Strange Feeling of Nonexistence

Discussion in 'Pseudoscience Archive' started by Vixen, Jan 28, 2012.


Have you had this feeling before?

  1. Yes, but I'm also confused by what it is

    4 vote(s)
  2. Yes, and I know what it is

    3 vote(s)
  3. No, I'm not sure I can relate

    2 vote(s)
  4. No, but I know what you're referring to

    0 vote(s)
  1. Vixen Registered Member

    Okay, it's very hard for me to describe this feeling, but it's very real. The reason I say this, is because I had control over it and I could do at will and it would be EXACTLY the same each time.

    Basically, starting when I was about 4 years old up until I was about 9 or so, I was such a curious child, not afraid of death, naturally felt a spiritual connection to the world, and in constant awe of the world around us. I realized at some point that when I began looking at an object (any object, for instance, once it was the dresser), my mind would fill with these natural questions of curiosity: "Why is this called a dresser? What is it for? Who made it?" etc...just normal questions, but as the questions would start, they would multiply and get deeper and deeper to a point, where I would go further and further back into some sort of consciousness or awareness. So, soon it began questions of my existence, the sky, and always finally....ALWAYS, the universe. The last image in my head was always of the universe, and BAM---a millisecond feeling of nonexistence...almost as though I was tracing back the origin of life.

    I thought this was normal as a child, and I remember joking with my best friend, "Remember when you were young and blah blah..." Until, I realized that no one had any idea what I was talking about. Anyway, the final feeling was EXACTLY the same every time, very bizarre. And I would do it over and over again in this frustrating attempt to feel it for longer so I could understand what it was.

    I would look at an object, begin with questions of curiosity, until I would reach this "zen" like state. I could do it in my bed. I could do it while sitting in the back of my parents' station wagon. Made no difference. I had control over it. As I got older I could do it less and less. I would do it purposely just so I wouldn't forget how. But there came a point, when I did forget, and I haven't been able to do it since.

    I am now 29 years old, so it's been maybe 20 years. It's a crazy tease of a feeling, and was always super overwhelming. I have been searching for an answer for this my whole life, without much luck.

    The closest term I have been able to come to is "Satori", but I'm not really sure if that's what it is...and it didn't exactly feel like Astral Projection. At least, I don't think so. The only conclusion I've been able to come up with, is that it was very real and very precise.

    Anyone else have a similar experience?
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  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Satori seems to fit what you were having perfectly. You attained as a child what adults try to achieve with training from Zen masters and most cannot ever reach it. I did a few other things like tried to understand where a thought came from in my mind and would trace it deeper and deeper until I found it and then understood that thought much more as to why I had it to begin with. I once regressed to a fish like state in a primordial sea. So it wasn't exactly like what you achieved but something similar.
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  5. wlminex Banned Banned

    (IMPO, James) Perhaps the reason for this because when we 'start out' we are open to all input and have not been conditioned by outside experiences (yet). Even, perhaps, in our starting condition, we "ARE" one with the universe and basically existing within the Zen condition (from whence we immediately arrived . . . if one subscribes to sequential existences). Then we spend the remainder of our lives attempting to re-gain that 'one-ness'; but, ALAS! . . . .here come those outside experiences and conditions, etc.!!
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  7. Vixen Registered Member

    Thank you, Cosmic. I did think it was Satori when I first read about the term, but for some reason that term doesn't sit right with me. Perhaps, you're right and my perception is just so clouded years later.

    As for wlminex, I completely agree with you. I always felt as a child that I did not really belong "here". It was an understanding, almost. I think it is one of the reasons why I had no fear of death. Of course, children cannot fully understand the meaning of death, but all these years later, I still have the same feelings on death as I did when I was four. I also think that one of the reasons I cannot grasp this feeling anymore, is because I have grown up in a world where we are conditioned to forget who we really are and where we came from. Our judgement and priorities are lost in a world consumed by money and power and materialistic means. We lose ourselves, just as I have lost the ability to create this feeling of oneness. So, yes, I agree, I was probably able to do this as a child, because I was still so new to the world and was holding onto something superior, per se. I've also always felt that and I think I also knew that growing up, it would be the reason I would lose my ability to do this.
  8. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Only if you let those other things bother you. If you have enough self discipline you can overcome those outside influences and be who you are. Separating the needs and wants is a good way to start to get your life on the track you want to be on.

    You can't lose yourself, you just misplace yourself, you need to look for it and one day you will see the light and the oneness but only if you seek it out.
  9. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

    I am confused. Is this a feeling of non-existence or a feeling of one-ness?
  10. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    The truth is we don't really exist. Our bodies do, but what we think of as our selves is really an illusion of continuity created by the brain. When the brain stops thinking, we stop existing.
  11. Vixen Registered Member

    It's kind of one and the same, Crunchy. I don't know what this feeling was, I just know it was real. I have a very hard time exactly explaining what it really felt like, because it was unlike any other feeling I've ever had, and because it was sooo extremely short. So, as a child, I always referred to it as a feeling of non existence because in a way, it felt almost like my heart stopped or something. It felt like NOTHING. I can't quite explain it.

