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Rubbing your eyes and seeing patterns

  1. Dec 3, 2013 #1
    I didn't really know what section to put this in but can someone expain to me what this is I experience? Basically I rub my eyes for a little bit and then hold my hands on my eyes pressing ever so gently and after a few seconds I'll see the most insane patterns of shapes and colours. Depending on how hard I'll press I can create or see shapes which start of blury but get more and more HD like until the point where it's completely HD and it stops changing and i'll be left with an incredibly shape with some more beautiful arrangement of colours.

    I can keep this shape for about 5 seconds then it either drifts off to an angle and I lose the shape or the shape gets blury again and just fades away. What am I seeing here? Is it the blood vessels in my eye or am I looking directly into my iris or something?!

    It's pretty cool whatever it is
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 3, 2013 #2


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    I can't explain it, but I do remember it was discussed here at least once before. Try a forum search.
  4. Dec 3, 2013 #3


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    I would recommend that you stop doing this. Mechanical manipulation like that can predispose you to retinal detachment.
  5. Dec 6, 2013 #4
  6. Dec 10, 2013 #5
    I experience this a lot and find that I can "will" certain colors to appear, but maybe that's my imagination.
  7. Dec 10, 2013 #6


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    Me too, but without rubbing. It helps me relax and fall asleep. For some reason my "inner dialog" becomes quiet when I focus on these images.
  8. Dec 10, 2013 #7


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    Are you able to control/determine the content of your dreams sometimes? I can't, but I once knew a girl who could wake up from a dream, go to the loo, then go back to sleep and (by conscious effort) resume the dream if it was a nice one.

    Hey, I know exactly what you mean! It's weird how that happens. I guess the preconscious mind abhors a vacuum and starts inserting random things into the conscious mind. Sometimes I see quiet colours, sometimes sequences of random images of things in the physical world, but without any coherent story. I guess that's related to how dreams are constructed?

    When I ponder stuff like this, I begin to wonder whether every human on the planet is schizophrenic to some extent (since that term covers a very large range of phenomena). :confused:
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013
  9. Dec 10, 2013 #8
    I can't make myself see certain colours or shapes but when I'm seeing a spiral or some other pattern I can sometimes make the pattern into some other pattern... kinda like a smooth transistion from pattern to pattern.

    As for dreams most of the time I wake up and if I go back to sleep fast I can carry on the dream and sometimes I can control what I do in the dream, but never ever the other people in my dreams. No matter how much I try to control them, they simple do their own thing :D
  10. Dec 11, 2013 #9
    That is called lucid dreaming.
  11. Dec 11, 2013 #10


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    Ah, thanks. I was indeed aware of "dream-initiated lucid dream (D.I.L.D.)" (which happens to me occasionally), but I didn't know there was another category: "wake-initiated lucid dream (W.I.L.D)".

    I need to study all that stuff more carefully, but I find it interesting that this girl was also schizophrenic -- she would "see" woodland sprites (or whatever) when we'd go out on a nature walk. Her mother did too. Sometimes, she would even "channel higher beings" when I thought she was asleep. And yet, she was mostly able to carry on a reasonably normal day-to-day life. I was lucky to get out of that relationship when I did, and I never found out whether her schizophrenia and delusional thinking were eventually diagnosed and treated.

    Seems like there's also a weird state somewhere between lucid dreaming and delerium, wherein one sees hallucinations overlaid upon the real world, and slips in and out of a dreamlike state. Quite disturbing when one witnesses someone else going through this. No wonder they threw such people into asylums in olden days.

    [Edit:] MathJakob, thanks for sharing too. That's interesting, but since this is all drifting off-topic so I'd better stop.

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