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    Thread: The instanteous switching between "rooms of experiential content"

    1. #1
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      The instanteous switching between "rooms of experiential content"

      I had another interesting experience, and it led me to write up some thoughts. I posted it in Hangouts with some friends, but they are not the most LD connected, so I thought I'd post it here as well in case anyone has additional experience with this topic that could be helpful to augment and inform these early thoughts. (after all, I have not had that many LD experiences, so have not had as many chances to delve into and experiment with the dream state)


      Some bizarre things happen on the verge of sleep... (everyone already knows this, but was just suprised by one)

      Crystal clear images that have complexity and seeming "life" to them, despite one being comatose intellectually. So strange to experience the separation of the parts of the brain -- one part simulating an animation with fluidity, the other comatose observing it all, then jolting back into intellect when it remembers "I am here... what is this?". And the further question of what exactly prompts consciousness to fluctuate in and out of these "rooms of experiential content".

      One instant, you as the observer are in the mental room, seeing what is there. The next hairs-breadth of a moment later, your consciousness has jolted back entirely into the real world. It's that jarring split that... makes you question certain hard-to-express inner assumptions about the reliability of the world. In other words, it reminds you of the path from the objective world to inner experience, and that the 99% reliable line can nonetheless occasionally be broken, in stark ways.

      My experiences are compatible with my model of the world and mind; but nonetheless, there are various "suspicious" components which are not what I would expect, based on it. For example, the distinctness with which the "rooms of experiential content" are displayed to the observer/soul, and the fact that even when you're comatose, the "entities" in those "rooms of experiential content" are *doing stuff* seemingly independently. That is, when you jolt back into awareness within those rooms, you can tell that the projections have been active for some time without you being really conscious at a high level -- you had some awareness, but merely of the morphing of colors and such and vague categorization. Once awareness returns, however, one or two final behaviors occur (perhaps a posture change as they appear to recognize your budding awareness -- another oddity since the intellect has not yet had a chance to "anticipate" such acts, and thus be the source), before *zap* it all disappears instantly. What happens then, behind the scenes? Is that room with that projection continuing to be animated and simulated? Is it being simulated even now, and I'm just not present in that room? If I had "biconsciousness" as that writer described, would I be able to transition even now into that room, and re-experience the same projection in a persistent way? Or is this something different, and it fades soon after you leave it? How many "rooms" can be simulated at the same time?

      I believe there can at least be two, as I have read a number of experiences with people claiming to have experienced a "splitting of consciousness" where two streams of content were experienced simultaneously, and only afterward "stitched together" as the content was downloaded into the person's memory and consolidated. Including experiences where the person seemingly came across the second half of their consciousness. I personally do not think an actual split occured, but it does serve as evidence for it being possible for the mind to simulate at least two rooms at the same time, and instantaneously switch between the two while preserving state. (Note that these are people who have had many thousands of lucid dreams, so they are not fools in ability to categorize their experiences. They may still have incorrect conclusions, but they are not 14 year olds having their fifth lucid dream and claiming to have lived a whole week out...)

      I can understand that dreams serve a function, for example, but I do not understand why the pathway seems to be so... standard, so... intrinsic, and so rich. It's as though we were built to be able to traverse it. That's what I'm feeling more and more as I gain more of these sorts of experiences -- that somehow the oddities of the mind and experience are not oddities but rather the origin or intended substrate. In other words, I think the spiritual reality of the world may connect more directly with our consciousness and dream-engine than we realize. That's not to say we're exploring real "spiritual realms" when we lucid dream, but rather, we are exercising some base abilities there which are actually partly spiritual. (that is, we are enacting some spiritual functions despite it having no spiritual "object")

