Projecting to random places while reading -- anyone?

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attish
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Projecting to random places while reading -- anyone?

Postby attish » Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:30 pm UTC

Short version:
Spoiler:
While I am reading, I am "mentally projected" to places in reality, the place depending on the subject. Later, these sensations are hard to recall. Do you have similar experiences?


Someone on this forum has once mentioned being able to imagine the places described in the book as similar places from his own life matched up with the character's age. He also said that he gradually lost this ability as he got older.

I have something very similar, and this has also changed as I got older. As a child (10 years old or so), I read a lot, and tended to imagine every place being described as some place I knew from my own life. This is not to be taken that I imagined the place exactly the way I knew it in reality, only that I modeled my imagined place on the real one in some respects. For example, I remember that I imagined the throne room of Shaddam IV similar to a classroom in my school. Of course it wasn't exactly majestic or throne room-like or anything, but it was the best I could come up with. I figured everyone worked like this so I didn't really mentioned it to anyone. (As of now, I have absolutely no idea about the prevalence of this experience.)

Later, this did not disappear, but changed altogether. About since my high school years, whenever I have read something, either fiction, textbook, whatever, I "projected" myself to some place in reality, and somehow "felt myself" to be there while I read about that subject.

The curious thing about this is that it is subject-sensitive. I could even draw a map of "projection points" and their respective subjects. E.g. the projection point for Asimov is located inside my old high school building. The projection point for LOTR is at a street crossing in my city. Ubuntu's projection point is near a bus stop on a large road in the same city. Sometimes, it does not even have to be reading, it is enough if I concentrate on any matter enough. The projection points are largely conserved, that is, when I started to re-read Asimov, I immediately projected to the same place in my high school I did when I read the books first. New projection points are not randomly formed, however. They are likely to be situated to those places I visited frequently in the last few weeks. Some of these places do not even exist anymore, e.g. the point for the Linux kernel is in at an old marketplace that has since been demolished.

This "projection" happens practically any time I enter the world of a book or immerse myself completely in any activity, but when I finish, it is very hard to recall if the projection happened, very similarly to the way it is hard to recall dreams. Because of this, I suppose the mechanism behind the phenomenon is similar to dreaming; perhaps those parts of the brain that are unused while reading go into a state similar to REM sleep. (Good thing I have friends at an EEG lab, this could actually be checked!)

I have not really had the courage to talk about this to anyone. I would like to know if anyone experiences anything similar, or I am alone with this condition.

Possible clues: I am not psychotic, and have never been. I am a suspected bipolar II. I have synesthesia.

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PatrickRsGhost
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Re: Projecting to random places while reading -- anyone?

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:50 am UTC

That's basically what I did. I always seemed to project back to the same places for the same scenario in the same story. I know in that post you linked I would imagine myself being in the same place the character was when I was their age. Sometimes this didn't work. I would tend to imagine it taking place in a place I lived in at the time I was reading, or I would imagine it happening in the place I lived in when I was their age, but with me in their place, and at present age. So, it would be awkward to hear of a 12-year-old boy (when I would read the book) imagining himself back in Kindergarten.

Sometimes my brain decides that reality should fuck off. If I imagined the action taking place in the house I presently live in, sure, the living room can be the same, but the kitchen will be the kitchen we had in the apartment we lived in when you were 9. The bedroom will be the bedroom you had when you were 5 or 6. The backyard? It's taking place in your grandparents in Alabama's backyard. Oh, there's a dining room? Go to your great-grandparents' house down on the farm. Use their dining room.

My brain still pulls this shit with my dreams. I may dream I'm at my present desk at my present job, but when I get up to go somewhere, I might end up back in my old duplex, or I might end up walking onto the warehouse floor of the major retail distribution center I worked in.
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AndToBeLoved
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Re: Projecting to random places while reading -- anyone?

Postby AndToBeLoved » Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:10 am UTC

Maybe you're astral projecting. If you haven't heard of it, do look it up. You have to be in a certain state of mind to astral project, but I'm willing to bet that reading can put your brain in somewhat of a meditative mode.

P.S. I have synesthesia, as well. It's a really odd thing to explain to people.
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attish
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Re: Projecting to random places while reading -- anyone?

Postby attish » Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:37 am UTC

You have to be in a certain state of mind to astral project


Thanks for the idea -- though it seems unlikely since it requires no special state of mind, it happens reliably without any kind of effort.

Also, those places I wander off to are always static; I move, but there are no moving objects, inanimate or not, any people or animals.

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Djehutynakht
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Re: Projecting to random places while reading -- anyone?

Postby Djehutynakht » Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:23 am UTC

I should come back to this later... but sometimes what frustrates me is I'll have wrong preconceptions. I'll read the book, but somehow misinterpret or subconsciously construct a mental picture that, according to the book's description, is not accurate. Later, when I consciously correct myself, I still cannot get my version out of your head.

In a way it might be a bit like seeing a movie version of your book. You have an image, and then the movie has a different image and you're just like "wha..?"

Anyways, yeah.

attish
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Re: Projecting to random places while reading -- anyone?

Postby attish » Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:20 pm UTC

I may have found something related, possibly the very same experience.

One witness reports both 'normal' microsleep episodes (without REM) and MWRs. The latter often happen when reading, watching TV or doing something not requiring active participation, such as watching scenery on a journey. Usually, they go 'somewhere else' ie. into a dream state located somewhere completely different from their actual location. [...] Alternatively, some MWR episodes involve a 'continuation' of the real place where the witness actually is but with something happening that does not occur in reality[...]


http://www.assap.ac.uk/newsite/articles/Near%20sleep%20experiences.html

stickler
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Re: Projecting to random places while reading -- anyone?

Postby stickler » Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:07 am UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:In a way it might be a bit like seeing a movie version of your book. You have an image, and then the movie has a different image and you're just like "wha..?"

What about when I imagine about somewhere new, say Uni, and it's all a cobbled together based of places I have been - but then I actually go there and I wish I could remember how I imagined it.
Anyone else get this?

EDIT: A bit of a thread bump, sorry :oops:


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