My Girlfriend's Strange Mind

My girlfriend asked me today, “do you see images in your mind all the time?”

I asked her what she meant and she said, “Well, for instance just now I saw a boy wearing big yellow goggles, a close-up side view of a sandwich, a rustic table with walnuts next to a wooden bowl…”

I started laughing. “So just random images?”

“Yes, but also little stories. Like just now I saw someone cutting animals out of colored felt. They made a rabbit and put it on a plate. It had a scared expression on its face. They were going to make an animated movie about a rabbit who thinks it will be eaten for dinner.”

“What color was the felt”

“Different colors. White for the body. Black whiskers. Red eyes…”

“What else do you see?”

“Well, just now I saw Toulouse Lautrec talking to some dancers, but they were all kind of like stick figures…”

I asked her, do you always see these things?

“Usually, unless I’m very emotional or very focused on something.”

I wondered… is this why she finds it so easy to fall asleep? “When you go to sleep, do you just focus on an image and then it becomes a dream?”

“Yes. Isn’t that how everyone falls asleep?”

So I wonder. Is my girlfriend dreaming all the time? Is this a known phenomenon? Is she unique? She says she doesn’t make up or control the images and little stories. They just come. She doesn’t know from where. They’re not memories, just… dreams?

Anyone know what’s going on with her?

Well, often when I close my eyes and don’t think of anything in particular, I see lots of random images just like that. But I don’t fall asleep to them - I have to be totally out of it before I can get to sleep.

I wouldn’t call it dreaming - I think it’s just imagination. I usually don’t notice it, because I have to be fairly relaxed to pay attention to the images, but your girlfriend’s probably a more relaxed person (or has more imagination)!

I said, “wow, you have a great imagination” and she said “no, I’m not trying to think of these things. They just come into my mind all the time. I don’t know where they come from or what they mean.”

So I don’t know that it’s “imagination”. I think she’s actually dreaming while awake and I wonder if it’s a known syndrome.

It’s probably just an extreme case of a normal activity. Often I find that I can be staring into space and then random images come from nowhere to tell stories or whatever. Left to it’s own devices, the mind works in funny ways. That’s daydreaming.

Perhaps her daydreams are just more vivid and less controlled than a normal person’s.

Yes, it’s a known phenomenon known as ‘imagination’. Your girl friend perhaps has a particularly vivd imagination. Or she could just be exagerating.
I am certain she is not ‘dreaming all the time’.

As for “When you go to sleep, do you just focus on an image and then it becomes a dream?”.
Often what I am thinking of when I fall asleep becomes a dream. This not so unusual.

As if she had a second mind? So she’s not properly seeing stuff with her eyes, or any “mind eye” things for that matter, but rather feels what she’s describing?

I completely agree with that. What she “sees” is the natural state of thoughts. It’s not imagination or dreams, just thoughts. Imagination or dreams are the same nature than thoughts, yet it’s called imagination when you voluntarily provoke it and dreams when it’s organized by sleep.

What she observes is the way thoughts are forming. Thoughts are irrational and random. When you think rationnaly, it just mean that you make a sort in this irrationality and link thoughts with cause to effect relations. Meditationers spend generally many years before they can observe this. Her comment about her not noticing this when she’s emotional or focused on something is completely right. That’s the only reason why we never notice them.

Your girlfriend is great. It’s not a “syndrome”. She’s not ill. She’s just more sane than every of us. There is no need to worry her.

I asked her if these images or scenes are related to what she’s thinking of or feeling, and she said they aren’t.

According to her, there’s no relation at all between the images or between what she’s doing or thinking and the images.

And they’re very vivid and she doesn’t know where they’re coming from.

It doesn’t sound exactly like normal imagination to me. At least nothing I’ve ever experienced.

It sounds more like she’s partially dreaming while awake, or part of her brain is dreaming, which is why I posted it here.

Thoughts (in their normal state) are not related to what we are “thinking” or “feeling”, even if it looks like paradoxical. They form themselves as if they came from nowhere. It’s what surrealist poets of painters tried to show with their automatic writing or their paintings. When we have this mental activity that we commonly call “thinking”, and should be better called “rational thinking”, we spend some energy in organizing this chaos in chains of logical thoughts, according to our concerns and emotions. But the first state of thought is not organized and it’s illogical. It’s exactly what your girlfriend sees.

This phenomenon can be better observed during the hypnagogic state. Hypnagogic images and voices were called by Claude Rifat “disattenuated” thoughts. Why did he called them disattenuated? It’s because during the waking state, they are attenuated so that they won’t attract attention as much as the sensory inputs (this would be disastrous). During the hypnagogic state, this attenuation is removed and thoughts appears as they really are: random, illogical, coming from nowhere, changing from one to another, etc. And generally they are not related with what you’re “thinking” or “feeling”. For instance, if you count during WILD, the HI (“disattenuated thoughts”) you see are not numbers.

