Curiosity Killed The Cat – Part 1

“But it found a way back”

“When was the last time you meditated?, asked the Therapist.

“I meditate every now and then but I’ve reduced it to only a few minutes now. I only do body scans which help with my anxiety.”.

“It’s good that body scan is working for you. Body scanning helps release any stuck emotion or energy in your body and brings a sense of grounding and safety. But I am curious to know what made you decide to reduce the duration for your mediation?”

“I used to meditate for 20 – 45 minutes. I have, in fact, meditated for hours at length multiple times without realizing it. But I don’t want to have the same experiences that I had earlier. I am not even sure if I feel comfortable to pray anymore.”, she said lost in thoughts.

“What led you to make that decision?”, the Therapist enquired.

“I have seen what meditation can do to my brain. I don’t want to experience that again. And for praying, I am not sure I know what it means anymore.”

“It’s understandable that you won’t want to experience something again that made you feel uncomfortable. We have also identified that your body and brain are more sensitive than an average human being. However, what makes you think that the experiences you had will happen again?”

“I accept that I don’t know if it will happen again or if I will experience all that with the same intensity. But when I slip, something or the other happens again.

Okay, the truth is I am scared.”

“What are you scared of?”, asked the Therapist.

“Everything that happened. Everything that I experienced. Not being able to sleep, nightmares, meditations, visuals, even my senses.”

“What about your senses scare you?”

“They were all exceptionally enhanced. Every sound became a bit too loud. The colors were far more enhanced than they normally are. Even my sense of smell had drastically increased. I couldn’t stand loud sounds, bad smell, anything.”

“Is it such a bad thing to have enhanced senses?”

“It’s the fact that everything was enhanced to a level that it got overwhelming. I could close my eyes and go into a trance state within seconds. My memory was enhanced, it still is more enhanced than I ever remember it to be. I could feel people’s emotions as if they were my own no matter how far away or close they were. In some cases, I could “see” what their emotional state was like and the traumatic experiences that they’ve had – I verified some of these visuals with these individuals and they were true.

I didn’t need to meditate for hours or even take the help of a stimulant. If anything, a stimulant made it impossible to have any control over my experiences.

I know I can still do all of that. All it would require for me to do is concentrate. It might take a bit longer but I know I can do it. But a few months back, it got so overwhelming that I started to have anxiety throughout the day and I had to make changes to get some level of sanity back. Every interaction I have, I have to consciously try and stop myself from letting myself feel the other person’s energy or feelings. It’s like a wall has to be up all the time. When I don’t do that, it takes minutes for me to start to feel exhausted or overwhelmed. I have tried hard to get some level of control over all of this so that I don’t feel overwhelmed all the time. I don’t want to go back.”

“I am starting to see that you have a tendency to stop or cut out whatever causes you pain. You stopped meditating, these practices and now even praying.”

“Won’t anyone?”

“Some might but not everything that causes pain requires to be completely eliminated from our lives. Everything has a good and a not-so-good side. Eliminating stimulants, as an example, is a good decision because it does more harm than benefit. Sometimes, however, a few things just need a bit of change or modification depending on what they do for you. E.g., body scanning is a type of meditation. You experience benefits from it, don’t you?”

“Yes. It hasn’t shown any side effects and helps me relax.”

“What else helps you?”

“Concentrating on my breathing, journaling, sleeping, exercising, talking to you.”

“Good. Try and go back to some of these tools and practices whenever you start to feel overwhelmed. How have you been sleeping in the past few weeks?”

“Much better than before. Most nights, it’s pretty pleasant. Sometimes there are dreams where I see myself working through a problem. I have only had one bad dream in the past two months. Yesterday, though, I had an interesting dream which woke me up. It got overwhelming initially but I could go back to sleep almost instantaneously. 

Someone told me that a reason behind my bad dreams could be the thoughts or questions I have right before going to bed. While yesterday I don’t remember having any of these thoughts, it might be my exhaustion and a couple of other variables that led to that dream. So, I try to be more conscious about my thoughts especially before going to bed.”

“That’s something I would agree to be more conscious about. What questions did you ask yourself?”

“Why was this happening to me? Why does no one else experience this? Why doesn’t it stop? Why does something happen?

I know what you’re about to say – ‘Why is a dangerous question’. I have stopped asking ‘why’ now. Though sometimes I still slip. My curiosity seems to be causing a lot of troubles lately.”

