Monk Mode - Good or Bad? Your Thoughts Please

Discussion in 'Rebooting - Porn Addiction Recovery' started by Fenix Rising, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. Fenix Rising

    Fenix Rising Fapstronaut

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    Hi fellow Fapstronauts,

    As I'm nearing another round number on the counter, I'm beginning to wonder if monk mode after reaching a certain point in time is still the best way to go. What are your thoughts on the matter?

    The thing is, monk mode has affected me more profoundly than I dare to admit. Needless to say it has done what it was originally supposed to do, kill my cravings to masturbate and watch porn, but it went much deeper, giving me some insights I didn't ask for. I've also become somehow detached from every-day life pleasures. I contributed this to anhedonia, but don't think that can totally explain the mindset I unwillingly entered.

    From the outside, my life has become extremely minimalistic and ascetic without trying to live in such a way. It just happened. I train my body 1.5-3 hours a day, meditate/pray, read a lot, especially like reading Greek/Roman and Eastern classic philosophers as I can really relate to their way of thinking. I stopped drinking alcohol, eating food with added sugar, television commercials started to get on my nerves so much that I stopped watching TV months ago, I quit all social media except YT, but I limited it's use to only to few pre-mapped recovery and professional channels. I stopped playing games (claimed 30 free games from Epic store this year and I can't find the will to try them LOL). I can't even force myself to watch a whole movie anymore. Friends complain to me that I've become no fun/dull and detached person. The thing is, I can no longer relate to their problems. All they want to talk about is what show did they watch, what clothes, car, house etc would they like to own, when will we get out and get wasted again, who they would like to f..., bitching over their jobs, wives if they have them… When I say to them that they should be grateful for the things they do have, because we're from materialistic standpoint better off than most of the global population, even if we're poor and that they should stop seeking happiness in outer things because they won't find it there, they get confused or angry and quickly change topic.

    I also started to get these flashes of thoughts about life, that scare the shit out of me and irritate people, if I try to explain them what's been on my mind. I don't start talking about them by myself, but sometimes they ask and as I've decided not to deceive anymore, I tell them the truth most of them didn't really want to hear. I recently got two such "visions" I can't get out of my head and freaked out friends and relatives with. First one came out of the blue, when I was solo cycling in the mountains. It was about realization that all humanity lives inside the bubble of self-constructed stories (written history, religions, philosophies...), byproduct of these stories are self-created collective and individual identities, all this in a desperate attempt to make sense of the world, our existence, suffering but most importantly our own mortality. What remains if one let go of all these "stories" society has been preaching/brainwashing him/her from the day he/she was born? The other stark realization came, when I was walking in the forest, picking up mushrooms and saw unusual scene. Lot's of birds thorn to pieces. I looked up and saw bird of prey nesting in the branches of the tree. My first reaction was disgust, but then it hit me, am I not much worse as others do the killings so I can eat meat? Bird of prey at least has a beneficial function of keeping species' population numbers at bay by killing it's weakest links, plus purifying species' DNA as a byproduct. What excuse do I have? Then often heard quote struck me: "Remember, man, that you are dust. And unto dust you shall return." For the fist time in my life, I not only understood but also truly felt the words. The web of life on Earth is literally limited to 10 inches of organic matter we call soil. We're born from it, swim in the mixture of atoms we call air/water for awhile just to return to it soon after. Life is truly meaningless horror story full of suffering and self delusion until the bitter end if we do not also consist of eternal spirit(s). We're born, sleep, work, eat, procreate, die and suffer in between. God help us if there is no god/eternal soul (notice the irony of words). I can't describe the darkness and inner terror I felt at that moment. One really has to be mentally super human to bury all hope of life after life and continue living.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  2. alexg1709

    alexg1709 Fapstronaut

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    I am no where near your streaks but I would think that monk mode is good for the purpose of healing.

    Once you know you have reached your point of healing and you start to feel great and strong again I would be looking for that special partner to enjoy with.

    But this is just my opinion.
     
  3. blotter

    blotter Fapstronaut

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    Not 1000% confident in what monk mode is to everyone, but from what I've gathered it would seem to be be useful when renunciation is strong. Renunciation is cultivated in Buddhism by contemplating some of the themes towards the bottom of your post so it makes sense that it appeals to you.

    OP you might check out Longchenpa if you haven't done so, his writings might be illuminating.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
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  4. Welcome to mans intended basic form. The rest of what you feel you might be missing and empty a little bit is brainwashed ideology. But yeah we all get this way on a long enough monk mode streak. Bored and lame. I wanted to play final fantasy 14 online for so many years and a guy at work gave me a ps4.now I have no inclination to play video games anymore. And I was the mmorpg pvp king
     
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  5. Clean4Life

    Clean4Life Fapstronaut

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    Well, the things that you have seen/realised are very true and normal of someone who detaches themselves so far from earthly pleasures. You are so undistracted that the truth cannot hide anymore. Where there is dark, there must always be light somewhere. The world is a place where we are put to suffer, procreate and die, most people never realise it because they are constantly running with their earthly pleasures. The world is also a place where you can create, appreciate the complexity and patterns that seem to be everywhere, it is all perspective.

