mutilated across the house, I ended up having a friend drive me home and confessed the whole thing to my dad.
I was shaken afterwards, but I recovered. In truth, the experience really opened my eyes to the illusory nature of reality and dualistic thinking, and I started to get heavily more into spirituality. I was meditating for hours at a time, and I was really trying to maintain inner peace and continue in the journey of self discovery. It all came to a head when I got into a giant fight with my parents, and in the middle of it I took a break to meditate and had a breakthrough.
It sounds so simple, but it was the first time I ever truly experienced it: stress and anguish isn’t necessary, life is fine just as it is. I experienced the divine truth firsthand, and I felt incredible.
I’m going to skip the gory details, but, long story short, that initial breakthrough spiraled down and down until I was hearing the voice of god and having vivid hallucinations, all the while having incredible delusions of grandeur. I think this was a side effect of the acid experience, but either way I ended up in a psych ward and on anti-psychotics for 3 months.
The pills destroyed me. My inner monologue was gone, I lost all creative spirit, and I spent my entire first semester of college doing nothing but wandering in a haze. My grades tanked, I disconnected from my friends, and spirituality was the absolute last thing on my mind. In truth I was terrified, I didn’t want to lose my mind again. I got diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and the official ruling on the whole hallucinations thing is that it was an intense manic episode brought about by the drugs I was using.
I got off the antipsychotics, and slowly my personality and passion started to come back. I also started to get back into spirituality. I dabbled in Magic for a while with good results, and recently I’ve been getting back into Zen and exploring shamanism (although shamanism seems impossible with aphantasia, which I’m about to get into)
But, as I carefully approach another awakening, I’m finding myself lost and confused. So much of spirituality seems to be focused on visualization, but I have aphantasia and can’t picture things in my head. Conversely, I’m getting incredibly intense feelings and vibrations. When I watch TV or listen to music and something resonates with me, I get this intense warm tingly feeling. When I’m interacting with someone, even strangers, I get an intense understanding of their feelings and their viewpoint.
I’ve also been seeing blue jays like crazy, I don’t know if that means anything. I think a blue jay would be a pretty cool spirit animal or spirit guide, if those are even a thing.
Anyways, I feel lost and stuck, and I’ll admit that part of me is afraid to go further and risk another psych evaluation. So, if anyone has any advice, especially on pursuing spirituality as a person who can’t see things in their head, or on pursuing spirituality as a person who’s head doesn’t always work right, I’d really appreciate it. Thank you to anyone who read all of this, I know it was a lot.
Read more: reddit.com