Have very active imagination, not sure if I am imagining A&P or having it

Aleks Bykhun, modified 1 Month ago at 5/30/22 4:01 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/30/22 4:01 AM

Have very active imagination, not sure if I am imagining A&P or having it

Posts: 2 Join Date: 5/30/22 Recent Posts
Hi everyone! Read Daniel's book and went to Goenka's 10 day vipassana , just came out yesterday. I had troubles with body scans, so I broke the rules and for the last few days was experimenting with observing my visual field.

My claims:

1. I can go into jhanas.
2. I can do magick (static animation, light transmutation, changing faces)
3. I have reached A&P

Jhanas
So for me I start with concentrating on an object, usually it's a visual with open eyes or an animation in my mind (like cartoonish breath arrows animating in and out of my nose). Object becomes kinda "important" and background is gets kinda dimmed, but not in terms of brightness, more like "not important right now".

This state is something I can stay in for a long time, even when I notice the uncomfortability in my body, it's quite easy for the attention to go back to the object. Even sometimes I felt attention is being "pulled" magnetically to the object when I was "trying" to be distracted.

I used breath control to force myself deeper into concentration; 

Magick
Going into jhanas with open eyes, I noticed that if I relax in a certain way and "allow" objects to do whatever they want, my mind start seeing patterns which are not there. Examples are: the shadows on the roof might move and become a drawing of a cat; faces in the dark are blurry so I could draw somebody else's face; once I turned two leafs lying on the ground into the pair of funky sunglasses.

Also when I was in a "high" state, after some deep meditations or after green tea, these things would go crazy by themselves. I could easily pin them down and distinguish from reality, but still it has felt very trippy.

In this state, when change, objects don't lose their visual form. Instead, it distinctly feels that only the interpretation part is what's changed. Like when you look at the zebra and you can make it seem like the zebra is white with black stripes OR black with white stripes. The visual itself doesn't change, but the interpretation does.

With animated objects, I guess that I was hacking the processing layer that detects movement in the visual field, and was making that layer produce "moving" when the image beneath it wasn't moving at all.

Arising and Passing
Disclaimer: They forbid to do any unrelated practices on Goenka's vipassana, and I am aware that I was mixing body sensation observation with visual one; so I would usually recommend everyone to follow his teacher as much as possible. It's just for me it was a crisis; I had troubles with following the Goenka technique; and I lost trust in my teacher and the technique and I struggled to calm my mind; for a few days I was just having inner debates when trying to meditate on cushion. Instead, I decided to use the time at least somewhat effectively. I have also stopped doing magick after I realised it's kinda the opposite of vipassana, which is seeing the reality as it is, instead of controlling it.

For the last few days, I was mainly working with visual field. First, I somehow learned to split my attention to observe separately the rods and cons (color and brightness). Brightness was much easier somehow, probably because my eyes have a long adaptation period and I have a lot of tracers of dark/bright patterns even from not very bright objects.

So observing these forms,  directly, first with my eyes closed, then with my eyes open, I noticed they were blinking. The frequency is a bit strange, it's about 2-3 Hz, but kinda there's second-order blinking which is about 10-15 Hz.

Next, these blinkings were getting in the way until I had an idea to look at the solidly lit objects. So when I found a wall, and looked into it for some time, I noticed it consists of a noise of this distinct green-purple color (you know, the color of the patterns you see when you close the eyes after looking at something bright).

This noise first looked like they vibrate in unison, at the frequency of about 20-40 Hz (was hard to make them stable given I had overlay of brightness forms that were blinking too). At the closer inspection, it looks more like a TV static of the same color, so that they are actually not in unison, instead they are completely unsyncronized.

After some practice, I started noticing both kinds of vibrations in my daily life with my eyes open. Now, even full day after vipassana, I still see them everywhere. I can kinda tune away to don't notice them, but when I start thinking about something and stare in the wall, I would just see them again. I can't make them go away, I can only ignore if I don't pay attention to what's my visual field is made of (like when you quickly eat sweets so that you don't have time to think about them being bad for you, which you perfectly know as soon as you ask yourself the question). 