      Obviously, because these reflections are not very system-guided, they may well turn out to "be off" -- as so many reflections must be (since they often conflict -- though to be fair, many are complex models rather than simple intuitions, with the former less likely to be correct). But I don't think they're worth discarding entirely either. Intuitions and impressions can matter when the things you're dealing with are "near" and "rich in information", and are not yet "caught up with" by the system-guided exploration of scientific study. I look forward to the day when we begin a more serious look into these questions as society, guided by the standards of reproducability, statistics, etc. Until then, the world of dreams and in-between-states is our playground, with at least impressions of extreme depth to it: when these experiences occur, they are joyous and lighthearted, but they also feel meaningful and weighty. I don't think the impressions feel meaningful and weighty for no reason; I think there is something about the state of our soul/consciousness, activated differently than when awake, which imprints those feelings of weight and meaning (and joy and lightheartedness), rather than merely being side-effects of our emotions.
      Has anyone else had experiences like this, where they "wake up" and catch just a glimpse of a "room", before a split-second later it disappears? (On this, I'm sure the answer is: yes. Included for completeness. ^_^)

      Has anyone been able to examine these states more carefully to try to figure out attributes of the "switching mechanism"? For example, is it possible to consciously trigger the switching manually? And if so, how did you learn to do it? And how persistent is the state of these "rooms" as you switch between them?

      Also, have any others had experiences where it seems that their consciousness split into two halves, and encountered each other? I am skeptical personally, and think it's probably a mind trick on oneself, but am open to the possibility. (one must be when dealing with the topic, since we know so little right now)

      Furthermore, what changes occur as you gain many more experiences of this sort? Does the sense of wonder and awe and joy and lightheartedness etc. fade at some point? Or does it persist to a substantial degree even after many thousands of them? In which case, do you consider this a special outflow of the underlying state, or merely a side-effect of your everyday emotions like excitement, happiness of having freedom, etc. when in the state?
      Last edited by Venryx; 03-08-2018 at 11:39 AM.
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    2. #2
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      Yes, the conscious and unconscious states are indeed very different in character. A good metaphor for them is day and night, with the sun representing the powerful spotlight effect of the conscious mind, which needs to sleep periodically before re-commencing its intense analytical activity. The unconscious seems to be continuously active, or nearly so, though it seems to have varying levels of activity (alpha, beta, theta, delta sleep) with their corresponding levels of activity symbolized by the stars - always there but completely downed out in the day by the intense light of the sun. In fact this is the meaning behind my avatar pic - the attempt to find a balanced state where both can be active to some degree.

      Neurology has identified the conscious state as being left-brain dominant and the unconscious as right-brain dominant. This isn't to say either is created entirely by just one hemisphere - it isn't that simple. They are two completely separate organs joined by a thick nerve bundle called the corpus callosum, and there is constant activity along that nerve network, but each state is dominated by one hemisphere or the other, with supporting processing being done in the other as well. Plus I believe the neocortex, the evolutionarily new and specifically human outer layer of the brain which no other animal shares with us, is active mostly if not entirely in left-brain logical functioning.

      What creates the extreme difference in the conscious and unconscious (or subconscious) experience is the very different ways these 2 hemispheres function. The right hemisphere processes data in serial, meaning it can handle multiple streams at the same time, therefore it works holistically, broadly, and very generally - whereas the left hemisphere works in parallel, one operation at a time, which allows it much greater focus and specificity at the sacrifice of broadness and speed. In effect the logical, linguistic and linear left brain is like an intense spotlight that focuses powerfully on one problem at a time in order to allow us to solve it in a way never available to the animal brain before - allowing the creation of logic, reason, and science. And the right brain is much faster - it leaps to instant conclusions based on broad-spectrum general thinking. My theory is that the conscious human mind is a tool to allow deeper and more focused thinking, rather than keeping us entirely at the mercy of our initial and lightning-fast instincts and intuitions - a sort of double-check.

      As you've already said, the right brain is the home of spirituality and the religious experience, and the left of science and materialism. But you seem to be attached to a specifically left-brain mode of thought about it all. Analysis is left-brain dominant, a way of dissecting things to determine what they're made of and what's inside of them, It kills what it studies, if that is alive. The holistic right brain synthesizes - puts things together rather than taking them apart. It studies not only the whole living organism but in its environment - social and natural, at the same time. A very different approach that does not kill what it studies.

