Phosphenes and hypnagogic imagery

To me, there is no “nothing” state. I either start with HI’s immediately or with phosphenes first, but I notice that HI’s are in different layer that phosphenes (like they are farther than phosphenes), so I would not say that HI’s form out of phosphenes. I think HI’s are standalone and indepedent. :razz:

Beat Doctor goes away to hypnagogia

Awesome post! :content: This explains the difference between Phosphenes and HI perfectly! I can never explain it well and this does the trick!

Nice post man thanks a lot :smile: you helped a lot of people here (including me :razz:)

Amazing post! Very explanatory. Where did you get those images!? That really impressed me! Good job :wink:

Again, I think this is wrong. It is not that you zoom into phosphenes, it is that HI’s form into dreams by themselves (you don’t have to zoom into them or whatever, you just have to stay aware).

Thanks everybody for your appreciation. :smile:

It would be a good idea. :wink:

I made them with Photoshop.

I agree on the fact that phosphenes and HI are like sort of two different layers. HI is not only formed from phosphenes, it’s quite as if inner images were projected onto the shapes drawn by phosphenes and that’s what I meant when saying “it’s like a pareidolia or a Rorschach test, one sees an image in what is just a big mess”.

As for the remaining, I’m sorry that you show so categorical, you should observe all this a little more. :content: The “automatical” zooming into an area of the phosphenes field has been observed not only by me yet by experimented WILD’ers and/or people who practice meditation like Florence Ghibellini (whom I was regularly corresponding with at a time) and Christian Bouchet. The “zooming into phosphenes” technique and its effects, which you just think wrong, has been practiced and described independently by at least two experimented WILD’ers which don’t know each other, Christian Bouchet and “Kalonek”. Moreover, I think that this technique had been described in astral literature before, by Robert Monroe under the name “phasing”.

You don’t actually zoom, yes that is true. But the HI’s form on the first black image there was. It just forms itself.

I believe “zooming” would better be described at concentrating. You can’t zoom in or out after all. When I attempt WILD’s (which never worked, must I say :neutral:) I see (with my closed eyes) exactly things like the first few images in the first post. If I am lost in my thought I sometimes realize that I actually was seeing what I was thinking of, in full images, colored ones ! But the very second I realize it, it automatically changes to the first blurry-dark image I started with :sad:.

Great photos, great guide, great job ! Thanks ! :wink:

I second your post mattias :cool_laugh: and I vote this to be moved to article too :content:

In addition to this article, and due to the discussion that followed about the relation between phosphenes and HI, I would like to add here some excerpts of a text I just found.

It has been written by Yves Delage in 1903 (the translation -sometimes summarizing- is mine). Yves Delage is a french zoologist who is also known for his interest in dreaming and particularly for having described lucid dreaming in 1920.

By explaining the phosphene/HI relation in a different way, this text may add to my article.

In this first excerpt, Delage describes what is an hypnagogic image:

“An object appears suddenly, generally the figure of a man or an animal, with a perfect accuracy of contour. The image has no frame and it is not surrounded by other objects depicting a background: it is isolated on a uniform, usually black background.”

In this second excerpt, Delage explains what may be observed when the HI disappears and the relation between HI and phosphenes. Delage refers to phosphenes as “entoptic lights”:

“When the hypnagogic image vanishes, the entoptic lights appear; by their compliance of color, position and distribution, the colored spots fits the position and color of the parts of the vanished image. It follows that entoptic lights can be the basis of hypnagogic images and that it is not necessary that they have a close resemblance with them. Now, far from it that the entoptic element makes the entire image: it is supplemented by a mental image which has the largest part in the constitution of the total image. The first is a vague outline, without contours, without details, while the second adds what is missing to the first in order to form a perfect representation of the object.”

This understanding can be usefully compared with the two illustrations at the end of chapter II, as well as comments about phosphenes and HI being sorts of two different layers.


Delage Yves (1903). La nature des images hypnagogiques et le rôle des lueurs entoptiques dans le rêve. Bulletin de l’Institut général psychologique, août-septembre 1903, p. 235-247.[/size]

Awesome article! I’ve known about phosphenes before, but I didn’t know they formed into HI.

Well I’m one of those people who has never"viewed" or “imagined” anything other than dreams its more like when I try to I am like thinking about viewing myself thinking to visualize something… it makes me mad… but if I can perform what you are saying I will be very happy! Thank you for posting this a lot of new information and great tips thanks

One time i was “watching” these hypnogogic imagery, and it was like a 90’s cartoon, there was a cartoon girl dancing, and i saw titles. I never saw any kind of text in hypnagogic images, and that was very interesting, but when i zoomed to this titles they were not some words, but rather different shapes. I was disappointed. (

Great Post! I will try to pay more attention to the images!

