Phosphenes and hypnagogic imagery

Great guide that helped me understand everything I didn’t know about phosphenes and all these things. Very helpful, thanks for sharing your knowledge.

ya its a really interesting post. i really liked it. thx for posting it i didn’t know anything about phosphenes before.;

Great post!! I bet those that have trouble knowing what HI looks like will have little to no doubts left after reading this :wink: I vote this be moved to the article forum some day

Wow, that is fascinating! I will definitely work on focusing on phosphenes. I haven’t noticed phosphenes before, though. I usually see the colored clouds, but no dots.

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.