by Ovidiu Brazdau
These explorations started as a result of entheogenic experiences that showed me new perceptual ways of connecting with reality. With time, I trained my perceptual mechanisms so that the entheogenic-induced modifications could become available without the use of powerful entheogens. I describe here some of my explorations since 2014, after I first encountered the LSD experience, followed by ayahuasca/changa and other plants.
I want to mention that I explored with these entheogens in a stage of my inner journey when witnessing awareness was already well habituated, and I was already paying attention to attentional mechanisms. This allowed me to see how attentional and perceptual mechanisms changed when I encountered the entheogenic realms, and the attentional flexibility exploded in a multidimensional schema.
Table of Contents
I. Personal attention. Some attentional mechanisms
II. Collective attention and the multidimensional wave of reality
III. Expansions: attention, perception, energy
IV. Milky Way, and the boundary-observer
V. Inside the eye: depth perception and one-eye sensitivity
VI. Advances in depth perception: exploring the environment
VII. Visually-induced “unitary mystical state”
VIII. Enhanced depth perception: 3D Moon and Milky Way
In this research, I build on the information about attention, already presented in “Psychology of becoming conscious: inner growth journeys”, and about inner sound, as I described it in “Entheogenic insights: some methods to access and consciously use “psychedelic visions”, without exogenous psychedelics”.
“Attention to attention and attention training represent a simultaneously experiential (subjective) and neurofeedback (objective) voyage through an uncharted and vast awareness-space, an awareness-space limited only by walls of attentional bias and habit. This voyage is far more momentous and fraught with unprecedented potential for human-kind than any exploration that has gone before. Never did a brighter ray of promise light our way to human optimization and consciousness evolution than does practicing and researching the characteristics of attention and attention to attention. The fruits of attention practice and personal research have staggering potential for the optimization of every phase of human life.”
Les Fehmi, 1999
When I first encountered Fehmi’s researches, I thought, hmm.. finally one scientist who emphasizes the attention to space, and experientially describes the attentional styles, so clearly. Fehmi encourages “an identity with awareness itself, and specifically, an awareness of how we pay attention to what we pay attention to, including the awareness of the space in which awareness and attention and sensation occur. This is a more inclusive, resourceful, flexible and effective umbrella identity than are those currently in vogue. Awareness of attention and attentional balance, stability and flexibility are fundamental, though not widely nor fully realized characteristics of humanness”.
His research inspired me to learn how to use attention in a better way, and to go boldly ahead. But, I didn’t use technology to get the bio-feedback information; instead, I decided to use the experience itself as a feedback mechanism, while I was exploring with attention and perceptual styles. And after meeting ayahuasca and changa, I started to use the inner sound (tinnitus / carrier wave) as a supplemental feedback tool.
Below some facts about attention, that helped me understand more conclusively about how attention works:
Les Fehmi: “Full Open Focus attention, includes diffuse, narrow, objective, and immersed forms of attention – all occurring more or less equally and simultaneously, with a concurrent awareness of their presence. The ultimate goal of Open Focus training is to attain the attentional flexibility adequate for moving freely by degrees among and within attentional styles, including all, at times, simultaneously and equally.. All that is necessary to destroy the balance of these integrated forms of attention is to effort fully apprehend an object, to over-focus upon a sensation or upon space as an object or concept. However, we can learn to quickly re-establish balanced forms of attention.”
When I refer to “attention to attention itself”, I sometimes prefer to use “meta-attention”, it is easier to visualize the process.
Components of attention, relevant to my experiential journeys
Some of the concepts I encountered and which were useful to describe my inner journeys are the following ones:
- Availability of stimuli (e.g. in cases of blindsight, visual stimuli are not “available”)
- Selection of stimuli (this process can happen with/without active attention)
- Orientation of attention toward various stimuli
- Attending to stimuli
Most parts of the attentional processes are unconscious (automatic), some can become part-conscious through training.
- Attention management terminology: attentional schema, dividing attention, isolate focused attention, allocating uneven resources to simultaneous types of attention, locking an attentional style
- Pop-up, search, monitoring
Jesse Prinz: “I treat “attention” as a natural kind term. It is not something that has an essence that can be discovered by conceptual analysis. Pre-theoretically, we grasp the concept of attention by appeal to a range of different activities and phenomena. A couple of those have already been mentioned.
There is the phenomenon of pop-out, when a stimulus seems to stand out from things around it. Pop-out is passive, but attention can also be effortful. There is the phenomenon of search, as when you are looking for a specific object in a complex scene.
Attention can also involve monitoring, as when we retain perceptual contact with something; tracking, as when we watch an object move through space; or vigilance, as when we remain alert and responsive to anything that might come before our senses. Attention sometimes involves selection, as when we focus in on a feature of an object. But it can also be diffuse, as when we survey our surroundings. Meditation can put one in a state of being hyper-attentive without attending to any specific thing. Put differently, attention can be thought of as a process that, in principle, could be applied to everything in the visual field at once, even if, in practice, it is usually selective.”
Samyama, absorption, and full perceptual connection
Samyama is a process of perfect and continuous fusion with the object of attention. Or, in other words, knowing an object by completely merging with it. In Yoga Sutra, it is said that this process leads to jnana, a correct knowledge, or direct knowing. In modern terminology, we can say that a perfect perceptual, emotional and cognitive empathy will lead to a correct understanding-as-perception (some of my observations are here).
Technically, samyama is the concept used by Patanjali to describe the uninterrupted flow of attention toward the object of attention. Usually, the meditative teachings use samyama in a static context, e.g. gazing to a point, or gazing to sky. When the inner context is very dynamic, and the visual thinking and the energy are very active, as in psychedelic experiences, maintaining an uninterrupted samyama requires a lot of attentional flexibility.
