Visual effects

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Visual effects can be defined as any subjective effect which directly alters a person's sense of sight.

This page lists and describes the various visual effects which can occur under the influence of certain psychoactive compounds. It also further organizes these effects into subcategories based on their features and behavior.

Contents

Enhancements

Visual enhancements can be defined as any subjective effect which improves one's ability to perceive the external environment through their sense of sight.

This page lists and describes the various visual effects which can occur under the influence of certain psychoactive compounds.

Acuity enhancement

Main article: Acuity enhancement
Visual acuity enhancement by StingrayZ - This animation serves as a replication of visual acuity enhancement, which is a common psychedelic effect. It demonstrates the general differences between normal vision and acuity enhancement by shifting between the two states. There is also a subtle amount of visual drifting within this replication.

Acuity enhancement can be described as an enhancement of the clearness and clarity of vision. This results in the visual details of the external environment becoming sharpened to the point where the edges of objects become perceived as extremely focused, clear, and defined. The experience of acuity enhancement can be likened to bringing a camera or projector lens that was slightly blurry into focus. At its highest level, one may experience the perception that they can now observe and comprehend their entire visual field simultaneously, including their peripheral vision. This is in contrast to a sober person, who is typically only able to perceive the small area of central vision in detail.[1][2]

While under the influence of this effect, it is very common for people to suddenly notice patterns and details in the environment they may have never previously noticed or appreciated.[3] For example, when looking at sceneries, nature, and everyday textures the complexity and perceived beauty of the visual input often becomes suddenly obvious.

Acuity enhancement is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as color enhancement and pattern recognition enhancement.[4][5] It is most commonly induced under the influence of mild dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. However, it can also occur to a lesser extent under the influence of certain stimulants and dissociatives such as MDMA or 3-MeO-PCP.

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Colour enhancement

Main article: Colour enhancement

Color enhancement can be described as the experience of colors becoming extremely bright or vivid and standing out.[6][7] During this experience, reds may seem “redder”, greens may seem “greener, ” etc and all colors will likely have become much more distinct, powerful, and intense to look at than they comparatively would be during everyday sober living.[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15]

Studies have also suggested an accompanying effect of decreased hue discrimination resulting in anecdotal accounts of perceiving colours which are seemingly impossible.[8][9]

Colour enhancement is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as acuity enhancement and pattern recognition enhancement.[14][15] It is most commonly induced under the influence of mild dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. However, it can also occur to a lesser extent under the influence of certain stimulants and dissociatives such as MDMA or 3-MeO-PCP.

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Frame rate enhancement

Frame rate enhancement can be described as an effect which increases the detail at which a person can perceive quickly occurring events that appear within their field of view. This may give the appearance that the external environment is being viewed in slow motion and that time has been "stretched out". For example, fast moving objects such as birds, insects, and cars may begin to present themselves as clearly viewable instead of as fleeting blurs of motion, which is often the case during every day sobriety.

In terms of its intensity, this effect can be subtle in its appearance in a manner which only slightly slows down a person's perception of motion. However, at higher levels, this effect can temporarily bring the speed of events down to an almost complete standstill.

Frame rate enhancement is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as acuity enhancement and thought acceleration. It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline.

Magnification

Main article: Magnification
Magnification by StingrayZ - This is an animated example of the common psychedelic visual effect known as magnification. There is also a significant amount of visual drifting present within the animation.

Magnification can be described as the experience of distant details within one's visual field appearing closer and more "zoomed in" than they actually are due to both visual enhancements and hallucinatory effects.[16] This can give one the perception that they are seeing objects from greater distances than is usually possible within everyday life.

At its lower levels, this can allow people to see objects that are within reaching distance as closer than they really are, resulting in the perception that there has been a general enhancement of visual capabilities.[16] At its higher levels, this can induce the perception of seeing objects as if they were right in front of the user across vast stretches of distance. These distances can range between several feet to hundreds of meters. Since this is most likely a physiological impossibility, it suggests that higher level magnification may actually be a seamless hallucinatory state in which the details of distant visual input are predictively simulated in a realistic and convincing manner.

It's worth noting that this effect is considerably more likely to occur if a person spends extended periods of time staring at an object or scene within the distance.

Magnification is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as acuity enhancement and pattern recognition enhancement. It is a rare effect that is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline.

Pattern recognition enhancement

Face in a cloud by Neil Usher - This image serves as an example of pattern recognition enhancement.

Pattern recognition enhancement can be described as an increase in a person's ability to recognise patterns (usually faces) within vague stimuli. Psychedelics enhance the availability of information managed in the brain through inhibiting the lower brain structures' gating systems.[17][18] General effects of psychedelics involve the temporary disruption of the normal neural hierarchy, replacing the normally predominant top-down control of information transfer in the brain with an increasingly bottom-up dynamic characterized by an increased influence of posterior regions over frontal areas of the brain. This decoupling of the frontal areas with the medial lobes resulted in a disorganization of the high-level networks responsible for large-scale brain network integrity, resulting in increased flexibility of networks and a more open communication among them.[19][20]

This innate ability which human beings possess in everyday life is referred to by the scientific literature as pareidolia and is a well documented phenomenon.[21][22][23] Common examples of this include spotting faces in everyday objects, such as the front of a car, or seeing different objects in clouds.[24]

During this effect, pareidolia can become significantly more pronounced than it would usually be during everyday sober living.[25] For example, scenery may look remarkably like detailed images, everyday objects may look like faces, and clouds may appear as fantastical objects, all without any visual alterations actually taking place. Once an image has been perceived within an object or landscape, the mind may further exaggerate this recognition through the hallucinatory effect known as transformations, which goes beyond pareidolia and becomes a standard visual hallucination.

Pattern recognition enhancement is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as acuity enhancement and colour enhancement.[26][27] It is most commonly induced under the influence of mild dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline.

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Suppressions

Visual suppressions can be defined as any subjective effect which decreases a person's ability to perceive the external environment through their sense of sight.

This page lists and describes the various visual suppressions which can occur under the influence of certain psychoactive compounds.

Acuity suppression

Main article: Acuity suppression
Blurry London by Josikins - This image serves as an accurate replication of acuity suppression as seen from the golden jubilee footbridge in central London.

Acuity suppression can be described as the experience of a person's sense of vision becoming partially to completely blurred and indistinct. This effect may affect the entirety of the person's vision or specific sections of it. Depending on its intensity, this can often result in a reduced ability to function and perform basic tasks which necessitate the use of sight.

Acuity suppression is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as double vision and pattern recognition suppression. This effect is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of depressant and dissociative compounds, such as alcohol, quetiapine, ketamine, and DXM.

Colour suppression

Main article: Colour suppression

Color suppression can be described as the experience of colours becoming darker, more saturated, and harder to distinguish from one another. During this experience, reds may seem “less red”, greens may seem “less green”, etc and all colours will likely have become much vaguer and more subtle to look at than they comparatively would be during everyday sober living. At higher levels this effect can result in the external environment appearing to be black and white, monochrome, and completely devoid of colour.

Colour suppression is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as acuity suppression and double vision. It is most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of antipsychotic compounds, such as quetiapine, haloperidol, and risperidone.

Double vision

Main article: Double vision

Double vision can be the described as the experience of duplicated vision[28][29], similar to that which occurs when one crosses their eyes. Depending on the intensity, this effect can result in a reduced ability to function and perform basic tasks which necessitate the use of sight.

The effect can easily be suppressed by closing one eye. This suggests that the effect may be occurring because the brain is overlaying the data received from both eyes on top of each other without rendering the information into a singular 3-dimensional image as it normally would during everyday life.

This effect is capable of manifesting itself across the 3 different levels of intensity described below:

  1. Subtle - At the lowest level, double vision is subtle and mostly ignorable in a manner which, although obviously present, is still not intense enough to render the person incapable of perceiving visual details necessary for tasks such as reading text or crossing a busy street.
  2. Distinct - At this level, double vision becomes intense enough to result in extreme difficulty performing tasks which require the perception of fine details, such as reading. However, the perception of large-scale details such as the person's general environment tends to remain readily perceivable with both eyes open.
  3. Intense - At the highest level, double vision becomes so intense that the person will no longer be able to accurately perceive small and large-scale visual details of their environment. This will necessitate that the person closes one of their eyes at all time in order to function as they would sober.

