Seeking

Does anyone else have aphantasia?

Recommended Posts

Its the condition of not having any form of internal imagery. Visualization is out of the window as it just doesn't happen. All you see is darkness with your eyes closed. I've often wondered if the underlying process of this has something to do with your third eye? Anyway, how is your inner world?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cant tell if I have it or not . 

 

  Is there a name for that condition ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Give it time, I'm sure the pharmaceutical industry will come up with some name... And some medication.

 

Point being, its amazing how our internal landscapes differ and yet we think everyone sees what we see. Or don't etc..

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've come to realize that we all experience life from the center of our own awareness.  Stone, human, ant, leaf, mushroom...

 

And yet, being all one process, we (humans at least) can seemingly  bridge out of that singular experience (either through training or natural ability, or accident) to experience the vast and expansive consciousness...

 

and then tunnel down internally again, seemingly without end in either direction.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. It truly is amazing when you think about it.

 

There is one thing that is everything, itself nothing, which we make anything and call "me". The concept of being things which labour under the illusion of having a self was a favourite topic of a local moocher I knew. Quite a joyless way to see the world but made for some interesting conversations for sure.

 

Actually, its quite fascinating how ones worldview can either be reductive or expansive, on the whole, and the influence this has on how you interpret everything. There are only two ways to live: One is that everything is a miracle, the other as nothing is. Either way you will find what you seek so choose wisely.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Seeking said:

Give it time, I'm sure the pharmaceutical industry will come up with some name... And some medication.

 

Point being, its amazing how our internal landscapes differ and yet we think everyone sees what we see. Or don't etc..

 

You said it !  Since I read your OP I have been  trying to figure out how on earth I do 'visualise '  .  I read up some stuff on it and apparently some people  say there is little difference for them in physically seeing an object and visualising it .

 

The more I explore my particular process here , the more mystified I become about it .    I actually cant see  the things I am visualising . Like you say , 'all I see is darkness' .   Yet somehow I get an internal 'idea' and concept of what I AM 'visualising' t still cant internally see anything . I can play with it , move it, rotate and spin it,   combine objects , give them a back ground , change the background  etc  .... but still can not internally see anything . 

 

:huh:

 

Ya got me stumped here , what's going on ?      - This is an 'internal observation ' I have not done before  , so thanks for that !

 

Its pretty weird , since I can imagine myself doing martial arts forms , some complex, and from that work out  dynamics and applications and counters with an imaginary training partner  ( who can come up with their 'own' tricks on me , find holes in my technique etc .... yet , I can not 'see' any of this .

 

Hmmmm .....

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly, its quite an interesting facet of awareness to explore. Directing your senses internally along with your awareness to see the seeing of sight (and the rest) generates some interesting questions.

I looked into this in depth with quite a few other people a while ago and it created some fascinating discussion. People often think everyones inner landscape is formed the same as there and it definitely isn't. We all have our own particular sensorial bias and even though we may use the same terminology in application it can be very different. Most surprising was how many people had never paid any attention to this.. Taking it to the next level, applying these insights to dream awareness will really make you think. Especially when it comes to which modalities are being activated like smell and taste which lots of research says shouldn't happen but reality says otherwise.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Interestingly at 10 minutes here Bruce mentions that he doesn't visualize and had a similar experience of hyper real vibrancy that I mentioned previously. So the facility is definitely there in all of us but activated differently. Do I take it from the general silence in response to this thread that most of the readers are fluent visualizers and have no idea of what I'm saying?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't really need visualization for the internal arts. Also the "idea" of something is in a way visualization. You don't have to visually see it as if you were watching something with your open eyes. The only time I've been able to do something like that is under the influence of psychedelics -- in the said "imagination space" of the 'third eye' where I could see it clear as day. The better your intuition is the more it can come to you as just "knowing" -- doesn't have to be visual for that to function properly. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree, you don't. In many ways visualizing would a hindrance as many newcomers (and even long term practitioners) attempt to force it which isn't the point. Based on experience and conversation with others though I will say "feeling" the inner darkness as opposed to projecting scenes upon it is a boon for a cultivator. Feel free to think why that may be the case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Strange stuff, how much variation there is between people's sensory worlds.

 

ive always experienced a lot of visual input, phosphenes, after images, and moving colors in the dark. Shapes move and shift; usually abstract,  sometimes strange images. Looking at uneven white stucco can have color and movement similar to my experience with drugs like acid and psilocybin. 