    Now, looking back at it as an adult, I feel as though the questions of curiosity that brought me to that last and final feeling was almost like I came full circle. It might have been a thing of unity, interconnectedness, cosmic consciousness, what have you...bringing me back to a state, void of any human emotion or attachment. So oneness? Nonexistence?

    I don't know. I wouldn't have posted it if I had an answer. It's not something I can really articulate, adequately.

    Spider, I appreciate and respect your opinion. It's an interesting angle and perspective. Personally, my beliefs differ. I don't really believe life exists in the "I think. Therefore, I am" fashion. I do personally believe there is an energy contained within our bodies that can be neither created nor destroyed.

    As for cosmic,
    I was more or less generalizing. I think you might have looked a little deeper into my explanation than was intended. Those things are only important to me to the extent that I need them to survive. But since, it is pretty irrational to go find a remote area in the Alaskan wilderness to live off the earth and bathe in the purest necessities of life, I live like the rest of the world: where money is important. Regardless of whether you want those things to bother you or not, we are all affected by them in the end. And I didn't mean I literally lose myself. I meant that in the way that I am mentally lost. That I became submerged in today's mentality, basically.

    But you are right, there is a part of myself that is a mystery to me, still. And I do continue to dig deeper to find out exactly what it is.
  12. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

    I have no idea what a feeling of *nothing* would be because *nothing* by its very definition is an absence of everything / anything... including feeling. A feeling of oneness is something that humans can attain. Biologically, you are shutting down part of your brain that distinguishes between self and other, and the experience tends to be very euphoric. As to how someone does that can differ. It may be a side effect of how a brain works during childhood, it may be a result of brain damage, it may be a result of practiced mental states via meditation, it may be a result of using TMS or drugs, etc.
  13. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    You can't have it both ways, those statements contradict each other. We do exist both body and mind although there are many who don't know how to use their minds as yet and make the rest of us very distraught.
  14. Vixen Registered Member

    Ok, Crunchy.

    I give up. This is obviously not something that can be shared amongst people that haven't experienced it and fight every word of it.

    If you want to over analyze my choice of words in trying to describe something that is inexplicable to me, so be it. But be careful with yours.

    I respect your responses, but my need to constantly clarify and defend my experiences is becoming tiresome.

    I came to this website with the intention, that maybe finally, someone may have shared the same experience with me and can enlighten me. If you haven't, don't try to lecture me on my "mistaken experience" and my choice of words. Because, quite frankly, it's offensive.

    Yes, I believe that nonexistence, and unity can be the same. Sorry. To not exist in this form is to be united to everything else cosmically. This is the feeling the best way that I can describe it.

    That is all.
  15. Search & Destroy Take one bite at a time Moderator

    Vixen, the simple answer is that as a child you were meditating.

    Nothing supernatural. Kids just have super flexible brains.

    When I was a kid, I had to go to church a lot and I never listened. I went to church in the back of my head. I remember once in church I was like 8 years old and designed this really awesome house because I wanted to be an architect.

    I can still walk through each room, see all the old computing features I built in, the boat dock, the trees outside. It's amazing to me the level of detail I can still recall from a few hours sitting in church when I was a kid. I can draw floor plans to-the-foot.

    I also meditated. I thought I was talking to God, asking and answering questions with him. But even by Kindergarten I had the idea that I was just talking to myself, and that maybe God was in me. And then finally around Middle School Buddhism came on, God vanished, and I gave all that stuff I did in church the name "meditation".

    I think we are similar in this respect. And different in that I identify meditation as rich with hallucination, while you see meditation in a more supernatural light.
  16. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

    It's certainly not something other people can adequately imagine given such limited and vage information.

    You're on a science site, linguistic-to-concept precision should be expected.

    Defend? What are you defending your experiences from? As far as clarification is concerned if you find that tiresome then should we not find your thread tiresome (which is asking for clarification concerning YOUR experience)?

    You will have to show me where I am lecturing you on a mistaken experience. I don't see it anywhere in my posts. As far as choice of words is concerned, if you find efforts to provide clarity via better verbiage as offensive then that is YOUR problem and will remain so.

    Ok, so you are refining the concepts used. Originally it started off as a feeling of nothingness but now it is a feeling of personal non-existence which leaves by default *everything else*. When in this state, does it feel like there is no more distinction between everything... kind of a "we are one" experience?
  17. Vixen Registered Member

    Search and Destroy,
    thank you...the experience only felt supernatural to me because I couldn't explain it, but your answer makes sense to me. I don't know why I never thought of something so simple before. I never really had the ability to meditate because I am such a fidgety person. Perhaps, that is why.

