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I have Aphantasia, my 'Minds Eye' starts working--what in the Hell am i seeing and why *this*?

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posted on Sep, 10 2018 @ 10:50 PM
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This is fascinating! I never knew that a condition called Aphantasia even existed.

At first I was truly horrified to realize that there are people who do not have a functioning mind's eye. My ability to visualize is absolutely essential to my existence. I can visualize a problem-space, release conscious control of it, and allow it to solve the problems on its own. If I weren't able to do this, then I would not have any functioning intellect at all.

Your ability to function with this "limitation" is quite astounding. However, I suspect that those areas of your brain that are normally dedicated to visualization have been rewired for other purposes. Perhaps your work with meditation and your experiments with the starry background will eventually lead to a breakthrough that you can share.

Maybe, rather than a limitation, your inability to visualize is a characteristic of a different, and possibly more powerful feature of your consciousness. I imagine that if I weren't able to utilize my "mind's eye" knowledge-indexing-system, and still function, then I think I would have to rely on a subconscious indexing mechanism that accesses memories and applies them in context, without extensive conscious thought.

So do you find that some of what I have speculated is applicable to how you function?

One thing you may want to consider doing is floating in an Isolation tank. If you can completely attenuate all of your external senses, perhaps you can enhance your ability to control the stars.


-dex




posted on Sep, 10 2018 @ 10:52 PM
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a reply to: Justshrug




how could you ever even fall asleep at night if this were possible???

For some it is a curse because they remember the bad things in their lives and can relive them through the images in the mind. If you don't have control over your imagination it can be impossible to sleep. Many insomniacs and people with depression also have trouble controlling their minds.

For me though I go to sleep faster when I use my mind to imagine that I am say a super hero. I will give myself a power (not to strong) and just think about what i would do with that power. I then see a move based on those thoughts played out in that darkness that you see when you close your eyes.

My imagination is so good I don't need to close my eyes. I can see images I create in my mind while paying attention to my surroundings.
This is the part that is hard to explain to someone that has never done it. I 'm not "seeing" with my eyes. I really do "see" these images in my mind. That's why it is called the third eye. It's like a layer of water with images playing in it over reality. Only the water and the images are very opaque . Part of you feels the images and that is what helps you "see" it.
Even now while I type this to you I have to look at my keyboard but in my mind i am picturing talking to you in person.
If course the face I give you may not be even close to what you really look like. Short brown hair. Plaid shirt. Blue jeans. In my mind you are sitting in a recliner.
edit on 10-9-2018 by scraedtosleep because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 10 2018 @ 10:56 PM
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Further info on Aphantasia: it was first only recently 'discovered' in 2015 at a University in the UK. The first ever (and still the only) scientific study of it is still currently underway:
University of Exeter - Aphantasia

As of last December there was only one book ever written about it. An estimated 1-2% of the worlds population seems to be affected, according to extrapolations from initial controlled sampling.



posted on Sep, 10 2018 @ 11:00 PM
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a reply to: NarcolepticBuddha

See, I'd read about Aphantasia last year and had the same response. So then I went around asking family and friends if they can visualize things when they close their eyes — if they actually "see" things.

They all said they did but it got a little less clear when I asked them if they literally "saw" things as in the way they would with their eyes open.

I'm still not entirely convinced that there's not some miscommunication about this entirely subjective experience. Maybe I am visualizing like other people but I'd describe the experience in an entirely different way. When I close my eyes and try to "visualize" something, I don't "see" anything but blackness. However, I can recall details of things I've seen and draw from memory (or from imagination). It's not like actually seeing, it's more like a collection of impressions.

Almost like fleeting glimpses that are so extremely short that I can't quite see them but I can glean details. And I don't have to close my eyes to do it.

Now if people are "seeing" with their eyes closed basically just as they would with their eyes open, then no, I'm definitely not doing anything like that.



posted on Sep, 10 2018 @ 11:02 PM
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a reply to: Justshrug




You may have what they call "Hyperphantasia"

Is that a thing? Because I am sure I have it. 24/7 I have images playing out in my head.

In school I was always the kid that was daydreaming.

I use it now to create art and feel as though it is an essential part of that creative process.

So I have to wonder do you now or have you ever created art of any kind?



posted on Sep, 10 2018 @ 11:03 PM
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originally posted by: DexterRiley
This is fascinating! I never knew that a condition called Aphantasia even existed.

At first I was truly horrified to realize that there are people who do not have a functioning mind's eye. My ability to visualize is absolutely essential to my existence. I can visualize a problem-space, release conscious control of it, and allow it to solve the problems on its own. If I weren't able to do this, then I would not have any functioning intellect at all.

Your ability to function with this "limitation" is quite astounding. However, I suspect that those areas of your brain that are normally dedicated to visualization have been rewired for other purposes. Perhaps your work with meditation and your experiments with the starry background will eventually lead to a breakthrough that you can share.

Maybe, rather than a limitation, your inability to visualize is a characteristic of a different, and possibly more powerful feature of your consciousness. I imagine that if I weren't able to utilize my "mind's eye" knowledge-indexing-system, and still function, then I think I would have to rely on a subconscious indexing mechanism that accesses memories and applies them in context, without extensive conscious thought.