 

This is separate,  as far as I can tell, from interally visualizing things in my minds eye, which seems to be much as Nungali describes above. 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Nungali said:

 

You said it !  Since I read your OP I have been  trying to figure out how on earth I do 'visualise '  .  I read up some stuff on it and apparently some people  say there is little difference for them in physically seeing an object and visualising it .

 

The more I explore my particular process here , the more mystified I become about it .    I actually cant see  the things I am visualising . Like you say , 'all I see is darkness' .   Yet somehow I get an internal 'idea' and concept of what I AM 'visualising' t still cant internally see anything . I can play with it , move it, rotate and spin it,   combine objects , give them a back ground , change the background  etc  .... but still can not internally see anything . 

 

:huh:

 

Ya got me stumped here , what's going on ?      - This is an 'internal observation ' I have not done before  , so thanks for that !

 

Its pretty weird , since I can imagine myself doing martial arts forms , some complex, and from that work out  dynamics and applications and counters with an imaginary training partner  ( who can come up with their 'own' tricks on me , find holes in my technique etc .... yet , I can not 'see' any of this .

 

Hmmmm .....

 

 

 

My experience is very similar.

 

What I suspect is happening here is a consequence of the fact that when "visualizing" we are not engaging the "eye sense." The eyes are dependent on light and not active when the eyes are closed. The occipital cortex, which is engaged in interpreting and integrating information from the eye organ, is not as engaged - at least that's my belief. I haven't done much investigation into that piece. I wonder if studies are out there looking at that? Hence the difference between seeing with the eyes (eye sense) and seeing in a different way. Another way to explore and play with this is to visualize with the eyes open and lights on. One can see what is in front of the eyes and also "see" what one is visualizing. Yet another way to explore this is with prolonged practice in a dark room. This is the basis of the Tibetan "thodgal" practices in which one spends 49 days in an utterly dark room. There is no intentional visualization done at all. The idea is to rest fully in the meditative, Natural, state of mind. Over time visions arise but have nothing to do with the "eye sense."

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am very visual when it comes to thinking. For me, visuals are primordial. When I was a kid, I thought in pictures, but over time I became more verbal and I started churning up a lot of inner dialogue. After meditating for a long time, it started to reverse. In one of my meditation groups, it turns out some people have a lot of inner visuals, some inner sounds, and some inner feelings (which correlated roughly with body, speech, and mind). 

 

When it comes to energy/qi, no doubt it is all feeling for me. 

 

How do you all think? 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Seeking said:

 

Interestingly at 10 minutes here Bruce mentions that he doesn't visualize and had a similar experience of hyper real vibrancy that I mentioned previously. So the facility is definitely there in all of us but activated differently. Do I take it from the general silence in response to this thread that most of the readers are fluent visualizers and have no idea of what I'm saying?

 

Either that or  the rest of them are off arguing with each other about politics and/or covid  

:(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Nungali said:

 

Either that or  the rest of them are off arguing with each other about politics and/or covid  

:(

 

Both of them are distractions ergo anyone who invests his time arguing with another is a fool by their own tacit admission.

 

Ultimately you'll never convince anyone who has a contrary view because emotion is at play, not logic. Nor should you want or need to if you're truly in tune with your inner world.

 

E3hz_J2UUAEQ9UO.jpg

 

Right wing + Left wing = bird brain. Of course most can't see the code but I'd hope those along the way would've spotted that already. There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Sketch said:

Strange stuff, how much variation there is between people's sensory worlds.

 

ive always experienced a lot of visual input, phosphenes, after images, and moving colors in the dark. Shapes move and shift; usually abstract,  sometimes strange images. Looking at uneven white stucco can have color and movement similar to my experience with drugs like acid and psilocybin. 

 

This is separate,  as far as I can tell, from interally visualizing things in my minds eye, which seems to be much as Nungali describes above. 

 

 

 

Really ?  I am not a unique 'mental freak '     ?     Thats a change !     I am going to start asking around about this and see who visualises nearly the same and as accurately as they can see .

 

Thing is, this 'ability' , as I said above , isnt just visualising , its very active , can be animated and somewhat take on a life of its own , that is, go in directions it seems I have not dictated .  AND  produce the results , sometimes with no conscious input or awareness .

 

Eg .  I like to do  house and building designs  . A few have gone through the process to blue prints and scale  models .  Some where very popular and people where surprised that I could do it . One in particular ( a   'workshop' and accommodation centre  we considered building for a while )  was lauded by a builder  due to its function layout but also, according to him , ease of build  - its all based on intersecting flat surfaces .    None of its visualised , yet I know its there .... inside my head , I can call up details or get an overall  view .... although I am seeing nothing .     Same with the 'Indigenous centre' I designed and built out of bamboo for a festival ,  it just manifested in my head , unconsciously and when I started building I knew what to do  (no plans ) .  Years back, when I built my temple (again out of bamboo , I had no idea at all about the end result when I started .

