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Waking reflexive rapid eye movement

  1. Jun 2, 2005 #1
    We've all experienced REM. I notice that while awake, with eyes closed (or even open!), I can generate a sequence of images by allowing my eyes to integrate together the present image with my semiconscious lucid thoughts. For instance, I might visualize a vacation spot in the Black Forest and decide to walk to its edge, then shift my eyes to a scene in Connecticut - still associated by the pines and my relatives of German descent who live there. This nonlinear, virtual and intricate processing we use during wakefulness as much as sleep.

    Please try this method and reply here as to whether it intensifies and modifies your waking imagery.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 4, 2005 #2
    I can't visualize anything. All I see is black, or color spots, or red if the sun's out. How do you do this trick?
  4. Jun 4, 2005 #3
    I guess one could call it lucid daydreaming. One does not so much "see" pictures as alternate between conscious sight ("black, or color spots, or red if the sun's out") and background imagery. The process is somewhat like meditation, except where the meditator seeks to vanquish all intruding thoughts, here one can use the mechanism of REM to shift between reality and imagination while awake. Think of the state you sometimes experience when falling asleep, with eyelids fluttering, relaxed yet now retaining awareness of primitive images. Try realizing in the present situation how daydreams enter your consciousness while you maintain a sense of alertness.
  5. Jun 4, 2005 #4

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    What's the technique, Loren? Do you shift your focus rapidly alternating between right and left sides?
  6. Jun 4, 2005 #5
    Do you mean that you can see the scene that's actually in front of you (the Connecticut scene?) and then shift between seeing it and an imaginary scene that's similar/connected to it? Like you're using the real scene as a framework to create the image of another scene?
  7. Jun 4, 2005 #6
    I often find myself daydreaming even with my eyes open. I can't concentrate to enter this state. Concentration prevents me from daydreaming. I just relax and start thinking about things and I can see images of things that I remember while still seeing what is going on around me. I don't notice any eye movement when I do this. I usually feel like I'm staring at a single point, but this is not always the case. I have to admit that while driving long distances with no traffic around me I relax enough to enter this state and I notice that I also move my eyes about the road. The mental image does not seem to require eye movement.

    Is this what you are talking about?

    Both scenes are seen seperately and simultaneously and do not overlap. The focus is more on one than the other for me, depending on which requires my concentration at the moment.
  8. Jun 4, 2005 #7
    Huckleberry comes close to what I am trying to describe. I agree that "daydreaming" does not necessarily involve noticeable eye movement, though. Rather, what I propose is to gently close one's eyes and allow them to relax in much the way of viewing a stereogram ("Magic Eye"), but in this case both in focus and reflexive scanning. I. e., induce a meditative state which allows an automatic, almost imperceptible flickering of gaze that modulates eventual internal imagery.

    If I were to say to you while driving, "How's school?," you would have no problem picturing your school while operating the car. Likewise one can experience a more vivid, virtual and evolving trip by my method, having eliminated the interference of external stimuli and encouraged the mechanism of dreaming while relatively alert.
  9. Jun 4, 2005 #8
    If someone were to speak to me while I was in this state I would probably snap out of it at least for a second or two in order to comprehend what they said and answer them. If someone in the passenger seat woke up and said "How's School?", then went back to sleep before I could answer I might very well daydream images of school. These are interactive dreamlike images, not still pictures.

    Before I go to sleep this is very common. I keep a notebook by my bed because my thoughts flow differently before I go to sleep. I find myself summarizing my day in a different way and not merely remembering the events, but re-experiencing them. I've never been able to meditate, but I think this state may be close to it. I can't make it happen. I have to let it happen.

    Vision is not always associated with my daydreams. More often my sense of hearing is used. I 'hear' a song or a conversation and I talk to myself sometimes. I can actually hear the sounds as if they were real, but somehow I know they are not. When I walk to school I am thinking about class and become involved in classroom scenarios that present themselves to me. Then I look up and I find myself at the school and it feels like very little time has passed, but I have walked a mile.

    A few times I have played tricks on myself. I once saw a 10 foot tumbleweed cross the road right in front of me while I was driving at night. I swerved to avoid it and then realized that nothing was there. I was driving from Seattle to Milwaukee so I was also very tired. Other times I could have sworn I heard police sirens, but there were none there. It was my imagination. Times like these I have to stop and question whether something is real or not. Then I look or listen again with that in mind and I can tell if I was imagining or not.