Attention, awareness, consciousness
This distinction is well described in the literature. I don’t consider “consciousness” to be a very useful word for describing subjective experiences, as it is in fact a composite concept. Attention scans and selects the stimuli, then when we attend to a stimulus we experience “awareness”, which is basically perceptual or meta-perceptual. When cognitive processing is involved, as a further step, we have a “conscious experience”.
To get a sense of how attention really works, I like to use it in the context of global interconnectedness. If I refer to life on Earth, there is obviously a collective resonance process happening through everything, and the feedback mechanism is included in all life processes. Life is happening through us, whether we pay attention or not. The self-reflection mechanisms, and the witnessing skills, are a recent revolutionary feature, and what we are doing now as a species is to discover what is really happening, how do we function. And we have a long way ahead.
So, in this framework, it seems to be quite hard to isolate the personal attention selection from the collective resonance chains. There is always an information feed happening through us, even if we stay alone. The natural world is in us, we are full of bacteria that resonate locally and globally, so, in this fractal universe we call life, the limitation I had to surpass was to discern between information coming from my personal-not-so-personal ego-memory, and the present-moment-information available multidimensionally.
The challenge for me was, can I use the collective energy-information highways, and flow on them, using my personal energy-information patterns?
One of my favorite styles of contemplation is to just watch the scenery in front of me, and notice how stimuli in the environment modulate my attentional flows. I use a unitary configuration, inner and outer world combined.
I was practicing this exercise for a while, when it happened to sit near a fire, during a day break after an ayahuasca session in a Santo Daime community. On my right there was a friend and on her right there was another person whom I didn’t know too much. I couldn’t see him, as we were somehow arranged in a linear way. The fire was near a forest, so we were oriented towards the fire; beyond the fire we could see the rim of the forest. As usually, I was contemplating the scenery, and for a while I felt like I was the only observer paying attention to it, using my own “configuration”. But I had a surprise. While watching the trees at the edge of the forest, for the first time, I felt that someone is looking to the scenery also. We were two observers witnessing, and I felt that the other person was just there, but not aware of my presence. She/he was there, scanning, but their attentional stream didn’t have the collective-self-reflection-quality active.
Then I was curious, and I asked, who is watching. Instantly, my attention “locked” on the “foreign” attentional stream, and my eyes searched the source. And I turned to right, and… guess what, it was the person sitting in the right of my friend. He was enjoying the contemplative experience. The attentional flux was coming from him. I moved a bit, looked into his eyes, and there it was, the source of the “foreign” attentional flow. We seemed to have a similar attentional schema. But to him, my action of watching his flow was not in the awareness bubble. In other word, this thread of information was unconscious for him, he interpreted my scans as a natural movement of the scenery.
I talked to him, he was a French guy, very relaxed, and I felt inside him the similarity of our perceptual styles, used for contemplative experiences. He told me that a possible explanation is that, perhaps, there is a limited number of inner configurations in human beings. I think it is true, but also I think that experiencing with ayahuasca together the other night created a better sync between us. This happened in 2015.
The next step.
happened while I was at Waha, a transformational festival, in the Carpathian mountains of Romania. I was watching the trees in the distance, and in front of me there was a small path for people to move uphill, from the river below. I though, hmm, let’s try something. Some people were walking in a contemplative attitude, and after some tunings, using samyama, I was able to enter their experience by noticing the difference in the scenery: without a person looking vs. with a person looking. And guess what, there were differences in my perception. So, I isolated their “added information”, and bing, I was participating to their contemplative experience, without interfering and without being detected, so to speak. During the connection, new information was available to me, usually it was information about various stimuli from their experience. Some seem to be in their local ego-bubble, some were in a wider frame, including the event area, others were more connected to the trees, or the Earth, or various other elements. I was able to feel some qualities of their energy, as new emotions entered my field, without being mine, but having the person in front of me as the source-resonator.
The amazing part was how my perception of trees and environment was changing. Some inner configurations were so new to me, that I was amazed to feel how they look and feel about trees and environment. I still do this from time to time, during festivals, it is a new way of learning about various inner configurations, in a safe way, and not involving time spent with that person.
After these experiences, it happened that I went to a festival in advance, 2 days before its official opening, and I camped with my tent at the periphery of the festival. So, I was able to observe how the temporary collective field started to get together. Moreover, I was able to notice how this temporary collective field was shifting in time, during the day or the night, and how people’s experiences were influenced by the area-field. This awareness came with another nice information: I noticed that the local field has physical areas and moments when the energy was ecstatic, and more in-sync. These were moments in time and space, lasting 5-30 minutes, based on various variables (like the weather, the music, the people, the cloud’s shape, the light quality etc.), and I decided to seek these “singularities” as they pop-up in my attentional stream.
So, I didn’t scheduled anything to do, no appointments, just walking and stopping and moving through the field as being in a bubble. And I was in for a surprise, a positive one. The field helped me to reach some places in the exact moment when the “high-sync-events” were happening. Once, I reached a place, it was something like 2×2 meters, near the chillout stage, where the combination of elements, including music, were perfect. When I stepped into this place, it was like Dr. Strange entering the mirror dimension. The place had a special quality, only found inside the bubble.
The dominant feeling and thinking was “this is a perfect place”. I sit down, in its near proximity, to see what happens if other people pass through it. Some friends just appeared near me, while I was monitoring the area. They ask me what I do, and well, I told them the truth. I showed them the place where “Here is perfect” happens, and we start a conversation. Meanwhile, a person stepped into the place. She stopped, and said “It’s perfect here”. I know, I said. She smiled and enjoyed the vibe for a while, looking to the sky and the trees. After some minutes, the sync was gone. But while it was, this quality of “Here is perfect, look around and enjoy” was active.
Now, this is my favorite experiment at festivals. I discovered that I am not alone in this quest, a friend told me she also seeks these places with good vibes and good synchrony between all the sounds, or moments when everything seems to flow in ecstatic harmony.
