Tuesday, October 27, 2009

image within my eye

I drew the curious image as a way to try understand what I've seen. I was recently (and repeatedly) confronted with this little face. You can double click on the illustration for a high-rez view.

I am writing this with a real-deal feeling of uneasiness because it’s just so bizarre. Sharing this strange story leaves me open to (justifiable) claims that I’m delusional, paranoid, fantasy prone or just plain lying. As I write this out, I am trying to be as honest and clear as I can be.

First I need to fill you in on my eyes themselves. During the summer of ’08 I noticed some odd things in my sight, later an optometrist diagnosed me with cataracts on my right eye.

Here's a photo of my eye, taken in the doctors office, and you can see the small imperfections centered in my pupil.
Those little tiny dots are cataracts. Presently it's minimal and not much of an issue, sometimes I see a blurry halo around lights at night.

Here's how I saw the distinct image of the little face.

Last week I was laying on my back in a park in Pasadena California. It was a lovely afternoon, the sun was shining and my face was pointed upwards. You know how when you lie out in the sunshine with your eyes closed, there is a warm pink glow in your vision, you can see the light through your eyelids. Right then I was seeing that. Then I squinted, just slightly opening my eyes, because I am always amazed at the psychedelic imagery that appears as the sunshine filters thru my eyelashes. I get this curious "lens flare" and optical "blooms" that play out brilliantly in my relaxed state of concentration. Does this make sense?

Since the cataracts appeared in my right eye, these halo type blooms are slightly distorted, they show up as a doughnut shape, rather than a true circle of light. I’ve noticed this often in the last year. And as I lay out in sunshine in that park I saw, quite clearly, the image of a little face in the center of this optical effect!

I was enthralled, and I could distinctly focus on it. What I saw was much more psychedelic than I the drawing posted above. There was a vivid rainbow of colors all warped in a halo around this perfectly-defined little face.

It seemed a little bit scull like, and at the same time, it had that big-eyed alien look too.

And - strangely - it looked like ME! Bald, with big eyes. The image seemed to have big side burns too! (Okay, this is the part where you can accuse me of being delusional! ) When I do self portraits, I always seem to draw myself with giant wide-eyes. So, in a strange way, this seemed like a weirdly personal caricature.

Everything below the head was a distorted set of swirls, but to me, it looked like the tiny figure was seated in the lotus position.

Yes, I recognize how crazy this seems, and just so you know I am the type of person to see vibrant impressions of faces in clouds. I have a wood grain ceiling above my bed, and I can pick out lions, bunnies and human figures in the abstract lines. I realize I am projecting all kinds of drama into this, but this face REALLY looks like a face.

A few days later, I purposely lay myself down in Moab Utah and looked up into the sun, and it was there again, clear as can be.

Yesterday, to draw this image, I lay on my floor in my living room with a clipboard and a pencil. I faced into the sun as it shone thru a window with the same squinted eyes, and again, I saw the vivid little face. Actually drawing this image was a funny thing to attempt. I would get the image in my field of view, and then sit up and frantically draw it out, then I would lay down again, fix the image in my eye and repeat the process. I drew it with a pencil, and then later used my computer to add the color. It was difficult to render, like trying to capture the sparkling refractions in a Coke bottle back lit by a bright light.

Here’s the original pencil drawing.

Each time I’ve looked for it, the imagery has been very clear. To see it, I need to close my left eye completely. I don't need to focus on anything, it seems to be in focus all by itself. I just need to hold my head steady, and keep my gaze still. It's nothing fleeting - it's in there!

My color drawing is as exact as I feel I can be as I attempt to capture it. The real image (that only I can see) is much more psychedelic. The colorful swirling effect is due to some subtle prism refraction. It is not the result of a meditative vision, it's REALLY in there!

When I look at my drawing I see the face as a scull (or an alien, or even a demon), the drawing is decidedly darker than what I see when I look into the sun. The face I see within my own eye seems (to me) to be profoundly neutral. The drawing is, to me, quite accurate. I can’t show anyone what I am truly seeing, so this colorful sketch will have to suffice.