BUT, I didn't have any A&P Event. If feels like if you had it, you would know it? Like, I had many emotionally charged events, including energy bursts and events that feels a bit like cessation. But none of them were "life-changing", they were just times when I was excited that I am on a verge of something new.

The question

In general, I have very active imagination. The troubles with the Goenka were specifically with me having too many imagination. I have had too manyvisuals of my body, and have been imagining controlling my body sensations directly (moving energy flows, pinching, pumping the pulse a bit).

I wonder if I am just trying to imagine how it should look, and then my mind applies the patterns on top of what he sees (like with magick), or am I directly progressing on the path? Maybe I just worry too much about "achievements" instead of continuing observing. Still, it gives me motivation to see myself reach certain milestones and being able to have deeper experiences.

Like before finding jhanas, I couldn't meditate – I was quickly bored and distracted away with what I am gonna have for breakfast or whatever work stuff I gotta do this week. So when I have some specific achievements in my reach, they actually motivate me to work harder.

What's your guess? Am I progressing? What I should focus on next? Which areas have to be improven?
Robert L, modified 29 Days ago at 5/30/22 6:29 AM
Created 29 Days ago at 5/30/22 6:29 AM

RE: Have very active imagination, not sure if I am imagining A&P or having

Posts: 16 Join Date: 2/10/19 Recent Posts
You've probably had an A&P at some point, not all A&P are mind shattering firework displays of exploding universes. After having a few I realized that I probably had some even before I started meditating. You absolutely can fabricate a false naration of enlightenment and achievements. Just scroll through this site, or Reddit, or Youtube, for a while and you'll see plenty of naratives that may be fabricated on some level. 
You are at a point where you need to find a teacher. Someone that can help you develop a path of meditation/contemplation, and give you advice on avoiding the pitfalls that you are experiencing. An active imagination is not a bad thing, but if you can imagine it, it ain't it.
George S, modified 29 Days ago at 5/30/22 9:06 AM
Created 29 Days ago at 5/30/22 9:05 AM

RE: Have very active imagination, not sure if I am imagining A&P or having

Posts: 2461 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Very creative, lots of good techniques and investigations emoticon

What's your guess? Am I progressing? What I should focus on next? Which areas have to be improven?

​​​​​​​You obviously have strong intuition regarding your practice. I wouldn't worry about maps too much, just keep following what interests you and investigating whatever dissatisfaction arises (including if wanting to know where you are on a map is a source of dissatisfaction!)

I have also stopped doing magick after I realised it's kinda the opposite of vipassana, which is seeing the reality as it is, instead of controlling it.

Yeah well "reality" (experience) is mutable, so no inherent conflict there  emoticon The interesting thing about magick is:- where do the intentions come from? How does control work, in the absence of a controller?
Aleks Bykhun, modified 29 Days ago at 5/30/22 9:33 AM
Created 29 Days ago at 5/30/22 9:33 AM

RE: Have very active imagination, not sure if I am imagining A&P or having

Posts: 2 Join Date: 5/30/22 Recent Posts
Thanks for the reassurance!

> The interesting thing about magick is:- where do the intentions come from? How does control work, in the absence of a controller?

As I understand, that's the question you advise me to meditate on mostly. However, I already explored it a bit, and usually the control is vocal – like I say in my head what did I want to see. Funny thing is that even when I tried to "help" it to recognize objects by thinking directly how the new object should look like, it didn't listen to me. Like with two leafs turned into sunglasses, the final result was totally unpreditable to me. BUT still it converged into the sunglasses, meaning I have some control.
George S, modified 29 Days ago at 5/30/22 9:43 AM
Created 29 Days ago at 5/30/22 9:43 AM

RE: Have very active imagination, not sure if I am imagining A&P or having

Posts: 2461 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Funny thing is that even when I tried to "help" it to recognize objects by thinking directly how the new object should look like, it didn't listen to me. 

​​​​​​​That's magick for you XD

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