Instructables

10 Ways to Alter Your Consciousness Without Drugs

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Step 9: Staring at a Candle

Picture of Staring at a Candle

Okay. This seems kind of silly, but if you sit in a dark room and stare at a candle for ten minutes while trying not to blink, you will experience subtle visual hallucinations. This sounds too simplistic to actually work, but I begrudgingly admit that it does. Which brings me too...

My experience:
At first it was hard to keep focused on the candle without blinking. After about a minute this task started to become easier. My eyes focused on the light and began to relax and the candle doubled in vision. After a while longer there started to be a glowing red and yellow sphere around the flame. Then, I blinked. I had to start over. I got to seeing the sphere, blinked, and started over again. This time I began to see a sphere and pushed through my desire to blink. My entire field of vision began to become wavy and finally the sphere appeared to be shooting arcs of light out of it kind of like a lightning globe. This was not the most exciting thing I ever saw, but definitely was a visual hallucination. I wasn't able to maintain it for long because then I blinked, my vision reset itself and I quit because I figured I took this about as far as I could. When I was done, I turned on the lights and had a blue and red dot burnt into the center of my field of vision for about five minutes. This alarmed me enough not to ever try this again. I suggest that you don't try this either.
 
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sehrule3 years ago
meh, i think you can do this with most settings. i love staring at candles in dark rooms for a long time, but if im thinking so hard that i stop blinking, moving my eyes or moving in general this starts to happen. with things other than a candle you wont burn a hole in your eyes either.
didn't ancient cults use this method to obtain followers?
redrobin123 years ago
Loved your experiences of altered states, great to see a topic other than glow in the dark jelly etc.!!!

The candle staring is "Jyoti" meditation,it will not harm your eyes,it should be about 2 or 3 feet infront of you (it is only 1 candle power)
the double effect you see is actually sterio vision, each eye is seeing the flame independently,and with practice you will have the same clarity of the candle with each eye, it's a very good way to meditate.
rfirmino3 years ago
U should try do the same but staring at U'r self in the mirror, U'r face starts to decompose and melting.. quite fun to do once or two in a lifetime..
I actually did something like this a week or so ago, but my face didn't decompose or melt or anything, (I wasn't trying to not blink or anything like that) but I did get the distinct feeling of non-recognition of myself. It was weird, like I had no idea who I was looking at, but it wasn't me.
Its also fun to take this a few steps further. Since you are in the dark and can only barely make out your silhouette. Continue to think to yourself that you do not see anything. As you continue(usually over more than one try/practice) to think that and because your vision level is so low in those light levels your entire form will eventually loose its edges then just disappear from view entirely and it will seem as if you are looking at an empty room. Guess it goes without saying that you should be standing still during this time ;)
My sister and I, when we were little, used to lay in bed at night and stare at the ceiling fan until it disappeared. We were amazed :)
I used to stare at a patch of grass and the grass all around it would start to replicate with the rough pattern of the bit I was staring at. Just goes to show that most of what you see in your perfieries is remembered/filled in by your brain. The pattern of grass you get is really cool cause it looks like the flat repeat pattern turf you get in (old) games :)
koreg3 years ago
As a safety note, this should actually not be done in the dark. Try it in daylight, or a lit room to not fry your retinas :)
PearlZenith3 years ago
On sunny days I used to stare at the bright patches on the wall without blinking until my vision would blank out. It was so fun.