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Meditation/unable to be objective


Ill try to keep this short.
When I started smoking pot when I was 15 I had my first experience with intrusive thoughts. I was very happy and able to live in a state if flow up to that point and when these thoughts bombarded me, they felt so foreign. Anyway flash to now I am 20 and about 2 months ago after a few months of
acute anxiety and panic attacks. I was enveloped by this horrible foreign feeling and I have not felt like myself since. Anyway I am seeing a lady for healing and she is wonderful but I've recently noticed that while meditating I am unable to brush the thoughts that come from this energy away. I can't see them as clouds that will disappear because its like I already believe them before they come. The best way I can explain it is its like this energy is covering me and feeling a certain way before I even have a chance to feel it.
My whole life changed when this thing came into me I see the world as pointless and meaningless and every single thoughts is from this new shitty paranoid perspective.
Anyway. What do you think is happening and how do I meditate. Is it possible to get rid of this. I remember meeting this thing when I was 15 but my mind was clearer then and I saw it for the invader and liar that it was. After being repeatedly knocked down by panic attack after panic attack it was able to envelope m while my defenses were low.
Also could I just be crazy?
Thank you

No, I do not believe you are crazy because you are still analyzing and questioning your experience. In my opinion, mad people are usually totally convinced of some thing. They have lost the ability to step back and look at whatever is gripping them, bothering them, whatever.

I'm not a psychiatrist, and while I believe an incompetent psychiatrist could do just as much harm as good, a competent one might be helpful. In my opinion the key is to find someone who is open to the possibility of not only positive but, also, negative spirituality.

In the Catholic faith what you are experiencing might be viewed as a kind of spiritual "attack." Or possibly spiritual "obsession." These are theological terms. I suggest you look them up in their theological context. That way if you do happen to stumble across an incompetent therapist, you will have those terms as backup, to counter the view (that some seem to have) that it's all in the brain, biochemistry, and the conventionally observable environment.

This is not to rule out the brain, the body and the conventionally observable environment. Far from it. On that score, I suggest you stop the drugs completely. Take up something healthy in their place. Like regular exercise. That will likely help you to overcome your negative experience. I think you also could benefit from someone to talk with in person. But again, I suggest you make sure, whoever they are, that they are open to the ups and downs of the spiritual life.

I hope this helps. In my opinion too many people get messed up by this kind of stuff, and I don't think they have to. I believe it's just a question of finding the solution that works for you.


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Michael Clark, Ph.D.


I'd prefer to answer questions from seekers rather than those wishing to get into in an academic debate. I do, however, have a considerable degree of scholarly knowledge that may be applied to the inherent complexities - or simplicities - of the contemplative life. But the key word here is "applied."

I tend to agree with these sentiments as expressed by the woman writer on mysticism, Evelyn Underhill:

"Now meditation is a half-way house between thinking and contemplating: and as a discipline, it derives its chief value from this transitional character."

Source: Practical Mysticism: A little book for normal people (1914), p. 46.

Moreover, I strongly believe that all persons possess an essential individuality--not just a superficial, conceptual or constructed sense of individuality. So if you're looking to lose your essential self in 'nothingness,' please ask another expert. I don't believe in that idea.


I began to meditate in the 1980s. I did hatha yoga and studied and taught Tai Chi. I then lived in India for two years where meditation was a way of life. Although my methods have changed over the years in keeping with my personal development, I still consider myself a contemplative person.

Print Media:
My table from "Religions and Cults" at is reproduced with permission in L. Lindsey, S. Beach and B. Ravelli, Core Concepts in Sociology, 2nd ed., p. 157

World Wide Web:
My online article "Letter to God" coauthored with Buddhist monk, E. Raymond Rock, appears on several different spirituality-based websites, including

I've interviewed, as a Christian, a self-proclaimed mystic:

My articles appeared at the former New View magazine and are published at

Ph.D. in Religious Studies
M.A. in Comparative Religion
B.A. Hon. in Psychology/Sociology
For more info, please see my CV and letters of recommendation and my blog at

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