Training the depth perception was a challenge for me. I have been practicing with energy-expansion visualizations since high school, using mental visualizations of expansion and then letting perceptual expansions happen. And there were also the ecstatic-sexual experiences, where boundaries seemed to be melting.
But with time, a lot of questions arised: What is happening when my boundaries seem to disappear? Am I really becoming a larger energy body or it is just my subjective experience? What is the trick with these perceptions? What is really happening inside me when I have this inner sensation of “spaciousness”? There are so many techniques that talk about “expanding” our energy body, but do we really expand the energy? What energies? Because subjectively it feels as if we really expand something of us. And what about “explosions” of energy? Or “dissolving into infinity”. What infinity? Am I really becoming infinite? How large is the infinite, perceptually? How large is my expansion, really? Lots of questions on this topic.
Visualizing the expansion has always been a puzzle for me, because I felt there was something missing in my understanding about how these expansions happen. I mean, can I really expand my energy with my mental “visualizing techniques”? Because I felt like I was lying to me, although something was definitely happening. But what?
In the last years, I tried to answer these questions, and I looked into the processes that regulate the expansion experience. I needed a model that would explain these subjective experiences in a rational way. But I was unable to get any satisfactory answers, until I started to explore with LSD and DMT, and to build a bridge between the knowledge of physics, cosmology and inner experiences of energy expansion.
For a nice overview of mathematical and physics’ infinity, take a tour through PBS Infinity Series.
In my opinion, the depth perception is the key element for understanding the subjective qualities of the expansion experiences. I am using “depth” as a physical concept, as it is used in eye-vision studies, meaning the visual ability to perceive distances to an object and to make sense of the three dimensional positioning.
Whatever is expanding, the expansion has a radius, or a length. But, from a subjective perspective, with me inside, I think that using “depth” instead of “length” is better. So, in this research, depth means primarily a physical spatial wide-ness.
Thinking / Frame-of-reference expansion
Thinking provides a special spaciousness, but it is not felt as “expansion in cognition”, it is rather interpreted as a “bigger picture”, or a larger frame of reference. Using Earth as a frame of reference (as in “one life on a big rock traveling through space”), we can allow our cognitive and emotional world to be filled with informational systems with a larger size. As thinking and emotions are two layers in resonance with each other, a larger cognitive overview brings-in “expanded” emotions.
In my opinion, until people have physically seen the Earth from space, it seems that the perceptual mechanisms were not producing real “planetary-size expansions” in our emotions. Until Yuri Gagarin’s journey, we could imagine Earth as One, but the mental representation was just that, an exercise with imagination, not a connection with a perceptual fact. Life didn’t know what is like to be on Earth. With time, this perception shared collectively, it adjusted, and now there are people in the ISS feeding us with this overview. As a result, our inner sensitivity as a species is adjusting its functioning. Nowadays it seems quite easy to “imagine” and sense-a-bit that we are one life on Earth, as the information-feed from the astronauts journeys is expanding into our collective culture. The astronauts share their perceptions with us, all the time, through interviews, live broadcasts, we have books and movies including the components of the global perspective. As a result, the new global perceptions are spreading, through resonance, or emotional-perceptual imitation. And, this perception is spreading quite fast, I would say.
In the vibrational-energy world, what is important for the subjective experience of expansion seems to be the wave-length, and the resonance process. As we have many layers/bodies, there are different types of depths, all happening in space, on various scales. Expansion experiences happens usually in the basic energy layers: vitality, sexual, emotional and within/around the size of our body, as a result of the physical processes inside us.
I think that the quality of openness (or fluid energy structures), not expansion, is responsible for many inner experiences of being a “larger energy body”. But, our energy is not really expanding anywhere. We just connect more, and resonate more with larger systems, and allow more, and as a result, we tend to feel that we are more than our local body.
So, in my view, oneness is a concept that refers to wider-global-attention-sensation-perception experience. We are part of something bigger, yes, but perceptually, we are positioned in our bodies, no matter how fluid we allow our emotions to be. The primary gravity center for us is inside our bodies, and the natural way to experience all these larger-wave-length-emotions is the through our identity (physical, energy, information). If we cut the physical body, we lose the real physical sensations, and we get the “air” quality of expansion. Or the dreamy journeys known as OBE.
Visual distance and sensing physical distances
Some years ago I wondered, can I really sense the distance from me to something that is beyond my basic-energy body, say 5 meters in front of me? In this example, I cognitively know that there are 5 meters, but those 5 meters have content in it, perceptually accessible. So I thought, can I really sense the content in-between me and the object, with the same subjective-quality as sensing my hand, without shutting down my natural body perception? In my past, whenever I wanted to sense larger depths, I had to put my witnessing frame-or-reference into the energy-vibrational body, and my physical body was not connected so much.
After the hyper-sync and multidimensionality activated in me through ayahuasca, I decided to see if I can divide my attention so that I could maintain a simultaneity of my body perception, my physical body boundaries, and the physical environment around me, without losing proper contact with any of them.
I began to explore with the depth perception and eye vision, by becoming more aware about how light carries information to my retina, and how it is processed, and what I can do to allow this information to participate in my conscious experience. I was curious if it could be possible to tune myself consciously to the new perceptual-depth configuration, and expand my awakeness, by altering my perceptual conscious-automatic balance, using the eye vision.
In the following sections I describe some of these explorations. I started with simple things, like sky gazing, but as I was advancing, and my depth perception was adjusting, the research transformed into a quest for unexplored territories.
Infinity was the first clue that something was not right in my understanding of the so-called “expanded states of consciousness”. I began to question the “perceptual” infinite in 2010-2011, after I noticed that the word “infinite” from people’s descriptions of mystical states was rather an emotional label, not a technical one. I mean, I had many moments in my life when, during yoga, I felt like I am larger, or vast, but it never felt it like infinity. Yet, some people were talking about their subjective experiences of infinity, and I thought these people must sense something I was not sensing. I understood later that they were referring to their no-boundaries-flowing-style.