So do you find that some of what I have speculated is applicable to how you function?

One thing you may want to consider doing is floating in an Isolation tank. If you can completely attenuate all of your external senses, perhaps you can enhance your ability to control the stars.


-dex


Great thoughts! Yes i do feel that because this system is not functioning, that an Aphantasiac's system works in other ways to compensate for it. Similar to the stories you hear about a blind person having potentially a heightened sense of hearing or sensitivity to EM fields (like a shark). How people can begin to use echolocation to move around rooms.

For myself, I have developed an unexplainable sensitivity to elecromagnetic fields, but i did not truly have an awareness of this specific sensory perception till I had my first NDE.

As far as strategic thinking and abstract problem solving, i would say that my brain tend to works more like a computer executing database driven extrapolation and forecasting. I would say that it makes somethings like learning foreign languages (including computer programming language) a bit easier for me than other people.

Where I cant solve an SAT question like "look at this object and imagine it rotating 125 degrees, what does it look like: A, B, C, or D." I would perform really well as word-association: Pineapple is to banana as lemur is to XXXX

The benefit coming from essentially functioning off a database



posted on Sep, 10 2018 @ 11:04 PM
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originally posted by: scraedtosleep
a reply to: Justshrug




You may have what they call "Hyperphantasia"

Is that a thing? Because I am sure I have it. 24/7 I have images playing out in my head.

In school I was always the kid that was daydreaming.

I use it now to create art and feel as though it is an essential part of that creative process.

So I have to wonder do you now or have you ever created art of any kind?


Yes! it is as much "a thing" as my condition of A-Phantasia (inability to fantasize)



posted on Sep, 10 2018 @ 11:05 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

I was checking the sources to make sure they weren't posted on April 1.

I can imagine things just fine.

I can't see images in my 'minds eye' just by thinking of them.

That's what the crux of the condition seems to be. I'm duly impressed with anybody who can actually see images at will, but I'm not convinced this is a thing.

Can I cognitively envision how something might look if I read a description of it? Well yeah, no one would read books if they couldn't.

Can I see these images as if a picture or a film? No and I think it's really silly! I've got a collection of hats and I'll eat one if I'm proven wrong.


edit on 10-9-2018 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 10 2018 @ 11:07 PM
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originally posted by: theantediluvian
a reply to: NarcolepticBuddha

See, I'd read about Aphantasia last year and had the same response. So then I went around asking family and friends if they can visualize things when they close their eyes — if they actually "see" things.

They all said they did but it got a little less clear when I asked them if they literally "saw" things as in the way they would with their eyes open.

I'm still not entirely convinced that there's not some miscommunication about this entirely subjective experience. Maybe I am visualizing like other people but I'd describe the experience in an entirely different way. When I close my eyes and try to "visualize" something, I don't "see" anything but blackness. However, I can recall details of things I've seen and draw from memory (or from imagination). It's not like actually seeing, it's more like a collection of impressions.

Almost like fleeting glimpses that are so extremely short that I can't quite see them but I can glean details. And I don't have to close my eyes to do it.

Now if people are "seeing" with their eyes closed basically just as they would with their eyes open, then no, I'm definitely not doing anything like that.


zoom in on that picture with the apples in my first post. Yes, *most* human beings are able to pull up what you and i can only describe as an animated movie-like image, in full color, of an apple floating behind their eyes. Some people can do it better than others. Some, like myself, can't do it at all. I have a severe case of full five senses Aphantasia. My cousin and sister can pull up a little bit or get a fleeting glimpse of it



posted on Sep, 10 2018 @ 11:07 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian




Now if people are "seeing" with their eyes closed basically just as they would with their eyes open, then no, I'm definitely not doing anything like that.


I don't think anyone is doing that . Except people like Nikolai tesla and other super geniuses.



posted on Sep, 10 2018 @ 11:11 PM
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a reply to: NarcolepticBuddha


Can I visualize how something might look if I read a description of it? Well yeah, that's what books are for.

Can I see these images as if a picture or a film? No and I think it's really silly! I've got a collection of hats and I'll eat one if I'm proven wrong.


Exactly. I've read thousands of books, including countless works of fiction. When I read descriptions of things, I can imagine them but I'm not *seeing* anything.



posted on Sep, 10 2018 @ 11:13 PM
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originally posted by: theantediluvian
a reply to: NarcolepticBuddha


Can I visualize how something might look if I read a description of it? Well yeah, that's what books are for.

Can I see these images as if a picture or a film? No and I think it's really silly! I've got a collection of hats and I'll eat one if I'm proven wrong.


Exactly. I've read thousands of books, including countless works of fiction. When I read descriptions of things, I can imagine them but I'm not *seeing* anything.


Why even make or consume any art or media at all if you could?

I'd just be sitting in the forest naked in my own little holodeck until I died of starvation or a cougar attack.

I think this is just one of those pop-fad articles that ends up going viral. It seemed to work here just fine.