    As far as continuing monk mode, what do you want for yourself? Do you want to go further down the rabbit hole, or do you want to step back and pursue more grounded goals, if you have them, and surely you can still pursue whatever you choose whilst remaining celibate. What you are experiencing and perceiving as negative is likely due to the way that your overall acetic lifestyle has aligned you and the way you are interpreting it, rather than monk mode itself.

    Would releasing actually make you happier, or make you feel even darker about things. If you do choose to step back, sex is probably the best way to do so as it is what nature intended for us. I may not be the most qualified person to guide you with this as I am young and have not ever made it much over half of what you have PMO free, but I felt called to respond to you. Hope you find peace and balance somewhere :)
     
  6. Astro77

    Astro77 Fapstronaut

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    281 days is crazy long, and you've most likely healed. In my opinion, the whole point of nofap is to reset your body to make your sexual energy desire real people and intimacy, instead of porn.You don't want to get rid of your sexual energy which is a risk of prolonged monk mode. You've said your cravings have gone (your body has been reset) which is good ,and you said your insights were unwanted, so in my opinion again you could go looking for a girlfriend/boyfriend to reap the benefits of your hard work in nofap. I believe humans are meant to be in relationships; sex and release can be healthy after a nofap streak, and you might gain more enjoyment out of life. You will be thinking about love, instead of philosophy which might make you happier.
    Once again only my opinion; take into account what you want.
    All the best!
     
  7. It seems you are being confronted by reality, my friend. If God is not part of it, it is bleak indeed. If he is, it is unending wonder.

    Once you're done with PMO and other addictions, the next journey begins. Sounds like yours has begun. Welcome! :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
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  8. Quoowahb

    Quoowahb Fapstronaut

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    Congrats on your time away from porn. I hope you learn much from your contemplation of death.
     
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  9. Quoowahb

    Quoowahb Fapstronaut

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    This period of faplessness is similar to some of my longer periods aways from porn. I would pretty much meditate, exercise, work, and sleep and do nothing else. I would drive myself very hard because I was so afraid of relapse. I've never been able to sustain that longer than a year-and-a-half or so. For me, this monk lifestyle was based on fear and unsustainable in the long run. That's me. I have no idea how you will experience this.

    This time, I am using anti-addictive drugs and it seems to help me stay away from porn without working so hard. It still is tough for me, but I don't have to be so perfect or lose it.
     
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  10. ArduousPath

    ArduousPath Fapstronaut

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    The more I read The Bible, the more it gives me the answers to life. It's such a wonderful journey that has just begun and I look forward to it with a keen interest.
     
  11. Monk mode (and Nun mode for the ladies) is great. I find that urges are far less frequent and when they do arise they are less intense when comparing with Hard mode.

    As part of Monk mode, I stopped all music, all films, shows and entertainment, all types of self-adorning (such as jewelry), and fast in the evening (which means no dinner).

    So far the only thing I couldn't include is daily cold showers and I will be adding this too.
     
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  12. ZenAF

    ZenAF Fapstronaut

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    I think you've accomplished something great, which is dominating your animal self with your will. However now you're realizing that you did more than quit porn. You walked away from the idea of pleasuring yourself by any means, thinking that there's something greater awaiting you on the other side.

    I can relate to this because I've done a lot of LSD in my life and hung around with people who did too. The drug gives you experiences like you had in the forest, deep realizations about the nature of reality and the result is that our way in which we view the world becomes more "meta". Meaning we distance ourselves from the particular and only keep the big picture in mind. In the process we forget about why we loved the particular in the first place. What is there buying yourself new clothing, it's only there to keep you warm in the first place, you just need it for survival, why be happy about it? Why be excited about a videogame, it's just there to make the time pass, isn't it?
    The funny thing is we never question the meaning of life when we're really happy. In that moment we're just grateful for being alive. But inside this meta-mindset we're not really happy. Our ego makes us think we somehow stand above these earthly pleasures "because we get it". But the truth is, we don't stand above it. We're human. We're supposed to thrive! And thriving doesn't just mean cutting out things that are bad, it also means enjoying what's good. And to enjoy what's good, you need to allow yourself to engage in it, put your heart, mind and soul into it, risk to become addicted to it, wrestle with it and come out on top! That's life. Confront it, don't run from it.

    I've never respected monastery monks for their ability to be so balanced. It's easy to be balanced when you simplify your life and choices down to an absolute minimum. Anyone can do that. What's hard is to live like a modern person lives, in the middle of a million choices, in the middle of chaos, in the middle of beauty, and still be happy and not feel overwhelmed. To not destroy your life through drugs, women, porn, money, work and still not be a square! In other words, to not live in one extreme.

