Personality Cafe banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So, I remember having a very vivid imagination as a young child. As 4 or 5 year old, I remember laying in my bed at night and watching these little creatures move around on the floor...difficult to describe exactly. I think I remember talking to them, though I don't recall if they talked back...I think I must've imagined these little guys several times, though idk, maybe it was only once or twice.

I had an ET doll that I got once Xmas and one night I begged my mom to let me take him to bed with me. She said no, though, and placed him on the toybox next to my bed instead. After my mom left, I of course snuck ET into my bed anyway, and went to sleep. I woke up some time later screaming, because there was something touching my leg under the covers! It was ET, and I swear to this day I saw his belly glowing red (like in the movie). It freaked me out.

One time I woke up from a dream to see a cow falling on me from the ceiling. Another time, Pinnochio appeared in the corner of the ceiling and reached out a loooooong arm and touched my shoulder (for years after that, I could not sleep with my shoulders uncovered).

The most frightening evening I can remember is once when my siblings and I were all camped-out in our cousins' living room. After everyone else was asleep, I laid awake and my imagination once again got the best of me. I could see the chandelier above the dining room table, and above this a strange blue light was glowing and swirling. Then, the shadow of a big dog suddenly appeared and walked across the room. I screamed for my aunt and uncle and the dog disappeared. My aunt and uncle came and I tried to explain the dog to them. I was too frightened to stay out in the living room, so they asked me if I wanted to sleep on the floor in their room. I said yes and they helped me pick up my sleeping bag and pillow and move into their room. Well, at the foot of their bed at the time, they had a horse's saddle on a sawhorse. The moment I saw that, I vividly imagined a real horse (or more like a pony) that bucked its head and looked right at me. Of course I screamed again and the horse disappeared. I think my uncle ended up sleeping on the floor then so I could sleep with my aunt...

Anyway, the point of this lengthy ramble, is that apparently I used to have quite a vivid imagination, though it only ever seemed to take flight at night. But at some point, by the time I reached age 8 or so, I lost it. Completely. Is this normal? Is a vivid imagination something only a child experiences and then inevitably loses as a youth and adult? Or was this imagination somehow subconsciously suppressed, possibly because my mind couldn't handle it?

As an adult, my imagination is not that good. At least, I have lost the ability to visualize just about anything that isn't physically before me. I try any sort of visualization exercise, and it's like I hit a mental block when I try.

Has anyone else experienced this? Is there any way for me to re-tap into my imaginative state?
 
  • Like
Reactions: balderdash

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
It may not be a loss of imagination, but that you are not visually oriented. What happens when someone says "bell"? Do you see, hear, or feel a bell? I see a bell, others hear a bell ring, others feel vibrations or cold metal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
It may not be a loss of imagination, but that you are not visually oriented. What happens when someone says "bell"? Do you see, hear, or feel a bell? I see a bell, others hear a bell ring, others feel vibrations or cold metal.
Interesting...I think I would have to say, that I would think more of the _concept_ of the bell, if that makes any sense. I don't picture a bell, I don't hear a bell ringing, I don't feel it...I just _think_ of a bell...At least immediately. Once I had the bell in my mind for several seconds, I suppose hearing it would be the first thing, if I thought about it hard enough.

I used to lay in bed sometimes as a teen and think I could hear the Nintendo on in the living room (my brothers were avid Nintendo players)...but then the few times I went out to check, the lights were all out, television off, and everyone was in bed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,678 Posts
Interesting...I think I would have to say, that I would think more of the _concept_ of the bell, if that makes any sense. I don't picture a bell, I don't hear a bell ringing, I don't feel it...I just _think_ of a bell...At least immediately. Once I had the bell in my mind for several seconds, I suppose hearing it would be the first thing, if I thought about it hard enough.
I get what you're saying about the "concept" I think I'm the same way. I thnk I feel it next and then see it and then hear it. That's really intersting. I'd like to know how it works for others too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,361 Posts
It's interesting they happened during sleepy hour. Maybe they weren't your imagination :wink:

Some exercises you could try:
1.) Find a simple picture/photo. Look at it for 10 minutes, memorizing the details. Then close your eyes and see if you can recreate the image in your mind. After 10 minutes, check to see whether you got it right. You might even decide to draw it instead.
2.) Same as #1, but instead use your other senses. For example, eat an orange and then recreate in your mind the smells, sounds of you biting into it, the way it felt when you cut into its skin and how rough or smooth its skin was, the various colours it has.
3.) Read and write stories, ie fictional, that don't have illustrations.
4.) Try painting and drawing... for ideas on what to paint, you could paint what you had as a dream the previous night. Copying things from real life also helps to get you more sensitive to details.

