My first existential crisis happened at age 7-10, It all started on the rooftop of my first home in the small town of Uttar Pradesh a state adjoining New Delhi, India. Those days skies used to be much clear and power-cuts were an part of life, as i was lying on the rooftop with my conventional Hindu family gazing at the womb of the shimmering skyscape - my heart filled with awe followed by a heart squeezing dread - how far this universe go? How long?. My little brain and underdeveloped awareness got perplexed by the idea of infinity and eternity, i began to tremble and sob. The Indian national television that broadcasted carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” the following week had no idea that it can worsen the existential dread in 7 year olds.
Just thinking about the "no beginning no end of the world " use to give me shivers and collapse me on my bathroom floor drenched in water, no one in my family knew till today and I am 42.
What happened between 7-42 is such a complex and multilayered story of internal, external and later Integral quest that i cant even find courage to pen it down in this space. So i’ll use keywords and descriptors of my experiences to cut it short for your reading pleasure (It will give you some idea about my situation and current standing) :-
In early teens Turned towards science for answers but scared of maths dropped it # became too sensitive, scared child, obese, bullied # in early youth, began to forget the quest for infinite, fell for the social conditioning, love for science continued but developed a love for creativity, wanted to be in media # Soon discovered that i had a big difficulty in “choosing” anything at all # that quest in my heart always propelled me to go for everything # one fine day i finally chose to be a Film Director as he plays a mini God for his/her creations, thats what i told myself, i wanted to be god, not in a pompous way, it was obvious knowledge to me from childhood that there can be no “two” has to be one, and where will god make us from but itself. It was a deep conviction of an innocent being that i realised much much before then non duality, Advaita and Zen.
#Back to the story # The following years early 20’s, i realised i have a problem to “commit” to a career, a view, as soon as i stick to a world view a new horizon appears and makes me change my stand # Since then i looked at me like a rudderless boat “why am i not Normal, like my friends and peers” # Why being a filmmaker i dont commit to filmmaking (i later learned i was just distracting myself in the stories and films) # Even that time i had no context of spirituality or existential issues. # Moving on a momentary but strong affair with Krishna and his Gita (now i know i should have not read the narrow and cultish Iskon (Hare Krishna) version. Was never able to relate with “bhakti” , “Rituals” and demigod part of hinduism.
#Isolation #Laziness #Irresponsible #Divorce #Turned back to science - Quantum mechanics, string theory, bloody any meta theory that even remotely attempted to explain “whats going on” # Visited New age healers #psychotherapy #Hypnotherapy #past life regressions - saw myself in past lives (1700’s) as a “young Pundit” who was not interested in studies of vedic texts & in another session as an ivary merchant whose plane crashed and died a painful death in dark seas. Stumbled upon vipasana and did 10 day silent retreat couldn’t relate with it (In late 20’s) (but started looking at spirituality again)
The big shift (probably an Orange stage crude mini Enlightenment) came after reading Tom Campbell’s massive “my big toe (theory of everything) trilogy” https://www.my-big-toe.com/ (Who is he - By demanding high quality repeatable, empirical, evidential data to separate what’s real (exists independently and externally) from what’s imaginary or illusory; Campbell has scientifically derived this general model of reality. Campbell has been focused on scientifically exploring the properties, boundaries, and abilities of consciousness. Though out of body experiences.
#It was a big sigh of relief to the mind, but i was after the experiential thing so…# Started Transcendental Meditation that triggered some mild experiences, but strong enough to convince me that its not all mambo jambo. #Alongside all this i was becoming more and more disconnected from the Real world, not because i was avoiding it but was always struggling to fill the hole in me that seems will not fill till i become one
with the “All there is”.
This continued and I kept bumping like that rudderless boat on the shores of the unknown. Came to know about ADHD and that explained a lot of my multidimensional and indecisive nature. Stimulants helped a bit but i realised that what i’m experiencing can be physiological, psychological, spiritual problem and needs an integral intervention which is nowhere to be found in India.
40’s - The frustration and spiritual angst made me try cannabis and other substances - that helped immensely but after the 2nd Vipassana course that i did 3 years back opened awareness enough for me to see the futility of relying on a substance to feel grounded. # Re-Discovered Leo Gura’s Actualised.org (Leo is 2nd Tier with strong strings running into 3rd ) https://www.youtube.com/user/ActualizedOrg , that blew me to bits and i learned so much from him #started regular Meditation practice & Self Inquiry after reading “The book of not knowing” by Peter ralston . https://chenghsin.com/who-is-peter-ralston/ #Ive learned a lot from Ramana Maharishi # Adyashanti # Rupert Spira #Zen and Spiral dynamics that i learned from Leo led me to Ken & Integral.
Last year i had a state change for 10-15 days it was like an extended satori of “separation”, for the first time i experienced the possibility of existence as it is. but it wasnt non-dual in nature. I still feel confined to my body and a work in progress but the self is melting and fragmenting , the psychological understanding of things is getting in my way, shadowork in ongoing but not nearly finished, I ignore my body, and still live in my brain. A few days back i got so sick of my seeking, striving and conceptual thinking that something in me is aching to return to innocence that i only experience on the meditation mat. Real spiritual work can look and feel ugly and not blissful , i know that but …damm im writing too much and feel i havent expressed a thing yet. so…
From the absolute POV, What is the original , pure and direct source of all spiritual knowledge and experience available to all evolved animals (if there is such a thing, i want to connect to it) because everything seems 2nd hand , i feel so conditioned , and want to surrender to the one i dont even know for good. I was made aware of the awareness by someone else, was told about enlightenment by someone else. I want a context to even ask the question “who am i” - Imagine the first man who looked at the skies , he had no books or teachers or knowledge of meditation. The only true question for me is not who am i, but whats going on. I want the nature to talk to me , how can i bypass all the texts and youtube videos?
Questions - In the relative world I dont want to suffer in the blissless void that i find myself most of the time, i have an deeply integral mind that would like to believe its 2nd tier (even if im not i definitely draw from it frequently, i feel the pull) and yet i find myself unable to participate in society, contribute and enjoy the company of my fellow beings. I have an untapped repository of intellectual, creative (film, writing, technology) public speaking skills, and yet i am holding myself back for years. Because I’m unfortunately aware enough about my ego and shadow to know the harm i can cause myself and others by starting a revolution (see i just wrote want to start nothing short of a “revolution” that can easily be coming from the dark corners of my upper left quadrant )
As you can see i clearly need a mentor to “talk to me” , someone who shuts me up not by force but pure insight , please suggest me the name of an Integral Master and contact details for a web video relationship, i have nowhere else to go…Mayday Mayday