“It’s my least favorite question. “What” and “how” are good questions to get whatever information we want. It’s even better to be more specific about what you need answers to. Before going to bed, however, it’s good to have no questions. Our brain has a way to ponder and maybe even provide us answers when we go to sleep. Sometimes these answers help. Sometimes they can cause more anxiety. But, I think it’s my responsibility to tell you that you’re not alone. What you are experiencing is called Spiritual Emergence. We don’t have much scientific knowledge about this but many people experience this. Unfortunately, not everyone in my profession is versed with this.”

“I know. That’s why I was seeking a therapist who has some experience working with spiritually-inclined clients. I just wish more people were aware of this because I know a lot many suffer because they don’t get the attention that they deserve.”

“That’s really unfortunate and I can assume can be scary.”

“It is.”

“One more thing that I would like you to consider is that while there are different tools available to help you in your recovery, there are tools that might not work for you. E.g., in therapy, we ask people to use different tools to help them deal with whatever they’re dealing with. Some tools work for some people, some don’t. Does that mean that all tools are bad?”

“No. Okay, I get what you’re saying. Meditation was not the culprit, it was the type of meditation that I was doing that wasn’t helpful to me because of my sensitivity. It can be beneficial to others. I find it a little funny to see that I struggled with meditation for years and when I got the hang of it, I turned out to be pretty good at it. To be fair, it was all blissful in the beginning but then it went downhill.”

“What happened?”

“Where do I start? Visions, dreams, flashbacks of experiences I didn’t have but that seemed so real”, she felt herself getting lost in the past.

“How do you feel in your body as you recall these experiences, right now.”

“Weak. I am rubbing my hand against the surface of this couch and focusing on the way it makes my hand feel is helping me stay grounded.”

“Good. See, you have all these tools that help you stay grounded and it’s your body that’s acting as the anchor. Whenever you feel like you’re going into a trance or when you have some unpleasant experiences during your meditation practice or when you’re lucid dreaming or after you’ve had a bad dream, can you try to bring your awareness back to your body by using any of these tools?”

“I can try. Normally, I get scared but I am willing to give it a try. Are you saying that I resume my meditation practices? I am not sure if I am ready to do that.”

“You’ve experienced some transformational changes with your meditation practices. You told me that you could uncover a childhood trauma, it has also enhanced your memory, it has helped you bring to the surface and process subconscious emotions and it helps you deal with anxiety. I am not asking you to resume all the practices but would you consider continuing with practices that you found helpful?”

“Yes. I can continue body scanning, perhaps try some guided meditation and some other practices that have helped.”

“Good. Now, I have another question for you. What made you stop praying?”

With a long exhale, “I don’t know who I am praying to anymore. I don’t know what it means to pray anymore. My experience has challenged a lot of what I knew about this world, my beliefs, my values, and even my relationships.

Since I was a kid, I’ve believed in a God. I never believed in religion but God’s existence was something that I never doubted. Back then, God was this omnipresent presence, a friend I could speak to, be angry at, ask help from but I didn’t have to worry about…”

“Please continue”

“About ‘seeing’ them in my dreams or meditations or just by closing my eyes. Or get answers to what I only read about in religious textbooks. Past life, for example, was this fun concept that I was always curious about but never thought I’ll just randomly sit through and experience.”

“Are you sure those were past lives?”

“Either that or my mind has an amazingly powerful imagination. Also, I asked a few spiritual practitioners to do their practice and tell me what it was. They didn’t even know what I was experiencing yet played back to me every single detail of what I had experienced. Either we’re all hallucinating or there is some truth to it.”

“How did having others validate your experience make you feel?”

“It was a mix of emotions. After hearing back from the third practitioner, I told myself that there was no point in denying it or trying to understand what it meant. They all had different practices and re-iterated what I was experiencing. In fact, two of them hardly knew me to make it all up. I remember feeling weak in my body but freer. Like I could believe myself.

Then, there was this fear – That if it’s all true, then, I am supposed to do things that I don’t want to do. It scared me. My mistakes have a much larger impact than I was ever aware of. Emotions, thoughts, and actions have a much larger impact than we’re aware of. There was also this fear that after knowing all of this, I was way lonelier than I had realized.”

“What makes you think so?”

“I am yet to meet someone who has experienced all of what I have experienced in the way that I did and who still tries to look at it objectively without getting lost in some of the supernatural beliefs. I have already lost someone to these experiences and I don’t think I have the strength left in me to lose someone else.”

“Did everyone you spoke to have the same reaction?”

