Imagine this: You wake up in the middle of the night and realize that you are not able to move or speak; a strange feeling of terror grips you. You try hard but can’t move a muscle and can’t utter a single syllable from your mouth but are staring blankly at your room. Then some silhouettes appear, you feel a malicious presence, there is someone at your blind spot, you can’t see the person but you feel her. Then suddenly that demonic entity appears in front of your eyes, lying heavily on your chest and starts shrieking, you see her horrifying face, strange eyes; she’s pale to the extent of being white and weighs heavily on your chest and starts choking you. You try to scream, get help, but you can’t.
Such hallucinations are classic examples of sleep paralysis.
Wikipedia defines sleep paralysis as a phenomenon in which people, either when falling asleep or wakening, temporarily experience an inability to move. It is a transition state between wakefulness and rest characterized by complete muscle atonia (muscle weakness). It can occur at sleep onset or upon awakening, and it is often associated with terrifying visions, such as an intruder in the room, to which one is unable to react due to paralysis.
In simple words, you experience sleep paralysis when your mind is asleep and it thinks that your body is asleep too, but in reality, it isn’t. So the mind does its usual functions like inducing dreams which appear to your body as being enacted in real, for well, your body is not sleeping. (So, it occurs when your body and mind are separated? Matrix anyone?)
There are many instances of people all over the planet of having seen various supernatural entities, like aliens abducting them, instances like the one above when Banshee from Irish folklore rips them apart etc. I think that even past life regression bunkum can be explained via this phenomenon for this explanation is more justifiable than the concept of having a past life.
This phenomenon usually occurs naturally but it can be induced too, that’s just what I did last night. I have been trying this since months, searching internet forums for the best way to experience sleep paralysis and last night, finally I had my moment. It takes some efforts and lots of patience though. You actually have to deceive your mind into thinking that your body is asleep, that’s the trick.
Though my experience was not as horrific and terrifying as the above example but it was scary and hair raising enough.
Here’s how one can induce it and how I did and succeeded last night after months of intermittent and unproductive attempts. These steps may be followed but one might not be successful until a long time, hence I say, it requires a lot of patience.
I close the doors and windows before going to sleep, this is not required but I do that to assure myself that no one can enter my room while I am asleep in the hopes that if I get such terrifying experience, I can be sure (after waking up probably) that it is just a dream, I am safe and no one can get in, and the demon that I would have seen was a figment of my imagination.
I get into comfortable clothes and lay in a relaxed, supine position; I place my hands on my thighs as that feels comfortable to me. Remember, you do not have to move a bit. It seems difficult, you’ll get the urges to scratch your body (it happens a lot), but that’s your mind sending signals to check if you’re asleep or not. You don’t have to respond to that, you have to deceive your mind into thinking that you’re asleep by not moving, i.e. your body needs to be awake, but the mind needs to be sub consciously asleep, the natural way. And while doing this, make sure that you actually don’t fall asleep; you’ll surely not get the experience then.
Be relaxed and imagine your body is going lifeless gradually, starting from your toes to your feet, ankles, knees, all the way up to your face. This might take long, an hour, or even more. Be patient and again, don’t move.
Anytime you’re lifeless up to your face, the phase will start, you won’t be able to demarcate the instance when it started as it’s a continuous process but when it’ll happen, you’ll know.
Now here’s what happened to my sleep deprived self last night, probably after an hour or more since hitting the bed, it might appear pale compared to the example I gave above but well, here it is. I didn’t see anything because I didn’t open my eyes (your eye movements and breathing remain normal during the experience), maybe I was somewhat aware that if I did open my eyes, I would get some frightening hallucinations. But what I did experience were voices, of two people, arguing over something.
One of those two people was Death, yes, death personified. I could hear him discussing me with the other person who probably was what, his assistant? (Your mind cooks up some weird stuff I say). What was being argued was that was it my time to go? One of them was telling the other that I am not the correct person to be picked up, but the other person was not convinced. Those were literally hair raising moments that scared me. And all through this, I could not move or utter a word, it was as if they had me frozen in a semi dead state and were moments away from taking even the bit of consciousness I had. The voices were clear, as if they were standing right beside my bed and deciding upon what to do with me, kill me right away or spare me for some other time.
It was brief, and then I gradually drifted off to sleep, probably trying to steer away the voices. But I woke up in the morning feeling light and relaxed. Even though I missed my alarm by some time, I didn’t panic and that was unusual. Maybe some hormones that make you feel better are released in your body the morning after the sleep paralysis, or maybe just I was glad that death didn’t take me last night. Ok, the later part was a joke.
I wonder if I had opened my eyes what I would have seen, or what death would have looked like. The voices were humanlike, so probably death would not have been the faceless cloaked creature portrayed in pop culture.
Experiences like these make you understand how complicated your brain is and what crazy things it can cook up. So that death-man though not real, my brain made it appear as if it was standing right next to my sleeping body. No wonder we humans only use a little percentage of our brains (10? Maybe that’s a myth), for if we used more, don’t know what *supernatural* phenomena we might experience.
But one thing is for sure, our brains are capable of doing some bizarre stuff.