Friday, March 14, 2014

I saw the light

Normally, when I fall asleep, I don't notice myself doing it. I'm lying there getting sleepy, then the next thing I know, either I'm in the middle of a dream or the alarm is ringing the next morning. I think that's the way it works for most people. The transition isn't a transition, it's a gap.

The other night, though, I woke up about 4 a.m., a good three hours before I wanted to. Couldn't get back to sleep. Tried listening to the radio, finally started feeling drowsy. Then I noticed I was seeing a spinning spiral-checkerboard pattern, black and white, rather like a spiderweb. Felt as though I was falling into it. Knew my eyes were closed. Couldn't open them, in fact. (I tried.) The checkerboard pattern faded to black, and I saw a pale white light in my center of vision, toward which I continued to fall.

"Huh," I remember thinking distinctly, "I'm falling asleep. I'm actually experiencing it, instead of just doing it."

I also remember thinking, "This looks a lot like those near-death experiences that people sometimes have. I guess this is what things look like when the conscious mind shuts down. Too bad for the people who think that white light down there is the afterlife."

Then after awhile I was in a dream, and I knew I was dreaming, which was good, because I was in an old car in a swamp in the woods, and there was a dead body in the passenger seat I had to get rid of.

Lucid dreaming is a thing, and I've had a couple of lucid dreams in the past, without trying, but I can only remember one other time I fell asleep lucidly. I was maybe around 10 or 12, and all I remember is that I knew I was falling asleep. I don't recall any visual effects that time. No spiderweb, no pale white light.

All of which, if nothing else, is at least enough excuse to post this video:

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