Hyperawareness

The mind can go either direction under stress – toward positive or toward negative: On or off. Think of it as a spectrum whose extremes are unconsciousness at the negative end and hyperconsciousness at the positive end. The way the mind will lean under stress is strongly influenced by training.

Hyperawareness is not only related to stressful events, even though its biggest quality lies in the fact that it can be present in high stress events. But hyperawareness is something that can be exercised and practiced in any situation, stressful or not. I describe hyperawareness as a sort of Zen Rampage mode. It’s an oxymoron, but for me it’s just that.

It is not a very pleasant experience. It includes quick change between thinking (deductions, analyses and so forth) and perception, observing the world around you. Even in observing, one does not simply relax and observe, but observes in quite a proactive way – you do not merely wait for an observation, you seek it.

So, if you were to happen to be in a room during a meeting, you would not simply meditatively look at your surroundings, you would try to watch the reactions of many people at once, jumping with your eyes from one to another. You would be aware of movement and direct your gaze towards it. You would shift from multitasking to singletasking: from listening to a person speak and actively interpreting it while looking at their body language (multitasking), to just analyzing it (singletasking), to looking at the reactions of people (singletasking), to seeing someone shift in their chair uncomfortably and interpreting their behavior (multitasking). This exchange is rather rapid in nature, and, for me, quite tiring.

What you get during such hyperawareness sessions is a chaotic mass of new knowledge without any obvious hierarchy of importance. You get that your professor is bored, and you get that the college board is granting money to a magazine, and you get that a professor-assistant has weight loss issues, and you get a million other things that are absolutely chaotic in their organization. That’s what you get. A million pieces of info in a great swarm. That’s also the reason why hyperawareness is so hard to maintain for a long time. It’s much like sprinting – you cannot sprint 5K. In a lot of ways, the brain also works as a muscle – you use it and train it, and it becomes better at what you do. But the thing with the brain is that it CAN actually sprint for hours on end, and it can also get better at its sprinting speed. For example, my hyperawareness can last maybe an hour or so, but the intensity of it, the speed of the deductions I make and the amount of data I perceive are almost triple the amount I got three years ago. I remember myself several years ago because it’s then I started to write a journal, and from reading it today, I know how much I would get from my surroundings. I have multiplied both my hyperawareness intensity (the “hyper” part of awareness) and the length of time I can maintain it without relapsing into normal awareness. Of course, the natural goal of hyperawareness training is to maintain it indefinitely.

However, there are certain caveats that are important and should be shared. It would seem that hyperawareness causes hyperproduction during later, normal awareness stage. I have been told that I speak a lot (like, really a lot) and I have seen that my creativity drive and will to express myself (be it through words or movement) are almost indomitable. I must do something! I must write, sing, walk, run, jump, move in general, talk, explain – in one word: produce.

This is both a good and a bad thing. Good because, obviously, being creative is good. Producing things is go(o)d. Bad because, if you cannot control your will to express yourself, you do not control yourself, and if you do not control yourself, then all of this is in vain, because the whole point of overhumanity exercises is achieving control.

Control
Balance
Stability
Mutability
Fun
Growth

Control, because great powers without control are useless, and quite literally so. Useless = without use. Why develop something neither you or anybody else can use?

Balance, because life is best lived through balance. Eat an imbalanced diet, you get sick. Be overly emotional, you get into situations were you don’t want to be. Laugh too little and you’ll die wondering why you didn’t do it more.

Stability, because only through perseverance, hard work, dedication and a certain stubbornness do you achieve great things. Nothing good in life comes easy. Also, if you are stable, life doesn’t knock you over when it gets windy. The problems come and they go. You stay.

Mutability, because change is the only true constant. Nothing is ever complete or defined. There is no closure. There is no job safety, and there is no personal security. Everything changes. In a world where everything changes, one is obliged to adopt an attitude and a physique that also adapt. Discard your opinions and practice naivete. Discard your blunt force and flow.

