Friday, August 18, 2006

When Our Eyes Are Closed, What Do We See?

Here are some possibilities:

(1.) blackness or a grey haze,
(2.) nothing at all (not even blackness),
(3.) a field of shifting colors,
(4.) afterimages on a background field of black or gray,
(5.) patterns of color, not obviously related to external stimulus, on a field of black or gray,
(6.) visual imagery of objects, maybe like a dream or a daydream or a faint perception or a hallucination?

What do you think?

Last week I asked visitors here and a number of people around UCR. The responses were wonderfully various, and some of them quite detailed, but if I had to summarize or force them into boxes I'd say I got these results:

(1) black/grey (possibly shifting or undulating): 4 respondents;
(2) usually nothing, not even blackness: 1 respondent;
(3) colors: 4 or 5 respondents;
(4) afterimages: 1 or 2 respondents;
(5) patterns of color against a black or grey background: 5 respondents;
(6) visual imagery of objects or scenes: 1 respondent, but 3 others mentioned that they sometimes have this experience or they have it after a while.

Now what's interesting to me in this is the variability in the responses. Do people really experience such radically different things when they close their eyes? I don't think we can dismiss these differences as differences merely in the language used to convey basically the same idea (except maybe between 3 and 5, though even there only in some cases). Could some people simply be wrong about such an apparently easily observable matter?

To bolster some of the less popular responses:

On (2): Many researchers think we don't have conscious experience at all without attention -- for example, when we're not attending to the refrigerator hum in the background, we don't have any auditory experience of it at all. Others disagree. (I've written about this here and posted on it here.) If we go with those who deny experience outside of attention, and if we think that when our eyes are closed we normally aren't visually attending to anything, that lends some credence to (2). Of course, on this view, when I ask you what your visual experience is, and then you close your eyes, your attentional state is atypical and you'll probably experience something. But this may be quite unrepresentative of our visual experience when we're listening to music with eyes closed or when we're trying to fall asleep, etc.

On (1): This response can be buttressed by a related argument. Maybe paying attention to visual experience with one's eyes closed does something to bring out or enliven that experience, with afterimages and shifting colors, but normally, when we're not really attending, its more like a plain black or grey field.

On (4): Early introspective psychologists like Purkinje, Helmholtz, and Titchener, seemed to think afterimages consistuted a major part of one's eyes-closed visual experience. They studied this stuff intensively, so I don't think we should simply dismiss their reports.

Okay, I've managed to completely bewilder myself! Any thoughts about how (and whether) we can make progress on this question? Maybe it's not, strictly speaking, an especially important question. But it's a basic question -- one that's surprisingly hard to find good discussions of, this late in our study of the mind and visual experience.

343 comments:

1 – 200 of 343   Newer›   Newest»
Jennifer M said...

It seems variable to me. When I close my eyes at first it is difficult to tell what the experience seems to be of, but it turns black when I put my hand over my eye (not pressing on the eye but just preventing light from getting through my eyelid). Then sometimes there are after images- sometimes dark snow and patterns- If I really attend to it, I start to get an impression as if I am looking into a void.

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Cool. Thanks Jennifer! Interesting line, "it's difficult to tell what the experience seems to be of". Many might ask, how can it be difficult to tell how things seem? But not me!

Pete Mandik said...

Eric, regarding the question of how to make progress here, my approach, for what it's worth, is to try as much as possible to treat the evaluation of introspection the same as we treat the evaluation of perception. And by this, I mean, we adopt a two stage approach of assessing what there is to be detected and then evaluate how reliable the detector is at detection. We are quite good at doing this for, say, measuring the acuity of eyesight. (I spell out this stuff about the analogy of perception and introspection in my "On the Introspection of Brain States as Such".) My questions concerning this area aren't so much "how best to proceed?" as they are "why not proceed this way?" Or, to put more of a point on it, what good/scientific reasons are there against it (as opposed to bad/philosophical reasons)?

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

I agree in principle, Pete! I'm eager to hear something more specific. How should we proceed? I'm not completely out of ideas (for example, I intend to see if I can find anything on what happens to brain activity in the part of the visual field that gets no input, when one eye is closed), but I don't see anything straightforward in the offing.

Mike said...

I think Paul Churchland's talk on Chimerical Colors addresses what 'colors' you see when your eyes are closed. Part of the reason its so difficult to verbalise is because of the [after]images we experience have a distinct color/hue but also the property of complete blackness. Anyway check out the talk!

http://tinyurl.com/fx2hp

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Thanks for the tip, Mike! I saw him talk on that at the Pacific APA several years back, but at the time I wasn't interested in eyes-closed visual experience. I'll check it out!

Anonymous said...

Sometimes when i close my eyes in total darkness and concentrate on "visualising" in the darkness i can see static "noise" but the more i look into it, the more detail i can flush out.. Untill eventually im watching what looks like a thousand tiny squiggly worms or shapes bubbling either up or down to the point where im actually convinced what im seeing is indivudual neurons or optic nerves "firing" and the image that im getting is the brain trying to make sense of what its seeing... Kind of the same way some optical illusions work

Anonymous said...

I can tell you, I've experienced all 6 of those things when I close my eyes. I remember when I was younger I would jsut close my eyes and wait, because eventually, without fail, I "go through" a tunnel "painted" like a brown and gold checkerboard.

Anonymous said...

I can tell you, I've experienced all 6 of those things when I close my eyes. I remember when I was younger I would jsut close my eyes and wait, because eventually, without fail, I "go through" a tunnel "painted" like a brown and gold checkerboard.

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Cool! Thanks for the comment, anonymous!

Anonymous said...

Hey just noting my experiences with the eyes closed thing. I always used to get really terrified as a kid cause i would see images in the dark. Its not just when i close my eyes its actually also when I turn my eyes to the dark. When i close my eyes i get a usually bright flash (the transition from dark to light) then the flash will "shape shift" into images (usually faces) etc. Also i found that the images are more intense and life like on the morning after consuming alchohol. (I think it is rekated to the increased emotional level due to the alchohol. I also find that my mood will determine the type of images i receive) Therefore i am convinced it is emotion based. Im not hallucinating - it is completely imagination based. I sort of over think(i havent been tested for hyperthyroidism) but it would be interesting if this overactive mind has a correlation to images when our eyes are closed. Just contact me further if you need more info

cheers
Shane

Anonymous said...

I would also like to note that i am very good at drawing off the top of my head but extremely bad at copying images. I am also clinically colour blind. This means i can see all the colours but just get a bit confused with the close ones - like brown and green, red and brown.

shane

savvy said...

Hi,
I had accupunture, and when I closed my eyes. I saw a oval red form in my right eye. After some time it turned to grey and white. Any clue whats happing with me. I also have had different colors show in my eyes (when closed), when having a massage.

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

I wish I knew more about such things, folks! All I can say is that science has done a very poor job thus far of exploring such experiences, their causes and significance!

Funda Jelsma said...

hello,
Paul Churchland's ideas and theories about chimerical colours have been presented to me today as well. What came into my mind directly was: "Why do I see what I see when I close my eyes?" (a lot of colors i could probably call the chimerical spectrum). I find it very hard to believe that these colours according to Dr. Churchland are non existing in our world. I believe these colours are existing in our world but we as humans have probably just not adapted to seeing them yet. In the world we live in now our brain is designed to see different colours (also those that are not obvious natural colours e.g. bright yellow or a light pink). Those colours have been around in flowers etc for many years but not as much as we see them nowadays. Our neurological system has, over the years evolved to see all the colours that we perceive conciously at this point in time. I believe however that the so called chimerical colours are also existing but our brains have not yet adopted to seeing them. The colours we see when closing our eyes are colours that in the future most probably we will be able to see as we discover how to see them. All this of course is very unscientific but things like these are complicated to proove, like the theories on chimerical colours. I'd like to hear your thoughts on this idea though.

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

I'm kind of inclined to believe that we can see "chimerical colors" sometimes when our eyes are closed. After all, we sometimes see afterimages with closed eyes and Churchland evokes "chimerical color experiences" in his audiences via afterimages.

I'm not inclined to see the phenomena as weird and mysterious in the way Churchland invites us to. Contrast effects, lighting, the effects of accommodation, etc., are quite variable in the everyday world (especially in our technological world), so one shouldn't expect that color experiences are limited to the range evocable by paint chips under uniform lighting conditions (which is how the traditional "color cone" was constructed).

Joel Alfaro said...

i dont see black as much as extremely dark hues or red or purple.

my brother and I see a grid like pattern also. but extremely subtle. it seems to happen more if we rub our eyes.

Fede said...

Joel and Everybody my name is Federico from Argentina.
Since I have use of reason, when I close my eyes seems to happen me something like Joel.
I start to see like "jewelry of a church" and if I concentrate more I can see more detailed parts of that image. And if i concentrate a little more at the end......I always see THE SAME PATTERN in the middle of my mind for a few seconds and all come dark.
Sometimes I tried to draw that pattern but is very difficult.
Well, these lines are just 4 share my experience in the other side of the world.
Hope anyone can explain me what this things happen.

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Thanks for your comments, Joel and Fede! There's really almost no work on why different people report different types of visual experiences when their eyes are closed, excepting pathological cases like MS and high blood pressure.

The effect Joel reports, however, of more intense colors when pressing his eyes, is generally believed to be due to mechanical stimulation of the retina, creating what's called "phosphenes".

Jaelle said...

I'm going to sound nuts for sure!

I used to see a number of things when I closed my eyes, flash of light, darkness, shapes, colors, scenery, etc...

But now I see when my eyes are closed... (feel free to laugh)

It only works when it's dark in the room and when I'm tired.

I thought maybe my eyelids were really thin and I was seeing through them... So I covered them up with a blind fold, my hands and my blanket. To my surprise I could still see!

I can see and navigate around the room, but not like eyesight. It's dark, gray and the vision is more in the middle of my eyes so if I were to grab something, I'd be a little off.

I can see the light that comes through the window or door... I tested myself and picked up a graphic novel at random that was in a stack on the floor. I was able to read the cover, but I couldn't read the inside.

I wish I could explain this better, but I'm bad at descriptions.

Is this mind sight? astral sight? memory? So confusing!

-J

Jaelle said...

I meant to add:

Sometimes this "vision" keeps me up at night, because although I'm tired, eyes closed and under the blanket, I can still see...

I am also prone to sleep paralysis, which has been linked to astral projection and obe's. Whether or not any of that is real is a different story...

Most sleep paralysis that I've read about, happens every once in a while. Mine is very active and sometimes happens on multiple occasions in the night.

-J

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Thanks for sharing your experience, Jaelle! I hadn't even thought of the possibility of seeing anything (other than something very bright like the sun) through my eyelids. But it seems to me possible that to very dark-adapted eyes, something like a crack of light coming through a newly opened door might be bright enough to penetrate the eyelids and be seen. I'll have to experiment a little with that!

Reading book covers and discriminating among dark objects in a dark room, though, is harder to accept. One possibility is that the information comes to you another way (e.g., through echolocation [I have an earlier post on that] or memory, as you suggest) and is experienced, or thought by you to be experienced, as visual. Interestingly, about a century ago, blind people thought they could detect silent obstacles by feeling pressure on their faces, where really it was (auditory) echolocation that was guiding them....

While I wouldn't absolutely rule out "paranormal" effects like "astral sight", I'd carefully examine more mundane explanations first.

Anonymous said...

I have never seen black at all. As a child I couldn`t fall asleep because of the lights. I see lots of colours and shapes.My parents don`t see anything unusual at all and nor to most of my friends. My parents send me to an optician and doctor, but they couldn`t find anything abnormal. Now I`m 25 years old and I still see these things;now I see a purple/blue/indigo
vortex in my visual field. Sometimes it is coming towards me and sometimes is leaving my body/my eyes.
Today I found out it is my third eye chakra that I see. It really looks like a wheel of sort. And I see a white light surrounding me. I believe/ know it is my own aura.Maybe I`m seeing these thing because I am psychic.I know it doesn`t sound scientific, but I believe there is more than we think.I myself am paranormal but also scientifically educated (Studying for Msc at university) Are these any people who can relate to what I am saying....
Please respond.Thanx!
Love,
L.

Anonymous said...

I sometimes experience swirls of colour and sometimes at night with my eyelids shut i see swirls that transform into faces, sometimes they are horrid contorted faces that scare me. Last night I seen beautiful eyes on pretty and masculine faces, then the eyes of a cat lion etc, or wolf looked at me, they were real. I opened my eyes to the dark, and stayed that way for awhile. I hadn't been drinking so it wasn't alcohol related.

Anonymous said...

I never gave this issue much thought until recently when I started taking an antidepressant (Lexapro). After about 3 days I noticed geometic shapes passing before me when I first woke up - with my eyes closed in a dark room. Every time this happened I would be dizzy when I got out of bed. After about a week or two this stopped and the dizziness resolved. When I started cutting back on the medicine in order to discontinue it, the same thing happened, except this time I see light moving in a horizonal manner from left to right - sort of like the horizontal hold on a TV. Again this occurs with dizziness when getting out of bed. I also have very light sleep in the morning and while dreaming I'm still aware that I'm in bed in my house, the approximate time, etc.. The websites devoted to discussing the use of antidepressants call this a form of hallucination since you're really not supposed to dream while you're (for lack of a better term) "awake". In a way, I guess the dream replaces the patterns that I sometimes
"visualize". I don't know if you ever heard of either of these scenarios related to drugs, but I believe in my case they're definitely associated. Frank B

Anonymous said...

Jaelle,

I have been having the exact same experiences as what you described. It's almost as if my eyelids are really thin and i can see the world around me from the viewpoint which i am in....it happens when i wake up in the morning. This morning, i tried opening and closing my eyes, and it was lke a film was acting as my eyelid, it didnt change the image. I tried to mentally move my viewpoint around the room, but i couldn't travel anywhere. Ive been really curious about this! do you now, or did you practice do any kind of meditation in the past? I wonder if it's some kind of lucid dream state? Can you remember your dreams?

let me know,

R.G.

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Thanks for the continuing comments on this old post, folks! Keep posting. I find this interesting and helpful. Although my first inclination is always scientific, I am also inclined to think mainstream science is often too narrow in the kind of evidence it considers and the possibilities it explores....

Phil Harper said...

In bed at night--before sleep or awakened from sleep, but not while I sleep: I see bright sometimes flashing colors. Sometimes floating, sometimes striking like lightning. Sometimes actual colored shapes like a chair, a face I don't know, a bike, a house I don't know, always generic type stuff. If I open my eyes it goes away. If I squeeze my eyes closed very tightly the images may change but don't go away. When I release my eyelids from a squezee but maintain their closure, the images get brighter and/or change and float and strike and explode.

I just did a "medication interaction" check at medscape.com. There were none with what I am prescribed except when I add Paxil to the long list, including supplements. I do take 25mg PaxilCR once a day, but I get these kind of psychodelic visuals with my eyes closed maybe only 1-2 times per month. What I have dne during the daytimes when I have the visuals at night does not seem to matter.

So what do you think?

Please feel free to forward this to anyone you think might know what is going on.

Thanks, ppharper@tampabay.rr.com

Anonymous said...

This is so interesting.

I am 38 yrs old and I have always seen colors when I close my eyes. I can remember being as young as 8, and telling people the colours I could see swirling around on my eyelids. Like watching a mive screen of colours.

Somebody above posted another thing that I often see laying in my bed at night. I see a purple "blob/vortex" <--not sure what to call it. It is surrounded by black and it is almost as if it is coming towards me - but sometimes it is as if it is moving quickly away from me. It feels kindof like a tunnel at times if I concentrate on it.

One vision I have always had - before ever reading up on this subject...is if I close my eyes really tight...then loosen them. A field of purple flowers with a bright orange circle in the middle. A covered field. Always had this. FOR YEARS.

I also - if very tired - can see images of people and faces and animals changing...just like the northern lights swirl and change. KWIM?

