Tuesday, 1 September 2015

What doesn't stay in the office?

Crows in a tree'It doesn't stay in the office. It's not long before you miss it.' This is a short snatch of speech heard by my acquaintance (MA) who experiences microsleep with REM (MWR). Essentially, it is a rare experience, affecting a tiny proportion of the population, who go straight into a dream state when they have a microsleep. Some of the experiences feel paranormal, despite their normal cause.

This latest odd experience is interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly, it contradicts something MA had previously noted, namely that speech MWRs only seem to occur while reading. This particular random speech fragment happened while MA was sitting in a chair, resting but very much awake. Such random snatches of speech may feel like psychic messages to some people who have MWRs who are unaware of their true cause. Having said that, many of these 'messages' appear strangely opaque! This one sounds like a cryptic clue in a game. Such random content is typical of MWR speech (another example here). The talking does not seem to be addressed to MA but is more like eavesdropping on someone else's conversation. MA has only ever heard one voice talking per MWR but that may just be because the sessions are so short. It is interesting to note that many reported psychic communications also appear rather cryptic.

A second point that this example illustrates is that MWRs feel more real than ordinary dreams. They can often be recalled in detail. MA wrote down this one directly after hearing it. In contrast, MA cannot recall anything like such detail from ordinary sleeping dreams, only generalities. I suspect this is because the brain state is 'closer' to full consciousness during MWRs compared to normal REM sleep, allowing better recall. Because MWRs can be recalled in detail, they can feel very real.

Meanwhile MA's visual MWRs seem to getting longer and more frustrating. It is like seeing 10s of a thriller and never finding out what happens next! MA feels somehow detached from the action, not playing an active part even though the scenes appear much more real than TV. It is like standing, unseen, in the middle of a film set with the action going on all around. It would, therefore, not be hard for someone else who experiences MWRs, who does not know what they are, to think they are real, possibly paranormal, experiences.

Sadly, we will never know what doesn't stay in the office.

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