The Bliss Disease.
The Bliss Disease. Have you been stuck in cycles of Bliss and Darkness? How long has it been going on for you? Or perhaps, you’ve noticed that since your ascension that you’ve lost friends, family, lovers; that in itself is NOT abnormal – however, if this pattern continues after the first ‘cleaning’, then there may be something going on.
About 2 years into my own spiritual ascension, I hit this peak state. It was amazing frankly. I had just got home from a month-long trip to India with a bunch of Lamas from Canada. We had gone to several monasteries and stayed in retreat mode basically that whole time. We met powerful people like Tai Situ Rinpoche and received many teachings.
Upon returning, I recall that I was listening to the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I was doing a walking meditation in one of the underground walkways in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Underground, because after being in India for a month -40 degrees Celsius was too cold! I was walking with my senses turned in, just absorbing the book in a way that it passes right through ego into the depth.
Bring on the Bliss; Out of the Bliss Disease?
After one of the chapters, a bell rang and it triggered something in me. All of the sudden my walking dramatically changed. The pain in my back and my weird way of moving the right leg just let go. My entire body went into this relaxed state with no pain, no tension. First time ever. In my slight surprise, I opened my eyes a bit more and saw only what I could describe as a luminous world. Even the tiles on the ground had this bright luminosity, which gave them like this HDR like effect. Everything seemed perfect. It was such a surprise that I immediately snapped out of it.
But – not before my mechanistic ego mapped the process of entering and exiting that state. I stopped cold in my tracks thinking “ok, remember this place. How did we get here? What did it feel like?” Mapping that state I explored the feeling of dropping in there again. And guess what? It came back! Then went away again. I spent the next hour practicing going into this state, until it stuck.
Bliss Overwhelms Your System
What I didn’t realize was how overpowering that bliss state would be for my system. I thought “wow, I’ve finally found freedom”. THIS MUST BE IT. How could it be anything else? All the books talk about these factors (of course I was being rather selective in my comparison). Well I walked around in that blissful state for about two weeks. I became identified with it, because it represented no pain, no angst, no worry.
It eventually peaked, and you know, I became this magnetic rock star person. Men, women, it seemed like everyone either wanted to just be in my energy, or even more. Ahem. Ya, so I ended up sleeping with my massage therapist. Bad Yogi :p
The Free Preview and the Dark Night
Through the entire experience, you view it as kind of a gift. And in the back of your mind is this little bit of fear, doubt. Hmm. I wonder if this is going to go away? And yes, like all things, it does. Because the point is not to be in that Bliss, the point is to show what it’s like when you’ve dropped all the rocks.
I call it the “Free Preview”.
And, like any proper high performer, when it dropped, I took it pretty hard. And like many, went into a Dark Night. For me the dark night was only 3 days though I understand it can go on for years. My ego was really sneaky – basically weaving a story that I would identify with “oh don’t worry, you’ve only fell back 6 months. You just have to do all that work again, go to India again, and you can get back there. But you have to work hard!”. Funny how it knows exactly what story to tell you in order to get you into despair – the emotion that it wants to feel because the body is used to the biochemicals associated with your history.
I dropped, and eventually stopped believing my ego. Largely because I had been told about the potential for this experience so I could even in my darkest hour have some perspective on the problem. That allowed me to see the insanity of the stories that were being told, and stop identifying with them. This reduces the power the ego has over you.
Climbing the Mountain Again, and Again and Again…
For the next year and a half, I worked tirelessly to regain that state. I learned some energetic techniques that pump up the cerebral spinal fluid into the brain, activate the pineal gland, and generally increase awareness and insight by like 100x. I used this with other techniques like “Teflon Mind’. And, I was able to hit really really really high peak states. Like out of this world, total light, total darkness. Complete oneness and no-selfness.
That’s when I started to write poetry. It literally could not stop coming out of me. My words just in normal conversation would sometimes come out poetic. This brain was so connected that it could see the interconnection, interpenetration of all phenomenon around me. Every book I read, I absorbed in a way where I couldn’t ‘remember’ it, but I definitely embodied it. If someone asked me about a topic inside it, it was like the words, the essence, flowed out through me. There was something bigger than me running the show.
During that year and a half, I was only in those peak states for 2 – 3 weeks at a time. Then I’d drop into another darkness for a week, or more. I’d have to use monumental amounts of effort to bring myself back up. To unlock that brilliant compassionate wisdom mind. Which was no problem, I knew how to do it. It took hours and hours out of my days to maintain it though. Of course, I knew that it wasn’t supposed to be this way. All the dzogchen and other higher yoga books I’ve read talk about this ‘Natural Essence’ which doesn’t require maintenance. And I wondered – where was it?