HAve also felt like I could see oceans and i was soaring above them (all black, grey and white) and I could dive down into it and rise above it, fly over mountains and cities.

Weird eh. I am totally normal too LOL

Nicole said...

ok. does anyone else get this when they lose there eyes..i'd like to know...

when i close my eyes at night i first get a grey/black screen of sorts and then i get faces appearing on at a time floating in and out, i see the faces dull at first, then they get clearer, as clear as to i could identify the face in a line up, some are children, some are adults, some seem to be of a different era with older style glasses or hair cut trends. Sometimes a face will speak out and say 'can you see me' or 'can you hear me' but that is rare and has only happened maybe 3 times in past 2 years. the faces, i see them every night for many years, sometimes it's a little scary sometimes it's not, when i'm alarmed by it i sometimes open my eyes and try and stay awake a little longer.

ok, so am i crazy? does anyone else get this?? is this just a subconcience mind thing or am i doing some weird cosmic connection with others? I'm just a normal 35 year old techie, i don't have a weird personality or anything like that.

Anonymous said...

OMG this is weird. I was talking to my acupuncturist about this on Monday. I ask if she saw colors when her eyes were closed--like I do. I see different colors, sometimes (like during my acupuncture treatment) it was yellow into orange then to pink; then it changed to dark pink to purple. At night, while lying awake, with my eyes closed, I see all different things. Mostly it is a light blue/purple switl that I can zoom in if I concentrate or just let it randomly follow it with my eyes. What really freaks me out though, is I see faces, not familiar faces, just faces and they change and morph into other faces. Sometimes the eyes will change, sometimes the mouth, sometimes they are really scary...

I saw the comment about it maybe being your own aura (which crossed my mind) and you eye chakra. I'm going to do some research on that...

It is comforting to know there are others who see what I do, that I am not wacko or something. Thnx.

Anonymous said...

Hi- im amazed to find this site- as i too see faces when i close my eyes, i dont recongnise any of the peoples faces i see. They appear as a greyish swirl, sometimes almost pixelated and grow stronger to the point of absolute clarity, occasinaly they move, but they tend to appear more posed. i see men women and children, never objects or grousome faces. I also find the faces appear more and with greater clarity the day after consuming alcohol. The only reason im trying to research this is because i happened to admit this to one of my housemates recently and he said he had the exact same thing but never said anything as he thought it was odd. This needs to be seriuosly examined! Is there any research being done at the moment?

Laura said...

Jaelle, may I suggest that next time it happens, write down on a piece of paper what the title of the book is that you are looking at. Or even just make an X on a piece of paper.

I would bet good money that the next day, the paper is nowhere to be found. That you were actually dreaming even though you were so certain that you were awake.

I based this comment on my understanding of the writings of Dr. Stephen LaBerge, who hooked people up to polysomnographs and proved that although they swore up and down that they were awake during "out of body experiences" and other strange phenomena, they were actually asleep (in REM, if I recall correctly).

(Of course this didn't prove that OBEs are dreams, as I personally believe they are, but it did prove that when we are absolutely certain that we were awake when something happened, are sure we know what a dream feels like and "this was different, I was absolutely awake", we can be mistaken.)

I hope Dr. Schwitzgebel doesn't mind my addressing another commenter. I couldn't find anything saying whether that was OK at this site. But to answer the original question, when I'm awake (jeers asking me how I know I'm awake are taken as given) and close my eyes, I see extremely geometric patterns of thousands of pinpoints of light, usually all the same color, on a dark background. When I was as young as 4 I would entertain myself by watching the patterns, sometimes pressing on my eyelids to make them more interesting. I don't generally notice the patterns, though, unless I try to pay attention to them.

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Thanks for all the interesting comments and contributions folks (and no, I don't mind people talking directly to each other in the threads).

I'm inclined to agree with Laura that many purported Out of Body Experiences are actually dreams, and LaBerge is a major, respected figure in dream research. But that said, I'm not an expert on that particular question and I do think mainstream academia is too reflexively dismissive of evidence of "paranormal" experiences.

And to all of you who experience colors or faces or whatever: I assure you that apparently normal people, without any identifiable disorders, report all sorts of different visual experiences with their eyes closed, so I see no particular cause for alarm -- though if the experiences are persistent and upsetting I'd recommend psychological counseling. And if you have such experiences with your eyes open, that's a different matter and potentially more worrisome.

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

P.S. -- I'm delighted that this thread continues to show life so many months after the original post. Feel free to continue posting comments; I'll come by and check on them once in a while.

Anonymous said...

I see green, purple, and yellow dots. When you press on your eye with the lid closed, it seems as if you are riding a roller coaster. I either see those colors and shapes, or I see nothing.

Nicole said...

Nicole here again.

I wrote earlier on this thread (Feb 2007) about seeing faces when i close my eyes that sometimes speak out and i was curious - does anyone else have them speak out too?

gail said...

I'm so glad you wrote about this. I've never encountered anyone else who shared my experiences and I'm 61.

Anyway, when I am tense or frightened I see total blackness. When I am relaxed I see multiple circular green shapes (not really dots, more like cloud shapes) and when I am experiencing pleasurable sensations or relief (e.g. having a massage or under the influence of nitrous oxide gas at the dentist) the shapes change from green to purple.

Anonymous said...

all this is really interesting...although im not sure that all these experiences are as much to do with "seeing" as "imagining". im 14 and ive been able to see and manipulate swirling patterns and colour/s with my eyes closed (and sometimes open) for as long as i can remember. but the interesting thing is that blind people can also see such colours when their eyes are closed. i think this is only with people who have gone blind rather than people having been blind all their life...perhaps its just a memory of colour?

Anonymous said...

I found this site trying to research something that happens everytime I close my eyes. If I hear a sound while my eyes are shut, I get a bright flash of white light. I also get a sensation in my heart like an adrenaline rush, but my heart rate appears to stay steady. Happens quite often, mostly when relaxing.

Oscar said...

I too found this site while searching for anyone that might have the same imaging I get (mostly when I rub my eyes). Yes, I can sometimes see colors when my eyes are shut, but what really interests me is if anyone else sees the clear, sharp images that I have been seeing for years. Examples: The back of a green tennis shoe from about 3 inches away,or A yellow gargoyle somewhat like plastic that was flat and had 4 arms or An S shaped sluice channel that seemed carved out of solid rock where a person was sliding down head first.
These images are all very sharp and vivid. Sometimes they linger a while and I am able to rotate an axis and see them from various sides. They do not always appear when I want them to.
They usually appear when I'm a little tired or distracted and rub my eyes.
Over the years I probably have had over a thousand of these. None of them correlate to any place I have been to or could remember seeing. Some of them do not seem to be physically possible. I wish I had drawing ability to maybe keep an image journal. I believe the mind is very capable and may be just giving me images it plays with.
Images appear almost instantly when I first rub my eyes. If nothing appears within a second or so then I only see the colors others on this site have reported seeing. But sometimes I can see 3 or 4 images in a few minutes. When I try to force seeing them they do not appear. The images rarely show people. They also do not predict something I have later seen.
Anyone else have these experiences?

Sid said...

Just like to chip in with my experience. Never saw colors until a few years of intense yoga coupled with heavy duty stress at work. Don't know which one is the precursor but the results have been that I now can work the spectrum of colors with my eyes closed in bright ambient light to total darkness but it seems to require an inward "chanelling" of breath and forehead (read ajna chakra, pineal gland area ) concentration and involvement. Could it be the result of the pineal gland stimulation and DMT production? These escapades have always left me feeling more confident and energized. Maybe "dope on a hope" is not out of the realm of possibilty. Chakra anyone?

Paul R. Smith said...

I have recently started experiencing very defined geometric patterns when my eyes are open in a totally dark room (or if they are closed also. I have a totally light proof hard material sleep mask I use if not in total darkness. I see perfectly defined and moving toroids, spirals, radiant lines from a dark or light center. The lines are precisely defined as if drawn by a fine point pen. The colors are usually green red, and blue. Sometimes donut shaped images start at the out edges of my sight and move in toward the middle. An energy worker I went to said that I was seeing my third eye torroid and has asked me to draw what I see. I am not a psychic but I am a Christian mystic and church pastor with a Masters in Theology. I am also a fan of Ken Wilber. I am trying to find out more information just like you have on your fascinating posts. Thanks for doing this. I intend to explore it as scientifically as possible. I would like to correspond with anyone who sees similar precise geometric patterns. Rev. Paul Smith. www.revpaulsmith.com.

Anonymous said...

In Nikola Tesla's autobiography he stated that by applying light pressure he experienced patterns, by learning to focus his attention he developed the ability to design three dimensionally with visual quality in his minds eye. He credits this as the source of his genius.

My personal experience suggests that many artists have used the patterns from this technique in their works.

If you focus long enough you can also produce something akin to lucid dreaming, or other metaphysical experiences.

If you believe in personal energy fields, you may find that the visual field when the eyes are closed darkens when anothers field intrudes upon your own.
My experience suggests this occlusion is vamperic in nature.

In a visually calm or dark place.
Place the index fingers lightly alongside the nose on both sides touching the eyes. I believe this mostly helps to bring the focus of the attention the pressure is really not the factor so do not hurt yourself.
You will see perhaps cloudy splotches, some after image, allow the after images to settle out, focus both eyes to a distant place as if actually looking through the eyelids. You may see rectangular grid works of irregular checkerboard or other patterns, eventually you will come to shadowy images which will part like clouds and clear visual images will come into focus.
Good Luck!

Cyberbian Perepatetic

John said...

Is there any scientific work in this area?

Is there a scientific term for the images we see when our eyes are closed?

I've always seen *something* when my eyes are closed.

I usually see a single color throughout my visual field. (If I concentrate, I realize it's actually tens of thousands of tiny dots of several colors, but I can't discern which colors they are.) Under normal indoor lighting, the single color is medium brown. Under bright lighting (such as the sun), I see just red. In 100% darkness, I see dark brown (never black). I had always thought that most people have these same single-color experiences, but now I am learning that not everyone does.

Often atop the aforementioned brown or red background, I see a single cloud (various rounded forms, with bumpy edges) that's often purple or green, or sometimes purple fringed with green. It slowly grows, shrinks, or moves, just like a real cloud. It can fill any fraction of my visual field, the remainder of which is the aforementioned background of brown or red. Sometimes I can influence the motion of the cloud without moving a muscle, using thought alone. (Or maybe I don't realize I'm using my muscles, and I'm merely squeezing my retinas, thus altering the image.)

A few years ago, I moved to a home with a loud furnace. It frequently makes a sudden banging sound without warning. Asleep at night, I often see a white flash and feel an adrenaline rush that coincides with the loud noise, so this experience is similar to that of somone else who posted on this web page. The furnace doesn't actually make the white flash; it's all in my head. Nowadays, other sudden loud noises produce the same effect.

Once, just a few days ago, while lying on my left ear, which diminished any sound that might enter that ear, I heard the furnace noise mainly through my right ear, and the white flash took a distinctly different form: a black and white (or was it dark brown and white?) pattern very much resembling zebra skin or an ocular dominance image, especially the one at http://hubel.med.harvard.edu/112.2.jpg . Because I had seen that computer graphic before I experienced the black and white pattern with my eyes closed, I can't discern whether I was merely recalling that graphic or if I was somehow visualizing an aspect of the organization of my own primary visual cortex.

If anyone else wants to experiment with the noise/flash phenomenon, I'd love to hear your results!

When I rub my eyes for at least 20 seconds and then stop rubbing, I see geometric patterns in shades of brown. It's usually the same pattern: rows and columns of concentric circles of various shades of brown. The pattern fades away in a few seconds, and then all I see is brown.

When I'm half-awake, I sometimes see various brown images (on the usual brown background), such as houses, monsters, machines, trees, etc., but usually only one at a time. Sometimes, the images are sharp and detailed. Other times, they are little more than an outline. Because I dream in color, the shades-of-brown images are a bit disappointing.

Once, a few days ago, when I was half awake, I saw in the center of my visual field a grid; my periphery was just the usual brown background. I was thinking rather clearly, considering I was only half awake. So, I examined the grid, and it appeared to be stable, like a photo, not like it would be in a dream, wherein everything is constantly changing. The grid had a circular border (corresponding to my retinal fovea, I suppose) and contained about 1000 tiny squares (each perhaps 10 pixels by 10 pixels, where "pixel" means the smallest dot I can see) of several shades of brown, seemingly randomly selected for each square. The squares tessellated, and none were overlapping. I was surprised at the amount of order in this image. (This image sounds a lot like the "tunnel painted like a brown and gold checkerboard" described by someone else on this web page.) I can draw this image in a graphics program if there is enough interest. Next, by intentionally thinking of the concept of a circle, I was able to replace all the squares with circles, each having a diameter equal to the length of the edge of one of the squares. I don't know if each circle was of the same color as the square it replaced, but the circles were colored from the same brown palette as the squares had been (conceptually, anyhow). The brown background could be seen between circles (since circles don't tessellate the way squares do). Next, I thought of the concept of a triangle, but was unable to replace the circles with triangles, though I did see a single ~100-pixel equilateral triangle for a few seconds. Finally, I saw only brown and realized I was probably awake.

In a 100% dark room, I can open and close my eyes without any alteration of my visual experience. For example, if I am seeing a purple cloud with my eyes closed, the purple cloud persists when I open my eyes and still persists when I shut my eyes again.

John said...

I found this relevant page in Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closed-eye_hallucination

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Thanks for the detailed comments, everybody, and for the interesting link, John! I'm still working on and thinking about this stuff. I hope to have an essay drafted soon!

Kirby L. Wallace said...

I'm not trained in any of this, but I can tell you what I see when I close my eyes and cover them with something quite opaque and black.

First, there is a large bright cloud in the center of my field of vision - this is nothing more than the "glare" of my entire field of vision being suddenly turned off before my eyes have adjuested to the darkness.

Out of this bright cloud will come an after image of the last thing that I was looking at. If I was staring at it, it can come with pretty remarkable detail.

This then blurs and drifts away and eventually there is complete black/charcoal greyishness.

In a few moments, upon this charcoal/black background, indistinct clouds of colour appear. The form in large clouds and disappear into the center, being replace by another after it. Rather like being in a tunnel and BACKING out of it (going forward in the tunnel would bring clouds from the small center out to the larger field of vision - this is actually the opposite, I see large clouds that generally condense into the center and are replaced by clouds of a different colour).

One interesting thing that I have discovered is that with a bit of practice, I can actually control what colour comes next. Strange, that.

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Very cool, Kirby! Thanks for the detailed report. Some of what you say fits very nicely with what some 19th century psychologists wrote, too!

Stephanie said...

I am surprised to actually encounter others who see faces and colors when they close their eyes. I see faces too but they don't just stay in one place. They seem to be always moving or changing into other faces. It is really weird because I am 23 and I just noticed this so i came online to do some research about it. Another strange thing I usually see is another eye staring back at me and sometimes it blinks! This is all with my eyes closed. The eye that is usually staring back at me is on the left side. I don't know if I can just see it with my left eye or what, but I am kind of creeped out about it. Has anyone else ever experienced this?

Audun said...

If I keep a light pressure on my eyes for a while, I start seeing a "flashing", extremely detailed black and white checker pattern, but not square black and white boxes, but connected lines. They flash and move outwards every 0.1 second, and seem to spawn at the centre and move outwards.

What is a bit weird is that inside this pattern, all over, randomly positioned at each "blink", white shiny veeery thin-lined symbols appear, and they look like glyhps or "alien" letters of some kind.

They are impossible to really make out cause they blink away so fast, and make way for different ones each blink.. Very weird sensation, and I am astonished that my "mind" or whatever it is can create such a weird display.

I cannot reproduce this very often.. Seems like I have to wait, like... months before I can see this "animation" again after I've done it.. Feels like light is "trapped" inside my eyes, and it has to recharge over time before I can do it again. After I do it im less sensitive to light, and my vision seems to be clearer somehow..

