I am an athiest and have always been dismissive of “spiritual” experiences. But I experimented with LSD to confront my skepticism in college, and it transformed my life perspective. Firstly, it opened my mind to a range of human experiences I thought previously as new age mumbo jumbo. Secondly, my perception of time had radically changed throughout my experience. My moment to moment perception of time had gone from experiencing what I felt infinite in length and infinite in shortness. Thirdly, I felt as though I had a temporary “ego death”, although I hesitate to use this word since I do not feel fully enlightened. I had a very low self esteem with great anxiety, and I had a strong desire to become a more grounded individual. After the experience, I felt as though I died and was reborn. I did not sleep for two days but after my feeling of “craziness” disappered the night I slept, I felt completely liberated, and I found that all my habits of anxiety and negative self thought pattersn all disappeared. For the next three to four months, I felt almost invincible and fearless. I was not only immune to previous negative self but I was also non-reactive to the negativity to people around me. For the first time I felt alive. However after four months or so, this feeling slowly faded away and here I am two years later trying to figure out what happened to me, and whether or not I can reinduce this “enlightened” (not sure if this even the right word to describe it since it may be the opposite - maybe I created a positive state of delusion) state once again, except without drugs of course.
I am familiar with the works of Sam Harris, and I have been exposed to his writings on the subject/object dualist dichotomy that produces the illusion of the self. Conceptually, I think I can understand it, or at least know that this is probably possible. After I had my LSD trip, I was a completely different person and interestingly I also felt equipped with much more intelligence. Particularly I was able to express myself much more coherently and connect with people much more. I was far less judgmental of people and even after experiencing infinite bliss, was able to maintain a strong feeling of happiness than ever before.
What I’d like to know is what the experience is like of merging or collapsing the subjectivity and objectivity? Is this way of perception permanent? Does it affect your moment to moment perception (in terms of time and in terms of how you process the information around you)? Does it increase the quality of your life and perhaps your intelligence (related to how you process the information around you)? Is there a scientific or stable instruction manual of collapsing this dichotomy? And finally and most importantly, what is meant exactly by consciousness? Sam Harris and Deepak Chokra both have experienced this collapse of subjectivity and objectivity, but Sam is incredibly modest and says he does not know what the relation between consciousness and matter is while Deepak says consciousness is universal and the source of everything in the universe.
In the first post, http://www.samharris.org/forum/viewthread/16850/, the person seems to suggest that once the subject/object illusion has dissolved, one’s perception of the entire world is forever changed and therefore transcends matter (or at least the feeling of being trapped inside a flesh vehicle)? He also seems to suggest if I understand correctly that the perceptive framework is forever altered and therefore subjectively proves that there is no such thing as death? In other words, does breaking the illusion of self produce a permanent or temporary (like my LSD trip) altered state of consciousness, and secondly, what is the subjective experience of the altered state of conciousness like?