Cycles of Bliss and Darkness
Why did none of the books I’d been reading talk about this cycle of bliss and darkness?
I can tell you why. Because they were written by Monks, who lived in a monastery.
Think about the conditions of a monastery. It’s a heavily curated environment which is designed specifically to reduce or eliminate any and all triggers. If everyone is behaving reverently, and expected to, there’s no opportunity for any sort of emotion to enter and disrupt the ‘Enlightenment’.
I was living in ‘the Marketplace’ as Osho likes to say. Thus, triggers were everywhere. My partner. My boss. The people on the bus. What I didn’t realize was that it was all of these triggers that would steal the energy from my higher centers, and pool it in the lower center that got ‘triggered’.
Our Traumatic History
In our history we have all had trauma of some sort. Weather it’s to do with safety, sex, power…there’s something in there. There is a mechanism in the brain-body complex that deals with situations that don’t conform to the ego’s idea of its own story. When something happens, like a powerful man takes your power away…and you’re either too young to understand what was happening, or it was just too charged a situation…the body-mind complex limits the amount of neurons that are allowed to connect to that memory. It pushes it away. The memory still has its own energy, and still need energy to maintain itself.
Now, for the rest of your life, until you illuminate it, this memory will get triggered in any situation that pattern matches similar. It’s a kind of warning, and also an opportunity for the fragmented part of you to reconnect to the mothership.
The real problem is that the mother ship is your ego, and it wants none of this bad memory. It doesn’t fit in with the story, or the self identity. So it used energy to push it away.
If you get really good at body awareness, you can actually watch this happen in realtime. Pattern matched, contraction (microsecond) in the body somewhere (safety, sex, power or heart center), then immediately this bad feeling and the need to emotionally react to / push away whatever triggered the pattern.
How does our Trauma interact with Bliss? Thus, the Bliss Disease
Bliss is overwhelming at first. It’s enough to blow your ego open and give you a taste of freedom. You get addicted to it and will do ANYTHING to maintain it.
And if you’re like me, or most men it seems, that can be to push away anyone who gets labeled as pulling you out of it. Yes, like when your partner does or says something and instantly the bliss is gone and you’re either disconnecting (cell phone?), walking out of the room, feeling shame, or yelling angrily.
This is called heading to the ‘cave’. You are trapped in a ‘Peace Prison’, which means that you are working tirelessly to maintain your bliss, and EVERYONE seems to be bent on pulling it away from you.
The challenge is, that it’s not them. It’s you. The trigger is in you. They are just matching the situation in the past. The reason the bliss is gone is because you have rocks to drop.
The Trigger is in You
I eventually figured this out, though it took a bit over a year. I started, at the prodding of my teachers, to pay attention to the reasons that I was dropping. What were all the situations, and how were they similar? Who was I blaming for it? How could I take my power back and find a way to change this in myself?
That’s when I found Mondo Zen, and learned to start teaching what I had learned on my own. Mondo Zen was created by Jun Po Dennis Kelly, and man that guy’s got a great story – check it out in a book called Heart Blown Open.
In Mondo Zen, we’ve realized that people in western society are not just going to live in a monastery where their triggers matter a lot less. We’ve realized that in addition to Enlightenment (waking up) they need to dig deep into the subconscious and liberate these stuck energies. They need to clean up their systems so that they can stop cycling.
The Bliss Disease; Why are the Women of Zen and the Spiritual community fed up?
Because this Bliss Disease (formerly called the Zen Disease) seems to affect Men in Western culture a LOT more visibly. They get very frustrated, angry, paranoid that their partner is trying to manipulate them. They are so strongly identified with the Bliss that anything or anyone who gets in the way gets turned into an enemy.
Women seem to have a tendency to turn the blame inwards. This is closer to the mark, however often they are still not taking their power back, and just accepting that this is the way they are.
The Victim Pattern; And the Bliss Disease
Both men and women are playing the victim pattern here, where they believe that they do not have the power to change. Their ego has got them…yet again.
Have you been through this experience?
How does this show up in your life?
How have you dealt with a partner in this kind of situation?
I’d love to hear from you, I’m leaning into this pattern with my group and 1:1 coaching because I feel like it’s time we all collectively woke up even more and did something about it!
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