And oh yeah, im not crazy. As far as I know anyway.

Frank said...

I have long had closed eye 'visions' of various sorts. I also have open eye visions that fall into the definition of hallucinations.

Some years ago I could see a checkerboard pattern on a light wall. I no longer see that. From time to time I have had distinct and detailed visions of an unfamiliar face which grows more vivid, but without any color, then fades away. When in the darkened room of my sleeping chamber, the image does not go away when I open my eyes. Other times I see flashes of vivid color and color shapes that cease within a few minutes. Finally, in the past week, I have had a recurring experience of a very detailed visual pattern in an arbor of interlaced vines complete with leaves and dendriles covering the entire raster of the visual field.

None of these am I able to call up at will. They come without my desire or decision. They also cannot be retained by force of my willing it. I have consciously examined the faces for clues as to identities, but find none. The faces are always recognizable as female, male or child, but are never in any way of color.

I often experience a sweeping visual effect that reveals areas in a spiral sweep of color intensity which comes and goes. After a time the field grows uniform and monochromic.

I have no diagnosis of any mental condition, though I have been to psychiatrists, psychologists, and neurologists for various reasons. I take not drugs other than NSAIDS and a proton pump inhibitor. I now take several supplements including vitamins and minerals, but these episodes date to a time when I took none of these. I am now 79 years old, but they date to an early age, including childhood.
fdgsr@comcast.net

Anonymous said...

i have weird experiences when i close my eyes alot of times i see what is like tunnels in a spinning motion of bright color and designs last night was really weird though i saw gray bats flying... and buildings it was all to real... i dont think its normal dose anyone eles experience this kind of thing?

peter said...

in response in audun, i have had this exact same experience. it is pretty cool. i googled it to see if anyone else was seeing this and i found this page.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am a 56 year old artist and work in various media where I either sculpt or paint. Therefore I am exposed to a wider variety of colors. So maybe there is an influence there.
I have tried to find others who have experienced colors when the eyed are closed. Having tried a google search I found you! All my life I have seen bright jewel like colors that swirl like the aurora borealis and morph from one color to another when my eyes are closed. many times there will appear over the color images like a eye or various other images. But as years go by other phenomenon have manifested. Now there are textures as well.Sometimes it is like one of the patterns one can chose for background on the computer screen very geometric. One of my favorites is dragon scales where an dragon eye appears and then disappears.The scales are blue violet on a deep dark background. If it is dark in my room I can see it without closing my eyes. Some of the colors are bright fuchia, chartreuse,red and blue violet, hot pink,scarlet,lime green, aqua, and many more. If you saw the movie 2001 a space oddessy You might recall the scene where you are swiftly propelled through two walls either side of you and those walls textures and colors fly by. Those colors and movement are quite similar. A new set of colors was manifested recently while in the dentist chair. The lamp overhead was a strange gold color. After having it shine on my face I closed my eyes and the most fabulous blue color that I had never seen before was behind my closed lids. The shape of the lamp was that color and the middle was scarlet. Ones like that I feel are after images. But that does not apply to the majority. They are mostly just swirling colors. there is another type of image where the deep dark colored background is covered with tiny white dots like styrofoam pellets that fill the "screen". They stream away toward the center. And sometimes it is like TV "snow".
Sometimes if I have been reading a lot, a small rectangular "window" opens up in the middle of the colors and text scrolls left to right in that window. I remember examining Hot Wheels toys for information on the bottom about manufacture and dates for a lot of these toys for sell. I took a break and colosed my eyes and sure enough I experienced that scrolling of text. You might think these were after images, but they lasted for hours! Lately a new "screen" is experienced where a grey background is covered in a variety of black geometric shapes and thin swuiggles that stream away toward the center. I know for certain that these visions behind my closed eyes are not REM sleep. Most are seen while I am awake and doing things. I am disabled due to three diseased, various syndromes and disorders, especially Fibromyalgia. There are no times when I am without pain of one degree or another. There are various other medical problems that accompany Fibromyalgia. I once went more than two weeks without sleep.Not even a doze. Naturaly I began to hallucinate. My family and friends could not believe I was taking all that in stride. I was actually facinated. But I have experienced both of these phenomenon and am very sure that they are not just my imagination.

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Neat, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi there. The most amazing and unexplained thing happened. I was lying in the dark, closed my eyes and began to try and fall asleep. My boyfriend was lying next to me with his eyes closed too. Suddenly a bright blue/white flash appeared infront of my eyelids. said to him "did you see that" he said "yes that bright flash". There were NO clouds that night. It was bizarre. any solutions would be great?

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Hm -- no clue! If it were intrinsically caused, synchrony would be unexpected. But evidently no external cause suggests itself either!

phil said...

hi sometimes i can concentrate my eyes with depth perception and i can see little dust that sometimes swirl or move back and forth according to my eyes positions its very mahcanical the way it floats around so it must be there.. do you know anything about this? also it seems i was able to produce a purple light orb coming from my eyes and it seem to go thru the wall. what does this mean? remigio_philip@yahoo.com

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Many people report dust and floaters when they concentrate on their visual experience. As long as it doesn't interfere with normal vision, it's okay. I find it easiest to see such stuff when I stare at an empty blue sky.

I don't know about the purple orb. Is it possible it's an afterimage from looking at a lightbulb or some such?

Anonymous said...

What a cool site, thank you! Well, here's one for you...On a fairly regular basis when I close my eyes, I see images of people. The images fade in and out....each time replaced by someone else. I don't know these people. Another senario....I'll see images of Jesus (as far as I can tell) in his very own slide show. Just different images fading in and out. All images are a cross between pencil drawings and black and white photography. I am not on drugs....This happens upon waking and nites. My "visitors" sometimes are annoying as they disrupt my sleep. You know when you don't want to see something so you close your eyes?......doesn't always work! thanks again jul

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Thanks!

Lucas said...

This is pretty interesting. I've always seen images, scenes, and colors when my eyes are closed. I always thought it was rather peculiar, but apparently it isn't that uncommon.

When I was younger kid, my closed eye visuals consisted of mainly colors and blobs usually of purple or green, although there were other colors occasionally. They weren't clear, kind of like a hazy darkened remnant, like the glow left after you turn off a neon light. A frequent shape I had was a set of gray spots, which continually were "sucked" into the middle of my vision. It reminded me of a pot of boiling water, with bubbles that kept forming, disappearing into the center, and reforming from nothing back at the edge. I could even seen it in clear skies or blank paper with my eyes open.

As I've gotten older, the visuals have turned clearer and less abstract. People may form, move throughout a room or landscape, perspective may change, and the colors will morph. A lot of times it's not photorealistic; the images seem sketched or painted in different forms and may change throughout, moving from a Warhol-esque portrayal to an impressionistic style.

When trying to go to sleep, sometimes I snap out of this world...only to realize I can't remember exactly what I was picturing. It's a shame, because I know it was something quite beautiful my mind had just developed, but the image just won't stay around.

For what it's worth, my imagination is constantly going. I'm a fairly artistic and literary person (but hopefully not as crazy and weird as you're thinking!) and have lucid dreams occasionally.

I'm glad there are other people "seeing" what's not quite there. Interesting stuff.

nancy said...

I have always seen colors with my eyes closed, as well as patterns. If the room is dark, I will still see then with my eyes open. I also see faces, objects- like in a slide show. The strangest is when I see a tunnel with something at the end, such as highrise buildings. I try to see my way to the end, but am only successful to a certain point before I lose the picture. It amazes me how clear and bright the visions are. I had always thought everyone saw these things until recently when i asked others-everyone said they only saw black. (I am 50 years old). At night before I go to sleep I lay in bed and just watch until I fall asleep.

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Thanks for the continuing reports, folks! It's nice to see that this old post is still alive and well!

rd said...

Hi Eric,
Great Post!!
For the last few years I have been able to focus on what I see when my eyes are closed. I see full motion, the first time I saw it I was scared as anything. It was an eye, staring right at me. Blinking in a normal pattern and looked so real I couldn’t close my eyes because it was so real/strange. I mostly dismissed it as a one time thing but after a few weeks I became curious to see if I could do it again. 6 years later I am pretty good at it. Similar to other people as in one video fades in and out to the other randomly. The most common thing I see is a mouth talking. I can never make out what they are saying.. maybe I should take a lip reading class... 10 minutes ago I saw a female in her 20s sleeping with a blue blanked covered half way over her head. In such detail. I never see anyone that I have ever seen in real life. No actor from tv, no one I have ever met. That’s the part that gets me the most.
My method of this is:
I have to be in a well lit room. ( I can do it in the dark but its harder)
Close your eye
Cover your eyes with your hands. If I don’t everything is just a solid color. open a finger or two to get a good contrast.
Watch the show!

Mine almost always starts with that same eye. But after a few minutes more things start happening,
-RD

Anonymous said...

I almost always see a dark blue line, generally vertical, but sometimes moving, or as a circle. I also occasionally see colors, and sometimes complete images or people, places, or objects. I also for a period of time was seeing a grid of white lines, as another poster mentioned, but I have not seen that for several years now. Oddly, when I was seeing that, it would occasionally be superimposed over things when my eyes were open. There was no apparent visual stimulant for this, and it occurred in many different situations. When I see images, they are generally in full color. I have no emotional response to any of them, and I generally do not attempt to illicit the images in any fashion. The colors are of a wide variety, usually in abstract forms or spheres. They are generally quite distinct, not like the black that is often there. The dark blue line is a new thing - I began seeing it within the last couple of years - but the colors and images, to my recollection, have had no specific beginning date. I am almost thirty. I have no known mental or physical condition I can readily link to what I am seeing, and thus I have no reason to assume it is unnatural or a cause for concern over my well-being.

That being said, sometimes it is quite entertaining. Sometimes it's bothersome. I was once sleeping in a hotel room, and I spent quite some time attempting to get to sleep. I kept having images of strange people flash over and over in my mind. Amusing at first, but then annoying, because it made it difficult to sleep. These were clear, discrete images of one or more people, in rapid succession. Something like that inclines me towards the preternatural (*smirk*), but I am also aware of the subconscious stimuli of being a) in a strange town where I was exposed to many people in a short period of time, and b) being in an unfamiliar atmosphere. I don't generally have trouble sleeping in strange places, but this should, from a scientific standpoint, be taken into consideration. The mind is a fascinating thing. I rule out no possibility.

Anonymous said...

I have seen a green flash and for years have seen people floating or felt people in the room.Never specific, just a greenish blurry outline of them . They float towards the ceiling but have felt them come close to me (by my cheek even)

Anonymous said...

You know what you see?
Whatever light is outside of your eyelids being filtered through your eyelids. Duh! There's nothing mystical about it!

Here's something to think about, though. You cannot close your eyes and pretend to be blind - not even in total darkness. To be completely blind is not to see total darkness or nothing - it is the absence of visual sense completely. What you see when blind is less that nothing; it is the absence of possibility.

Alex said...

I am grateful for having found this forum. I was searching for other people's experiences because I'm realizing that what I experience may be different from other's - and I'm curious to get to know myself.

When I close my eyes, or even when I have them open, I often get drawn into mental "movies." Everything is coherent, with images and sounds. A lot like watching TV. I suspect that the content and "feel" is related to my emotional health - needing to work something out, defend myself, etc. I this mode my body and eyes are tense, my breathing uneven. I can stare at a wall for a while, without actually seeing the physical world, while experiencing this.

There is another mode, when I am able to ALLOW images to flow, morph one into another. They tend to stick around for a few seconds. The more relaxed I am, the longer they stay, the clearer they are. I can induce sleep this way, if I am able to relax enough. Usually there is no sound, unless I "ask" for it. They follow some emotional theme - for example, if erotic, there may be not only human forms, but also unfurling spirals and round vases.

I too see purple orbs or shapes sometimes.

I've "journeyed" to drums (no drugs) before - I was able to sink into the second mode while maintaining self-awareness. A lot of peace in that world. Interesting messages.

I suspect that when I am caught up in my movies, my ego is trying to control. When I am able to relax into the images, I open up to my subconsciousness.

At 25, I have a history of depression, anxiety, bipolar-type moodswings. I am drawn to poetry, music, philosophy, nature.

I recommend reading about "dreamtime" and "shamanism" of Native people.

I'm not sure that I'll be coming back to this site, but I'd love to email with others about this - contact me at abreslav@hotmail.com if you'd like that! Thanks everybody for your input.

Alex

chris said...

When I was a young boy, I would see lots of colorful, abstract images moving in a vertical direction across my field of vision when my eyes were closed. Colorful jewels and other vivid shapes. I would have floaters, too, but these were different. I remember lying on my bed during nap time and being entertained by them. I don't have these any longer as an adult.

Another visual experience I've had occasionally since childhood is of undulating light-colored swirls. These typically happen when I'm getting an infection or otherwise in a weakened state. Lately I'm having neurological problems and they are being experienced much more frequently; searching for information on them is how I found this interesting site. These seem like a physical phenomenon, though. The childhood color shows seemed more of a mental experience -- even though they looked very real. In neither case has any doctor or other expert been able to tell me anything other than about floaters. It's good to see that many others have similar experiences.

Anonymous said...

Hi, my name is Kylie and I was searching the net for some sort of answer this morning and found this page.

Yesterday while I was closing my eyes in the shower, getting the soap out of my hair, I had the most vivid scene appear to me, it scared me so much I had to leave the shower, shaking (I've never been that scared in my life). What I saw started out as a sort of hole in my vision, an iris..then as clear as day as if I had my eyes OPEN, I saw something looking at me, the being was very alien like, looking at me like in a sort of curious way, as if, "Hey you can see me." The thing I saw was so non-human and so different than anything I've ever seen--I mean I FREAKED-OUT! I haven't told anyone because people would think I've lost it. It shook me to the core.

I've always seen things when I close my eyes, colors, faces. But lately, before this incident. I've had what I can only describe as demonic-type of faces looking back at me when I close my eyes at night. The images will morph into half-man, half animal stuff. But what I would see would always be dark and not vivid imagery. These images have stared to really scare me, then yesterday happened--now I don't know what to think.

I don't take drugs, I thought I was a pretty sane person, but lately I'm not sure. What kind of normal person sees things like this. I'm glad I found this thread, at least I can see that a few other people see faces, but no one mentioned evil faces, am I alone here?

Thanks,
Kylie

crc said...

Kylie, I'm no expert in this area but you've had some pretty serious experiences and I'd like to suggest to you that you consult the following:

1. A competent psychiatrist who could investigate and treat possible psychic causes for your visions/hallucinations.

2. A trained, professional exorcist who could look into the possibility of demonic obsession (not the same as possession, but treatable the same way). You should contact your local Catholic Diocese to get referred to the priest exorcist in your jurisdiction (you do not need to be Catholic). This type of problem is not as uncommon as you might think. Meanwhile, you should avoid any kind of occult activity.

I hope you find relief soon and please post to let us know.

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Kylie, many people I've discussed these issues with (as you'll see from the comments above) report seeing figures when their eyes are closed. However, if you find the figures to be disturbing and they don't go away, you might consult a psychologist. My inclination would be to think that seeing disturbing figures suggests that you're going through a difficult time psychologically.

I'm inclined to think the comment above about demonic possession is more likely to be counterproductive, increasing the intensity of your distress, than productive -- but surely that's because I don't believe in demonic possession.

Seeing things when your eyes are closed is normal. The only thing that's problematic is if you find what you see to be distressing.

aidan said...

when I close my eyes I see patterns that soon form into either a womans face screaming in terror or a red skull opening it's jaws

Anonymous said...

i see faces. lots of different faces staring at me.

