There is a section in ‘Getting To Know Your Soul’, on page 132 called ‘The Danger of the Void’, where it talks about the danger of emptying one’s mind. That if one is not careful, outside influences can enter one’s mind, and these can be very improper. Now for my question.
I used to do a lot of meditation (at a time in my life when I wasn’t as interested in avodas Hashem). It was unstructured and I had very little guidance. As a result of his meditation, some sort of ‘outside influence’ entered me. This has had a major effect on my life and avodas Hashem. Improper thoughts often arise in my mind. My vision can be strange at times. Sometimes I feel strangely disconnected from myself. Sometimes it feels like I have no feelings at all. I think this ‘influence’ entered around 5 months ago. I know the improper thoughts are from an outside source because I am very careful with guarding my eyes and my personal sanctity; and I have little desire in this area. These thoughts occur unexpectedly and at times when I don’t want them to; Shemoneh Esrei for example. Another effect I noticed is that visualizing the Shem Havayah has a significant effect; it makes my head feel weird and my vision distort, amongst other effects (one is something that I’m embarrassed to put in writing). I’ve also been getting headaches for a long time, but this could be from another cause.
After reading in ‘Getting To Know Your Soul’ about these impure influences, I’m hoping the author can advise me on how to rid myself of this ‘impure influence’ which is having such a devastating effect on my life.
Discover any thoughts that you find pleasant to think about, and write them down. Every so often, review those pleasant thoughts and enjoy the pleasantness of the thoughts, with as little effort as possible to do so. In that way, the “empty void” that has entered your thoughts will become transformed and filled with proper substance. You need to do this gradually and sensibly, amidst pleasantness, joy, with little effort to do so. Gradually, with siyata d’shmaya, your thoughts will become filled with the proper content, and along with this, the unrefined “empty void” in your thoughts will become uprooted. As a result, the improper thoughts which are coming from that “empty void” will dissipate as well. Afterwards, with siyata d’shmaya, you should develop the appropriate [holy] “empty void” in your mind, and fill it with proper thoughts, in the holy way, with guidance and precision.