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Day 44 Monday 14th July 2009
[Note: This is a page from my diary when I was at a course at this Ashram. I was in a quiet room for 24hrs. It was an exercise meant to give time for the student to observe the tendencies of one's mind. I left shortly after this day, so I didn't actually write about the other experiences during that session]
I woke up sometime at midnight. Lying on the bed, I was facing the wall. They had switched off all the lights in the area. Even the street lamps. Everything was so dark that I could not make out the borders of things in the rooms. It was blurry because I wasn't wearing my glasses. I flipped over and there was a white figure suspended about a metre away from me. This is freaky because I recall locking the doors and windows before going to sleep. I shifted my gaze around and noticed that the figure sort of shifted. Not in some geometrical fashion but it shifted. And it kept shifting in a consistent fashion as I moved my eyes around the room. All this is very difficult to explain because the figure was so fuzzy and hazy that I cannot even be confident of locating it spatio-temporally. Then I remember that there was some kind of white light that leaked through the curtains before I fell a sleep it might have been from some machine or lamp outside the bungalow. The light poked through the curtains and bounced off one of the doors illuminating part of the door and its frame.
In absolute darkness, you cannot differentiate objects and a patch of light becomes de-contextualised, plus I'm myopic, so it's blurry. Now the resolution of your peripheral vision (so called corner of your eye) is also poorer, compared to that of your central vision (the area in front of you). This is compounded by your finely tuned pareidolia, good for recognising faces. Pareidolia is the ability of your mind to perceive patterns. It relies on the data that your senses provide your mind. Put the hazy figure, without well defined borders, which would otherwise look like a patch of white on a wall into something that hovers mid-air with the tendency for us to see purpose, intentions and agents. All of these together and you get a “ghost” which shifts or morphs when you shift your gaze. Genius. When I figured this out, I gasped and played around with the illusion a bit before going back to sleep.