Double vision is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as acuity suppression[30] and pattern recognition suppression. This effect is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of depressant and dissociative compounds, such as alcohol, quetiapine, ketamine, and DXM.

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Frame rate suppression

Frame rate suppression can be described as a perceived reduction in the speed at which visual information is processed. While under the influence of this effect one may feel as if their vision is lagging and displaying in a manner similar to a buffering video, computer monitor, or strobe light. At higher levels of intensity, this effect can potentially result in a person's vision temporarily ceasing to move all together as if it has been freeze-framed.

Frame rate suppression is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as acuity suppression and double vision. It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of dissociative compounds, such as ketamine, MXE, PCP, and DXM.

Pattern recognition suppression

Pattern recognition suppression can be described as a partial to complete inability to mentally process visual information regardless of its clarity. For example, although one may be able to see what is in front of them in perfect detail, they will have a reduced ability to understand what they are looking at. This can render even the most common of everyday objects as unrecognizable.

Pattern recognition suppression is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as analysis suppression and thought deceleration. It is most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of dissociative or antipsychotic compounds, such as ketamine, quetiapine, PCP, and DXM. However, it can also occur to a lesser extent under the influence of extremely heavy dosages of psychedelic compounds such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline.

Peripheral information misinterpretation

Peripheral information misinterpretation can be described as the experience of perceiving details within the peripheral vision incorrectly. During this state, a person may see details within their peripheral vision that are quite elaborate that, after a more direct analysis, turn out to be entirely fabricated. For example, a person may momentarily notice fleeting objects, people, or events within their peripheral vision that are not actually present.

Peripheral information misinterpretation is often accompanied and enhanced by other coinciding effects such as pattern recognition enhancement and external hallucinations. It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of deliriant compounds, such as DPH, datura, and benzydamine. However, it can also occur under the influence of stimulant psychosis and sleep deprivation.

Distortions

Visual distortions can be defined as any subjective effect which alters and changes the perception or appearance of pre-existing visual data without adding any entirely new content.

This page lists and describes the various visual distortions which can occur under the influence of certain psychoactive compounds.

After images

Main article: After images
After images by StingrayZ - This image serves as an accurate portrayal of the commonly experienced psychedelic effect known as after images. There is also a significant amount of visual drifting within its background.

After images are a visual distortion that can be described as an image continuing to appear in one's vision after exposure to the original image has ceased.[31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40][41] A common form of after image is the bright glow that seems to float in one's vision after looking into a light source for a few seconds. This effect is similar to tracers, but differs in that it does not create smooth blurs behind moving objects.

During hallucinogenic experiences, still overlayed images of moving objects are commonly left in place of where the object once was.[39][42][43][44][45][46] This creates a series of overlayed images across one's visual field which become less distinct the further away they are from the moving object's current position. Another manifestation of this effect can be described as being able to see the external environment for several seconds after one closes their eyes before it gradually fades away.

After images are often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as tracers[32][34][39][43][47][48] and drifting.[38] They are most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline.[34][44][45][49]

Brightness alteration

Main article: Brightness alteration

Brightness alteration can be described as a distortion or change in the levels of perceived brightness comprising a person's vision.[50] This usually results in the person's vision becoming darker[51][52] and gloomier, but could also potentially result in it becoming lighter and brighter[51][53][54] depending on the person's environment and substances they have consumed.

Brightness alteration is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of hallucinogenic compounds, such as psychedelics, dissociatives, and cannabinoids.

Colour replacement

Main article: Colour replacement

Colour replacement can be described as the experience of a person's entire visual field or specific objects and sections within it becoming replaced with an alternative colour which differs from its original appearance.[55] For example, the person's vision could become tinted purple, the green leaves of a tree could become red, or a black car could become white.

Although similar, this component differs from colour shifting as it is a static change in colour which remains still and semi-permanent as opposed to constantly cycling between various hues, tints and shades.

Colour replacement is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as color enhancement and colour shifting. It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline.

Colour shifting

Main article: Colour shifting
UV Mandala by StingrayZ - This image serves as an accurate portrayal of the commonly experienced psychedelic effect known as color shifting as seen within a mandala tapestry. There is also a significant amount of visual drifting.

Colour shifting can be described as the experience of various objects shifting and changing their colour through a continuously repeating cycle that occurs in a fluid motion across the surface of the object. For example, moss on a rock could physically shift from green to red to blue to any other colour and then back to green again in the visual style of a smooth and seamless animated loop. This effect is particularly strong if the objects original colour was bright or out of place.

Colour shifting is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as color enhancement and colour replacement. It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. However, it can also occur to a lesser extent under the influence of certain stimulants such as MDMA.

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Depth perception distortions

Depth perception distortions can be defined as the experience of alterations in how a person perceives the distance of various objects within their visual field.[56] During this state, the various layers of scenery can become exaggerated, skewed, or completely rearranged.[57][58][59][60][61] An example of this could be the swapping of layers in a given environment, in which objects in the background begin to appear as if they are in the foreground and objects in the foreground appear as if they are in the background.

Another example of these distortions is the complete loss of depth perception.[61][62][63] This occurs when the different sections of a scene appear to unify into a flat 2-dimensional image regardless of their actual distance from each other and the observer.

Depth perception distortions are often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as perspective distortions and drifting. They are most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline.

Diffraction

Main article: Diffraction

Diffraction can be described as the experience of perceiving rainbows and spectrums of color embedded within the brighter parts of a person's visual field. This visual effect is likely due to pupil dilation resulting in some light sources hitting the lens of the eye in a manner which appears to spread into a larger range of the spectrum rather than a consolidated wavelength.

Diffraction is most commonly induced under the influence of mild dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. However, this effect is also experienced during everyday sober living for certain people.

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Drifting

Main article: Drifting
White Wolf Drinking Water by Anonymous - This animated .gif serves as an image example for a very common manifestation of psychedelic visual drifting which is specifically in the form of flowing.

Drifting can be described as the experience of the texture, shape, and general structure of objects and scenery appearing as progressively warped, melted, and morphed across themselves.[64] These alterations gradually increase in intensity as a person stares, but are temporary and will reset to their normal appearance the moment a person double takes.

This effect is capable of manifesting itself across the 4 different levels of intensity described below:

  1. Peripheral - At the lowest level, visual drifting can be described as a wiggling of straight lines within the external environment. This occurs exclusively within a person's peripheral vision and cannot be directly looked at.
  2. Direct - At this level, visual drifting does not necessarily increase in intensity, but can now be directly looked at within a person's central line of sight. This partially alters the appearance and form of shapes, objects, and sceneries within the external environment, causing them to subtly drift, bend, and morph.
  3. Distinct - At this level, visual drifting becomes powerful enough to drastically alter and transform the shape of specific objects within a person's external environment. This is often to the point where they can become progressively unrecognisable in comparison to their original form, assuming one stares at the distortion and keeps their eyes relatively motionless.
  4. All-encompassing - At the highest level of visual drifting, the intensity becomes powerful enough to distort not just specific objects, but every single point of a person's vision and the entirety of the external environment. This creates the appearance of an extremely smudged, warped, and blended unrecognisable mass of visual data.

Drifting is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as symmetrical texture repetition and tracers.[65][66] It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. However, it can also occur to a lesser extent under the influence of certain stimulants and dissociatives such as MDMA or 3-MeO-PCP.

The particular style of this visual effect depends on the specific continuously changing direction, speed, and rhythm of the distortion. This results in a small variety of different manifestations which are defined and listed below:

Morphing

Morphing can be described as an effect of visual drifting which is completely disorganised and spontaneous in both its rhythm and direction. It results in objects and scenery appearing to change gradually, morph, and warp in their size, shape, and configuration.

Breathing

Breathing can be described as an effect of visual drifting which makes objects and scenery appear to be steadily contracting inwards and expanding outwards with a consistent rhythm, similar to the lungs of a living organism.

Melting

Melting can be described as an effect of visual drifting which results in the texture of objects and scenery appearing to completely or partially melt. It begins at lower doses as a gradual distortion of an object's texture which causes them to subtly droop, wobble, and lose their structural integrity. This gradually increases until it becomes impossible to ignore as the lines, textures, and colour between solid objects melt into one another in an extremely fluid style.

Flowing

Flowing can be described as an effect of visual drifting which seems to occur almost exclusively on textures (particularly if they are highly detailed, complex, or rough in appearance). This results in the textures flowing like a river in a seamless, looped animation and is particularly common on wood grain or the fur of animals.

