Sunday 13 April 2008

Psychotic episodes of the illusion of reality

I am coming out of a bout with bronchitis and have had some extremely interesting, nay, over the top experiences -- one I think was brought on by a fever and others which are almost definitely related to taking Prednisone. I am not quite sure what to make of these experiences. While I'm sure some of them were drug-related or drug-induced, I still feel that there is something "real" about them. Perhaps the fever and drugs simply opened a door through which the "truth" was able to finally penetrate into my consciousness? In any case, they have given me an experiential hook into ideas and theories with which I have previously only had cerebral contact. Where it all leads and whether I can continue to probe these ideas now that I've almost weaned myself from the Prednisone remains to be seen.

So, here goes ...

About a week before I started the Prednisone, I was having trouble falling asleep one night. I felt feverish but I did not take my temperature so I have no clue how high a fever I had. How much of what follows is dream, lucid dream, or for how much of it I was awake is unknown to me. Here is the "dream":

In order to fall asleep I had to arrange these energy packets in the correct order. The packets were all different shapes and colors and they pulsated with color. But I did not know what the correct order was. It had something to do with the anatomy of an animal and I thought it unfair that I should have to know this type of information. I could see my energy packets arranged but they stopped pulsating and went dark. I kept thinking that it really shouldn't matter what order they were in and that I shouldn't be punished for not knowing. All I wanted was to go to sleep but I couldn't and was very frustrated. I then began looking for what could not get to sleep. I probed the dark energy packets and the space around them searching for "me", the "I" that could not sleep. But I came up empty. The energy packets were there but nothing else. This probing was an intense scrutiny, very deliberate, very directed. It was as if I was turning everything around looking at from all angles to find "me" but nothing was found. I then turned this fact over and over in my mind trying to find out what it meant.

I've been doing some meditation off and on and sometimes fairly regularly for several years. I recently went to a hypnotherapist and she showed me a technique for putting myself in a trance which I've used recently in addition to the other meditation. The following are brief excerpts from three days of going into trance on my own -- which I've been doing a LOT more while on the Prednisone. There is a whole lot more to my experiences on these days (and others) but I'm not ready to share all of it.

I'm looking at what appears to be a normal, everyday scene. A man stands up on the right side of my field of view as if he wants to leave. Then it was as if a strip was torn out of a picture. The scene froze and a strip was torn from the middle and it went right through the man. Then another strip from behind that was torn. It was as if the scene which I considered to be real was made up of later upon later of images.

Another time I had the sensation that something akin to camouflage was responsible for creating reality. There were all these bubbles on a flat surface but if you moved your head slightly, a shape would appear to emerge. The sensation was that the shape was taken for reality but it wasn't really there.

Another time I felt like I was flying through layer upon layer of a paper mache sculpture and on each layer there was a picture that was taken for reality. Then I seemed to get to the last layer and it was all dark but around the edges I saw some green (I think) light and I felt that there were beings back there watching but I could not see them. They were not really human and seemed to be either in control of "the show" or the audience for "the show." "The show" being our everyday reality. I then started trying to figure out if ken is just an actor who doesn't know he's an actor? What would it mean for ken to be an actor and who is the audience?

Another time I felt an immense, wide-open, empty space. It was so empty immense that it was scary

Another time I was looking at a hole in the ground and it was a whorl pattern. I was then instantly transported to space where I was viewing a galaxy of the same shape. (This one really has me interested in fractals now as that was the feeling -- same shape, different scale.)

And that's all for now. Thanks for letting me share.


Hurlyburly said...

How strange, i've been taking prednisone for over 4 years. If i don't take it my asthma, eczema, conjunctivitis and several other allergies including severe itching seems to come back, i know it's bad for me long term but it's quality of life; being well now while i'm young vs being bad when i'm much older.

Anthony Peake said...

Ken: Some great food for thought here. As you may recall in ITLAD I discuss the findings of Hudson Hoagland who argued that illness, particularly fever, increased the bodies metaboloc rate and opened up access to a form of alternative consciousness. Again could this be yet another way in which the "Doors of Perception" are open.

Next week I am hoping to meet up with an enthusiastic itladian who is a very accomplished hypnotist. He is ken to try out some of my theories with some of his clients (with their agreement of course).

I will have him read your post and give me (and hopefully the rest of us) his professional opinion on your experience.

Karl Le Marcs said...

Ha! "He is ken to try out some of my theories", Hello Mr Freud, is this your slip!


Stories such as Ken's and HurlyBurly's are yet more evidence that drugs (of many varieties) alter our states of consciousness and subjective perceptions.

Our next step, in our Evolution of ITLAD (EITLAD) is to manifest these changes in sobriety.

and Tony; I'm particularly interested in hearing how your meeting with the hypnotist goes (remember my own hypnotism and hypnotic regression I volunteered for in search of my Daemon?)

SM Kovalinsky said...

