Anybody tried a psychomantium (mirror gazing)?

#2
I seem to recall reading about a study which claimed that a darkened setting; long slightly-off angled mirror; and random flickering candle light, together with a genuine longing to get in touch with the deceased, could produce apparitional type imagery in around half the participants?
 
#5
I've tried Psychomantium. I saw my death granny. Pretty creepy if you ask me, and I've never tried it again.
Yikes...! You're pretty down to earth, so if you've seen summat, I guess Moody's study was realistic.

I'm interested in it, but feel that I would probably end up scaring myself silly, which is just what you've confirmed.

I just ask, because a few years ago I felt as though I had woken up, and in a drowsy state had seen two peoples heads looking at me from within the mirror on the wall in our ensuite bathroom. I then came fully awake in fright... But couldn't really confirm there had been anything there.

The mirror is positioned facing and almost directly opposite the bed and can be seen if the bathroom door is left open... From the bed you can see the wall directly above and behind the bed.

I now insist on shutting the bathroom door before going to bed... So that I can't see any part of the mirror... Lol... Sounds silly... :)
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#6
I'll give it a go Max...see what comes of it.

Tangentially related, for anyone who likes spooky "people in the mirror" stories I heartily recommend purchasing China Mieville's The Tain.

From some miles off, from the direction of South Kensington, came a high mewing sound. Sholl gripped the shotgun. A multitude lifted from the distant streets, many thousands of indistinct bodies. They were not birds. The flock did not move in avian curves, but with spastic jerks, changing speed and direction with a suddenness birds could never manage. The things trilled and chattered, moving erratically south.

Sholl eyed them. They were animals, scavengers. Doves, they had been named, with heavy-handed irony. They could hurt a person badly, or kill, but as Sholl had expected, they ignored him. The flock passed over his head in unnerving motion. They were unclear.

Each dove was a pair of crossed human hands, linked by thumbs. Cupped palms and fingers fluttering in preposterous motion. Sholl did not watch them. He was leaning out and staring into the Thames water below him, below the doves, the water in which nothing was reflected.
 
#9
I did a little research just to get my stuff right about the Moody study. I was a bit off, it was done in 1993 not 1996 and apparently it appeared in his "Reunions" book (though I'm sure I've read it in other places ) but I can't find it in online format. I personally don't know what to make about psychomanteum or my experience with it, but I've read it produces a sort of sensory deprivation state ( Ganzfeld state?), which is known to produce imagery ( I would dare to say hallucinations, but the subject touches what I think it's a serious and active area of research such as the Survival Hypothesis so I wouldn't just say it's "all in the head").

Why of people, and specifically dead people known to the subject I don't know but I've also heard mirrors can produce other sort of images, equally creepy if you may ask me. An Osho little article I once read says that staring directly into one owns face with a light candle in front and in a dark room can deform the perception of your own face that, according to Osho's ideology is what your "true" face looks like (http://www.osholeela.com/meditation/med2.html). I've never tried Osho's experiment so I don't know what I would see, but I've been tempeted, despite my previous erry experiences with mirrors, candles, darkness and psychology blended into experiments.

There is however a paper that describes an experiment that is quite similar in spirit to Osho's one. Here it's an article about it, you can trace the paper from here (http://mindhacks.com/2010/09/18/the-strange-face-in-the-mirror-illusion/ and yes, if you are asking, you can also see death persons in the place your face should be, with some modifications!). Apparently, the effect wasn't only limited to the visual area, since it had a strong emotional effect in the guinean pigs that participated in the experiment. So, in short, I don't like very much mirrors, candles, dark rooms and my own mind in the same place :P
 
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#10
I did a little research just to get my stuff right about the Moody study. I was a bit off, it was done in 1993 not 1996 and apparently it appeared in his "Reunions" book (though I'm sure I've read it in other places ) but I can't find it in online format. I personally don't know what to make about psychomanteum or my experience with it, but I've read it produces a sort of sensory deprivation state ( Ganzfeld state?), which is known to produce imagery ( I would dare to say hallucinations, but the subject touches what I think it's a serious and active area of research such as the Survival Hypothesis so I wouldn't just say it's "all in the head").