These exercises are taken from a lot of sources I've come across, which are for increasing 'psychic' abilities through imagination... Intuition, lucid dreams, OOBE, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,177 Posts
It may not be a loss of imagination, but that you are not visually oriented. What happens when someone says "bell"? Do you see, hear, or feel a bell? I see a bell, others hear a bell ring, others feel vibrations or cold metal.
I think both the sound and image, although sound first
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
It's interesting they happened during sleepy hour. Maybe they weren't your imagination :wink:
yeah, maybe not...:laughing: Although now that I think about it, I can recall one situation as an adult where I hada similar experience to those I had as a child...When my first son was born, he sometimes ended up sleeping in the bed with me and my husband. I remember several occasions early on, when I would suddenly wake up in a panic because I was laying on top of my baby! It was so real to me-- I could even see the baby there for a second or so...Until I woke up more and realized that the baby wasn't even in the bed...

Some exercises you could try:
1.) Find a simple picture/photo. Look at it for 10 minutes, memorizing the details. Then close your eyes and see if you can recreate the image in your mind. After 10 minutes, check to see whether you got it right. You might even decide to draw it instead.
Ah, I stink at this game. I've tried it so many times. I really should keep practicing, though; maybe I'll get better over time...

2.) Same as #1, but instead use your other senses. For example, eat an orange and then recreate in your mind the smells, sounds of you biting into it, the way it felt when you cut into its skin and how rough or smooth its skin was, the various colours it has.
This, I could really get into, I think...

3.) Read and write stories, ie fictional, that don't have illustrations.
I already do this...Writing, I mean (though I d oread a lot, too) Especially in middle and high school, all the time. Don't have the time so much any more, but I do get some good ideas sometimes.

4.) Try painting and drawing... for ideas on what to paint, you could paint what you had as a dream the previous night. Copying things from real life also helps to get you more sensitive to details.
Alas, I have no talent asa visual artist. Unless it's photography, I've got a good eye for photography...

These exercises are taken from a lot of sources I've come across, which are for increasing 'psychic' abilities through imagination... Intuition, lucid dreams, OOBE, etc.
Thanks for sharing!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
I have had similar things when I was younger. Thankfully they've subsided over the past few years.

I used to sleep walk, when I was 4-7 years old. I'd also imagine the spackles on the ceiling coming to life and crawling around like bugs. I could see them moving.
I had several imaginary friends when I was a kid too. The interesting part is that they were all imaginary ghost friends. Why I picked ghosts? I may never know.
I also used to tell stories that enthralled people. My grandparents said I would stand in the middle of a room and talk for hours about completely fictional events and people just couldn't stop listening to me. Can't do this anymore but it would be cool, haha. :)
I've seen it on VHS and it was kind of scary, because I remember a lot from when I was a kid, but I don't remember much of that. There was another time when I told my grandmother a story about the town where she grew up, when we were visiting. I was telling her how mr so and so lived there, and ran the store out of the big street, etc. etc.. Never asked her if I was right about any of it, too scary. :S

When I got into my late teens however, I started seeing things before I would go to sleep. Dead people staring at me, or a crowd of people all staring at me with red eyes. People that looked like they had drowned. I couldn't close my eyes because they were always there. That stopped after a few years. I used to see strange stuff like that often when I was trying to go to sleep, but it was always when I closed my eyes.
I've had dreams since that were very vivid, to the point of snapping me awake. Not as morbid though. Last year I was woken up because I was standing still, watching a dark figure ride towards me on a black horse, and I could hear it and feel it shaking the ground. It ran right over me and I sat up in bed after it hit my chest. I could still feel it after I woke up.

Recently it is pretty much all gone. I have done some exercises to strengthen my imagination, but with the purpose of not letting it run away with me. It has worked pretty well, although I feel like I am less creative in general because of it. No problems as long as I stay focused. Not sure why you would want to have that back, it sounds frightening to me.

