Mental Gymnastics


Anyone that knows me well, will know that I love experimenting with my mind, my perception of the world and how the mind can influence the body. I have had this interest since being a kid and have over the years collected a number of techniques which, for me, works every time – no 99% – 100% success rate. Examples include; switching off hiccups by resting a finger on my sternum, clearing a completely blocked nose by doing a handstand, reducing blood flow to a body part, memory techniques using an inanimate object, subconsciously pushing people around a shop by using my personal space and waking up in the morning pre-loaded and motivated with a mental to-do list.

so with this in mind (no pun intended), the following experience, will come as no surprise to some, and will be added to my growing list of mental gymnastics:

I’m sat in the comfy seats in SB’s, reading the paper – an article about U2 – when I suddenly became aware that the wall next to me had disappeared. All I could see out of my peripheral vision was a blur of colour – as if I’d taken daubs of paint colour from my view of the rest of the room and mixed it up and ‘painted out’ the wall beside me. Something was there – but it was no longer visible.

I had effectively moved into a semi-conscious state whereby I was so focused on the newspaper article that my mind apparently didn’t require the acknowledgement of the wall beside me. I stopped reading but stayed focused on the paper – and I could clearly ‘not see’ the wall. This wouldn’t have been such a big deal if the rest of the room was blurred out too, but it wasn’t. Only the wall had gone. It could have been in a blind spot, I thought – so I moved my eyes about the paper and it didn’t come back into view. I didn’t break my concentration, because I wanted this feeling to remain for as long as I could experiment with it. I figure now, whilst looking back on it, that the rest of the room had activity going on, so my brain couldn’t dismiss it, like it could with the static wall. Makes sense to me.

Another thing which I noticed, I had no concept of distance. In hindsight, this now sounds obvious, but at the time it was very odd as I couldn’t tell whether the wall on my left was inches or miles away. I guess this was to do with losing all visual references.

It then occurred to me that if my mind could remove a wall from my vision (which I knew was still there) could I replace the ‘nothing’ with a new something from my imagination?

I figured a hedge would be as good as any to put in its place. So whilst staying focused on the paper, I superimposed to the best of my ability a leafy summer lit mixed green hedge down my left had side – and it worked. It was blurred out slightly just like the rest of my vision of the room. And whilst not being perfect, it was a vast improvement on the blurry mess there before. I then tried another picture, this time of a brick wall with a strong yellow sand mix mortar, to try and give me some clarity of the individual bricks. As the leaves of the hedge blended together too much to individually identify. Again with a bit of concentration, I managed to replace the hedge with a brick wall. This was getting fun.

To explain a little how I achieved this – the feeling felt very similar to looking through one of those ‘magic eye’ pictures – I wasn’t looking at anything in particular, but I was still ‘seeing’ in the normal manner and focusing on the paper in front of me. I was relaxed yet concentrating.

Everything was going great until something changed, nothing in the room, but in my head – my mp3 player flicked to another random track and the imagery was gone. bah. Twas fun whilst it lasted though.

I understand that some people reading this won’t believe a word of it – which is fine – I don’t imagine they will stand much chance of believing or indeed experiencing anything phenomenally mental with such a closed mind to begin with. But as I said as the start of this, I’ve already mucked about with my physical and mental interpretations of my senses with good success – for about 20yrs, which is why no-one has ever seen me hiccup (apart my close family as a kid), and I know no-one ever will in the future.

More and more I’m refusing to accept what my mind tells me is ‘true’ or ‘me’ without some careful examination my ‘self’ first. I like mucking about with my head.

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