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Hypnagogia, Theta trance, and smokey figures of inspiration

My first discussion post on paganspace!

Hypnagogia is the mental state which many people use to enter lucid dreaming or astral project. I'm really interested to hear other's experiences in hypnagogic state who have entered without the intention for lucid dreaming.

Some people experience this their whole life without trying, while others teach themselves how to induce it. Personally, I've experienced various levels of it my whole life without trying, and actually worked hard to prevent it do to the fight-or-flight mechanism that kicks in at the beginning and being too afraid. 

Recently, I had my most extreme sensory experience which led me to learn the word "hypnagogia" and understand what it is both in mystical and scientific terms (I tend to believe they are always connected).
It usually starts with sleep paralysis (historical reference: see Goya, Musgrave, Fuseli's paintings, Persian bakhtak myth, Chpt. 34 Oliver Twist is full on hypnagogia), which is a terrifying experience. But I've now learned, for myself, if I don't fight it to try to wake myself, it eventually releases into hypnagogia.

During hypnagogia, your brain waves become theta while you are still transitioning from alpha (wakeful waves). This is like entering REM while still awake. Theta is also what happens when someone enters trance. It can involve all of your physical senses, even synesthesia, and also produces more accurate auto-symbolism than dreamstate, also epiphanies occur.
It is known that it has led many famous artists and inventors to create their own methods to induce it for the purpose of inspiration (Salvador Dali, Edison).

One of the most fascinating things for me is that this tends to be the major source of witnessing "shadow people". For some reason, throughout history, all around the world, the same sort of hooded figures are seen. Are we influencing each other's imagination or is there something to it?

After my last experience, I am still deciding whether to intentionally explore this state more or if it could become dangerous or draining for me. My intention is not to lucid dream through this method, just to receive messages and inspiration.  
I deal with trance state a lot, but it is always in my control and on my own terms. Hypnagogia feels like throwing myself into the void, another dimension, where anything could come at me. 




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Attempt to summarize my recent experience:


Breaking through the sleep paralysis, I had full control over my body, I felt and was sure I was 100% awake, but the world looked different. The windy thunderstorm and leaves blowing outside had come inside my house to create chaos, I was faintly aware of strange black sunlight and geometric patterns overlaying my environment. Smoke filled the lower part of the room. I had synesthesia, smelling sights and feeling smells etc. There was one large hooded shadow person in the corner, who somehow felt familiar and not so scary, almost protective, though in retrospect, should have been terrifying. After some time taking in the chaos and slowly understanding what state I was in, I heard a loud clear voice. This was new for me, and was the most chilling thing for me (the thing that later made me find more information to make sure I'm not schizophrenic or something).
It said, "we're here", not in an ominous way, more a simple announcement of arrival (it still startled me so much to hear so clearly). I turned my head toward my front door where there was a huge group of shorter hooded smokey figures overlaying each other. They repeated it, loud and clear. Then, they surged toward me (the movement in scientific terms is called the Tetris effect). They began to surround me and that is when I decided I had had enough of that world, I thought, if I can push my body through the ones standing behind me and lean against the wall, then they'd lose their physicality and disappear. That is what happened. I came back, and was frozen in shock for 30 min before I got up and immediately began to write...I had 2 -3 major epiphanies about subjects that had been hanging in my subconscious. 
While it was happening, I was sure of my physical experience and wakefulness, but as i write and speak about it, it does sound a bit wild. 

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Thank you for taking the time to read and look forward to hearing other's thoughts, insights and experiences!
 

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Have you ever tried yoga nidra? I always found faerie journeys to be very similar. Blessings on your path forward regardless.

Another use of hypnogogiais the Astral Doorways technique. This technique acts like an Astral GPS system. The best Book on the subject is Brennan's "Astral Doorways".

