Citation: Isaac F. "Blue Faded Into Black: An Experience with Ganzfeld Effect (exp98064)". Erowid.org. Jan 25, 2023. erowid.org/exp/98064
Odd Ganzfeld Experience
I'd like to preface this by noting that the only real substance I have used is alcohol, so my experience may not be appropriate, though I think it is interesting enough to submit. However I have a lot of experience with meditation and methods of hypnosis. It's also relevant to point out that the reason I have not tried other substances is because I experience psychotic episodes (featuring mild hallucinations), and I think this may be relevant as it's possible that the issues with my brain cause my experiences to be more intense.
It had been a while since I last meditated or played around with sensory deprivation, but had been reading about the Ganzfeld in the evening and I was quite excited to try it. My set up was incredibly basic; two blue LED flashlights taped to a table over my bed about eye width apart, a piece of paper as a mask to project the light onto and some white noise generated in Audacity. I sat up in my bed in way that I was comfortable, turned off all the lights except the blue flashlights and pulled down my make-shift mask.
A few minutes in (this is a very rough guess as time was difficult to follow), the blue inside the mask felt a lot more expansive than it was, as if I was looking at a blue sky rather than a mask close to my face. This inspired a comfortable feeling, and as I stared at the blue expanse the comfort turned to awe. At the same time that my emotions got deeper, the blue faded into black and then my vision began to pulse between blue and black which was very calming.
The calming effect of this began the first of the physical effects. At first my legs and arms became very heavy (like when I meditate) and felt dense enough that they could 'melt' through my bed. The pulsing slowed down and the awe returned, and I got the sense that I was close to something very large moving in front of me, like I was submerged in murky water with whales swimming past, all the while I was getting heavier and heavier.
The visuals stopped abruptly and returned to pulsing and the physical effects changed dramatically. From a feeling of heaviness my limbs became empty-feeling, and felt as though they were stretching out and were too long (like giraffe legs) and springing back into being stubby and fat. This was accompanied by a feeling of liquidness and rippling through my body beginning at my heart. Every beat made feel as though a stone had been thrown into my reflection and I could feel the ripples physically; this is a feeling I have never had before with any form of meditation.
I enjoyed this for a while and tried to focus back on my visuals and found I could almost control what I could see and a yellow-ish 'light blob' grew at the centre of my vision. This blob was seemingly connected to my sense and would change depending on what sense I focused on. I took some deep breaths with my nose and the blob expanded and contracted with the widening and tightening of my nostrils. I focused on the white noise and and the blob split apart and spread over my vision into a 'noise field', wobbling with crackling noise in my ears. I focused on my mouth, and ran my tongue along the roof of my mouth and the blob moved up and down my vision with my tongue, lightening and darkening with the feeling of the bumps in my mouth. I focused on my vision and now stared at the blob istelf, it responded by splitting into small, uneven shapes which kept repeating on themselves and trickling down in a fractal manner which was very beautiful.
It got weird now when I tried to focus on the physical sensation in my limbs. I tried to think about my legs becoming lighter and to my surprise they did, so I tried to think about them becoming heavier and they did. The bed felt as if it was butter under my feet and they were falling through it, though my arms felt very light and this created on of the oddest sensations I have ever experienced; it felt as though I had been stood up (I had not moved physically since starting the experiment) and I was now upright, in front of a pit, the sense of awe turned to dread with the motion and I was now quite scared. The tone in my ears seemed to speed up, the crackling merged into one long, high pitched tone which brought a feeling of falling into the pit. My arms began to tense and it felt like my physical body had jumped away from my mind leaving me with a feeling of not having a body at all. At this point the fear grew uncontrollable and thrashed and snatched the paper from my face, ending the experience.
After the experience, I was trembling and very relaxed (in spite of the less than stellar ending), my legs were light and I felt warm. This is easily the most intense thing I have experienced and will be trying it again.
[duration: 30 minutes]
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