Warning: DO NOT VIEW the above video if you are an epileptic or have suffered seizures or grand mal episodes. DON’T DO IT.

Everyone else, you’re fine, go right ahead! It’s perfectly safe. Unless it’s not. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I will add that normally, the Dreamachine is meant to be used with closed eyes, but it’s still pretty trippy to look at.

The “Dreamachine” was originally created in 1959 by artist/writer Brion Gysin and mathematician Ian Sommerville. While riding a bus, with eyes closed, Gysin experienced a strange “transcendental experience”, apparently caused by the intensely-flickering light coming through the trees and windows. He later found an explanation for his experience in the book, “The Living Brain” by Dr. W. Grey Walter, an early a neuro-physiologist and an early researcher into the nature of brain waves and corresponding brain function.

The “Dreamachine”, as finally conceived by Gysin with the help of his friend Sommerville, is intended to be used in the following manner:

Turn on the light bulb and set the light-shade tube in motion. Dim the normal room lights so that most of the ambient light comes from the Dreamachine. Sit comfortably with your face close to the center of the tube. Now close your eyes. You should be able to see the light from the Dreamachine flickering through your eyelids. Gradually you will begin to see visions of flickering colors, amorphous shapes, and fields and waves of color. After a time the colors begin to form patterns similar to mosaics and kaleidoscopes. Eventually you will see complex and symbolic shapes; perhaps people or animals.

Unlike many so-called New Age or alternative methodologies, the Dreamachine has a very real basis in scientific principle. The light flickers at a frequency of about 20 Hz which is similar to the frequency of Alpha brain waves which are associated with a non-aroused brain. Effectively, then, the flicker-rate of the light induces “lucid” or waking dreaming, as the pulsating light stimulates the optical nerve and alters the brain's electrical oscillation to alpha waves, electrical oscillations normally present in the human brain when relaxing or on the verge of a sleeping dream state.

From David Woodard’s site:

Normally, an awake person's brain functions at between 4 and 8 electrical pulses-per-second (hertz, or hz). However, when the Dreamachine's 10 flickers per-second strike closed lids, the optic nerve sends a 10 hz pulse signal into the subject's cortical tissue. Because the amplitude of the newly introduced frequency is greater than that of the waking brain's normal frequency, the waking brain now operates at 10 hz—the synaptic rate associated with the edge of dreams.

Please note, the Dreamachine is relatively easy to build, but should not be used by children or anyone who is epileptic or is susceptible to seizures or other nervous disorders.

My Dreamachine