2009.10.19 19:00 - Sleep paralysis and doors of perception

    Table of contents
    No headers

    The Guardian for this meeting was Fox Monacular. The comments are by Fox Monacular.

    Pila Mulligan: hi Fox
    Fox Monacular: Hi PIla
    Pila Mulligan: how are you?
    Fox Monacular: good, how are you?
    Pila Mulligan: also fine, thanks
    Fox Monacular: I finally made it to my guardian slot :_
    Fox Monacular: :)
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Fox Monacular: last two times unexpected things prevented me from going onlne
    Pila Mulligan: it seems to be kind of slow SL night for the PaB session
    Fox Monacular: seems so
    Pila Mulligan: this is your first Guardian session then?
    Fox Monacular: no, it's fifth or so... of which I unintentionally missed two:)
    Pila Mulligan: ahh
    Fox Monacular: I wish I could be in PaB more often, it's a really addictive place
    Pila Mulligan: I'm looking forward to hearing more about your dream work at Maxine's session tomorrow
    Fox Monacular: :)
    Pila Mulligan: want to practice some now for then?
    Fox Monacular: I think I'll talk about sleep paralysis
    Pila Mulligan: soound sinteresting, what is it?
    Fox Monacular: it's a phenomenon that happens at sleep onset or upon awakening
    Fox Monacular: but more often at awakening in the morning
    Fox Monacular: and your whole body is paralyzed, but you're aware of your environment
    Fox Monacular: and then often start to hallucinate
    Pila Mulligan: hmm, like the body is not yet awake but perception is no longer asleep?
    Fox Monacular: and some of the hallucinations very real, very scary
    Fox Monacular: yes, seems so
    Pila Mulligan: I've never heard of it
    Fox Monacular: and so people talk about all sort of things
    Pila Mulligan: before
    Fox Monacular: like hearing stuff, feeling touched, even sexually harrased by some supernatural evil entity
    Pila Mulligan: sound slike the stuff of myhts
    Pila Mulligan: myths*
    Fox Monacular: and the weirdest thing (that I like the most) is that people talk about feeling 'presence'
    Pila Mulligan: what do they report hearing?
    Fox Monacular: yes, myths, definitely!
    Fox Monacular: they hear all sort of things
    Fox Monacular: they hear voices sometimes, or sounds of movement
    Fox Monacular: or weird unnatural sounds
    Fox Monacular: but they distinctly feel that 'someone' is there
    Pila Mulligan: so obviously those being sexually hasrassed have a sense of some bein alos present, but is the presence idea common in most such paralysis situations?
    Fox Monacular: actually, in many countries sleep paralysis is a cultural thing - like witch oppression
    Fox Monacular: no, not always, but in most intense cases, yes
    Pila Mulligan: witch oppression was the first thought that came to my mind
    Fox Monacular: often there is no other hallucination
    Pila Mulligan: so how does this phenonmenon get explained?
    Fox Monacular: yes, and in different countries there are different magical remedies
    Pila Mulligan: in your lab?
    Fox Monacular: well, on the EEG level we know that a person experiencing sleep paralysis is actually in a sort of a state dissociation
    Pila Mulligan: is state dissociation another term for hallucination?
    Fox Monacular: so his body is still in REM (thus muscle paralysis, shallow breathing etc), he can still move his eyes
    Fox Monacular: but his mind is kind of awake
    Fox Monacular: it's like the opposite of lucid dreaming
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pila Mulligan: lucid waking?
    Fox Monacular: actually people who have a lot of sleep paralysis often lucid dream too
    Fox Monacular: not that lucid though... they get scared of their hallucinations still
    Pila Mulligan: sure, it must be frightening
    Fox Monacular: I'll bring examples of sleep paralysis narrative from the lab tomorrow, some are quite intense
    Pila Mulligan: I can imagine
    Fox Monacular: and there are people who talk about sleep paralysis being a window into lucid dreaming
    Pila Mulligan: does your lab try to relate to the presence or witch oppression aspect?