Fun, because it’s the ultimate generator of the human condition. We can, of course, give rationally supported arguments why we do some things and not do other things, but at the root of it all is plain old fun. Be it throwing rocks into a pond or practicing a Seven Star Praying Mantis form on top of a remote mountain in China – we all do it because we enjoy it.

Growth, because that’s how you achieve all of the above. You grow. You see better, you fight better, you think better, you write better, you garden better, you program better, you eat better, you live better, you die better. You grow.

There are many other words I could use to describe this journey, and maybe I could have done so with much less. It doesn’t really matter in the end because the point is not to describe the journey, the point is to take it.

 

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39 thoughts on “Hyperawareness

  1. Sorry! I didn’t get the ‘bad’ part.
    How can you not control your will to express when you have already achieved so much control of your brain by using it consistently more & more ?

    • My friend, I fear I’m only beginning to control myself. I believe I could control the will to express, but the question is do I even want to?
      However, it is hard. I’m still a long way to having true and complete control.

      • Ohh! Okay
        Now I get it.
        Where you get the inspiration to develop it ?
        I want to develop that too, and I am practicing it to always stay aware. Can you help me plz

      • It won’t be easy. My advice to you is this: meditate 30 min per day, like real, focused, Zen meditation and read books and watch movies and shows that inspire you to be aware (Sherlock for example).
        But that’s the easy part. Then you need to simply force yourself to be aware all the time. That’s where meditation helps, it teaches you focus on one thing. Meditation, inspiration through books and shows and pure force, that’s what I think, and that’s what I did.
        I guess some people take certain drugs for staying aware but I haven’t really tried that, isn’t exactly my thing.

  2. Reading this took me aback, I must say. You’ve really captured the hyper-perceptive mind and how it affects your life. Being creative and passionate and unyieldingly productive looks great from the surface, but keeping up with yourself is a constant effort in battling exhaustion. Sometimes, your just wish that your couldn’t read people so well, or at least, less empathetic, less connected, less affected by what goes on around you. It would be easier to leave the food store without having picked up on the fact the checkout girl at Publix had just been ridiculed and was holding back tears from the time she re-opened her register until she had rung up $138.89 of your groceries, easier not to be curious about what was said to her in that front office next to the public bathrooms or who said it, easier if that didn’t lead to the recollection of when a boss first said something wildly inappropriate and demoralizing to you…. It’s all very tiring.

    Great read, thank you.

    Reblogged.

  3. Reading this took me aback, I must say. You’ve really captured the hyper-perceptive mind and how it affects your life. Being creative and passionate and unyieldingly productive looks great from the surface, but keeping up with yourself is a constant effort in battling exhaustion. Sometimes, you just wish that your couldn’t read people so well, or at least, be less empathetic, less connected, less affected by what goes on around you.

    It would be easier to leave the food store without having picked up on the fact the checkout girl at Publix had just been ridiculed and was holding back tears from the time she re-opened her register until she had rung up $138.89 of your groceries, easier not to be curious about what was said to her in that front office next to the public bathrooms or who said it, easier if that didn’t lead to the recollection of when a boss first said something wildly inappropriate and demoralizing to you…. It’s all very tiring.

    Great read, thank you.

    Reblogged.

  4. It can also happen naturally due to life circumstances. I don’t claim to have a great deal of ability in this area, but I can say that as long as there is something to adapt to around me (all the time) I’m constantly scanning everything. I have extremely vivid dreams precisely because my attention can become unyielding. It is exhausting. I’d venture to guess that once a person attains some amount of endurance,yet can’t “bring order out of chaos” (I’m referencing Big Trouble in Little China, the I Ching, and the basics of chaos theory all at once there), they will seek skills that help them manage their ability. And so it moves on fueling itself.

