I’m trying to write this down before it fades away.
Every so often—I can’t detect a pattern—I have a day when the contents of my brain release like a shaken snow globe. For no discernable reason, my normally ordered mind dissolves its compartments, and for most of a day, all contents—past, present, future, unconscious, semi-conscious, sub-conscious, and dream life—swirl like I’m swimming through a pool of everything I’ve ever thought or dreamed. It’s as if the gatekeepers have gone on break or fallen asleep, and my mind is a milkshake of fantasy, altered reality, memory, dream memory, illusion and delusion. As I fall through layers of thoughts, images, feelings, and connections, I’m briefly aware of how weird and yet familiar these episodes are, before being swept deeper into whatever you might call this: insight, lucidity, fluidity, or temporary madness.
It’s not unpleasant. But it is disconcerting. For several hours, or most of a day, I’ll float with the sensation, trying sporadically to pin down what’s real and what’s fantasy. But the artful blend is hard to parse. My mind feels smashed apart, wider, broader, interconnected and reconfigured, as if it’s Inventory Day in a massively overstuffed warehouse, six decades of contents suddenly spilled on the floor.
As I try to describe the phenomenon, my logical brain wants to chain down the mayhem, while my dream brain wants to let go. And in the act of writing this, my logical (boring) side is winning out, while my untamed brain goes back into hiding. A galaxy of new connections and unfettered subconsciousness was rising to the surface, only to be cowed by the stern voice of reason.
Is this what it’s like to lose your mind? Or am I simply reconsolidating?
I’ve always been a vivid dreamer. I dream long, detailed dreams that make sense when I recount them. I have a lot of serial dreams, returning over and over to the same dreamscapes and people, and many repeating dreams, some with only mild variations over decades of repeats. Dreams I’ve dreamt so often, in conflict with the facts of my life, that I have to consciously talk myself back to “reality” when I awake. I’m a dream maestro, deriving great pleasure from even the strangest dreams. Especially the strangest dreams.
On days like this, when the boundaries dissolve and my layers of consciousness mingle, I float through the day like swimming through music. It’s only now, as I apply my logical brain to describing these episodes, that the swirling stops and I’m back in sound mind. Yet I want to go back.
I’ve done my share of psychedelics—LSD, mescaline, mushrooms, and MDMA—but the last time was 1979, before I became a Christian. These current mind trips remind me of past psychedelic adventures, but they’re different: I’m not hallucinating. Someone suggested I might be having flashbacks, but after 40 years , this seems an unlikely explanation.
I indulged my floating brain this afternoon, exercising to music and writing about unrelated things. But as soon as I tried fixing the experience to the page with logic, my altered state melted like a lingering snowflake.
I have no idea when it might happen again.
Anyway, I just want to know: Can anyone relate? Or am I the only one with Snow-globe Syndrome?