Behind Closed Eyelids

Close your eyes, and gently press on your eyelids for a few seconds.

What did you see?

If you are like most people (as most people are), then you were greeted with a visual fireworks display of neon green sparklers and clouds of fuchsia that sashayed across your visual field. Maybe these were intermingled with turquoise rings and the sorts of white splotches of light that typically linger in your eyes after the flash of a camera.


Those are all called phosphemes, which are types of Closed Eye Visualizations (or, CEVs). Believe it or not, when you experience CEVs, you are hallucinating.

But not all hallucinations are CEVs…

Now, let us pretend that, instead of pressing against your eyelids, you simply sat there with your eyes shut. Additionally, let us imagine that the room in which you were sitting was pitch black. If you had managed to stay awake, what would have happened?

At first, not that much. You might have initially noticed that the darkness behind your eyelids did not appear to be pitch black, but rather, more of a smokey grey. This is a color called eigengrau, which means, “dark light,” or “brain grey.” Despite its appearance, this smokey grey eigengrau is pitch black. It appears to be lighter than that because our brains have a hard time figuring out how dark something is in the absence of contrast. (If we could pluck the stars and the moon out of a black sky, its color would seem to shift to that very same eigengrau.)

“My eigengrau is darker than yours!”

However, as you relaxed, the brain grey started to come alive. Pixels—probably purple—popped and crackled like the white noise from a borked TV screen. (On a side note, I think I just fell off of my stilted word choices and borked my head. 😆)

Level 1 CEV

Next, those pixels started to expand and contort themselves into the same types of phosphemes that you saw after you pressed on your eyelids.

Level 2 CEV

If you had an unusual ability to relax and concentrate, the phosphemes slowly morphed into clearly defined shapes.

Level 3 CEV

And those shapes became scenes.

Level 4 CEV

Any further, and you would have seen some rather odd things when you opened your eyes.

Level 5 CEV: Why on earth have you gone this far?

So, What’s the Big Deal With CEVs?

Right about now, you might be wondering why I went through the trouble of cataloging for you the many types of Closed Eye Visualizations. Well, this is because they are my next experiment.

“But, Philosophical Bunny, what about your Polyphasic Sleep Experiment? I thought you had finally found a sleep cycle that worked for you, and you were going to post updates, and do the—”

Enough of that, already! First, the level of performance that long-term polyphasic sleepers exhibit is much higher than the sluggish torpor of individuals who have missed a few days of rest…but it pales in comparison to the performance levels of people who have been consistently receiving a healthy eight hours of sleep. Second, sleep clears out toxic chemicals from the brain, and I don’t wanna screw with that. Third, I felt like crap, and life’s much too short to feel like crap.

Now that we have gotten that out of the way, here are the abilities that I am hoping to gain from Project CEV:

  1. To willingly produce and control CEVs that are visual, auditory, and emotional (in the third case, this means prompting myself to feel particular emotions).
  2. To use those CEVs to have more effective meditation sessions.
  3. To use them in conjunction with memory techniques, like the method of loci.
  4. To use them to enter into Wake Induced Lucid Dreams (WILDs).
  5. To use them to accomplish a range of other tasks, including creating artwork, ignoring pain, visualizing routes while climbing, and mapping out complex systems.
  6. To generally have a fun time and learn more about the inner workings of the mind!

I’ll try to keep this blog up to date with descriptions of my progress and any discoveries that I make. Hopefully, other people who are interested in toying around with CEVs will find this information useful and those who are only here to learn will find it intriguing.

Happy visualizing,

Your friendly philosophical bunny



One Comment Add yours

  1. Callaghan Grant says:

    My eigengrau is dark until, suddenly, it isn’t and then it’s swept with shimmering waves of pink and green and cobalt blue, often with stars of bright white or red or aquamarine that are like quasars. I don’t have CEVs. When I open my eyes, images, detailed images, of faces and creatures and landscapes pour out, like I am flying over vast ranges of mountains and hillsides. I see people and eyes floating around the room looking back at me. And, no I am not a schizo either. I have many focal and partial seizures each day–temporal and parietal bilateral and occipital (bilateral.) It’s strange and wonderful the way images have begun to pour from my mind so spontaneously. I had noticed for a few years before this began that I could visualize intentionally, in which case the images seemed to be projected forward and were less detailed, or I could allow images to happen and they were detailed and inside my head and seemed to be in back. I look at them with eyes open but not because I need my eyes. I am sure my eyes likely course the lines of what I am seeing, but it’s all inside my mind. I am also a lucid dreamer and have been since the age of 7. I am 59. I regularly astral project spontaneously and I died at the age of 21 and had an OOB and NDE and life review. Busy place, my head. 18 to 20 seizures/hour and I love the things my mind belches out before my mind’s eye. Good luck and stay in touch.


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