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quiXilver

Third Eye Blind: Aphantasia

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I recently (about a month ago) discovered... after nearly 30 years of marriage, that my wife has aphantasia.  I was really pegging her down over a dream she had had and how the building she was in was created... and she couldn't describe it in concrete terms.

She does not, has never and cannot visualize any images in her mind... no sound, no sights, no smells...

She dreams, but only through cognitive intuition... she feels the settings and the events... she does not experience them in the manner I do, by standing in a location, where I see, touch, feel, taste and smell all that is transpiring around me.

We are both utterly awed and stunned by how the other processes images and by how the other's mind works. 

 

 

So I'm now curious as all get out about this condition... do any of my fellow UM'ers dream through feeling and not their inner senses?

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15 hours ago, quiXilver said:

I recently (about a month ago) discovered... after nearly 30 years of marriage, that my wife has aphantasia.  I was really pegging her down over a dream she had had and how the building she was in was created... and she couldn't describe it in concrete terms.

She does not, has never and cannot visualize any images in her mind... no sound, no sights, no smells...

She dreams, but only through cognitive intuition... she feels the settings and the events... she does not experience them in the manner I do, by standing in a location, where I see, touch, feel, taste and smell all that is transpiring around me.

We are both utterly awed and stunned by how the other processes images and by how the other's mind works. 

 

 

So I'm now curious as all get out about this condition... do any of my fellow UM'ers dream through feeling and not their inner senses?

I have had both type of dreams.

It is difficult for me to visualize and see a visual image. I don't think I ever have.

And the only time I can remember is when doing an exercise in seeing through our third eye, after a minute or two I actually saw images! The images happened in less than 30 seconds or so and were meaningful.

 

Is it normal others to visualize, for example, think of a rose and actually see the image of a rose?

If so, would they need their eyes to be closed?

 

 

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So do I understand that correctly; when she dreams she only feels, but she doesn't see images or hear sound?

That is very unlike my dreams, though I also frequently experience pain in dreams. I've also heard that some people dream in black and white, while I and most people I have spoken to in person dream in colour.

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2 hours ago, Orphalesion said:

So do I understand that correctly; when she dreams she only feels, but she doesn't see images or hear sound?

That is very unlike my dreams, though I also frequently experience pain in dreams. I've also heard that some people dream in black and white, while I and most people I have spoken to in person dream in colour.

Yup, you have the gist of it.  As she describes her dreams to me... she just 'knows' the setting and the events... there are no sights or smells generated in the mind's eye.  I suspect she's dreaming in word/though constructs... where the mind conceives a word/thought that carries with it an entire concept... without seeing it, she can 'sense' what the house she's in is like.... without seeing it the concept of 'our house' formulates into the concrete feeling of the house and transmits a 'sense' or 'knowingness' of what the house is like in detail, without seeing the details.

7 hours ago, I hide behind words said:

I have had both type of dreams.

It is difficult for me to visualize and see a visual image. I don't think I ever have.

And the only time I can remember is when doing an exercise in seeing through our third eye, after a minute or two I actually saw images! The images happened in less than 30 seconds or so and were meaningful.

 

Is it normal others to visualize, for example, think of a rose and actually see the image of a rose?

If so, would they need their eyes to be closed?

 

 

Most of my thoughts are visual.  Until I formulate an image in my mind, it's often not possible, or quite difficult for me to 'get what folks are talking about'. 

My eyes can be open or closed for inner vision. 

 

A couple years ago I was drawn to engage in a practice for the third eye, in which you create a dark room for yourself... (there must be no light at all).  Then you simply get quiet, slow the breathing and quiet the body and mind and sit there in silence with your eyes open.  The conditioning of the mind to 'see' something when your eyes are open is enough of a suggestion to begin inducing open eye visuals. 

For me they started with residual light rings that would scope from the edges of peripheral vision down to a point in the center of focus,.. or this was reversed and from a point at the center of focus a ring of colored light would telescope out to the peripherals... usually blue or lavender colors for me.

This has developed over time to the point where I was seeing mandalas and intricate sacred geometric forms in an array of colors.  All with eyes wide open. 

Potent stuff... endlessly fascinating.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, quiXilver said:

Yup, you have the gist of it.  As she describes her dreams to me... she just 'knows' the setting and the events... there are no sights or smells generated in the mind's eye.  I suspect she's dreaming in word/though constructs... where the mind conceives a word/thought that carries with it an entire concept... without seeing it, she can 'sense' what the house she's in is like.... without seeing it the concept of 'our house' formulates into the concrete feeling of the house and transmits a 'sense' or 'knowingness' of what the house is like in detail, without seeing the details.

Most of my thoughts are visual.  Until I formulate an image in my mind, it's often not possible, or quite difficult for me to 'get what folks are talking about'.

