Switching from Auto-Pilot to Manual

Through this depression ordeal, my general state is one of auto-pilot.

It’s not inconceivable than at any given moment, technically I have the ability to be present, mindful, vital and vigorous. By conscious choice. By override.

You know when you close your eyes, how you can sometimes see patterns swirling and shifting about in the void of your perception? When I was a kid, I called them “purple ghosts.”

On some mind-altering, entheogenic substances, those abstract blobs tend to shift into more coherent imagery, otherwise known as “closed-eye visuals.”

I bring that up because out of all the countless times I’ve tripped on entheogens, most of the time I just let the closed-eye visuals play out like movies. I was on auto-pilot.

Eventually, I realized that when I focused my energies appropriately, I could control the visuals. Like a lucid dream.

That was empowering. I went from being a passive consumer of my mind’s data, to being in the driver seat of a rocket with infinite potential to explore the inner cosmos.

Why does any of this matter?


My life with major depressive disorder is like sitting through the most boring movie ever. There’s no script, and the improv is terrible.

It’s a purgatory of purple ghosts.

With the proper sustained focus, can I transcend this? Can I write a script? Direct a masterpiece?

Could I have all along?

It’s hard to say.

Right now, there’s a fire inside of me. I can feel it warming my heart and soul. This fire is a rarity. I didn’t find this fire by focusing. I found the fire on auto-pilot. It was an accident.

But maybe an accident that can direct me to focus adequately and sustain that fire. Protect it. Nourish it.

Without the fire, there’s no impetus to switch off auto-pilot. There’s not a desire there, except sometimes an urge to wipe away all the stagnation and hopelessness.

I’ll aspire to be more conscious about my life experience. More present. More focused.

To take control of my life like a beautiful lucid dream.

Originally published at Andrew L. Hicks.