It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Phosphenes, Form Constants, and Visual Snow

page: 1
2
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 03:17 AM
link   
I have some questions for members of ATS who may be able to help me.

I'll explain. Last night I was wondering about these weird lights, patterns, and shapes which are kind of like a geometric kaleidoscope that I have seen since I was child. Well today in what I would almost call Synchronicity I serendipitously stumble upon an article on Phosphenes.

After reading the article it explains how people in altered states often under the use of psychoactive drugs see the phosphenes and form constants.

That struck me as very bizarre, because I have seen what they are describing as far back as I can remember and it does not turn off. When I close my eyes they are there. When I am in darkness they are there. I have never used any psychoactive drugs in my entire life. I dont know what to make of it. I see what the article calls Visual Snow but I have over the years learn to filter it out. Its only when I concentrate that I can make out "Noise" in light with open eyes.

I know when I was a child in school I would often close my eyes and experience what would seem like travelling in my mind, but I saw something that wasnt mentioned in the article various colored "clouds". I also seem to be able to form or disolve various geometric forms at will.

I dont know what to make of it. I have had numerous bizarre experiences throughout my life, from Synchronicity, Paranormal Phenomena, and things I'm not sure what they were, possibly Hypnagogic or High Strangeness in nature. I dont know if any of this ties in together or what. Any ideas?

As soon as I finished reading the article I chose to post this question.




posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 06:12 AM
link   
I'm glad to see someone bringing this topic up since it is one near and dear to my heart. The visuals you are experiencing are common to all of us humans and have been since the earliest days of our existence.

There are a few other key words you can search... entoptics, construels and theriathropes, although the last is a bit 'out there'.

The visual effects you describe are easiy available by gently pressing the palms of you hands on your eyeballs. Variations in the pressure will generate the kaleidoscope effects.

These geometric shapes, bright spots and fields of colour are called entoptics (within the eye).

As the left brain tries to make sense of these visual effects, it will try to superimpose recognizable attributes onto the fre forms you see. For instance, if it is a round shape and you play baseball, you might see a ball, stitching and all, or, if you are a conspiracy theorist, it might change into a cartoon 'bomb' with sparkling fuse and all. These are then called construels

On therianthropes, think of the Egyptian group of gods (Thoth, the Ibis Headed or Anubis, the Jackal Headed). This happens because there was a tendency to take on the attributes of various animals (which were very important in the early days of hunter/gatherer groups) and apply them to our own image within these visions. Such physical changes are responsible for much of the strange lore we are all familiar with (vampires, werewolves etc)

There is no need for drugs at all, since every mind is capable of producing these visual effects by various methods. They can be seen by fasting, sensory deprivation, dancing, drumming, running, swimmiing or any other factor that may stress the body.

Good topic.




posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 07:35 AM
link   

Originally posted by mikeboydus
I know when I was a child in school I would often close my eyes and experience what would seem like travelling in my mind, but I saw something that wasnt mentioned in the article various colored "clouds". I also seem to be able to form or disolve various geometric forms at will.


Just reading that paragraph shot me straight back into my childhood years. You put it exactly how i was expecting, and yet i was not expecting it to be said by anyone..

I remember sitting in the main hall in primary school, saying a prayer at the end of assembly (im not religious, i just went along with it) with my eyes closed, and i remember seeing the most vivid images i have seen, maybe on par with things i've seen on various trips. Its as you put it, "travelling in my mind", although i got a spiralling tunnel, with myself/point of consciousness in the middle/falling fowards.. its not so much the imagery that interests me anymore though, but rather the "mindstate" you feel yourself shift into.. thats what interests me now, and how to control it at will.

What i think may interest you is that i personally believe that the "minds eye", or that layer of visual creativity where you can simply make "geometric forms appear/disappear", is your third eye. Its like another layer of vision, except it always remains centred within your "true" visual field. When you close your eyes, it becomes even easier to see this layer, where your thoughts literally become the visions you want to see, and even easier if your in a dark and quiet environment, and go into trance/meditation.