Thanks so much for setting this all down in detail. In my years of scattered and often aborted LDs and OBEs the appearance and recognition of phosphenes has always been one of the primary markers that I am about to enter into a lucid WILD experience. Until your article, I had never heard of phosphenes and had never analyzed exactly how important they are. The last two nights, I had two experiences where the phosphenes were definitely present just before and while entering into SP. One OBE lasted for 25 WPR minutes in total stability.

wow, so THATS what those swirling colors are! ever since i was little i have seen swirling colors whenever i close my eyes just like this and even with my eyes open in the dark, but oddly enough i to this day this still happens, even with my eyes open i can see it if its dark…weird.

its actually very intense and colorful for me, and my hypnagogic imagery is almost always in color. ever since i was little i have experienced seeing hypnagogic imagery and phosphenes easily, i used to stay awake for a while each night just staring at the phosphenes because it was so interesting, when i did this a few nights ago i had a lucid dream that night (probably just coincidence though) anyways i might just try zooming in on the phosphenes like you say to do, even if i don’t do a WILD it should still be interesting.

thanks for posting this, finally i have a name for what i have been seeing :smile:

What a great topic! I was trying to explain these stages to my friend and had no success. These images perfectly describe my experiences in hypnagogic imagery. Particularly my efforts to achieve WILD. The last image I have no experience with, however I’ve gone into a lucid dream after “zooming in” on what you call a phosphene. It’s really interesting :smile:

I like to think of it as a hypnagogic halucination. I usually reserve the word phosphene for other types of imagery, but I’ll think on this usage of phosphene. I think it may be the correct usage.

The thinking about viewing yourself is very similar to feeling a state of anxiety. You should try to calm yourself a little more. When you think of yourself objectively rather than as a subject you tend to think mechanically rather than creatively. Specifically this type of anxious thinking makes it extremely difficult to experience imagery. You need to relax and throw away your expectations.

At first, try to stop thinking; there’s a certain amount of inhibition that has to occur in your critical thinking skills. Eventually you’ll find the right balance of thinking and “seeing” that will enable you to better control yourself.

Lol I have to say, I always try and chase my phosphenes im like GET OVER HERE YOU DIRTY VISION because I can never ‘focus’ on it so Im just trying to chase it and its so fun ;u; I’ll try your technique, this is really cool

My first post! Had to join because of this thread. I have seen phosphenes since as far back as I can remember. They used to be just green and purple blobs that zoom in from the center, but now it is much more. I have seen almost every color, although they are primarily purple and green, maybe because I’m so used to it. Instead of blobs they are now streaks or patterns. They can be multiple colors and if I want I can manifest a certain one. I see rainbow streaks, beautifully vivid violet flame like movements in the center, sparkles and white flashes that strobe.
I can begin to see them rather effortlessly even in a lit room with my eyes open (which takes a little longer to induce). I meditate as often as I can. Actually I’m very convinced that I can change my brain state to the Alpha state (where one starts to dream). When I sit down to meditate that far I tend to experience what I call clicks, due to the sudden and sharp feeling that comes with them. It’s like a shift, into what I think is the next brain state. Every time it happens in a meditation session my phosphenes react. The click approaches and then my phosphenes constrict together and explode into a dizzying array of patterns and bright vivid colors. Usually a click happens at least twice in a session. Upon entering a new brain state I can feel a very obvious difference in the way my mind operates. My perception narrows. Thoughts pass by almost unannounced and are very easy to put aside and focus Phophenes are unlike anything I can explain.
After I enter the Alpha state it feels like I’m in a gently vibrating blanket covering my mind. It feels like my mind is heavy or something. At this point Alpha may bring me into some sort of vision or day dream. They last very briefly and are hyper realistic. They are very random scenes not pertaining to anything in my life as far as I can understand, however one time I was in the back seat of a car and I went into Alpha and I started to see the car around me with my eyes closed. I hallucinated a movement of my body and then woke from it in the original position I left myself in. When the visions appear they form over the phophenes that collect together to form the base of the vision.
I believe phosphenes can be used as a tool. I can literally experience my thoughts if I choose to do so. These colors are you! I think I understand some mechanism that gives them shape too. It’s your focus. Energy flows where focus goes. They trick is to not let your eyes wander. Keep eyes in one place and try not to focus. One can choose to either let the phosphenes lead you into a colorful dance or one can choose to manifest them yourself. Manifesting phosphenes requires complete control over thought and eye movement. All must be still for manifestation to work. It’s really fun.
I don’t know what exactly this all means but I do know some significance. These colors are the most physical manifestation of your thoughts. Learn to use them to better yourself as a person and tune yourself into the perfect place to experience existence for what it is meant to be perceived as.

I have actually been able to do this before. I was watching the hypnagogic imagery and everything was like a static ‘mess’ of colors, and I thought “i wonder if I can turn this into a dream scene” (I had woken up after several hours of sleep, and expected to enter a dream quickly).

I thought “I want to go to a beach”, and then in the field of color there was a swirl that was brighter than the rest, and very quickly it expanded until it took up the entire visual area. It was a beach surrounded by all sides by a cliff. The water was very blue, and the sky was bright with day. As it became clearer, I ‘stepped’ inside the scene and entered the dream. I could even feel the warmth of the sun.

I guess technically it could have been called a WILD or WBTB, but it worked basically the way you described it