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weird psychological thing re: big/small
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hokum6Offline
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PostPosted: 15-08-2005 14:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to get the big/small thing as a kid and found I can still do it now, usually when I'm falling asleep, if I lie on my back and imagine holding a ball in between my thumb and forefinger it feels impossibly huge and completely tiny at the same time. I quite like it though for some reason, it feels mysterious.

Squonky~ wrote:
I found a similar picture on Google images; I'm not sure if it's identical but it gives me the same unsettling feeling:

http://www.angwinreporter.com/pix/PictureArchive/misc_nature/Iceberg.jpg


Brrrr. That's weird. I have the exact same feeling when I see pics like this. They creep me out and make my eyes ache.
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again6Offline
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PostPosted: 15-08-2005 16:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember posting about the big/small thing in another thread, but will add it here in case a neurologist does someday wander in and do a quick count of experiencers as compared to total membership; after which he/she may decide it's interesting enough to research.

I saw a screen, similar to a tv screen, except at the time I hadn't seen a tv. The screen was filled to absolute capacity with motor-bikes, all tearing around noisily. There was a man on each bike. It was all black and white. No colour. The sound was deafening; no let up at all. Some of the bikes were upside down. They tore in every direction and completely filled the screen; you couldn't have put a match between them: like orchestrated bedlam. Then in an instant this mess of movement and noise was replaced by silence so total, it virtually hummed. And from right of screen rolled a small ball. It seemed to be aware. As it rolled silently towards the centre of the screen, it grew progressively larger until it was huge and filled my sight. It continued, growing smaller as it rolled to the left. Then back to the screaming, roaring motor-bikes. Then utter silence as the ball commenced it's weird, silent roll. The ball was unnerving.

Another time, my parents were arguing heatedly in, of all places, a caravan. Frightened, I was scrunched up against a window, watching them, hoping it would stop. At some point, their heads became immense. Then their mouths became immense and out of proportion to their large heads. I could no longer hear them shouting; it was exactly as if the sound had been turned off. I watched in terror as my mother's mouth, then my father's, opened and closed in silence as they yelled at each other. They were still shouting at each other, but it was as if they were doing so in silent, slow-motion. It was hideous, seeing their mouths magnified; seeing the huge teeth as their mouths opened and closed angrily.

Then my father turned towards me. He was speaking directly to me with his enormous mouth in his enormous head, but I could not hear him. Then my mother turned her attention to me also. Possibly I looked terrified and upset. And possibly they now were attempting to reassure me, because they were laughing, as if their argument had all been a game. But I did not hear the sound of normal laughter. Instead, it was as if the sound had been chopped up. So what I heard was a snatch of distorted voices, then silence, then another burst of noise, then silence and so on. They continued moving towards me, to the point they seemed like two huge, distorted faces with large open mouths, looming above me and accompanied by bursts of rat-a-tat-tat laughter interspersed with silence. They resembled horrifying, open-mouthed heads similar to the ones at fair-grounds; the ones you try to toss a ping-pong ball into. I don't think I ever regarded them in quite the same way after that episode.
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barfing_pumpkinOffline
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PostPosted: 20-08-2005 20:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to get this sort of thing a lot as a child. Still do sometimes.

The most powerful instance of this big/small thing occurred in a dream, which involved the placement of some huge, vague shape - which even then I couldn't describe - right next to a single tiny matchstick. Seeing them together was strangely horrifying, as it all seemed to imply that such a degree of size between the two items was wrong somehow.

The only other times I get the same sensation - though it's rare nowadays - is when I see a lit cigarette which has been left in the ashtray for a while. The length, slimness and steadyness of the smoke stream when seen in a room-like context is weirdly disturbing. It's as if the smoke stream is both just a little bit too long and a little bit too steady to be entirely bearable.

I've heard that Salvador Dali was preoccupied by this big/small thing as well, and I can readily believe it - many of his works feature vast, flat arid spaces occupied by only one small isolated detail. Note also his take on St. Anthony's Temptation, and the long, spindly legs of the elephants; the large tapering down into the small, with little more than a horizon as background. A pretty good illustration of the phenomenon, I think.
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hachihyakuOffline
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PostPosted: 22-08-2005 18:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember reading this thread but not really understanding it awhile ago, but now I have a recommendation for anyone who wants to experience what this thread is talking about.