Anonymous said...

the faces are of people i've never seen before. some look old fashion and some more modern but they are all staring directly at me. sometimes when i close my eyes i can see large groups of people moving around, like watching a realy old movie. when i completly relax myself and slow my breathing i feel a sensation of great pressure on my head and i feel a tingling sensation. it feels as if i am moving forward because the lights i see are coming toward me and some times i see a white dot that i keep trying to get to. when i am in that relaxed position and i open my eyes i can see what appears to be light and shadows moving in the room (dark room)and i get the tingling sensation on my head. anybody with explanation or similiar experience please let me know. thanks

Anonymous said...

Alright let me start off by saying i am taking college courses in philosophy and psychology. I have been researching alot about the mind lately, and last night when i was trying to sleep, I remembered images I used to see when i was a little boy. If my eyes are closed, and I focus hard enough, I can see a type of static tunnel like one of the users above said, like your actually seeing the neurons in you're brain. After reading about all the wonders of the mind, I tried focusing to a level to sort of experiment. I read many different theories about what philosophers think the mind is and its purpose, so i tried focusing on many images to see if anything would happen (Call me crazy i know) Although nothing out of the ordinary happen, my nose started to bleed badly. This is a very interesting topic, and its unfortunate we live in a time where there are so many mysteries about the mind and brain. It would be very interesting to someday get the answers to things like this, and NDE's.

Anonymous said...

I've asked people about seeing colors when I close my eyes, and they usually say it's an after image of what I just looked at. I have recently begun the practice of meditation, about 15 min a day. The colors I see when I close my eyes get more and more intense the longer my eyes are closed. Theres such a variety of color and movement its really hard to achieve a blank state of mind required for meditation.

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Interesting. Thanks for the reports!

After 15 minutes it can't be afterimages in the conventional sense (unless you've been looking directly at a very bright light source).

Nose bleeds I haven't heard about before! (I hate to ask you to try to replicate that....)

Fenrir said...

I've had many experiences seeing things with my eyes closed. I woke up one morning and was laying there lamenting that I had to get up in a minute, but then something struck me...I only knew I had to get up in a minute because I was laying there looking at my alarm clock and had not yet opened my eyes. Not only could I see the alarm clock, I could see the room in it's entirety.

There was another experience where I was having a bout of sleep paralysis which was made doubly frightening because my breathing was further restricted by a stuffy nose. I was laying there struggling to move, when I saw my girlfriend prop herself up on her elbow next to me and just lay there watching me. This was particularly strange, seeing as I was facing the wall. I struggled until I was able to move, rolled over and asked her why she hadn't shaken me or something - tried to rouse me - because it was obvious with the snorting and strangling noises I was making that SOMETHING was going on. But the point is, she was right there propped up on her elbow as I had perceived her.
Numerous times I have perceived people around me and what they are doing when I've been in a state of sleep paralysis.
With a bit of experimentation, I have discovered that it is not beyond our capacities to perceive your surroundings with your eyes closed with some practice. It takes some amount of focus and concentration, but it is possible. I came across this interesting article which has served to bolster my confidence on this matter:

Eyes Wide Shut: Young Siblings See With Eyes Closed

http://digg.com/odd_stuff/Eyes_Wide_Shut_Young_Siblings_See_With_Eyes_Closed

Hopefully that link works. The link I had directly to the article stopped working for me for some reason.

If you're interested in this stuff I would recommend meditation. Like you said, Eric, things like this require our ATTENTION or, "focus." I'm very glad to have found your page here! Thanks for posting this. I've been looking for other peoples' accounts of their experiences on these matters.

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone,

I have had very similar experiences when i was a child which I then chose to ignore as an adult due to mastering dream control, fantasy to get to sleep and the usual things on my mind.

As a child i would regularly experience:

1.Time for bed! But in the conditions of apparent pitch blackness, no sound and nothing on my mind apart from "what do i do now?".

2. Closing my eyes with the simplistic view of waiting to go to sleep. Instantly met with the fuzz of an untuned TV channel. I associate this fuzz with a kind of post processing of the eye. It's against a black background. The busy fuzz is mostly bright green. I consider red and green the colour of outside influence (although not always)as i experience it most commonly after a knock on the head, rubbing my eye and things of that nature.

3. The fuzz begins to disapate, as it gets to a low level the fuzz is multi coloured and yellows enter the fray. It's almost as if the fuzz is moving away from me. This part feels like a clearing of the mind. The fuzz disappears, being acutely aware sets in and the feeling of being in a void. You are very aware there is no point of reference in the black space you find yourself in. The experiences of this used to lead to panic until becoming used to such a feeling. Then the next stage happened.

4. Being unable to "look around" the void you end up focusing on straight ahead. You cannnot focus so it's more like getting comfortable, centering yourself etc. The void begins to fill with a yellow "mist".

5. This mist clumps together to form perfect geometric outlines. The most common I remember was a square and seemed to be the most productive for me because well...

6. With the square. It would form a tunnel by moving towards me leaving
a trail of other square outlines to move into. They would be close together and also rotate causing the overall geometry of the tunnel to be more complex. Imagine a star of David with squares instead of triangles. The colour would also fluctuate but be mostly a bright golden yellow.

7. I would "travel" through this tunnel. slowly at first and then pick up speed. This whole process is automatic. As in any attempt to interfere, change direction or control the speed, change the shape, dumps you back in the void with no reference and you have to start again.

8. I could hear no sound in this tunnel but i could feel the movement. The orientation is not like traveling along the ground. There's no sense of gravity letting you know up and down. Its more like lying on the ground looking straight up at the sky. I would get the impression I was going somewhere but the speed would become too great along with the notion of reaching a point of no return was very present. Finding this too uncomfortable i would open my eyes.

Summary:

I was able to get into the tunnel with ease after a while but never had the nerve to go the end. Preferring to use fantasies on the road to sleep instead. I have just looked into this after reading about sacred geometry and heard about spiritual geometry for communication and found you guys. Are they connected? Where does it go? Knowing now it's not just me. My brother had it and some of you. There must be a reason. Geometry is not random. I've yet to find any direct speculation on it's application. I've only just started looking!

Michael

Sara S, said...

I know this it is a lot later than the first comment was posted, but I thought I'd throw in my two cents anyhow.

I have been experiencing almost the exact same thing as Jennifer M, the first poster. Our experiences particularly link in the aspect of this, "I start to get an impression as if I am looking into a void" (J.M.).

This does not happen to me all the time and not always on command, and only happens when the lighting is very opaquely dark. If I close my eyes and look deeply into the darkness in front of my eyes, a fragment of an image or scene will start to appear. With focus (meaning without getting distracted or too curious about it,) the scene will begin to expand. I don't mean it gets bigger, but that, well, its sort of like a picture frame that gets larger and larger and allows you to see more of the picture until you see all of it. The picture is clear as day, as if you were looking through a window. They are almost always scenes, and not always still scenes.

I'm glad to have found the comments here. I didn't know if this happened to other people or if I was crazy.

Sara S. said...

as I finished reading the posts, I realized I forgot to mention that my eyes don't need to be all the way closed for this to happen. When I see images behind my eyelids, I am understandably not really paying attention to how open my eyes are, but I do know when they're not closed.

I can't pay too much attention to anything else for me to keep the image/see it clearer - otherwise it fades away. I have to hold onto it to keep it.

By the way it needs to be dark enough in the room for the lighting to be the same opaque darkness. close-eyed or not.

And I do not always see these "visions" every night.

If anyone else experiences the same thing as me, please email me- dolphsara@aol.com.

Anonymous said...

Im 16, and think i should share my expirence with you a year ago i was sun bathing and closed my eyes and started to see faces ive nerver seen before in my life people men woeman kids u name random people i dont get it all the time i get it once in a blue moon before i go to sleep when i close my eyes i told my mum about it and she said try connect with them u may have a gift so i sat down with my mum and tried a woeman came up and i said can i help u and all of a sudden i felt as o i was going into a tunnel with dizzness and i opned my eyes and felt very of balanced and scraed i sort of paniced i dont really want to try again its a scary expirence any feedback ?

Anonymous said...

Me too, I see human, unknown faces from all groups and eras, also grey, cross between pencil drawings and black and white photo; sometimes their lips are moving but no sound, other times there is an exclamation-like, telepathic comment but it's always meaningless, out of context, such as "You never cared for that anyway?" Or "It's very steep indeed!" (in English, sometimes in French, and sometimes in no language).

Sometimes the faces change into demonic figures. When it happens I try to chase them away and they must not be very strong because they easily vanish. The demonic figures often show teeth, wether skull or animal; they tend to be red or bright green (almost neon) in colour, whereas the people's face are more dull, brown or grey.

I am a 39 yr old mom, no drugs, healthy lifestyle, no history of mental distress.

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

It's nice to see that this post continues to get new comments!

As you can see from the comments, people report experiencing all sorts of different things with their eyes closed. Most of us, I think, disregard and completely forget them. But if they're enjoyable or if they seem significant, I see no harm in attending to them, dwelling on them, and continuing to think about them.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes when before falling asleep I see moving scenes with my eyes closed. Sometimes thay are cartoon like sometimes realistic. Other times they are just patterns. Sometimes they are related to things I have done that day, particularly travelling by road or rail and I will see trees fields and villages whizzing past. This has happened all my life. I am Bipolar. On waking I very often see a pattern like a cracked lake bed before I open my eyes.

Eric Sullivan, Bristol UK

Anonymous said...

It is a huge relief to have stumbled across this post. I realize I'm months late, but if you'll indulge me... I, too, experience images when I close my eyes at night, many times frightful, often with children. When I was pregnant, I saw a baby in a crib. The baby was waving and then the crib/baby became smaller and smaller and vanished. I chalked it up to hormones, but a few months after my miscarriage, I remembered that image and it seemed creepy. One other time I saw dark hands reach into a bassinette for a dark baby. The next day it was reported that within the same hour I saw that image, an African American baby was abducted by an African American woman five hours away from my home. I'm not trying to read too much into these images, yet due to the too-close-to-home feelings I've had, I tend to open my eyes quickly now when they start. I'm simply relieved to know others have seen similar sights. Most people I've dared explain this to were never able to quite get that I was not dreaming. Thanks for the space. _JJ

Dimitri said...

I used to practice meditation, I believe it may have been Kundalini style. Anyway, the meditation would begin with closed eyes and rhythmic breathing. As colors would begin to flow across as they were phosphenes, I suppose. The colors would vary depending on my mood or emotion. At this point, I would try to imagine a white dot. Once the white dot was in my 'visual field' I had to concentrate hard to keep it in one position. The dot would usually move to the upper right corner.. I always would try to move my head to follow it but, it obviously had nothing to do with my physical movements as, the dot did not slow down or change direction. The dot would eventually stablize and grow in size. Once it grew to a certain point, I would find myself in a different realm. Usually I would visit this mountain, I would always recognize as a sort of Heavenly spot. In fact, during one meditation, I tried to climb the mountain with no success. Well, since I've been in college and have had no time for even dreaming, I've had little success with these types of meditations. Now-a-days I have a difficult time not thinking about my waking life. What to do when reality gets you down... .

Anonymous said...

When I close my eyes, at first I see the black/red shadows. But then, which my eyes still closed, I can "look into" the shadows...somehow I think I'm focusing my (closed) eyes more intensely. It's kind of like "looking past the image" to see the 3D illusion on a pattern - you remember those posters in the mall? (Only I could never see the images in those.)

The images so far :
1. Shadows become human forms moving about as if I'm witnessing a real-life action or a shot in a movie. The images retain their black/red colors and are high contrast...but they look and mover very clear. The scenes are different each time. It really scares me so I'm trying to willingly not engage that again. It only works if there is little light in the room.

2. Clearer than I’ve ever witnessed clear to be (hyper-hyper reality), I see a pile of red “sand” (kind of like blood, but clearly a type of granule) that moves on a tray, slowly building a mound. Looking past – farther down the tray where the mound is, (larger eye strain, I can’t always do it), there are free-floating red “sand” scattering around slowly moving upward (to what, I wish I knew). On the left of the tray is a spiral made up of the red “sand” seeming to float around, but again working its way up and forward toward me. I freak out and open my eyes. It’s SO realistic, but I don’t know what it is.

3. Again, hyper-hyper reality: Tan colored small blobs (microscopic bug bodies?) with lots of long, extremely fast-moving arms (silica?) crowding around the “edges” of my inner vision, as bugs tend to do in a confined space. But, they very quickly become violent in movement coming straight up toward my face (ok, so I’m now looking past the shadows with my eyes closed and seeing some microscopic violent bugs coming toward my face in reality – sounds crazy, I know.)


The process hurts a little - I feel pains in my head if I do it too long. (30-40 seconds being too long) It drains me and scares me. The more I "look into" a scene, it's hyper reality scares me even when nothing scary is unfolding. It's just SO CLEAR. I have bad eyes, but even with contacts/glasses they don't see as well as 20/20 most of the time. The images I see "past the shadows" are HD digital video real. I've never seen this clearly - even in my dreams.

I know this sounds odd. It kind of freaks me out so I'm wondering if anyone else does this? Or has suggestions on who else to question?

Please help.

Anonymous said...

I should add:
I am fully awake and not imagining. I actually SEE these images behind my eyelids.

The13bats said...

When I try to fall asleep I mostly see just black and that's ok, but other times I see weird globs of moving color, not too bright against the black background,
Orange , pale red greens blues, just hues.
It's like they move on their own accord like the entity of water in the Scifi movie
The Abyss.
I have suffered from a lifetime of necrotic, panic nervous type problems.
So my issue is seeing these things keep me up sometimes they make me manic and almost panic and I get very tired and very exhausted, seems they are worse the more tired and or stressed I am at the time,
Are they anything to be concerned with or just how the body works?
Thanks
P.

eric Gale said...

the longer my eys are closed the more i begin to see..never just black or grey. i thought everyone sees these things when they clos their eyes, so im pretty shocked to hear otherwise. it takes a few minutes but at times i can see entire scenes, like im in a room and can see a table with books and even distinct colors and words..i cant control what i see, and it always begins to change soon after the snenes appear. i have lucid dreams sometimes and thatis my best way to describe what i see when my eyes are closed for awhile. its like a lucid dream, but unlike lucid dreams i cant control what i see at all. im now very interested to understand y this isnt experienced by everyone. anyone know any scienific studies on this subject?

Anonymous said...

I'm delighted to find this discussion! As a child, and as a young adult too, as soon as my eyes were closed at night, a navy blue sky exploded with a million gold stars behind my eyelids, progressing to checkerboard
colours of pink and grey, and then into what I perceived as a dark tunnel, and here it became interesting, changing into distinctive faces of all sorts of people, again in gold with a navy background as in dim lighting, whom I did not know. At first it was a little frightening, but after a while it became fascinating. They were women, men, sometimes a child but not often, of all ages, no particular era, sometimes in sorrow, sometimes smiling. At this stage, I would press my eyes, and I was back in the dark tunnel, which led to a dimly-lit room with what I perceived to be a low table with a book opened and raised upon it. It was a thick book, wider than longer, and the paper was a cream colour. As I neared it, there were lines of writing in a foreign language upon it, and try as I might, I could not remember them to copy down! But recently i saw some Arabic and Hebrew and especially Aramaic writing (I am Protestant and would not have seen written language at that time from another culture), which jogged my memory, and which got me researching on the Web, to see if anyone else has had similar experiences. The faces have more or less disappeared as I have grown older. I have been a severe migraine sufferer forever, and I also have synaethesia, especially where numbers are concerned and most letters as well, a great aid to memory!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if we really see all these things or if out mind is playing games. Our eyes are liers by nature. We only see a small percentage of whats really out there. Air for example is only seen when it slides into our spectrum of sight/light refraction. It my understanding that most of our senses work the same way. Would it be to far out there to think that maybe our mind is just filling in a blank?

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous, re posting of March 23rd: this is a very interesting hypothesis. Might you be proposing that we THINK about a certain reaction and then our brain can create pictures to suit?