    Fox Monacular: not really the lab, it's more my topic
    Pila Mulligan: :) I think it is quite interesting also
    Fox Monacular: but we published a paper recently relating felt presence to social imagery and social anxiety
    Pila Mulligan: like demon fighting dreams (fighting what tradition would call demons, that is)
    Fox Monacular: as if there is a propensity to feel 'others' which manifests itself across the states
    Fox Monacular: yes, definitely
    Pila Mulligan: let's take an al;ternative apporach, let's suppose the presence is real
    Pila Mulligan: hypothetically :)
    Fox Monacular: it may yet be real
    Fox Monacular: :)
    Pila Mulligan: so that propensity to feel 'others' is suppressed usually
    Pila Mulligan: but emerges in sleep paralysis
    Pila Mulligan: then maybe we are seeing an aspect of how the mind organizes reality to make it workable in daily life
    Pila Mulligan: cutting off the demons so to speak
    Fox Monacular: I see, so it's like dream mentation is making a stand
    Fox Monacular: interesting
    Pila Mulligan: or even dream mentation is crossing the waking boundary in an unusual manner
    Pila Mulligan: as we suually exclude such presences from our waking state
    Fox Monacular: so the demons usually stay in the dream world, and only really come out in such intense situations as nightmares or sleep paralysis
    Pila Mulligan: but our exclusion is a modern day adaptation
    Pila Mulligan: yes
    Pila Mulligan: using demons loosely :)
    Fox Monacular: yes, I understand
    Fox Monacular: I like that, actually ever since I'm researching presence, I think I feel more presence in waking life than before
    Pila Mulligan: there is a long record of supernatural phenomena in traditional socities
    Fox Monacular: as if I become more attuned
    Pila Mulligan: some are light and helpful, some are dark and oppressive
    Fox Monacular: in some African countries, they put a broom at the entrance to the room so that the witch starts counting the straws and leaves the sleeper alone
    Pila Mulligan: so it worked both ways back then, so to speak
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Fox Monacular: yes, right
    Pila Mulligan: some Hawaiian tale sinvolve dark necromancy, such as praying someone to death
    Fox Monacular: but sleep paralysis is unusually dark... there are almost no accounts of positive experiences
    Fox Monacular: yes, I heard about it too:)
    Fox Monacular: although some people report out-of-body episodes during sleep paralysis, and these are usually fun
    Pila Mulligan: I suppose it would be -- why be afradi of angels :)
    Pila Mulligan: re positive accounts
    Fox Monacular: what's really striking to me is that the prevalence of SP is almost 40%
    Pila Mulligan: one story from Hawaiian history I rememebr was about a worker on aplantation being prayed to death
    Pila Mulligan: the Caucasian plantation owner (a rather aggressive type) found out about it and went to the supposed necromancer
    Pila Mulligan: they hada confrontation and the plantation guy threatned the necormancer with harm if he continued
    Pila Mulligan: and thr worker got well immeidately thereafter
    Fox Monacular: wow
    Pila Mulligan: usuaully I take a less sympathetic view of the plantation era's owners
    Pila Mulligan: but that may be an example of actual value from not believeing a necromancer has such power
    Fox Monacular: you know, the more I do science, the more I actually believe in this things.... usually it's the opposite:)
    Pila Mulligan: well, some sicence is self-justifying, some is more objectively jsuitfying
    Fox Monacular: the thing is that in our society people are reluctant to talk about htese things
    Pila Mulligan: I give wieght to traditions, myself
    Pila Mulligan: it was real then, at least
    Pila Mulligan: so what has changed?
    Fox Monacular: yes... somehow trust old stuff more than new
    Pila Mulligan: it should be given respect, if not validated
    Fox Monacular: now people are afraid of being treated as schizophrenics if they mention their sleep paralysis
    Pila Mulligan: but the central question is why do we see it idfferently now
    Pila Mulligan: :) yes, fear of the modern demons
    Fox Monacular: like, hey mom, demons harrassed me again tonight, so I don't feel like doing dishes today
    Pila Mulligan: they wo;t be burned at the stake, they will be burned a tthe pharmacy
    Fox Monacular: :)
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Fox Monacular: people have a phobia of mental illness
    Pila Mulligan: yep, espoecially the social rejection part
    Fox Monacular: while these experiences seem to be actually normal
    Fox Monacular: yes
    Fox Monacular: 40% is the lifetime prevalence
    Fox Monacular: imagine!
    Pila Mulligan: they can be normal enough to be respected, but not necessarily to be ignored is how to best improve them
    Pila Mulligan: how to ameliorate the dark part
    Pila Mulligan: so they are less distressing
    Fox Monacular: right, and peple don't respect them as psychological phenomena at all
    Fox Monacular: they want 'cure'
    Pila Mulligan: and so-called curing drugs are too frequnetly as much of a problem
    Fox Monacular: well, actually just knowing that you're probably not phychotic alreally helps people
    Pila Mulligan: indeed
    Pila Mulligan: treating normal is normal
    Pila Mulligan: as*
    Fox Monacular: I had many research participants tell me that just the fact that they talk to me about it an dthat I'm not surprised and tell them that there are many others is already helping cope with distress
    Pila Mulligan: you must be aware of modern day psychotropis that produce strong sensations of presence
    Fox Monacular: and actually you're right, it's the distress part that is most damaging
    Fox Monacular: like salvia?
