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Exploring San Fransisco with Age Regression


Swimming through an energetic reality lacking physicality, my independently individualized sense of self dissolved and I became a collage of sensations.

My brain and body felt like they were in a hazy yet vibrant, drug-induced reality, yet no drugs existed in my physical system.

Instead, the energetic expanse of dissociation was thickly activated, inducing a state of age regression that affected my experience in an all-consuming manner.

A large aspect of living with a "dissociative identity" is experiencing the deepest disconnect between "mind" and "body" imaginable.

I use quotations with "dissociative identity" because the phrase derives from a psychiatric diagnosis that does not adequately describe or define it, and because dissociation is part of my experience, NOT my identity.

I use quotations around "mind" and "body" because these concepts are not just independently existing terms: they are also intimately associated with specific regions of brain activity.

Age regression is one of several types of dissociative experiences that regularly accompany my unique consciousness.

Age regression refers to a neurological event in which the brain-body engagement unconsciously shifts towards the style of activations that occur during early childhood development, including a dominantly right-brained experience with limited left-brain accessibility, an easily dysregulated autonomic nervous system, and a prefrontal cortex that sporadically goes "offline."

An age regressive or "right-brained" experience can feel like a variety of things. When the anxiety is effectively managed and conscious observation becomes possible, it can feel like a mystical trip of unconscious sensations through a world of altered dimensionality where spatial orientation is pronounced and sensory stimulation dominates all aspects of experience.

The left and right brain hemispheres each have their own unique gifts and characteristics. Some would say they even have their own personalities {Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, 2008}.

The right brain is wholistic, nonverbal, intuitive, emotional, experiential, autobiographical, visual, spatial, and tactual, and is directly influenced by the body and lower-brained areas. The right brain specializes in communicative signals, including nonverbal cues like facial expressions, body language, eye contact, tone of voice, posture, gestures, and by making the sounds of love and sorrow, such as singing, exclaiming, crying, dancing, or mimicking {Siegel, 2011; Van der Kolk, 2014; Fisher, 2017}.

Our right brains carry "the music of the experience."

Without the left brain contributing to the conversation of consciousness, the right brain is a pure flood of sensations and emotions, without a grasp of linear time, an understanding of sequential order, or insights about the cause-effect relationships of things.

Language belongs to the left brain hemisphere. While in a "right-brained" age regressive experience of consciousness, access to language centers can become altered, reduced, or entirely out of reach.

While experiencing age regression, life becomes less about literal physicality, linear time, or linguistic connections, and much more about experiential sensation, visual and tactile stimulation, nonverbal communication, somatic expression, spatial perceptions, and emotional amplifications.

One of my favourite moments was during the drive up to the city. We passed by a beautiful, fun, colourful house on a hillside. In an age regressive state of consciousness, I pointed it out excitedly. Our loved ones explained that it was "the Fred Flintstone house."

My right-brained response comedically surprised my whole-brained adult self: "Is that where they filmed the cartoons?"

Fascinated, I traced back the potentialities unconsciously unfolding and realized where that connection came from: the Flintstones are on TV; video cameras make things for TV; they must have needed somewhere to film it; maybe it was there! The fact that the Flintstones are CARTOONS did not become relevant, as there was no distinction between physical reality and a cartoon reality.

I find such perspectives so refreshingly beautiful.

We hiked around the beauties of San Fransisco for around five hours.

As I walked a beautiful path in San Fransisco, CA, visual cues were amplified and spatial orientation seemed dramatic rather than casual. The stimulus of seeing so many things was the primary focus of my entire reality. Moving through a shifting orientation of time and space while walking felt surreal, as if experiencing virtual reality for the first time.

The dimensionality of experience felt so specifically unique yet simultaneously indescribable and beyond conscious articulation. Perhaps the expanse of experience was perceptually more pronounced; perhaps the conceptualization of dimensional depth had unconsciously shifted. Somehow, the depth of dimension seemed so extraordinarily different from a fully lucid experience of consciousness.