I avoid certain cold medicines and won't take hard core pain killers, or use any non-prescription drugs. I hallucinate really easily, especially when I am sick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I've had dreams since that were very vivid, to the point of snapping me awake. Not as morbid though. Last year I was woken up because I was standing still, watching a dark figure ride towards me on a black horse, and I could hear it and feel it shaking the ground. It ran right over me and I sat up in bed after it hit my chest. I could still feel it after I woke up.
This has happened to me, too. Not the same dream. But, I once had a dream that I got visciously attacked by a big dog, and when I woke up I could still feel the dog bite for several seconds...

I also have very vivid dreams in general. I guess it's the only time when my visual imagination is still full strength...

Recently it is pretty much all gone. I have done some exercises to strengthen my imagination, but with the purpose of not letting it run away with me. It has worked pretty well, although I feel like I am less creative in general because of it. No problems as long as I stay focused. Not sure why you would want to have that back, it sounds frightening to me.
It's not exactly that I want it back. But just that I wonder why it went away, you know?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,545 Posts
When I child I used to make elaborate conversations with my stuffed animals and with made up students which I taught. :crazy:

I still have a good imagination and I think if you have a good visual memory then it will be easier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,361 Posts
Hm I guess hallucination could count as something imagined..
During sleepy hour we can touch states of mind that maybe open the doors to not just our mind (imagination etc) but other worlds..

My imagination as a kid was never as wild as yours and balderdash's
but it was definitely uninhibited.. I have 'documentation' of it through my journals/blogs. I was often making a fantasy of everything, twisting what happened in real life in my journal entries. And also how I viewed myself. I made up an imaginary world which I'd refine every time I'd think about it. It was very organized.. I had a 'schedule'. People I had to meet, the way my house looked, etc.
I was extremely creative, always thinking about ideas for stories or things to add to my imaginary world. I had so much energy. I also remember having a very good memory. I used to memorize whole paragraphs for tests (the teacher told me I didn't have to make my own words). I was also quick at learning languages and taught myself to the point of surpassing my teacher(s). I haven't really tested to see if I still have this kind of memory.

I've definitely noticed my imagination has 'changed' since turning into an adult
But I don't think it has lost. It's become more 'me' I think. I filled in my INFJ shoes, it became more like that ---realistic than something happening in another world with imaginary beings etc. I am more manifesting my thoughts now than just drawing or imagining them. They become my real life.
I also think I'm a bit more conservative now.. As I wrote earlier that as a kid I was uninhibited. But now there are some limits as to like, how I can dress in my 'ideal' way, etc. I'm also more 'focused' or self-discovered, and have less patience with unnecessary things. So there is a lot more that goes out the window. I'm currently living with some people, but I would like to have my own place soon, learn how to drive, and then really let myself go :tongue:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
What the original poster describes sounds much more like hypnagogia that just a flight of imagination, considering the highly uncontrolled component and its vividity, accompanied by the conditions when the experiences occured. For example, a few months ago I woke up, looked around my darkened room and saw a real, vivid, weird digital clock staying there. I said out loud: "What the hell...?!". Ten seconds later, when I realized that this clock doesn't really exist in my room, it faded away. Similarly, I saw a dog from the neighbourhood in my room and said to her: "Oh, hello my friend!".

Vivid imagination, as I see it, doesn't necessarilly mean aimless wandering, it means that you can internally see, hear, smell, etc. things very well, especially new things. Of course, during childhood, people are more prone to aimless wandering every now and then, but with age, this becomes more controlled. It doesn't necessarilly mean loss of imagination, but rather switching it on when you have to solve problems or create something - be it a new story, drawing or musical composition. I consider myself as having a vivid imagination when it comes to these things, but now, in my late twenties, I am not the daydreamer I was back in my childhood, teens and early twenties. Some people still consider me an absent-minded head in the clouds, though, and I really tend to space out when I just watch the sky or walk in the nature. When I write or read, I can very well imagine the characters, their manners, look, clothes, voices, the places with their details. When I explain something, I tend to do it and feel best when I imagine it and then adjust my words according to that. When a person explains something to me, I tend to visualize it in my mind, otherwise I may feel lost. This reminds me of the history classes in school - I used to space out and imagine the history that my teacher tell (places, battles, etc.). Now, I just recalled a particular book I bought in 2002 (when I was 19) - how vivid an experience it was to read it; I immediatelly recalled the imaginary places where the story happened in my mind. Another important thing is that I may have some difficulties understanding concepts without manipulating them visually in my mind in some way. However, I am also very good with language. In tech school and university I was very good with technical drawing: they give you a drawing of a detail from a certain perspective and then want you to draw how this detail looks from all perspectives. But even though I have a good inner sense for perspective and shadows, I am not very good at free drawing, since my hand doesn't always draw what I see in my mind, so to speak. Perhaps, it has to do with the fact that I have never really devoted any time to developing skills in this area.

