Firstly, omtaozen - Thanks for your post. Really interesting insight.
Wow. Many of these experiences are bizarrely familiar.
My interest in this phenomena reignited after coming across a thread on Reddit - www(.)reddit(.)com/r/AskReddit/comments/2k6786/have_you_ever_encountered_something_paranormal/clicscm
And after reading all of those comments and the 8 pages of tingle-inducing posts here, my mind is all but blown.
Anyway, here are some of my past experiences with infinity. I haven't experienced many of these for a long time, so it is all quite hazy, not that it was ever particularly clear, but by reading all these posts I'm beginning to piece together these fractured memories.
1. The Perfection - Dream state
Often presented to me in the form of spheres. Oh how I hated the spheres. Their texture was weirdly similar to zabbwich's explanation:
...and with definite similarities to Katla's explanation:
Originally Posted by zabbwich
So incomprehensibly perfect and smooth, to such a degree that they were sharp. I used to describe the texture as something that was once the softest thing imaginable, but had since become petrified, resulting in an infinitely fractalised and "sharp" surface. Sort of like petrified cotton balls or coral, but not quite. As I grew older and the dream became more commonplace, the spheres graduated into an all-encompassing feeling/sensation, in a sense, permeating me with their impossibly perfect and smoothly sharp characteristics. Or perhaps it is more that I became a sphere. I'm not sure. An indescribably horrible feeling, nonetheless. Very much like static noise tearing me apart at some fundamental level.
Originally Posted by Katla
I am remembering just now that during the dreams, this textual quality of limitless complexity actively increases its perfection to impossible levels, and once this terrifying perfection of rising intensity is almost achieved, I wake up. I guess it is like smoothing out a fractal; a ridiculously absurd notion to the rational mind. I'm guessing that this is quite possibly my version of what seems to be colloquially referred to as "The Impossible Task" dream.
I can't quite recall, but it's possible that the spheres are related to, or the same as, the boulders during The Crushing...
2. The Crushing - Dream state
The feeling of something impossibly tiny and delicate being crushed/popped by something else impossibly large. Once again, it appears I am also not alone:
Originally Posted by jumboguildluver
When I was younger, I would take the role of the infinitely tiny object being almost crushed by infinitely large and infinitely distant boulders in some sort of void. The boulders would move and rotate agonisingly slowly, but never actually reach me, but I would be filled with the deepest sense of dread and impending doom. I remember once leaping out of bed, running to my nanna while screaming "they're coming... they're coming". This freak show lasted for about 10 minutes.
Originally Posted by jakra002
Now that I'm older, I seem to take the role of the infinitely large object quickly crushing something infinitely tiny and infinitely close, usually a flower or some such thing. When it happens, the sheer insignificance of the event is overwhelming. This seems to mainly happen during hangover-snoozes, usually at the end of a dream just before waking up.
I'm only just realising as I type this, but these perspectives seem to be an infinitely exaggerated version of, for example, an ant and an elephant. To an ant, an elephant would appear to be moving very slowly, but to an elephant, the ant would appear rather fast for its size. In the realm of the infinite, the elephant would be essentially motionless to the ant's eyes, but the ant's movements would be essentially instant and infinitesimal to the elephant, in effect non-existent. From the infinite ant's perspective, the elephant is forever. From the infinite elephant's perspective, the ant was never.
3. The Grinding - Dream & (weed trip) waking states
I feel as though it may be the combination of both of The Crushing states. Two sides of the same coin. It is very similar to the agonisingly slow rotation of the boulders, but now that I'm older, this manifests in an all-encompassing feeling/sensation where I am the thing that is forever moving, but at the same time, not. It tends to mainly occur these days during hangover-snoozes, like with The Crushing, but is no less horrifying.
It has also occurred once while awake after a particularly intense bong hit where I thought that everything was repeating. The only time I've tripped on weed. It was as though my short-term memory was non-existent, and so without a reference point and no proof in memory of any of the previously occurring sequence of events, all that existed was the "now". Forever this moment in time, or the absence of.
4. The Chasm (or Alice in Wonderland syndrome - Macropsia & Teleopsia) - Dream & waking states
A seemingly common occurrence amongst other (day)dreamers, it involves the feeling that I am infinitely tiny and everything is infinitely huge and infinitely distant, with an endless rift in-between. For example, I could be just sitting there watching TV, when all of a sudden my perspective would shift. It's as though I become acutely aware of my consciousness being a singularity, and everything in my sight is at the "edge" of the universe.
This still happens to me semi-frequently, and I can somewhat will myself to slip into this perspective during my waking state. This and The Closing are also the only two of these phenomena that don't deeply disturb my soul.
5. The Closing (or Alice in Wonderland syndrome - Micropsia & Pelopsia) - Dream state
The opposite of The Chasm. This sensation usually occurs during The Crushing, when I exist as the impossibly large object.
Anyway, that's all I can recall at the moment. There are just so many oddly specific parallels that can be drawn from everyone's experiences. Although our individual experiences are recalled with some variation - an expected consequence of attempting to rationalise and communicate something so abstract and otherworldy - there appears to be a singular, common theme throughout. I can't quite put my finger on it. Something intangible. Something fundamental and absolute.
I will definitely be keeping an eye on this thread for further insight, but for now I'm off to look at fractals. I fucking love fractals. Now that I think about it, I get the feeling that the universe is an inside-out fractal. And after spacebf's post up above, I think I'm gonna need to go learn about limits in calculus
Also, if anyone knows of any further material on any of these themes - spiritual, scientific, fictional or otherwise - I would be ever so grateful.