    • Example: You are intuitive, you become regularly involved in that intuition and start to rationalize those split second thoughts, you become aware of deceptive behaviors but you can’t put your finger on it yet and its exhausting, you learn about The Farm’s non-coercive interrogation method, you practice applying it and become relatively decent at it, you still can’t associated the deceptive behavior with an absolute finding, you decide to learn about an add micro-expressions to your repertoire, you step up your focus through more meditation, you become skilled at spotting lies and possible conclusions that are of an order of magnitude higher than ever before, you start analyzing more than one individual at a time, again you become exhausted, and so forth.

  5. I think you’ve captured the essence of hyperawareness, as I imagine it anyway. You speak a lot of truth and I’m fascinated that you made the go(o)d, or go’d connection. too. That’s exactly how I think about it.. Have you ever read anything by Norbert Wiener, by any chance?

      • I suggest starting with his epic “Cybernetics: or control and communication in the animal and the machine”. Or, if you want a more layman’s edition, “The Human Use of Human Beings — Cybernetics and Society”.

        You discussed hyperawareness in the context of a human mind, but I believe we are on the cusp of a machine hyperawareness through the Internet and Internet of Things that will augment our own and allow computer-mediated transcendental awareness that would not otherwise be possible with our sense organs. In any event, feedback is the key component in communications and awareness and Norbert Wiener goes into excruciating detail why.

        If you get thinking more about this from a machine perspective, I would recommend Wiener’s book God & Golem, Inc. which outlines some risks and perils on this trajectory..

  6. At this point in my existence, I feel that I have become too self-aware, too hyperaware. It is not only exhausting me, but taking toll on my sense and emotions. I feel too much, I feel, think, analyze, deduct, listen, calculate, plan, produce too intensely. The reality of everything around me and the body I inhabit and my brain and heart and the other ones around me turns into a feeling of being trapped. I find myself wanting to leave my body and simply be one with all that is and ever has been or will be. It feels like I don’t belong in this dimension, on this planet, but one with everything. I don’t feel like I can truly connect with another person because I feel that I am meant for another place beyond basic understanding. I feel like I have come to an understanding beyond everyone else’s, and then I think “Am I just being full of myself?” Then when I try to distract myself by playing video games or even something I more so enjoyed like painting or writing, I find myself thinking in between “This is just a distraction.” and I can’t get what I need from it because I am too aware of what it is and why I’m doing it, every move I make, everything I say and think and do… Is it possible to become too aware? How do I find a balance? I don’t want this feeling of being very in-touch yet so far from in-touch with reality and the people I socialize with.

    • 1. Control: learn to go from unawareness (sleep and half-sleep) to plain awareness and beyond. Sleep and meditate a lot, see where that takes you.
      2. Attitude: if you’re naturally observant, enjoy it instead of feeling disconnected. It’s a gift, not a curse.
      3. Ambition: grow a big ambition and then use this awareness as a tool, not as a condition you’re in.

      • Thank you, that does help. I guess as stated before, once going into it, it can get messy because you’re still learning and just getting the hang of things, but learning the control is necessary to not feel overwhelmed.

  7. At this point in my existence, I feel that I have become too self-aware, too hyperaware. It is not only exhausting me, but taking toll on my sense and emotions. I feel too much, I feel, think, analyze, deduct, listen, calculate, plan, produce too intensely. The reality of everything around me and the body I inhabit and my brain and heart and the other ones around me turns into a feeling of being trapped. I find myself wanting to leave my body and simply be one with all that is and ever has been or will be. It feels like I don’t belong in this dimension, on this planet, but one with everything. I don’t feel like I can truly connect with another person because I feel that I am meant for another place beyond basic understanding. I feel like I have come to an understanding beyond everyone else’s, and then I think “Am I just being full of myself?” Then when I try to distract myself by playing video games or even something I more so enjoyed like painting or writing, I find myself thinking in between “This is just a distraction.” and I can’t get what I need from it because I am too aware of what it is and why I’m doing it, every move I make, everything I say and think and do… Is it possible to become too aware? How do I find a balance? I don’t want this feeling of being very in-touch yet so far from in-touch with reality and the people I socialize with.

