Phosphenes, Our Built-In Diagnostic Tool
by George Petros

When you close your eyes, you see light. You are seeing “phosphenes.” Some of what you see is light trapped within the topographical intricacies of your eyeballs; photons reflected ad infinitum. Some of it is a mental image generated by your optic nerves. And some of it is bioluminescence, composed of biophotons produced by electrical stimulation. Phosphenes’ bioluminescent component allows you to “visualize” the state of your health.

You can diagnose your organs and your nervous system, your muscles, your skeleton and even your psyche, and if necessary you can repair them, by the mental manipulation of phosphenes.

Blind people report perceiving phosphenes. So do people with injuries affecting their sight. Internal bioluminescence is a component of the visual system that functions independently of the eyes’ light-gathering process. It can provide a “visual” analog of your metabolism.

Sight is more than vision. Folks who take LSD often say they “see patterns.” Perhaps this describes the effect of the eyes’ cellular structure on vision. Fine-art painters (and illustrators) present imagery shaped by what they see; perhaps their eyes (as well as their minds) work in a way different from non-painters. When people vigorously rub their eyes, they see blazing colorful forms; they’ve stirred up the phosphene stew.

Eyes do more than see the outside world. They’re a link between physical reality and consciousness. Information flows in both directions. When you understand your phosphenes, your eyelids become like a screen upon which is projected representations of various metabolic functions. You’re looking (with your eyes closed) at a color-coded display of your very being. Color indicates an organ’s condition in the same way aura colors indicate one’s health.

Why isn’t this common knowledge? Why didn’t people figure this out long ago?

Our eyes have been evolving while the rest of the human body remained in its present form for the previous million years or so (except for a nutritionally-driven increase in stature and a few extra cerebral convolutions).

The history of art provides an analog of our visual development. We’ve come a long way from cave paintings to photorealism, and that progress might reflect our evolving eyesight.

Maybe the bioluminescent component of phosphenes is something new, recently added to our survival arsenal as an adaptation to new forces acting upon us, like electric fields or radiation. But it’s far more likely this innate phenomenon has been with us since Day One. Maybe no one noticed it because the everyday experience of external light registering within the eyes obscured the more subtle bioluminescence. Maybe most people are uncomfortable vigorously rubbing their eyes.

Or, maybe it only works for me. I’ve always rubbed my eyes. They’re muscles, after all. I noticed certain points corresponded to particular nervous sensations. I noticed the colors changed as I became more relaxed. After the massages, I coulda sworn some minor ailments cleared up. Eventually it all came together.

Actually, there have been a few attempts to describe the therapeutic nature of phosphenes. Of course, the scientific establishment dismisses such craziness. If you believe this, you’re a quack. Scientifically speaking, phosphenes get filed in the same wastebasket as auras, crystals, and magnets.

Before this starts to sound like a New Age self-help scam, allow me to present some actual facts.

The word “phosphene” combines the Greek words “phos,” which means “light,” and “phainein,” which means “to show.” Wikipedia informs us that phosphenes are the sensation of seeing light without light entering the eyes. So far so good. We’re informed that there are pressure phosphenes, electrically-induced phosphenes, and phosphenes caused by magnetic fields. Okay. We’re informed that parts of the retina, when stimulated, produce biophotons, similar to what makes fireflies and deep-sea creatures glow. Fine. Then Wikipedia, and other academic-sounding articles I read on the Internet, inform us that such light emission is “random.” Nope. I believe that is incorrect.

Generally speaking, bioluminescense results from the interaction of the pigment Luciferin and the enzyme Luciferase. Evolutionary biologists contend that bioluminescense has arisen at least forty times throughout life’s history. Thousands of creatures display the phenomenon. It can be a defense mechanism, a mating signal, a communication tool, or a source of illumination. All those manifest externally; the effects occur outside the organism. Nonetheless, all living tissue possesses the capacity to emit visible light, albeit at such low power that it is undetectable. Every cell, every organ, every part of the body pulsates with a living force, giving off a broad spectrum of energies including visible light. So, there is an evolutionary mechanism for creating bioluminescense. There’s the fact that everything, eyes included, produces energy, including light. And, there’s certainly a need for a self-diagnostic tool that otherwise hapless animals might employ to help them navigate our dangerous, sickly world.

Here’s how it works for me. I lay on my back on the bed, close my eyes and rub them. Images of light appear more and more intensely the more vigorously I rub. There are multiple points on the eyeball that trigger different phosphene patterns. I try to get them all.

So, the light is blazing. Scientists call this “pressure phosphenes.” They are mostly residual light that was not absorbed by light sensors and did not reflect back out of the eyeballs, plus the illusion of light generated by the mechanical stimulation of the retina. Keeping my eyes closed, I put a pillow squarely over my head. Then I open my eyes into the total darkness provided by the pillow. But the phosphenes are so intense that it seems as if I am in a well-lit room.

When the eyes are closed, phosphenes appear to occur on the inside of the eyelids. Once the eyes are stimulated, phosphenes can be perceived with the eyes open In total darkness. That’s where the pillow comes in. I fluff it up so that there’s a little cavity-like area above my eyes where the pillow doesn’t touch.

In that area the phosphenes hover and dance, making that totally dark place seem like living daylight. Most of this is “trapped” light that soon diminishes. What remains are phosphenes generated by bioluminescence.

Originally I did this solely for relaxation, and I imagined that the light was pouring back out through the lens and pupil and cornea, back out into the world. As light decreased, there was less nerve stimulation and more relaxation.

Over time I paid attention to the colors and patterns, and often I noticed black forms floating before me. Suspecting they might represent something ominous, I first wished and then demanded, in my mind, that the black change to another color, preferably white. With great concentration I sometimes was able to cause black to become blue or green or, eventually, white. I always felt better after I did that. P.S. Try not to blink during all this; it throws off the patterns, and your concentration.

I figured phosphene colors relate to the colors of auras. With auras and phosphenes, the color spectrum is a chart representing levels of energy emission. Everybody has heard some New Age guru talk about how yellow auras mean poor health, blue auras mean good health and so on. That guru is one-hundred percent correct, and his or her contentions are backed up by hard science.

As it turns out, having driven the dynamic light back out of my eyes by rubbing them and then opening them, I believe that what remained was largely bioluminescent. I began to see that as a key to self-diagnosis. Each area of the eyeball relates to specific organs from which electrical energy travels via the nerves to the eyeball’s inner biophoton projectors. Through sheer willpower and patience, the frequencies of those biophotons can be altered in order to affect color.

Throughout the process I learned to distinguish between bioluminescense and residual light, and move the residual light out of my field of vision.

The coolest thing about all this is that phosphenes appear to be a built-in therapeutic tool just waiting to be understood. I hope I’m ahead of the curve on this, because if my own experience is any indicator, humans are in for a healthier, happier future.