On February 11th, 2013 I began a serendipitous experiment. My plan was to simply stop meditating on a daily basis and then observe any changes in my social and behavioral patterns. After only a few days there were slightly noticeable changes - and after 30 days the changes began terrorizing the inner tranquility that I had achieved prior to the experiment. I have always been one to conduct experiments on myself and spare others the highs and lows of psychological tribulation.
Why I Began the Experiment
January 28th was my first day of Massage Therapy school and as a night student my personal time was quickly swept to the side to make room for my education. This was of course a conscious decision, as I knew full well that my time would be stretched thin. Now before you jump the gun, no, I do not consider the stress from school to be a variable in this experiment. If anything my experience at school has been one of the best yet. We laugh, we get to know each other on a personal level and we all have respect for each other. If there was any stress from my education then I would include it as a factor in this undertaking, believe me when I say I am thorough in my experiments.
As a result of having limited personal time I was forced to begin sacrificing my daily routines to make room for studying and homework. No big deal, right? It just needs to be done if I'm going to pass my tests. At first I remained committed to meditating even for 10 to 15 minutes a day, but I would fall asleep during my meditation because I got home so late. I was emotionally torn between spending time with my girlfriend and spending time to meditate. I eventually caved in and chose to spend my time studying for school and enjoying what I had left of my evening with my love. I foolishly sacrificed my meditation sessions, but looking back on it now I see that this turn of events did not come by coincidentally. As an Indigo Adult it is clear to see that nothing comes by coincidence and everything has purpose. I now understand that I was to experience this "trial by fire" to test my will and to test how conscious I truly am. I saw it as a challenge and by accepting it I would be able to document and display my findings to show the impertinence of daily internal reflection.
After a couple weeks into school I had seized my meditation routine completely, it just fell off my radar. At the time I was more thrilled with the blanket fort that Rachel (my girlfriend) and I had set up in the living room; that and the tests I had every Monday and Tuesday evening. It was February 11th that I began the 30 day experiment. I was originally going for 50 days without meditation but I had to cut it short due to all the negative changes that took place.
Why I Ended the Experiment Prematurely
Anyone in my close circle of friends can tell you that Rachel and I are madly in love with each other. We spend all our time together and communicate on a level that most couples rarely achieve. Our relationship has been very successful from day one - sure we've had our arguments and rough patches, but we always pull through and talk it out. On the 30th day of my experiment I began criticizing her appearance and actions with a merciless passive-aggressive attitude. The intensity of the criticism that took place is unheard of in our relationship. In fact, the experiment became so out of control that I brought her to tears without being consciously aware of what I was doing. I had been experiencing unconsciousness for almost a month and the symptoms were more than noticeable. I felt like an abomination and the experiment had to stop. It was that moment when I came back to consciousness and had realized what I had done, what I had said and why it all happened. I had experienced a complete disconnection from Source (aka Spirit, Universe, God, et cetera) and neither of us liked it.
That night we both meditated and the conflict between us was resolved. Hooray! Happy ever after!
Experiment Results and Observations
Below is the list of observations made by both Rachel and I about the changes in my behavior. The behaviors colored with RED were the most noticeable developments in this study.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Nearly everyone is familiar with the story of Dr. Jekyll and how he used self experimentation on an elixir that transformed him into a ruthless beast known as Mr. Hyde. He was so fascinated in these experiments that he kept on doing it until he was no longer able to control the ravenous urge within. My experience with this 30 day social experiment has alarming similarity with the musings of the classic novel. It would appear as though the lack of connection to self and connection to Source allowed me to slip into a place of darkness. If anything my experiment shows that nearly everyone is corruptible, even an Indigo Adult. It is clear to me now that we must remain vigilant if we are to fend off the darkness within.
The Lucifer Effect
Philip Zimbardo, a brilliant American psychologist, conducted and collaborated several studies on the moral nature of humans and published them in his book The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil. The purpose of these studies is to observe what conditions influence humans to choose between acts of heroism and evil. Their findings offer great insight into the human condition, but for your sake I will spare the details. If you feel compelled to read up on the studies conducted you can find all the information on Zimbardo's Website. I warn you, these studies and results are not for the feint hearted and I would advise mental preparation before exploring that rabbit hole. The study is quite brilliant, but also very intense.
I bring this up because of how this study relates to my experiment. The study was obviously named after God's favorite angel, Lucifer (which means "The Light" or "Light Bearer"). Among the many acts of defiance Lucifer committed against God, the angel refused to pay respects to Adam due to pride. Lucifer claimed that an angel should not have to bow before an inferior being, a mortal human. To prove his point of how corruptible humans are, Lucifer disguised himself as a snake in the Garden of Eden and tricked Eve into eating the forbidden fruit. For this deviant act Lucifer and many other angels were cast out of Heaven and severed from Source. Lucifer's complete disconnection resulted in the angel's transformation into Satan. I experienced something quite similar, however I did not disown the Light. I merely wanted to explore what it felt like to experience loss of consciousness after having attained it. This story openly expresses that even the most pure of heart are sometimes capable of corruption - if they allow themselves to become corrupt.
In a nutshell, the Lucifer Effect is what all intelligent beings experience when they become disconnected from the Source. When our consciousness becomes compromised we begin to slip into a place of absence; absence of body, mind and soul. We become more vulnerable to negative influence and quickly lose our sense of oneness with the Universe.
Food for Thought - Imagine what I would be capable of if the experiment had continued unmitigated by my consciousness. Imagine the destruction I could have brought to the wonderful relationship I have with Rachel. If I had not tasted the freedom of spiritual consciousness what great levels of darkness could I sink to? Of course I would never willingly allow these negative changes to become permanent, but it's still worth thinking about.
This experiment could be considered both a success and a failure; but it was certainly a humbling experience. It was a success in the fact that I was able to provide an experimental study on the effects of meditation or lack there of. In the same breath, it could be considered a failure because I nearly fell back into unconsciousness and my harmonic nature was compromised. I personally believe this study was a huge success; it helped to strengthen my case as to why meditation or any form of inner reflection is so important to our health.
Would I recommend you try this experiment yourself? No, not by any means. But you are free to do so if you wish to test yourself and make your own observations. If there's anything I learned from this experiment it's that self awareness and consciousness are critical to our well being. I learned a lot about the way I act, the way I think and how regular meditation has changed my life for the better.
You will be happy to know that both Rachel and I are meditating on a daily basis again and all is well in the House of Hawley. :]
My online journal will be the place to find any important announcements, bursts of artistic expression, random news articles I find and anything else that may drift into my mind.