read the inquiries people have sent to me.
I can't reply to everyone, but I do generally address these problems in
my thinking and eventual writing.
experience left me troubled. I couldn't function for a long time. I wish it
never happened. My instructer was the non-verbal type who wasn't allowing me to
express concerns. He seemed to think that my confusion was a good thing. My
collapse led to homelessness, which as far as I know, he didn't know (or want
to know) about. This was about 25 years ago.
still trying to figure out how some people seem to think it's a really good
thing... how can they function so well?
was working on zen....I was sitting around quietly, staring at walls. That
wasn't part of the discipline. I just couldn't think of anything better to do.
I couldn't function. I was ill.
I feel that most psychotropic drugs, whether recreational or therapeutic are
the wrong approach. I've never tried either. Yet almost every drug abusing
person I know from my adolescence turned out better than I did as far as
personal developement. Anything, including drugs (and I refer here to drugs
disparagingly) would have left me in better shape than what happened.
does the same transcendent experience work so well for some people and others
react negatively to it?
everyone looks into their own mind and sees the workings of the machine
clearly. For others, even those who've made great effort, there is a dark room.
despair, and the end of the world, I know them well. I'm semi-functional, semi-dysfunctional, always have been. Gifted and cursed, lucky and unlucky. My life was filled with darkness mixed with
bright light of hope and discovery, failure and breakthrough, and more failure
and more breakthrough. There are many
personalities, many lives.
religious experiencing can help and can hurt one's balance. I regularly hear from people who have
experienced life or religious experiences as an often losing battle. A combination of defeatism and hope might be
the most workable response.
highly developed in some areas. You may
have problems of overintelligence and hyperconsciousness, making you shaman
material, unlike the normal partiers and social square pegs. One contrast deserving more study is the
super well-adjusted people who never seem to have to grapple with personal
self-management (Wilber, Kant), and those for whom life is often a battle
against themselves, lacking mental integrity (Watts, Osbourne).
say your real problem arose from your not working *through* the problems.
pulling my description of rational transcendent knowledge together, but even
now there is enough to read and form an alternative view of what religious
experiencing and insight is really all about.
the same kinds of failure and despair from those who have used entheogens,
those who have used then abstained, and those who have used meditation without
entheogens. Failure and frustration in
life? Blame it on the entheogens, or
blame it on quitting the entheogens, or blame it on the meditation practice --
I've seen all these attempts to make sense of life and of dysfunction of
seek a degree of moderation rather than wishing for a magic bullet. Accept mental dysfunction and try to reform
it enough to get by. Lower your demands
on yourself, strive to muddle through, at least.
that have shattered may not have mattered
another point of view
may arise though like chasing a rainbow
tell a thing or two.
My poll of
reader interests showed no great interest in the subject of personal management
and self-control, but the reports sent to me tell otherwise. I came from the dark night and the pit of
years-long Zen frustration myself. I
can relate to those whose life and mental integrity seems a wreck for no particular
who are downtrodden in a common mundane way due to sociopolitical oppression, I
have no great interest -- but I especially am interested in the case of the
controlaholic, someone who, like an alcoholic, *should* be doing great in life,
has had opportunities, but seems cursed by their own mind, with self-defeating
thinking and behavior.
written extensively against anti-intellectualism in mysticism.
wrote extensively on issues you raise, about functional vs. dysfunctional,
appropriate vs. inappropriate responses to the problems that arise in the
mystic altered state. He's against
subtle reductionism: against elevating one isolated aspect of mental
development to be a supposedly complete system. We need to develop in all aspects, in all ways -- basic personal
management (as I would put it), and rationality, and mystic state cognition.
of Consciousness: Conventional and Contemplative Perspectives on Development
Wilber, Jack Engler, Daniel P. Brown
on Alan Watts, I spell out how self-control is largely a delusion. This can be explained clearly and rationally
and can be experienced during initiation in a mystery religion.
clear rational model of ego death and ego transcendence, such as I am working
to provide, would probably make life easier for those who are troubled by
mental inconsistency or the phenomena of the loose cognitive state.