Aphantasia, hallucinogens and meditation

As an aphant, on a day to day basis my imagination and recall is devoid of senses which could be said to relate to the phenomena of the eyes or ears.

However, in my experience, hallucinogens such as psilocybin or LSD do activate this ability. Deep meditation also activates the ability to see with the minds eye – although I must note that this has only happened a handful of times after periods of long meditation (1 hour, twice per day).

Does anyone have any information on this?

N.B. As an aphant it is naturally very difficult to imagine ‘the minds eye’, and upon the realisation of aphantasia within us there is a period which we all go through where we feel a sense of loss, grief almost for that which we cannot experience – almost as if this is a disability. It’s cool to experience the minds eye and settle in the knowing that it is only a visual or audio extension of what we already operate with. Definitely nothing to grieve over. Aint that good news!

Share this post

You must be signed in to comment
Total Comments (4)

Personally, for me, when I tried LSD it changed how I viewed things with my eyes and my other senses (color fragmentation/separation [like in the old 3D movies with the red and blue 3D glasses], image deformation [I got to have spent a whole hour watching the hardwood floor turn on itself], increased sense of touch, vision and smell [fr, a cat is a must have to do hallucinogens]), but I couldn’t visualise better. I actually frustrated my sister a bit bc I couldn’t see the fractal images that supposedly everyone gets to see when on LSD?

I have never tried LSD, even though I really want to for the express purpose of seeing if it ‘triggers’ any visualization synapses in my brain, but I can speak on my experience with marijuana. It has only happened a couple of times however and only after consuming copious amounts of certain strains that are unknown to me because when it happens, it comes from another person at a social gathering. I’m not a heavy or consistent user.

I have been able to close my eyes and focus very hard on wanting to see something. Sometimes an image *slightly* starts to form accompanied by random colors, but because I’m too high at that point to remain attentive, whatever I start out intending to see is forgotten and I lose whatever image might have been able to conjure up. The colors though kind of remain for a couple seconds.

Whatever the case, I have to be REALLY high and concentrate REALLY hard to catch even a glimpse of something and it has only happened a couple of times; only once after I became aware of the concept of aphantasia and did my best to experiment having the knowledge of my condition.

I have been trying meditation for YEARS and get absolutely zero out of it as far as internal sensory experience of any sort.  I’ve also tried hypnosis, acid and mushrooms (once each was quite enough for me, thank you) and none of it had any effect on my minds eye.  The only effect the drugs had was to turn my inner dialogue on full steam for a relentless stream of thought that would not turn off for hours.

I have heard of others like you who have had these things open up your minds eye, and others like me that do not have that experience.  It would be interesting to know why the difference in effect.

I’m 80 and I’ve done a lot of hallucinogenics and I’ve never had an hallucination! 

I now know why. A week ago, I’d never heard of aphantasia. New things keep popping up.

I’ve already started on a move called “Aphantasia.” It’s just a black screen for 90 minutes!