    Pila Mulligan: yes
    Pila Mulligan: eyote
    Pila Mulligan: peyote\and others
    Fox Monacular: yes
    Pila Mulligan: Mescalito is a well-recognized deomn
    Pila Mulligan: salvia is full of minor demons
    Pila Mulligan: and minor angels
    Pila Mulligan: from what I';ve read
    Fox Monacular: would be cool to do research but tricky to get permission of ethic committee
    Pila Mulligan: :0
    Fox Monacular: :)
    Pila Mulligan rememebrs Leary
    Fox Monacular: seems so... from what i read too:)
    Fox Monacular: actually, in Montreal there's a bar where they legally serve salvia
    Pila Mulligan: there is probably enough literature to do second source research
    Pila Mulligan: cool
    Pila Mulligan: I thought it had been legallly dmeonized everyehwere
    Fox Monacular: there are remarkably few studies
    Fox Monacular: and mostly on rats
    Pila Mulligan: just Google salvia or peyote
    Fox Monacular: which is strange, considering that salvia is not illegal
    Pila Mulligan: there are tons of non-acadmeic reports
    Fox Monacular: yes, non academic, definitely
    Fox Monacular: I've read quite a few
    Fox Monacular: you know, in rats they found that salvia produces REM-like EEG
    Pila Mulligan: unfortuantely the established boundary of academic dignity rejects a lot of things that deserve more dignity that they get
    Fox Monacular: I know, it's terrible:)
    Pila Mulligan: what the EEG is measuring then suggests similar organic conditions
    Pila Mulligan: booundary dissolving conditions
    Fox Monacular: or perhaps similar phenomanology?
    Pila Mulligan: yes
    Pila Mulligan: so-called phenomena involve a distortion of ordinary perception -- rasining the quesiotn of how do we some to understand ordinary
    Pila Mulligan: come *
    Pila Mulligan: do we accept a pre-defined ordinary state?
    Fox Monacular: yes, and makes you wonder 'what else; are you missing?
    Pila Mulligan: :) yes
    Pila Mulligan: I can think of several things from yogic schools that would explain a lot of un-oridnary perceptions
    Pila Mulligan: but in fact are just steps toward better awareness
    Fox Monacular: right, I always thought 'altered' states of consciousness is not such a good concept
    Pila Mulligan: such states can be light and dark, the latter getting more attention
    Pila Mulligan: and/or perhaps
    Fox Monacular: yes, dark ones have a tendency to be distressing and intrude into normal life too much
    Pila Mulligan: if we think a darker state is ordinary, there may be unnecessary anxiety when it is affected by light
    Pila Mulligan: the obverse of your scomment :)
    Fox Monacular: ;)
    Pila Mulligan: but a genuinelt enligthening atte will prevail, and beocme ordinary in time
    Pila Mulligan: state*
    Fox Monacular: that's a huge hope:)
    Pila Mulligan: I think it is established historically
    Pila Mulligan: there is some ground for optiism
    Fox Monacular: but looks like people in the past knew better how to deal with their demons than we do
    Pila Mulligan: in thelnog run :)
    Pila Mulligan: I thnk the demn delaing problem is limited today by the academic scientific dignity problem
    Pila Mulligan: socence can be self-absorbed
    Fox Monacular: and by the unquestioned belief in empirical method
    Fox Monacular: yes, big time
    Pila Mulligan: yes, as validated by repition
    Pila Mulligan: suppose non-repetitive empiricsm is also valid?
    Pila Mulligan: that's like asking the Pope to ocntemplate polytheism
    Fox Monacular: and so you're discouraged from asking questions that are difficult to quantify
    Pila Mulligan: hi Doug
    Fox Monacular: hi Doug
    doug Sosa: keep talking, just returned from long drive in the rain.
    Pila Mulligan: I hope the drive was not discomforting
    Pila Mulligan: we are tlaking about demons and scinec eDoug
    doug Sosa: and quantification? One of the BIG demons :)
    Fox Monacular: yes!
    Pila Mulligan: it began with Fox telling me about sleep paralysis reports from her univveristy's dream laboratiry
    doug Sosa: science is about curiosity, numbers is alimited vocaulary of reasonable representations.
