Some science behind the scenes

Nystagmus

Nystagmus is a symptom of numerous illnesses from epilepsy to multiple sclerosis, from stroke to poisoning, from gasoline fume inhalation to migraine.

Perhaps of equal interest is that it is also a sign of genuine spiritual experience when it is known as ‘eye flutter’.

Nystagmus is a form of involuntary eye movement “that is part of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR)”  Doctors make a distinction between nystagmus and what they call ‘Saccadic oscillations’ and ‘ocular flutter’  that are composed purely of fast-phase (saccadic) eye movements.  Nystagmus is characterised by the combination of a smooth pursuit, which usually acts to take the eye off the point of regard, interspersed with the saccadic movement that serves to bring the eye back on target.

But it is all eye flutter in the end and as they say themselves “Without the use of objective recording techniques, it may be very difficult to distinguish between these conditions”.  And of course us simple folk may say why bother, because the functional [not physical] cause is probably exactly the same.

Click link for a visual demonstration of the Nystagmus effect.

Nystagmus is thus waking REM and we are right to ask the question what is thus the difference between REM, nystagmus, saccadic oscillations, ocular flutter and all the other myriad names that doctors have invented for eye flutter

And the answer is functionally – nothing.

One happens when we are asleep, one whilst we are apparently awake, one is a bit faster than the other, but functionally it is eye flutter.  This means that a trance is the same thing as a dream is the same thing as a hallucination is the same thing as a vision is the same thing as a flash of insight, is the same thing as………… it is all spiritual experience.  In effect the Will has detected a certain state – caused by deliberate action on our part or brain damage or illness or pharmaceuticals or any number of other possible causes which gives it the reason to hand over to the Composer.  There are plenty of physical causes, but the overall effect is spiritual experience.

NYSTAGMUS AS A CRITERION OF HYPNOTICALLY INDUCED VISUAL HALLUCINATIONS - BRADY JP,  LEVITT EE.

Hypnotized subjects who report hallucinating a visual situation which would ordinarily elicit optokinetic nystagmus demonstrate nystagmus under these conditions. They and control subjects are unable to feign nystagmus in the waking state, either by imagining the situation or by direct efforts to simulate the eye movements. Thus an objective criterion is provided for the presence of visual hallucinations.

Observations

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