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Variations

The specific differences between each potential style of drifting can be broken down into the following variations:

  • Intricate vs. Simplistic – In terms of its complexity, drifting can alter the external environment in a way that spreads out in many different complex directions and results in the original piece of sensory input becoming completely unrecognisable in appearance. Alternately, it will be simplistic in nature and stick to simple warping, wiggling and bending even at high dosages of psychoactive substances.
  • Slow vs. Fast – Drifting can manifest itself as something that progresses in its visual alterations at a fast and sudden rate or it can manifest gradually and slowly as a person stares into it.
  • Smooth vs. Jittery – In terms of its motion, drifting can manifest itself as a smooth, fluid, and flawless movement or it can manifest as jittery with an extremely slow frame rate that moves in sudden and partial transitions.
  • Static vs. Fleeting – In terms of its permanence, drifting will either maintain its position until one performs a double take or will be extremely fleeting in its nature, meaning that it will reset almost as soon as a person tries to look directly at it.
  • Realistic vs. Unrealistic – Drifting can either look convincing in its appearance or it can look extremely cartoon-like and unrealistic.

Environmental cubism

Main article: Environmental cubism
Environmental Cubism in the park by StasConstantine - This image serves as an accurate portrayal of the commonly experienced dissociative effect known as environmental cubism as seen in a park.

Environmental cubism can be described as a visual segmentation of the external environment into squares and cubes of varying amounts and sizes.[67] Once established, these segments can begin to slowly drift away from their original location and often change in size, leading to gaps in-between them. The space within these gaps is either completely dark or composed of tightly bound visual geometry. It is worth noting that this effect is remarkably similar in its appearance to cubist photography and artwork.

This dark space can eventually grow, progressively decreasing the size of the cubes until a person finds themselves surrounded by a dissociative hole. It is not uncommon to be able to innately feel and detect the details and layout of both the different sections of the distortion and the gaps between them.

Environmental cubism is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as environmental orbism and visual disconnection. It is most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of dissociative compounds, such as ketamine, PCP, and DXM.

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Environmental patterning

Forest of flowing fractals by /u/lazystylediffuse - This animated .gif serves as an video example of environmental patterning as seen within a forest.

Environmental patterning can be described as the experience of certain textures or objects such as carpets, clouds, and dense vegetation drifting into increasingly complex geometric patterns that are always clearly comprised of the original material which they are manifesting from. These structures tend to be primarily symmetrical in nature, but also include form constants, fractals, and disorganised geometric patterns.

Environmental patterning is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as symmetrical texture repetition, geometry, and drifting. It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline.

Environmental orbism

Main article: Environmental orbism

Environmental orbism can be described as a visual segmentation of the external environment into circles and spheres of varying amounts and sizes. Once established, these segments can begin to slowly drift away from their original location and often change in size, leading to gaps in-between them. The space within these gaps is either completely dark or composed of tightly bound visual geometry.

This dark space can eventually grow, progressively decreasing the size of the cubes until a person finds themselves surrounded by a dissociative hole. It is not uncommon to be able to innately feel and detect the details and layout of both the different sections of the distortion and the gaps between them.

Environmental orbism is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as scenery slicing and visual disconnection. It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of dissociative compounds, such as ketamine, PCP, and DXM.

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Object alterations

Main article: Object alterations

An object alteration can be described as the experience of perceiving objects, and scenes to be progressively warping, moving, stretching, animating, and shifting in their 3-dimensional form in a manner which can vary from subtle to extreme.[68][69][70][71] When the person double takes the object returns to its original shape until it is looked at directly once again, whereafter it begins distorting again in a similar or different manner. The manner in which the alterations occur is not uniform and cannot be reliably predicted. The intensity of the effect is often linked to the intensity and progression of the mental state that precludes this effect.

For example, when staring at an object such as a chair its 3-dimensional shape may begin to drastically elongate or tilt into an exaggerated form which retains its original colours and textures.

Another common manifestation of this effect is the perception of textures progressively extending and stretching outward from the surfaces which they reside upon in the form of a detailed 3-dimensional structure[71] somewhat similar to complex, opaque, and solidified smoke. These structures usually maintain a size which is consistent with the width of the texture it is extending from. They can also range from anywhere between several inches to several meters in length. For example, if one is staring at a painting on the wall it may extend in one direction on a 2-dimensional plane until the observer looks away.

Although this subjective effect component is categorised as a visual distortion,[71][72][73] it is likely an indirect result of external hallucinations being applied to objects within the user's environment occurring in a manner which does not introduce new data, but simply alters the perception of a 3-dimensional structure's content.

Object alterations are often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as delirium and psychosis.[73] They are most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of deliriant compounds, such as DPH and datura. However, they can also occur under the influence of stimulant psychosis and sleep deprivation.

Perspective distortions

Size distortions by Anonymous - This image serves as an accurate portrayal of the commonly experienced effect known as perspective distortions.

A perspective distortion can be described as subtle to extreme changes in how one perceives the size and distance attributed to a person’s body, to specific parts of the external environment, or to the external environment as a whole.[74][75]

This effect is capable of manifesting itself in 4 different ways which may reflect the failure of each respective responsible visual function.[74][76][77][78][79]

  • Macropsia - Objects are perceived larger than their actual size.
  • Micropsia - Objects are perceived smaller than their actual size.
  • Pelopsia - Objects are perceived nearer than they actually are.
  • Teleopsia - Objects are perceived much further away than they actually are.

When affecting distance, perspective distortions can make things seem as if they are physically closer or further away than they usually would be. This can range from a subtle experience, such as the other side of the room feeling marginally further away than it usually would be, to an extreme experience, such as feeling as if the horizon is right in front of you.

When affecting size, perspective distortions can make things seem as if they are physically smaller or larger in terms of the sense of size that one would usually attribute to them.[80][81][82] This can range from a subtle experience, such as the room feeling marginally smaller and more cramped than it usually would be, to an extreme experience, such as feeling as if the room is hundreds of miles wide.

Perspective distortions are often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as depth perception distortions and visual disconnection. They are most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of dissociative compounds, such as ketamine, PCP, MXE, and DXM.

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice by Lewis Caroll - This illustration depicts a scene from Alice in Wonderland in which she has grown in size. It is an accurate representation of how it often feels to experience this effect.

Feelings of suddenly having an impossibly giant or tiny body are also a very common manifestation of this effect. This feeling is already known by the scientific literature as “Alice in Wonderland Syndrome”, where it is seen as a temporary condition often associated with migraines, brain tumours, and the use of psychoactive drugs.[74][83] The effect can either be attributed to the body as a whole or specific parts of it. For example, feelings of having a huge head or tiny limbs are possible.

Recursion

Main article: Recursion
Album art by Leif Podhajsky for Innerspeaker by Tame Impala. This image serves as an accurate replication of visual recursion manifesting over a natural landscape.

Recursion can be described as a visual distortion which partially to completely alters the appearance of one's external environment by repeating specific sections of itself across itself in a self-similar fashion. It results in the appearance of fractal-like patterns which often zoom into or away from the original image. This effect typically occurs spontaneously and rarely sustains itself for more than several seconds.

Recursion is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline.

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Scenery slicing

Main article: Scenery slicing
Scenery Slicing by StingrayZ - This image serves as an accurate portrayal of the commonly experienced effect known as scenery slicing.

Scenery slicing can be described as the experience of a person's visual field appearing to split into separate cleanly cut sections, these individual slices then proceed to drift slowly away from their original position before disappearing and resetting to normalcy. This effect typically occurs spontaneously and rarely sustains itself for more than several seconds.

The organisation of these slices can be quite varied; they can be as simple as three separate sections or extremely complex, with formations such as multiple intricate slices of moving interlocking spirals or an infinite variety of other potential geometric designs.

Scenery slicing is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as environmental cubism and visual disconnection. It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of dissociative compounds, such as ketamine, PCP, and DXM. However, it can also occur to a lesser extent under the influence of psychedelics such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline.[84]

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Symmetrical texture repetition

Grass by Chelsea Morgan - This image serves as accurate portrayal of the commonly experienced psychedelic effect known as Symmetrical texture repetition.