    • I can’t believe it. Someone else can do what I do. The hyperawareness, it makes you feel like you a feel the world moving around you, like your touching molecules with your fingertips? It’s frightening but the best thing you can ever do and sometimes all the stuff that you feel calls to you to run to it to explore it to find out why you felt something that you have never seen before. To want to know so badly how this “ability” of yours works but it’s so hard to explain and even harder to draw out that you just don’t know how? It feels important, but… Idk got off on a tangent I’m just really happy I found this blog.

  8. I’ve just been told by my GP to seek some counselling as she believes I’m hyper aware. I didn’t even know hyperawareness was a thing. I think you’ve explained this very well and it’s helped me to understand what I’m actually doing!! The irony is that I haven’t yet contacted anyone about it and I’ve become increasingly anxious every time I think about doing so! :-/

  9. Heya I really like your post… Truth is I need some help and I was wondering if you might know how to help? This sounds really weird but my hyper awareness can go to the extremes, being able to tell where the nearest highway is without hearing it, or a bird in a tree five blocks away is easy peasy, but I am in a constant struggle of keeping it that way. You see, I know several members of my family used to be able to do this but either can’t anymore or forgot how. I am afraid that if I stop being hyper aware for even a moment that I will loose it one day. But as you said I can’t sprint forever, but the fear that I’ll stop and never be able to start again keeps me going but I’m not sure for how long. What should I do?

  10. Can you help me to turn it off?
    Alcohol numbs it a bit, so that reading a few books at the same time allows my brain to defocus for a while.
    But other than that, I’m aware 24/7 (except during sleep, when I have the most detailed dreams I’ve ever had and don’t seem to forget anymore {since 6 months ago}), aware, analyzing and thinking from the moment I open my eyes to the moment they shut.
    I’ve had this problem/curse since I was a small boy…I am now 43.

    Help me to keep/satisfy my intellect and its adherent curiosity, but shut off the constant everything.
    If I see/hear/think anything within range, it comes in; is analyzed; broken down;…
    Every word. Every sound. Every sight. Every image.

    Can you help?

    • Wow. Your curse sounds like my blessing. I would look into hypervigilance and see if there are any treatments for your condition, if you can call it that way. I’m not in your head and I don’t know how it feels, but judging by how you described it, I would trade with you in an instant. And I’d train my skill, make it work for me instead of controlling me, meditate upon it, read many books, solve problems, read facial expressions… I’d just fall in love with all the things I can perceive with my newfound ability.
      But that’s me. If you don’t want to do that or can’t do that, because it’s overwhelming, I think a good strarting point would be a psychologist, or research into hypervigilance, or both.
      Good luck.

    • I seem to be similar to Patrick Mogilka.
      I am aware of every sound around me, everything I see and my mind constantly extrapolates whats likely to happen around me in the next few minutes(usually accurately). Constantly predicting/planning conversations with co-workers and how I am going to answer them based on what I have seen/heard/what i know of them.
      As useful as it sounds, when you cant turn it off it is extremely exhausting, and I find that I tend to try to avoid large groups of people whenever I’m not at work. It can be very overwhelming.
      I have been like this since childhood (currently only 27)

  11. My hyperawareness causes a depression of awareness in that I am so aware I see my life in all its bits and pieces and as I sleep my mind shuts down and has no dreams to rest for that over-awareness.
    Unfortunately that means I need sleep and if I don’t rest my brain goes into a state of underawareness where my memory is short and my brain takes an overload and shuts itself down.
    Being the emotional anchor/sponge/rock for the people around me isn’t helping, and my love life is turning my sleep to mush.
    Hyperawareness is a pain at a young age.
    (ignore me I’m sorting things out to myself by typing it out (I’ll have sorted it out in the morning))

    • Imagine the jumble of information I’d be spewing if I wasn’t dead as a log, and had the power to explain the existential answers my brain possesses.

