Thank you for sharing your experience Marty. And I'm glad to hear you are keeping both feet on the ground while trying to make sense of this
experience, and to integrate it.
I have good news for you; such experiences are not unheard of. They are uncommon so the medical world isn't equipped to deal with them, but there
exist good documentation on the subject.
I had a very similar experience 4-5 years ago and I can relate very well with your story.
For me it started with a buzzing sound in my head, a panic attack and a few days of racing thoughts and insomnia. Then the fun started and I had
hallucinations just like you for almost 3 weeks. I did not want to go to a psych ward because I had no previous history with psychological problems,
and I did not want to be medicated. Maybe that was stupid but it was my decision so I sought asylum in a nearby monastery for almost a week until my
parents came back from holiday and picked me up, taking care of me for the next 2 weeks.
During these 3 weeks, I had plenty of time to critically analyse and experiment with this strange world I stumbled into. I like paranormal and
spiritual stuff but first and foremost I'm a scientist so I studied myself like a guinea pig.
The first thing I noted was that the hallucinations were caused by sleep deprivation (on top of a psychotic break). I also discovered that
hallucination are more than just visuals (like you could get from substances), since reality is being constructed in our mind, when real and strong
hallucinations happen you literally start building a new reality around you. You can see and talk to people who don't exist, or more simply like in
your case and mine, start experience the world under different "colors" and atmosphere.
I also noted, through experimentation, that the "color" and visions of the world around me was determined by my internal state. When I was afraid or
anxious, the sky would turn dark, wind would blow, everything would turn menacing and figures of "demons" and monsters would start appearing.
On the other hand, when I was relaxed and happy, everything would be bathed in light, birds seemed to sing a song of praise to god and it felt like
everything was more vivid and vibrant.
I quickly learned that I couldn't trust my senses that much and when I was seeing something odd I would ask to someone for confirmation. Otherwise,
without the input of others, my mind would start to literally believe I was able to bend reality. When thinking about something, my thoughts would
invade the world around me and become reality. For example I remember walking with my father and thinking "my grandmother is dying" without knowing
why. Immediately, I saw the face of my father blemishing and him struggling to stay up, to finally fall on his knees crying. When I asked him later if
it happened he said no.
During that time my mind would also speak without any form of censorship. I would say out loud things that crossed my mind, thinking after "why I have
said that? It's completely irrational" but it was too late.
It really did feel like I was in a "psychic" alternate reality, I could hear people thoughts and see "auras" and stuff. I also sometimes baffled
people I was talking to (when not frightening them because of my psychological state or because I was talking like an intoxicated prophet), telling
them about their deepest fears or desires, without knowing where I would get this from. All this happened after a series of event that felt like they
were organized to make me experience all this, like it was planned all along and part of a natural process.
I started reading a lot on the subject and found plenty of info on similar experiences.
Basically, psychotic breaks, spiritual emergencies and other life changing experiences (NDE/kundalini rise/...) are in numerous cases very similar.
The main difference between both approaches is that a spiritual emergency is part a larger process while a psychotic break is mainly a medical term to
describe a symptom. But the two are definitely related in some way and I feel no shame in saying I had a psychotic break, because I also know it
allowed me to experience another facet of reality which was both beautiful and dangerous (for the mind and body). I learned a lot about myself and
others. In a sense it was like a psychedelic experience times 10 because it lasted for so long.
The most important thing to remember is that it's of course a very subjective experience (since your mind is the one building the vision you have) so
your experience was basically a big dive into the inner corners of your psyche. But I agree there's more than that and for me it was a true spiritual
crisis because I went from agnostic to pantheist after that. I personally experienced non-duality, I had experiences of prescience, knowing thing
before they were announced to me, so naturally the lesson I got from this is that everything is more connected than meet the eye, that nothing is
The second most important thing is to know what to make of this experience and how to learn from it, to integrate it.
For that purpose, I can recommend you a book a found very interesting during my recovery because it showed me how these experiences are not unheard of
and how to get the best of them. Because depending on how you react to it, both depression or a new start in life can happen. Such experience are
deeply transformative, like many spiritual and paranormal experience, so it's important to understand how and why they change us, and what to do
Here's the book in question, it's written by a M.D. but it also touches more spiritual aspects of the subject so it's both critical and informative.
The main dangers with such subjective experiences are projection and self-delusion so it's important to keep a critical mind and to compare your
experience with those of others to determine what was universal in it, and what was wishful thinking or simply your fears, hopes, beliefs expressing
If you have more questions about this topic and what I learned about it I'll be more than pleased to share my findings with you.
P.S.: the thing about you feeling fine while looking unwell to others is also common and described in the books. The effect on the nervous system of
such experiences are draining and exhausting. It's not uncommon for mystics to get sick or even die after their experiences.
To anyone reading this and thinking "this sounds cool, I want to 'open my third eye too' and experience this" get this and get this well:
It's not cool, and it should certainly not be provoked. If it's meant to happen to you so be it. The only thing you will get from forcing it is a
psychotic break and possible psychological scars. There are aspects of my experience I did not shared but it IS a traumatic experience and it can
cause a wide variety of very unpleasant things like terror or madness.
It took me 3 years to completely feel OK again and I would not want to wish my experience to anyone, despite all the lessons I learned through it. I
literally felt my mind shattering along with reality around me, there is nothing as frightening as feeling you will never be able to be "normal"
again. Physical pain felt like a scratch next to that feeling.
edit on 19-12-2014 by JUhrman because: (no reason given)