 

Now I find I can give / relegate  problems ,  designs plans .... and now even actions *   to this part of the unconscious , not be aware of the process yet be able to access the results . The whole process can run efficiently while my conscious self is doing something else .   It can make me seem a bit strange to others ;  during a mundane conversation I might excuse myself suddenly and grab a pen and paper  to jot something down , or exclaim " Thats how I can fit that  roof truss !   "  Or  " MY  GOD !  If that's right , no wonder gravity  cant be unified with the other 4 forces ! "  ..... or   " Sorry, I was on Jupiter , I am back now .   :D 

 

*  with actions , I can think what I want to accomplish , then give that to 'the internals' ... leave it up to them .   This is entering the realm of Magick . Of course it doesnt always work , and is not used for mundane things  or anything like a siddhi  but the results are often surprising .

 

I have come to realise there are collective forces running the show ,  I dont have much to do with it , YET , a 'higher aspect' or 'higher will' has everything to do with it .  This has become evident by that 'higher will' somehow becoming manifested .  - What I mean by that is , as time goes on more and more  I realise and have realisations that certain things have manifested that I always wanted  ... deeply, from early  childhood and youth . There are so many examples of this,   when I think in detail about it , it blows me away .   I have been very lucky .

 

My shamanic teacher put it so simply I found it hard to believe  .... but it turned out to be true   " You just ask Mum ** for it , she will give you whatever you need . "   ..... if you follow her Law, that is .      **  'mother nature '  but a highly personalised form of her.

 

Astrologically I see it as my natal influence of a rather good aspect between  Neptune and Mercury   that is beneficially balanced and bought 'down to earth'   - otherwise that could be a troublesome aspect with an unfocused Neptune .

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, forestofemptiness said:

I am very visual when it comes to thinking. For me, visuals are primordial. When I was a kid, I thought in pictures, but over time I became more verbal and I started churning up a lot of inner dialogue. After meditating for a long time, it started to reverse. In one of my meditation groups, it turns out some people have a lot of inner visuals, some inner sounds, and some inner feelings (which correlated roughly with body, speech, and mind). 

 

When it comes to energy/qi, no doubt it is all feeling for me. 

 

How do you all think? 

 

 

I think in pictures , but I cant see  them  .     ....   I prefer something explained to my conscious self  via images   Thats why I was so attracted to tarot .

 

I remember being told on a tarot forum that I was banned from communicating with others there via images   ...... on a tarot site !  :D

 

here is what I think of that ;

 

 

 

senior-man-hiphop-cap-golden-260nw-27593

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 04/11/2021 at 8:17 AM, Nungali said:

 

Really ?  I am not a unique 'mental freak '     ?     Thats a change !     I am going to start asking around about this and see who visualises nearly the same and as accurately as they can see .

....

 

 

So far everyone said they 'visualise' pretty much as  I and Sketch do . No one can see images 'nearly as accurate as they do with eyes open' .

 

Does anyone here visualise like that ?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The internal images are at least as vivid and often more so than waking open eyed 'seeing' for me.

Always been this way, since early childhood.  In my dreams, day dreams and visions I can count the rivets, follow the grain of the wood and describe the settings in details that often surpass my memories of events in the 'real world'. 

 

It's always been this way with me.  My wife is mystified by it, seeing nothing, but sensing her experiences through a 'knowingness'.

 

Lucidity while dreaming has been a part of my life since my earliest memories and the bridge between lucidity in the dreamscape and the exit of bodily awareness is a wide and readily traversed pathway. 

 

My work in pitch black was akin to plugging into an amplifier.  Open eyed visions had come prior to this, but my work in darkness began to bring forth vivid colors irising into and out of the black.  Eventually full mandalas and fractal patterns emerged, in addition to visions in a pale blue scale of places, people and events.  Most of them without seeming context, but a few, with piercing, life altering implications.

 

For the first time in my life, in the last year or so, I've begun experiencing dreams in which I do not become lucid.  It is absolutely fascinating as the experiences, no matter how illogical or bizarre, are as vivid as waking life and seem utterly real right up until I wake. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, silent thunder said:

The internal images are at least as vivid and often more so than waking open eyed 'seeing' for me.

 

Thanks for the feedback. You are the first that has personally reported this .   And this is with  'visualisations'  ?   (see below)

 

 

1 hour ago, silent thunder said:

Always been this way, since early childhood.  In my dreams, day dreams and visions I can count the rivets, follow the grain of the wood and describe the settings in details that often surpass my memories of events in the 'real world'. 

