Paranoid hypnagogic schizophrenia

October 26, 2012

Around four o'clock this morning I went into a state that might best be described as hypnagogic schizophrenia, or more accurately, paranoid hypnagogic schizophrenia.

I don't remember exactly how it started, other than I was having trouble falling back to sleep after waking up at 3:30am for a bio-break. While not falling asleep, I did the usual thing of trying to relax deeply and only focus on the present moment. At some point people began entering and/or appearing in the apartment in a variety of ways. I can't remember all of the events now, just the last one.

Two women enter

Two women were in the apartment, and one woman was showing the other woman around the apartment. As the first woman showed the second woman the walk-in closet in my bedroom, she said, "Don't worry about the guy in the bed", and they went on about their business, eventually leaving the room.

I've been in situations like this many times before, but usually the people either ignore me, or they see me and think I'm dead. I've never had someone point me about before and then move on.


The people in these events seem as real as anyone you'll meet in this physical world, but in this state of mind, even when they say something like that, I can't tell if I'm awake or not. The filter that normally helps you determine what state of mind you're in seems to be completely absent.

I do know that "I" am in bed, but I can't tell if (a) I'm awake and these people are really in the room, or (b) I'm in some form of sleep and these people are hallucinations. While the reality always ends up being that my body is laying in bed and my eyes are closed and I'm probably in some form of sleep, when the event is happening, I can never determine this. Again, that reality/sanity filter isn't there.


The defining emotion during these experiences is fear. Just like the filter is turned off so I can't determine whether I'm awake or asleep, there's also a very strong sense of fear, possibly paranoia. No matter how many times I tell myself it's not real, they're not real, there's nobody in the room with me, or in the earlier events of the morning, "They're not trying to hurt me", whatever triggers fear in the brain/mind is working overtime.

As I write that, I should also say that when these women were in the room, the emotion was more "WTF?" than it was fear. My guess is that at this point my filters were on, at least a little bit.

However, I do recall that during the earlier events I went around the apartment and made sure all the doors and windows were closed. There was a strong sense that people kept coming into the apartment, perhaps breaking into it. (I would later realize I walked around the apartment in my mind, not in the physical world. I also didn't realize until later that the apartment I walked through wasn't 100% correct; some things were either missing, added, or in the wrong place. Again, this isn't something you're aware of when the filters are off.)

Back to the women

Getting back to the two women in my bedroom, for some reason I can't recall, after they left, I immediately decided to try to use my PK abilities. I sat up in bed, and by simply thinking about levitating furniture in the room, I was able to lift each piece up, put it down, then move on to the next piece. As I did this I began to question the reality of the situation.

Doing this calmed me down a little bit, and it helped me realize for the moment where I was, what my state of mind was. I began to think about phrases in the Zen literature, about "magical" states of mind, where it is said that "a pencil laughs, the statue cries". There's also a story about how Zen Master Seung Sahn was joined by two imaginary boys during a long retreat (though there was no mention of this built-in state of fear).

Paranoia, fear

I woke up (for real) at this time, got out of bed, and walked around the apartment to make sure everything was alright.

To show you how this fear/paranoia state of mind affects me, as I've done many times before, I took a chair and placed it behind the front door. I know this is stupid, but I always rationalize it by thinking that if I get back in bed and these events start again, I'll recall that there's a chair next to the door, and there's no way anyone is really coming into the apartment without me hearing them. (Of course that doesn't help if they come in through a window or the balcony door. I take my chances with those.)

While OBEs don't scare me, in retrospect I always fear this state of mind. While this morning's event was a little different than usual, I've been in this state of mind before where I can also toggle back and forth between that world and this physical world. While doing that is often fun and pretty spectacular -- imagine being able to go back and forth between two very similar worlds -- my fear is that one day I'll lose control of that toggle, and if it ever happens while I'm driving a car, I'd be pretty screwed.

A long time ago I started to write a book about all of the experiences I've had, and this particular state of mind made me write the prologue to the book. I wrote the entry in my wife's voice: "Living through and documenting these experiences was important to him. He didn't survive the process, but his notes are in the chapters that follow."

After writing that line, I just looked over and saw the chair is still there behind the door. Lest you think I'm kidding:

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