That's incredibly interesting... it really sounds like a whole different way to experience the world.

And yeah most of my thoughts are visual too, to answer @I hide behind words's question; yes when someone says "rose" or I read the word I do picture a rose, without even closing my eyes. Those images where stronger when i was a very young child, I still recall that when I heard the name "Samson" for the first time I pictured a sun over a field of grain(sesame) because I interpreted it as a compound of sesame and sun....

Then again, some words just seem to have colours...and some have smells...

Edited by Orphalesion
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So, would you say she's living a Semi-charmed kind of life?

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7 hours ago, Orphalesion said:

That's incredibly interesting... it really sounds like a whole different way to experience the world.

And yeah most of my thoughts are visual too, to answer @I hide behind words's question; yes when someone says "rose" or I read the word I do picture a rose, without even closing my eyes. Those images where stronger when i was a very young child, I still recall that when I heard the name "Samson" for the first time I pictured a sun over a field of grain(sesame) because I interpreted it as a compound of sesame and sun....

Then again, some words just seem to have colours...and some have smells...

Is this synesthesia?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia

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Wow Ive never heard of such a thing. That's fascinating. 

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Yea, it was rather staggering when I first really comprehended the difference and what she was saying to me. 

Makes me instantly wonder how many other subtle and deeply impacting variation remains that we are unaware of...

 

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On 12/05/2017 at 1:51 AM, I hide behind words said:

I don't think I have synesthesia, since my associations tend to be too "logical" (the word "war" is red and grey, and smells of puss/blood) and I don't have it with numbers at all, just words or concepts. I might just be a very visual person.

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Posted (edited)

On 2017-5-11 at 0:55 AM, quiXilver said:

I recently (about a month ago) discovered... after nearly 30 years of marriage, that my wife has aphantasia.  I was really pegging her down over a dream she had had and how the building she was in was created... and she couldn't describe it in concrete terms.

She does not, has never and cannot visualize any images in her mind... no sound, no sights, no smells...

She dreams, but only through cognitive intuition... she feels the settings and the events... she does not experience them in the manner I do, by standing in a location, where I see, touch, feel, taste and smell all that is transpiring around me.

We are both utterly awed and stunned by how the other processes images and by how the other's mind works. 

 

 

So I'm now curious as all get out about this condition... do any of my fellow UM'ers dream through feeling and not their inner senses?

As related in another section i have self induced aphantasia and cannot see even a single image while conscious and attempting to visualise.

However I  am lucky. Unlike some with this condition it has actually increased my dream consciousness   Not only have i lucid dreamed  since childhood I have conscious control of all my dreams and can even deliberately and consciously construct a dream to have when i go to sleep   I can construct in my dreams anything from exact images of the star trek crew, through dragons trolls and even (notoriously on UM ) a three breasted amazon woman ( gee i was only 13 at the time, don't blame me :) ) 

More to the point, my dreams are exact duplicates of waking consciousness. I have colour, taste, scent , touch/feel etc. I have no problem reading texts in dreams (which many people do have trouble with )

As a consequence, while a child i had to develop, and use every day/night, a few basic reality checkers to work out if i was asleep or awke One was pushing my hand gently up against a wall.

if i couldn't pass through the wall i was awake, if i could i was dreaming.  Another was flying If i willed myself off the ground and flew I was asleep if i stayed stuck to the ground I was awake. I learned this before i was fully able to control and recognise my dreams Now i just know when I am dreaming  

There are a number of sites on aphantasia.

 I put myself into it to stop seeing snakes every time it was dark, when i was very young,   and despite some years of trying to retrain my mind, i still can't see even a circle or a square in my  conscious mind  I think totally in words and concepts  But although i can't see a picture of a person or a landscape in my mind, i can draw/reproduce them accurately, using a verbal based memory, and some form of direct memory transfer   from mind to drawing.. Eg i can't visualise even a child's basic house shape in my mind but i could draw you anything from that, to a tudor manor house, or californian bungalow, direct from my mind. 

Most people, even educators, remain totally unaware of this condition I realised i had it back in the sixties when a teacher asked me to visualise an object in my mind and rotate it to see what happened.

When i asked what on earth he was talking about he first got cranky but eventually realised i just could not do as he asked.

Even "today"   at teacher's conferences, i have to explain to teachers that they cannot expect all children to be able to follow an instruction to visualise a scene/image for anything, from tech studies, to creative writing or geometry 

Edited by Mr Walker

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I learn better visually than any other way. When I read, I see what's happening, not the words on the page.  It's just one of the reason's I don't talk on the phone while I'm driving, if you are relaying a story to me I am visualizing it happening. 

Interestingly, talking about dreaming, my old roommate taught herself how to fly in her dreams and if her dream isn't going a way she likes she'll fly out...lol

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