Reality Sandwich is running an excerpt from Ryan Hurd‘s new e-book on sleep paralysis Sleep Paralysis: A Dreamer’s Guide (disclosure: that’s an affiliate link, but I haven’t read this book, only the excerpt):
Psychologist Jorge Conesa-Sevilla has put forward an ecopsychological hypothesis about SP/HH. Ecopsychology is the study of the mind in association with the natural environment. Conesa-Sevilla suggests the uncanny state of mind may be triggered by geological anomalies, and points out that cultures living in the “Ring of Fire,” the geomagnetically unstable areas of Central America, the Pacific Coast of the US, Southern Alaska, Hawaii, and Indonesia, have a much more developed vocabulary for sleep paralysis and its accompanying hallucinations than anywhere else in the world.  Many of the indigenous peoples of these territories are dreaming cultures that pay attention to, and actively invite, the “dreaming arts” such as lucid dreaming, reverie and trance states.  Given that geomagnetic effects have been shown to alter consciousness, Conesa-Sevilla’s hypothesis is not so unlikely. Similarly, archaeologist Paul Devereux has noted that SP is one state of consciousness among many that “transgress” the normal boundaries of mental imagery (without straying into psychosis), and may be responsible for some mental events interpreted as hauntings.  In both of these theories, then, the Stranger can be seen as emerging from local environmental conditions, as well as from the dreamer’s own mind and cultural upbringing.
Reality Sandwich: Sleep Paralysis Visions: Demons, Succubi, and the Archetypal Mind
I’ve experienced sleep paralysis twice in my life. I was familiar with the phenomena of sleep paralysis and both of my experiences had heavy “occult” undertones since that was what I was into at the time. They were still scary, but not in the way that they would have been if I hadn’t been aware of sleep paralysis and didn’t have a positive framework for encounters with strange entities in mind when it happened.
I haven’t had an experience like this in many years.
May 28, 2010 at 2:05 am
I experience sleep paralysis quite often. Before my introduction to the occult, my hallucinations mainly involved my body becoming a machine or arcs of electricity. I never felt panic in this state, but rather I was convinced that my body no longer existed. I have also had the experience of knowing someone was with me but that my body was melting into theirs.
May 29, 2010 at 12:31 am
This is so interesting. The last time I had full-on SP was about a year ago. I was laying supine in bed, when my old friend, Jenny Klebba, crawled into my bed (her hair was in her face – very scary looking)and started eating my hands.
Lately, I’ve been trying to bring SP on by forcing myself to fall asleep on my back. No luck yet. I have had a couple “weak” episodes. “Weak,” as in no hallucinations – just paralysis with a mild fear response.