an excerpt from a letter to troy.
I suffer from some health conditions that have recently gotten worse. I was referred to an acupuncturist who has been treating me for about a month now; it’s one of those it’ll get worse before it gets better deals. For the first week, I was worse than I had been in years – could barely function. For the second, I was a bit better, but still worse than I had been before starting the treatment. The following week, my condition was fluctuating, so I didn’t know how I would feel from one moment to the next. And now, I am just exhausted.
I have also lost all concept of time – not that that sense was very strong to begin with – and have found myself randomly zoning out – another thing which occurred before but got stronger – and now, only to “come to” with an odd, empty sense of detachment and unbelonging. I look around; my environment seems foreign. I seem foreign – this body, this consciousness. As I don’t tend to feel very connected to much in this world, this “reality,” anyway, the further detachment can be a very distressing thing. In discussing this with my mom – the Zen nut – she said that that’s what people stare at a wall (our “bon mot” for meditate) for years to feel – to lose their attachment.
In that moment I thought, fuck Zen. Pardon my French, but that was honestly my first thought. If people only knew what they were striving for – that maybe it was kind of “cool” to not feel an attachment to this world, but when you don’t, there’s nothing else. Simply emptiness. That’s what I have seen in my “out of body/mind” experiences – pure, stark, black emptiness. As one with no specific spiritual faith, I cannot give myself an illusion of anything beyond this world.
I think that we are all in this earth to experience all this reality has to offer. I think that philosophies like Zen can help in becoming less attached to one’s own perspective, or paradigm, but to neglect this world completely for the utterly unknown? To strive for a lifetime in reaching that unknown, while allowing all the experiences and senses and pleasures of this world to pass you by? I just can’t dig that!
But I am tainted. And I know that. If what I have experienced is in fact the Real Deal, the True Self, then I never want to see it again, let alone embody it. The emptiness and detachment has been the main – if not sole – source of the emotional problems that plagued my childhood, which I am still attempting to understand and deal with now, and which still have entirely too much control over my life. Perhaps if I had a spiritual faith, one I believed in as the ultimate truth that would serve as something to look forward to during the detachment. But I don’t. And I don’t think I ever will. I have beliefs, sure. I’ll believe in the possibility of anything, but how can I be sure enough to consider it a reality, when I don’t even consider this pen and paper, and coffeeshop surroundings a reality?