In 2013-2014, when the witnessing awareness activated and habituated, I have explored a lot with divided attention, so that I could access the simultaneity of various aspects in me. In 2014, my first LSD experience in nature brought me a new configuration, the felt-sense of distances. But it was still a fog in my mind, as I didn’t have the proper concepts to describe the expanded-perceptual experiences. Then, I began dividing attention in a new way, allocating a percentage of my attentional resources to the boundaries of my vision. So, I created a “boundary-observer”, placed at the boundary of my personal-perceived bubble-field.
Then, I began gazing at the Moon, the night sky, the stars-planets and the Milky Way structure, and tried to compare my perceptual experience with the scientific information about their position and distances to them, and to try and see if I can adjust my depth perception to really sense-perceive-feel the distance to them.
The Moon overview
I used the Moon, first, and I practiced samyama with it. An then I put my boundary-observer there on the Moon, as I was looking from Moon to Earth, and see what would happen, could I get an overview perception or not? I was familiar with this exchanges during samyama, it happened before with some birds, when spontaneously I was merging with them through my gaze and I was feeling as if I was seeing me on Earth with a different quality, a quality that seemed more like a bird’s gaze. So I thought why not, let’s try with the Moon. And it worked. Using the Moon as a reflective layer-witness, my perspective changed, my inner experience was becoming larger, and I could feel the Earth as One, easily. As months passed by, I became more aware about the changes that were happening in me when the boundary-observer was locked to the Moon and I was on Earth. The boundary-observer provided a nice overview-quality to my perceptions of distances. It was not like, I am expanded to the Moon, but like “I am here on Earth, with my perspective larger”. The Moon is altering my self-reflection mechanism, embedded in the perspective, which in turn, influence my perceptions.
Sometime I wonder, if the Moon would not have been here, in the sky, for us to stare at, along our evolution as a species, maybe the development of self-consciousness in mammals would have been slower? The Moon provides a nice self-reflective framework, and, in fact, we see the Moon because the Sun light reflects from it, so it already has a “physical-witnessing-reflecting” quality.
The boundary observer starts to travel
In 2015, when I began to experience with ayahuasca and changa, my practice with divided attention turned into something unexpected. During my first ayahuasca session at Santo Daime, during a break, I had the experience of the entire visual scenery as a high resolution field (HD), in a way I never experienced before. The visual field was ultra-mega HD, and inside the focal attention, I had an extra HD area, so to speak. It was like my visual acuity became 100 times more powerful. So, later I thought, ok, the vision can adapt. Let’s see if I can reproduce it without ayahuasca.
Traveling through rays of light?
I have discovered that if I gaze into a ray of light, coming from a star, and tune into the HD resolution by re-activating the DMT-sync-style configuration, and isolate the attention to the inner part of the ray… I can see-by-sensing through the ray, and I can use the light ray to expand the limits of my perceptual field, step by step, by moving my boundary-observer through the light. In this way, my inner experience was similar to an expansion experience.
But, as I was adapting to these advances-through-light, for a few weeks, and allowing myself to go deeper and deeper into the light-ray, the expansion-perception quality seemed to fade away, and I was feeling more like a traveler with the boundary-observer. The purpose of this boundary-observer changed, I was now more interested to provide me feedback about its position or to improve my larger-perspective qualities.
Size matters – the real distances between stars
One day, I began to wonder… what if I could expand / send my boundary-observer all the way to the emitter-star, could this be possible? I mean, doing this exercise to connect with the Moon was ok, I felt the finite distance to its position when my boundary-observer reached the Moon.
Scene from Tomorrowland movie (2015)
But with the stars… hmm… there was another scale necessary. I soon noticed that the distances are perceptually immense. Any strategy that I used to speed up the boundary-observer to the emitter-star was not fast enough to reach the emitter in the minutes I was doing the exercise. The only technique that seem to produce some results was the ayahuasca style of flowing continuously, by paying attention to the “increase” of the increase in speed, not to the physical distances. But even so, I was unable to sense that I was making progress. Speed of light was not enough. I needed a higher wave-length, that could make larger steps through the light ray, or a faster speed.
At that time, I began to study how far away the Milky Way is, how far away are the stars we see in the sky. To my surprise, all the stars I was seeing were in a small bubble of space (small compared with the Milky Way size). And I began to research the distances in the galaxy and in between the galaxies and so on, until the limits of the observable universe.
Milky Way from outside?
Well, this was the context in 2015, when an experience shifted my overview. I was with a friend, under the sky, on a wooden terrace of a summer house somewhere in a small village near the mountains. We both experienced with changa, one after the other, having each other as facilitators. After the experience, half an hour each, or so, we were just relaxing and gazing at the night-sky, it was a very clear sky and the Milky Way was beautiful. I was trying to figure out its 3D position in the sky, and where is Earth, and how the spiral arms are positioned. Then I started to do to exercise with focusing attention inside a ray of light, from a star, and I began to practice the expansion-traveling of the boundary-observer. I was practicing with increase-of-increase of my speed, to see if I can reach the emitter-star. So, I was with my eyes wide open, when something unexpected happened.
My boundary-observer was pulled through the ray, and my main attention moved from the body to the boundary-observer, and I jumped to a speed I was unable to imagine before, and then I reached the emitter-star. I know this because the samyama was still active, but somehow, the perspective has been reversed, my sensing-center-of-gravity moved to the boundary-observer, and the new center was in the light.
Then, after I reached the emitter-star, the journey continued, and I was pulled through another ray of light, this time something like 90 degrees angle from the previous journey. I was pulled in a ray of light between other two stars. But, at the half distance, something happened, I was stopped through decelerating, I stopped, then I was rotated.. But during rotation, my attention shifted from focused to global, and… I saw the Milky Way from above and from lateral. Not exactly as it is in the graphical descriptions, rather a clear HD image. I stayed like this for a few seconds, then the ray of light I came through isolated again in my attentional schema, and I lost my global view, then I was pulled back through the light, to the star and then bounced back to Earth into me, and rotated again. And there I was, back in the attentional schema, with the focus inside the ray of light, but this time the boundary-observer was in my body field.