There's a video game called Katamari Damacy which is something of a sleeper hit due to its odd premise. Basically you control a tiny ball of gravity that makes other objects stick to it. The object of the game is to collect stuff on the ball, making it bigger and bigger, and of course as the ball gets bigger, it can pick up bigger things...

It starts off OK, when they give you a 5cm ball and ask you to collect stuff until it's 10 cm. You do that one on a table, picking up thumbtacks and ants. But as the game goes on, they ask you for bigger and bigger collections of junk...


It's very hard to describe the feeling of absolute incomprehension (which the mind of course turns into humor) when you pick up a speck of something and realize it's the entire neighborhood you started the game off in.


Long story short, if you can't grasp what this thread is about, play some Katamari Damacy to get an idea.
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hokum6Offline
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PostPosted: 22-08-2005 22:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remembered another one. When I'm lying in bed and just about to fall asleep, it feels like my vision is zooming out away from me. Like that camera trick they use in movies when the object in the foreground stays in the same position while the background extends outwards. Except a lot quicker. Used to happen all the time when I was younger and I found recently I could still do it now.

And yeah, Katamari Damacy rocks and exactly the kind of thing we're talking about. Smile
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HowardMarksOffline
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PostPosted: 24-08-2005 09:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to get this ALL the time as a kid, and still get it quite often now (I'm 27). When i was a kid it would wake me up in terrible nightmares that I could never explain apart from that there was something massive or infinite which was overpowering everything.
I agree its the same sensation as the comparison between something very soft, and something very hard. I imagine feeling my way through a very very soft substance like cotton wool, but suddenly feeling the sharpness and hardness of something like shard of diamond within the softness.
Recently I've been thinking a lot about enlightenment, and the principle that everything in the whole universe is inter-related and ultimately the same thing - a 'one-ness'. When i meditate on this thought, it brings the same sort of feelings, but in a much more relaxed, easy to deal with way. Perhaps these dreams and feelings are the minds way of trying to deal with the vast infinity of everything, in comparison to what we consider our 'separate selfs'. The feeling of gut wrenching horror is the feeling of the ego being dissolved, and the panic of losing touch with one's self.
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mossy_slothOffline
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PostPosted: 24-08-2005 11:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Perhaps these dreams and feelings are the minds way of trying to deal with the vast infinity of everything, in comparison to what we consider our 'separate selfs'. The feeling of gut wrenching horror is the feeling of the ego being dissolved, and the panic of losing touch with one's self.


A similar thought had occurred to me, though what made me doubt it was that most people seem to experience this thing when they are young children.... I just don't think young kids are really that...existentially aware... if you know what I mean...
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undergroundbobOffline
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PostPosted: 24-08-2005 18:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="hokum6"] Like that camera trick they use in movies when the object in the foreground stays in the same position while the background extends outwards.


A friend who works in film tells me that this sort of simultaneous zoom in/zoom out shot is known as a 'trombone'.

Sorry, totally OT, I just thought that was a cracking name for it...

Bob
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Diabolik8
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PostPosted: 24-08-2005 18:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

matthieu kassovitz used that to great effect in the film 'la haine'.
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HowardMarksOffline
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PostPosted: 25-08-2005 10:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
A similar thought had occurred to me, though what made me doubt it was that most people seem to experience this thing when they are young children.... I just don't think young kids are really that...existentially aware... if you know what I mean...


I've been thinking about this. Perhaps what is happening in a child is the same thing but in reverse, i.e. creation of the ego, as a separate object from the rest of the universe. I'm not sure at what age kids become conscious of themselves, but it might correspond with the ages at which these dreams seem to start. It would explain why they continue throughout life, perhaps only ceasing when one becomes fully aware: fully conscious of both their own consciousness and its purely subjective viewpoint, and the way that it is identical to everything else in the universe. If that makes any sense.
This is probably a very direct and inexplicable experience of the underlying process which drives the rest of our thoughts and dreams, the need to understand ourselves and our place in the universe.
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mossy_slothOffline
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PostPosted: 26-08-2005 00:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

HowardMarks wrote:
as a separate object from the rest of the universe.


That sentence alone is very nearly enough to evoke this feeling for me.

HowardMarks wrote:

I'm not sure at what age kids become conscious of themselves, but it might correspond with the ages at which these dreams seem to start.