I had noticed the Freudian slip as well! And thank you, Ken for sharing such fascinating experiences with us, and I am eager to hear what Tony's colleague will have to say regarding them.

Karl Le Marcs said...

Susan Marie, Dear Lady, have I relayed to you the story of visit to the hypnotist in search of my Daemon? I mentioned it in my original Virgin Life post but email me off-blog.

(Note to Tony: "In Search Of My Daemon - The Extraordinary *ITLADian wink* Journey To Self-Awareness And Fulfilment" potential book title????)

SM Kovalinsky said...

Karl; You have not told me that story, but I am very "ken" to hear it!!!

Karl Le Marcs said...


*oh how we all laughed*

Will email you off-blog to avoid repeating myself.


ken said...

HB-- My dosage was for an infection so I took 40mg 2x/day for 2 days then 20mg 3x/day for 2 days then 20mg 2x/day for 2 days then 20mg 1x/day. A friend who is a prescribing psychologist even suggest coming off more gently and now I'm taking 1/2 tablets for a couple days then 1/4. Is your maintenance dosage less? Some of the effects could also have been due to the sudden start.

Anthony-- YES! Please do share what you find out from the hypnotist. I'm very very ken and also very very ken to hear what he says. (Yes, I caught it, too).

Thanks to all for the comments.

Hurlyburly said...

I had a very altered social life between the age of 16-22 because i was always so ill, you've never seen a human being scratch so much in your life. I've tried everything, doctors, specialists, homeopaths, food allegy testing, chinese medicine. When i was 22 i had an asthma attack and nearly died. I was actualy gone for about 5 minutes, the doctors put me on steroids and everything cleared up. After a lifetime of trying to put on weight (man was i a skinny boy!) i finaly did. However, it does you long term damage, I however!! couldn't care less, i've tried everything else and it doesn't work. What you going to do ey!!

I buy them over the internet from well respected american pharmacies! 5mg tablets i usualy take about 5 one day then 3 the next then 1 and i'm usualy ok then for about a week or so. I try not to use them as they're bad for you but when i get bad if i take a good dosage everything clears up very quickly. I've never had what you've described though, main side effect to me is that i just feel numb, maybe that's just life though!

How cheery of me! ;0)

SM Kovalinsky said...

Aww, Hurly; I feel badly for you, poor sweet thing. But I am glad that the pills work for you. And isn't there some way you can be monitored, so that any damage done will be minimal?

Hurlyburly said...

I'm healthy now days, have been for a couple of years. I eat healthy, i barely drink any more, i try not to take too manhy pills. We all take some stuff that's bad though right, no worse than other people that constantly drink!

I'm going to change doctors again soon i think, havn't been to one in a year of so though, they're bloody useless!

SM Kovalinsky said...

That is good to know, HB. And yes, you are right.

Aloha Gary said...

Hmmm, the perils of allopathic 'medicine'!

The ancient Kahunas of Hawaii had an altogether different approach, based upon the idea that the world is an illusion, and that everything around us, including your meat-suit physical body, is created by your consciousness.

Therefore your spiritual self causes your mental self, causes your emotional self, which causes your physical self.

Therefore a physical dis-ease can be caused by a disturbance in any of the higher bodies. This is why people have reported relief and/or the end of long term symptoms after using the Hawaiian methods that I have the privilege of sharing. These are too unbelievable (and numerous) to post here.

Suffice to say that I used to take all kinds of drugs & inhalers daily for my 40 year asthma condition, 30 year hayfever and 10 year other allergies. I have been drug free for many years now as a result of using these powerful, yet remarkably simple tools, principles and techniques.

Is it any wonder the Missionaries saw ill people going into the Kahunas healing hut, and coming out thoroughly well, decided this was 'witchcraft' and banned it! (Too much competition?)

Funnily enough with their healers banned and introduced European diseases rife, plus being thrown off their own family lands, and foreced to do unfamiliar manual work, the Hawaiian population plummeted from 600,000+ to less than 30,000 in only 30 years! The land was open and the whites took it.

Magic is simply a level of technology of which the audience is unaware.

Aloha Gary said...

oops! went on a bit there...


The concept of Dreamtime is shared between the Hawaiians, Maoris and Aborigines. The Hawaiians say that only you can interpret your dreams.

Therefore Mr Freuds ideas that dreams are all about sex, have more to do with a certain repressed Viennese Victorian than anything else.

Also, this puts the dream symbol book industry out of a job, as all you are doing by using these is teaching your subconscious to use someone else's symbols, which can cause a reduction in clarity of message.

This is a very powerful technique that gives often profound messages from the unconscious to the conscious, and is summarised well in "Dreaming Realities" by John Overdurf and Julie Silverthorn, who have both trained with the Kahunas and are personally known to me and highly recommended.

Karl Le Marcs said...

The problem with Freud is that he attributes most things to a subconscious desire for the Mother.
Mind you, his Mum was a total babe.