“Strange” feelings?

It must be so different in the mind of a normal person. I stumbled upon this piece in Aeon Magazine, where the author (Ken MacLeod) describes two strange feelings he has had a few times in his life, and wonders where they came from and why.

The first is basically just a feeling of Presence in a beautiful landscape – something he only experienced when younger and not since:

“….I became intensely aware of something that rang from the silence, sunlight, solitude, and rock. I can only describe it as a sense of some enormous presence. It was everywhere, like the shimmer of the heat in the air. Maybe I was frightened at first but that passed, and it became something that was just there, like the light.”

The second is sort of a meta-self-awareness:

“Out of nowhere, from one step to the next, I was overcome by an astonishment at being me. It was like a second iteration of self-awareness, combined with an odd detachment, as if my mind had stepped back from my personality and wondered how it could possibly be that.”

I honestly cannot imagine an internal landscape that did not feature these sorts of experiences on a regular basis. The first is obviously something I would term a recognition of the numinous, which I have all the time and is an integral part of my spirituality. The second happens to me constantly – in fact, I remember the first time I had an experience like that, and it was during nap time in school, so I must have been very young. Coupled with frequent (ever more so these days, as I explore further reaches of certain altered states) bouts of depersonalization and derealization, it is one of the things that makes living in my brain so very…interesting. And yet from my observations, most people are much more like him than like me, only having such experiences fleetingly and infrequently, if at all. Then again, I suppose that’s one of the many reasons most people aren’t spirit-workers, shamans, or mystics. The more such things occur, the less you can just go about a regular mundane life.

~ by Dver on January 21, 2014.

3 Responses to ““Strange” feelings?”

  1. Thanks for sharing that you have frequent bouts of depersonalization and derealization — as I have gotten further into my spiritual work I feel the same, and it can be very scary and disorienting. I don’t know anyone who speaks about this, so sometimes I think there may be something seriously “wrong” with me (concerns heightened by my own experiences with mental illness [of a very different flavor] in the past and my current work as a clinician in the mental health field). I don’t know what to make of these feelings so I just try to roll along with it, and focus on the very basic things that keep me rooted — as basic as being sure to eat regularly.

    • I know how you feel – it at least helped me a little when I discovered these terms, since before then I didn’t even have words for what I was experiencing. Keeping grounded in those basic ways can help a lot. However, to be honest, in my case (and this very well might not apply to anyone but me, as I am bound to my spirits in a certain way and tend to do things not recommended for most people), I am being Told to embrace these feelings when they happen rather than fighting them or even just waiting patiently for them to disappear…. I am instead exploring them as altered states of consciousness that can lead me to direct contact with spirits and otherworlds just as surely as entheogens or any other method. But it is a scary and challenging task.

  2. I’m extremely certain that there is either a japanese or german word for that exact feeling, but for the life of me I cannot remember what it was called.

    But, if I am remembering that correctly, then it’s not actually abnormal, people have just forgotten it these days. They’re moving too fast to notice.

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