I was the poster for the message of the 22nd March. But the faces were so vivid, so detailed, and, as a child, frightened me considerably, and I would not have consciously thought of them, and remember fighting against them, trying to stay awake as long as possible. The room and the book,,,,,,,,,,,,I wondered if I was seeing some part of the back of the visual system
in some way.
I would rather have a correct scientifically-thorough explanation for these phenomena than to try to attach other unsubstantiated reasons to all of this, and also hoped to find that many others found this to be quite common.

cgm said...

I attended this morning, for the first time, a session of zazen. While meditating with my eyes slightly open I saw what I usually see while meditating with my eyes closed. I see colors of violet and yellow-green swirling and slowly changing shape as in a kaleidoscope. I asked seven of the others present if they too had seen colors, but no one else had.

Even as a very young child I used to press on my eyelids to see multicolored stars. Then when I released the pressure, I would see blue stars followed by a violet background.

Is there some significance to the colors?

Anonymous said...

believe it or not, wikipedia has a rather insightful explanation of the various forms of close eye visualizations/ close eye hallucinations - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closed-eye_hallucination


What interests me the most are the level 4 close eye visualizations in which "what you see is what you get", or if you imagine a train you see a train. I've done LSD before and with my eyes closed, I saw mountains, rivers, and the sun in a brightly colorful, flashing, cartoonish scene that wasn't just a flat 2d image; it was, with my eyes closed, what you would see normally looking at a mountain eyes open (it was strange seeing such a dimension with my eyes closed when before everything was fairly 2d). Anyways, there are all kinds of interesting things to consider with this subject, like what colors we can see, why it takes meditation/drugs to produce more than colors/patterns, when will we be able to control such visualizations....

John NY said...

John Ny I see the same things Nicole wrote Wed Feb 21. I see all kinds of people some are speaking although I cannot hear them. These faces are perfectly clear to me. The only animals I see are cats and generally with bright blue eyes. All of the above fade or change in about one second. I seem to be able to do this almost anytime I am in a bright location, especially in sunlight. I think this is pretty cool. I am so happy that other people see the same things.

Asad said...

What are spots, floaters and flashes?
Spots, floaters and flashes are all integral parts of the miracle of the inner eye and its life cycle. Spots and floaters are semi-transparent, thread-like strands, specks or brilliant crystals that float inside the eye. When we see spots and floaters, we may have the impression that foreign objects are in front of our eyes, but find that the objects dart away when we try to look at them directly.

Spots and floaters come in many shapes and sizes. They may appear as tiny dots, round circles, long, thread-like strands, cobwebs or fuzzy clouds. We usually notice them when looking at a bright, blue sky or a blank, white wall. People of all ages see spots and floaters. Nearsighted people and people with eye injuries or inflammation see them more frequently. But in most cases, even though they may be bothersome, spots and floaters are harmless and fade away with time.

Flashes are experienced by most everyone in late adulthood. Some flashes are caused by blood vessel spasms and can occur at any age. In either case, they may appear as straight or jagged vertical lightning streaks, shooting stars, fleeting white pin-points or brilliant blasts of light.

Anonymous said...

I still don't understand what I see. I see faces like other people are saying, but I also see stuff that goes beyond words.

I have found a way to "control" these colors. After a long day I have to sit in my bed with my eyes closed and organize my thoughts and the incidents that happend that day (sometimes this takes a while), I have to kind of put them in their place. Then it just takes me away, I never was a spiritual person, but the only word I can use to explain the things that I see is as something spiritual.

Sometimes I get "spun", I can try my best to explain it, but it's hard, I just call it taking a "spin". Basically it feels like I'm spinning head over heels at an insane rate of speed, other times it feels like my torso is spinning in one direction and my legs are spinning in a different one. During these incidents the visuals are intense and very immersive, it took me a while to get used to the spinning, but after I got used to it the visuals were very strong. Sometimes I see myself and other times I see people I know, I also see people without faces yet they seem familiar to me in some weird way.

I am still not sure what this is, I took LSD once, so I am not sure what is really going on in my head.. LOL.. But it has become interesting and when I do it I seem to feel better during the next day.. almost like an energized feeling.

I also noticed that it is stronger when there is a full moon..

Momen Tout said...

Me too. Thought I'd add my oar.

Photic and phosphene seem to be the buzz words.

I'm 43 and have been 'seeing behind closed eyes' since I can remember. In my teens I too experimented with hallucinogens (mushrooms) and the hues of the colours are similar.

Splashes of vivid colour, changing to caricatured faces that used to snarl, but I long ago realised I could shape them at will.

The colours are made up of millions of tiny dots, and they're not all of the same colour, but there is a dominant colour. Allowing, rather than forcing, my focus on a dot produces a tunnel that is either passing over me or I'm going through it. I often follow a small sphere within the tunnel and, like another person above, any attempt at direct control takes me back to the dots.

I once met some people dressed in what looked like white military suits, who said 'Oi, you can't dream this!' I protested that I wasn't dreaming and that it was my imagination so I could do what I liked. There was an awkward stand-off then I returned to the dots.

I also found the end of the tunnel once (something I, strangely, hadn't considered). 'Void' is a good term, though I keep the details of my experience to myself on the off-chance I might read about it in places like this.

Delusional or not, it's an enjoyable experience (and doesn't cost anything).

crazed said...

Hi all... i got this strange experience that starts about two years ago... am 21, mentaly stable and all....
When am really tired, and this happens in day time, i lay on bed and
because of tiredness my eyes close by its self, and somehow am half sleeping, and after some 5 minutes i start to concetrate on the image of my closed eyes ( it's all red and brown)... but then something bizzare happens...
The image starts to appear in sepia
like colors and i don't see freeze image or faces but is like i dreaming:
1. first time I saw how i fall from
my building but in slow motion and not hurting myself
2. than i saw a man with briefcase walking betwen buildings
3. cant remeber them all, but the next two are strange...
It was something like an area with
some trees and grass and i wass looking above, but then all of a sudden the image like that of waves
of water... and it pulsated like water for about 2 mins
4. last one i had was something like a train station and trains that come and go...
When this "DREAM" happens am aware of that and can open eyes where ever i want, but the magic would be
gone and am always interested to see the whole "DREAM". I can't control it so it goes by itself...
Than i got some weird thinking that my eyes are mirrors of my subconscious and i actually seeing my subconscious..
I don't know anymore... am going crazy!!!
Please guys, help me about this...

crazed said...

Oh yes one more thing...
am tired, fall to sleep, aprox 5 min pass, the "DREAM" ends, i open my eyes, but than am not tired anymore... what's that????

Glauron said...

Hey guys. Pretty interesting. I googled this sort of thing coz I've experienced it too of late. Actually I can't remember when I started noticing them - maybe I always have had these images flash across my vision but my mind ignored them until I started observing them.

Especially after I just go to bed & I'm lying there with my eyes open, or closed, and even many times during the day, I would "see" something. I can't recall any movement yet, but I have very regularly (some nights I could see a dozen or two images, and I might have them every night for a week, or not see [notice/remember] any for a few weeks) had very detailed images 'stamp' my vision. They'd usually sit there for a fraction of a second, or a few seconds, and I started deliberately speaking aloud details of the image to make sure I was actually seeing it.

They are all completely random like a lot of people have mentioned & to date I can't remember a 'vision' relating to something based from memory (like someone I know). But I've seen things ranging from a very detailed landscape, or a close up of lattice work on a verandah, or a painting of a demon (the painting was framed, it had a purple background fading to white at the edges, the demon was white(ish) and had kind of pointy ears etc. + I could see the 'flecks' or 'grains' of paint & lighting on the paintgin etc.), .... everything is very details, either photo realistic, or abstracted in some way, but still always extremely vivid. I'm not an 'artistic' kind of person, I'm very technically minded (I'm a programmer) and don't play instruments, paint etc. though I have plucked at a guitar & would like to take a crack at artistic stuff. I reckon every image I've seen, if rendered properly in some medium would win Archibald prizes etc. They're all very interesting images.

I usually see faces or objects of some kind.

I've actually come to sort of enjoy them - they're all very beautiful .. even the painting in it's own way.

Last night (or night before?) I actually heard music - very similar .. it was playing at the start of a dream just as I was almost falling asleep :) almost like theme music & it suited perfectly & even changed accordingly as I became aware of it. It was weird. And equally as beautiful & provoking as the images. & unique.

I'm sane. Honest. :)
I'm 25, male & ur average Aussie bloke. Very normal otherwise & no history of depression / mental problems (unless you count epilepsy when I was a few days old that I have never suffered from since).

Anyways, thought I'd quickly jot down my notes for the benefit of whoever.

Cheers.

Glauron

Anonymous said...

Its weird how when i closer my eyes i can still see my room.... its not like real vision but it is like i see a grid and i move arond. i dot know if you know what im talking about. if you do can you reply me plz.

Anonymous said...

im so glad i found this because ive been having somewhat of a panic attack over things i saw for the past two nights...

i wake up usually arround 2am i feel completely dizzy. i close m7y eyes and there is a tunnel in front of me....one in each eye. its black in the center then there is a swirling geometric pattern of squares circulationg around the center void. it looks beautiful but i am still a little freaked out by it.its a perfect cirlce in the center and the swirling of squares looks like mathematical perfection. even spaing same speed of rotation and swirling ...its very odd.
the squares are very faintly colored bluish and brown....anyone else experience this??? ive also had a headach for days now and i am prone to seeing "aura" with migrains....which are zigzagging bright light during a migrain attack

Anonymous said...

Hi, this is very interesting.. id like to show you how to manupulate phosphenes with your thoughts.
When i close my eyes.I see Violet colored Clouds, when im relaxed. The interesting thing i learnt is that i can easily
manupulate this by concentrating on my breathing. Eg. breath in and will the phosphene to move closer and it moves breath out and move further, after a while it ll feel as if the phosphene is breathing :)
Deep meditative breathign is the key. Holding breath and making an effort to see from the minds eye also works. You dont need to kill your self do a hold that is easy for you. I cant move the phosphene left or right yet. but forward and backward yes. The phosphene that appears when you look at bright light and close your eyes moves left right when you move your eyeballs in the sockets with eye closed. Can Dr. Eric comment if the latter type of phosphene is happening in a different part of the head? If really like to know if looking at a candle can make me more frontal lobe conscious?
Gagan

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Gagan! I don't get any variation in the colors that correlates with my breathing, as I'm trying it at my desk right now. I'll give it a try again in the evening, maybe, when I'm more relaxed.

It's not clear what part of the brain is responsible for the colors many people report when their eyes are closed. I wouldn't guess that frontal lobe had much to do with it -- but maybe! There have been some studies of brain alterations during relaxed and meditative states, but I'm not up to date on that literature. A good place to start for recent work on meditation and the brain is the work of Antoine Lutz:
http://brainimaging.waisman.wisc.edu/~lutz/

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid and I received acupuncture, I would 'play' with the colours and I could see many colours. Last night I did a meditation and I could see green and purple.

Anonymous said...

The tunnels are by far the best experience. Most always, they start with a black bacground and are accompanied by neon green lights. Though the blackness of the tunnel has shape, it's the light spinning that seems to give it life. It's sort of like taking a ride in an IMAX film. One time, I only stayed at the entrance to the tunnel because it was so very different. Instead of neon green, it was neon pink and neon blue. Instead of rotating, they were firing like lazers, away from me.

There are also dark cave like tunnels. These don't move at all though. People are just in the tunnel. There's always this one guy there. He has dark hair, beard & mustache and wears white.

It's a nightly ritual.Lol I've even purchased sleep masks, which really help a lot but even they can't keep the dark haired guy out. I'll be almost on the edge of sleep and realize these eyes are just staring back at me.

I found all of you by typing in "edge of sleep, tunnel" at google.

As a side note, the neon tunnels were so fascinating, that I did a bit of research on the three neon colors, that I've seen in the tunnels/vortex and I found that neon, xenon, and krypton are very common noble gases in the universe and it was a neat study to see how something goes from a solid state all the way to a light state.

If time travel or wormholes are possilbe - mark my word it will have to do with these noble gases, magnetisim etc.

Anonymous said...

Hi
well my experience is away different then any one here on your blog.every night with out fail as soon as i close my eyes and about to go to sleep. the show start. i mean it's freaky and still scare the life out of me. you may thing i should be well adapt to this but every night is new horror show start in site my head. and never repeated. stat long time ago when i can't recall. i will try to explain . as soon as i close my eyes. i jump to room no idea where never hear them talking but i see them so clear some time in color as long as i am observing with out the need to fine what is going on i am ok.. but some time i want to see their face and try to hear what say.. that where it get really scary first the start to change from nice faces to some really scary just like i am about to see their through color as they get closer to me their face start to change to some demonic scary. never tried to hurt me but the fear is so real and i know i am at home save in my room but still get me every time. so i had to open my eyes and wait for short time and i will go some where else and stop trying to get involve just observe. some time the show could be involve people dancing and having sex-activity too. i wish i could explain moor but my english is not my first spoken so you have to be OK with this.. any thought on this..

Anonymous said...

some of you may have absence seizures.

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

It's possible, but if there are no other signs of epilepsy it's not at all the first hypothesis I would come to. Let me stress that normal people report a wide variety of different experiences or lack of experience when their eyes are closed.

Thanks for all the reports, folks! It's nice to see all the comments on this lively thread!

Anonymous said...

This is a really interesting discussion. I've noticed that when I close my eyes that I can see a sort of moving fuzz, like hundreds of little dots and light particles. I've also seen the faces too if I concentrate on it but a councellor of mine (I have an anxiety disorder) explained to me that Pareidolia when you close your eyes is common if you are paying attention to the visual noise. It means that you can see significant objects/patterns in random stimuli. It's like lying on a meadow and watching the clouds drift by you see all sorts of shapes etc. The same happens when you lie with your eyes closed and actively watch the inside of your eyelids.

zarni said...

Hello, I am so glad I found this after searching for something that fits what I experience. Tried a few years ago but nothing was out there about it that I could find.
Anyway, I have always seen the swirls of green/blues/reds most vivid since I was a child. Always presumed everyone saw them, only later found out not all do.
Also just, like another poster I see flashes of silver if I hear a loud noise unexpectedly. Fills all vision with the flash, I see it as an added warning, heh.
the swirls are constantly moving, I can alter the movements of slightly, but the biggest thing for me was the time I really concentrated on a swirl and tried to focus on it, well it cantered in my vision and I could zoom in so to speak to the centre of the swirl without it moving, it filled my whole shut eye vision after a few mins and it was like pixels coming together in the middle and made a picture! I was amazed, that not all, the picture was me looking down on 2 people walking in a park, I know I was above the tree tops, I distantly saw a leaf and it was SO detailed, I could see every vein act, it was a living scean, not static, the people was moving, the wind etc.
Since then I assumed that we dream all the time but only notice them when asleep normally.
I do not know why I would see such a bland vision if it was not a dream :)
It is great to be able to write this down for once, if it helps prompt further study. Oh, and I was not in bed when I had the vision, was sitting up, in the afternoon, not sleepy.
i would love to know if anyone else has tried to center the swirls and enter them as it were.
one really odd thing to me is the fact i have never tried again to do it. that i dont know why, oh well.
zarni

Anonymous said...

I have been doing this thing where I
close my eyes and see patterns for
many years.I see very complex patterns always they start of as
dark then they become Illuminus if
I relax enough the Images seem to get
closer and I can go right through them.I will explain further,the first
pattern I see is a kind of simple pineapple slice shape (hole in middle) starts off dark color then more Illuminus it then grows in size,in the centre of this shape is a black region after a while when the shape gets closer there is a very small green dot in centre of the black area.As this pineapple slice shape with the black area in the middle and the little green dot in the middle of
the black region gets closer so does the green dot.When the green dot get really close it changes in to fractal patterns of all colors.
After this parts or all of the patterns seem to get closer.Now for the strange part,This in turn leads to a kind of tunnel effect
with all of the fractal patterns
included.First stage looking in to this tunnel,the part furthest away from me starts to rotate clockwise the part nearest to me anti clockwise,Now a kind of shaking effect happens where my whole field of view shakes backwards an fowards slowly then more quickly.Next I feel that my whole body has been Accelerated through the tunnel but I have no control over my angle of view until the acceleration stops.Last stage with
all the fractual patterns which are
always changing shape,Images or snapshots start they could be of anything you name it,Also I dont force the images they just appear like a slideshow.All this as well as 3 dimensional objects that rotate slowly and change shape as
they are rotating.All of the time I am observing these things not
trying to make them appear in any way.

