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.