For me, this extra layer has bled through into my normal vision with my eyes open. It looks like "static" or visual snow, yet it pulsates somewhere around 8-10 times a second, and has remained at this rate ever since i became aware of it. It also looks like its oscillating between two different colours of red and violet, although i cant be sure. If i stare at a uniform coloured wall, the best being white bathroom wall tiles, i can see the static extremely well, and begin to form the geometrics or even just any image i wish.



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 09:21 AM
link   
I agree, shrunkensimon, with the assessment that we are talking about the different levels of visions available from what is commonly known as the 'Third Eye'.

When I am particularly stressed for any reason, there is a curved shape which presents itself over my normal vision, making it almost impossible to read. This is usually associated with the onset of a migraine headache.

There are a few threads that I've started which cover aspects of these visions which I think you might find interesting...

www.abovetopsecret.com...
www.abovetopsecret.com...

Also, I've tried to portray some examples in this old thread...

www.belowtopsecret.com...

In Toronto, I have a showing of 12 pieces of artwork created specifically on this subject itself which were hung last week on July 19th and will be on view until the middle of October.

Sorry, but don't have pics of all the paintings, although some are in the 3rd link above.



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 09:23 AM
link   
i don't know exactly what mechanisms are at work in creating these visual stimuli...
but i have a foggy idea that the 'process' is generated because of something like
the s-c-r-e-e-c-h-ing one gets from a microphone feed-back...

it might have to do with the idea that our holographic brain is busy processing-&-creating a different neural network,
which is operating on the hardwired synapses we use already to act/react/think/Etc...all the normal stuff of natural world.

my guess is, the visual (& sometimes audio) 'hallucinations'
your experiencing, (aka; Etc) are just feed back from a brain thats processing
in another giga-hertz band (meant as an anology only) in a different
holo-graphic network of connections in ones brain stuctures...

far-fetched....maybe, ....but its a start,

thanks.



[edit on 22-7-2007 by St Udio]



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 09:39 AM
link   
You're on the right path, St Udio... because the brain does release strange chemicals during periods of high stress... like, say Near Death Experiences (NDE's) where so many talk about tunnels and white lights.

The question is;

are these visions hallucinations brought about by natural stimuli to the brain or are they clarifications of a different reality?

There is a 'universality' at play here. Everyone has these visions to one degree or another and they are comparable across Homo Sapien Sapiens and reach back into the distant prehistoric past. There are representations of people recording similar visions as far back as the Upper Palaeolithic (35,000 years). Even further back if you count among them a block of red ocher engraved with crosses found at the Blombos Cave in South Africa by Chris Henshilwood which was tentatively dated to 77,000 years old.

`````````
spelling edit

And to add some links;

cogweb.ucla.edu...
www.originsnet.org...
www.bradshawfoundation.com...


[edit on 22/7/07 by masqua]

[edit on 22/7/07 by masqua]



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 10:18 AM
link   

Originally posted by masqua

The question is;
are these visions hallucinations brought about by natural stimuli to the brain or are they clarifications of a different reality?



my guess is that it is a natural 'system' in our brains,


A ? different reality ? = isn't that what the 'spiritual dimension' is?
org. faith & religions tell us that the spiritual realms are within each of us,
and religion is the 'way' to recognize & develop that 'higher self'

A ? different reality ? = isn't that the claim of psychics, clairvoyants, any one with the powers of 'ESP'

ESP, Prophets, Shaman, they are all products of the same brain 'system',
the 'spiritual realm' of our intellect,
aka, 'The God part of the brain.'
this 'other internal network' we all have, is just identified/interpeted differently by the different schools of thought.


i will check the links given, thanks


~~~~~~~~~~~~

something that struck me was the discovery of a Neanderthal cave
where artifacts were found that suggested a proper & ceremonial burial
and indicated that Neanderthal man had a concept of an afterlife...
and the implication that erectus & later sapiens-sapiens learned from
the Neanderthal not that they copied from our ancestors...
(i'll see if i can locate that URL)

which implies that the hallucinary artifacts in our brains are a necessary part of our brain make-up,
and not an anomaly or a disease to be treated,
nor an abberration of ordinary reality...

i just wonder when today's apes will evolve their own 'higher consciousness' 'spiritual dimension'
in their brains networks of internal-comminication


hope this reply isn't seen as straying from the subject at hand
(i see it as spot on, imho)



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 10:36 AM
link   

Originally posted by St Udio
which implies that the hallucinary artifacts in our brains are a necessary part of our brain make-up,
and not an anomaly or a disease to be treated,
nor an abberration of ordinary reality...


