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Vertigo and Out-of-Body Sensations - nhpeacenik
Vertigo and Out-of-Body Sensations
Yesterday I was standing in front of the cookstove, holding a broom which I was in the process of putting away, when suddenly one of the black knobs on the white stove launched free of the stove and hovered between my belly and and the broom. I felt a shiver behind my bellybutton,  a moment of panic, then a great sense of calm detachment. Watching the knob, which seemed to be spinning slowly, I found my perspective drifting upward and to the left, swinging around to a point where I could see my own head, with its little bald spot, looking down at the knob.

I had been reading an Alan Watts essay in which he points out that we see with our eyes, but we can't see our own eyes, and I wished to see my eyes... willed "my" head (down there) to look up at the point from which I was perceiving. Slowly, "I" looked up and I saw my own eyes. Then the two of us snapped together and I continued the motion of putting away the broom, as if nothing had happened.

I almost dropped the experience the way one drops a dream on waking, but something kept the incident in the recesses of my mind until this morning, when a passage in a book I was reading  reminded me of it.

I thought about the parallels with verigo. Since I had Lyme disease, over a decade ago, I've been having spells of vertigo. The type of vertigo I have is caused by tiny crystals that get loose in the fluid of my inner ear, bumping into things and confusing the part of my brain that is constantly engaged in keeping me upright. That part of the brain trusts the messages it gets from the inner ear so much more than the message ist gets from my eyes that it tries to "right" me from what it perceives to be a dangerous angle, and ends up dropping me to the floor or making me throow up from "seasickness". I have learned there is a cure for the condition that involves lying down and moving the head from side to side in a structured way, until the little crystal falls into one of several sticky conical spaces in the inner ear and sticks fast. There is no reasoning wth that part of the brain... it's a take on the old Groucho Marx gag  "Who are you going to believe? Me, or your lying eyes?"

The part of my brain that seems capable of moving my center of perception out of my head is a lot like that balance/vertigo center, but it is amenable to reason. I know I have activated it many times, and it seems familiar, but I don't tend to rmember those times afterward.

Anybody out there having the same type of experience and want to talk about it?

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Current Location: Greenville NH USA
Current Music: Mariee Sioux, Wizard Flurry Home

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(Deleted comment)
nhpeacenik From: nhpeacenik Date: April 7th, 2009 10:32 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't think I have any other entries on this kind of thing. Years ago, I actively practiced lucid dreaming for a while, and some of my favorite songwriters use lucid dreams as a songwriting tool.

The funny thing about the phenomenon I describe above is the message that seems to be embedded in it that "this is not important, pay no attention to this, forget this..." I have the sense that it's a familiar state that happens all the time but that I'm not supposed to remember, and it seems I normally don't.
From: sonoran_scrawl Date: April 11th, 2009 05:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
hi, i get this too. i leave my body. some i learned from dissociation from trauma. i forget a lot too. sometimes i have this feeling of having traveled a long ways, and experiencing a long life somewhere else and come back to this place and forget about it all, but get a sense of it sometimes...like little dreams in the day, dream travel dreams. sometimes i feel i get glimpses of it and sometimes i think this is where poetry comes from. well i hope your vertigo does not bother you anymore. i get that sometimes too. it was so nice of you to call and read me that wonderful story. it made my day, thank you so much. you are such a kind soul and i am so glad to have found you out here, much peace and love, nancy
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