PCE reports

This page is dedicated to publishing my self-reports of Pure Consciousness Experiences and Excellence Experiences.

Both the reports below were not self-induced; they happened spontaneously. But it is possible to develop the skill of triggering PCEs at will.

Dec 5, 2021

Music: Voodoo Warriors of Love - Sweat

Ear drums are revelling and reverberating with a concomitant (unintended) act of ‘arriving here’ - notably (idiosyncratic to me) in the visual field (that familiar ever-present sense of “me” being present in between the eyes has now dissolved, enough to be arriving ‘here’ where this living room is silently located).

All of “my” (tacit, ‘normal’) problems took a backseat, and I am … just here. The near-constant (considered-to-be-normal) agitation of ‘me’ has given way to uncovering the ever-present (but hitherto hidden-to-consciousness) stillness of this yellow-lit room.

I could be like this forever.

‘Microsoft EE’

A report of an Excellence Experience (may well be a Pure Consciousness Experience) I had back in 2008 or 2009 while working for Microsoft in Vancouver

tldr; despite doing the most boring job imaginable, I slipped into a state of mind where I thoroughly enjoyed the “mental machinery” behind the very activity of the so-called boring work. There was also sensuosity, particularly in the visual and tactile field.

Being a ‘Software Test Engineer’ in Windows Vista, I was sitting in the Richmond office close to 5pm, working on C++ tests - which at that time was the most boring thing I could be doing that I hated it! Then, somehow, my mind without any prompt ‘slipped’ into higher-gears of some sort where everything started functioning smoothly. This so-called menial task had became a neutral ‘mental activity’ and my awareness of it took a magical turn … in that, I started appreciating the various nooks and crannies of ‘the brain in operation’. At this meta level, the interest-level of the task did not matter - because the very fact that the brain is working on it in its intricate levels was so wonderful to observe. I was able to work on the task most effectively, and while enjoying it thoroughly, with a complete 360 degrees awareness of it as it was happening (and there was a total immediacy, unlike the traditional modality of ‘me’ being ‘up there somewhere’ lost in some semi-fancy despite being physically located here).

I noticed that my visual acuity and perception increased at the same time. The yellow-lit ambiance of the office in the evening took a brilliant character such that I enjoyed basking in it. Then the time came to take the shuttle bus (Microsoft’s service, running at periodic times) to go back home. At this point my EE subsided, presumably due to people around.

Once I’m back home in my apartment, I decided to wash my face in the bathroom sink. The EE resumed, and I felt it during splashing that water in my face - the sensations (the feeling of touch, the warmth of the soapy water, and the suffusing amber of the bathroom) were intense, delightful and being experienced with a thoroughness unlike before. I go back to my room to sit on my Poang chair. This time, instead of starting Age of Empires 3 (as I normally do that time), I decided to just sit and do nothing for no reason in particular. I remember sitting there doing nothing for about an hour, just enjoying being alive - and the visual ambiance of my room (equally yellow-lit).

Peter’s report

Here’s Peter (who at that time worked as a civil architect) reporting a very similar experience:

Late one night in my first year as an actualist, as I was working on the drawing board, I had a pure conscious experience whereby my mind became aware of itself working. There was apperception happening in that there was no ‘me’ being aware – there was simply the brain being aware of the brain in operation, in this case doing the task of designing a house. The process that was happening was fascinating to observe – there was a continual consideration of the parameters that governed the design: the client’s requirements, past experience, site considerations, planning and building regulations, structural considerations, climate considerations, budget, ease of building, appearance, durability, workability and so on.

There was a repeated shuffling of ideas and information operating – a trial and error process of working out the best solution – and it was magical to observe, even more so because there was awareness of only part of the process that was going on, there was a good deal happening ‘on the back burner’ as it were. Sometimes a particular issue was set aside for a while whilst another issue was addressed and when I returned to it later the best solution came instantaneously which made it apparent that there was an awareness only of the surface activity of the brain in action.

The operation of the human brain is such an exquisite intricacy as to be truly wondrous. With no ‘I’ in the road to agonize over the process, nor a ‘me’ present to either exalt or despair at the outcome, there was simply the brain doing what the brain does – think, plan, reflect, evaluate, compare, compute, assess and mull over, as well as simultaneously being aware that this is what it is doing. And not only that, whilst the brain is being apperceptively aware, it is also serving as the central processing unit for the sensory perceptive system of the body – continually processing the myriad of sensate information that is this flesh and blood body’s sensual sensitivity to whatever is happening in this moment.

– Selected Correspondence Peter Apperception vs. Choiceless Awareness