This is the only bit i disagree with, just because of the term "hallucinary" implies that it is something not of your own. When one "hallucinates", they see something that isn't usually there, and in our modern day society that means your "crazy".. or just "stressed", ie your not in the norm/you are feeling "ill".

Reality is one big hallucination, would you not agree? How could nature not be conscious if our own consciousness is produced by nature?



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 11:21 AM
link   
Everyone sees afterimages to some extent. If you watch TV in a dark room for a long period before going to bed, you may see stuff playing in your head for a while afterwards.

Everyone sees very slight lines and colours swirling around to a small extent when they close their eyes. And when you look up at the sky on a sunny day you should probably see what appears to be millions of little sparkling particles in the air.

But if you are seeing complex and extremely vivid, drug-like geometric patterns and shapes when you close your eyes, there is probably something not right.

And I wouldn't recommend pressing on your eyes to experience crazy colours on a regular basis, as it could do some damage.


[edit on 7/22/2007 by Yarcofin]



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 11:51 AM
link   

Originally posted by shrunkensimon

Reality is one big hallucination, would you not agree? How could nature not be conscious if our own consciousness is produced by nature?







someone else put it that Life [reality] is Illusion
instead of using the word Hallucination.

we kinda agree about what you commented on,
the best word i could use for the thought i was expressing was the word used that is having to do with a 'hallucinations',
as opposed to 'Vision', which has a few other connotations
or the word 'Illusions', which has other meanings to the reader

since the brain projections seen by the minds eye, are internal pictures
or images that are real for only the person involved...i'd have to classify these mind created graphics/images as 'hallucinations'
that are only seen or 'real' to the observer and thus non-existant to another...


i guess these might be better described as 'Mirages',
because there is some process or cause that creates these mental 'Mirages'
just as rising heat distorts the air or causes refractions of the normal light
to make nature's Mirages appear.

thanks,



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 01:13 PM
link   

Originally posted by masqua
I'm glad to see someone bringing this topic up since it is one near and dear to my heart. The visuals you are experiencing are common to all of us humans and have been since the earliest days of our existence.

The visual effects you describe are easiy available by gently pressing the palms of you hands on your eyeballs. Variations in the pressure will generate the kaleidoscope effects.

As the left brain tries to make sense of these visual effects, it will try to superimpose recognizable attributes onto the fre forms you see. For instance, if it is a round shape and you play baseball, you might see a ball, stitching and all, or, if you are a conspiracy theorist, it might change into a cartoon 'bomb' with sparkling fuse and all. These are then called construels

On therianthropes, think of the Egyptian group of gods (Thoth, the Ibis Headed or Anubis, the Jackal Headed). This happens because there was a tendency to take on the attributes of various animals (which were very important in the early days of hunter/gatherer groups) and apply them to our own image within these visions. Such physical changes are responsible for much of the strange lore we are all familiar with (vampires, werewolves etc)

There is no need for drugs at all, since every mind is capable of producing these visual effects by various methods. They can be seen by fasting, sensory deprivation, dancing, drumming, running, swimmiing or any other factor that may stress the body.

Good topic.





Thanks for your help.

I have always thought it was normal since I have been experiencing this as far back as I remember. It wasn't till I found the article on phosphenes and form constants I thought something may be abnormal. For instance I dont have to apply pressure to see a kaleidoscopic effects. Applying pressure just seems to move around whats already there.

I have seen construels I think, its as if an image fades in and out for a brief moment. I originally thought these were precursors to dreams. Since I see them most when trying to sleep. I'm not so sure now.