What a pity babies can't speak! I wonder if this is what is often diagnosed as night terrors... My mother said when I was a about 18 months old, we were staying with some relatives in France. She had put me to bed, but had come running back up sometime later when I started screaming hysterically. She said I was very distressed and had vomited all over my pillow.. Now the reason I mention this is because when I was 13 I had a recurrence of the big/small thing, that (probably due to being slightly feverish) lasted for a long time after I had woken up. I remember throwing myself down on the bathroom floor and rolling about on the cold tiles, completely unable to bear the sensation...Anyway, I was saying "I need to vomit...I need to vomit across the universe". I have no idea why... But then years later, I was talking to my partner about this big/small thing, and he said, whenever he got it, it would be liike he was standing unsupported somewhere in space, watching a huge tide of vomit creep across the universe....

I don't know if it's just the fact that this can be a nauseating feeling, or something else. But I think maybe the incident when I was in France was the same thing, and that's why I threw up. (of course my parents have entirely different theories, they are convinced the room we were staying in was haunted)...
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RainyOceanOffline
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PostPosted: 26-08-2005 05:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

Older kids do get night terrors, but I suppose it's possible.
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tindalos_terrierOffline
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PostPosted: 27-08-2005 18:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is very interesting that so many people have had this experience. This is my description of it, as i used to describe it when I had the experiences as a child and when it happens as an adult, usually when i'm having a fever:

It's like this whole experience starts in one of two ways:

1. I can only describe it like this: I become aware that somewhere, hard to describe if it's inside my body, my mind or elsewhere in the universe, something rather small and soft exists, it's made of a very soft and fluffy material, then suddenly something starts to grow with enormous speed inside that material, the growing stuff is the total contrast to soft and fluffy. Its the spikiest hardest sharpest thing you could imagine (the weird thing is that all this is being registered not so much by my normal senses, it's kind of like I'm aware of this on another level also and it's very uncomfortable) The spiky, sharp stuff grows into an unimaginable size in the matter of fractions of a second and seems to dominate all of reality, very scary and uncomfortable.

2. Same scenario, but without the soft and fluffy at the beginning. The hard, spiky stuff just pops up out of emptyness.

Just as a previous poster described, this experience can stay for awhile after I have opened my eyes. As i wrote above, this often happens when i'm having a fever, but have happened at other times too.
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TheGordOffline
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PostPosted: 27-08-2005 19:18    Post subject: Sleep/semi sleep Reply with quote

Ive had similar experiences in the sleep/semi sleep realm for many years.

I remember when young (I think the last time was about 15) having a reoccuring, vivid but very surreal dream where i was trying to handle some kind of volatile substance (which seemed to be invisible, and have no other sensation to other than a force around it) It would of course suddenly expand to some kind of terrifingly massive size. I would then wake up, but be convinced it was somehow real for a couple of minutes.

Whilst in the forces, I did a lot of shift work and "stag" guard duty. I found that in the small hours, while unbelievably tired I could create auditory hallucinations at will, the most reliable of which was created by leaning forward and thinking "laughter, laughter" - and I would instantly hear a loud blast of canned "audience laughter" which would start and end equally suddenly.

I think this lead to a long period of sleep disorder, I think called sleep apoena. It was the full on waking up, that is being semi aware of my surroundings, but being unable to move despite terrific effort. Id sense all kinds of strange entities in the room whilst in this state - absolutely terrifying! It was only when this started happening while not sleeping alone that I was sure that these were only visions from my dreams. I can understand where the tales of being "hag ridden" and the more recent phenomena of alien bedroom abduction come from now.

Thankfully now in my thirties, and in a more stable "civvy street" job, all such strangeness has ceased....... sometimes I miss the old days.


You must all think I'm so strange, and you'd be right! Confused
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 13-09-2005 22:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have not read every single reply in this thread so i apologise if someone mentioned this already...

i see wat u all mean its jus i get the same thing but with distance...

particularly if im standing infont of a glass door or a shop window looking out i start to get confused how far the glass is away from my face and objects on the other side of the glass seem to be closer ... amd i feel asthough im mesmerized in some way...

or if im on a train id get a very quick feeling of anxiety and i wud be very confused as to wat direction the train is travveling in

(my mind would convince me the train was moving in the opposite directin and wud eventually feel like the train is pushing in on itself figthing to go bac kor forward!!)
..and id feel dizzy while i treid toi get my bearings..

same thing?
kind of?
Confused
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