Why of people, and specifically dead people known to the subject I don't know but I've also heard mirrors can produce other sort of images, equally creepy if you may ask me. An Osho little article I once read says that staring directly into one owns face with a light candle in front and in a dark room can deform the perception of your own face that, according to Osho's ideology is what your "true" face looks like (http://www.osholeela.com/meditation/med2.html). I've never tried Osho's experiment so I don't know what I would see, but I've been tempeted, despite my previous erry experiences with mirrors, candles, darkness and psychology blended into experiments.

There is however a paper that describes an experiment that is quite similar in spirit to Osho's one. Here it's an article about it, you can trace the paper from here (http://mindhacks.com/2010/09/18/the-strange-face-in-the-mirror-illusion/ and yes, if you are asking, you can also see death persons in the place your face should be, with some modifications!). Apparently, the effect wasn't only limited to the visual area, since it had a strong emotional effect in the guinean pigs that participated in the experiment. So, in short, I don't like very much mirrors, candles, dark rooms and my own mind in the same place :P
Thanks for that, it's very interesting. Although there are similarities between the face thing you mentioned, and the psychomantium, it doesn't appear that you should angle the mirror to see yourself in the psychomantium? From what I've read, the mirror should be angled to reflect what is behind you, but only what is above and to the side of you, and no part of yourself.

I've often scared myself looking into a mirror at night, I believe this is very common and easy to achieve, when all you can see is a dark figure of yourself, with your outline illuminated from behind by what little ambient light is present. Just a minute of that, and briefly I will panic at random moments, when I think the figure is somebody else looking at me, and not myself.

My own 'staring' type experiments where you don't blink, can also produce weird visual effects, colour, luminosity, shape and pattern distortions, together with totally false perceptions in my periphery vision. I've never studied why, just assumed that restricting visual input causes some sort of problem for visual processing, and stops me updating my internal visual spatial construction of the world, leading to larger and larger distortions from the visual centre outwards...

The psychomantium seems to have a rather different effect... i.e. Fully formed apparitions of other people? But as you point out, I'm guessing that if you ain't well focused in the lead up to the experiment. You might manifest other imagery... That's the part I'm scared of! Lol...
 
#12
I thought I read somewhere that there was a similar mirror-related technique for seeing oneself in a past life existence (or maybe I just muddled together some unrelated things which I read). Either way I've not tried anything like this.
 
#13
How can we be sure though that 'apparitions' aren't just mental projections?
When I use the term 'apparition' I'm only using it to label a general type of experience that many people would understand. I'm not explaining the experience.

Yet in these Psychomantium experiments, I'm intrigued by the question of why so many people apparently observe an apparition within the boundaries of a highly EM energy reflective sheet of matter? Why should it be more likely that an apparition appears there, and not elsewhere? What is it about a plane mirror that apparently increases the chances of having such an experience? I think these are extremely valid, and puzzling questions...
 
#14
Years ago did something like this. A flashing of images appeared, none were recognized, and it seemed a bit ... creepy. Have not done it since.

Why should it be more likely that an apparition appears there, and not elsewhere?
Not sure about the "more likely" part, but perhaps some are having such experiences for dramatic effect?
 
#15
I've read reunions which I found interesting. And yes, in reference to Osho, he said after looking for long enough, you face will totally disappear. Also, he says to stare without blinking!
 
#16
Thanks for that, it's very interesting. Although there are similarities between the face thing you mentioned, and the psychomantium, it doesn't appear that you should angle the mirror to see yourself in the psychomantium? From what I've read, the mirror should be angled to reflect what is behind you, but only what is above and to the side of you, and no part of yourself.
Indeed. I was just highliting some experiments that involve humans and mirrors, which might suggest they are connected or share an explanation in common.