So that it’s absolutely normal that thoughts could appear like this in a relaxed mind. They should always appear like this if we weren’t always concerned by something and stressed. It’s just what people learn to see when they practice yoga or meditation.

What I say is explained in the same way on a meditation practioner blog.
It’s in french, so I’ll try to summarize her post:

What she calls “grasping” (I’m unsure of the translation) is our mental, quite unconscious, activity which organizes thoughts. Your girlfriend sees “half-grasped” thoughts. It’s rare yet not abnormal. The tibetan master of the girl above said (I’ve read this in another post) that some people could do this naturally.

Anyway, what I’m explaining corresponds mainly to my own experience - though just from time to time cause I don’t practice meditation. I don’t think I can explain it better.

It’s obvious she’s making fun of you because you do this lucid dreaming stuff.

I get that sometimes, particularly if I’m relaxed. Sometimes it’s just odd little things, other times it is scenarios.

Not often, but a few times every hour - unless I am really consentrating. Sometimes it’s just a mental visualisation, other times it’s like I’m watching something real happen like an accidental remote viewing (which it isn’t).

I don’t TRY and think of those things, either. Having imagination doesn’t mean you have to actively try and think of something. God, how boring that would be - where’s the surprise? Imagination (at least for me) is spontaneous and wacky, and not intended at all.

And PS: Dreaming while awake = daydreaming. We all do it.

that’s really neat.

she is probably open to psychic abilities if she wants to direct these experiences that way.

can she deliberately free herself from thinking for a considerable (say like 5 seconds, one thousand one… one thousand two … you know… long seconds) amount of time?

because the brain silent enough, will penetrate normal mundane ego consciousness and go into source… beyond the images is pure being, pure existence, nirvana, the clear light, heaven… ego-loss.

can she just close her eyes and be so immersed in the images that she can leave her body?

if she can, instruct her to see what lies beyond the images, and where they come from!
this may sort of illustrate what i’m trying to say, about the various depths of consciousness, until there is only pure consciousness, the GOD mind… the one mind… that which we all share in common if we can sit in complete silence for long enough.

it sounds like she could utilize her gift to attain utmost freedom and enlightenment.

anyway i get images sometimes…

my theory is, thoughts form a train. it is a very long train, usually on a circular track, and usually the train is the entire track length long.

and as it chugs along, sometimes one car on the train will be replaced with another type of car, and this will influence the rest of the cars contents, as if you are adding a type of ware to the train, such as a huge car full of milk, or oil… and so then it becomes an oil train.

but it’s always a train, and always chugging along.

so let’s say you replace milk with cars…and then adding cars replaces cows with jeff gordon… and adding jeff gordon replaces Old McDonald with Will Ferrel (because of his new racing movie)

now you are deliberately chugging along with this train
:ars - > jeff gordon - > will ferrel ->
and it goes in a circle.

but what happened to the milk -> cows -> old mcdonald train?

it’s not relevant, but it’s still there.

so imagine you derail your train! you stand along the track and watch the train chug along, and you are a silent witness… pretty soon there is no more train, and you look into the stockyard where all the extra train cars are kept, and this stockyard is the dreamstate… and it’s just completely full of really strange associations…

maybe one forms a train and whizzes by real fast, with a strange image and sound to it and it says old mcdonald had nascar e-i-e-i-MOO!!!

kind of like you’re tripping or in the hypnagogic state, and it makes no sense… and you’re like “wtf!” well, you created that train by fueling your ego’s surface thoughts… it’s just that it was derailed and you forgot it

so… when we lose momentum… finally pierce the surface chatter away, we are left with the stockyard… but… there is a place where pure thoughts exist completely formless… where the factory hasn’t even made the cars yet… and where there isn’t even a factory.


derail the train and be a witness. if you can truely do this, you can follow it all the way into complete and total freedom, immortality, and unison with the divine.

my main points are : train derailment. thoughts as metaphor for a train constantly in motion, but the train is inherently meaningless and garbled.
and : the images make sense, they come from you, it’s just that you can’t possibly be aware of every single thing in your brain.

and um.

i’m circling around and i can’t seem to get at my point, yet i know i illustrated this well enough.

ego ego ego.

well hope this made sense to someone. show it to your girlfriend!

the other thing is we work on patterns, if something is not really sensible to your left brain… like camera = picture but instead it’s more like camera = walt disney, because walt disney created cartoons and cartoons are filmed frame by frame with a camera…

then walt-disney is a dream/hypnagogic link to camera… something you probably are not aware of. but if you start falling asleep thinking about how you want a digital camera maybe all of a sudden you see Walt Disney drawing a camera in Mickey Mouses brain, and you’re like “whoa that is strange”

if a pattern is too wide… too incomprehensible, it is filtered out.