 

To be clear, I  think 'visualise'  here is a conscious process where you close your eyes and try to see a thing with your eyes closed . It isnt  an hallucinogenic or induced trance experience .   I have success with that , in, not that the image is more like  real life, but more effective  , eg.  'meditate' on a magical image , close eyes and try and visualise it  ..... and keep doing that (regardless of if it looks like it does with eyes open ) . After a while it started moving ... it took on a 'will' a 'life of its own ' not under my conscious direction .

 

This type of visualising can be very potent and lead to 'inter dimensional '  experience  / visions .

 

This is different from 'straight visualising' to see how much the internal image is like the external image .  So, in regard to your experience , where the  'rivets' (or any other minute detail ) there ... or did you add them in the virtualisation ?  Have you tested that ?

 

I guess we could test that ,  show you a picture and then later ask you questions about  intricate details of the object .  

 

1 hour ago, silent thunder said:

 

It's always been this way with me.  My wife is mystified by it, seeing nothing, but sensing her experiences through a 'knowingness'.

 

Lucidity while dreaming has been a part of my life since my earliest memories and the bridge between lucidity in the dreamscape and the exit of bodily awareness is a wide and readily traversed pathway. 

 

 

Again this is different from 'straight visualisation'  . But I imagine the 'abilities' cross over into other areas where visualisation occurs .

 

1 hour ago, silent thunder said:

 

My work in pitch black was akin to plugging into an amplifier.  Open eyed visions had come prior to this, but my work in darkness began to bring forth vivid colors irising into and out of the black.  Eventually full mandalas and fractal patterns emerged, in addition to visions in a pale blue scale of places, people and events.  Most of them without seeming context, but a few, with piercing, life altering implications.

 

For the first time in my life, in the last year or so, I've begun experiencing dreams in which I do not become lucid.  It is absolutely fascinating as the experiences, no matter how illogical or bizarre, are as vivid as waking life and seem utterly real right up until I wake. 

 

 

 

 

I had this interesting one recently ... never had it before .  Something too nutty was going on and I told the people involved I didnt believe them and this was so silly it HAD to be a dream . Then I became sure it was a dream and then I woke up .

 

Finally !     Now, the next step is to  know its a dream , but not to wake up so as to 'avoid it ' , but have some fun instead .

 

 

 

FirsthandHalfBlowfish-max-1mb.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Nungali said:

To be clear, I  think 'visualise'  here is a conscious process where you close your eyes and try to see a thing with your eyes closed . It isnt  an hallucinogenic or induced trance experience .   I have success with that , in, not that the image is more like  real life, but more effective  , eg.  'meditate' on a magical image , close eyes and try and visualise it  ..... and keep doing that (regardless of if it looks like it does with eyes open ) . After a while it started moving ... it took on a 'will' a 'life of its own ' not under my conscious direction .

My intense visualizations are not created with intent.  Sometimes when working out an aspect of a construction project at work, or visualizing what part of a tool has stopped working before I dig into it. 

 

The vivid visualizations arise spontaneously, like dreams, so perhaps this is more like visions to you and not visualization?  Though they can be hypnogogic and play out with eyes open and overlay waking reality; I don't sense that my flashlight awareness is creating them in the way I plan out a painting (though i rarely plan paintings either, an image often arises full blown and I try to replicate it, or it evolves as I work). 

 

With the most vivid and memorable it's as if they're being projected to my waking awareness (either from inside or out).  These I can see and recreate again with eyes closed, though that is just strong memory impression to me, not creating a visual.

 

The mandalas, the blue scale visions that arise while scrying are never something I'm trying to create like a specific scene, though I am intending to open up to allow the flow.

 

10 hours ago, Nungali said:

This is different from 'straight visualising' to see how much the internal image is like the external image .  So, in regard to your experience , where the  'rivets' (or any other minute detail ) there ... or did you add them in the virtualisation ?  Have you tested that ?

The details are usually presented as the image arises.  I don't generally warp them, I observe and let them flow. 

 

10 hours ago, Nungali said:

 

I guess we could test that ,  show you a picture and then later ask you questions about  intricate details of the object .  

 

As for memorizing details and replicating them with eyes closed, that ability started fading in my mid 40's.

 

As a student though, I was a spelling champion and all through my academic years I marked straight A's due to a photographic memory.  If I'd seen a word I would visualize it in my mind, read it and spell it in a competition, it was a bit like cheating. 