Symmetrical texture repetition can be described as the perception of textures becoming mirrored repeatedly over their own surface in an intricate and symmetrical fashion that is consistent across itself.[85] This maintains the same level of detail no matter how closely one attempts to look at the distortion and tends to remain most prominent within one's peripheral vision. It usually manifests itself in rough textures such as grass, carpets, tree bark, and asphalt.

During this state, if one stares at a fixed point the symmetrical texture repetition may progressively increase and further tesselate into more complex forms. However, this progression of complexity will usually reset back to baseline as soon as one double takes.

Symmetrical texture repetition is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as pattern recognition enhancement[86][87] and transformations in a manner which can result in the appearance of a huge array of abstract forms and imagery embedded within the symmetry. It is most commonly induced under the influence of mild dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. However, it can also occur less commonly under the influence of certain stimulants and dissociatives, such as MDMA or 3-MeO-PCP.

Tracers

Main article: Tracers
Tracers by Kaylee - This animation serves as an accurate portrayal of the commonly experienced psychedelic effect known as tracers (level 3).

Tracers can be described as the experience of trails of varying lengths and opacity being left behind moving objects in a manner that is similar to those found in long exposure photography. These can manifest as exactly the same colour of the moving object which is producing it or can sometimes be a randomly selected colour of their own.

A relatively consistent way to reproduce this visual effect is to simply move one's hand in front of their face or throw an object under the influence of a moderate dose of psychedelics.

This effect is capable of manifesting itself across the 4 different levels of intensity described below:

  1. Subtle - At the lowest level, tracers can be described as an almost completely transparent after image which disappears quickly and drags closely behind moving objects.
  2. Distinct - At this level, tracers increase in length to become roughly half as long as the distance across the visual field which the object it is following has traveled. The clarity of these tracers shifts from barely visible to distinct and partially transparent in colour.
  3. Intense - At this level, tracers become mostly solid in appearance and almost completely opaque with increasingly distinct and sharp edges. This creates a clear contrast between the tracer itself and the background behind it. The tracers become slower to fade from a person's vision and can remain in the air for up to several seconds. This results in longer trails covering the entire distance across the visual field which the object creating it has moved.
  4. All-encompassing - At the highest level, a person’s visual field has become so sensitive to the creation of tracers that it entirely smudges and blurs into an all-encompassing tracer at the slightest movement of an object or the eye. This can make it extremely difficult to see unless one's eyes are kept still in a motionless environment as tracers linger almost indefinitely or until one looks elsewhere within their visual field.

Tracers are often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as drifting[88] and after images.[89][90][91][92][93][94] They are most commonly induced under the influence of mild dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. However, they can also occur less commonly under the influence of certain stimulants and dissociatives such as MDMA or 3-MeO-PCP.

Image examples


Visual flipping

Main article: Visual flipping
Visual flipping by Josikins - This image serves as an accurate portrayal of visual flipping, as experienced within a living room. There is also a significant amount of double vision present within this image

Visual flipping can be described as an effect which distorts the surrounding environment to make it appear as if it has been rotated, mirrored, or flipped into an alternative orientation. For example, during this experience, one's vision may suddenly be viewed as upside down or sideways. This effect is usually very fleeting in its occurrence, typically ranging from a few seconds to less than a minute.

Visual flippng is an uncommon and rare effect which is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as visual stretching, double vision, and visual disconnection. It is most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of dissociative compounds, such as ketamine, PCP, and DXM. However, this holds particularly true for the onset of nitrous oxide and salvia divinorum, especially in the moments immediately preceding ego death.

Visual haze

Main article: Visual haze

Visual haze can be described as an effect which distorts the surrounding environment to make it appear as if the air is shrouded in an imaginary cloud of smoke, fog, or haze. This effect varies in its intensity, ranging from subtle and barely visible to extreme and all-encompassing in a manner which can significantly impair a person's vision.

Visual haze is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as acuity suppression and external hallucinations. It is most commonly induced under the influence of mild dosages of hallucinogenic compounds such as psychedelics, deliriants, and cannabinoids. However, it can also occur less commonly under the influence of stimulant psychosis and sleep deprivation.

Visual stretching

Main article: Visual stretching

Visual stretching can be described as an effect which distorts a person's field of view to make it appear as if it is horizontally or vertically stretching in its size. This effect varies in its intensity, ranging from subtle and barely visible to extreme and all-encompassing in a manner which can completely impair a person's sense of sight. At higher levels, it can stretch a person's vision into a seemingly infinite length, which typically renders their field of view as a thin strip of sensory data surrounded on either side by either empty space or subtle geometry.

Visual stretching is most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of sudden onset hallucinogenic compounds, such as nitrous oxide, DMT, and salvia divinorum. This holds particularly true in the moments immediately preceding ego death.

Geometry

Main article: Geometry
Switch by Sam Perkins - This image serves as an example of a single frame of typical level 4 psychedelic geometry.

Geometry can be described as the experience of a person's field of vision becoming partially or completely encompassed by fast-moving, colorful, and indescribably complex geometric patterns,[95][96][97][98][99][100][101][102][103][71] form constants,[104][105] phosphenes,[71][106][107][108] shapes,[71] fractals,[71] and colors. These geometric forms can also become structured and organized in a manner that presents genuine information to the person experiencing them far beyond the perception of meaningless, although complex, shapes, and colors. The geometric representations may feel as though they depict specific concepts and neurological processes that exist within the brain in a manner that is extremely detailed.

Geometry is rarely motionless and is generally extremely fast-moving,[103] and self-changing in regards to its shape and style. During this process, the geometry naturally drifts laterally or radially across the visual field to create overlapping webs of geometric patterns which transition through many distinct states, all of which are visible within a single perceptual frame.

This experience is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as internal hallucinations,[71] environmental patterning, and drifting. It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds such as LSD,[71] psilocybin, and mescaline.[109] However, they can also occur to a lesser extent under the influence of cannabinoids, stimulants, and dissociatives such as cannabis,[109] MDMA, and DXM.

This effect is capable of manifesting itself across known nine different levels of intensity, these tend to depend on the dosage, but can also fluctuate wildly in their intensity due to external triggers such as a person's set and setting. The individual levels are defined below:

1. Visual noise

At the lowest level, which may be experienced in a completely sober state, geometry is perceived as visual noise or static, combined with stray light and dark red regions that can be seen under the eyelids.

2. Motion and color

At this level, which is also obtainable without hallucinogens, the effect can be described as the appearance of unstructured regions of sudden flashes and clouds of color. These are typically referred to as phosphenes and can often be experienced in a sober state by rubbing or applying pressure on or near the closed eyes.

3. Partially defined geometry

At this level, relatively complex shapes and patterns with a vague structure begin to form. These patterns remain strictly two-dimensional. Geometry at this level is fine, small, and zoomed out in size with a dark color palette that typically limits itself to only a few different shades, such as blacks, reds, and dark purples. They are displayed in front of both the open and closed eye visual fields across a flat veil of geometry. However, they are significantly more detailed with the eyes closed or within dark environments.

4. Fully defined geometry

At this level, the detail in which the geometry displays itself becomes profoundly complex and fully structured, but still remains strictly two-dimensional. At this point, the geometry becomes larger in size and extremely intricate in detail with a color palette that is nearly limitless in its possibilities. They are displayed on both the open and closed eye visual field across a flat veil of geometry that floats directly before a person's eyes, remaining significantly more detailed with the eyes closed or in dark environments.

5. 3-Dimensional geometry

At this level, the geometry has become fully three-dimensional in its shape and position across the visual field. This adds a new layer of visual complexity and leaves the geometry sprawled out across the surfaces and objects of a person's environment instead of merely displaying themselves across a basic and flat veil in front of one's visual field.

6. Partially overriding visual perception

At this level, the geometry has become so intense, vivid, and bright that it has begun to block out and replace the external world. The visual perception of a person's environment begins to be replaced by geometry, with objects and scenery either transforming into complex geometric structures or simply being blocked out and covered by them. This occurs in a manner that drastically impairs the use of a person's normal vision. From this level of geometry onwards it is even possible to view geometry which is perceived to be four-dimensional or created from new, ineffable, non-euclidean, or nonsensical geometrical principles, although this is more common at higher levels.

7. Fully overriding visual perception

At this level, the geometry continues to become more intense, vivid, and bright as it begins to completely block out or replace the external world and a person's sense of normal sight become completely impaired. This creates the perception that one is no longer within the external environment, but has "broken through" into another reality of extremely complex and otherworldly geometric forms.