For the Therionthropes I havnt seen any animal headed images, but I have had vivid dreams of being a Lion not sure if thats connected at all. They were some of the most vivid dreams I have ever had, smells, taste, sounds, and feelings from wind and grass.

So I must be under some kind of constant stress producing these?



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 01:23 PM
link   

Originally posted by shrunkensimon

Just reading that paragraph shot me straight back into my childhood years. You put it exactly how i was expecting, and yet i was not expecting it to be said by anyone..

I remember sitting in the main hall in primary school, saying a prayer at the end of assembly (im not religious, i just went along with it) with my eyes closed, and i remember seeing the most vivid images i have seen, maybe on par with things i've seen on various trips. Its as you put it, "travelling in my mind", although i got a spiralling tunnel, with myself/point of consciousness in the middle/falling fowards.. its not so much the imagery that interests me anymore though, but rather the "mindstate" you feel yourself shift into.. thats what interests me now, and how to control it at will.

What i think may interest you is that i personally believe that the "minds eye", or that layer of visual creativity where you can simply make "geometric forms appear/disappear", is your third eye. Its like another layer of vision, except it always remains centred within your "true" visual field. When you close your eyes, it becomes even easier to see this layer, where your thoughts literally become the visions you want to see, and even easier if your in a dark and quiet environment, and go into trance/meditation.

For me, this extra layer has bled through into my normal vision with my eyes open. It looks like "static" or visual snow, yet it pulsates somewhere around 8-10 times a second, and has remained at this rate ever since i became aware of it. It also looks like its oscillating between two different colours of red and violet, although i cant be sure. If i stare at a uniform coloured wall, the best being white bathroom wall tiles, i can see the static extremely well, and begin to form the geometrics or even just any image i wish.


I have had something like spiralling tunnels as well. When I was child I often seen with my eyes closed something that I would later describe as wormholes and black holes. They were the only things I could think of to describe the imagery.

I agree this has something to do with the Mind's Eye which has also made me wonder about something else. Before I joined the military I was in a car accident that resulted in a severe concussion and skull fracture. The impact was on the front of my skull and left what my buddies in the military call my Harry Potter scar. I'm wondering if this could of had an effect on me.



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 01:28 PM
link   

Originally posted by St Udio
i don't know exactly what mechanisms are at work in creating these visual stimuli...
but i have a foggy idea that the 'process' is generated because of something like
the s-c-r-e-e-c-h-ing one gets from a microphone feed-back...

my guess is, the visual (& sometimes audio) 'hallucinations'
your experiencing, (aka; Etc) are just feed back from a brain thats processing
in another giga-hertz band (meant as an anology only) in a different
holo-graphic network of connections in ones brain stuctures...

far-fetched....maybe, ....but its a start,

thanks.

[edit on 22-7-2007 by St Udio]


I have been wondering about that since I started researching David Bohm's and Karl Pribram's Holographic Paradigm. I think the concept of a Mind's Eye ties into that.



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 01:35 PM
link   

Originally posted by Yarcofin

But if you are seeing complex and extremely vivid, drug-like geometric patterns and shapes when you close your eyes, there is probably something not right.

And I wouldn't recommend pressing on your eyes to experience crazy colours on a regular basis, as it could do some damage.


[edit on 7/22/2007 by Yarcofin]


Thats what Im concerned about, but I have seen it since I was a child. It doesnt interfere with my daily life. I was in the military for almost 8 years and it never interefered with work.

I havnt pressed on my eyes since I was maybe 9. I already experienced the crazy colors before hand. When I was a child around 7 I discovered I could press on my eyes and alter the images I was already seeing.



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 02:09 PM
link   
Since you are concerned for these visual effects being caused by a medical condition, perhaps a medical forum is best suited for finding answers rather than the paranormal.

I know the 'curve' I see occasionally is caused by a medical condition.



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 03:54 PM
link   

Originally posted by masqua
Since you are concerned for these visual effects being caused by a medical condition, perhaps a medical forum is best suited for finding answers rather than the paranormal.

