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#1 Queso

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 01:38 PM

Last night I was laying in my bed, just talking on the phone. It was completely dark, and I had some music playing on my computer really quiet.
I found myself just staring at the ceiling, and although my eyes had adjusted, colors swirled all around, controlled by my thoughts.
Just for the record, I was completley sober.
What is this? People see this when they close their eyes too, or put pressure on the eyes.
What was strange and different about last night though, was that it had completley over-taken everything around me. And even though my eyes were open, I really could not tell.

Also, as far back as I can remember, when I have closed my eyes, slowly but surely as I zip through my imagination, a bright greenish/yellow O like shape is created before me.
It starts off as just a blob of color, but it evolves.

#2 Buffy

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 01:45 PM

Just for the record, I was completley sober.

Prolly acid flashbacks.... ;)

Some of it is persistence of vision (look at somehting then close your eyes), and that can be affected by such mundane effects as muscle tension and fluid pressure on the eyelid (it is translucent you know), back of the eyeball, etc. But there are also aftereffects of neurons randomly firing due to the change in inputs. How interesting they are may have a lot to do with what you've seen in the past...

Cheers,
Buffy

#3 D.M.T.

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 10:39 AM

Ive heard of that before, its a little more then acid flashbacks to some people :D
Anyway, the term fails to come to mind, but some rare gifted people are given the ability to see colors and designs based on thought/music in the background and they "see" the music instead of just hearing it. Some people see the music depending on the type almost like those ribbon dancers in the olympics with fluid motion and the like. The same effect can be achieved with a sensory deprivation tank (i know there will be a comment about that), i dont own one yet but to my knowledge, it allows the mind to do wonderful and unknown things usually muted by societies noise and distractions.

#4 Aquagem

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 10:54 AM

Last night ...I found myself just staring at the ceiling, and although my eyes had adjusted, colors swirled all around, controlled by my thoughts.


I've been an avid color-swirl watcher since I was a little kid. I suspect strongly that it's noise in the primary visual cortex, and when you get good at paying attention to it while you're falling asleep, you'll see the colors begin to form into the images of dreaming. In fact, when I'm having trouble getting to sleep, I shift my concentration to the "green clouds" and find it to be a great soporific. It doesn't have to be dark for the clouds to form -- it's just easier to notice. Watch for it some day when you're just lying in the bathtub with minimal sensory interruptions and they'll well up spontaneously even in brightly lit room. A phone ringing or a loud noise will erase them in a second. Mine have about an eight-second period between waves, and I've also noticed that after very close to fifteen minutes after onset, I'll have nearly a full minute during which the waves form around the periphery of my visual field and close in around the center of sight. Eventually that pattern goes unstable, and I'm back to random fluctuations.

I think of it as "the brain's dial tone".

I've polled many people through my life, and I've found about 1 in 3 are aware of seeing things in the dark. Quite a few of those who initially say they never see anything come back later and affirm that they do -- they had just never noticed it before. I often use the green clouds as an example of how much is going on in our brains that we don't see, or, worse, see and take to be something literally true. Happy clouds to you.

(Are you a fan of "The Wall" by P. Floyd? I notice "Don't give in without a fight...")

#5 Queso

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 11:18 AM

i love floyd, and that is a quote i live by every day.
interesting replies!
i noticed you talked about something like. "seeing music" i am actually a music composer (not symphony, but experimental solo stuff. just weird music) and something that helps me a lot, is the ability to see it.
trance music for example. the high frequency synths i can see like lasers, and the pads of colors in the background. i never knew this was rare, i thought it was just something that comes along with the study of music.
p.s. i have yet to experience acid.
those green clouds, i have seen those too.
reminds me of my spanish class a few years back.'
i have to go get dressed, aye.

#6 D.M.T.

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 11:51 AM

Floyd is amazing...maybe i used rare too quickly...but it is uncommon for the most part. I too am interested in the "color music" trance, emotion, techno, industrial, classical, all have those types of things, i usually see the music with acid or another pyschedelic. If anyone out there has any ideas on constructing or buying a think tank (as seen on The Fly) or a sensory deprivation tank, that would be great.....i also found that if a person was not very good at seeing colors with music or any kind of optical anomaly psychedlics will definitly aid in that ability...i have much experience in such a field heh heh heh :D.

#7 Turtle

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 01:02 PM

Thos colors & patterns are called "entoptic" forms. They are an artifact of the arrangement of rods & cones on the retina. Pressure and/or altered states activate them. :D

Luv the Floyd.

#8 Aquagem

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 02:30 PM

Thos colors & patterns are called "entoptic" forms. They are an artifact of the arrangement of rods & cones on the retina. Pressure and/or altered states activate them.


I've experienced entoptic forms as various patterns for as long as I have experienced the waves, or swirling clouds. I discovered very early that several of the shapes traced to the pattern of blood vessels in the retina, and later, observed them to change over time due to what I interpreted to be loss of neural tissue in micro-macula due to aging.

Though it's tempting to think that all optical phenomena are effects traceable to the same cause, I'm doubtful, and not long ago found one example reported in Discover (maybe two years ago) about the visual disturbance of migraine. This is another one I'm familiar with personally. Long story short, the visual distubance of migraine is a "storm" on the visual cortex, not a change in the eye. This doesn't say anything specific about the waves I attribute to the cortex, but I've long felt that they (the waves) are much more like migraine than they are the entoptic phenomena I've seen. I'll watch for later research. :D

#9 Turtle

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 02:43 PM

Good points. I've heard the migraine effect termed an aura. It further makes sense these effects may manifest soley in the brain, since the brain is the terminal for impulses from the eye. ;)