    Crunchy..... (sigh) This is a Parapsychology thread, not just a science forum. Last time I checked, forums could be used for SHARING experiences (my intention). By the way, did you not see my poll?? From your first comment, you dissected every word I said to your last comment, in which now just sounds like plain old bickering, you've just come off to me as the type of person that just argues and debates for the sake of arguing.

    After working two jobs and coming home to read such trivial nonsense, I'm exhausted. So, let's just leave this thread be, eh?
  18. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

    Correct. A parapsychology thread on a science site; although, unless you are claiming the existence of some kind of paranormal event (which I have not seen evidence of you doing), your experience qualifies more as a human science issue (probably under neurology).


    Yes, it didn't have a response option that matched what I thought so I abstained from taking the poll.

    Debate is a great way to cut through the fluff and get at the root of a question or answer.

    Your participation is voluntary, so that is up to you.
  19. wlminex Banned Banned

    Vixen . . .THANK you for attempting to share . . . . some folks are just tuned-in (turned-on?) to adversarial interactions . . . . you'll figure it (your feeling) out! In my 'philosophical' (imaginative?) mode, I toy with the idea that our 'purpose' here (life) is to try to figure-out as much as we can . . . . and as soon as we figure it all out and raise our finger to tell someone else . . . we're gone . . . everyone has to 'figure it out' on their own . . . . that's the 'rules' . . . IMPO! (P here representing philosophical, James R).
  20. Pincho Paxton Banned Banned

    I think I know what this is. The brain uses energy to distribute thoughts, and images. However there are some paradoxical thoughts that can flat line our brains for a brief moment. This is the example that I was given in a dream by my own subconsciousness. It told me to....

    Imagine a smile!
    See the smile clearly!
    Imagine the smile as a concave wave in a white line!
    Now imagine a frown!
    See the frown clearly!
    Imagine the frown as a convex wave in a white line!

    Now see both the smile, and the frown being formed by the same mouth!
    Force it to happen in your mind!
    Really force it to happen!

    Then my subconscious showed me the energy level of my brain flat-lining. My brain was flat-lining because it had two opposing energy levels trying to form in the same place, at the same time. My subconscious told me to feel the experience in my brain. It told me that this is what a paradox feels like, and that when I have this same feeling, I have an instant way to recognise a paradox.

    By thinking about an object, and infinitely regressing those thoughts, you will hit a paradox, and you will flat-line a part of your brain. This feeling of non-existence is the result of opposing energy forces.

    I loved the way that my subconsciousness explained this to me in my sleep. It was like a real conversation.
  21. oak Registered Member

    Vixen, although not exactly the same, I can very much relate to your experience in childhood. I think S&D nailed it; although, some children have brains that are much more flexible than others. You sound like you were a particularly deep, flexible thinker and probably still are... just not quite able to reach that place you once did (although I'm sure you could again, with practice).

    This topic reminds me of one of the purest forms of eidetic memory that is almost exclusively experienced by children. When it occurs, an image they've been exposed to remains in front of them after it was removed. It's not that they have superior recall, they literally see a copy of the image, page of the book, etc. This ability is lost with adulthood. Of course, this differs from what you described, but illustrates the power of a child's brain.
  22. Vixen Registered Member

    Thank you, everyone for your replies and for sharing.

    Oak, I also agree S&D nailed it, because as soon as I read it, it made sense to me. This is kind of funny to me since I could no longer achieve this "meditative state" after about 9 years old or so, but when I was 13 was when I became extremely intrigued by meditation and would try to achieve such a state and could not. I was just so darn fidgety that sitting still for even 30 seconds would drive me nuts.

    So, this gives me more of an incentive to try it again.

    And, yes, you're right. I was a very strange child, my father would say. He recently told me that when I was about 4 and visiting my grandparents, my siblings would put up such a fight to go to bed, but my grandfather would come out of my room saying I was so easy to put to bed, and I would say some crazy philosophical and articulate nonsense for a 4 year old before passing out. I wish I knew what I was saying back then. I am still very pensive, I guess. Instead of meditation, I've used writing, music, and the arts as outlets, though.

    I'm curious, though. Oak, Cosmis, and S&D, you all said you had similar experiences. Do you mind sharing yours?
  23. oak Registered Member

    Vixen, I won't go into too much detail because it sounds kooky, but my experience was that I saw things that were not visible to others. I developed an odd liking to whatever it was I saw and remember feeling a sense of security and contentment when it occurred. I never "made" it appear though, it would just happen every now and then. Other than some odd times, the visual experiences mostly stopped when I was around 7-years. I know the age because this is when my family moved.

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