zenloops

Recovery and What HPPD may really be afterall

7 posts in this topic

Hello everyone, I am a 21 year old guy, and I got HPPD 6 months ago after a very intense trip on a substance I still cannot identify. My story was in a quite different context, which is the reason I believe my HPPD experience was very different from others on the forum, especially how I interpret the disorder. I started doing drugs at 19, from MDMA to LSD to Shrooms to DOB and 2CB, and the same thing used to always fascinate me. There was this "missing piece" in the puzzle of life that was always being seen during these experiences, but fades out after the trip is over. Through later research and personal inquiry, I came across Ego Death/Enlightenment, which is the mystical experience of "no-self", which all of these drugs happen to produce. Each drug acts in its own special way on the Default Mode Network of the brain, the group of regions responsible for generating a sense of self, a stream of thoughts and images, an auto-biographical narrative self, and a sense of self being in time. Turn these regions off, and all of that disappears from your conscious experience of the world, and everything radically changes. The ultimate goal of all mystical traditions on planet Earth is the transcendence of the egotistical experience of man, through practices such as meditation, yoga, zhikr...etc, and through direct experiential insight into the faultiness of the construct of selfhood. I got extremely obsessed with enlightenment, and spent a year and the half exploring all of its aspects through meditation, inquiry, and psychedelic use. My quest came to an end 6 months ago, when I ingested half a tab of something that was not LSD, but had the effect of complete ego death for a continuous 12 hours. I was so happy when it happened, as if my entire life fell into place at that time, and I sat down in meditation and merged with nothingness. The twist is that I woke up the next day still gone, and what I wanted for an entire year and half turned out to be an experience I completely rejected when it happened, and got a visual problem that I researched about and eventually discovered that it is common and is called HPPD. 

My HPPD over 6 months was nothing close to a uniform phenomenon or a uniform experience. It has evolved and changed over time, generally on an apparent trajectory back to its "normal state". The first day after the experience however, I was in complete terror of what I had done to my brain, simply because my sensory experience of the world had become nothing of what I knew before. Especially my visual experience of the world, which was in a 2D "right in your face" format, as if I could no longer dissociate from vision into an inner world of self(images thoughts...etc). That 2D image also had tracers and floaters and trails, and an agitating aura of a double image around every object, terrifying auras and noise around all kinds of lights, terrifying after images that last entire minutes,  along with horrifying static that gave me the sense that the resolution of my image was irreversible, and this static could do patterns and shapes using itself causing more noise. There was also this constriction to my visual field, as if nothing but what was directly experienced was actually there. It was as if there are no mental visual perceptions of how the world around is apart from what is in front of me at this instant. This fucked-up-ness, along with the narrative that I am that one kid who has irreversibly fucked himself over and is forever doomed to be this alien weird child who lives in an alternate reality, lasted for about 3 months, from the end of January up till the beginning of May, and I'll get to how that subsided in the next paragraph. And boy it felt like an alternate reality, because this change in sensory experience was accompanied by a very noticeable change in my experience of Self and others,  memories, space and time, and the world. And all of them ceased to exist. My direct experience in my body was nothingness. When I would look inside it would be utter empty silence, the one that gives you shivers. I could not have a mental experience of myself, I couldn't identify with my thinking as myself, and I could not see images and flashbulb memories, and most striking was that I could not feel anything, nor anyone, nor nothing. 

