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School. UC, Los Angeles
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We are the sum total of our individual experiences. As a result, everything we think, interpret and say is tainted. While we may try to offer objective "facts", these facts are inevitably arranged and presented through the prism of our own experiences, and as such it is our own subjective perspective of the truth.
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Summer rerun: Bound in Chains
Sunday. 8.3.08 2:13 am
In the previous post, I wrote I had a dream and fell out of bed. It reminded me of another dream I used to have all the time--being unable to move. I wrote about it a long time ago, back on October 31, 2003. The following is a partial edited repost.
Have you ever dreamed of being awake but not being able to move? I have. In Japanese, its called kanashibari, or bound in chains. The first time I experienced it, I thought that I was somewhere in a parallel universe. I was in my bed and I recognized the outline of the pulled shades in my dark room, but I couldn't move. As hard as I may try to will myself, my feet and hands wouldn't budge. I was beginning to panic. I'm paralyzed! I thought. I tried to screamed but couldn't. After struggling with my body, I slowly was able to gain a modicum of control, until finally I woke up fully. At this point, I was breathing heavily. What the hell was that?!?
I had a few more similar experiences, and I realized that it usually occured when I was exhausted or completely stressed out. I even figured out how to get myself out of it: take deep and deliberate breaths. I had discovered that the one thing I could control when I was "in chains" was my breathing. Long deep breaths that take in lots of oxygen for the brain.
Eventually, I figured out what was happening--at least, as far as an amateur sleepologist like me is able to diagnose such an experience. I had found myself in chains as I was watching a rerun of the Mary Tyler Moore Show, suddenly unable to move my body. Huh, what the heck? I'm still watching the show, I can see what's going on, the room is the same, everything is the same! What the heck is happening? I proceeded with my unchaining regimen, taking deep breaths and finally waking up. But it struck me: I must be sleeping with my eyes open. My body is asleep and cannot move, but since my eyes are open, I am still taking in stimuli from the outside world and it gives the effect of being awake.
Indeed, I often go to sleep with my eyes open, as my sister would gladly atttests, for she finds it creepier than hell. She realized this when she once began a conversation when I was watching TV in my sleep. My lack of response pissed her off and she was about to tell me of when I began snoring. She thought I was putting her on, but she eventualy realized that I actually was asleep. When I told her later that I vaguely remember her in the room, she told me that this was simply one more reason to label me a freak. Im sure you can tell my sister and I are close.
Now I'm no sleep expert, so what I have just described above is definitely a layman's diagnosis. But maybe, just maybe, someone knows more about this phenomenon and can tell me something definitive.
Query: Have you ever been in chains?
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