“I can’t talk to my family about it openly because either they get scared for me or they don’t believe me or they come up with these requests as if I am a healer of some kind. I don’t like hearing that. The teachers I reached out to asked me to be a healer too and heal humanity. I don’t believe in any of that. I would love to help people, I love doing that. In fact, I have thought about doing something meaningful throughout my life. But not because I have some special ‘gifts’. I am normal, maybe a bit more aware of these experiences but that doesn’t make me an ‘intuitive healer’ like so many people have claimed that I am. I don’t like that term for myself. I am just me and I don’t like the expectations that all of a sudden people seem to put on me when I open up to them. With my family, I got a request to just eliminate all the pain and suffering, and make a request to a God because I have a special way of contacting them. That’s not true, I don’t.

We all have these ‘gifts’. My experience just allowed me to ‘see’ some of it but that’s about it. A person just needs to sit, concentrate and they’ll experience what I do. It might not be as visual as it gets for some but the end result would be the same. The details of the experience will differ from person to person but that’s not because I am special or a few people are ‘blessed’. It’s because that happened because of some explanations that we don’t have yet. Frankly, others might have a better experience than I did because they might not experience it with the same intensity. Anyway, I have stopped sharing. That’s another part of my life that I can’t share with my family.

With my friends, most of them didn’t question me but just accepted me. One was scared, few got excited and wanted me to do past life regressions for them. That was funny.”

“You seem to be struggling with some of the expectations that people have put on you.”

“Yes! I am not a healer or a psychic or whatever you want to call it. I don’t do anything that others can’t. I didn’t even ask for any of this. It literally just happened.”

“What don’t you like about those terms?”

“I don’t like what these terms imply – that all this is supernatural. These terms don’t sit well in my body. They induce fear and just feel wrong. When my ‘Spiritual Emergence’ started, a Shamanic teacher helped me get some sanity. Most of what he taught me, helped me. But some of the explanations to my experiences I got only scared me more. I couldn’t put my finger on it until later but I finally realized that it was because I didn’t agree with a lot of explanations. The same thing happened with another teacher which led me to decide to not go down that path despite everyone claiming that was what I was ‘meant to do’. Really, how can anyone know what I am meant to do? Even I don’t know what I am supposed to do in my life!

And, then, with people who follow other practices like Akashic records reading and Reiki healing it was overall the same experience. Most of the practitioners experience the same things that I do but where their beliefs are based on faith, mine are not and I struggle with just ‘surrendering’ to these beliefs. Whenever I tried to just accept their interpretations and ‘surrender’, it only scared me more. I am not saying that they are wrong but I don’t believe everything that people say either. Hell, I don’t even believe everything that I tell myself. E.g., I have seen the benefits of Reiki and will ask people to use that as a way to heal themselves. However, I won’t tell them the same story that seems to be prevalent in the spiritual community – that all this is supernatural. I was using the same energy to heal myself during my experiences way before I formally learned how to give Reiki. Then, how can Reiki practice be limited to a special few? By the way, it turns out, I am a natural at all of these practices. Next, I’ll just teleport myself to another part of the galaxy.”

“You sound frustrated.”, the Therapist noted.

“I am. The more I try to be normal, the more different I find myself to be. I have struggled for years with my childhood experience and my identity. I have put in a lot of effort into helping myself feel my emotions, and come to terms with who I am and, then, this happens. Every other week, I used to uncover some new ‘gift’ or experience something new or unlock another memory or emotion.

I have no friends who have these experiences or ‘gifts’. I tried talking to people who have these experiences but I find that I am not able to connect with their way of thinking. I tried talking to more scientific-minded folks and they just refuse to acknowledge any of these experiences despite the fact that there are multiple encounters of people having these experiences. I once saw a friend’s house that I had never visited. When I visited their place, it was the same image that I saw during my meditation. That doesn’t mean I am psychic. It just means that I am doing something that we all can do but don’t know how to do. That also leaves me with no one to talk to and I feel isolated.”

“What about what spiritual practitioners say that frustrated you?”

“Spiritual practitioners I met were nothing but supportive. No doubt, I’ll still seek their help when I decide to and I have nothing but respect for the work they do to heal others. They were extremely sympathetic and helpful. Some of them felt as isolated as I did. The fact is, none of them are lying. It’s all true. The experiences they have are real experiences that a number of people share. What I struggled with were the explanations that they gave me. It all seemed to be rooted in this ‘non-scientific’ fear-based thinking. And I don’t think it’s their fault.

Don’t get me wrong. I trust them without a doubt. And if some explanations work for them, great. But it feels like, everyone seems to take these experiences at their face value and when I don’t, I am told that I am not ‘surrendering’. E.g., I don’t have any doubts about the existence of what we call a soul or God but I also can’t blindly believe in the explanations of today’s society for whatever it is. But there were times when I was asked to do something to avoid any ‘repercussions’ because I will be ‘punished’ or because a ‘God’ will leave me. The term that I started to hate the most was “surrender”. When I ask what to surrender to, they don’t have an answer and, then, I am told that that’s not how it works. That I just should just believe. Believe in what? Well, how does it work? Then, no one has any answers.