Due to the predominant self-loss theme, I could distract myself sometimes from seeking help and information for HPPD and instead seek help and information to help reconstruct my ego. I eventually came into contact with a Buddhist teacher online by February, and she provided me with some practices I can do in order to revive the mechanisms of the ego, and generally they focus on re-sensitizing the body and reconstructing emotional conditionings. As I did that over the next 2 months, I realized that my visual problem was evolving and changing along with my changing sense of self. It was as if the more emotional experience I reconstruct, the more my visual systems go back to normal. And up till now, my visual experience has become nothing like that of 6 months ago. I got 3D back, trailers and auras and light problems disappeared, the only remaining visual problem has to do with focus and static that is about 10% from where I started. All this while having a semi complete sense of self that can do complex mathematical problems, visualize vividly, and centered in its bodily sensations. I also happened to contact Lisa Cairns, who continually experiences egolessness, and asked her whether her visual experience of the world changed along with the change in sense of self, and she confirmed that the image does indeed flip into 2D and the eyes become more sensitive to light. 
For my experience, it seemed that HPPD itself may not  be a disorder on its own afterall. I realized that at one point in time, 3 to 4 months after all this happened, and after reconstructing my sense of self as guided by the buddhist teacher, that I could no longer separate the phenomenon of ego diminishment with my visual problems. It seemed that the more I stimulated my self centers again, the more my visual problems subsided. And this is in line with our neurology to a certain extent, as a lot of the Default Mode Network in the brain that is responsible for our sense of self hood and that I was trying to revive all of this time is intimately correlated with sensory processing systems, especially visual processing (I think through the occipital parietal junction that assembles auditory visual and somatosensory information), but all this is me hypothesizing and trying to find relationships that serve best to describe how my experience went for me. I thought that maybe if I shared this, a lot of people would benefit if they have a shift in focus from the visual problem they are having to a much deeper and profound experience they are having. Maybe through that shift in focus, HPPD could change for you into the transforming experience that it was for me, rather than it being this horrifying alien experience. I have not recovered yet, but I am way closer now to how my perception was prior to the trip than to what followed after it, and how it was at first really got me to breaking points in which I thought this was it, this was how I ruined myself forever, which turned out to not be true at all. And in a sense, I would recommend all of you to not believe these statements that your mind produces amid such changes, even if at the time they seemed to be an accurate description of what looks like you are messed up, they may be of no truth at all. 
 I will surely post again once I have fully recovered, and I would like to hear your opinions on how I am perceiving HPPD, and whether what I said was of any help at all. I also wanted to talk about how to revive the ego back, and the practices you can do, but I'll leave that to another post on its own after I hear your opinions on this matter.  
Cheers. 
 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had similar theories in mind, although less developed. :)

Can You contact me through PMs because I have a few questions?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Meh. Eastern spirituality and mysticism never did anything for me. I call it the rabbit hole of enlightenment. I was a practicing Tibetan buddhist for 5 years.

I'll stick with Christ. But to each their own.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, TheMythos said:

Meh. Eastern spirituality and mysticism never did anything for me. I call it the rabbit hole of enlightenment. I was a practicing Tibetan buddhist for 5 years.

I'll stick with Christ. But to each their own.

Do you mean that you were disappointed after waiting for something to happen for so long?
What did you expect it would do? 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, zenloops said:

Do you mean that you were disappointed after waiting for something to happen for so long?
What did you expect it would do? 

I just never found any truth or fulfillment in it. For me it was a spiritual dead end. 

If you really think your theory is accurate Shinzen Young has a pretty good video on YouTube about DPDR being the dark side of enlightenment. I thought it was interesting. Check it out.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, TheMythos said:

I just never found any truth or fulfillment in it. For me it was a spiritual dead end. 

If you really think your theory is accurate Shinzen Young has a pretty good video on YouTube about DPDR being the dark side of enlightenment. I thought it was interesting. Check it out.


It really isn't my priority to validate my theory. I would go into neuroscience for that. I just want to see if it correlates with HPPD symptoms so that the focus can maybe shift from the visual problems and onto the changes in the sense of self. I think more people would accelerate their recovery, but that is only in the case where the context of my story is shared by people on this forum.
And yea shinzen young pretty much nails the psychological part, which really is what happens in HPPD: DPDR Depression and Dark nights of the soul. But I am pretty sure it must be reversible in the case of drug induced experience, since the person hasn't really transcended the layers themselves and thus lack insight into why their experience of self is hallucinatory, and thus when these mechanisms start happening again the person just falls for it all over. If it was the product of your spiritual journey then I don't really think it is reversible. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greetings ZenLoops

My Apologies for the intrusion of being late. I will go straight at it, and say that I honor you for your great achievement, because what is your true purpose in life? If you cant attract meaning in your life. And here I am with "lucky coincidences, right" with a thought that maybe there a post about a guy who found out to morph their "HPPD" into a powerful tool to reduce/kill their ego/or most of it. They can finally act freely without being restricting by the control rod of the ego. If a person learns to gain control over their wild running -toolkit(HPPD) or should I call it Pandora's box? Go dawn the Rabbit Hole. You will know fear at first. And sometimes starring long enough behind our eyelids, if we become aware enough, when we will know, it will begin to stare back at us. What is this? IS IT REALLY happening? With a SINISTER feeling ..the true meaning of fear, the unknown. And also a feeling of being curious. I had a strong attachment and a both polarities of feeling towards it(what i think I am seeing) Without knowing what I am seeing or believing it is - Brain damage lol this is overclocking the brain being awake lucid dreaming aka. WILDs -- with a strange sensations of Attraction/aversion. This is something else. An inner world - inner universe. Some doors do not automatically shut, especially when one is a natural born adept. The echo’s in my mind, reminds me of a bridge between the subconscious and conscious mind? But everything is strange... indeed. Never thought this would have such a big impact on my being, if I never experienced I wouldnt be the person i am today - I am grateful and embrace it - True knowledge lies hidden, just waiting to be found within oneself. Dawn the Rabbit hole.
The place between thoughts.