    Pila Mulligan: Doug is an unber shrink Fox (if I may be so bold)
    Pila Mulligan: uber-shrink*
    Pila Mulligan: so you guys are in the same acadmeic territory
    doug Sosa: expansive minded shrink :)
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    doug Sosa: what is sleep paralysis?
    Pila Mulligan: a nice opportunity to re-cycle some of the chat
    Fox Monacular: sorry, had to step out
    Fox Monacular: baby screaming
    Fox Monacular: mama mama mama
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pila Mulligan: mama time ha spriority
    Pila Mulligan: I'll cut and paste some for Doug for the time being
    Pila Mulligan: oops, it was before I re-logged
    Fox Monacular: oh, ok, thanks Pila
    Pila Mulligan: sorry, must wait :)
    Fox Monacular: wait a sec...
    doug Sosa: thanks. but i can pick it up with a single sentence.
    Fox Monacular: it's easier to just re-type
    doug Sosa: MA MA MA. i can do it too :)
    Pila Mulligan attempts: it is a condition where people, usually on awakeneing, may feel a presence or even harassment but cannot move their body
    Fox Monacular: basically it's a transient phenomenon that happens at sleep onset or at awakening
    Fox Monacular: yes:)
    doug Sosa: OK i under stand it. Want my theory?
    Fox Monacular: and often there are very intense and realistic hallucinations
    Pila Mulligan: sure
    Fox Monacular: yes!
    doug Sosa: The mind is most active when asleep. On awakening htere is new sensory input that forces the mind to reduce its activity to include a good impedance 9sp?) match with
    doug Sosa: the incoming. Sleep paralysis is because the mind, ehn in a good stable and active state ehn aslepp takes a few moments to gear down to the lower level of activity when actualy seeing part of the world.
    doug Sosa: saved by the bell once again.
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Fox Monacular: :)
    Pila Mulligan: that makes sense, Doug - a balance question
    Fox Monacular: interesting, doug
    Pila Mulligan: we got into demons earlier, as an older expression of similar phenomena
    Fox Monacular: it's also a REM phenomenon - so REM psychophysiology - atonia and dreaming (hallucinations)
    Fox Monacular: intrude upon wake
    doug Sosa: what i like about this theory is that the mind is most active when free from the ned to match external inputs. hence dreama re a reflection of this greater freedom.
    Fox Monacular: SP is one of the symptoms of narcolephy
    Fox Monacular: narcolapsy
    Fox Monacular: yes, I like that too
    doug Sosa: the need to sleep - to be free and let things organize themselves - a kind oc cleaning up - is very powerful.
    Fox Monacular: yes, sleep plays an important role in memory consolidation
    doug Sosa: Now, here is a new discovery - maybe. If you have the opportunity to sleep next to someone, put your hand on their skin and as they fall asleep notice that the skin begins to actually undulate in rhythmic waves, not stable completely because the skin surface is too irregular, but it feels to me like the sleepin is not completeley disconnected fom the nerves going to the muscles.
    doug Sosa: If the brain needs cleaning out, perhaps the whole nervous system does.
    Pila Mulligan: rejuvination?
    doug Sosa: daily.
    Fox Monacular: i've never heard of it, sounds really interesting
    Fox Monacular: I should try it:)
    doug Sosa: but the switch from the free brain (mind) of sleep to the rstricted brain of awwkend percepton is, for many, exhausting.
    Pila Mulligan note for Doug: if you have time tomorrow afternoon (I hope you do) this discussion by Fox about her dream lab work will be part of the topic at Maxine's dream workshop at Kira, 2:00 SLT Tuesday
    Fox Monacular: :)
    Fox Monacular: would be great if you could come
    doug Sosa: Oh i'd love to. I have a lunch a few miles from campus that won't end till about 2. if i get back to the studio in time I will check in. but quote me if you like.
    Pila Mulligan: thanks
    Pila Mulligan: and I hope you can be there
    Pila Mulligan: hello Bene
    Fox Monacular: hello Benedizione
    doug Sosa: hi bene , i didn't get here much before you.
    Benedizione Vita: hi doug
    doug Sosa: Its the second shift :)
    Benedizione Vita: traveling at relatavistic speed, we got here first ;^)
    Benedizione Vita: (not really, of course) :^)
    Fox Monacular: :)
    doug Sosa: isn't all speed relativistic?