Level 8A and level 8B

At the highest level, geometry is capable of forking off into two separate levels of equal intensity known as level 8A and 8B. Environmental factors, a person's state of mind, and the substance consumed may determine which level a person experiences.

Once visual geometry reaches level 8A or 8B it begins to become structured and organized in a way that presents genuine information to the person experiencing it far beyond the preceding seven levels of relatively meaningless, although complex, shapes and colours. This occurs through the perception of innately understood geometric forms that feel as if they depict specific concepts and neurological processes that exist within the brain. Although this is also possible to a much lesser extent at lower levels it does not occur as consistently, and the intensity of it at levels 8A and 8B is significantly higher. At this point concepts can be seen as not just embedded within a person's closed or open eye visual field, but can also be simultaneously felt through indescribably complex physical and cognitive sensations.

It is worth noting that there are particular attributes of psychedelic substances which tend to result in a higher likelihood of level 8A over 8B and vice versa. Psychedelics which are stimulating in physical effects and contain low amounts of hallucinatory content typically result in level 8A. For example, hallucinogens which tend towards causing level 8A include LSD, 2C-B, and 4-HO-MET. In contrast, psychedelics which lead to level 8B are typically sedating in physical effects and contain high amounts of hallucinatory content. For example, hallucinogens which tend towards causing level 8B include psilocybin, LSA, DMT, 2C-C.

8A - Perceived exposure to semantic concept network
A visualisation of the brain's semantic concept hierarchy based upon data collected through fMRI scans.[110][111]

8A geometry is one of the two potential final levels of visual geometry; the other is 8B geometry.

A level 8A experience can be described as the feeling of being exposed to a seemingly infinite mass of geometry comprised entirely of innately comprehensible representations which are perceived to simultaneously convey every internally stored concept, memory, process, and neurological structure stored within the mind. This experience is not just perceived through visual geometric data, but is also felt in an incomprehensible level of detail that manifests in the form of complex cognitive and physical sensations. These sensations are felt to convey an equal amount of innately understandable information as that of which is also experienced through a person's vision.

At the lower end of level 8A this effect is something that fluctuates wildly and is neither constant nor consistent in its intensity. Instead, it is momentarily triggered by the experience of a concept. For example, if someone were to say the word "Internet" to a person who is currently undergoing this state they would see the mind's concept of the Internet immediately manifested in a geometric form amidst the very center of their visual field. This form will then quickly branch out from itself in a manner which is similar to a spider diagram or mind map chart, such as a network of geometric nodes descending from an origin concept where each node in the network is directly associated with their parent node, but with each degree of separation from the origin reducing the level of association with the source concept. For example, with the origin concept "Internet" one may have dozens of immediate child nodes that are representative of computers, which may have associated descendant nodes involving technologies, which may have their own children which represent human intelligence, which may also have child nodes involving all concepts related to the evolution of humanity, and so on until all concepts known to the person are represented within the network.

Once this occurs the sensory overload can temporarily disconnect one from their external environment and result in simultaneous long-term memory suppression or "ego death" for several seconds to a minute before a person is returned to reality until something triggers the process again, usually immediately. It is worth noting, however, that at this level it can to a certain extent be disabled through continuous physical movement. This seems to be because movement stops the process from branching out into everything by not giving the effect the time it needs to lock onto a concept.

As the dose of the psychoactive substance is increased, the process becomes easier to trigger while extending its length and duration. This eventually results in a stable state of complete disconnection from the external environment alongside of sustained "ego death" and a lasting sense which is often interpreted as experiencing all of existence in a single instant.

8B - Perceived exposure to inner mechanics of consciousness
An analogous representation of the visualization of neural circuitry

8B geometry is one of the two potential final levels of visual geometry; the other is 8A geometry.

The experience of level 8B can be described as the feeling of being exposed to a mass of geometry comprised entirely of innately readable geometric representations which subjectively feel as if they convey the inner mechanics that compose all underlying neurological processes. During this experience, the organization, structure, and programming behind a person's conscious experience are perceived as conceptually understood. It is generally interpreted by those who undergo it as perceiving the supposed inner workings of either the universe, consciousness, or reality. This experience as a whole is perceived through innately understood visual geometric data and is also physically felt in an incomprehensible level of detail through accompanying complex cognitive and tactile sensations.

At the lower end of level 8B geometry, the experience manifests itself as being able to perceive the supposed organization and structure behind one's current conscious thought stream. This is typically presented in the form of a complex, multisensory, and fast-moving network that contains innately understood and relevant geometric representations of specific and abstract concepts. The experience of these innately understandable geometric representations consistently triggers one to visualize and physically feel the concept through highly detailed conceptual thinking.

At the higher end of level 8B geometry, the effect retains its lower levels but expands itself to include the experience of subjectively perceiving, through innately understandable geometric representations, the architecture of subconscious neurological processes which are usually outside of one's normal daily perception or understanding. These processes are often interpreted to include concepts such as the structure of one's neurology, memories, perspectives, emotions, and general cognitive functions.

Level 8B geometry may feel capable of bestowing specific pieces of information onto substance users regarding the nature of reality and human consciousness through the experience of them. These specific pieces of information are usually felt and understood to be a profound unveiling of an undeniable truth at the time, but afterwards they are often found to be either ineffable or simply nonsensical and delusional. Occasionally, however, genuine lessons or coherent messages are innately interpreted through this experience. It’s extremely important to note, that the scientific validity of these lessons is very uncertain and should never be immediately accepted as true without an extremely thorough and sober analysis.

It is worth noting that a greatly simplified and purely cognitive version of this effect is also capable of manifesting itself with no accompanying visual effects.

Image examples

Psychedelic artwork

Fractals

Shipibo textiles

Variations

The specific differences between each potential style of geometry can be broken down into the following variations:

  • Intricate vs. simplistic - Geometry can either present itself as incomprehensibly intricate and complex in its appearance or simplistic, basic and comprehensible even at higher doses. For example, the geometry associated with dissociatives tends to be consistently overly simplistic in form while most psychedelics are significantly more intricate.
  • Algorithmic vs. abstract - Geometry can either appear to follow mathematical rules and logically consistent forms in its design (which often results in high amounts of fractals and semi-predictable shapes). In contrast to this, however, geometry can also be completely abstract or random in its appearance in a way that contains an infinite amount of completely unpredictable variety.
  • Organic vs. synthetic - Geometry can either feel subjectively organic and natural in its visual style, or it can feel synthetic and digital.
  • Unstructured vs. structured - Geometry can either present itself as completely disorganized and unstructured or it can form and condense into a variety of 3-dimensional mechanical and ever-shifting structures which are comprised out of and based upon condensed geometry.
  • Dimly lit vs. brightly lit - Geometry can either present itself as extremely dark and hard to make out from its background or, in contrast, it can be brightly lit and extremely easy to distinguish from its background. For example, the geometry associated with dissociatives tends to be consistently darker in appearance while most psychedelics are significantly brighter.
  • Multicolored vs. monotone - The color scheme that geometry follows can range from extremely varied and multicolored in style to consisting of little (if any) color variety such as grays, purples and blacks
  • Flat shading vs. glossy shading - The shading of geometry can either be flat, bright and simplistic or glossy with depth, gradients, highlights, and shading.
  • Sharp edges vs. soft edges - Geometry can have sharp edges which are extremely well-defined around its perimeter (sometimes with thick black outlines around its edges). In contrast to this, they can also be soft and blurred around the edges, merging seamlessly into each other in a manner which does not affect its intricacy.
  • Large vs. small - Regarding its size, geometry can be extremely large and zoomed in or fine and zoomed out in a way that does not affect its level of intricacy.
  • Fast vs. slow - In terms of its speed, geometry can shift and morph so fast into itself that the amount of information presented to the tripper in extremely short periods of time becomes incomprehensible to process. In contrast to this, they can move slowly and comprehensibly, swirling and shifting into themselves to present ever-changing geometric forms that can be observed at a much higher level of detail.
  • Smooth vs. jittery - In terms of its motion, geometry can move smoothly with a high frame rate, or it can be jittery in its motion with lag and a low frame rate.
  • Round corners vs. angular corners - Geometry can either have mostly rounded and circular corners or mostly sharp corners with sharp and angular geometry.
  • Non-immersive vs. immersive - Geometry can be manifested in front of one's face on a in a manner which feels separate and as if it was being presented on some screen without a distinct sense of size or distance attributed to it. In contrast, geometry can feel as if one is completely immersed in and surrounded by it with a distinct sense of attributed size and distance.
  • Consistent vs. progressive - Geometry can be manifested as consistent and steady in its intensity, complexity and visibility regardless of disturbances within the external environment. In contrast, however, it can manifest as progressive in its intensity which means that disturbances and sensory input such as bright lights, loud noises and distractions within the external environment will prevent or cut off the intensity, complexity and visibility from building up to its limit whilst darkness will cause it to steadily rise in complexity.
  • Level 8A vs. level 8B - At its eighth and highest level of experience, geometry is capable of branching off into two different directions of equal intensity. The first of these is Level 8A – exposure to semantic concept network and the second of these is Level 8B – exposure to the internal mechanics of consciousness.