On one hand, we say that there is this God and a Supreme Soul who is all-loving and is a part of us. On the other hand, we are asked to be scared of it. Of what? Something that we call a part of ourselves? We should be scared of ourselves? How does that even make sense? That goes against every psychological practice.

I am sorry if I am sounding frustrated.”

“It’s okay. Go on”

“And then there is this thing about past lives itself. People say – we have past lives, we have karma, we have energy bonds. We do good, we reduce karma, we reach enlightenment, we ‘merge’ with our souls, some spirits are good, some spirits are bad, and it goes on and on and on. Someone even said we come from a starship somewhere. Some claimed Covid happened because a God was angry and we saw thousands going on rallies to appease this God during the pandemic! People kill others in the name of Gods, sacrifice animals in their name. Seriously, a God will ask you to endanger yourself or kill someone to appease Him/Her? 

I am not saying that that’s all not true but I also can’t blindly believe in everything that’s based on something that’s been passed on from generations. Yes, these experiences happen. But I fail to understand why we need to blindly believe in the reasons behind these experiences just because they haven’t been explained yet? 

But I don’t blame anyone for any of these beliefs. That’s where our science-based minds and scientific community comes in who refuses to believe in anything that the technology of today can’t explain. That leaves people like me nowhere to go but to these religious practices that are masked as spiritual practices. Sometimes it feels like we’re such an arrogant bunch of cold-hearted individuals who would not bat an eye before giving the title of “fraud” or “crazy” to someone whose experiences we can’t explain irrespective of what psychological impact it would have on that individuals. I suffered because of this arrogance and it’s equivalent to asking someone to commit suicide because you’re forcing them into isolation when they reach to you for help and you deny them help. If I hadn’t met someone like you, I would be in an asylum today for something that’s completely natural or worse.

I am not saying that some people don’t lie and benefit out of these ‘gifts’. We have fraudsters everywhere. But that’s precisely the point. People can benefit from this and take advantage of blind faith because the scientific community which is the only community that can provide some logical reasoning behind these experiences refuses to acknowledge it. We claim to be empathetic beings but we turn selfish the moment something happens that makes us feel uncomfortable. We seem to be more interested in sending billionaires to space than understanding our physiology. It’s honestly disheartening to see how benefit-driven we are.”

“How does all of this make you feel?”

“It angers me. It also makes me feel sad, helpless at times, isolated, scared, and vulnerable. Giving myself some of this scientific knowledge has helped me get better control over some of what I experienced. I still have a long way to go but I can see that I am making progress.

I can only imagine how people dealt with it before someone in the scientific community coined the term Spiritual Emergence. It’s not hard to imagine that they’re all in an asylum or under the influence of some very heavy medications.”

“I am sorry that you’re going through this experience in your life. If these people could hear you, what would you say to them?”

“To scientific community – STOP GASLIGHTING. Learn to have empathy. You’re scientists, and scientists have been proven wrong multiple times. Have some sense of humbleness and, if nothing else, be humans. To spiritual community – STOP HAVING BLIND FAITH. Study some science. You already know that you are mentally strong, try to equip yourself with some science to help yourself in these endeavors.”

“You told me that you’ve been reading some research papers to help yourself understand this experience a bit more. What did you learn?”

“Frankly, I am as clueless today as everyone else. But, I think I have started to observe some patterns, and based on my very limited knowledge, I think I can at least give myself some answers that seem to be helping me. Now, this is all my theory and I could be completely wrong or slightly right.

Here’s what I think – The answer lies in our DNAs. Genetic memory might be the explanation for our ancestral trauma healing and past life regression. The terms ‘mother wounds’ or ‘father wounds’ are nothing but their traumas stored in our DNAs. DNAs don’t just transfer physical ailments but our emotions pass down to the next generation too. That with Theory of Relativity should have some answers to past lives and the visions that I had. Time may after all not always be linear. That might also provide some clarity on what karma means. For all we know, the subconscious thoughts and impact of our actions get stored in our DNA and impact our well-being while showing up as physical ailments. If you bring someone new to this world with this faulty DNA, the person is bound to suffer. Remove the faults, and the ‘pain’ goes away. That’s why it might be good to be cautious of who we choose to have kids with. We’ll be transferring all our and our partner’s traits & emotions to the kid along with everything that we inherited from our families unless we’ve worked on those parts of ourselves. If I have an angry partner or if I suffer from anxiety, guess how my kid or my grandkid will probably turn out to be? 