The tequniqueis simple. Imagine a symbol on a curtain over an open doorway. Step through the curtain and through the doorway. Record your impressions. With practice you can explore the inner topography and Iconography! When you have finished retrace your steps to the place you started and step back through the curtain to return to the same reality you started in.

This technique has been in the publickforum for ober a century! In that time numerous experiments have shown that everyone using the same symbol will(providing they are doing the tequnique corectly) get substantialy thre same results. In that sence the technique can be said to be scientific in so far as it produces replacatable results.

The tequenique has three main uses:

(1). As a method of "tuining in" to or "visiting" predetermined "locations" on the astral Plane.

(2). For discovering the meaning of unknown symbols

(3). For training the intuition.

I'd be curious to learn how you believe you achieve this state consciously and purposely.  

firstly, I'd never underestimate the power of simple intention.

In addition, like I said, instead of fighting the sleep paralysis, i flowed with it until releasing into hypnagogia.
Further, it is widely known that as you drift to sleep, you can sort of half-wake yourself into the state with some mechanism, such as sound. Dali would sit in a chair, with a bowl on the floor, and a key ring on his finger. It would slip out of his hand as he drifted and made a sound as it fell to the bowl, "half waking" him. 
Further, I would say  from my own experience, some of the aspects of the trance states entered through trance dance rituals results in an effect like hypnogogia. 

There are several ways in to this state . Probably the simplest for beginners is the "extention" of the state between sleeping and waking. Learning to stay concious between sleep and waking will lead to the state which can be extended with practice. A second method is skrying, the "state of revere", nessesary for skrying is the same state.

Since another ability that requires this state is distant viewing exercises to induce this ability can also be used to induce it. 

An outright psychic intrusion that is designed to cause a massive interruption of one's state of consciousness, or mind, most likely out of illiciting fear that is designed to terrorize you. That is the difference between unintentional inadvertent experience, and a "self induced" experience. That being the case, I did not see the necessity to change how I deal with it, I used my own intuitive sense of psychic combat via a specific methodology, to confront this, and eventually get rid of it completely. That is not an understatement in the slightest.. So, comparative experiences with other people's experiences are simply irrelevant, in my case, but interesting to take note of. Obviously, there are a variety of ways to deal with it, depending on the intensity of the individual's experience. In my case I would characterize this as a sort of "reverse hypnagogia", and I don't know what difference it really makes.

I say that because there was no discernable transition state of falling asleep. There was no intent to enter into another state of consciousness. There was no intent to do anything but sleep. I was simply caught dead in the act of sleeping, and was strangely alerted to a state of consciousness that I would almost consider to be traumatic. Clearly, what affects you in your sleep has something to do with somekind of "other" experiences you have had, whether mundane, or otherwise.

Psychological, yes, but only in the sense of using psychological apparatus, IE the brain, to process the experience, and to shake it off. After that I would be in a waking state of consciousness, in the complete sense of being awake, and then just go back to sleep.

Alleviating the experience did not happen overnight, or in one or two settings. Nor, did I feel it necessary to ask for anyone's help, as if anyone's experiences could be exactly paralleled to my own, anyway. Nor do you know when it will happen again. It happens when it happens, and you have no control over that part of it, except to figure out how to stop it from happening. It's certainly not a naturally comfortable way to experience a dream...to say the least. By the same token, this is very different from your typical nightmare.

But once you stop it a few times effectively, it seems to trigger a message to the "sender".

Just to dispel some of the confusion I am picking up here, is that there are a few issues with this thread going on. Two apparently are related, and the other, hypnogogia, is just a side show, but to give some sort of psychological explanation of the pre trance state of consciousness, if I am understanding this correctly.

The other two issues are that you have a dance ritual that is designed to expel an unwanted entity inhabiting it's host, in this case, another human body. The performer enters a trance state where "astral beings" are encountered, that perhaps is not completely understood, especially the after effects thereof.

It seems like the primary feeding ground for sleep paralysis and it's ensuing effects to occur.

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