Hallucinatory states

Hallucinatory states can be defined as any subjective effect which changes the perception or appearance of pre-existing visual data by adding entirely new content in a manner which is similar to that of dreams.

This page lists and describes the various hallucinatory states which can occur under the influence of certain psychoactive compounds.

Autonomous entities

Main article: Autonomous entities
Namaste (Trifoliata Mystica) by Luke Brown - This artwork serves as an accurate example of a generic geometry-based autonomous entity seen during a psychedelic experience.

An autonomous entity can be described as the experience of perceived contact with beings which appear to be sentient and autonomous in their behaviour.[112][113][114][115][116][117][118][119][120][121][122][123][124] These entities can manifest within both external and internal hallucinations.[112][123]

Autonomous entities will frequently act as the inhabitants of a perceived independent reality.[119][120] Although many entities seem largely unaware of a person’s presence they are often precognizant of a person's appearance into their realm and usually choose to interact with them in various ways. The behaviour of a typical entity can vary wildly and seems to depend heavily on one's current emotional state. For example, while many entities will act as loving beings,[115] teachers,[115][119][122][124] or healers in certain contexts they are equally capable of acting as indifferent, uncaring or even as malicious tormentors.

Entities can take any form but subconscious archetypes are present and commonly include:

Humans,[112][115][124] shadow people, bodiless super intelligent humanoids, aliens,[115][122][124] elves,[115] animals,[112][115][124] giant spheres, insectoids,[115][124] beings of light, anthropomorphic beings,[115][124] plants,[115][124] conscious inanimate objects, fictional characters, cartoons, robotic machines, gods,[115][122] demigods,[122] goddesses,[122] bio-mechanical intelligences, hooded figures, demons, indescribable monstrosities, spirits,[115] angels,[115][122] shamans, ghosts, souls, ancestors, fantastical or mythological beasts, glitch creatures and more.

It is worth noting that the content, style, and general behaviour of an autonomous entity is often largely dependent on the emotional state of the person experiencing it. For example, a person who is emotionally stable and generally happy will usually be more prone to experiencing loving, kind, and healing entities. In contrast, however, a person who is emotionally unstable and generally unhappy will usually be more prone to experiencing hateful, sinister, and mocking entities.

This experience is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as geometry,[116][117][118] internal hallucinations and delusions. It is most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of hallucinogenic compounds, such as psychedelics, dissociatives, and deliriants. However, it can also occur under the influence of stimulant psychosis, sleep deprivation, and during dreams.

Personality types

There are several distinct personality types of autonomous entity which one may potentially encounter. They are often perceived to represent a particular subsection of a person’s own consciousness and can be identified primarily through their personality, but also their appearance. These individual types are broken down into three separate categories below:

  • Representations of general concepts - This personality type can be described as a seemingly sentient representation of any known concept. This will usually adopt an appropriate personality and set of mannerisms to fit the chosen concept with an impressive degree of detail. For example, the specific concept could include other people that the person has met throughout their life, specific fictional characters or symbolic representations of concepts such as abstract ideas, emotions, or key parts of one's own personality.
    • Representations of the self - This personality type can be described as a copy of one's own personality. It can take any visible form but when conversed with it clearly adopts an identical vocabulary and set of mannerisms to one's own consciousness.
    • Representations of the subconscious - This personality type can be described as an entity which may take any visible form, but is also subjectively perceived to be an autonomous controller behind the continuous generation of the details of the person’s current hallucinations. They may also be felt to simultaneously control or manage one's current perspective, personality, and internally stored model of reality. When interacted with, this category of entity can often possess abilities which allow them to directly alter and manipulate one's current experiences. They commonly want to teach or guide the person and will operate under the assumption that they know what is best for them. However, it cannot be known whether this hallucination is genuinely a representation of the subconscious or is merely an approximation which behaves in a convincing manner.

Communication styles

Autonomous entities can communicate with a person via a combination of spoken word, “telepathy”, conceptual thoughts, mathematics, and geometry-based visual linguistics which generally consists of morphing colored structures of different textures that are innately understandable as representations of specific concepts. They will often convey insights regarding overcoming personal issues within a person’s life and will occasionally help clarify philosophical or spiritual ideas. However, more often than not entities are very likely to speak in a cryptic or nonsensical manner which seems to have no clear meaning behind it.

It is important to note that autonomous entities can never convey novel information to the person experiencing them. For example, they cannot provide insights about the external world which a person did not already know on some level. Instead, they can only provide alternative perspectives and help build upon existing ideas. This is presumably because autonomous entities do not have access to any knowledge which is not already contained within one's conscious or subconscious memories.

When communicated with through spoken word, the level of coherency in which these entities can communicate with is highly variable but can be broken down into four distinct levels. These are described and listed below:

  1. Silence - At the lowest level, the effect can be described as a complete unresponsiveness from the entity and a lack of speech despite their presence within the hallucination.
  2. Partially defined incoherent speech - At this level, the effect can be described as linguistic conversational responses and noises which almost sound like words but do not contain any real content or meaning beyond a vague sense of emotional intent.
  3. Fully defined incoherent speech - At this level, the effect can be described as audible linguistic conversational responses and noises which contain fully defined and understandable words, but often lack grammatical structure or an overall sense of general coherency.
  4. Partially defined coherent speech - At this level, the effect can be described as linguistic conversational responses which contain fully defined and understandable words with a partially defined grammatical structure and general coherency. It conveys its point on a level which is frequently coherent, but may not always be fully understandable and will sometimes descend into broken English or even gibberish.
  5. Fully defined coherent speech - At the highest level, the effect can be described as linguistic conversational responses which contain understandable words and fully defined grammatical sentence structures. It has an overall sense of general coherency which conveys its point in a level of detail that is genuinely on par with that of a person’s own intellect.

Image examples

Further information: Psychedelic art

External hallucinations

An external hallucination can be described as the perception of a visual hallucination which displays itself seamlessly into the external environment as if it were actually happening.[125][126][127] This is in stark contrast to internal hallucinations, such as dreams, that occur exclusively within an imagined environment and can typically only be viewed with closed eyes.

This effect is capable of manifesting itself across the 4 different levels of intensity described below:

  1. Fleeting hallucinations - At the lowest level, external hallucinations generally consist of movement within the peripheral vision and ill-defined, fleeting hallucinations which disappear once a person double takes.
  2. Vaguely defined hallucinations - At this level, the hallucinations are visible within one's direct line of sight, but are not fully defined in their appearance. This means that, although visible, they do not look completely detailed and are often extremely blurry or semi-translucent with little, if any, color.[125]
  3. Partially defined hallucinations - At this level, the hallucinations become distinct enough in their detail and vividness to extend beyond transparent, colorless, or blurry manifestations. However, they still remain unconvincing and do not quite live up to the detail of everyday life.
  4. Fully defined hallucinations - At this level, the hallucinations have become completely realistic and will rarely disappear simply because a person double takes. They are now capable of a completely convincing and photorealistic appearance and their behaviour becomes far more lifelike. Additionally, they may become numerous enough to fully engulf the entirety of the person's environment.[125]

Alongside a specific levelling system, there are also certain environmental factors that directly alter both the likelihood of external hallucinations manifesting themselves and the level of detail of which they are rendered with. For example, the more unfamiliar with the external environment a person is, the more likely it is that this effect will manifest itself. Cluttered areas tend to produce more external hallucinations and the amount of light within a room is inversely proportional to the intensity of them, with less light leading to significantly more hallucinations and more light leading to fewer, although more detailed, hallucinations.