      There's no way to put a state of consciousness on a microscope slide. It needs to be experienced. A purely rational scientific attitude will destroy the very state you're hoping to study. Returning to the metaphor of sun and stars, you can only study the stars at night - there's no way to bring the sun in so you can see them better - instead it makes them invisible.

      But to a certain extent you can bring some level of conscious awareness into the unconscious realm - lucidity for example. It's a tightrope act though - you need to be careful not to overbalance too much toward left-brain consciousness or the subtle unconscious state will evaporate, as dreams do when you wake up. The left brain has a tendency to try to dominate - if it becomes a little too self-aware it will explode fully into awareness. This accounts for so many problems with waking when trying to achieve lucidity. You have to go in with a humble attitude - submit yourself to the unconscious state on its own terms. You can't dominate and subjugate it. A subtle and delicate state requires a very careful and delicate approach.

      All of which is to say that I don't think a reductive materialist attitude is correct for entering the unconscious state and trying to observe it. A certain type of skepticism is fine, but too often skepticism really just means arrogant denial, when open-minded curiosity is really the heart and soul of exploration, or should be. I think a much better way is the approach taken by earlier successful students of the unconscious, such as Buddhists and other Eastern practitioners - Yogis, Hindus etc, or modern explorers like Carl Jung or Stephen LaBerge, who studied what had been learned before them by the Eastern methods. All of whom approached it with humility and on its own terms. Jung discovered that the spiritual and the religious are very real, though they're simply expressions of natural functions of the unconscious - internal rather than external realities. The earlier explorers simply didn't have an understanding of the unconscious, so they quite naturally projected the strange experiences out onto the external world in the forms of gods, devils, spirits and the like.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 03-09-2018 at 04:03 AM.

    3. #3
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      To be more specific - it sounds like part of what you're describing is that you were able to witness the formation of dreamlets, or hypnagogic (hypnapompic?) imagery as it takes shape. These are very fleeting at first, but if you're able to hold on loosely enough to the awareness without waking yourself up, you can sometimes see it become a full dream. There's a massive shift at several stages. First as you say there's just random kaleidoscopic shapes and blobs 'behind the eyelids', then they begin to take on more definite form and a bit more sense of solidity. But it still looks transparent and fragmentary. Then at some point it suddenly becomes a comprehensive image, and then it leaps into clear focus, like switching into full HD. And then it becomes a full 3 dimensional environment all around you, colors become far more vivid and things take on a solidity they didn't have before, and then it's a dream. If you've managed to maintain subtle awareness this whole time then you'll enter it lucidly - a successful WILD. If you get too excited at any stage you'll wake up or at least the dreamlet will instantly dissipate.

      When entering dreamlets at the beginning of the night, with no prior sleep, they're very fragile and in fact I find I can only do it occasionally, mostly at those times when I can already feel my head brimming over with REM activity even before I hit the sack. It seems to be when I'm really tired but not exhausted. Maybe it's better to say I need REM, possibly haven't had enough recently. But if Im too tired then I just fall asleep - maybe after burning off the sleep fever as I call it (something I need to do if I really missed a lot of sleep recently - like an entire night of it). It's much easier to witness the formation of dreamlets after a couple hours of sleep, as with any dreaming activity.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 03-08-2018 at 04:21 PM.
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    4. #4
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      I think there’s a connection between imagination, both conscious and subconscious, and however karma works. When you imagine an event, you’re manipulating an internal representation of the world, not the world itself. Yet the way that thoughts influence events is somehow similar. (Yes I know that most ‘rational’ people don’t believe that thoughts influence events except through the human nervous system.) By thoughts I mean something subtler than what people usually call thoughts, which are more concrete and closer to the surface.

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