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This article is based on the assumption that prehistoric shamanic rituals include the perception, interpretation and depiction of what we today call “eye floaters” (muscae volitantes). It is suggested that, together with other shamanic symbols, floaters continue to be experienced and depicted in later shamanic societies up to the present day. The present article supports this thesis from the examples of modern Siberian and contemporary Tukano shamans. A closer look at their visual arts reveals geometric structures and characteristics that are typical of eye floaters.
No floaters, but a whole bunch of different subjective visual phenomena, as seen by reader Karen. Floco comments from a physiological and spiritual perspective.
Floco: Dear Karen, your list of such phenomena is a wonderful example that “there are more things in heaven and earth, then are dreamt of in your philosophy”, as Shakespeare’s Hamlet tells his friend Horatio after having seen his dead father’s spirit. While the only person who may give a definitive meaning to your phenomena is you, I’ll gladly comment on them from my experience and knowledge, as far as possible:
Some entoptic phenomena: a) flying corpuscles; b) eye floaters; c) form constants; d) afterimage (source).
K: “One: sometimes I see what I term ‘saran wrap’. It is like a clear plastic film on the outer edge of my vision.”
F: Not sure if I know that one. “Plastic film” sounds like there might actually be something on the lens … ?
K: “Two: In daylight I see little points of light that seem to be dancing and moving in a delightful way.”
F: Your description fits the “blue field entoptic phenomenon”, as physiology calls that numerous dancing bright dots moving in curved tracks. From a seer’s point of view, it’s energy (prana, chi) moving in the shining consciousness structure.
K: “Three: When in the shower and sometimes in bed if I close my eyes and touch them with my hands, my vision becomes a shade of blue or green rather than plain black.”
F: We could call that one ‘mechanically (by pressure) induced phosphenes’. Physiology tells us that it is generated by retinal neurons’ randomly firing. It may have a holistic significance if we understand the induction of phosphenes (mechanical, electrical, magnetic stimulation) as a way to temporarily intensify our consciousness state or energy flow respectively. Phosphenes, then, are the visual expression of energetic fields, generated by this intensified flow of energy.
K: “Four: When I meditate after a while I see a pulsating purple ring with a green center. After some more time I begin to see pulsating gold and occasionally gold lines that form to resemble human faces or animals.”
F: I guess you see that with your eyes closed? I'd say it’s again phosphenes, but this time induced by extending inner light, love, silence. Neurologically speaking, through meditation you increase neuronal activity which becomes evident in phosphenes lighting up. Spiritually speaking, you increase your inner light which becomes evident in your field of vision.
K: “Five: When I close my eyes in the dark at times I see pinpoints of light before things fade out, occasionally with a blue dot as well.”
F: Possibly a mixture of so-called after-images – representing visual memories of objects, fading out after a while – and phosphenes. From a seer’s point of view, after-images are not entirely generated by inner light (as they need outer light stimuli), but they may nevertheless be a vehicle to explore the ‘inner screen’, as they are between waking and dream state.
K: “Six: In the sunlight sometimes my visual field becomes a big orange dot. Other times the dot will change colors that seem to match the chakras.”
F: Outer and inner light may dye our visual field in different colors. I’m aware of the interesting link of these colors to chakras, but did not go into detail until now. Fact is that there are different systems of subtle energy centers in the human body. If you see different colors that you manage to attribute to different consciousness states, I suggest that you create your own ‘chakra’-system.
K: “Seven: Sometimes in meditation or when meditating I see black wiggly lines that seem to be little insects like ants or worms. Occasionally they form into an animated cartoon such as a scene in Egypt or something else like a farm.”
F: Like point four, it’s probably phosphenes. They seem to be in between the crystal clear floater lights and visual dreams. Dreams seem to be born out of inner visual light; light is transformed into thoughts and images by our consciousness in a certain state; in other states, we may be able to perceive the light directly, as colored phosphenes, or as bright floater dots.
K: “Eight: When I look at trees I see light around their tops that seems to move like energy.”
F: A phenomena of phosphene-like after-images. Or, more spiritually, it‘s the trees’ auras. During my time of learning with my mentor seer Nestor, I focused a lot on after-images to practice visual attention towards inner light phenomena. To me – and without the intention to reduce auras to physiology – aura seeing includes processes of after-images.
K: “Nine: Occasionally I will see a small band of light around a person or a column of light coming up from their crown especially if they channel I can see or sense they are being overshadowed by a being of Christ consciousness (the only ones I invite in for channeling).”
F: Physiologically, it might be some phosphene / after-image / aura phenomenon. To people interested in aura seeing, it will definitely have some spiritual meaning which I'm not familiar with.
K: “Ten: On a few occasions I saw a face with emerald green features appear above someone’s head who was having a vivid emotional response.”
