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Alchemical
10-04-2011, 08:54 PM
I want to share an experience I had a while back which changed my life completely. It led me to my spiritual journey and eventually to my interest in Alchemy. I'm sorry if you feel this isn't the place to talk about this, if it isn't please delete it, but I would truly love to hear others thoughts about what happened to me.

Over 1 year ago I moved into my fathers house because my girlfriend and I were having financial difficulties. My dad is, and always will be a heavy cannabis user. He is a thirty year veteran in the field. Spending so much time with him I started smoking it casually, just now and again when I felt like it. But it quickly turned into a habit. I would come home from work and without thinking about it I would start smoking to relieve the stresses of the day. I thought nothing of this. Looking back now I realise that I abused the substance. Then one day I really over did it.

I invited a few friends over, including my girlfriend, to watch a big boxing match. We had a lot of cannabis for the occasion and it was suggested to me that we use a bong. This was to be my first time using one and I was generally quite excited. I packed it with a lot of weed, even my father said it was a lot, I thought nothing of it and I went for it.

At first I was fine, just a bit light headed as can be expected but I quickly began to feel that something was really wrong. My vision began to "bubble", it was as if everything around me was made of vibrating circles/bubbles. I went to the bathroom to move away from everyone else and splash some water on my face. It was at this point I felt my heart begin to race. I couldn't calm myself and I began to panic. I genuinely believed I was having a heart attack. Words cannot describe the feelings of sheer terror I was feeling, I felt as if I really was about to die.

I know it seems stupid but I was somehow convinced it was the end for me.

I called my dad and told him what I was feeling and what was happening to me. My girlfriend also came to me at that point. They both said it was just a "whitey" just a bad hit. But I knew it was beyond that. My mind was blown and I still couldn't calm down. My dad took me to my room and I laid on the bed, my girlfriend stayed with me. She watched TV when I was laying down trying to calm myself.

All of a sudden, the feelings of terror vanished. I felt content with what was happening, I felt like I could see a spiralling energy in a dark abyss, I felt warmth and joy, my hairs on my arms were standing, I felt as if I knew everything! As I'm typing this I know I am not doing this any justice at all. Words cannot describe. My girlfriend recalls me turning to her and saying "Everything is real".

The next morning I remembered how it made me feel, looking into that "energy". I will never forget. In the few months that followed this experience I suffered frequent panic attacks and was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. I couldn't face the simplest of tasks, such as going to work or going shopping in town. I questioned life. Why? My life became "Why" everything. I would find myself sitting on a bus watching people, just observing people on their way to work, wondering why they were so concerned with all this bullshit in life, the things that didn't matter.

I knew I had to get out of this mind set. So I did some reading, so much reading. This lead me into the study of esotericism. Most of what I was reading resonated with me and still does. This is how I got to where I am.

I still feel like I haven't done my story justice. This is what changed my life. I've heard similar stories but not many answers as to why it happened. I have never smoked since by the way !

Ghislain
10-04-2011, 09:24 PM
Alchemical

My boy went throught the same thing going by what I can gather from your story...
only difference was I thought he was mad and put him in hospital. With hindsight he
was probably in a better frame of mind than me.

He has given up the weed too...he still looks deeply into things.

I have had an opposite experience where I felt/knew nothing was real...that was
pretty cool...as with you I could not give that story justice so I won't try.

Ghislain

MarkostheGnostic
10-04-2011, 10:32 PM
Cannabis is a whole different plant than the types I got when I was a kid. I have only 'field-tested' cannabis on rare occasions since about 1980, and it has become much more potent. Sometimes it is seems narcotic-like, but at other times, it has been nicely psychedelic and eye-opening for me. Cannabis is classified as a hallucinogen (a perjorative medical term), but it is psychedelic at times, and unfortunately, psychedelics sometimes precipitate forms of mental dis-order lying under the surface consciousness. In your case, a panic attack ensued which was fairly traumatic for you. The chances are that should you continue to use cannabis, any time a similar state begins to arise, another panic attack will occur.

While useful for anxiety, the side-effects and cumulative effects are not worth its use to me. I prefer calm and clear, not muddy stillness. I want my neurons to remain crystal clear as well, not yellowed with the accumulation of THC, and reducing neural impulses from 'high speed cable' to 'slow dial-up,' which I know (from experience) to be the case. Besides, I do not want to set myself up for any degree of pre-senile dementia. I find it a real drag to be around long-time adult cannabis users when they're stoned. They become goofy, the conversation stays at a retarded level, and their forgetfulness is not amusing, it's annoying. I do miss hashish - I've only had it once in Florida since moving here in 1983. Marijuana holds no interest for me, I can't read, think, or discuss clearly. I don't need the 'munchies,' red eye, apathy, forgetfulness, legal risk, monetary expenditure, lung involvement, or dependency to control anxiety. If I was gravely ill (God forbid), I might well adjust my opinion to control death-anxiety.