    Am I crazy yet?
  10. Jun 4, 2005 #9
    A common effect I experienced when inhaling nitrous oxide or now occasionally when entering twilight sleep is a shattering sound, as if to block out environmental influences. I wonder if the deaf hear this sensation, regardless of their disability.
  11. Jun 4, 2005 #10
    uh isn't REM for when your sleeping...!!!! Its the state when you see someone sleeping and you open there eyelids that there eyes are moving rapidly... I donot believe that the term REM refers to while your awake.
  12. Jun 4, 2005 #11
    I am proposing that a type of volitional REM can occur while conscious. Please review the thread.
  13. Dec 28, 2006 #12

    can someone help me understand this? i often experiance REM in which i feel like im sleeping but my brain is awake, also it feels a little frightning and i have to force myself to wake up often i count to 10 and sometimes i can force myself out of this but sometimes i have to count to 10 a few times which is when it gets frightning, please someone give me some information on this
  14. Dec 31, 2006 #13
    Tommy, that sounds like lucid dreaming. Are you in a dreamscape when this occurs?

    Alternatively, do you feel paralyzed when this happens? As if you're trapped inside your body but can't move?
  15. Jan 5, 2007 #14

    yes exactly i feel paralised like i cant move my body but can still think with my mind which is why i count to 10 and tell myself when i get to ten im just gonna force myself to wake up sometimes it can happen 20 times a night and i get that scared or frustrated that i just sit up turn the tv on and dont sleep all night i would like to learn more about this though so if anybody has any more information or a link please be sure to get back to me, thank you
  16. Jan 5, 2007 #15
    In REM sleep all the muscles in the body are paralysed except for the eyes... this is normal physiological behaviour!...

    and i am in REM all the time and am semi-conscious... i can't really understand why you are so worked up tommy... you really find that terrifying?!
  17. Jan 6, 2007 #16
    Wikipedia, under "Lucid Dreaming":

    The worst nightmare of my adult life is well described by this last sentence. They were quite common for me as a child, but I overcame them by unknowingly using lucid dreaming techniques.
  18. Jan 7, 2007 #17
    you arent understanding its not the rem its the not being able to move with your brain working feeling there is maybe somebody in the room then waking up then not being able to sleep all night because the same thing keeps happening over and over
  19. Jan 31, 2007 #18
    i understand how youre feeling, like, helpless right? i dont remember if ive ever had this waking REM, but ive sure as heck daydreamed and hallucinated without any reason.

    Our brains are wierd things and i dont think we should try to conciously mess with or exploit the unconcious actions. There's a reason they are unconcious right, maybe we can't handle them all at once, like having to concentrate on breathing, heart beating, blinking, maybe we dont have the mental cpacity.

    If we look at concious actions like RAM for a computer, and unconcious ones like ROM, then it would make sense to keep the most vital, important, and difficult to manage tasks and proceses in the ROM, while we do the more trivial tasks with the RAM.

    How's my Analogy?
  20. Sep 11, 2007 #19
    Try this

    Yo everyone, I have something that may be somewhat relative to this subject. I was doing a self-hypnosis audio course. And one that I download the technique to hypnotize yourself was to (This may sound confusing) look up but with your eyes closed. So you cannot see anything but your looking up. What this does is stretch and relax your eye sockets (not harmful in anyway). Your eyes become tired as you begin to relax. Well one time I wanted to become really relaxed so I looked up through the burning pain then at once my eyes began to open and close in a spastic way. I couldn't not control my blinking, and people may have throught I was seisuring but I went into some kind of self induced rapid eye movment. I didn't hurt at all but it was also like my brain waves changed lengths like between a sleep and an awake. Like a meditative state of mind. Give it a try and tell if it worked.
  21. Sep 12, 2007 #20


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    A person can talk themself into experiencing just about anything if they want to enough. But it is not natural, it is imposed.

    Since I can remember as a very little child, I could do what I called "directed dreaming", what I now see touted as "lucid dreaming". All of my life I have been in control of my dreams. If I didn't like the way a dream was going, I could stop it and rewind and change the direction of the dream to what I want. I always see myself on the outside of my dream as a director calling the shots. I control my dreams.

    People that don't have this ability naturally cannot imagine what it is like and they cannot reproduce it. Try as they may. I have never heard of someone that has attempted to "create " lucid dreaming that can do what I can do. I believe it is a natural ability that cannot be reproduced.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2007
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