 

When acting, and working in corporate banking it was similar.  The words or numbers could be read in my mind, with no need to close the eyes.  After studying a bit I could simply read entire scripts, not just my parts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, intriguing and synchronous, given this conversation's recent resurgence... I just read an article about people who do not have any internal dialogue in their mind.  Like aphantasia, but they do not mentally 'hear' any diaologue to their thoughts.

 

This is another one that surprises me.  I expect that applies to music as well. 

I'm hearing music in my mind's ear all the time as well... 

 

We are so varied... it's amazing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, its very intriguing and segues nicely into another thought I had about why there are so many different types of qigong forms and why some click with us and others don't:

 

There is the ideally functioning human body, the physio-energetic Vitruvian Man say, where all of the channels are doing what they should as intended and its all balanced. We are all born that way but no one gets to adulthood with it all intact. So we collect blockages, impingement, muscular compensation etc.. and go on our way. This is our personality. Contrary to modern day belief a qigong form isn't made from the Earth upwards but used to descend from Heaven down, meaning:

 

The cultivator would attain a higher state of being, a temporary peak experience by whatever means, usually group induced. Then as they were coming back to Earth and their standard unVitruvian form their limbs and torso would move spontaneously to realign their perfect energy body with their imperfect flesh form with its holding patterns. The adepts started taking note of this process and voila, forms were born. Reversing these natural movements allowed them to "unwind" their physical ailments and realign with the great perfection in order to become the living embodiment of it.

 

Of course the modern world has this totally backwards, as it does with so many other things. Especially when it comes to spiritual development. At its fundamental this is the secret sauce of qigong and what it actually means. Its also why two people can practice the same form and have dramatically different results. The body of course knows this clearly, the mind, in most, is easily fooled and drags along a mute rumbling body which they cannot hear complain as they wave their arms around increasing their blockages.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, silent thunder said:

So, intriguing and synchronous, given this conversation's recent resurgence... I just read an article about people who do not have any internal dialogue in their mind.  Like aphantasia, but they do not mentally 'hear' any diaologue to their thoughts.

 

This is another one that surprises me.  I expect that applies to music as well. 

I'm hearing music in my mind's ear all the time as well... 

 

We are so varied... it's amazing.

 

I am sure my neighbour  has that problem ... cant hear music ... cant comprehend music  .  I hear him  (trying  ) drumming  in his little sweat lodge he has at the front of his yard  ... there is NO rhythm or consistency of beat of any type .

 

Once we were working together on a building , he had the radio on  (as  builders are wont to , for some reason )  and he was whistling along to the music  ... but his whistling had no relation whatsoever to the music he was whistling ' to '  .     I really dont get that .

 

Then some eveneings I hear a faint  "  Bang  ... bang ... bang bang ... boom da boom  .... bang  ... "  - totally random and I am ;

 

Ah crap ....   sweat lodge night again ! 

 

And even before that , I had a neighbour in same house that was a great drummer , BUT he gave kids drumming lessons ;

 

' Boom boom tish ta - boom boom tish ta -  boom tish ..... " Oh "  ...  boom boom ta ...  "Oh "  ....  boom boom tish boom ....  " Nah " ... Boom boom  .... "

 

- I was so tempted to scream up the back yard ' " Fer God's sake , its fuckin'  ' Boom boom tish ta ! is that so fuckin'  hard ! "

 

 

2021-04-29-bad-neighbour-joyfully-oblivi

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A very interesting insight, approached from a totally different angle:

 

Mr. Pentagon was born blind. He did not perceive vision, with or without LSD. Instead, under the influence of psychedelics, he had strong auditory and tactile hallucinations, including an overlap of the two in a form of synesthesia, according to the report.

 

https://www.livescience.com/62343-psychedelics-lsd-effects-blind-people.html

 

This made me think of closed eye visualizations that looks like code from The Matrix crossed with a Kaleidoscope crossed with electromagnetic currents during deep states of meditation. These are apparently due to phosphenes but I suspect Anandamide (and the entire endocannaboid system) is at play due to the very short half life of the state and how the altered state must be maintained/trained. Anyone familiar with this experience?

 

maxresdefault.jpg

 

 

There was a guy I know, heavily into Qigong, and he could "see" the energetic outlines of his limbs as he moved them in front of closed eyes during practice. He could also sense the distance to other people in group practice with unerring precision. This was a rarity in my research into cultivators inner processing but a very interesting one. He said the artist Alex Greys' style had underlying similarities with his perception but with a lot of artistic license thrown in:

 

Alex-Grey-Empowerment-1985-C-AlexGreycom

 

 

Who knows, maybe those old time religious figure artworks with light beaming out of their body were more true than we believe?

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites