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Hello Friends,

I was wondering if I could ask for your ideas and thoughts, as I do not know if what I'm experiencing is either depersonalization, enlightenment, or something not even on that spectrum.

First off I want to say that I truly hope I do not offend anyone suffering from DP. A lot of what I have experienced is the opposite of a lot of the typical DP symptoms, so I don't want come off like, "Hey my life is awesome!" and be disingenuous to DP sufferers. I truly feel for you all and can't imagine the stuff you're going through. And I would be glad to add any of you to my prayers.

So here goes. Ever since I was a child, I could either focus on something like a blank wall or look in the mirror and enter in to a moment of extreme self-realization. The feeling is mostly, "Oh HOLY CRAP! I EXIIIIIIIIIIIIIST! HOW FREAKING WEIRD IS THIS?!?!" But there's also a feeling of detachment, as if my soul is looking at my body somehow.

I can only stay in the moment for about 20 seconds; it takes a conscious effort and the experience eventually starts to feel so intense that it's almost painful. The feelings it evokes are a mixture of good and bad. It's exhilarating and intense, but also feels slightly frightening - kinda like sledding down a hill that starts going just slightly faster than your comfort level. There's also a twinge of fear and trepidation behind it, like I'm screwing around with some metaphysics that I shouldn't be screwing around with.

I've had a few people tell me that it sounds like DP, but there's a lot of differences. For example, the experience is never automatic - I always have to focus inward to do it. Also, I do not struggle with anxiety or depression.

The experience also doesn't necessarily feel like everything looks or feels detached. Everything feels incredibly real - perhaps even more so. Perhaps a way to describe it is it feels like I'm being more cognitive with my soul and less with my body. So everything around me does feel strange during those times, but still absolutely real.

I've heard others on this forum talk about spiritual enlightenment or awakening, and I'm not sure if it's that either. I'm not sure that these experiences have provided any intrinsic benefit or spiritual growth. I'm a very spiritual person and practice spiritual disciplines. I'm a Christian so this will color the way I describe things, but it's fairly common for me to have experiences where I feel an overwhelming divine presence and love - those are experiences I feel change me for the better. But for the moments of extreme self-realization, I don't know if they're good or bad. If I knew they were positive and beneficial, I would definitely do them more often. Part of me thinks they're beneficial. Another part of me thinks they're dangerous. Maybe it's a bit of both?

Some other info that may or may not help. I don't have any mental disorders - at least none that I know of and I've never done drugs. I feel I'm much more sensitive to spiritual things than the average person. I also have synesthesia - if that matters.

I would love to know your thoughts, if you're willing to give them. I'm willing to consider anything. However, just so you know, I think very much with a Christian worldview so if you have any great ideas that stem from more eastern religions or philosophies, I would love to hear them! You may just have to explain them like I'm five years old. J
 

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I've heard others on this forum talk about spiritual enlightenment or awakening, and I'm not sure if it's that either. I'm not sure that these experiences have provided any intrinsic benefit or spiritual growth. I'm a very spiritual person and practice spiritual disciplines. I'm a Christian so this will color the way I describe things, but it's fairly common for me to have experiences where I feel an overwhelming divine presence and love - those are experiences I feel change me for the better. But for the moments of extreme self-realization, I don't know if they're good or bad. If I knew they were positive and beneficial, I would definitely do them more often. Part of me thinks they're beneficial. Another part of me thinks they're dangerous. Maybe it's a bit of both?
So, to summarize this: You can temporarily induce an altered state of conciousness that is resembling in some ways depersonalization. In addition you are prone to have mystical experiences.

The mundane explanation for this is that there is probably some kind of aberration in your brain that is the common cause of both phenomena. One possibility would be that whenever you are experiencing an "overwhelming divine presence and love" and "extreme self-realization" that it's caused by a focal seizure.

What you probably should do, is go to a neurologist and let them do an EEG. You should also tell the doctor about your "skill" and then at the end you should turn the self-realization on while the EEG is recording. This might show if your self-realization is associated with epileptiform discharges or other anomalies.

I don't know if the phenomena you describe are dangerous. But as nobody can ensure their safety at this time, I think you should stop to willfully induce them.
 
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So you have existential thoughts and a sense of detachment but can control that? Oddly enough I have a couple of memories of having strange experiences with mirrors as a child. Looking at myself in disbelief that I exist. If I were you I wouldn't practice the detatchmemt thing though. You might trigger it in a trauma or hard time in your life which inevitably life will throw at you at some point. We roll the dice on that one everyday.
 

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It sounds like you're doing a type of meditation which can alter your state.

I'm actually familiar with it, have done it before.

Yes, it can induce spiritual experiences.
 
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