What is the true purpose of being if you're not extracting meaning from your path from your experience deriving meaning from it in creating expression the expression would always be the symbolic (shh)

Occult things going on.. more like esoteric knowledge that can become wisdom in time, if we allow ourselves to transform and transcend our own normal thinking about what we think, we know. Those who open up to this will know in time. Or be scared just as dying, sadly. It's not their fault. I survived alone and learned we can do the impossible to possible. Fear kills us. Our thought arent really thought, but rather deep rooted rot that needs cleaning after confronting the shadow.. the lower ego. A monster? It was a mask? what.. It's face is mine?? Everything came clear, i was running from a dark part of myself. And if I ever screw up - I hope I will never see that mask again. But I accept it as part of me, i created it. What fun Digging in ourselves in the unknown alienated roads to go. Shhh you will find something - you will need to combat in trial. Rewards? You will see. You know nothing in how we infect our minds with the ego in control. It takes roots. You're not in Control. Who are in Control? Me I am in Control now after changing thought patterns. I am me, but the old me is broken with silly program scripts we allows, kind of sad. It's not our fault, if we dont know any better.

You speak true and I can remind you that I have been through a very similar path - But my path was lonely. I learned to embrace my "HPPD" before i knew, it truly was a thing online. I learned all this by myself, because I learned to see no fear - And I was deep in my inner world - when one overcome the fear of the unknown. Weird things happens in life. It can be very rewarding to oneself - and I believe that what makes us true to ourselves and gives us meaning, if one person can learn to overcome the limits & restrictions we're believed to think. It's Not Your Fault, Reader. 

 I just followed all the breadcrumbs that were already lay You are special, but sadly a lot of people will have a hard time to fully understand what you went through. It's not their fault.

You Know When You Know. It will be hard to tell about this to people, since People can only look at you. Speechless, because they lack so much. It's not their fault. How do you know? You can tell it with so many gaps people normally lack to understand what i think, i know. They lack so much, but it's not their fault. If i am Insane. It's not my fault. But i rate it 10/10-  would do again.

Fear of the unknown is a very hard thing to do. I've been there. I was all alone - didnt even know, what I experienced, but I was afraid. The thing with  "HPPD" is: it can represent Pandora's box. If you open the box - And look enough in it. You will understand at first. You decides next whats next. I knew what i had too. I had to die to this, if it wanted me. In that instance of training myself over a long period of time. I know what I know.

I bow down and humbly bow down to the true you. The true you that's inside this body. The true essence of your atman, your true self. I bow down and I honor that. And as I look at this thread, I see that true you through your eyes into your soul and I let you see me. It's Namaste.

Well I'll leave this to you. You know, when you know. We have experienced similar encounters and even transformed ourselves like a snake, who leaves its old self back. All answers can be found in us - we just need enough time - and courage to keep believing in ourselves. Or else You will die - if fear demands one to run away, but how can you run away from a chance inside of you. You run to it.

Embrace and accept even the dark, this is where the light transforms.

This is the true way to truly understand oneself. I guess I would fit better in some-kind of ancient civilization thousand years ago. They digged this stuff too much.. too much.. why? Who are in Control. You? Me? I am `? You? I AM IN CONTROL. NOW I AM IN CONTROL. WHo AM AGAIN? NOW I DONT KNOW WHO YOU ARE: WHO AM I????????????? :D

Thanks for reading. Hope you found it interesting - There isnt a simple conclusion on this. You will pinpoint a board with thousand of connections&experiences - until that moment. You know, when you know. - But no one will never ever and ever understand this - but I am true to myself - more true than a person ever will admit there true to oneself. It's not my fault. And it's not your fault. Follow The Breadcrumbs. You will know, if you know. As I am in the known.

After all. Life is the perfect manuscript -- so deep and rich in all ways.

You will learn to view it. Step careful ahead.

You might not like, what you will see....

shhhhh... We are all alone in this.

The Greatest Gift

shh.... Row Row Row your Boat gently down the Stream. Merrily Merrily merrily Merrily Life is But a Dream...

Move long, nothing to see

http://i.imgur.com/uG2I33q.jpg

http://s3.amazonaws.com/libapps/accounts/2810/images/snake_dreaming_5_photo_slideshow.CACHE-1000x1000.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by YouKnowWhenYouKnow
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now