Spontaneous emergence of the unconscious. (CC image by Joana Roja )

Altered States

April 3, 2010 | 2 Comments

Category: Auto-Biography

I shared with my therapy group on Tuesday the half dozen odd altered consciousness experience I had over a 2 day period about three weeks ago. They remind me of an extremely abbreviated version of the Dostoyevsky novel, The Idiot, where the main character, if I remember right, experiences a powerful smell, feels elation, and then disappears into an epileptic seizure. In my case, while sitting at my desk, I smell a powerful, sweet smell, experience a very brief 5-8 second dreamlike consciousness that also feels powerfully like a remembered experience, followed by powerful tingles or vibrations coursing up my left side bridging over into my whole body tingling. The dreamlike piece happens while my eyes are open simultaneously to what is occurring around the room. The whole thing, smell, unconscious experience and tingles, takes about thirty seconds. No one in the office noticed anything unusual. At one point I was asked a question while the tingles were going on and I was able to hear, focus and respond.

After the two first times this happened where I was feeling some anxiety, the other times I just let myself relax. The tingling then was powerfully experienced as my feeling accompanied by my unconscious or my greater self. I felt loved. This also reminds me of the character’s experience in the Dostoyevsky novel. Dostoyevsky was an epileptic. That characters experience was supposed to have reflected Dostoyevsky’s personal experiences as an epileptic.

Last night passing out of Jewel food store, between the two automatic doors, I experienced a wave of sweet fragrance. I suspected it was emerging from my imagination. I felt some anxiety about what would happen next. Then, as I walked I was accompanied by a powerful experience of remembering something from about two years ago. Except, I couldn’t quite grasp the details. It felt like a dream. That lasted about 6-8 seconds. Then, looking around, noting the stunning beauty of early spring, I felt positively influenced by the beauty. No tingles.

I’ll call the doctor today as Jane, my group therapist, recommended. This may be related to the stress of the book posting on the website. This might be related to the cerebral aneurysm. This might be epilepsy. It could be part of my creative process. The tingles, the vibrations that course through my body are closely associated with experiences of joy, of my feeling accompanied by that which is larger than my self. I have that experience fairly often. The emergence of unconscious experiences is quite common. Meditating since 1972, I find it very easy to move to just listening to my unconscious, often taking less than 10 seconds after sitting in meditation. Dreamlike chattering and unconscious imagery just begin. The strong smell? That is weird. The three things together, smell/unconscious/tingles, it’s difficult to say what exactly is happening.

We’ll see what the doctor says.


This entry was posted on Saturday, April 3rd, 2010 at 7:47 am and is filed under Auto-Biography. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
2 Comments so far

  1. eh on April 4, 2010 7:58 pm

    So you *know*! …and yet you persist…

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