I wanted to be a "mad scientist of the mind". I wanted to perform an experiment. I wanted to destroy my ego or my conscience. I wanted to be a bad example for the world. I wanted to find out the truth. I wanted to be special. I wanted to destroy what is good, or what I see as good, to see if I can see clearly if there is anything absolute. I wanted to step out of reality. I wanted to solve some mystical quest. I hoped for salvation one way or the other. I hoped that someone would rescue me.
I thought I can manage. I thought I can bear everything. I thought I can go completely insane, with open eyes into a self-made hell. I thought I will find out about the true nature of reality. I thought I am the one who creates reality, and I can destroy it. And finally I can show everyone what I have found.
I wanted to be free, and that everyone is free, but I did not know what freedom is. I thought I am the one to find out.
And the other thing is that I fell in love with a girl which just gave me so much energy that I wanted to use. I wanted to renounce the world. And I wanted to have the stupid fantasy that I do it for her in some way. Just because that gave me a heroic feeling. I noticed that my fantasy is completely silly, but that I have the power to use it as a substitute for reality. I thought I can abolish reality and see what happens. I thought I can play games with reality, no matter the outcome, because in the end I will find the true nature of reality and the great peace, and in the end I can show it to everyone who helped me find the way. I had some high and "noble" ideas and some silly motivations that seemed to enable me to do anything. But ultimately all was selfish. And I wanted just to transcend my own madness and go beyond all doubt by creating a grotesque psycho theater and load myself with shame and guilt for everyone to witness.
I thought it was somehow a heroic thing, a noble sacrifice of my own personality which was ultimately just a lie.
I even had the silly idea of shattering my own psyche into pieces and then analyzing it with rational thought. I collected a lot of megalomaniac ideas to continue, never able to go back. And with the right music and the right drugs I could hypnotize myself into any emotion that I wanted, saying to myself that I just want to burn out everything, and when everything is burnt out I will see the truth.
And of course, very soon I could not believe myself anymore. It was two years later that, living in a destructive sexual relationship, having broken healthy bonds with my family and inadvertently inspired them also to go crazy in some distressing ways, suffering mental and physical torment due to the exaggerated use of drugs and all the terrible things I had done, I discovered Buddhism.
I was deeply depressed, horrified by the projections of my own mind and those of others, all the suffering that I had brought about, and I felt powerless. But the Buddha's teachings gave me serenity in tiny doses and restored to some amount my faith in being capable to find the way, and a sense of responsibility to go through the consequences of what I had done, although my hope was almost extinct. But I did not believe that there are true teachers today and I thought I'm on my own amidst the complete madness that I created. And I could not connect to the people around me anymore in healthy ways.
I made my girlfriend kick me out of her flat and returned to my mother, finished school in adverse circumstances, did my civil service and started to study mathematics.
I still had insane ideas, used drugs to cope with my sense of guilt and desolation, unable to find any meaning and fulfillment in my life. Helplessly seeing my brother and sisters also being depressed, never able to help them with their problems, or even only help them allay their worries about me, having cowardly run away from my father's crazyness and all the old difficulties of my family to let everyone else deal with it alone. Trying to find the big meaning in mathematics and physics without having the discipline to follow the actual studies.
I was in Finland for a year, planning maybe not to come back, maybe to die, maybe to find the inner strength to escape and live in the forest like I had dreamed of as a little child. Illusory hope to overcome my bitterness.
I was not at very good health due to my general depressed unhealthy lifestyle. I found more depression, ate more magic mushrooms, went deeper into suicidal dreams or silly fantasies. But I also found books by Matthieu Ricard that convinced me that Buddhism is truly alive and were in many ways instructive and encouraging to restore the mind back to confidence. I found some spanish girls who saved me and made me feel a little more human again, because it seems, only nice girls can do that. One of them encouraged me to go to a meditation course and to a meditation retreat.
I had some difficulties integrating the two worlds when my mother and sisters visited me in Finland.
I came back to Germany and made contact with my father after seven years of hiding away, having strange experiences during the meeting of two minds gone wrong. At the meditation retreat in Finland where we had practiced the four Brahma-Viharas, universal friendliness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity, I had had mental images of my brother and sisters, whose attitudes I imitated during the meditation. Universal friendliness, that was my brother, compassion and sympathetic joy, that were my sisters, equanimity, that was me. This practice was helpful in alleviating fear in general and in dealing with my father in particular.
I went to a meditation retreat in France, and afterwards to Spain to visit my friends. 10 days Vipassana and 10 days Mahamudra. It was very beneficial, and I was earnestly considering becoming a monk, while on the other hand being very afraid of that thought somehow. However, after the first day of Mahamudra I had a horrible dream, and I decided to run away.
In that dream I was walking down an alley, looking around for somebody, because I felt alone. Behind the trees I saw someone walking by, but I could only see the feet and lower part of the legs behind branches and leaves. I started shouting "help, help me", because I felt so alone and afraid. And I ran behind the tree to look around, and I saw the feet and lower parts of the legs walking, without the rest of the body, the bones coming out and blood dripping down. And I screamed "Help me!" with a voice like crazy. And I ran after the walking legs, took them and ate them, chewing and crunching the bones, and I woke up in horror and disgust. I was feeling sick and weak. I had been ill for several days, feeling slightly feverish. After that I had another horrible dream and I did not get much sleep that night. And I felt inappropriate there at the meditation center and thought I had to leave the place. I was too afraid to go through this. The teacher monk which I very honoured said firmly to me "No, you cannot go! You have some responsibility". But I left anyway. Feeling disappointed and ashamed. But also that the meditation had been of great benefit and that I just did not have the courage to go through the illusory nature of my horrible dreams.
My idea when I was sixteen had been that I would create a waking nightmare in order to wake up. Because I was sure that reality is also just a dream in some sense. And when I have a nightmare, then I wake up, noticing that it is a nightmare. So in that sense, my reasoning was logical. But it was not very wise. And I did not really want to wake up. I secretly wanted a reward for my heroic endeavour.
When I was three years old, I thought I was about to reach enlightenment. There my motivation was more selfless. I just saw that everyone was suffering. And I thought I can understand it, and they can also, and they can be free. But first I must know it from inside. I can find the unquestionable peace that cannot be put into question by any silly question, when I am free to go one day with no one looking after me. I had great confidence.
Today I am depressed, things are strange. Things are changing. Motivation does not come from nowhere. And I don't know where I am going.
I thought guilt was the principle problem of this world, and I could solve it by diving deeply into it. And surely it has become my principal problem. And sometimes it is heavy like a rock. And sometimes I feel light when for a moment it is relieved, when I feel that I can do good and relieve someone's pain, especially that which I have caused.
And I was sure that everybody would help me, because they would see me feel guilty and no one wants to see someone feel guilty. And it is this problem also, that people feel guilty when they see others feel guilty and cannot help. I thought that was the principal problem of the world, and I must jump into it with blind courage, and selfish stupid motivations which should just burn away in shame so that I would just find no other way to escape in the end than to find enlightenment. That was the theory. And in some way it has worked as expected. I know now more from experience that everywhere people want to help each other but they cannot. And I know that by feeling guilty, I cannot be of great help to anyone.