The route I took was significant, because it is the way that X showed me to drive to the lower west side. It is also around this time of year that he freaked out and raged at me in the car on the way to a zikr at Masjid al-Farah, which ultimately led to my seeking a mantra from Amma. The "reasoning" went something like this: I had been so affected by his presence in my life that my sense of commitment to my soon-to-be former spiritual path was becoming open to question to a degree that it had not been previously. I was so disturbed by his rage that it was difficult to regain a sense of groundedness, and taking trips to Masjid al-Farah solo after that incident just didn't seem to cut through what I was experiencing. I had the idea perhaps I needed a stronger solvent in order to dissipate the troubling feelings and to help me find a better context for them. In retrospect I can say that the week or so after that incident brought with it the strongest experiences of depersonalization that I have ever experienced. It really felt as if I were viewing a movie through my eyes instead of my own life, which was actually kind of cool; but while some of my feelings felt protected by being in that state, there was also a sense of imminent panic attack that was not fun, and that made it difficult to set about to do things and actually have a reasonable chance of getting them done.
So, happily I can report that, although I can recreate these memories at will, as well as some of the feelings that went along with the original incidents, it was actually possible to stay in the moment and have the experience I was actually having yesterday rather than have it be dominated by all of that other stuff. Hanging out with X could be interesting and kind of intoxicating, but in retrospect I wonder if I had really been doing much more than picking up a contact high from his madness.
In talking with my student yesterday I was able to appreciate how I have learned some things about getting out of the house to take in unusual experiences, and communicating across differences in age, through my friendships with X and Y, but I'm less and less in a place where realizing that inclines me to want to go back and to try to put those friendships back on track somehow. I also think that some of the heaviness of defining myself strongly as a spiritual seeker on a particular path has dissipated so that I can tap into memories of the experiences I have had in that search without getting pulled into a lot of conflict about whether that is some kind of sign that I'm supposed to reconnect with a group or a teacher or whatever.
I'm just a kid who grew up in the suburbs, whose parents didn't go to college, and who has had some interesting experienced along the way, but overemphasizing any one of those experiences can easily throw my life out of balance.
Om Kreem Kalyai Namaha,