What if we redefined “vivid” and “clear as real” on the spectrum?

I am gonna start this post by saying that I am probably phantasiac. That is what my results said exactly “probably phantasiac”, yes, I agree!

As a “probably” phantasiac person, and an artist, I am having a hard time navigating the symptoms of this condition.

First of all, do we close our eyes while imagining? If so, it is a lot easier for me to have a mental picture my eyes open, I instantly see it there. When my eyes are closed, the blackness distracts me and I see a dim / vague picture, and take some time to build it for more details.

We did the famous “apple test” with my friend together. Yes I see a very vivid apple, in a sense that I can imagine it in all scenarios (on a table, falling from a tree, on the grass). But what IS vivid? What do you mean by “clear as if it’s real”? No it is not clear for me like that.

We almost had an aggressive discussion with my friend (lol). I said; “you say that it is so vivid, are you sure that you are not just accepting the fact that it is vivid?”

He goes: “no, it is vivid”

And I go: “well, same, vivid for me too (huh). but???”

SIR, SIR, LISTEN! HOW DO WE MEASURE THAT?! HOW do YOU measure that? How are you so sure of yourself?

If it’s as clear as a day, wouldn’t that be psychosis? In the “normality”, wouldn’t there be a clear line in between the imagination and reality? I do have that line very clear. So how do you assume that your mental picture is SO clear and lively.

My point being, this made me question: am i *slightly* phantasiac, or am i just NOT hyperphantasiac.

There is no objective, solid measure for this. When you tell me to picture a very vivid red, I see that lightning fast, eyes open. Eyes closed, it is more dim and vague. So that I know it is my mind’s eye and not “real”. Though I could be lying and people wouldn’t know 👁

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I have the same, or a really similar, problem with determining where I may fall on the phantasia spectrum with the VVIC test and more. 

When I close my eyes I dont see much besides the lines in the darkness of the back of my eyelids, unless its day or the lights on then Ill see a mix of random colors mostly shades of red or brown. When my eyes are closed and I try to visually see something with my mind I cant do it, either nothing or a vague picture appears. Although it does not appear as an image on my eye lids, it does appear (sometimes better then others) like I am looking at it with my brain at a scene or movie clip. Idk how to describe it. 

I do it with my eyes open too, I can think about a design or creation I am planning on making and “see” it without needing to close my eyes and picture it. It isnt always a vivid or perfectly clear real image though. I feel like that also may be my judgements on the fact that it cannot be clear and real as day because it is not it is made up in my head.  I am having a hard time with this because I have a great memory and usually can remember details when asked but (from what I remember) it is not from a full visual picture in my brain. So now I wonder where I am storing and pulling that data from. I never thought about this this hard because I just assumed I was doing it right. 

I also wonder if I have hyperphantasia, because of alot of reasons- some being I am very imaginative, an over thinker, empathetic physically to visual ques or reading stories. But I dont usually “see” those empathetic responses visually. I just feel the emotion and impact of them on the characters or writer.  I noticed I have a hard time landing on a visual decision when asked to visualize a specific person, animal, etc…  A video started out asking me to visualize a dog and I couldnt pick which one to put on the “scene” in my brain, but none of them visually appeared to my closed eyes. Tbh I think I stared at the wall for that one, because I dont close my eyes when Im trying to “visualize” regularly I usually stare off. 

The test asks me to choose a friend or family member I see regularly but am not with now, and I pictured and swapped like 5 people in my brains visual “scene” before attempting to close and use my eyes physically to see them on my eye lids which again I could not do very well. 

I guess without being able to “see” what others “see” or testing I wont have an easy time figuring this out. Lol! XD  

Hopefully someone has some good insight to help explain further what we should be doing and looking for specifically. ^_^