Believe me, I completely recognize that I am projecting big time with this. I mean, a tiny flaw on the lens of my eye creates a curious little face - and I write a 900 word essay on it? On some level, this is downright paranoid. I don't wanna go so far as to call it a mystical experience, but it is interesting, at least to me.

Also, I can’t help but think how I’m playing the role of the fool in all this. Believe me, I know it ain’t wise to look into the sun.


As of December 9th 2009, I can no longer find the same image in my eyesight. I still have the effect from the cataracts in my right eye, but it doesn't look like a face anymore. It now looks like a swirling blur.

Part TWO to this story linked HERE

Even more, sacred geometry linked HERE


Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

True weirdness. Otherwise known as, hmm, high strangeness?

staceyjwarner said...

What a cool little dude! Great drawing of him/her/it.

much love

Red Pill Junkie said...

"I have a wood grain ceiling above my bed, and I can pick out lions, bunnies and human figures in the abstract lines."

He, I do that all the time too. Sometimes the figures start to move, like my own personal animation show :)

I don't know. It may be all explained through a phenomenon called entoptic visions (or something similar):


I "suffer" from that as well (although i admit I do enjoy my private psychedelic natural trips; maybe they are provoked by endogenous DMT secretions).

One question: does the "face" of the figure changes its expression? or is it always fixed on that benign smile? does he even blink or something?

Quanta said...

Our waves have been intersecting for quite some time now, Mike - gee, at least since Teton, but maybe for decades! The archetypes that broke into my reality immediately after the TM session - the devil, the skull, the alien - all show up in your vision. That's just a teeny-tiny bit of it, though.

Not only were we both at the Teton formation, but we were there at the same exact time, and we met among all the visitors at the crop circle that hot, dusty, windy afternoon. We each expressed a desire for a crop circle to check out and we both got our wishes answered right away. We've both interacted with the circle makers -and we each have lots of synchronicities to back that up!

And we remember strange disappearing vortexes of missing time....and, we both notice faces in the clouds. It's real, Mike - it's real.

You're right, too, about the intersecting rings resembling the interference patterns accompanying my latest post. Just one in a continuum of synchronicities, a few of them down to shared details; some of them whisper, some of them shout.

Big synchronicities fill our lives, the ones that speak to us on a quantum level. These synchronicities inform our reality on a daily basis. We learn as we remember and interpret past synchronicities, and we're grateful when a new one happens. And they never become mundane. They always, always thrill.

Well - I guess this story has gotten me to wax nostalgic about one of our shared favourite topics!

Beautiful artwork, by the way. The coloured version is rather pleasant to look at in a very, extremely, oddly familiar way.


Wildrote said...

It's driving me a little nuts. I feel I've seen that face somewhere physical.

You've rendered something extremely evocative.

I could project all kinds of statements about energy beings and other kinds of existence, but I think you're going to get where ever you're headed in your own terms.

This is fascinating, but it doesn't seem at all crazy to me.

Anonymous said...

~ Larissa here!

Got your email. I don't think there's anything wrong with your post. Its amazing, really. How our minds interact with various stimuli and interpret reality from that.

My GUESS about what is happening is that the very bright light allows you to actually SEE the tiny cataracts within your eyes. (Kind of like the way bright light allows us to see those weird little "floaters" we all get slipping and sliding over the surface of our eyeballs sometimes.) When the light hits it just right, you get the effect. Your brain fills in the rest and you see a face that looks the same every time.

The final proof that the 'Tiny Buddha' is actually an ocular fault would be if it changes as the cataracts grow.

That's my best guess. I couldn't possibly say for sure. But seeing that doesn't make you crazy or paranoid or delusional. You're truthfully reporting a complex multitude of things that come together to create this remarkable visionary experience. That it just so happens to resemble a tiny Buddha/alien/you is where the cool part comes in, as far as I'm concerned. That to me is a message from the universal mind conveyed through yet another bizarre synchronicity. And what an interesting and delightful one it is!

And Mike? Let me make this very clear to you. Having crazy things happen TO you doesn't make YOU crazy. You aren't the crazy thing, you're the observer of the crazy thing. A tiny Buddha in your eye is a crazy thing. (Well, COOL and crazy!) However, you're reacting to something unusual, not creating it. That's the difference between a paranoid schizophrenic and a sane witness to anything unusual.