I was back! In space, and in time, because I was back in the same moment before I was pulled through the light. I was perplexed, this happened instantly, or in less than a second or so, while I was gazing with opened eyes. Even the breath was in the same position, as I left it…
What? I mean, what? Approx. 50.000 light years, in less than a second? I was not in the dreaming state, so the visual-thinking mechanisms were not active, I was just perceptual. But how did it happen? How hard was I hallucinating to create this experience? Or maybe, I was not hallucinating? Or, it was Dr. Who who pulled me me? 🙂
Scene from Dr. Who – The Runaway Bride.
How to make sense of this experience?
Time will tell. I paused the boundary-observer-through-light experiment after this experience, as I no longer felt the need to explore this line of research. For me, it was enough, for a while. It seemed an impossible action. And It happened in a state of enhanced perceptual presence, with no symbolic visuals, no fractals, nothing related to usual retinal DMT images. Later, I found this image, that resembles to how my journey through the light ray was “Warp Speed: What Hyperspace Would Really Look Like”.
With time, as my research on DMT experience was advancing, I remembered that the boundary-observer is just information-on-a-wave, not a wave, not a particle, and in theory, something with no mass or energy can travel at any speed, just by switching the wave-length used as a carrier to flow through, but still, the acceleration schema needed to travel so fast is incomprehensible perceptually, for the moment. Perhaps in the future I will start again these travels with the boundary-observer, but for the moment, I feel like I am not ready to advance more. Instead, I focused on completing other perceptual experiences.
I happened that once, while I was contemplating the night sky from my balcony, there was a building under construction, approx. 2 km away, and the crane had a very powerful light, with blue-ish nuances, and I was able to see it clearly. I decided to try a new way of looking into the ray of light, by covering one eye, and to try adjusting myself to see the intermediary objects that were in my visual field, with just one eye. And, to see if I can detect the ray as it was touching my retina.
Below are the elements that I could see:
– The most intense was the light-center itself, on the retina: but, it was not a point of light, or a shape like a circle (how it is with light from the stars). Instead, it was spread in a irregular shape, with blue-red-green filaments, grouped together in an unusual ways, like the rid of a butterfly, (let’s say it’s a butterfly, as a metaphor); this shape stayed constant whatever I was doing with the eye. It became larger or smaller depending on what I was doing with the eye focus. So, I suppose this is what retina sees.
– The reflections/refractions of the main shape, around it, in wonderful rgb filaments, 30-40% the size of the butterfly, located around the main shape, like a little super HD psychedelic filaments, (this aura was also on the retina).
– Something acting as a filter (perhaps the cornea, aqueous humor), where I could see from time to time some small bubbles of liquid moving onto it. This filter it was transparent but is had a consistency, like being from a glass but not perfectly translucid.
– The crystalline lens was not visible per se, only when I was changing my style it seems something was moving, but it was producing various result based on my actions upon the muscle that changes the size of the opening (the iris perhaps); I am not sure that I identified correctly the eye structure, but this was not the point.
– The distance from retina to lens-cornea system – it was perceivable, there was more or less depth, depending on what the resolution I used to look at the butterfly shape.
– Sometimes, the eyebrows reflections were visible
– And, there were the other elements, various things which existed in the environment around me.
What actions were available to me in this type of experience, using samyama with the light and observing the effects?
– I could use all types of attention: focused, diffuse, immersed, objective, and combinations of them, through dividing attention. The combinations are so many that in time it allowed me to integrate easily depth vision within the experience, as a natural part of the mix (e.g. diffuse immersed attention on the butterfly shape, focused-objective attention to the space between retina and lensing system).
– Zoom in – zoom out, make the butterfly shape become larger or smaller.
– Changing the resolution of the butterfly shape; I could focus on a rgb filament emanating from the butterfly shape, and after a few seconds, it became possible to dive into the filament, and get a high-resolution of it (when zooming in, the butterfly shape size of light increases, sometimes up to a point that it is 60-70-% of my entire visual field). I never reached the maximum resolution, but whenever I was zooming in, there seemed to be more to see.
– Control of the micro-movements of the eye: using one-pointedness and locking the size of the image, or allowing some micro-movement. As a side fact, micro-movements allow me to detect the elements and their positions more clearly. But, during the experiment, when I discover a new configuration, I use to explore it deeply by blocking the eye through one-pointedness, and this locks all the micro-movements of the eye and the lensing system (the crystalline system).
Getting back to the original experiment, on the balcony, with the light from the crane, here is another observation: because the light coming from the crane was intense and provided a high-contrast, when compared to other visual elements in the field, zooming-in zooming-out process was easily adjustable, using the image as a feedback tool. The high contrast and the type of light is essential. I can only do this experiment with very strong lights, blueish in nuance.
I repeated the experiment many times since then, and with time, I became able to play more easy with the dynamics of this visual perception. The most shocking discovery was to see how the resolution can increase to amazing degrees, and to be able to see the rgb filaments radiating from the main image. I know the eye has an amazing sensitivity, but to access the automatic processing and to modify the default vision process, well… this was quite something, to me.
So, this was the first step, training my vision to see the high-resolution image on the retina. I observed that the depth perception was almost always there, it seems that the brain can compute the information in amazing ways, and provide a clear perception. E.g. when I set my focus inside the butterfly shape, and want to dive deeper into a higher resolution by focusing on a filament with rgb nuances, I lock the focused attention toward a fixed position (a fixed resolution), and then, using diffuse attention, I explore the depth between the retina and the lensing system. Well, the higher the resolution, the larger the perceived distance. Sometimes, I can focus on a part of a filament, and then the distance to the liquid on the cornea seems like, kilometers away.