Although there is validity in the orientation concept (visually-verbally oriented), some experts say that our minds are build to work primarily with images, but this is influenced by the educational system and its demands for a verbal world - only one of the dozens drawbacks of the conventional educational system. And our brains constantly rewire and adapt. Packed together with growing up and the demands of the world and society in general, we are forced to put our imagination in the backyard, like an old bicycle. And even though we never forget how to ride a bicycle, it feels awkward when we take it after a long time without practice. Same happens with the imagiplan, as I call it.

Someone once said: "Every child is born a creator. The problem is how to remain a creator after that".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
And I still have vivid dreams, like the one last night. I often have weird and symbolic dreams. This one was something like that, it was a schizophrenic and insane nightmare. I woke up and didn't know where I am for like 10 minutes. I was feeling like someone has hit me in the head. Thanks to that I can clearly remember some of my dreams for quite a long time, months and even years. When I was a kid, I think I had an imaginary friend for a short while - a cartoon character.

But we tend to talk more about dreams and hypnagogic states here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,191 Posts
-- text --
My imagination is far larger than it is when I was younger and for me it is increasing every single day. At the point that it is nearly psychosis... so no I can't relate to that. People usually wonder how the hell I can go a whole day "daydreaming" and how it is possible to do so without interacting with the external world (though daily tasks interrupt me from doing it). It has caused me some trouble however (with the external world, obviously, you get slower apprehension of time as that is one of the factors) but I haven't developed any schizophrenic traits at all. My head is relatively healthy.

However we can see it that there is different types of imagination. I have more of an automatic one and of a type that few seem to possess. I just let go of everything and then thoughts get into my head if you get what I am saying without my direct awareness and access them sort of "randomly". I just go surfing in my head for a while. Sometimes I write down my thoughts if I am able to do it... like I do now... and have done before. Who needs entertainment? Certainly it is not the common type of imagination as it can be quite scary for those that have never experienced it before. I certainly do not have that "fake" imagination that I had when I was younger and the type of imagination that many claim as genuine. Now I'm not saying that my imagination as a child was fake by any means... I just chose to develop it further if we're saying it that way. Certain people however let us say... attempt to remove that imagination and not choose to develop it further... because they focus at other tasks at hand. I usually notice that people do not have access to their true imagination in the way that I do and sometimes you could wonder why. I -- for one -- quickly notice if a person have access to their true imagination and I would like to think that it isn't that unique to me as well: so what exactly are you waiting for. Best of all it is of no cost as well and might be totally free... in certain terms. Cost is not the same as duration however... because duration for me personally was the cost.

I've found that meditation (not the fake one) is the best way to re-tap my imagination so try that (it is not possible for everybody however). When I am stressful I am not as imaginative as I am when I am calmer. Maybe this is obvious to you and perhaps you have acquaintance of that which I am talking about as well but you could never be so sure.

Here is something interesting if you are able to do it:

Meditate for about two hours before going to sleep and do not move your body (for a long time) and be in a "trance-like" (Ni?) state, listen to some out-of-this-world music (say some really mysterious *beep* if you have that), let nobody disturb you while doing that, stare at some really psychedelic images if you have them and swap between them randomly, be in a really dark room and then go to sleep immediately without your direct notice as if you were really exhausted (after about two hours have passed). I've noticed that when I do this I might have some really strange dreams happening which I usually have some sort of reminiscence / remembrance out when I wake up the other day... try to interpret the dream if you can... it will be an interesting experience if you are able to do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
^ What you described isn't -that- uncommon and is quite familiar to me from personal experience, though it looks like that generally fewer people have what you call "automatic imagination", especially at a later age. It's a lot of fun - surfing randomly something in your mind while "watching" the sky, for example (in quotes, since when this happens, we start watching with our mind's eye and what we see with our physical eyes remains somewhere in the background). It's a matter of spontaneity. But there is no such thing as "true imagination". It is either imagination or it isn't. I can confirm that meditation (not sure what you mean by "fake" - it is either meditation or it isn't, and there are various meditative techniques) is healthy, considering the alternative and more imaginative states of mind it puts you in, depending on the depth. In such a state I saw a magical island with its details and then translated it into music - it was my framework for an ambient composition.

By the way, your post reminded me to add something: I notice that the best real places I have visited in my life (during vacations, etc.), those that I remember as wonderful, are those that I have daydreamed a lot at; those that have stimulated my imagination in some way. They are imprinted in my memory with feelings that I've been in some place magical, if you know what I mean.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,361 Posts
I don't understand how there can be different kinds of imagination either.. and fake or genuine ones at that. And also, fake meditation. Care to explain? I think these are all just thought processes....

The way you write about the automatic one, it sounds like it can be several things. Hypnagogia.. rest and close your eyes, and after a while you'll find images pop out of nowhere. They may be your imagination, but you don't consciously or purposely imagine them yourself. "Automatic." I get a lot of ideas through this state.. There's also intuition, which will send feelings or ideas on random occasions. Solutions to problems and insight unexpectedly arriving while washing the dishes or going for a walk. And finally, many times I have imagined something in my head, a story or a reenactment of something I tried early one day, and after some time I will find my mind will create things on its own. There are these elements of surprise that would never happen if I was just thinking purposefully.. or "visualizing." But really I think these are all forms of the same thing, the mind at work. I don't think we really use just 'one' mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,191 Posts
Care to explain?
By fake I mean that there are no (conventional) techniques to be able to do genuine meditation (for those that does not have access to genuine meditation). I wouldn't call it a "skill". People that try techniques to attempt at "meditation" (and attempt to develop it) will fail to attain genuine meditation unless such individual has access to genuine meditation in the first place (this sound so silly really, like as if there were some sort of mastery out of it). At a basic level -- it either happens or it does not -- automatically -- but as said not everybody is able to do it (perhaps at first, but for some it could be seen as a gradual development). You can't cheat and if you attempt to cheat: it will most likely result in fake meditation. You must be "genuine" in order to access genuine meditation. Certainly there are "techniques" (as far as I know, none material however) for those that are able to do genuine meditation but I wouldn't call them techniques in the ordinary term of the word (as in my case, I can't really consciously control such "techniques" myself). It is also a matter of personal preference as I've noticed. As far as how you attain (and access) and develop genuine meditation without techniques... can't really say... but I've noticed over time that I am able to go into some trance-like states (which I can't describe, really) without my direct will and be able to maintain them so long as I am not disturbed too much and do not move, remain calm and focus my attention to absolutely nothing in particular.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
473 Posts
I'm the only person in real life that I know who has had these types of flights of the imagination, so it's interesting to see I'm not the only one. I was always terrified to go to bed at night as a child because I wouldn't just imagine things, I would actually see them. I too saw a dog, a big German Shepard in the corner of my room. I screamed for my mom and the dog disappeared. I saw various types of scary looking hands coming over my bed. I once dreamed I was burning and felt the pain of it even after I fully awoke.

My waking imagination was also very vivid. I sometimes truly thought that my dolls were real and that I had seen them move. I invented entire fairy kingdoms that supposedly resided on the hill behind my house.

I don't do these things much anymore. But I cannot take any kind of psychogenic medication, my mind is much too sensitive. I once had terrible hallucinations and delusions from Xanax withdrawals.

I think as our brain matures we learn to keep these kind of things under wraps. I believe the ability can be cultivated though, but I wouldn't want to. It was much too disturbing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
^^ The point behind the numerous so-called meditative techniques is that there isn't one, true technique. Anything can work (differently) and you may have your own ways for ("genuine") meditation. It isn't about cheating, but about if it works and if you can reach the state. That's all. And it is something that can be exercised and improved.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top