Oh well c'est la vie.




edit on 10-9-2018 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 10 2018 @ 11:16 PM
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a reply to: Justshrug

Oh w-t-actual-f! I just looked at it and now there's this "internal monologue" thing? What's that about? I don't think I have that either. I mean, I think about what I'm going to say before I say it but I don't have literal conversations with myself in my head.



posted on Sep, 10 2018 @ 11:16 PM
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a reply to: NarcolepticBuddha



who can actually see images at will, but I'm not convinced this is a common thing.

When I read that part of my thought you must be kidding. But then I realized that I have never asked anyone about this before. I am going to start asking everyone I know.


Can I see these images as if a picture or a film? No and I think it's really silly! I've got a collection of hats and I'll eat one if I'm proven wrong.


I for sure see images.
I also see moving images when I read a novel.

But it's like looking through water. If I sit and close my eyes I can see very clear moving images. But not as clear as with my eyes.

I have spent a lot of time developing my imagination. For a long time it was my only escape.
A lot of people don't activly train their imaginations like I do.

Every morning the first thing I do before anything else is sit and just imagine some crazy story. Sometimes I see it so clearly I forget that I am sitting in my room and that 30 min has passed by. I have to force myself to stop seeing the images during those times.



posted on Sep, 10 2018 @ 11:17 PM
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originally posted by: scraedtosleep
a reply to: Justshrug




how could you ever even fall asleep at night if this were possible???

For some it is a curse because they remember the bad things in their lives and can relive them through the images in the mind. If you don't have control over your imagination it can be impossible to sleep. Many insomniacs and people with depression also have trouble controlling their minds.

For me though I go to sleep faster when I use my mind to imagine that I am say a super hero. I will give myself a power (not to strong) and just think about what i would do with that power. I then see a move based on those thoughts played out in that darkness that you see when you close your eyes.

My imagination is so good I don't need to close my eyes. I can see images I create in my mind while paying attention to my surroundings.
This is the part that is hard to explain to someone that has never done it. I 'm not "seeing" with my eyes. I really do "see" these images in my mind. That's why it is called the third eye. It's like a layer of water with images playing in it over reality. Only the water and the images are very opaque . Part of you feels the images and that is what helps you "see" it.
Even now while I type this to you I have to look at my keyboard but in my mind i am picturing talking to you in person.
If course the face I give you may not be even close to what you really look like. Short brown hair. Plaid shirt. Blue jeans. In my mind you are sitting in a recliner.


Yes, my first thought is that this would be a tool people would inadvertently be using to replay the most embarrassing or traumatic experiences in their lives--mostly without their actually intending to do so. Most mutations that continue to exist in a species will tend to have an adaptational purpose or reason. It has been suggested that Aphantasia occurred and then was propagated as a built-in guard to reduce susceptibility to PTSD.

Imagine a tribe of humans, some group of them must go out and project violence upon their neighbors--or will likely experience it themselves. This could potentially offer a competitive advantage in turbulent times. I have no idea, who knows?

Its ironic, the frequency with which i type the phrase "imagine a blah dee blah" when writing, and i can't even imagine myself, or imagine what it would be like to imagine. My only reference is an internal movie screen or floating VR image, getting this from modern consumer electronics? So much of our hyperbole, metaphors and figures of speech rely on the consistent workings of a minds eye for most of the human population!
edit on 10-9-2018 by Justshrug because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 10 2018 @ 11:19 PM
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a reply to: Justshrug

I can imagine an apple growing a face and eating another apple while a worm eats it's way out of the "living " apple.

And that is just something my brain does automatically when I read something like this.



Yes, *most* human beings are able to pull up what you and i can only describe as an animated movie-like image, in full color, of an apple floating behind their eyes.



posted on Sep, 10 2018 @ 11:20 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian




I can imagine them but I'm not *seeing* anything.

Not even the ghost of an image in your head?



posted on Sep, 10 2018 @ 11:21 PM
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Laurel and Yannie strike again


Stay awesome ATS!



posted on Sep, 10 2018 @ 11:26 PM
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a reply to: NarcolepticBuddha




I'd just be sitting in the forest naked in my own little holodeck until I died of starvation or a cougar attack.


Imagining is not the same as experiencing.
I can imagine a naked women but I would much rather have one in person.

Even if a person could imagine movie quality scenarios it wouldn't be enough.

I mean think about it. Do you really want to live alone doing nothing but watching movies? Even movies that you made up?



posted on Sep, 10 2018 @ 11:26 PM
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originally posted by: scraedtosleep
a reply to: theantediluvian




I can imagine them but I'm not *seeing* anything.

Not even the ghost of an image in your head?

Absolutely nothing at all, my entire life....until recently, with this starscape thing....then what i begin seeing (and *feeling* at the same time) is just so bizarre and unexpected. And I see these things, repeatedly, under the same circumstances that I can test, while still having ZERO ability to manifest, make-believe or conjure-up *anything* else at will.

Because of the nature of how i am starting to 'see' things in my minds eye *AND* the accompanying Electromagnetic sensations, I have a very high confidence that what Im experiencing in these moments is not simply a self-manifesting fantasy. If it were something i was making up--i would have seen something very different than what appears and there wouldnt be these strange "rules and structure" that controls my interaction with the 'stars'.



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