I am amazed how the brain can compute depths, when mixed with my cognitive knowledge on position. It seems that there is so much information processing available, and even one bit of new information about a position (e.g. this is closer than that) can make the brain adjust the vision.
To adjust the micro-movements, I like to use my finger, placed in from of the eye at a 10-15 cm., but the position of the finger is right near the main butterfly shape, and the finger-margin over-imposes onto the rgb reflections filaments (the butterfly is also rgb, but with many white light area, while the filaments around are just rgb). This makes the filaments to appear clearly as closer, and in front of the finger (I only use the margin of the finger, like 5% of the finger).
The micro-movements don’t modify the shape, as the eye compensate for position, but instead, the surface holding the liquid floating is moving a bit. I suppose this is because the brain compensates easily for the micro-movements of the retina, but the information about the surface (perhaps cornea) is not important for vision, and it is not processed in the same pattern. So, the micro-movements can be trained using this part of the visual schema. When I get full one-pointedness, everything is static, only the liquid may flow and the outside environment elements may change.
In the HD configuration, deep inside the retina image, it is nice to see what happens when I use the finger or an object in a very close proximity to the main ray of light. The light bends, and the surrounding filaments of the main butterfly seem to increase in length. If I put my focused attention into the light that is bent by the object, while remaining with my point-of-view inside the eye, I get to see the rim of the object as in a high resolution microscopy. I see textures on the object very clearly. When I use my finger, the fingerprints are so HD that the distance between two skin waves seems like 3-4 meters (subjectively speaking).
In the HD position inside the eye, I sometimes like to let the mind play its games and form shapes that have meaning (like when gazing at ourselves in the mirror for a while). The brain seems to have a tendency to compensate for the lack of movement by creating perceptual interpretations. It is like a dialogue: is this a butterfly or a castle? Then it is a buzzing, followed by a conclusion. Here it is, a castle. Then, after some moments, it change again, nope, it’s not a castle. Now it seems more like X, maybe, let’s see, yes, this resembles X, and so on. It is a funny game, watching the information being processed into a representation, without any reference point except my memory.
What I cannot hack, though, is the main shape of the light. No matter what I do, the brain keeps that image intact. Moving my head right after a one-pointedness time changes nothing. The information processing highways are so large that I cannot detect any change in the continuity of the visual.
When I am deeply zoomed into the reflected filaments in the retina, there is no information about the environment, all the attentional resources are allocated to the HD image. If I want to add some information from the outside-the-eye world, I need to relocate attentional streams to the outside scales-distances and, as a result, the HD quality tends to decrease. This happens not because there are no resources, but because I need references to compute a representation of elements on larger scales. The information is there, but when I am in a smaller wave- length scale, it just doesn’t make any sense.
Here is a description of the “Monocular Cues for Depth Perception”.
What I want to add about the inside-the-eye experiences, is that in order to dive deeper to a HD zoom, at a certain point I need a higher vibrational sync, and also I need the vibrational-DMT-like configuration active, and the carrier-wave sound active, in a very high pitched and loud configuration. I literally need to shift my energy to a higher buzzing frequency to be able to zoom-in deeper.
I want to mention that the carrier wave also appears naturally when I try for the first time a new attentional schema. E.g. focused-objective attention to the rgb pixels, and diffuse-immersed attention to my global view on the retina. I can try, and try, but the attentional styles just won’t lock as I want, until a wave of reconfiguration happens in my vibrations and then, all of a sudden, the carrier wave appears throughout my entire energy body (and static vibrational kundalini activates, in other words), and voila, the attentional mechanisms adjusts and I get what I want. These phenomenon is natural, as I think the carrier wave and DMT itself are synchronizers. In my opinion this is what DMT does: it synchronizes our vibrational systems into a more coherent configuration.
The next step was to apply the inside-eye attentional mechanisms to the visual field outside the eye. To do this, I used what I had, the balcony and the balustrade.
So, while looking at the sky, with stars, Moon or clouds, I discovered that is possible to hack into the depth-representational mechanisms, like this: I set my focused attention on a high distance, and then I use the global-diffuse attention to lock to the space in between the arms of the balustrade. In other words, to put the global field elements as if the each rectangle formed of the space between the arms of the balustrade is a screen. First, I discovered this unintentionally, it just happened, then I tried to reproduce it, and it worked. There is ambient light from the street lights reflecting in the arms, so the contrast was there.
I will use clouds to describe the resulting effect: it is like a printed banner with clouds on it, was displayed in each rectangle. To get this, I needed to attend in a diffuse way to the entire balustrade, and set the focus in the depth of the perception to the balustrade. When the effect happens, it is like the balustrade transforms into a wall with crossings and a sky image is on each rectangle, but forming a big picture. The nice part is that, if I keep this style, the balustrade-wall starts to create a nice luminance inside the balcony, I see the balcony as if lit, with an uniform light available in all the points of space. I like to lock to this style, and watch the diffuse light inside the balcony. After the global attention locking happens, and the depth is set to the balustrade, I can move my eyes to explore the balustrade and the air, or if I put my hand in front, I can focus on it without losing the wall-schema.
An interesting situation happens when I move my focus to the sky, the sky above the temporary-balustrade-wall. I need to be very silent and still, otherwise the depth information from the sky destabilizes the wall-schema. But when I manage to keep the wall-schema, the stars look to be in their position as in the standard vision, but they have new information available, and the visual tend to be HD, clean and with a very nice nuance of touching-it resolution. Hard to say in words.
After months of practice, I figured out how a key to induce the wall-configuration. I just need to interfere with cognition a bit, when looking through the rectangle as looking far ahead, and then set the attention to the distance where the rectangle is, and repeat a few times “This is full”, and bing, my inner configuration buzzes, and the wall-appears, and then I expand the focused attention, from one rectangle, to global attention to the entire balustrade-wall, without losing the wall-quality.