F: Same as no. 9.
K: “Eleven: Once I brought a candle into a dark bathroom. After a few minutes of gazing at my face in the mirror it seemed to change shapes and looks [sic].”
F: A well-known creepy effect. Physiologically, I think it’s after-images that blur your face. To me, it’s a nice experience that shows that it’s not a solid world we live in.
Thanks again for sharing
Eye floaters and their meaning were interpreted differently depending on the time, culture and personality of the observer. We learn a spiritually meaningful perspective about floaters from Nestor, the seer, with whom I have studied and whose teachings I recorded in the book „Mouches volantes – Eye Floaters as Shining Structure of Consciousness“. In this category, a particular statement from the book on floaters shall be presented and explained.
From: Mouches Volantes – Eye Floaters. The Shining Structure of Consciousness, p. 220. (source)
Nestor explains the idea that the distance of objects in the ‘picture’ (the visual field) is a question of consciousness. Individual consciousness is understood as something that becomes active on different “layers of consciousness” in the shining structure. As the glance of a reader wanders through the pages of a book and catches a part of the complete work on every page, so consciousness wanders through the layers of the shining structure and catches different aspects of the picture.
The concrete nature of these layers remain vague. They cannot directly be seen. Their existence becomes obvious, for example, by experiencing the phenomena of ‘light jumps’. This is the observation that shining structure floaters and the objects of the material world seem to abruptly move nearer in intense consciousness states. Floaters and objects look bigger in size and more intense in light and color. The process is interpreted by the seers as inner light activating – or jumping to – a closer layer of consciousness. At the same time, the seers understand this as an inner or spiritual forward movement on the path in this shining structure.
prevents us from realization of the multi-layeredness of consciousness
and the walking on that path is our stability on a particular layer. The
reason for that is a lack of energy. Much of our energy is bound in psychic
qualities and material objects as a result of upbringing, education and
lifestyle. According to the seers, we become able to free ourselves from
being tied to one particular layer by raising our “inner pressure”
or inner intensity respectively, and let it freely flow into the picture
as a whole.
category "Quarterly Picture" introduces realistic, artistic
and/or spiritual/religious representations from different cultures
and times which could show entoptic phenomena, or be inspired by it.
Tim Stevenson is a floater sufferer from the US who took the time to observe and draw what he actually sees. He sent me that picture to raise public awareness of suffering from floaters. There are a lot of people reading and posting in floater talk web-forums who see the same kind of floaters drawn by Tim (see picture). These floaters are also the ones I’m writing about, the “shining structure floaters”, as I call them to better distinguish them from other floater types.
Tim had his eyes examined by an optometrist and a retinal specialist. Both stated that there was nothing wrong with his eyes and that they could see the “harmless debris” in the vitreous. Tim is reluctant to believe that the examiners actually could see the floaters – and I second that feeling. In my opinion, the examiners may have seen some debris, but hardly the hundreds of spheres and strands Tim actually sees and draws in great detail. Tim’s explanation of his floaters stems from the floater talk forums where this type of floaters is called “clear worms” or “crystal worms”. It is explained as “very close to the retina or in the premacular bursa region”. The premacular bursa, a space located between the vitreous and the retina, is brought forward by a few laser surgeons who are specialized in laser treatment on eye floaters. They use it to speculate about the whereabouts of those crystal floaters they actually can’t see and treat. The premacular bursa explanation is not recognized by the majority of ophthalmologists.
While these floaters talk forum members and laser surgeons do not recognize and acknowledge the cultural, artistical and spiritual dimensions of the shining structure floaters, some of them, like Tim, do a good and important job to carefully observe and distinguish the different types of floaters – some of which are indeed vitreous opacities and may be treated by laser surgery or vitrectomy. In Tim’s case, his “ring shape floater” may actually be some debris in the vitreous, as he describes it as “very dense”, as “shadow floating in almost all lighting conditions” and as “causing me all the problems. I can't ignore it due to the darkness, size, and movement of the floater.” In any case, close observation is the first step to recognize the deeper meaning of floaters. And that may be, at least, a coping strategy for those suffering from shining structure floaters.
Tim, for that picture. May your eyes be well, may your floaters light
You will find this and other pictures in the gallery. Do you have drawings of eye floaters or other entoptic phenomena (flying corpuscles, afterimages etc.)? Do you know of realistic, artistic and religious representations of such appearances? Then send me the picture or give me the tip; I would like to publish it in the newsletter and/or in the gallery.
Publications by Floco Tausin
the Eye of Ra – Floater Structures in the Visual Arts of
Bumps: Phenomenon of Spirituality and Body-Mind Cleansing?
observations on eye floaters – a challenge to ophthalmology
standing on end“. Prickle feelings in spirituality and holistic