Anonymous said...

I have been doing this thing where I
close my eyes and see patterns for
many years.I see very complex patterns always they start of as
dark then they become Illuminus if
I relax enough the Images seem to get
closer and I can go right through them.I will explain further,the first
pattern I see is a kind of simple pineapple slice shape (hole in middle) starts off dark color then more Illuminus it then grows in size,in the centre of this shape is a black region after a while when the shape gets closer there is a very small green dot in centre of the black area.As this pineapple slice shape with the black area in the middle and the little green dot in the middle of
the black region gets closer so does the green dot.When the green dot get really close it changes in to fractal patterns of all colors.
After this parts or all of the patterns seem to get closer.Now for the strange part,This in turn leads to a kind of tunnel effect
with all of the fractal patterns
included.First stage looking in to this tunnel,the part furthest away from me starts to rotate clockwise the part nearest to me anti clockwise,Now a kind of shaking effect happens where my whole field of view shakes backwards an fowards slowly then more quickly.Next I feel that my whole body has been Accelerated through the tunnel but I have no control over my angle of view until the acceleration stops.Last stage with
all the fractual patterns which are
always changing shape,Images or snapshots start they could be of anything you name it,Also I dont force the images they just appear like a slideshow.All this as well as 3 dimensional objects that rotate slowly and change shape as
they are rotating.All of the time I am observing these things not
trying to make them appear in any way.

Anonymous said...

I have been doing this thing where I
close my eyes and see patterns for
many years.I see very complex patterns always they start of as
dark then they become Illuminus if
I relax enough the Images seem to get
closer and I can go right through them.I will explain further,the first
pattern I see is a kind of simple pineapple slice shape (hole in middle) starts off dark color then more Illuminus it then grows in size,in the centre of this shape is a black region after a while when the shape gets closer there is a very small green dot in centre of the black area.As this pineapple slice shape with the black area in the middle and the little green dot in the middle of
the black region gets closer so does the green dot.When the green dot get really close it changes in to fractal patterns of all colors.
After this parts or all of the patterns seem to get closer.Now for the strange part,This in turn leads to a kind of tunnel effect
with all of the fractal patterns
included.First stage looking in to this tunnel,the part furthest away from me starts to rotate clockwise the part nearest to me anti clockwise,Now a kind of shaking effect happens where my whole field of view shakes backwards an fowards slowly then more quickly.Next I feel that my whole body has been Accelerated through the tunnel but I have no control over my angle of view until the acceleration stops.Last stage with
all the fractual patterns which are
always changing shape,Images or snapshots start they could be of anything you name it,Also I dont force the images they just appear like a slideshow.All this as well as 3 dimensional objects that rotate slowly and change shape as
they are rotating.All of the time I am observing these things not
trying to make them appear in any way.

Anonymous said...

If you want to see pics of the things
you are posting here then here is a
link
http://www.flickr.com/photos/30674739@N07/

by Ambrosia and Epiphany said...

For as long as I could remember,I could see little objects of varying colors floating around and bouncing against each other. They resembled bacteria as you stared down a microscope lens. When my eyes are open, they are black, when I close my eyes, as I mentioned before, they are in color. As a child I had a hard time sleeping at night because I would close my eyes and try to reach out to these weird shapes. So I realized that when the light is on and my eyes are closed, it's harder to see these things. This was the only way not to be distracted so I could get a good nights sleep. Now, as an adult, I can't sleep without some bright light in my room. At one point, I thought it was an eye problem but both my parents wore glasses and I have 20/20 vision. Go figure.

Heather said...

When I was a kid, me and my best friend would play a game where we'd close our eyes and tell each other what we saw. We'd see vivid images, and as we were describing them, sometimes the images we saw would become similar between the two of us.

One important factor is the quality of light when your eyes are closed. The images would only come if it was very dark or if we put the heels of our hands on our eyes and applied a tiny bit of pressure. Though now when I try this, all I see is static, just like a tv with no reception. I attribute this to no longer being as in tune with my subconscious as I used to be when I was a kid.

In fact, this line of reasoning is reminding me of a phenomenon I have heard of where a person who becomes hearing impaired starts hearing music that isn't there. One theory explaining this is that the music was always there (some kind of feedback between our brains and our ears) its just most people never notice it because we are too busy focusing on real-life auditory input.

George Masters said...

When I close my eyes I see various colors floating in space on a field of grey. Ever since I was a child (I'm 40 now) I've seen random images flashing in my head during the twilight time of sleep. These images are usually of nature and very rarely of people. The images are amazingly beautiful (those motivational posters come to mind). The come out of the blue and instantaneously. I do not feel a sense of connection with them but more like a conduit when it happens. I'm an motion graphics animator, but don't have fine art skills nor a desire to learn, yet I have a desire to share the images I see with others (somewhat frustrating). I've recently taken up reading many eckhart tolle books and meditation. I have an experience when I meditate where the scene takes on a soft focus quality, images become more outlined and I see pulses of color (mostly green) emanating from the meditation instructor

joy said...

I used to see faces but thought they were my imagination. Now I have been seeing an eye. This eye looks really real and blinks sometimes. It doesn't always appear to be aware of me but occasionally, it looks straight at me.
It's starting to freak me out!

oli said...

hello there,

i started "learn relaxing" nearly 10 years ago.
in the beginning i just tried not to asleep (i was a kid and just wanted to listen to the music, it was europe - final countdown repeadly).
so it starts with a light dissociation.
after a year or so i wanted to get this feeling again, without music.
so i layd down in my bed in the evening and waited... waited... dont sleep... stay awake... and yes, there we are, light dissociation.
i trained this for many years and tried to notice what happens when i fall asleep (try to be between the level "awake" and "asleep").
i learned to stay between those two worlds and the first visuals appear with even stronger dissociation.
after many years i had many experiences about music even everything electronics were turned off, seeing things (faces, eyes) - some were horrible.
but now i'm able to concentrate (sometimes it takes a long time - 30min+) and see wonderful colored things, just what i think about.
i would say its like LSD, but i never take such a drug so im not absolutly sure.

sry for my bad english, im german :)

George Masters said...

Here is a link that may shed some light on some of the experiences above.

http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/MysticalExperiences/id/51354

Anonymous said...

I experience flashes of light that sometimes travel around the peripheral of my eye, left eye only? When I wake up for the first 10seconds I see objects in my bedroom in a different colour, I often see flashes of blue, not an earth color.. more cosmic. My local eye hospital says I have 20/20 vison and perfectly healthy eyes.

Anonymous said...

Don't know how old this is but I have experienced most of the phenomena on this thread, whether as a child, intoxicated or as an adult. Some of these are simple afterimages, but also synaesthesia, and hypnogogic patterns. Most recently and the reason for my post I have been experiencing close-eyed images, mostly colors when holding people that I care for. The colors vary depending on the individual. Position of our bodies particularly how my heart and forehead touch the other person tend to accentuare this. Sometimes if the image is particularly intense it becomes a transforming geometric shape, centered around the heart. Thats another thing I visualize the color or shape in space.

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Thanks for all the great comments, folks! I do check back once in a while to see what people have said, and the post still gets traffic, so feel free to keep posting!

deana said...

When I close my eyes, I see a "laser light show" of shifting colors like a computer screen. I had a migraine once, and it started with flashes. I went to bed, closed my eyes and watched the show with my eyes closed. The flashing colors went from teh outer edges of my vision and moved to the center. Then the flashes went away, and so did the pending headache. I have always seen these colorful patterned images and wonder why. If I focus on a color (such as blue), then the images shift to blue. But they are there even if I think of nothing. During music, the images shift with the music, especially during music with meditation.

candorbox said...

when i close my eyes i see rapidly shifting, morphing images, but no color. when i apply pressure, the visual field becomes consumed by an apparently infinite morphing grid.

Marianne said...

Many thanks,Dr. Eric, for keeping this blog open! I keep it on my Favorites list and made a point to read all 132 comments before finally posting. Fascinating and COOL!

I'm 47, former philosophy major :) and a stay at home mom. I experience most of the phenomena mentioned--tunnel, wavy checkerboard pattern and other geometric-type images, spinning forward and reverse. I also get the morphing faces and scenes. It's all in color, but not as vivid color as for some others.

I've noticed most of these for many years, but made a point in the last year or so of attending to it more and staying "in the zone" as long as I can before nodding off. It's a fun visual parade, and I'm glad I don't get the demon images, which I've had on rare occasion.

I started "power napping" on the sofa at times in the last year: with good enough concentration, I can put myself to sleep by focusing on one point in a morphing image. When I fail to fall asleep completely, I just enjoy the parade of images. When I do fall asleep, it can be just for a few minutes, and I wake unbelievably refreshed, as if I'd slept for hours.

I am most curious, however, about the morphing faces and images. I recognize no faces nor places. Is my mind creating composites? Or is it just dumping useless data, like deleting unused files? Or am I tapping into some other realm? I don't rule out the latter, since I have rational friends who've had some pretty amazing psychic/paranormal experiences--me too, for that matter.

For decades, at times I hear conversation while trying to doze, like others mention. It's not addressed to me, and it's as if I have tapped into a radio talk show judging by the formal enunciation, etc. It's in English, with male voices, and at times an exclaimed phrase will jump out, e.g., "He's got a gun!"--I recall that scary one from my early 20's vividly!

Also, I've gotten typing going across my visual field on rare occasion (unbidden), but also discovered years ago that if I wish to wake at a certain time, if I type myself a message like, "I will wake at 6:30," I can make it happen. Self-hypnosis, I guess. (I need to try that for other stuff, like "stop eating cookies." :)

Also, a couple months back I saw "the void." One of the later comments made a similar reference. I was so shaken that I sought out one of my old phil. profs to share that w/him--only told one other person besides him because I didn't want to freak anyone else out. I was horribly inarticulate in describing the experience to him. Because a young friend (13) had committed suicide a month or so before, I understand that this could be a function of anxiety in part. Spiritually, it was a very useful occurrence.

Attempting to nap one day in the month following that suicide, I was in that "zone" and saw two eyes staring at me, and the image backed off to reveal the face of the deceased mom of my best friend. Later in the same nap, burning/glowing Greek capital letters kappa and epsilon merged from left and right to form a sigma. I never figured out that one...

I step back from this and realize what a playground a mind can be :)

Thanks again for keeping this thing alive for everyone. I plan on visiting some of the suggested sites mentioned by others.

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy to find others that have experienced this also. I guess that I can say that I've seen most of the same things that others have. As a child I always enjoyed rubbing my eyes and looking at the pretty lights, colors and patterns. It wasn't until a few years ago that ,at night , it changed. While lying in bed, waiting to fall asleep, it was like I was looking through a window at a woman ironing. She was from another era wearing a long skirt and going through her daily routine. The detail was amazing! It was like nothing that I had ever seen before. Since then this happens quite often. The weird thing that I've noticed is that these moving images seem to be on a loop where the same movements just repeat themselves. I really enjoy this experience and love it when it happens. I only read one other post where someone experienced this next thing. It's like I see something and try to focus one it and it get closer and closer like I'm using a microscope. It looks like insect parts in GREAT detail! Just when it looks like it can't get any closer the image "magnifies" it's self again. It's almost like it's trying to make me open my eyes to "get away " from it. (yes I know that this sounds weird). Sometimes I see beautiful faces and people in unique poses that I could never imagine if I tried but as most of you know they just kinda happen on their own without any input from the observer. I kinda feel like a fly on the wall "spying" on something. Sometimes the people take on different shapes and do become demon like. Really scary stuff! The eye stuff is really creepy. They look right at you! They move and they blink and it is so real! I have thought about all of this so much but have never talked or written about it until today. This site even prompted me to ask my teenage daughter if she ever experienced things like this. Guess what? She has! I was a little embarrassed about these "visions" but now I'm thinking that it must happen to a lot of people. I think that,IMO, the thing that amazes me most about it all is the detail involved. This has never been like looking at a cloud where you say that it kinda looks like and elephant or horse. If I'm seeing and elephant, I'm seeing ever wrinkle every hair the dirt on it's feet and it's moving, breathing and living! This is a very strange and fun thing to have happen and for the most part I love it! I can't wait for bed time!

VTDiana said...

I realize that you posted this blog ages ago, but I was just was researching online 'visions when eyes closed' to see if people were seeing what I see, and I came across this. I've just started to meditate and concentrate on my true desires. In this practice, when closing my eyes, I see patterns, much like a galaxy, and I can distort it, change its colors, and change its patterns if I think it. I'm assuming this is common - - just using my imagination - - but perhaps not. Not sure...

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Thanks for all the comments, folks! I'm delighted to see the continuing interest in this post. Sometime in the next few months I plan to work on a book chapter on this topic.

Herman Chipotle said...

I've seen "faces" for as long as I can remember. Finally decided to google it and here I am.

It's weird, my experiences don't quite match the others. I see scary faces when I'm trying to fall asleep, but it's always a sudden "flash." I don't really see morphing or swirling imagery. Just a sudden face. It's always something scary. I wouldn't call them demonic or animal-like but maybe disfigured/deformed human faces... like nothing I've ever seen in real life. They'll flash before me and I'll gasp and open my eyes and then get back to trying to sleep. It's been going on since I was a kid. I'm kind of used to it by now but it's still distressing. Anyway.

Paul Smith said...

Updating my previous post:
I began having closed eye visions (or open eye if in dark enough room) two years ago. They began by seeing the blackness of space with hundreds of twinkling stars when my eyes were closed.

This soon moved to brilliant, moving, geometric patterns. A few months later a cloudlike circle light would appear in the center of my vision field, move forward, dissolve and repeat. The clouds varied in color from blue, to red, to gold.

Next, I began seeing my surroundings with my eye closed and a “Mindfold” or heavy sleep mask on. I could see my room, books, objects, and outside, a tree I was standing in front of. I tested this out dozens of times and the results were repeatable. This was very strange.

Then I began seeing rapidly changing scenes from around the world as in a newscast. Most recently, the cloud has engulfed me and I experience being in a tunnel of golden light. I am waiting for what happens next.

I have been using brainwave entrainment technology for five years when I pray and meditate - first Hemisync and now Holosync

These are not visualizations in my mind. I do that, too, and they are quite different. They seem to be some kind of energy entering my optic nerves and creating the visuals that are just like actually seeing them with my eyes open.

I have a Master’s degree in Theology, published five books, and have pastored the same progressive Baptist church in Kansas City for the last 45 years. No, they don’t think I am weird!

Eric, I do hope you write about your observations gleaned from this most valuable website and your research. You have obviously opened a psychic gold mine – or something.

I am including my experiences in my newest book on Integral Christianity.

I would like to correspond with others with similar experiences.

My website is www.revpaulsmith.com.

My email is paulsmith@revpaulsmith.com

Anonymous said...

Hey I was wondering if Nicole or anyone else who saw the faces at night still checks this page. It is March 15, 2009.

Perhaps my main question was if anybody knew of a site that specifically deals with that phenomenon, and of the often-times scary appearances of these faces, and the consequences of attempted communication.