In want to mention that in all these experiences, I am very relaxed, and eyes themselves are very relaxed, so, when the wall-with-rectangle-cloud is locked, I can look around inside the balcony very easily. The locking mechanism is not done by putting pressure to the attentional-representational mechanisms. I just flow and from time to time I lock them in a configuration and keep them still in that position. The locking is in fact a stillness, like when we go to sleep and find out sleep position, and then stay there and relax.
The next experiments derived naturally from the ones I already presented, as I applied the new inner-eye and balcony-wall depth sensitivity to the elements in the sky, the Moon, some constellations, and the Milky Way.
– left eye covered, but gazing active, diffuse one-pointedness, encoded as “void”/0, looking as if looking at the sky
– right eye opened and looking at the sky, also diffuse one-pointedness, encoded as “light”/1
Eyes fully relaxed. Then I tried to achieve relaxed one-pointedness in each eye, one connected to the outer world through visual samyama, the other eye connected to the perceived space, also through samyama, both eyes having both the objective-immersed attentional style.
Due to the rivalry, the visual perception tends to switch between eyes, but, I tried to merge the two one-pointedness into one flowing stream of attention. It worked, and as a result, my inner world became similar to the configuration known as a “unitary mystical state” (UMS), as described here:
In this perceptual experience, the navigation tools of the inner-experience and the outer-perception are available to each other.
Usually when I step into the global one pointedness, the carrier-wave activates and my inner sound is increasing in frequency and intensity (felt as density). It seems that, for the experience to happen, a hyper-sync is needed in the vibrational structure; subjectively, sometimes I feel this as stepping into a new world, because the carrier wave and the change in perception are simultaneous.
Side fact – in these experiences, while I was moving my head, a just a little to left or right, while keeping the global one-pointedness, I noticed that all my little conscious modifications to perception are nothing, compared to the volume of automatic mechanisms that keep the direction of the focus while we rotate our head.
If I am to estimate how much information is processed, to adjust the eye while the head is moving, I could say that physical-tuning-through-informational-feedback-loops in the muscles is like a highway of information so dense that in order to list all the processes that happen, it would need probably more than 100 pages.
I was wondering, does this information organization have self-reflection, on a local scale? I felt that the answer is no (of course I knew cognitively that the human self-reflection needs more systems, but I was curious to see what I perceive). What I observed is that… it looks as if the muscles don’t have 3rd questions, no extra regulating loops necessary.
The information exchange is composed of essential information, which is trusted by both parts, muscles and the 3d positioning sensor. No too much 3rd-party reflection of the transfer. And, one more thing, the field adjusting the eye position didn’t responded to my attentional intrusion, as the natural-life-of-Earth does.
A short review before going further 🙂
At this point in my explorations, I was aware of the following aspects:
– I could use various combinations of the attentional styles to create a representation, including the depth perception in the representation.
– I could cognitively interfere in the information-representation selection process, by prioritizing some information.
– I could add information-representation, from my memory, referring to real physical distances to some objects; I mean, simple information, like “this X is closer than Y”, “this X is farther than this Y”, “X is after Y” etc.; as a result, the visual perception of depths was adjusting itself, and I could perceptually sense the visual field, e.g. that X is in front of , or X is closer than Y.
I decided to try and see if I can extend these skills to the elements in the sky.
The 3D Moon and the lunar eclipse
I used the Moon, first. I paid attention to its shape, how it reflects through the atmosphere, what happens if I look from inside the room, adding the window as a 3rd layer. I began to study astronomy to understand the position of the Moon, what is its trajectory, how Earth moves, where is the light coming from, where is the Sun, what is the 3D configuration of the local dynamics (Earth and Moon orbits), how far are the stars/planets visible near the Moon, how large is the atmosphere. And I tried to translate the abstract distances in km to perceptually recognizable information, such as: the Moon is x times the length of the atmosphere.
I also tried a direct method, to focus inside the Moon light (Sun light reflected by the Moon), and see if I can perceive the scale of the distance by diving-expanding the boundary-observer through the ray, and after I hit the Moon surface, to see how long it was the journey. This didn’t work, I was only able to estimate in scales, e.g. hundreds/thousands of times the size of the atmosphere.
But what came unexpected in this explorations with the Moon, was that the Sun light reflecting on the edges of the Moon was providing extra information, and I managed to configure my perception to see the Moon as in a 3D IMAX movie. And by chance, I also had the occasion to witness a full Moon eclipse, and that was amazing, the 3D quality of the Moon was impressive. It was like someone removed a cloud from my perception and there it was, my own private IMAX cinema, running the 3D Moon movie while being at home J. I guess this was possible because previously I was used to compile the 3D image of the Moon with fewer information about depths, and when the eclipse happened, I got an additional information about position, because of Earth interference.
I understood later that what I did in the experiences with the Moon was to use all the sensitivities, the low-scale inner eye skills, the near-by balcony-wall mechanisms, and the far-away-environmental depth sensitivity. When looking at the rim of the Moon, especially when it is full and just arises from below the horizon, in the days when it rises after 12 pm, the information from the rim is enough to create a 3D representation. This been said, I want to mention that this 3D quality is better achieved with one eye. If I use both eyes, there are too many variables and the depth perception is not so clear. Plus, with one eye, I can use the inner eye sensitivity to rgb pixels and apply it to the light from the margins of the moon. It seems that is possible to put my boundary-observer to the Moon, and set a higher sensitivity to the position-depth range where the Moon is located.
The 3D Milky Way
This is the last exploration I want to describe here, and it is the most complex of all. It happened without my intention, so, I would say someone gave me a gift. I was at a psy trance festival, and one night, I went to periphery, where I could see the sky perfectly. I was on a hill, and the last stage/source of light was 200-300 meters away, and some 50 meters above my level. The sky was very clear, and the Milky Way was up above. I could see the center-of-Milky-Way area, and most of the left side. There was a bit of the right side, but not too much. I laid down on the back, and Cygnus constellation was directly in front of me. And a very nice music, feeding my vibrational sync.
