#4 – Visual Experiences

I have had requests to talk about the varieties of visual experiences that are common to the Neuro Light. The subject is entirely fascinating. I will do my best to keep it simple.  Maybe in the future I will introduce a few more technical concepts to ground it in some neuroscience.

The basics

First of all, it is important to repeat that brain states and mind states are not equal and the same. One corresponds to the other but correspondence is not cause. Let's begin by putting the visual experiences into three broad categories:
  1. flicker phosphenes,
  2. entoptic visions (sometimes spelled entopic) and
  3. eidetic visions.
Although the related neurology is amazing, I will avoid it here because it gets way too technical for a short post. Essentially on a neurological level, all the visual stuff results from aspects of synaptic and network excitation and destabilization in the coupling of stimulation between the retinas of the eyes and the visual cortex in the brain.  This means that signals start to cause funny things to happen in the network neurochemistry of the brain. Right away I MUST clarify that just because something involves a set of physical conditions and actions does not reduce it down to being "just meat in the head".  The impact at a level of consciousness can be profound and deeply meaningful. For example you could explain a mother holding her new born baby for the first time in just purely mechanics of muscles, skin and nerves but that would be missing the point entirely.  This can be a very tricky and controversial aspect of exploring the subject.

Flicker phosphenes

The first phase of signal stimulation normally elicits flicker phosphenes which are like the first sandy granular image below. The field may be filled with colors of various shades and intensities. The flecks of light may be bright or dull. The intensity of the source illumination has an effect here as in all the types of visions (btw - in medical science, the typical term used is hallucinations). Basically the brighter the source illumination, the more vivid the colors (and displays). The color of the field is directly related to the pulsing frequency of the source light with lower frequencies producing the reds and the higher frequencies the violet blues (just like the spectrum of colors seen progressing in a rainbow - and as assigned to the human chakras). There is a point when the pulsing rate of the signal is too fast for neurological refresh so the pulsing light seems to become more or less constant. This is called the FFF or Flicker Fusion Frequency which varies from person to person but is in the high beta merging into gamma range (30 - 40 Hz). This is when the colors disappear and it just looks white.

Entoptic visions

The entoptic visions are when the geometries kick in.  These visions are classified into four basic types which are also predictably associated with specific pulsed frequency ranges. The name for these four types are Form Constants and they are progressively: 1) radials or spiderwebs, 2) checker boards or honeycombs, 3) tunnels or funnels and 4) spirals. When one of the Form Constants appears it may stay for a brief moment in its basic expression and then disappear or it may start to stabilize before it shifts into fractal (self-same) expressions or drift in a direction leaving repetitive imprints (called "trails" in LSD hallucinations). Entoptic (entopic) visions/hallucinations like the orange/red spiral image below can be enchanting and intriguing....sometimes gorgeous. The trick is to just let them be (relax). Do not exert extra focus or attention as they tend to vanish in an instant.

Eidetic visions

Eidetic visions are the most strange or wonderful. These are figures, scenes, beings, landscapes, "aliens", animals, etc.  They are sometimes mixed into the entoptic and emerge out of the entoptic such as in the face image below. Other times they are vivid like photographs or animated like videos. They can seem very lifelike. The transition from entoptic to eidetic visions is often associated with a transition from high frequency beta/gamma to a lower alpha/theta range. The eidetic visions are created using the personal experiential library of person and extends into their individual imagination as well as influenced by their cultural experiences and symbols. In a sense the person is "talking to themselves" using imagery from their own reservoir of consciousness. Eidetic visions come easily to some people and not so readily to others. This is not good or bad.  It is not difficult to recognize that certain persons with this inclination could easily explore types of "shamanic" states especially if the states are induced by hallucinogenic drugs or types of trance induction.

The most important aspect..

Regardless of flicker phosphenes with their fields of color, psychedelic entoptic visions or provocative eidetic visions, their value lies in the associated mind/body states and not in the visions in and of themselves.  They are all the artifacts of associated states of consciousness.  It is the sensitizing of awareness in these novel states of consciousness that yields all the benefits.  Like gazing at the stars or basking in moonlight or cheering at fireworks in the sky or watching the sunrise over the mountains.....enjoy.
So this is a super short comment on the topic.  The topic goes very deeply into areas of biochemistry, neurology, psychology, spirituality, anthropology and.. Wellness. Perhaps more at a later date.