Anonymous said...

hope this helps with your research since i have only read a few comments that were somewhat similar.

i am a 48 year old male, good health, no history of mental disease, no medications to speak of, employed in respectable profession, married 20 years, parent of two healthy children. i have mild OCD, the occasional migraine and asthma as an infant.

occasionally, as i am drifting off i will see what can be described as moving visions like an old super 8 or 16 mm movie. picture something like an old chaplin movie running at a faster than normal speed. I can actually control the unfolding of the events to some extent.

i assumed at first the visions occured as a dream, but i have learned if i open my eyes, then close them again, the vision will continue. sometimes the visions are very bland like the movement of an escalator, but they can be people or something frightening like one might see in a scary movie.

i am sure some of the ruminating of the imagery relates to the ocd, which is a brain issue, but i have never felt abnormal or was afraid i was going crazy.

i have actually found the the creativity of the visions to be somewhat fascinating since i tend to live a conservative lifestyle.

anyway, curious if anyone has anything similar. thanks.

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Thanks for the continuing comments, folks! This is helpful.

Anonymous said...

I often experience vivid and clear black and white drawings of eople or things, but only with my right eye. It often feels like my eye is open, when it is actually closed. Sometimes, I will see furniture next to my bed in very exact colors and very detailed and I can zoom in and out, but again, only through my right eye.
I have had psychic visions and dreams since I was a child. perhaps this is a connection?
Comments appreciated. Thanks.

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Anon, you're not the first person who has reported such experiences to me.

About psychic powers, I'm afraid I know very little. I tend to be skeptical, but I don't entirely rule it out. The research on this topic is difficult to evaluate!

Billy said...

Among a vast array of other more cloudy and nebulous images, when I close my eyes I see swirling small round dots consisting of bright blue, yellow and red--like the colors on a package of Wonder bread. Anybody else see this? They start of small and dust like and grow to where they are only large enough to where I can discern they're roundness and they they kind of flutter away.

Anonymous said...

Hello all,
Some time ago I started a meditation practice. During meditation I would sometimes experience stunning visualizations and rich colors to my surprise. I came to the conclusion that I had been seeing some level of colorful visual noise (in the dark) all my life and never really thought twice of it... Until my meditation practice acted as a catalyst and exacerbated the intensity and richness of the visuals. I started researching the phenomenon and stumbled on the articles of Philip t. Nicholson, a medical writer which helped shed some light on how non-pressure phosphenes are induced.
I'm sparing you the details and will go strait to the essence: Certain people unknowingly have learn to manipulate the activation of sleep rhythms while retaining consciousness. In his report there is a sequence of form constants that have been visualized and this matches perfectly with my experience (much to my satisfaction...). Link: http://bookpump.com/bwp/extras/1581124031PhilipNicholson.pdf
Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Sorry I just wanted to add that this tunneling / swirling / vortex visual that a lot of comments seem to reference is also explained in the article. I suspect that the article will satisfy folks that have an empirical attitude (appetite for scientific facts & scientific rigueur) and provide a disenchanting wake-up call to groups that subscribes to the paranormal and believe in chakras and subtle energies... :-)

Anonymous said...

hi guys, havn't quite read all of the posts, but i've had the same experiences as you largely, except that after a few months of using marijuana occasionally, i started getting incredibly vivid visuals occurring, almost like the visualiser on itunes or media player

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Thanks for all the continuing comments, folks. Anon May 16, I especially appreciate the link to the article, which looks very interesting!

Bruce Maxwell said...

I just recently decided to start looking for answers on this "condition" cause I experience it all day everyday and have for all my life. I thought something was wrong with me that's why I haven't said anything until now. I have 20/15 vision which I'm told is very good, but I have alway been distured by my ability to make things go double instantly and be brought back into one figure just as quickly. When I told people I could look at one of those 3-d pictures for 10 seconds and see the picture and bounce it in and out of focus at will, they would always say I was lying. What I want to know really, is if I'm doing damage to my eyes. The problem is, I can't stop what my eyes and mind are doing. i wish people could see exactly what I'm seeing cause I think it's incredible and can never quite find the right words to explain and describe it. I can put my hand in front of my face and see two of them and through them like they are ghost hands. How can you get someone to understand that? Anyways, I would like as muych info on the subject as possible. Where should I go?

Anonymous said...

wow.. but i tought my question is answered.. i read the wikipedia, i read some of the sites mentioning the same topic. but its not what i am experiencing all my life. http://forum.psychlinks.ca/sleep-dreams-insomnia/17555-constant-image-when-eye-closed.html#post131709

every time i close my eyes i saw vividly; everyday objects, people, scenes, faces, structures.. always i could describe them simultaneously because its almost automatic and it always happen! no need to focus or anything. i tought everybody is having same experience.. until now im 23. i would like my brain examined with the most recent science-tech hehe unless its already documented

thank you
brian.

Anonymous said...

i have had somthing simalr happen to me. ever since i can remember when i would close my eyes ( or even if i am in a dark room ) i see this little blob of what lookks like neon green eyes with red centers. the blob gets bigger and covers most of my vistion before it fades and turns into images. the images are random and more like dreaming then anything. i cn call up this blob at will as well as it come rndomly. like i can be laying down or in a dark room and i think about it and it appers. when the blob is not there it is repases by hazy blobs of color. mostly blue and purple but i can also change thses colors at will. it is hard thogh i think i got red once but yellow and reen are hard. can anyone help me with this?? is sounds allot like what the others on this have experianced. please help if you can
Ps: i do get migrains and head aches often. i also get random dots of light in my vition that are often acompanyed by a pich or pressure. is there somthing wrong with my eyes or something??

Anonymous said...

oh ps my email acc is
diffshadeofgray@hotmail.com if you have any answers or questions.

Anonymous said...

I Sometimes see a green circle that if i focus on long enough with out looking away (sometimes feels difficult) i go through a tunnell that may change colours but always ends up at a wall. I can see this wall as if my eyes are open. This wall always has the same red and gold fleur de lis pattern on it. Thoughts?

adge666 said...

I see very little when I close my eyes except for one thing. I only have to think of 'eyes' - yes, I know this is wierd and I then see eye after eye - very nice eyes, quite often they gently blink - looking in various directions, sometimes at me, in the most marvelous detail including reflections etc. Really cool but I can never visualise a face.

joy said...

Hello all!
I haven't checked this site since Oct 08. It's really interesting. I see the same as adge666.
It used to be just one eye, but then I started seeing lots of them. Sometimes a face tries to "come through" but if I concentrate on it, it fades.

Anonymous said...

I too found this when I did a search for visions when eyes closed. When I close my eyes to go to sleep at night, I also see faces that morph into new faces. Sometimes they are just normal faces or people doing normal everyday things but mostly the faces are demonic looking and it is terrifying to me. I have to literally open my eyes to make the visions disappear. But as soon as I close my eyes, they start up again. I have to focus really hard on imagining just a blacked out chalk board. If I can concentrate enough on that, then the images don't appear and I can fall asleep. This is going to sound crazy, but one time I decided to just go with the flow and concentrate on the images. I could swear that I felt something grab my foot and it freaked me out. Ever since, I try to focus really hard on not seeing those images. Has anyone ever experienced anything like this?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting al these info !! i also see all these wonderful patterns every night
as far as i know you can achieve a lot by trying to understand these patterns. I currently trying to center these patterns, slowing them down, and looking inside them, sometimes after a long passage they all but one or a few vanish and a more clear picture began, thats where i'm at but from this http://bookpump.com/bwp/extras/1581124031PhilipNicholson.pdf
i can tell maybe it is part of meditation ?

Anonymous said...

does anyone get when you see lots of yellows lights like moving dots when you eyes are open, like, all the time?

Anonymous said...

Well, at least I know I'm not totally crazy... I have seen swirling light that would sometimes flash since I was a young child. Now, that I am older and have a computer, they look "exactally" like the patterns and colors shown during some of the audio screens whe you are listening to music. Has anyone noticed this?

They were often so bright I was unable to sleep. I am 44 now and I no longer see swirling clouds of lights but now see places and pictures.

I have seen older women wearing old settlers clothing with an apron cooking and or rocking in a chair just for example..

After talking to a friend and then going to bed, I saw a blue framed house with very high grass in the back yard and an women hanging cloths on a cloths line. Inside the house there was a brown couch with orange threads. After talking to her, she said it sounded like a story her father, who she just met after 30 years, had told her...

I'm no doctor but the more research I have done into this with people I know, I have started to wonder if it is not some kind of phsycic experiance...

Have any of you had simular experiances?

There is never any sounds but often there are very strong feelings or almost like thoughts that come with them....

Anonymous said...

Hi

I'm 22 and I see very vivid images a few nights a week when I go to bed. If anyone has any idea how to make them go away please tell me. It disturbs me. I feel like I'm being tortured. They come so fast it's overwhelming. It feels like someone is flipping through tv channels in my mind. It gets so intense I can't even get out of bed. If anyone has any idea how to make it stop email me at hendrix5118@yahoo.com

Nicole said...

Nicole here again, I posted a couple of years ago and seeing faces when i close my eyes. I'm amazed people are still writing in this thread!

Anyway I started to document when I see these faces and what actually happens, here's some facts i found while monitoring it:

1. I'm most always alone or resting with my husband when it happens.

2. Almost 70% of the time i see faces just as we are getting settled to go to bed, closing eyes for first time. Other common times are if I'm sitting in the living room taking a break or something.

3. The faces are sometimes alone or a group of people. They are never talking about me, but rather to me.

4. The voice always say very short sentences, perhaps 4 or 5 word statements, they always take turns in talking, sometimes they are relaxed and sometimes they seem eager to say something as soon as it's there turn. The words are crystal clear, some have accents.

5. I am perfectly awake when this happens.

6. The words spoken really have no meaning to me personally.

7. If I mentally ask a question back to them, they all dissapear.

8. One random example of what one might say is "Sarah said meet her at 6pm" then if I say back "Who's Sarah" they all vanish.

9. I only see these people if I close my eyes.

10. Sometimes I do see geometric patterns and waves of color also when i close my eyes but never at the same time as when i see people's faces or them talking.

11. I'm not on any drugs and I'm a normal regular person.

I've started to think it might be either a telephathic or pyshic type of thing but really can't say for sure and I'm obviously not very good or skilled at it if that's the case.

Any advice would be appreciated. Does anyone else get this too?

Anonymous said...

I posted here awhile back. One of the "newer" postings talked about something so much like my experiences that I had to post again. The one where the person saw an "old fashioned" woman hanging clothes. I had posted that I could see an "old fashioned" woman ironing. Just interesting that others see these same type of people and that they are doing similar , everyday things.

Mike... said...

Sometimes I happen to see things when I close my eyes. Unfortunately I can't control it....sometimes I can see a lot of things, sometimes even if i concentrate I can only see the dark.
It's like a "hole" appears in the middle of the dark, and I see for about 3 or 4 seconds some kind of "animation" that really doesn't make sense to me...i see all kind of things, like roads, people walking, tunnels or strange figures.
The most amazing experience I've had was not long ago (it seems that my ability to do it increases with time). The hole in the dark actually took over the dark and I could see things SO CLEARLY! I really felt there...not like a dream, everything was clear and detailed (in dreams all is blurry and messy...) and the only difference from reality was that I felt floating in the air. As that happened I thought "damn I have to move before it all vanishes", so I kept going ahead, and as I passed through doors the setting always changed.....what freaked me out though and convinced me to google this thing today is that at a certain point I opened my eyes, but the "vision" didn't stop at all, I was still floating there....I had to close my eyes twice again and deconcentrate from what I was seeing to actually get back to reality....
Is there any explanation on how that is possible? It really freaked me out....

Anonymous said...

This is in line with a previous post: I see flashes of patterned white light at night that occur in connection with sounds. I asked my eye doctor and he said I must be jerking my head in response to the sound. Since then I've paid close attention and I perceive the sound and the flash as simultaneous, and I don't feel that my head moves. I've searched for this several times on the internet, the closest I've come to finding an answer is www.mult-sclerosis.org/mssymptoms.html which calls these flashes "sound phosphenes" and lists them as symptoms of optic neuritis and multiple sclerosis. Although I have not been tested for MS, I have no other symptoms and my eye doctor has found nothing wrong with my optic nerve. So this is still a mystery to me.

yvonne said...

I have been experiencing weird things the last few weeks. I have always seen faces with my eyes closed and colors and shapes but the last week when i have been closing my eyes i see a big flash with a click at the same time. I got scared so last night i put an eye cover over my eyes and it still happened! i am also seeing a lot of purple too, i have been trying to develop my psychic abilities by meditating and doing yoga, what does this white flash with the click mean????? thanks!

Anonymous said...

Isn't all this rubbing and poking your eyes bad for you? lol.

Anyways... When I close my eyes I allways just see loads of bright colours, mostly yellow and greens and I see what looks like either a black box or black doors floating towards me starting to open with light coming out of it, but as it's gets closer it quickly fades and i won't see it untill i've opened and closed my eyes again. I've seen that for aslong as i can remember.

cwm said...

Man I've been trying for decades to find someone else who sees the pictures. Mine are quite vivid. Certainly faces are among the most common but they're only about 25% of the time. I see crowds, animals lots and lots of color and motion and detail. My kids get a charge out of listening to me describe what I'm seeing because its so random. I also tend to have themes. A couple of days ago it was bad teeth. I would see human and animal faces and they would open their mouths and show me bad teeth. I've been doing this since as long as I can remember which is over 50 years. My funniest picture was of a Scotch man in his kilt walking into a public toilet. He sat on the toilet and was sucked in butt first and bent in half with just his legs and arms and bagpipes sticking out.

cwm said...

I've been reading the blog after I left my first comment above and I remembered something that may be of interest. As I said I've been seeing pictures all my life and I've never found any rhyme nor reason to them. However, I started studying Chinese a few years ago and I've noticed kind of in the background of whatever scene I'm watching that the Chinese characters I had recently been studying pass from upper right to lower left. The characters that I see that do this seem to become part of my long term memory. If you've ever studied Chinese you probably noticed that you can memorize a character and completely forget it 10 seconds later. This is the only time my pictures have had any relation to something I've been doing, its like watching my brain process information.

Anonymous said...

Ever since I can remember, at night or when its dark I can see colored speckled patterns flowing from left to right. It has always been the same 4 or 5 patterns. Running simutaneously, overlapping and transforming from one to another. I used to watch them for hours. They were always very calming...but I would like to why they are there. Whenever I asked people if they saw anything too, they would look at me like I was crazy. Today, after 10 years or so, I finally looked it up and I'm glad to know I'm ot the only "crazy" one.
But I would also like to add that after awhile, I discovered that it didn't always have to be dark or have my eyes closed for me to see these unusual floating patterns....that's right, I cann also see them in broad daylight with my eyes open. Most of the time I don't really pay attention to them...but I know they are there and are really vivid when I really cocentrate on them.
I am 19 and still to this day, the floating patterns relax me and put me to sleep with their soft drifting flow....and I am still curious to know why they are there.


Oh and one more thing, when I was younger and layed in the dark, if there was a picture on the wall the faces moved and there mouths would too as if they were talking. It always freaked me out.

joblak said...

regarding *jaelle*

I seem at some stages be able to also see images through my eyelids. Mainly images of what ever I may be facing and usually at night. This really only started occurring 5 years ago (I am 38) At first I thought maybe my eye lids were slightly open. Yet over time realise they are not. Funnily enough when the images present themselves they are very clear, yet the second I concentrate on seeing more detail everything gets blurred. Like a TV not tuned in properly. Now I find if I relax when they present themselves every thing remains for some time..very clear and sharp. Any way...not sure what it is. I thought it may have something to do with Astral as I have successfully achieved doing Astral twice. And thought it might have been some kind of *residual* effects of some kind.

Andy said...

Really glad I came across this post! It's so interesting reading through everyone's experiences. I thought I might be a little bit crazy so it's nice to see I'm not alone! I'm 23, no history of drug taking, good health, work as a graphic designer/illustrator, I do suffer from insomnia from time to time. I think I've been experiencing CEV from an early age. I can remember instances of it at maybe 6-8 years.

