Zen sickness

From January till March 2014, I hit a very marked stage of apathy. Somehow this whole process of the journey with the anger and the subsequent painful letting go, the Awareness Watching Awareness meditation of looking back at awareness, the shift of perception that I am consciousness, all of that made me feel flat. I had very little energy or interest to do anything. Nothing seemed to matter.

If I was consciousness and this body and personality was just something like a character in a virtual reality game, then why invest in the screen avatar? What goals were worthy of achieving? Before the awakening, I used to have goals in life. But now, nothing was important anymore.

If awakening to what we are was the goal of the game, and if I had seen myself as consciousness, then I assumed that I could consider myself ‘done’. But then what was important now, after being ‘done’?

I was almost constantly in the witness position, not only to the stuff happening around me but also to my body.

That witness stage felt a little strange. It was as if I didn’t inhabit my body anymore in a natural way.

Once, I saw a short documentation on tv about a device that would allow a man to steer his wheelchair with his thoughts. That was pretty amazing. The wheelchair reacted to the thoughts. Think left, and it turns left. Wow!

In the same way, I kept wondering about how reliably the wish to raise my arm actually resulted in raising my arm. That is something which we usually take for granted and do not think about. But during this phase of my journey, I felt that I as awareness was different from my body. And that my body was like a cool meat-suit I had been given for that virtual reality game. How amazing that it did react to my thoughts! And how awesome that it came complete with input channels called sense organs that let me see, feel, and taste everything around me as if these things outside were separate things.

It was amazing. But even though I had a new appreciation for my body from that new perspective, life suddenly seemed unreal.

I wondered whether there was a difference to a depersonalization-derealization disorder (DP/DR). There was plenty of discussion on the internet about whether DP/DR was a clinical disorder (and should be treated by medication) or was a part of the journey to enlightenment.

Not only did everything feel unreal, but I also felt flat, low energy, purposeless, everything was sort of gray. I had no motivation whatsoever.

I searched the internet whether others on this journey had gone through similar phases and found stories about zen-sickness and falling into the ‘pit of the void’.

It was comforting to know that it was probably a normal phenomenon and nothing I needed to worry about. I hoped that it would pass eventually.

As it turned out later, life wouldn’t let me rest in this phase for more than three months, but my guides devised some clever methods to pull me out of the pit of the void, which I will discuss in my next post.


This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey. If you want to read the story from the beginning, you can go to the table of contents and then page forward through the chapters like in a book.


6 thoughts on “Zen sickness

  1. I did have quite a long ‘stagnation’, almost 2 years. And at the end of it I became quite ill. I was stunned to learn that I hadn’t really ‘found me’ until I did become ill and was asked to go deeper and really see the truth and appreciation of life down here as it seemed to be taken away from me in that illness. Yes, I was awake, but only to what I had previously seen. Now I was being shown life from another direction, one that has shaken that stagnation of self doubt and given an appreciation of what ‘life’ really is.
    Thank you for sharing, may it open another path for you 😀 ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋

    Liked by 4 people

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