So that was the setting. I was trying to figure out the 3D position of the elements I was seeing in the sky. I was aware of the distances scales, e.g. all the stars were in a close proximity, compared with the cloudy light coming from the galaxy arms. I also knew this information: “Orientation of the Earth, Sun and Solar System in the Milky Way”.
For some minutes, I was just allowing all my perceptual skills to tune themselves to this task of letting all the information I know to configure itself in a perceptual representation. I didn’t know how to mix them consciously, so I let my automatic patterns to do the job, if they can. And, bing, I got the carrier wave, really intense, a full vibrational buzz, and then I got a new perceptual-attentional schema. Usually this carrier wave is just a pulse, but now, something deeper was happening, a new re-arrangement that required a higher sync in me. The increase-of-the-synchronizing-pattern lasted a few seconds, and it was as intense as in my first changa experience, but in this experience at the festival, it remained active many minutes.
My configuration molded in a totally new way, and a perceptual-visual formed. I saw the light from the stage in the atmosphere, then the next layer was with the stars, then… far away the Milky Way, in a 3D perceptual shape, with arms.
The attentional schema was locked, so, I started to move with the focused attention, through these layers. And guess what, in the layer with the stars (clearly closer to me than the light from the Milky Way), I was able to sense-feel-know how if a star is closer or farther than other stars. It is like all of a sudden, someone poured in me all the information about their position. I didn’t have one boundary-observer, I had a boundary-observer in each point of the depth and in each star-light, and they were all exchanging information about what is in that layer.
That lasted for 10 minutes or so, and during this time I was able to sense-perceive the depths positioning of all the stars in the star-layer. I mean, I could select one star, and the perception was like, ok, this one is “in front of that one”, and that one is in front of that one etc. Like I was able to perceive all their position without any cognitive interference. I was connected to the information about their close-far position. The difference to my previous experiences, was huge, it was like looking at Orion, and all of a sudden, someone rotated the view and transferred into me all the information about the distances and their relative position toward each other.
I described some parts of this experience in a technical-wanna-be-astronomical language, in these posts on a Physics Forum (see from post #87).
It took me half a year to understand what happened. I figured it out, partially, and I was able to reproduce some parts of it by using constellations, and it partially works.
It seems that in order to access this configuration, my perception needs to lock into all the elements altogether. All my micro HD and macro HD skills were inter-mixed to provide the experience. The trick is to have a source of light in the atmosphere, so that the depth perception could lock to it as a whole, as a sort of depth-regulator. Or something like that. This full-depth-perception-locking-in-all-points just provides information about all the positionings.
And it only works perceptually, not cognitively. I can feel the distance, I perceive their 3D positions, but I cannot know the distance, and if I ask cognitively “how far is this from that?”, cognition interferes and I lose the global lock. It only works perceptually, meaning… when all elements are locked, and transmit information about their position, as a whole, and the brain manages to mix this in one representation, similar to diffuse perception of the body during relaxation.
I plan to continue this experiment in the future, but for now, that’s it.
As a speculation, I wonder if somehow my perception has become sensitive enough to feel the differences in the energy amount that radiates from stars (as light), and/or somehow to calculate position including also the star total energy or “hot-ness”…. who knows.
Here is a reference from Australia Telescope National Facility – Luminosity and the Distance to Stars:
“A hot star radiates more energy per second per metre surface area than a cooler star. Does this then mean that a hot star is going to appear brighter to us than a cooler one? The answer to this actually depends on a few factors. These include:
- The size of a star. If two stars have the same effective temperature but differ in size then the larger star has a greater surface area and as it radiates the same amount of energy per unit surface area per second as the smaller star its total power output or luminosity must be greater.
- The distance to the star. All the stars we see in the night sky are at vast distances from us but some are much closer relatively than others. For two stars of identical size and temperature, the closer one to us will appear brighter. An analogy is a row of street lights, the closer ones appear much brighter than those in the distance.
- Intervening matter. Contrary to common belief interstellar space is not a perfect vacuum. Dust and gas between stars can absorb and scatter starlight leading to a reduction in brightness and a reddening in colour.”
I used Orion for tuning, but I didn’t advance too much with other stars/constellations, if you are interested to do this experiment with your perception please let me know the result.
The perceptual experiments were quite amazing for me, I felt like it would be a good idea to write them, just in case some scientist would want to study these experiential experiments.
These experiences may also be helpful for advanced psychonauts who wish to dive deeper into the human biology. I noticed that ganja can facilitate the relaxation in the eye ball when we are practicing with inside-the-eye perception. She may create agitation in muscles, and micro-movements in the eye, but she can also deepen the one-pointedness. I think it’s a matter of personal choice, and it all depends on the personal relation of the journeyer with the plant.
I like to think of these explorations as a tribute to Patanjali and the wisdom of Yoga Sutra.
Looks like he was right… in these sutras from Vibhuti Pada:
“Through samyama on the shining, effulgent light one gains knowledge of the small and subtle, the hidden and veiled, and the remote.”
bhavana-jnanam surye sanyamat
“Through samyama on the sun there comes knowledge of the solar system, cosmic evolution and involution.”
“Through samyama on the moon there comes knowledge concerning the arrangement of stars.”
“Through samyama on the pole-star comes knowledge of the relative motions and positions of the stars.”
And perhaps the below sutra is also valid, but misunderstood my modern interpretations as “levitation”, instead of movement through space. Also, as seen from the experience-point-of-view, akasha is rather space, physical space.
kayakashayoh sanbandha-sanyamat laghu-tula-samapattesth chakashagamanam
“Through samyama on the connection between the body and the akasha comes lightness like
cotton feather and the attainment of levitation movement in through space.”
February 18, 2019
* draft, to be proofread asap; please send me your feedback if you experienced with some of the methods I presented in this research.