Then, come forces and energies. Gravitational force is a proven fact but only since the apple fell. Scientists have FINALLY started to wonder if thoughts have energy. Heart’s electromagnetic field was detected just a few years back. Is it so far-fetched to assume that we all have energies that we radiate? If it’s an energy, won’t it have a specific frequency which might answer why I find it easier to feel some people’s thoughts & emotions over others because their thoughts/emotions might be resonating at my frequency? Can’t that somehow answer why some of us feel other people’s emotions, what we attract, who we attract, who we repel, etc.? Won’t it also explain why I find myself more at peace with people I’ve shared some past life memories with because their presence feels familiar to my body? That would also explain the concept of collective consciousness which might be nothing but all our thoughts that we have access to which is why we see similar images of Gods or why some of us have common dreams. It does not make any of this unreal. Depending on the frequency of our thought, we just get the answer from this ‘collective’. It just means that we’re more connected to each other than we realize.

It’s not true until it’s proven seems to be costing a lot of lives.”

“You have some interesting theories. Carry on”, the Therapist was intrigued.

“If we subconsciously know that there is a part of ourselves that we have to heal, is it not possible that we subconsciously put ourselves in situations and enter relationships that only bring to the surface that pain so that it can be released and so that we can work on rewiring some patterns to correct this DNA? It could also mean that there are some relationships that we are not able to make sense of but that feel more real than other relationships because we share our genes with these people that come from our past lives experiences, and because we might both be trying to heal the same ‘wounds’ and because our bodies remember each other even if we don’t?

Then, we have our brains which are still more or less a mystery. Science has FINALLY proven that meditation can alter our neural pathways. That’s what happened to me. From my perspective, some people, situations, stimulants, circumstances, and my endeavor to heal myself, activated some part of my DNA or altered my neural pathway or did both. This led to the visions, past live regressions, having ‘gifts’, etc. It doesn’t mean that I didn’t and don’t experience what I do but it would mean that this is my subconscious coming into light because parts of my DNA that were dormant have been activated. My body and brain are only helping me heal myself. The dreams I see of Gods or other family members or people I have shared my past lives with might be that DNA, collective subconsciousness, and some of this programming that brought it all to the surface or brought me more in touch with who I am as a whole. I don’t believe awakening is about waking up to something unnatural. I believe it’s awakening to our physiology, to our humanity.

None of this makes me special or weird. It just makes me a human being who is trying to heal herself by letting go of trapped emotions, energies, and patterns that sometimes are mine and are sometimes just a part of my genetic structure. It also just shows that this is what happens when you start working on yourself and when you start to release these stuck patterns. That might explain why most spiritual practitioners share these experiences with slight differences and why some religious textbooks mention some of these experiences. That’s because it happens, we’re all human beings, we’re nature and that’s just how we’re programmed.”

“You seemed to have put a lot of thought into it. How does it make you feel when you see that not everyone can have these conversations with you?”

“Lonely? I can’t wait to meet someone who will be willing to talk through this. But a friend recently scolded me when I told her that I feel I am weird because not many people share these experiences and I have decided to believe her.

I know that there are so many other experiences that I will continue to have. This is not just my journey. This is literally just what we are as human beings and we as humans are meant to experience. For whatever reason, my body decided it was time for me to experience all of this and my brain is helping me not get lost in the supernatural explanations. 

Reading research papers has helped me a lot along with spiritual texts. That’s what you do when you have to rescue yourself without much support. Again I might be completely wrong about all of this and I know most of what I mentioned still hasn’t been accepted by our scientific community or even by the spiritual community. But I am afraid I’ll already be dead by the time anyone accepts it. So, I have to give myself something to allow myself to live my life. Which leaves me with nothing but confusion about how I relate to God and some other stuff.”

“I can see that you’ve started to untangle a lot of your thoughts. Just a few weeks back you were struggling to talk through any of this and, today, you have your own theory which is based on scientific evidence and does not negate your experiences. I see a lot of significant progress. I would like you to give more thought to what confuses you about your relationship with God and this other stuff that you mentioned.

We’re almost at the end of our session. Let’s take this in our next session. But before we leave, how do you feel in your body?”

“I am feeling better in my body from how I felt when our session started. I can see that I was holding onto a lot of frustration and anger. There is also a lot of sadness and loneliness but I feel better knowing that I might after all be able to help myself. Thank you for listening. It means a lot to me.”

“I am glad this is helping you. Thank you for showing up. Until next time.”

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