07 May 2011

Surreal Sensations: Synesthesia

Synesthesia is a neurological condition that can be described as a blending of the senses. It can seem confusing as well as frightening when it occurs. Some forms of the condition can be very surreal and not all forms are known. Here is an article i wrote before i even knew this condition even existed.

Drawing from my own experiences regarding consciousness, i imagine that few people may have feelings from time to time that evoke such strong abstract sensations, attempting to explain them in vague detail becomes frustratingly impossible. Most of these ineffable feelings may only occur in dreams due to the minds uncanny ability to produce and sustain such bizarre/abstract realities while asleep.

Unfortunately, words do little to capture the essence of these seemingly non-sequitor and sometimes contradictory sensations, and as a result many people might try to keep these feelings to themselves. This is a completely understandable reaction.

For instance, how would anyone attempt to deal with the surreal strangeness of perhaps trying to explain a sensation that (for whatever reason) makes them feel physically and emotionally like a red bouncing ball? As odd as that scenario may seem, some feelings/sensations do become that abstract where the mind associates an image ( which can be a physical object/setting/literal state of being ) to the specific feeling or sensation.

For example, as long as I can remember, I have had this feeling that (even to this day) I can only describe as "Blue boxes". It feels like a combination of excitement, fear, joy, anxiety, sadness, wonder... etc - with the mental/emotional effect of physically sitting or moving in a dark room that is only lit by a flickering strobelight. These emotions come together at specific varying degrees to form this single feeling/sensation which, represented in my mind, is a physical object - the "Blue boxes".

The actual mental image usually manifests within the darkness of my mind, with one 3 dimensional blue box in the center. After a moment a 2nd blue box unfolds from either side of the 1st, and it continues on a random expansion of multiple blue boxes. Each unfolding from its own predecessor. Its a strange and surreal sensation I can only describe in this way and still have it seem "correct" to myself.

This is what it feels like:

Sometimes the mind's representation of ineffable feelings and sensations might not even have any relation to the initial impression at all, but even an abstract image helps in conveying the idea of an explanation when words fail to grasp the realness of its absurdity or understanding.

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