I have very similar experiences to those mentioned in a couple of the comments such as those by Nicole. It always occurs after I close my eyes to go to sleep. Thought, the images remain for a short while even if I then open my eyes slightly. I almost always see female faces, varying eye's staring at me and these lovely demonic characters as experienced by other. I find it amazing that there are quite a few others seeing this very select group of images. The images are always monochromatic, and constantly moving slowly, drifting in and out. They appear to be made of vapor or smoke, coming together to form images and then dispersing as a new image comes into focus. Quite often I will see rather pretty female faces then as the images progress they begin to look more saddened, older and then decayed and demonic in appearance. It's almost like a rapid aging, then decomposition of the figure. Eye's in particular seem to be the most prevalent part of the images, often almost appearing as if illuminated. I never see any more than faces, no bodies or other objects. I find I can control it slightly, I can think of a particular face or mental image and sometimes it may start to feature in the images...but it's still only ever faces or eyes on their own. If I concentrate too much the images generally disperse, but I'm left feeling wide awake and unable to sleep for a while afterwards. I am always awake and conscious when experiencing CEV. I never experience any colour, patterns or sound and all images are stills.

I thought I'd share my own permutations as I found it incredibly interesting reading about others. I'm almost a little jealous that some of you get the full motion experience with sound and colour! I'll be keeping this bookmarked. Thanks for the post, enthralling stuff!

Anonymous said...

I am an average,mature person. I have no psychological problems or on any meds due to psyhocisis. I am wondering if anyone else is having this situation.
When I close my eyes at times not often. I see people in slow motion, color is like and old negative photo. I have seen Thousands of children for hundreds of miles 5 to a row holding hands or smiling.The faces are very clear walking away from something that looks like destruction in the far away sky. I have seen adults as well. Also settlers walking with thier wagons and horses over rough terrain. I hear no voices just see these visions with eyes closed, like an old tv movie. I am not on drugs, do not smoke or drink. This just started happening to me over the past year. I am neither sleeping,nor dreaming. I am resting my eyes or trying to fall alseep.
It is almost like things to come or have occured.Has anyone else expierienced this?

Anonymous said...

hey guys, interesting thread. i usually only see black when i close my eyes.. but if ive had some ecstasy I can see some pretty vivid 3D moving images.. its pretty wicked. wish i could do it without drugs.

Ken said...

When I close my eyes I go through two different pattern shifts as it seems. It starts off as white luminescent dots with "black" backdrop, looks like stars. Then it shifts as if im zooming towards the lights and turns into something of goldish background with redish colors of lines and patterns. I try all the time to pay close attention to this red design but never to any prevail. I have seen this for as long as I can remember. So yeah, just a thought..

Cassandra said...

About 2 months ago I was meditating to a audio recording of sounds of the ocean and rain. This recording was supposed to aid you in meditating. During my meditation, I saw black and white images ( With my eyes closed I only see black and white, never colors. These images appeared to be pained faced of women, men and children. They seems to be suffering, with horrible looks on their faces as if they were crying. Kind of reminded me of what the Holocaust would look like if I was there. From that initial experience, I continued to see images every time I closed my eyes at night. I would either see those same images or images of places that I've never been before. Always in black and white. It never looks like a movie screen. Rather, it looked like a black screen with a spotlight going over the images so that I can see them...Always moving too. The first time I was so scared I didn't want to sleep alone and I didn't meditate for a long time. I just turned 25 and this is the first time this has happened. I also have had many intuitive experiences but only about people that I know, never about strangers. This is weird....Any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

I am so pleased to have found your blog. I, too, have seen waves of colors for years. The colors are usually purple, blue, rose, and sometimes yellow-green. I also have seen a large eye that is surrounded in yellow-green with a black pupil that comes in and goes out . . . sometimes getting larger as it goes out, and sometimes focusing directly at me as if I'm looking at my own eye. This experience, with the eye, started when I went to a Holitrop Breathing workshop with Stanislaus Grof in June of 2008. The eye showed up there while under the breathing "spell" and then became even strong when I returned to my home. It comes and goes intermittently, and I'm wondering if I'm staring at my Third Eye or something. I'm 65 years old and am working with a process called "Oneness Blessing" where I keep my eyes closed for an hour to an hour and a half at at time and all the while, I see images. Recently, I saw an image of people in white gowns floating in a line up, up, up -- many, many people just kept joining the line and my "inner voice" said I was watching "ascension." I do not believe these things to be my imagination. I believe I enter another dimension or brain connection. I have had one out-of-body experience when I went to what I called "the lap of God" and it was surrounding in a rosy mist-like feature. Thank you for your site. Alice

Anonymous said...

I once slurped a slurpee with ravenous swiftness. For some reason, my consciousness was suddenly overcome with a feeling that could only be described as "cold." I do not believe that I imagined this, but was instead transported to another dimension that is very, very cold. This out of body experience has led me to the conclusion that heaven is like the planet Hoth from the Stars Wars movies and that the slurpee machine at my local 7-eleven is actually a dispensary of the frigid nectar of the ice lords who rule over our pitifully temperate planet.

Anonymous said...

I am fascinated to know that I am not alone! When I close my eyes I see beautiful things, colors pictures faces, some are quite horrible, yet not scarry to me! Sometimes as I am falling asleep many beautiful images appear, in all kinds of colors, patterns and sometimes with beautiful sound. I open my eyes, and all I can say is: "how pretty!" Also, I have had very vivid dreams since I remember, in color, with sound and three dimensional. Most of them have spiritual connotations. However, I came accorss this blog, because I was looking for an explanation to one of my latest vision. I went to mass about a month ago, I go to mass every Sunday, but this was my kids special school mass. As I kneeled down to prey, I closed my eyes and I saw "the face of death," very peaceful, not scary, it was greyish white.It was just there. I opened my eyes and I was quite disturbed. I have had that in my mind since. Has anyone have had an experience like it? I mean I was at a church! Does it mean anything? Just curious!! I am 44 years old, a mom of three wonderful kids and the wife of a great person. Thanks to all for sharing quite amazing experiences. If anyone has a comment I will appreciate it, any input will be welcome!

613

Andy said...

www.ted.com/talks/oliver_sacks_what_hallucination_reveals_about_our_minds.html

if this link doesn't display then check out TED talks and it's a lecture by Oliver Sacks entitled: 'What hallucination reveals about our minds'.

An interesting TED talk that sheds some light on which parts of the brain are causing various types of CEV, most relevant from around 12:30. Charles Bonnett syndrome then eh!

Anonymous said...

I just saw TED talks and it was very interesting theme that Oliver Sacks talked about! However, his explanations are for blind people or deaf people. It would be wonderful if there is an explanation to Hallucinations for a more younger "normal" audience. Thanks for the web site Andy! I am a fan of TED talks, always interesting cutting edge research!

613

Arjan Haring said...

Hi Eric, does the research by Stanislas Dehaene help you in any way?
http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/dehaene09/dehaene09_index.html

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Thanks for the link, Arjan! I know some of Dehaene's work. Does he discuss eyes-closed experience somewhere?

Anonymous said...

Its like i can see electrical activity in my brain, when i am calm it is dark and stable, but sometimes I see fading shapes like a lava lamp globules that form and dissolve. usually yellow, the most prevalent color goes vrazy when i have a migraine its like fireworks in there behind my eyes

Rupa Abdi said...

I have had varied experiences with my eyes closed. Sometimes its flashes of light, sometimes very intense and luminous shifting clouds, mostly blue, violet or purple. Sometimes I see ripple-like formations made of a very pale blue but luminiscent colour. The above experiences are more frequent when I am physicaly exhausted.
More rarely, soemtimes when I close my eyes, again usually when I am physically drained, I get a strange sensation of floating.
There are some other things that I sometimes experience but are difficult to explain.

Anonymous said...

When ever I do not try to see any images with my eyes closed I see them but when I try to see them i simply only see darkness.Why?

CCTammy said...

2.9.10 - I'm not sure how old this blog is, but the postings are the closest I've ever discover that are somewhat related to my visions. Very often, when I close my eyes (both while in bed at night or laying down during the day) I see visions in such exquisite detail that I've never experienced with my own eyes. I'll see the leaves on a tree, with the veins standing out on each leaf, and the fine detail of colors and texture, down to the minute detail of the smallest piece of bark on the twig leading up to the leaf, or brick walls with exploding detail of even the texture of the grout, or close ups of beautiful flowers -- again with such detail as one would see under a microscope, but not enlarged, just brilliant, sharp, and clear. I'll see scenes of people sitting in a cafe, and the foam on a drink that details each bubble in the foam - all this in my peripheral vision. If I try and look at the object directly, it will go away. The images change about every 10 seconds, or vanish when I try and look at them directly. They change like a slideshow, duck, coffee cup, leaves, grass, ladybug, clouds, stones, desk, pencil, door, flower, scenes of people moving, clothing, etc. Sometimes the object will be stationary, other times the grass will be moving in the wind, or the people moving in the scene. I have never seen such vivid color or detail that is a 1,000th of a fraction of what I can see with my eyes closed in my peripheral vision. Has anyone ever had any exact experience of this nature and discovered the cause, or does anyone have an explanation for what is happening? If so, I would greatly appreciate any feedback as I am quite puzzled and curious. Thank you. CCTammy@aol.com

Dustin Beahringer said...

I would presume that we see energy.
And by that I mean we sense our life essence when we close our eyes. In all reality, we can visualize anything in our Minds eye.. but it's usually perceptions of places we've been in our lives, and people we've met. Something interesting actually happened to me the other day that's right on topic. Sometimes, I'll apply pressure to my eyes with my palms when they're closed tightly.. After a few seconds, instead of seeing black I Visually see Pure white behind my eyes, like it's been inverted. Anyway.. the other day, when the white faded away, as it does after about 15 seconds or so.. I continued to hold the pressure on my eyes, and something very peculiar happened. My vision switched back to black.. but.. then on the right side of my vision, A thick white line started to form. First it went down like a lightning bolt, and then it spun in a circle and disappeared. It did this four times, but it stayed in place.. Which was freaking me out, but I was kind of in awe. After the fourth time, it ceased, but.. this is where it gets really weird, The left side of my vision Did the same exact thing except the line was mirrored like it had just been flipped to my other eye.. And it happened on the left side four times also.. I really don't know what to think about it, but it wasn't mental imagery, I Literally saw it, almost like it had depth inside my eyes. Keep in mind that my room was pitch black, so no light could have possibly caused it.

Sanfabio said...

When I closed my eyes it would start with tons of dots of lights; I was able to pick a light and then trying to get into it by staring at it it would get closer and closer until it eventually was the dominant light in my vision. The closer I got to it the more vibrant it was, almost like a cloud that would suck me in, first it was whitish and yellowish then more colors started to show. It looked almost like if I was traveling in a tunnel in some kind of galaxy, the colors were identical to those of the ones found in the nebula. At the end of the tunnel I ended up at some unknown location with a view from the top. The view was such as if I was looking down on the location, at first the images were blurry, then they became clearer and full of color. All I saw were people dancing in some type of party. the people I saw were exactly human like and the moment only lasted couple seconds before I was sucked back out. I was fully awake, I had only closed my eyes. It wasn't neither a thought nor a dream as I can differentiate between both, it was more like a conscious process and it was as real as it can be. I'm still able to see faces morphing into different shapes of humans from every race

Anonymous said...

When at first I close my eyes. All I will see is the ambient light making its way through my eyelids. But only when I become more relaxed I start to see what looks like a static television. When I become fully relaxed I can see colors, and many abstract shapes. They are all floating around as if they were weightless objects.

Eve said...

For most of my life when my eyes were closed I would see shifting colors in symmetrical patterns, almost like a kaleidoscope. Sometimes in black and white and sometimes in color. I liked those images. Recently, I started having vivid nightmares, and being scared all the time from them. On top of, now when I close my eyes I see disturbing images, none of which make sense. Examples: worms crawling through cavities of a body/head, a huge fist manifested from a storm pounding on the dirt, a tornado made of fire going through a field towards me. I am tired of these images and need insight and have no idea who to go to. Stumbled on this blog.. any thoughts??

Anonymous said...

When I close my eyes I see blue and yellow. I see one color move in a circle and then the other color moves over it in the same way. Almost like a downward spiral that alternates colors.This just keeps going and sometimes if I am daydreaming I will see it with my eyes open. The background is black and sometimes there is also white around the edges of my eyes. This only happens when I am in a certain relaxed state. Sometimes this will stop and I can see my room with my eyes closed. What does this mean and what is the significance of the colors?

camatron said...

Sometimes when I close my eyes, as in tonight,I see little fireworks of colors going off. They colors seem to pulsate, and if I concentrate it's almost like I can make out landscapes, rooms, or people. Whether or not I'm just interpreting it to be that stuff, I have no idea. Anyway, after about 15 minutes of seeing that, I suddenly become in one instant no longer tired, and the colors are completely gone. I can't even get them to come back by pressing on my eyelids or anything. It's kind of weird. Usually it takes me from 1-2 hours after that happens to get to sleep. *shrug* Really messed up.

Anonymous said...

when i close my eyes i see objects around me larger than they are in real life

home for sale costa rica said...
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mao said...

when i close my eyes i see a golden circle ?_? and it's shining

Anonymous said...

When I close my eyes, I see a blackness projected by my eyelids blocking out light. This blackness may have a reddish haze depending on the amount of light outside of my eye against the blood vessels withing them.

But after a while the blackness begins to pulsate then a still picture appears. It is not usually very clear, but the more I try to see it the harder it gets. The pictures are never really the same.

I know I've always been able to do this within a few minutes of closing my eyes, but One night as I put my 2 year old daughter to sleep, and I asked her to close her eyes she said "Daddy, when I close my eye's, I see TV"...I knew what she meant.

Anonymous said...

I really how you don't see nothing. Although, since all I see is black I don't see how people see in color :P.

But I have the intellectual idea of something, but not the imagery. I really envy people who imagine in color. It makes me kind of depressed too... But I get over it. Is there a real scientific reason for these happenings?

Kae said...

I stumbled across this blog as I was searching for an answer to my own question about images I see when I close my eyes. This does not happen constantly although I am beginning to learn I can control it to an extent. When I close my eyes (completely closed but not squeezing so dots and abstract images appear) I see realistic, moving images of people. I can explain the face shape, skin color, whether or not they have freckles shape of the nose of each person, etc etc. I don't know who they are. They are not people I ever recall meeting or seeing. It's just really strange and I am not one easily convinced by those who claim to see visions and whatnot. This is not something I'm thinking up or trying to picture in my head. I literally close my eyes and boom an image of a person is there. Sometimes they are staring right at me, sometimes smiling, sometimes looking away. I have seen other objects too but the people are most prominent in my memory. Consumption of alcohol and marijuana do not affect these sights...they have happened both under the influence and off of it. Hopefully this gives another interesting experience for some of the research you're doing. If you (or anyone who sees this) knowsanything more about this, I'd love to speak with you. darkmysterypoet(at)gmail(dot)com

Best,

K

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Thanks for continuing to share your experiences, Kae and everyone else!

Anonymous said...

I recently started integrated healing with a reiki master, and during the sessions, I see all the colours of th rainbow, apart from green. When I see white or gold, I feel like angels or good spirits are in the room with me. When I see blue I feel really happy. White is like a blaze, when you come out of a dark room into the light. Only occasionally do I see purple. During acupuncture, my doctor could see purple coming out of my head and flashes from my feet. I think we can 'see' colours when we are exposed to higher vibrations, either sound (eg classical music, chanting) or re-aligning of our energy fields. I also 'see' lights when I practice yoga and pranayama. I also see faces, sometimes frightening, but mostly just there. I don't recognise anyone. I also see moving objects and trails of light, like the after-image of trailing fireworks, but if I try to focus on them too hard they disappear. higher vibration = higher sensitivity to light.

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