I know the 'curve' I see occasionally is caused by a medical condition.


I posted in the Paranormal forum becuase i thought it might have a paranormal angle to it. I didnt state I think it was a medical condtion. I wouldnt have brought up the whole synchronicity, paranormal phenomena, holographic paradigm, and Minds Eye if I thought it was just a medical condition.



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 04:45 PM
link   
No problem, Mikeboyd... back it shall go, since the topic fits both quite easily.




posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 05:19 PM
link   

Originally posted by masqua
No problem, Mikeboyd... back it shall go, since the topic fits both quite easily.



Thanks I was worried I would never get responses to my responses. I have had alot of wierd unexplainable things happen in my life and I'm concerned this may be connected to them. Not all of the weird experiences have been while I was alone or self contained. This is one of the primary reasons I dont think its related to medical problem unless medical problems cause others to hallucinate and create psychokinetic effects that others experience.



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 06:29 PM
link   

Originally posted by MikeboydUS
This is one of the primary reasons I dont think its related to medical problem unless medical problems cause others to hallucinate and create psychokinetic effects that others experience.




Some quotes from a qualified researcher in regard to this topic which you might find interesting;


Dream-like autistic states may be introduced by a wide variety of means other than drifting off to sleep. one of these means is sensory deprivation, during which a reduction of external stimuli leads to the 'release' of internal imagery. normal subjects, isolated in sound-proof, dark conditions report hallucinations after a few hours. they also experience what (Colin) Martindale (psychologist) calls 'stimulus hunger': they crave and focus on even the smallest, most trivial stimulus. Comparable sensory deprivation is part of many Eastern meditative tecniques. Devotees are required to shut out as much of their environment as possible and concentrate on a single focal point that may be a repeated mantra or a visual symbol. Then, too, audio-driving, such as prolonged drumming, visual stimulations, such as flashing lights, and sustained rhythmic dancing, such as among Dervishers, have a similar effect on the nervous system. we also need to mention fatique, pain, fasting and, of course, psychotropic substances as means of shifting consciousness along the intensified trajectory towards the release of inwardly generated imagery. Finally, there are pathological states, such as schizophrenia and temporal lobe epilepsy...

-snip-

...entoptic phenomena because 'entoptic means 'within vision' (from the Greek), that is, they may originate anywhere between the eye itself and the cortex of the brain. I take this comprehensive term to cover two classes of geometric percepts that appear to derive from different parts of the visual system. Phosphenes can be induced by physical stimulation, such as pressure on the eyeball, and are thus entopthalmic (within the eye). Form Constants, on the other hand, derive from the optic system, probably beyond the eyeball itself. I distinguish these two kinds of entoptic phenomena from hallucinations, the forms of which have no foundation of the optic system. Unlike phosphenes and form constants, hallucinations include iconic imagery of culturally controlled items, such as animals, as well as somatic (in the body), aural (hearing), gustatory (taste) and olfactory (smell) experiences.

David Lewis-Williams - The Mind in the Cave - Thames and Hudson (pg124,127)


The first quote not only decribes the methods involved, but also some instances of pathologically generated visual experiences much like the caternary curves I've noted as a fore-runner of migraines. It goes on to describe in detail how a rock band, complete with light show and driving rhythm can project us into altered states. I've experienced this in many ways myself, being an avid heavy metal fan. (go Ozzie
). I've also been practicing meditative tecniques for decades and know that works well too. Sensory deprivation and physical stressers are also mentioned and I can attest to their capabilities to produce visions.

The second part gives a compact synopsis which I find useful in explaining the phenomena.

There is, beyond any doubt, a duality present in how we interpret such phenomena. There are those who would argue that 'altered' states are perversions and that ordinairy consciousness is preferred. The thing is that both might be what one calls 'normal' and 'human'. To toss the former on the trash-heap could be construed as dividing the right brain from the left and ditching it as 'unsavory'. The fact is, we need both if we are to be 'sane'.