The content within these external hallucinations can be further broken down into four distinct subcomponents. These are described and documented within their own dedicated articles, each of which are listed below:

It is worth noting that the content, style, and general behaviour of an external hallucination is often largely dependent on the emotional state of the person experiencing it. For example, a person who is emotionally stable and generally happy will usually be more prone to experiencing neutral, interesting, or positive hallucinations. In contrast, however, a person who is emotionally unstable and generally unhappy will usually be more prone to experiencing sinister, fear-inducing, and negative hallucinations.

External hallucinations are often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as delirium, internal hallucinations and delusions. They are most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of deliriant compounds, such as DPH, datura, and benzydamine. However, they can also occur less commonly under the influence of psychedelics, dissociatives, stimulant psychosis, and sleep deprivation.

Internal hallucinations

Parabolic Vehicle of Conception by Adam Scott Miller - This serves as an example of visionary art which attempts to accurately portray and replicate the experience of psychedelic level 5 geometry combined with level 3 internal hallucinations.

An internal hallucinations can be described as the perception of a visual hallucination that exclusively occur within an imagined environment which can typically only be viewed with closed eyes,[128][129] similar to those found within dreams.[130] Psychedelics create brain states that usually only occur when a person is sleeping; being under the influence is akin to lucid dreaming while being awake.[131][132][133] This is in stark contrast to external hallucinations, which display themselves seamlessly into the external environment as if they were actually happening.

At lower levels, internal hallucinations begin with imagery on the back of a person's eyelids which do not take up the entirety of one's visual field and are distinct from their background. These can be described as spontaneous moving or still images of scenes, concepts, places, and anything one could imagine. The imagery is manifested in varying levels of realism, ranging from ill-defined and cartoon-like in nature to wholly realistic. They rarely hold their form for more than a few seconds before fading or shifting into another image. It is worth noting that this level of intensity occurs in a highly similar manner to that of hypnagogia, the state between sleep and wakefulness.

At higher levels, internal hallucinations become increasingly elaborate as they eventually become all-encompassing, fully-fledged 3D scenes which surround the person in a similar manner to that of dreams. This can create the feeling that one has "broken-through" into another reality. The things which occur within this perceived alternate reality can be anything but fall under common archetypes, such as contact with autonomous entities alongside a wide variety of imagined landscapes, and scenarios.

This effect is capable of manifesting itself across the 5 different levels of intensity described below:

  1. Enhancement of mental visualization - At the lowest level internal hallucinations can be defined as a distinct enhancement of mental visualisation that a person drifts into when daydreaming or using their imagination. It can be described as a short-term detachment from one's immediate surroundings, during which a person's contact with reality is blurred and partially substituted by an ill-defined fantasy. The details of this internal visualisation are slightly spontaneous or autonomous in nature but are mostly controlled by the content of one's current thought stream.
  2. Partially defined imagery - At this level, internal hallucinations consist of partially defined, blurred, and faded imagery within a person's visual field.
  3. Fully defined imagery - At this level, the vividness and intensity increases in a fashion which renders the imagery seen within one's visual field as fully defined and realistic in its appearance.
  4. Partially defined immersion - At this level, the vividness, scope, and intensity of the hallucinations become all-encompassing in a way which begins to display momentary flashes of scenes which surround the person in an immersive environment in a similar fashion to that of a vague dream. Although all-encompassing, they are often blurred or transparent in appearance, and a person's physical body still feels as if it is partially connected to the real world.
  5. Fully defined immersion - At the highest level, the internal hallucinations further increase to become all-encompassing in a manner which displays long-lasting scenes which surround the person with an explorable and fully immersive environment which is similar to that of a dream. This occurs in a fashion which is entirely realistic, detailed, and highly vivid in its appearance. It typically also occurs alongside relevant auditory and tactile hallucinations, as well as the sensation that a person has become completely disconnected from their physical body.

The content within these external hallucinations can be further broken down into four distinct subcomponents. These are described and documented within their own dedicated articles, each of which are listed below:

It is worth noting that the content, style, and general behaviour of an internal hallucination is often largely dependent on the emotional state of the person experiencing it. For example, a person who is emotionally stable and generally happy will usually be more prone to experiencing neutral, interesting, or positive hallucinations. In contrast, however, a person who is emotionally unstable and generally unhappy will usually be more prone to experiencing sinister, fear-inducing, and negative hallucinations.

Internal hallucinations are often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as geometry, external hallucinations and delusions. They are most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of hallucinogenic compounds, such as psychedelics, dissociatives, and deliriants. However, they can also occur under the influence of stimulant psychosis, sleep deprivation, and during dreams.

Transition styles

Internal hallucinations typically last anywhere between 30 seconds and several minutes before the person slips back into reality or the presence of another hallucination. There are several different methods through which these hallucinations are transitioned between, these are described and documented below:

  • Zooming - Images can switch between each other via the experience of one's vision zooming into or out of the current image to such an extent that it reveals an entirely new hallucination.
  • Morphing - Images can switch between each other by transforming the details of their shape and structure to show an entirely new image. This can happen in a variety of different speeds and typically occurs in the style of a fluidlike motion.
  • Sliding - Images can switch between each other by sliding in a specific direction which then reveals an entirely new image behind them.
  • Fading - Images can change between each other by fading into nothingness before a completely new image fades back into view.
  • Splitting - Images can switch between each other by splitting into two or more sections which drift away from each other to reveal an entirely new hallucination behind it.
  • Tiling - Images can switch between each other by separating into geometric formations which then slide or fade away from each other to reveal an entirely new hallucination behind them.

Object activation

Main article: Object activation

Object activation can be described as the experience of looking at an object and perceiving it to move, become alive, or become fully animated and autonomous of its own accord. For example, a door may open and close on its own or a cup on the table may start to slide or tilt over. The "activated object" usually moves in a familiar way that would happen in day to day life, implying that the person is experiencing a combination of both object alterations and external hallucinations being applied to their environment.

However, it is worth noting that certain activated objects may also perform actions which are completely unrealistic. For example, an item of furniture may appear to disassemble into many floating complex rotating sections before reassembling into its previous form. Stationary objects, such as rugs, may activate themselves and begin crawling on the floor and up onto other stationary pieces of furniture. These hallucinations usually only occur when one looks directly at an object for an extended period of time and are rare and extreme signs of an advanced hallucinatory state.

In rare cases, autonomous entities such as shadow people may aid in an object's activation. A shadow person or other autonomous entity may pick up, rearrange, or move a stationary object in front of the observer and act as a "cause" of the object's activation.

Object activation is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as delirium, psychosis, cognitive dysphoria, and delusions in a manner which can result in the hallucinations being perceived to have distinctly sinister and unsettling undertones. It is most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of deliriant compounds, such as DPH, datura, and benzydamine. However, they can also occur to a lesser extent under the influence of psychedelics, dissociatives, stimulant psychosis, and sleep deprivation.

Perspective hallucinations

A perspective hallucination can be described as an alteration of the perspective through which a given internal or external hallucination is seen through.[134][135][136][137][138]

This effect is capable of manifesting itself across the four different perspectives described below:

  • 1st person - The most common form of perspective can be described as the normal experience of perceiving a hallucination from the person's everyday self and body.
  • 2nd person - This perspective can be described as the experience of perceiving a hallucination from the viewpoint of an external source of consciousness, such as another person, an animal, or an inanimate object.
  • 3rd person - This perspective can be described as an out-of-body experience[134][135][136][137][138][139][140] where a person's viewpoint is floating above, below, behind, or in front of their physical body.
  • 4th person - The least common form of perspective can be described as the experience of perceiving a hallucination from multiple or even seemingly infinite viewpoints and angles simultaneously.

Perspective hallucintations are often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as delirium, and memory suppression. They are most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of hallucinogenic compounds, such as psychedelics, dissociatives, and deliriants.

Settings, sceneries, and landscapes

Settings, sceneries, and landscapes can be described as the perceived environment in which the plot of an internal or external hallucination occurs. This effect is capable of manifesting in a seemingly infinite variety of potential places and settings.