  12. Great post; very relatable to me, but as a few mention above, it feels like more of a curse than a blessing, for its incessancy is chaotic and exhausting. Because of the constant stimulation–whether it be external, where I’m observing/listening/etc., or an internal monologue–it can be exceedingly difficult to focus on one entity at a time. I’m not sure if it’s related, but I also have a very difficult time remembering things, which is especially frustrating due to my heightened curiosity in most topics. Not sure if that could be due to my mind having trouble functioning one task (the remembering) while being overstimulated with new information. That being said, I do try to get what I can from the hyper-awareness and appreciate my seemingly heightened observation & intuition. If you would clarify for me, do you believe that hyper-awareness is more of a trait, or a temporary state of mind?–or that it can be either? Furthermore, can you recommend any more elaborate steps towards controlling it, and/or suggest any further reading material on the topic?

    Thanks very much,
    Chris

  13. Yep this is definitely me right here and I’m glad I’m not the only one like this. Maybe this is why I feel completely different from most people and why I think most people don’t get me or the way I see things. My personality test also always come out as the INTJ group known as the The Architechs. This hyper self awareness can definitely be good and bad. The way it can be good is you’re able to read people easily meaning you can’t be tricked or lied too easily, a better organizer when it comes to physical objects and mental information or physical information, can make really good calculated guesses at what could happen or is going to happen, always know what path to take and how to get there and faster than most others, things don’t appear to be as complex as people tend to make things seem complex. We also learn things faster. I could with this ability probably be a really great foot soldier cause being able to observe your entire surroundings and process how many enemies there or probably are which in theory would make the job easier. I wonder if some of the greatest warriors in history were hyper self aware and that’s why they were able to take on huge armies by themselves. I believe that samurai warriors actually achieve this hyper self awareness by experiencing NDE’s before battle and that’s why they were hard to kill.

  14. I seem to be similar to Patrick Mogilka.
    I am aware of every sound around me, everything I see and my mind constantly extrapolates whats likely to happen around me in the next few minutes(usually accurately). Constantly predicting/planning conversations with co-workers and how I am going to answer them based on what I have seen/heard/what i know of them.
    As useful as it sounds, when you cant turn it off it is extremely exhausting, and I find that I tend to try to avoid large groups of people whenever I’m not at work. It can be very overwhelming.

  15. I don’t get why the good part is defined as good. Even from a yinyang perspective creativity is only partially good at ‘best,’ and the ‘bad’ you describe is mostly positive (in terms of positive/negative feedback systems in physics). Creativity is USEFUL for generating solutions, especially when logic fails (as it usually does!) due to the bizarre/complex causality system that is our level of the functioning universe. But usefulness is usually not good (re:overproductivity), largely due to the large resource exhaustion creative solutions can involve (complex topic though, that eventually bleeds into just semantics), this whole thing honestly sounds like you are ‘overclocking’ your brain(it really is analogous to a processor/gpu in a computer here), perhaps the simple solution to your perceived problem is either: you are burning out your brain faster than it can repair itself too often (it can handle sprinting when needed, no system can handle continuous operation at a ‘sprint’ indefinitely that would be a static state; so continous hyperawareness would be HIGHLY determinate to yourself and the universe/systems around you. That should not be the goal unless DESTRUCTION is your goal (but why do you have goals if you really are practicing advanced meditation? that is a conflict of interest so to speak.)), or one simply needs to feed one’s brain better (a hyper aware brain might have an increased calorie and micronutrient demand as well as a sudden need for normally unneeded things (nootropics, protectents, increased antioxidants, MUCH higher ketone bodies loads, increased electrolytes with a new ratio balance unlike typical individuals, etc).

    Either way this seems like a failure to be in tune with your nature/physicalness and it’s altered needs.

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