Before I became interested in psychic abilities (because I thought they were fake), I had a strong interest in hypnosis. I was about 14 or 15 years old, and I saw a hypnotist on TV knocking people out and making them do weird things, like make out with brooms. I was intrigued instantly.
As any nerd would do, my natural reaction was to go to the library and read every book on hypnosis I could find. Unfortunately, there weren’t any. There was only one in the catalog, and I had to order it from another library. A tormenting week later, the book finally arrived, and I dove in.
I didn’t try hypnotizing anyone else… I didn’t really care about making other people look silly. I wanted to try this stuff up close and personal. The only chapter that interested me was the one titled, “Self-Hypnosis”.
I did the exercises, and they mostly didn’t do anything. It put me in a light trance, but even then… it was more like – “Did I do it? Was I hypnotized? Or just messing with myself?” I didn’t have any solid success. I kept at it for a while (probably a month or two), but nothing crazy was happening, so I eventually lost interest.
Except for one experience…
At the time I didn’t make the connection, and concluded that self-hypnosis didn’t work for me. Looking back, I now know that my experience was directly related to my practice with self-hypnosis.
I woke up in the middle of the night, and was laying in bed. The next thing I remember, I could hear people faintly. The volume gradually increased until I could hear a crowd of people as if they were standing all around me. I’m talking about actually hearing people. If someone started a conversation with you in real life right now – that’s the exact kind of hearing I experienced. Real hearing. As if they were physically right next to me.
I could make out the voices and sounds. It was as if I was walking down my hallway in high school, between classes. I could hear some of my friends talking, and other acquaintances. I could listen to the entire crowd and take in all the mur-murs, or I could focus in on one group of people and hear specifically what they were talking about. Just like in real life.
I was absolutely amazed. I was fully aware that I was laying in bed, in the middle of the night. My eyes were even partly open. I was completely calm and conscious. But I heard voices. Perhaps I am crazy? It wasn’t a dream, although part of my brain might have been in a dream state. Eventually I fell asleep, after listening for about 5-10 minutes.
Before you actually think that I really am clinically crazy, I should tell you that my experience is somewhat common, and has been scientifically studied. It’s called a hypnagogic experience. Weird word for a weird state of mind.
The scientific community claims that it’s a form of hallucination that people experience between the sleep and awake state. There are a lot of different ways to experience this hallucination. You can hear weird things (auditory), see weird things (visual), or feel weird things (tactile). Or maybe a combination. It just so happens that in my experience, I heard voices.
Since my experience, I’ve had a lot of hypnagogic hallucinations. I can sometimes induce them on cue, but usually they just happen randomly. Some hallucinations are very vivid and seem real, while others are very light and I can easily tell that it’s something in my head. Either way, they are a lot of fun to play with, as long as you don’t get too freaked out .
Chances are you’ve already had a light hypnagogic hallucination before, you just didn’t know what it was called. I believe that day dreams are a very very light form of them (although I’ve never read research that has made the connection). A more solid hypnagogic hallucination can be experienced before falling asleep at night.
How? Simple: trance.
Trance out before you go to bed at night, and weird shit happens. It’s a law of the universe.
But maybe this is your first time trying to induce a trance, and you have no real clue how to go about it. Hey, don’t worry! It just so happens I have some tips you can try .
First, lay down. Close your eyes. Sometimes I listen to music, and that can really help a lot. What kind of music? Surely you can guess by now: trance music .
If you choose to listen to some music, then a great way to get into a trance is to focus ONLY on the music. Focus on every layer, every instrument, every background ting and whiz. Make sure the songs are in stereo, and focus on how the left ear is slightly different from the right ear. Put 100% of your focus in the song. Forget your body. Do this for about 20 minutes, and you’ll be in a nice trance .
If you choose not to listen to music, then you might have to work a little harder to trance out without falling asleep. Progressive relaxation helps. Basically, just lay there, don’t move your body, and relax all your muscles. Then go muscle by muscle, and focus on making sure it’s completely relaxed. Start at your feet, work your way up your legs, through your torso, down your arms, into your neck and face. This entire process should take from 20 minutes to 40 minutes. It’s not a race! Take your time.
If you do progressive relaxation, and get to the end and you still aren’t tranced out, then just think of nothing. Focus on thinking of nothing. Keep doing that. It’s hard. But it works.
Once you get to a solid trance, either by using music, or relaxing your body, then just maintain the trance. Weird stuff is bound to happen .
If you reach a trance state of mind, then you won’t be fully aware that you’re trancing out. It’s like watching a really good movie. It sucks you in and you completely forget that you’re sitting in a theater, watching a movie. It’s like day dreaming. If you try to pin down, “ok, NOW I’m day dreaming”, then you miss it. But if you just let go and experience it, then you flow in and through it, and you realize afterwards what happened.
So what happens when you’re trancing out? For me, usually something will yank me back. Maybe I was trying to think of nothing, and a flood of thoughts rush into my mind. Or I’ll hear something. Or I’ll feel someone poke me :). Hello hypnagogia!
Once a hallucination yanks me out of my trance, I don’t have to go back into a trance. I can just lay there, stay calm, and play around with the hallucination – completely aware of what’s going on.
I experience hypnagogic states of mind about five times a month. For example, last night I saw some weird stuff. I went to bed, listening to some trance music. I listened attentively for about 20 minutes, focusing only on the music, before I tranced out. Then a flood of images and videos came at me. It yanked me out of my trance, but the hallucination continued. I saw faces and people – I was inspecting them and trying to memorize their faces. This continued for about a minute. The faces flashed by me quickly. I didn’t recognize anyone . It was crystal clear though. It wasn’t blurred, or fuzzy around the edges. I saw it clearly.
Sometimes I experience auditory hallucination like I did during my first experience. When I reach that state of mind, it’s like I’m a radio, picking up whatever I want. I can tune myself to music, and listen to songs in my head, with crystal clarity and perfect recall. Or I can tune myself to specific people, and hear them talk. For example, I may get yanked out of a trance hearing my friend say something (”I don’t think that’s fair. Wouldn’t it be better to just talk to him? Maybe I just don’t understand.”). I can tune in to that friend, and listen to them talk. Or I can change to another person and listen to them. Or change to music. It’s fun :). And it’s all crystal clear, as if it was happening right in front of me.
In the same way, when I experience visual hallucination, sometimes I can tune it as well (but for me, tuning a visual hallucination is harder). I remember one experience where I tuned into receiving cartoon characters. Why? Boredom I guess :). I tuned my hallucination to only show me cartoon characters. I received a stream of different characters for a few minutes, changing about every second, like a slide show.
If you want to experience something truly weird, then trance out before you go to bed at night. Don’t have any expectations. Just trance out.
If you can keep your cool, then you’re bound to experience some strange hallucinations. It’s a lot of fun to play with. It’s also amazing the first couple of times, because the hallucinations seem very real, and if you’ve never experienced a hallucination, it can be shocking to see how clear a hallucination can be.
If you do it a lot, you may figure out how to take slight control over a hallucination, and tune it in a certain direction. It’s cool :) . No drugs necessary.
Have fun! If you have a question, feel free to ask in the comments. Or if you’ve had a strange hallucination in the past, feel free to share as well :) .
The experiences of our members with the methods presented in this article are contained here.