    The world has hole in the shape of you. You need to fulfill your potential for the sake of all life around you. So when your friends tell you that your boring, you can't just dismiss it as "they're not on my level". I'm not saying you're doing that, but you might. They're part of your network of influence and it's your responsibility to reduce their suffering and even produce some happiness if you can manage. ;) That might mean that you have to stop being a square, not just for your own sake, but for theirs. And I know that's easy for me to say, but that's your journey, your job to figure out what it means to integrate your newly gained perspective into a way of life that isn't distant from everybody else.


    Literally nihilism. Followed by depression. Not recommendable.
     
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  13. Fenix Rising

    Fenix Rising Fapstronaut

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    It might be nihilism, but it's unfortunately true. Men did create all these things and thought constructs in pointless effort to make sense of the suffering and our own inevitable physical demise. I realized that it takes tremendous courage to truly accept the premise of pain, suffering and own death as integral part of human existence without the promise of eternal life. But there can be no inner peace without this acceptance. I like Aboriginal belief that "We are all just visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love... and then we return home" and would love to truly believe in it BUT it might just be another 40.000 years old construct of human mind trying to give meaning to the experience we call life. I believe that liberation comes from being OK with the possibility of the end of existence or eternal life. Lao Tzu's "Be open to (love) everything and be attached to nothing" is the best way to describe what I think is needed for achieving inner peace. It's basically the same teaching as Christ preached 600 years later: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moths and vermin destroy,and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal". He's basically saying practice love and kindness but do not get emotionally or physically attached to anything. Either way, we can't change anything. All we can do is to live in a way that minimizes suffering of others because it's the right thing to do without expecting to be awarded for our behavior. This way you can't go wrong. If everything ends with physical death we at least tried to collectively minimize the pain and suffering while living.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
  14. Latzie

    Latzie Fapstronaut

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    Ever heard of the Path of the Void?
     
  15. Fenix Rising

    Fenix Rising Fapstronaut

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    No, what is it?
     
  16. bluemax4

    bluemax4 Fapstronaut

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    What ever makes you the best version of yourself. It's different for everyone
     
  17. Hros

    Hros Fapstronaut

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    This is a really interesting post. So you've basically given up on worldly pleasures, which appears to have been an enrichening experience for you. You should be commended for that! As to how long you should keep it up, one idea comes to mind which might be some food for thought:

    In Judaism there's a concept of a Nazir, which would be the Jewish equivalent of a monk. The Nazir abstains from grapes and grape-products (such as wine, which in the past was drunk way more then it is today) and doesn't cut his hair. In this way, he uplifts himself. However, should he decide to end his Nazir term, he has to bring a kind of sacrifice that's normally reserved for sinners. How come? After all, his abstinence was for in order to achieve spiritual growth! The answer is that though abstinence from worldly pleasures helps with spiritual growth, at the same time - you're also turning your back on some of God's creations. In the end, God created everything for a purpose.
     
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  18. C.HNF

    C.HNF Fapstronaut

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    Man, I am glad you've made it this far in NoFap. Keep it up.
    If it's monk mode that keeps you refraining from PMOing, then go for it and never stop till you make sure you are totally healed and could be up and running again.
    As to the insights you made mention of in ur thread, they reminded me of some chapters of the Quran. So I take that, since you said that you've been doing lots of reading of late, you have either read the Quran or some Islamic materials written on its premises. If you hadn't read it then you should. It's been a while since I last read it, otherwise I would have pointed the chapters out to you. I am not preaching for Islam here; I am certainly not. I just thought that, since some of ur insights resemble those of the Quran, you could be interested in reading it, especially the first chapters.
     
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  19. ZenAF

    ZenAF Fapstronaut

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    First of all, nihilism isn't more or less true than it's opposite, meaningfulness. From an american pragmatist point of view, concepts that help us survive are more true than concepts such as nihilism, which does no good.
    Second, the fact that you call it a "pointless effort" tells me that you need to do more thinking on the subject. It's too much information for me to lay out here, I can only tell you that the stories the human race created aren't mere arbitrary mental constructs. They emerged from our very biology and are essential to our lives. Watch Dr. Jordan Petersons lecture series "Maps of Meaning" if you're interested to know what I mean. I don't recommend this to you to tell you that I'm right and you're wrong, but rather to give you an opportunity to test your own beliefs. Because thinking like you think right now is a belief structure like any other. And if it's a good one it should be able to proof itself stable in the face of new information >> Maps of Meaning
     
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  20. TantusJulius

    TantusJulius Fapstronaut

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    In short, this is why i do not meditate, I do not wish such a "wisdom" meanwhile I become detached from this word. I went 500+ days monk mode, and i have not experienced such "realizations". Meanwhile in past I had shorter streaks and I mediated too I experienced similar things.

    So in short it caused by meditation, not from monk mode. In my opinion.
     
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