    Pila Mulligan: Meher Baba wrote about the transition from sleep to awakend percepton (and vice versa) as the closest approach ordinary to the presence of God many, exhausting.
    Pila Mulligan: ordinary approach*
    Pila Mulligan: strie many exhautong -- left over fomr cut and paste
    doug Sosa: Interesting. I once had a girlfriend who was a baba devotee.
    Pila Mulligan: God. * :)
    Pila Mulligan: I love him myself
    Fox Monacular: hypnagogic states have a lot to offer
    Benedizione Vita: I read any interesting book about baba, among others
    Benedizione Vita: not endorsing its contents, but worth reading:
    doug Sosa: yes. the 9 sec and these states bar a lot of resemblance. Woth exploring.
    doug Sosa: bar-bear
    Fox Monacular: if you manage to stay awake during hypnagogic states, you can see most amazing things
    Benedizione Vita: it's free online; here is the baba chapter: http://www.strippingthegurus.com/stg...rs/saibaba.asp
    Benedizione Vita: ah but I am sorry, I just read baba--this one is about saibaba not meher baba...
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pila Mulligan: Sai Baba Sr?
    Pila Mulligan: he was one of Meher Baba's satgurus
    Pila Mulligan: this discussion about dreaming has med me think of The Doors of Perception book by Aldous Huxley
    Pila Mulligan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Doors_of_Perception
    doug Sosa: Then there is hazrat anayat (sp) khan (sp - gad its been a while)
    Pila Mulligan: yep
    Pila Mulligan: and it ha sbeen a while
    Benedizione Vita: oops, slipped into a nap, speaking of sleep
    Benedizione Vita: I should probably go to bed soon--late here on east coast
    Benedizione Vita: goodnight all
    Fox Monacular: inayat khan - sufi?
    Pila Mulligan: bye Bene
    Fox Monacular: goodnight
    Pila Mulligan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inayat_Khan
    Pila Mulligan: yes Sufi -- also mysticism
    Fox Monacular: right, that's the one I heard about
    Fox Monacular: The doors of perception is one of these books that I know I should read, but it jsut never happens:)
    Pila Mulligan: it is easy reading
    Pila Mulligan: "His [eldest son's] teaching derived from the mystical tradition of the East brought to the West by his father combined with his knowledge of the esoteric heritage and scholarship of western culture."
    Pila Mulligan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pir_Vilayat_Inayat_Khan
    doug Sosa: I knew Pir but his father was amazing. never met him but was told lots of stories.
    doug Sosa: Pir was pretty good too.
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    doug Sosa: I guess its go read time for me. I hope to join the dream tomorrow, not likely. maybe next time ( every tueday?)
    Pila Mulligan: it has been regular for this year, but there will be a break in November and Decemebr, resuingin January
    Fox Monacular: the worshop is on tuesdays, but it's likely to take a break
    Pila Mulligan: it is an intersting session
    Pila Mulligan: I hope you cn attend tomorrow, too
    doug Sosa: ok, i will be in honolulu next tuesday so lets see.
    Pila Mulligan: oh, come visit then too :)
    Pila Mulligan: rl
    Fox Monacular: lucky you:)
    doug Sosa: wish i could flight over and time just not available. I'd really love to sit with you and watch the sky sky.
    Pila Mulligan: please do when you can -- easy flights, like bus service, available guset room
    doug Sosa: cost?
    Pila Mulligan: I think they are about $80 each way, less roundtrip total, but may be wrong
    Pila Mulligan: let me check a second
    doug Sosa: I'll check but i think time is the limitation. conference on child and adolescent medicine.
    Pila Mulligan: ahh
    doug Sosa: which airport?
    Pila Mulligan: Hilo -- ITO
    doug Sosa: good. i'll check. night.
    Pila Mulligan: hope mto see you soon, g['nite
    Fox Monacular: good night
    Pila Mulligan: well, Fox it must be late for you
    Fox Monacular: yes, the baby' staring at the screen
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pila Mulligan: hi baby
    Fox Monacular: she's been going to bed late these days, I should take her to bed
    Pila Mulligan: ok
    Pila Mulligan: see you tommorrow then
    Fox Monacular: she thinks it's a boring cartoon:)
    Fox Monacular: yes, see you tomorrow,
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Fox Monacular: have a good night, PIla!
    Pila Mulligan: same to you and yours, Fox
    Pila Mulligan: aloha `oe
    Fox Monacular: aloha
    Tag page (Edit tags)
    • No tags
    You must login to post a comment.
    Powered by MindTouch Core