My name is Tager Nil, and I found Enlightenment. I wasn’t looking for it, because I didn’t believe it. I was looking for something else, I was looking for liberation, liberation from the pain in my mind, and the pain in my body. You may think Enlightenment is liberation, but it’s not, Awakening is. Enlightenment is something else, it is the wisdom of why we suffer, it is the awareness of the mechanism of suffering.
At first, I used the pain to reach what I thought would be my Nirvana, to reach an idea of myself that I had dreamt up, to be rich, successful, and valuable, but when I got there, I realized I had been tricked, and there was no Nirvana.
When I reached this point, which I had defined as a salary and position, I relished in it for a couple of years, and then things started to fall apart. I was an engineer, so I did what I normally do, I started to analyze, ask questions, perform experiments, collect data, and look for patterns, to help me understand the problem, so that I could find the solution.
Over a period of 9 years between 2012 and 2021, I carried out experiments on everything I could think of. The first experiment was to quit drinking, and since I had been a high functioning addict for 30 years, going cold turkey had a horrible effect on me. Other experiments included diet, because I thought I could replace the alcohol with different things to put in my body, and sky diving to investigate my debilitating fear of heights.
I pushed my body into running, from around the block, which was a struggle that nearly made me throw up, to 20 mile Saturday morning runs in a 3 year period. I took up meditation, did courses, many different types, and spent weekends in Buddhist monasteries.
Absolutely every fear, or possible defect in my mind and body was being explored. But I was on a timer, and I knew my time was running out. I was getting weaker, and the negative side of me was getting more powerful. My depression and anxiety were increasing in strength each day, and finally, one day, in 2016, I put a gun in my mouth. Nine times actually. The first time, was the same as the last time, because I kept repeating a pattern.
Inside the pattern was the revelation that there were two characters in my mind. One was planning and executing the suicide with a gun, and the other, was asking if this made sense, and as I pulled the trigger, each time, the little voice that doubted my plan, with all his might, shouted, THIS DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. The 10th time didn’t happen, because I got interrupted, and the moment was over.
The next day, I knew that the next experiment was about the two voices in my head. My psychologist and psychotherapist where both convinced that I was in a danger zone, and that the first attempt would lead to a second attempt, and they wanted to increase my medication, and increase my visits. I declined, and announced I was coming off the medication completely, but would check in on them from time to time.
I knew I had to draw this thing out of me, and I knew the drugs where suppressing it, and if they were suppressing it, then I would have to live like this forever. I had faced death, and I wasn’t frightened anymore, but now I was determined to beat this thing, I wanted to face it again, to fight it, but I needed a plan.
The Integral Method was that plan, and when the time came, when I felt the urge to kill myself, I pulled the plan out, and started the process, step by step. But I had no real idea what was going to happen, and at best I had hoped it would stop the suicide predictably, because the last time it was stopped by an accidental interruption.
I was at the height of anxiety, my body full of adrenaline, heart pounding, skin sweating, body rigid with tension, so it was time to start the process, and then it was like an emergency switch had been pulled, and all the chemicals were, what felt like, being expunged through the pores of my skin, and my mind was completely discombobulated. It must have been 30 seconds, the time it takes to lose your patience, but in reverse.
And then silence, complete peace. No voice in my head, no sensation in my body. Just sitting there, soaked in sweat. I was at work, in my cubicle. I slowly stood up, and peered over the top of the cubicle wall, and then sat back down. It was like I had been transported to a parallel dimension, everything looked the same, but nothing felt the same. I was moving in slow motion, everything took ages to do. There was so much space to think, and act.
That evening, when I got home, my poor girlfriend who was already concerned for me, panicked when she saw me. I must have looked high, and when I told her I carried out an experiment on myself and it induced this effect, she thought I had lost my mind. Of course, now, looking back, you could say she was right, but in that moment, she was scared, and I had no credible story. I would have reacted the same way if I was in her shoes.
The next morning, I woke up, and lay waiting, wondering in each moment, will the voice of my mind return, will the flurries of anxiety that wash over my body with each passing thought of opportunities to fail at something return. On the second day, they didn’t, nor the third, nor for the next 2 months.
Christmas 2016 and New Year 2017 were spent on an Island paradise, in this new state, my girlfriend was still frightened, and I still had no idea what had happened to me, or whether it was permanent. When I came back home in early January, I was beginning to accept that it might be permanent, but things didn’t become real until the first day back at work.
Everyone around me was buzzing with something, and I felt like I could hear it in my ears, in the voice in my head. They were screaming. I felt like I had walked into a science fiction movie. That’s when I could see what it was that I had lost. It was my Ego I had lost, and their Egos were all playing out in the voice in my head, and the emotions in my body. Their Egos filled the space. My first reaction was to escape.
My second reaction was this sudden urge to reach out and try and calm them, but there were too many. I decided to try and explain with a presentation in a meeting, explain what I did to myself, and explain what I could now see, like a type of sight. I put my thoughts down, and had a friend pull it apart and help me tidy it up, and then I started presenting. People thought it was interesting, but otherwise, it didn’t make sense to them.
I joined the wellness group, and modified my ideas to fit into their curriculum, and tried to sell my ideas, but no one was really motivated. So I wrote the method in a 3 page document, and started to present that. But no real engagement. I realized that I was missing something. I couldn’t explain why this had happened, or what exactly had happened.
After a couple of years, working my job, which I loved, and selling the idea, I realized two things. One was that I felt more passion for this thing I had stumbled on, than my job, and the other was that I knew if I was going to teach others, I was going to need to go on another journey, a journey to understand why this had happened to me, and what exactly it was.
This journey, I learned, was the journey of Enlightenment, because in this period, I participated in a 10 day silent retreat, a Vipassana retreat, and in that retreat, I was able to see something clearly about my mind, and I learned that what I had accidentally induced was an Awakening.
My name is Tager Nil, I found Enlightenment, and now I am offering it to you, in the form of books, classes, and talks, under the project name Enlightenment For Sale. You can find out more at http://www.TagerNil.com.