Alchemical
10-07-2011, 04:07 PM
Thank you both for your replies.

As I wasn't aware of how panic attacks felt before this experience I couldn't calm myself down how I would now if I was to have a panic attack. Which is rare these days. My panic attacks lasted for months after, I literally thought I was going insane. I'm over it now, but it's become my life to pursue understanding of what I experienced.

I relate my experience to a film called "Fearless (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106881/)", in which a man survives a plane crash (I know it's not quite the same, but I was truly convinced I was dying). Through my trauma I entered a higher state of consciousness, and am now in pursuit of understanding. It's a great film by the way, I recommend it to anyone.

solomon levi
10-07-2011, 10:09 PM
Greetings Alchemical!

I have some experience with this. What I would suggest is to be open.
It is a subjective thing and it will be what you choose to make of it.
Insanity makes it difficult to function in the world as we have and as most do.
But insanity also opens the doors of perception to other views of the world.
If you call it a panic attack, that definition will also define you and your reality.
If you call it a spiritual vision, that will define you and your reality.
Which is it? It's both, neither, all, and more.
So let's not define it. The question is, do you want it in your life?

Well, let's see if I can word it...
I mean there is no absolute good or bad. They're relative. At some point, what you saw
about the mundaneness of life is going to be your "normal". Some call this Gnosticism. :D
It may scare the shit out of your ego. How much do you want your ego to stay intact?
Are you interested in Jungian deconstruction and reintegration? Or are you more interested in
relating to people around you and your job, etc?
That's all this is. There's no right or wrong or good or bad about it. If there is for you (good and bad),
then I guess you should not do it again until you really want to.

For me, I would do mushrooms a couple times a year because I wanted to be shaken.
That worked for me - I wanted it, a break from the ordinary. Now cannabis can hit me
just as strong as mushrooms sometimes, which is what your experience sounds like to me.
I was going to work one day and took one hit and as I was driving to the first job, my mind was
completely blown and I had a panic attack too, like "where did this come from?" (because it was
like mushrooms, your world and your self and anything to cling to falling away).
Anyway, that's a good thing if you can handle it, a bad thing if you cant. It's up to you. :)
In the end, you have to find a balance that works for you specifically. Personally, I wouldn't let anyone
else define that balance for me. But I've been into spirit for over 20 years so I have some preparation.
Cannabis I've only discovered in the last 2 years. I held the view that drugs are bad through my 20's.
Now I am convinced that all religions came from the use of plants and are now empty shells of dogma
without initiation. Drugs are not necessary for everyone, but they aid many. Ideally, for me, one intends
to replicate the journey that the drug has shown using their own consciousness and intent, dreaming, etc,
so that they are not dependant on the drug. But some things really require drugs. For example, I've taken
MDMA once. I never knew such a state of happiness could exist, and I've never known it since. I've come
close, but not really. To think a chemical can do that. Our brains are chemical, neurotransmitters, etc. It is
our birthright to explore our consciousness, ourselves. Just find your balance.

Devil's advocate - I don't think anyone who smokes everyday has found their balance. For me, smoking is
a spiritual practice. Intent is everything. You'll find out if you pursue your spirituality. :)

solomon levi
10-24-2011, 05:41 PM
"Panic" is a state of 'Pan' - Allness, which can be scary and overwhelming. :)

MarkostheGnostic
10-25-2011, 10:29 PM
"Panic" is a state of 'Pan' - Allness, which can be scary and overwhelming. :)

Hmmm. I've always know that 'Pan' means All, as in the "hen to pan," 'the All is One,' as in the Ouroboros from the The Chrysopoeia of Cleopatra dating to 2nd century, but I never really made your connection. That would mean a reaction to what rudolph Otto called the Mysterium Tremendum et Fascinans. I suppose the Tremendum aspect could very well result in panic, as was evidenced by many an LSD abreaction. :cool:

solomon levi
11-02-2011, 05:36 PM
"The exformation is always going to be overwhelming.
It's always going to be experienced by this information as fear,
because it's always going to be vastly greater than the information.
We could say that fear is a portal to the exformation, the vastness...
And what we tend to do, what the thought structure does, is try to
cover our heads and hold back the flow." - Steven Harrison

Here information is our little fragment of knowledge, and exformation
is everything else outside of our present knowledge. Transformation
is the result of exformation upon information.