Phantasmagoric Meditation

A four-hour meditation to enhance imagination.

Phantasmagoria – a sequence of real or imaginary images like those seen in a dream.

This meditation produces something like a controlled hallucination or waking lucid dream. I wouldn’t describe it as being a hallucination, but the imagery is vivid enough that one could focus internally and observe the phantasmagoria like a film. Before doing the meditation, my mind felt like it had aphantasia, which was attenuated greatly after the meditation.

Some background information first. This was written mostly 5 years ago. I worked weekends as an advertiser, which was just me sitting outdoors and waving a sign for different housing communities. This particular day I forgot my headphones and as a bonus, it was raining. What a day!

The shift was four hours long and I had a break at the end of each hour, 5-10 minutes each. I decided to meditate for the whole 4 hours with each hour dedicated to a different task.

The Meditation

The First Hour

  • I started to loosen up from my daily thought patterns.
  • I used mental counting tasks to organize and focus my mind.
  • While counting, I test various aspects of imagination and recall associated with my numbers. The sensation of writing each number, the motor movements required to write, imagining the sound of a voice speaking each number, and visualizing the font of each number.
  • This hour was pretty chaotic and I had not yet planned the other hours out by this time. I was still distractible very much at this point.

The Second Hour

  • I took the idea of counting and pushed it further: I counted from 1 to 1000 during this hour.
  • As before, for each number, I imagined writing and the fine details that each number requires to write.
  • I imagined a somewhat consistent visualization of each number in the same font.
  • I imagined a consistent voice for each number (though boredom led me to change my tone throughout).
  • This was actually incredibly hard to do. But I was able to manage.

The Third Hour

  • I switched methods now. I decided to start recalling as many events from my life as possible. This is unique for me because I never explore my past, I pretty much leave it behind.
  • I started by organizing all the environments I used to live in: My first house, elementary school, middle school, my second house, apartments I lived in, foster homes, high school, and college.
  • From each environment, I would recall a lot of specific memories. This was pretty hard, and if I got distracted I would return to one memory as a save-point of sorts.
  • I accessed memories I hadn’t in years. But I did not feel emotions. This I will have to go deeper for.

The Fourth Hour

  • At this point, I started to relax the meditation and free explore my mind. I continued recalling early events and also using imagination a lot.
  • I recommend trying to organize your life events and get more in-depth with visual recall or even attempt to associate different memories and create metaphors based on your life.

After this four-hour meditation, I noticed several changes the next day and the day after that.

Benefits

These effects persisted for about two weeks after the meditation. These were written while the effects were still occurring, so it is written as if the present tense. Remember, this was actually many years ago.

  • Now when I try to count mentally, I am able to fluidly and simultaneously hear the voice speaking each number, feel my hand-writing each number, and visualize the number. During the meditation, it was not as simultaneous as this. This main effect seemed to emerge after sleeping. Perhaps something occurred during sleep that further enhanced the ‘learning’ of the effect.
  • Now I have control over my thoughts. Usually, I am in some kind of stoned state where I am thinking rapidly and can barely follow the train of thoughts. I can follow my own thoughts but I cannot speak any of my thoughts, as they are too fleeting. I don’t even normally have an internal monologue actually, it’s more symbolic and crazy. Though, when I was younger there was some kind of monologue.
  • The internal monologue reappeared. It’s mildly audible and has some flavor. I was able to read a sentence of someone else’s and imagine the tone of voice that it would be spoken in. Normally, I cannot do this because I can barely decode what I am reading, I skip over and symbolically reduce it to semantical key points. I don’t consciously realize I’m doing that, but the new benefits create a contrast that makes it apparent. I am diagnosed with ADHD officially, for what it’s worth.
  • I am no longer thinking thoughts that are pointless (sorta). I stop the thought flow without losing touch with reality. This is something I may have thought was normal but is actually highly ADHD. Before this, I would kind of vegetate daily and not move for hours almost in catatonic thoughts. (UPDATE: I am not like this currently, as I am involved in too many projects and my mental presence is more necessary at this point in time).
  • The effect of cannabis changed. Now the drug is increasing my ability to focus and be present. For the past while, cannabis didn’t do much. My memory on cannabis improved too. I am able to get stuff done and there is an improved functionality with performing daily tasks. This is why I liked cannabis in the first place, now I seem to be recovering the effects I lost in my hedonism and laziness.

highly recommend doing this method. I’ve meditated on and off for years and I’ve never had this much benefit. I started recovering my school performance now. It seems that many of the dopaminergic drugs lead to anti-meditative states in the long-term. This meditation reversed most of those issues rapidly.

If you try this, please describe your experiences in the comments. This seems to be a type of meditation that isn’t commonly talked about. There may be a similar meditation under a different name, though I just haven’t come across it yet.

If we see success from this meditation, the next phase will be to train individual to acquire synesthesia, something I’ve explored in The Synesthetic World of Childhood. From there, we can work on a plan to upgrade culture and train humans to be largely savant-like potentially.

. . .

If you found this enjoyable, consider joining the Patreon! I’ve been posting detailed experience reports with my adventures using prescription ketamine. Also. someone sent me an EEG device to collect data on ketamine-induced brainwave changes which I’ve started posting there too. I also post secret mini podcasts. You can find the publicly available podcasts here by the way!

Special thanks to the 12 patrons: Jack Wang, Patrick, Richard Kemp, Milan Griffes, Alex W, Sarah Gehrke, Melissa Bradley, Morgan Catha, Niklas Kokkola, Abhishaike Mahajan, Riley Fitzpatrick, and Charles Wright! Abhi is also the artist who created the cover image for Most Relevant. Please support him on instagram, he is an amazing artist! I’d also like to thank Annie Vu, Chris Byrd, and Kettner Griswold for your kindness and for making these projects and the podcast possible through your donations.

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