The last thing I worry about as I lay in the darkness and 'watch the show' is that it is somehow detrimental to my mental health. One recent night I 'saw' a pure white pine tree standing like a proud shining symbol of hope, while the human world was tossed in a terrible turmoil. What I made of it is my own conception, what another will make of me describing it to them is a reflection of their own state.



posted on Jul, 23 2007 @ 03:31 PM
link   

Originally posted by masqua


Dream-like autistic states may be introduced by a wide variety of means other than drifting off to sleep. one of these means is sensory deprivation, during which a reduction of external stimuli leads to the 'release' of internal imagery. normal subjects, isolated in sound-proof, dark conditions report hallucinations after a few hours. they also experience what (Colin) Martindale (psychologist) calls 'stimulus hunger': they crave and focus on even the smallest, most trivial stimulus. Comparable sensory deprivation is part of many Eastern meditative tecniques. Devotees are required to shut out as much of their environment as possible and concentrate on a single focal point that may be a repeated mantra or a visual symbol. Then, too, audio-driving, such as prolonged drumming, visual stimulations, such as flashing lights, and sustained rhythmic dancing, such as among Dervishers, have a similar effect on the nervous system. we also need to mention fatique, pain, fasting and, of course, psychotropic substances as means of shifting consciousness along the intensified trajectory towards the release of inwardly generated imagery. Finally, there are pathological states, such as schizophrenia and temporal lobe epilepsy...

-snip-

...entoptic phenomena because 'entoptic means 'within vision' (from the Greek), that is, they may originate anywhere between the eye itself and the cortex of the brain. I take this comprehensive term to cover two classes of geometric percepts that appear to derive from different parts of the visual system. Phosphenes can be induced by physical stimulation, such as pressure on the eyeball, and are thus entopthalmic (within the eye). Form Constants, on the other hand, derive from the optic system, probably beyond the eyeball itself. I distinguish these two kinds of entoptic phenomena from hallucinations, the forms of which have no foundation of the optic system. Unlike phosphenes and form constants, hallucinations include iconic imagery of culturally controlled items, such as animals, as well as somatic (in the body), aural (hearing), gustatory (taste) and olfactory (smell) experiences.

David Lewis-Williams - The Mind in the Cave - Thames and Hudson (pg124,127)


The first quote not only decribes the methods involved, but also some instances of pathologically generated visual experiences much like the caternary curves I've noted as a fore-runner of migraines. It goes on to describe in detail how a rock band, complete with light show and driving rhythm can project us into altered states. I've experienced this in many ways myself, being an avid heavy metal fan. (go Ozzie
). I've also been practicing meditative tecniques for decades and know that works well too. Sensory deprivation and physical stressers are also mentioned and I can attest to their capabilities to produce visions.

The second part gives a compact synopsis which I find useful in explaining the phenomena.

There is, beyond any doubt, a duality present in how we interpret such phenomena. There are those who would argue that 'altered' states are perversions and that ordinairy consciousness is preferred. The thing is that both might be what one calls 'normal' and 'human'. To toss the former on the trash-heap could be construed as dividing the right brain from the left and ditching it as 'unsavory'. The fact is, we need both if we are to be 'sane'.

The last thing I worry about as I lay in the darkness and 'watch the show' is that it is somehow detrimental to my mental health. One recent night I 'saw' a pure white pine tree standing like a proud shining symbol of hope, while the human world was tossed in a terrible turmoil. What I made of it is my own conception, what another will make of me describing it to them is a reflection of their own state.


Thanks for the information. I'm still not sure whats causing what Ive been seeing but Ive been seeing phosphenes, form constants, and visual snow since I was a small child and it doesnt interfere with my life.

I dont think altered states are abnormal. I believe most people experience altered states regularly often from music like you said. Others at religious services and some through recreational use of drugs. In one of your other posts you mentioned Fred Alan Wolf explaining that many people use illegal drugs to fill a void of spiritual experience. Thats makes me think altered states are needed for a healthy objective mind. Without them people become something akin to drones or zombies toiling away at life and work till they die.



new topics

top topics



 
2
<<   2 >>

log in

join