If more people reported their personal observations of the many crazy things I suspect we all experience, I think we'd agree to collectively broaden our limitations on what constitutes sanity. As most choose silence due to fear of judgment, our perceptions of what is normal or even possible from other human beings is censored and distorted.

The important thing to ask yourself is: how can I meet this experience head on? Maybe you'll find some answers checking into some ancient Buddhist wisdom. Some gem may pop up from that that sends you onto your next quest.

I say ride the wave~! But then, there are those who question MY sanity! To them I say, "Pashaw! Sanity's over-rated anyway." =^)

Intense Observer said...

Lengthy comment follows in two parts, due to 4096 character limit on blogger.com post comments:

Part 1:

Quite interesting, Mike. If you click on and look closely at the blown-up version of the photo of your eye you posted, to see the small triangular grouping of the cataracts shown, I'm wondering if, as light passes through the cataracts, the position of the whitish spots might be reversed when projected onto your retina and somehow perceived as two larger white spots on top with the third, smaller one at the apex centered below onto the back of your eye's retina, which might give rise to a "two eyes and mouth or nose" upside-down pyramidal formation.

Regardless, this would not normally be relevant, as the orientation of the flipped image projected onto the retina is reflipped after traveling up the optic nerve to the brain's visual cortex area and then “processed” or interpreted by the brain to perceive external objects in their proper up/down orientation.

Unless the large scale photo showing the triangular "pyramid" configuration of three cataract spots is _itself_ upside down as posted to the blog. Can you double-check that? If the photo was posted upside down, and the actual config of the three cataracts is with the two larger parallel spots on top, with the smaller one centered below like an upside down three-point triangle, it would be a critical clue that the cataract formation might be creating the "little man" shape of "two large eyes above a nose and/or mouth" grouping or outline.

However, since there are three cataract spots, if you see, in contrast, a distinct mouth and nose, that would suggest a fourth spot along the medial plane centered below the "eyes" and above the "mouth," but that could be caused by optical interference or refraction around the three primary spots, creating a nose shape or line of light interference/refraction centered between the eyes and mouth shapes, which may also be what causes or is similar to the source of the concentric rings of light around the face. Obviously, I'm just speculating here, but it's based on the cataracts relative sizes, grouping, and shapes.

This just might have something to do with what RPJ above suggests, involving entoptic phenomena or related optical physical artifact, due to the pyramidal grouping and shape/size of the three cataracts.

Try this--since the cataract grouping is in your right eye, if you lay down to look into the sky and squint to get the "little man" effect you describe, first only do the squinting with your eyelids slightly open in your right eye, with the left one closed to see if the "little man" appears. Then do the same again, only this time keep your right eyelid closed, and slightly open the left to get the prismatic effect you noted and in order to see if the little man appears within the field of vision of the left eye, also. Then repeat this left/right sequence, but hold your fingers over the closed left and right eyes, alternatively, each time to block excess light from passing through the closed eyelid when you do each "single eye" check-squint as I have suggested.

If the "little man" effect only shows up in the right eye, when your left is closed and your fingers are blocking excess light passing through the eyelid of the left, then I would suggest somehow the cataracts are likely responsible, and the circular, concentric rings effect around the "little man" are how light may be prisming around and diffused by the cataracts.

If, on the other hand, the "little man" effect also shows up to the same degree of clarity when your left eye is slightly open, and the right is both closed and excess light blocked through the eyelid by your fingers, something else pretty weird is going on.

Intense Observer said...

Part 2:

It would not be enough to simply open the right eye slightly, and keep the left eyelid closed without blocking the excess light with your fingers or opaque eye covering of the left eyelid, or the reverse sequence, as the "little man" effect would probably still be seen due to stereoscopic vision physiology, as sufficient ambient light passing through either closed eyelid, each in turn, without blocking the light to the other, closed eyelid might make the effect appear in the middle of your field of vision, as we normally see things, stereoscopically.

The key test here is to effectively block the light to the closed right eyelid, slightly open the left, and see if the "little man" effect persists or, as my theory about the cataracts would suggest, then goes away or disappears.