I've often scared myself looking into a mirror at night, I believe this is very common and easy to achieve, when all you can see is a dark figure of yourself, with your outline illuminated from behind by what little ambient light is present. Just a minute of that, and briefly I will panic at random moments, when I think the figure is somebody else looking at me, and not myself.

My own 'staring' type experiments where you don't blink, can also produce weird visual effects, colour, luminosity, shape and pattern distortions, together with totally false perceptions in my periphery vision. I've never studied why, just assumed that restricting visual input causes some sort of problem for visual processing, and stops me updating my internal visual spatial construction of the world, leading to larger and larger distortions from the visual centre outwards...

The psychomantium seems to have a rather different effect... i.e. Fully formed apparitions of other people? But as you point out, I'm guessing that if you ain't well focused in the lead up to the experiment. You might manifest other imagery... That's the part I'm scared of! Lol...
I think Apparitions, or at least some apparitions might have a neurological basis. There's this case, for example, about a woman named Ruth. Now, Ruth had a very traumatizing infancy, as she was raped by her dad when she was just a little girl. At her young adultness, she developed the strange tendency of having apparitions of her dad ( who was still alive, and wasn't aware of this apparitions IIRC) in her bedroom, and sometimes his dad "took the place" of his husband at his side of the bed.

The apparitions became so annoying that she started going to terapy with a psychiatrist. The psychiastrist, instead of taking the common route ( that is, taking steps to prevent the apparitions of happening, which apparently can be done) did the exact opposite and encouraged her to control the Apparitions. Ruth, after a long journey managed not only to control apparitions at will of her dad, but also of friends, and other persons. This helped her to cope with her traumas, as she was able to "speak" with his "dad" and solve many issues.

Some studies, for sheer curiosity, where done by this psychiatrist to Ruth strange and interesting case. He, for example, scanned her brain while seeing a screen that produces a very characteristic brain pattern ( due to some flashing lights in the screen, or something like that, can't recall the detail ), and while seeing the screen he asked her to summon (in lack of a better word) his dad. As he apparated, Ruth's retina still responded normally to the flashy lights, but her neurological pattern changed, suggesting that light entered into his eyes, but along the path something "blocked" the light and inserted instead his apparated dad. Suffice is to say his dad didn't appeared in cameras, but Ruth, IIRC, claimed she managed to "show" his dad to other persons.

At least me, I've never heard of anyone else being studied in a scientific way while making apparitions at will of persons. While the case cannot be extrapolated to far ( due to Ruth being a mentally ill person and hence not representative of the larger population) it seems to be a phenomenon that might have therapeutic uses while also being something you can control for your own purposes ( at least to me, it would be interesting to "store" persons inside my mind, and then just make them apparate at will and in my own conditions, to ask them questions or just do some brain storm :P ). It also, of course, open a whole bunch of philosophical questions. This "apparitions" of living persons, ¿"who" are they?, ¿does it make sense to talk about them as "who's"?, ¿do they have feelings?, ¿can you use this "persons" to see distant objects?, ¿what happens when they are not apparated, do they still exist in some way?, ¿what way?, etc.
 
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#19
Have to get a candle and some matches or a lighter.

Figured some board skeptics would put their mirrors whether their mouths are by now though.

<<insert appropriate smiley>>
Haha!

I'm sure you could also use a flashlight or something. Cell phone perhaps?..
I heard that if you stare into your eyes, you're supposed to see the faces from your past lives. Don't remember if anyone brought that up, but that might be something to try as well.

I'm too scared to try any of this myself. I don't really see anything positive coming from such an activity.
 
#20
I'm sure you could also use a flashlight or something. Cell phone perhaps?..
I'm not sure of that. What are the qualities of candlelight? Almost a point source, with a certain typical spectrum, and a typical brightness. You might approximate some of those with an electric light source. But there's another characteristic of light from a candle. Its light varies. There may be both long and short term variations in brightness, colour and even position - the flame may shift a little from side to side, as well as vary in height.

I don't know whether any of those are important, but if nothing else, they may create a mood which in itself may be significant, even if indirectly.
 
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