When explored, the geography of these settings is capable of organizing itself as static and coherent. However, it will usually manifest as a non-linear, nonsensical, and continuously changing layout which does not obey the laws of physics. Regarding the chosen locations, appearance, and style of these settings, they seem to be selected at random and are often entirely new and previously unseen locations. They do, however, put heavy emphasis on replicating and combining real-life locations stored within the person's memories, especially those which are prominent in one's life and daily routine. There are some common themes and archetypes within this component which generally include:

Jungles, rainforests, deserts, ice-scapes, cities, natural environments, caves, space habitats, vast structures, civilizations, technological utopias, ancient ruins, machinescapes, historical settings, rooms and other indoor environments, real-life locations, incomprehensible geometric landscapes and more.

It is worth noting that the content, style, and general behaviour of a setting is often largely dependent on the emotional state of the person experiencing it. For example, a person who is emotionally stable and generally happy will usually be more prone to experiencing neutral, interesting, or positive settings. In contrast, however, a person who is emotionally unstable and generally unhappy will usually be more prone to experiencing sinister, fear-inducing, and negative settings.

Settings, sceneries, and landscapes are often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as autonomous entities and delusions. They are most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of hallucinogenic compounds, such as psychedelics, dissociatives, and deliriants. However, they can also occur under the influence of stimulant psychosis and during dreams.

Shadow people

Main article: Shadow people
Untitled by Anonymous - An accurate representation of the experience of shadow people.

Shadow people can be described as the experience of perceiving patches of shadow in one's peripheral or direct line of sight that appear and behave as living, autonomous beings.[141][142][143][144][145] Due to the unique behavior of these hallucinations they can be considered as a distinct sub-type of autonomous entity.

Shadow people usually, but not always, begin to appear initially as fleeting images in a person's peripheral vision.[145] However, at higher levels of intensity shadow people may begin to appear in full view in a manner which allows them to be directly looked at. At advanced mental states, it is even possible to look away from and look back at the shadow person without a change in the presence or appearance of the hallucination.

The bodies of these shadow people are usually perceived as being comprised of a type of blackness that has a sense of depth with few facial or bodily features.[145] The blackness of their bodies often seem almost opaque, as if one is looking into a "black hole" in humanoid form. They may also appear in the shape of animals, uniform blobs, disembodied body parts, or a myriad of other indescribable shapes. They sometimes appear to have faces, eyes, or mouths and are able to move or change shape. The movement exhibited can be normal human movement or it can be faster, slower, or more choppy than a normal person's gait. It is also possible for multiple shadow people to occupy one's field of vision simultaneously while acting autonomously from one another and even interacting with each other.

It is worth noting that the style and general behaviour of a shadow person are often largely dependent on the emotional state of the person experiencing it. For example, a person who is emotionally stable and generally happy will usually be more prone to experiencing neutral, interesting, or friendly shadow people. In contrast, however, a person who is emotionally unstable and generally unhappy will usually be more prone to experiencing sinister and fear-inducing shadow people.

Shadow people are often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as delirium, paranoia,[145] anxiety, and feelings of impending doom.[145] They are most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of deliriant compounds, such as DPH, datura, and benzydamine. However, they can also occur under the influence of stimulant psychosis,[145][146] sleep deprivation,[143][145] and during sleep paralysis.[147]

Multisensory aspects

Although it is uncommon and not an intrinsic part of this hallucinatory effect shadow people can sometimes be accompanied by other sensory components alongside of the person's visual perception of them. This is typically infrequent and usually only occurs during very intense states of sleep deprivation, delirium, or psychosis. For example, shadow people can potentially have an accompanying "voice", despite the lack of a visible mouth structure. This auditory communication follows an identical leveling system of progressively more detailed and coherent spoken word in the same manner as a generic autonomous entity. Shadow people may converse with the person experiencing them or they may converse amongst each other, sometimes talking about the person going through the experience.

Alongside of accompanying auditory hallucinations, shadow people may also present tactile and gustatory hallucinations. This is even rarer than their potential auditory effects and typically only occurs in particularly intense and advanced hallucinatory states. Their tactile effects can be indistinguishable from a real human touch and may vary in temperature. They can also even include physical actions such as pulling of clothing, hair, or the skin.

Transformations

Main article: Transformations
This animation serves as a replication for the common psychedelic visual effect known as transformations. It accurately demonstrates the smooth and fluid-like transitions of an object as it morphs between a variety of other forms.

Transformations can be described as the experience of a perceived visual metamorphosis that specific parts of one's external environment undergo as they shapeshift into other objects. For example, people who undergo this effect will often report seeing parts of their environment shifting into completely different things. These transformations have a huge variety of potential artistic styles and differing levels of detail, realism, and animation.

These hallucinations are progressive in nature, which means they form by arising from patterns or objects and then, over a period of seconds, the object smoothly drifts in a fluid-like motion into an entirely new form. This is significantly enhanced and fueled by the separate visual effect of pattern recognition enhancement. It causes vague stimuli and objects to transform into incredibly detailed versions of what they were already perceived as being.

At lower levels, the process of transformation can require some minimal amount of focus and concentration to sustain. Losing concentration for an instant can cause the image to fade away or shift into another image. Holding the eyes still will usually increase the intensity of the progressive transformation. However, at higher levels, this becomes completely unnecessary.

It is worth noting that the content, style, and general behaviour of a transformation is often largely dependent on the emotional state of the person experiencing it. For example, a person who is emotionally stable and generally happy will usually be more prone to experiencing neutral and interesting transformations. In contrast, however, a person who is emotionally unstable and generally unhappy will usually be more prone to experiencing sinister and fear-inducing transformations.

Transformations are often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as drifting, pattern recognition enhancement and external hallucinations. They are most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. However, they can also occur under the influence of deliriants such as DPH, datura, and benzydamine.

Unspeakable horrors

Main article: Unspeakable horrors

Unspeakable horrors can be described as the experience of prolonged exposure to indescribable scenarios and hallucinatory content of a scary and disturbing nature which are often directly influenced by a person's fears. This can occur during high dose hallucinogenic experiences, particularly those in which the user is currently undergoing negative emotional stressors and personal problems of an introspective nature.

Although the content which comprises these states are generally ineffable and largely dependent upon the fears of those who experience them, certain themes and archetypes often manifest themselves. These are not limited to but may consist of:

  • Autonomous entities of an intrinsically sinister and threatening nature - This can include demons, deformed monstrosities, hooded figures, mocking entities and otherwise normal human beings deformed by severe injury or illness.
  • Geometry of an intrinsically sinister and threatening nature - The hallucinatory states listed above are commonly comprised of and embedded within standard hallucinogenic geometry. This often contains innately readable geometric representations of pure conceptual fear, horror, and suffering which can be felt through all of the senses as they are perceived.
  • Machinescapes of an intrinsically sinister and threatening nature - This can be described as functionally identical to the experience of machinescapes. It differs in that its comprising parts often almost exclusively consist of indescribably complex interlocking, ever-shifting biomechanical gore, organs, disembowelments, and body parts.
  • Scenarios and plots of an intrinsically sinister and threatening nature - This can include scenes of suffering directed towards oneself or other people such as being tortured, scenes in which one is being hunted as prey by "evil" creatures or forces and the direct experience of personal fears.
  • Settings, sceneries, and landscapes of an intrinsically sinister and threatening nature - This can include the visitation of hellish landscapes, ancient monolithic Lovecraftian architecture, and ruined civilizations.
  • Fearing for the fabric of one's sanity - This can be described as feelings that one's current perception is so horrific that they will surely be left permanently insane with severe psychological damage. The effect can leave people with an immediate sense that ordinary life is a thin shell over a comparatively horrifying reality which cannot be dismissed or escaped from. It is worth noting, however, that although stressful, this effect rarely actually leaves individuals with lasting psychological problems.

The experience of this component and how it is interpreted by those who undergo it seems to differ wildly between people. While most individuals can find this state to be traumatizing if unprepared, many people find that, although terrifying, it is potentially exhilarating and character building in equal measure. To ensure that one does not find themselves in this state unwittingly, heavy dosages of hallucinogens should be avoided without prior practice, and a person should always work their way up to the higher levels from lower dosages in small increments as they feel comfortable doing so.

Unspeakable horrors are often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as anxiety, psychosis, and memory suppression. They are most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and 2C-P. They can also occur under the influence of deliriants such as DPH, datura, and benzydamine. It is also possible to experience unspeakable horrors while under the influence of dissociatives such as DXM and PCP, but particularly when combined with other psychedelic substances such as LSD or DPH.

====Image examples====

See also

References

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