If, alternatively, in doing this little experiment, the "face" of the "little man" appears the same with the right eye blocked as noted above, and/or if elements within the face move in some distinct way as RPJ was asking about, then this would be very strange, and might suggest some potential psychological or dysfunctional perceptual aspect of the brain's optic nerves or visual cortex could be involved.

If the image is the same either way (whether one eyelid or the other is both closed and light blocked at the same time), then you might want to go see an opthamologist for some further testing and retinal examination.

Of course, you seem baffled and objectively curious about what you are seeing under the conditions you describe, so it would seem you are not projecting or making this up, even subconsciously. The real question would be how you interpret this phenomena, and how you do might suggest alternative explanations, either psychological, physiological, or some combination, or not.

See also: http://bit.ly/6datz for a wikipedia summary of Charles Bonnet Syndrome, which Mac discussed a couple times on his blog, although I would doubt this syndrome is related to what you are seeing. It's also important to not get too invested in or weirded out by what you are seeing, as it seems that only under particular light conditions and partially opened eyelid "parameters" do you see this imagery, not with the eyes either fully closed or wide open.

There is most likely a purely physiological explanation, hopefully related to the cataracts, and not macular degeneration or involving the brain's optical processing areas. If the latter, an fMRI or other kind of brain scan might be required to pin down if there could be something else within the brain causing this effect, even though that sounds, from what you've described, rather doubtful.

Since you also say, "I am the type of person to see vibrant impressions of faces in clouds" and can see other figures in the grain of wood, which is actually fairly common (I notice this effect sometimes myself), especially in someone who is as visually oriented as you (and as a graphic artist, which would also suggest a greater degree of visual and psychological acuity and imagination related to visual imagery or iconography), there could be bit of overlapping phenomena involved here, such as the physiological factor of the cataracts, the squinting condition providing a prismatic aperture to create the effect, and enhanced by some level of pareidolia, which all people share to some greater or lesser degree.

See: http://bit.ly/11QSzP for a wiki summary of pareidolia.

In any event, I’d advise you don't get too invested in the emotional or esoteric/paranormal possibilities, as that can lead one astray from what should be your perspective or approach to this odd phenomenon, which I would recommend should be an objective/empirical process of scientific investigation of the facts as they appear (literally!) to you.

Good luck (btw, the graphic is really eerie and very well done!), and let us know what you find out further in looking into this. I’m sure we’re all curious as to what you may be able to find out or eventually reasonably conclude.

Ankka said...

"If more people reported their personal observations of the many crazy things I suspect we all experience, I think we'd agree to collectively broaden our limitations on what constitutes sanity. As most choose silence due to fear of judgment, our perceptions of what is normal or even possible from other human beings is censored and distorted."

YES! What she said!
If only people as a collective whole could all agree to just stop
ignoring "it," --think how much higher up the ladder of conciousness we'd all be.

Anonymous said...

dont worry man
the skull has some physiological (or spiritual, or whatever) kind of explanation regarding the cataract. the actual psychadelic wave-interference patterns (super rainbow color disks surrounded by amazing arrays of layered lineal fringes that attempt to form circles but in a much less defined way) you see when you ¨eyelash¨ sunlight is something ANYONE can do, or at least i assume this is the case because i discovered it while smoking a cigarette in my back yard today and i became enthralled. it was amazing, and very influencable with angles and stuff, but if you remain as still as poissible the image does as well and it is extremely beautiful
i was kind of shocked, but according to wikipedia it´s simple light diffraction (wave interference) and the strange disks are no more than the result of the circular pupils, or something like that, read it on wiki last paragraph or so of ¨Entoptic phenomenon.¨ dont get scared, have fun with it :)
to comfort you a little; your skull is probably the actual cataract doing what it does to your eye to the disks. apparently the disks are because of the near perfect circular pupil shape, so it would make sense that any outer or inner anomalies would be projected directly onto the difracction patterns.
best of luck

Brizdaz said...

I don't have any visions like that,but I did buy this little piece off Amazon last year,because it resonated with me as being a close representation of what would be,to me,of my ideal wise guide,if I could personify it.


That's it in my hand,in the little icon accompanying this comment.