High-sensitivity, synesthesia…and hearing tones, seeing lights or other anomalous experiences

Some people, and I count myself among them, are prone to experiencing anomalous experiences; that is, experiences that lie outside the so-called “norm”. Amongst these, at what you could regard the more relatable end of the wedge, are loud head tones and strange colours or flashes of lights. These two count some of the most disturbing and supposedly detrimental to quality of life of all experiences people are said to encounter; alarming and even depressing them into states of hopelessness. Search “tinnitus” on the internet and you will find hordes of people, and so-called remedies, focused around this highly emotive topic; similarly for the kind of intense migraines that create “visual disturbances” and which are said to have virtually no explanation or “cure”.

People become genuinely frightened by such experiences, not least because they seem so alien to their normal sensory encounters and place them, as it were, into isolation, experiencing “different things” to what the person next to them is experiencing, which triggers a basic survival fear that takes us right back into the primitive brain and our desire to run to the hills. It’s therefore the natural breeding ground of canny marketing ploys and pharmaceutical approaches, touting products to “dumb down” the sensory response though, as ever, they do much more than simply than dumb down the acute symptoms, often resulting in side effects that are even more detrimental to health. I have chosen to avoid all such interventions, preferring to remain open and curious to even the most intense of experiences than to magically “switch them off” out of fear.

511tvj7-0tlA book that I am currently reading – The Spiritual Anatomy of Emotion: How Feelings Link the Brain, the Body, and the Sixth Sense by Michael A Jawer (and which I know I keep referring to) covers this area of “anomalous experiences” very thoroughly and with some interesting perspectives. My highlights in this book now run to almost as much material as the book itself so, while I have been kidding myself that I was getting close to writing a mammoth summary of what it is about, I now realise this would have to be on a scale tantamount to reproducing the book verbatim, which is, of course, not appropriate for me to do. Therefore, I urge you, if this area interests you for personal or other reasons, just read the book!

What I really want to do in this post is touch on the area of expertise that I feel I personally inhabit (after all, expertise stems from the word experience…) from studying my own anomalous experiences over the course of a fifty year lifetime. This is, unsurprisingly, the area where I have most confidence to share what I do…and I feel a few more posts like this coming up very soon. It’s an approach to sharing, as a blogger, that I want to expand upon in 2019, moving away from repeating the science and speculation of others into what I feel I know for myself – from direct experience –  and with more and more confidence to put that out there for others to pick up and run with as they see fit.

Sometimes I refer to – what is usually – cutting edge and slightly more maverick and open-minded science as a spring board to discussion and I value such material beyond words, especially when I find such a well-supported book as Jawer’s, even when it touches on some pretty “out-there” topics for most scientists. However, nothing of what I offer in this blog is ever intended as hard “science”; it has always been intended as experiential, experimental and anecdotal which, I hope, will encourage others to develop their own mix-and-match approach to their own unique experiences. The fact that I can offer no “proof”, I have decided, does not negate the value of what I have to share. Rather, I model just how far you can get when you remain open, curious and outside of fear when it comes to dealing with whatever is happening with your own health. No matter what that is, if you can manage to keep other people’s fixed ideas and diagnoses of what is, suposedly, “going on” out of the picture, at least some of the time, you will be amazed at what the body’s innate wisdom will tell you direct; delivering up interpretations and insights that no one else could ever have speculated or offered up to you, since it was only ever meant for one audience – YOU.

Modelling this approach feels like my particular area of expertise, as someone who deeply enquiries into their own personal experiences and plays with layers of understanding that do not rely on empirical demonstration in order to be taken seriously (since such an empirical approach is as out of its own natural territory, here, as it might also be in the area of quantum physics, where it has been found to predetermine and, thus, limit potential outcomes). By their very nature, I find I must be far more expansive and playful than that to get anywhere with my health circumstances!

So, back to the topic of this post; I am someone who has always experienced what people term “head tones” or “tinnitus” and, sometimes, I experience very bright “lights”; again, all in the area of (what people term) inside and around the area of my head; more on that terminology in a moment.

About ten to twelve years ago, my tones became much more frequent and invasive, plus I came to equate them with flare-ups in my health issues, which became severe and life-altering at that time. They would often herald the onset of what  would be an episode of pain or intense fatigue but, also, of remarkable insight from beyond the realms of my “little human experience” and, indeed, these were my breakthrough years in a spiritual sense.

About three or four years ago (interestingly, in line with my much-more balanced health), this tone I was hearing became a permanent fixture, although its intensity would  still vary. In the autumn of 2018, it stepped up to a whole new level so that it was now, by anybody else’s standards (including my own, on days when it felt most overwhelming), an “unbearably” loud “sound” ringing out in my head, literally all of the time. In fact, if anyone else was able to come and experience the inside of my head for a few moments, I’m pretty confident they would be alarmed and even frightened at the intensity of this sound, wondering how I cope with it day and night, over the top of any music I play or nature sounds that might otherwise soothe me.  I admit, I was alarmed too, when it first stepped up (and I still have my moments); urgently seeking out a couple of treatment approaches, as I had done before, neither of which helped beyond, perhaps, calming the rest of the body’s overwhelm-reaction to the “alarm” sounding in the region of my head. In fact, the more they balanced and soothed my energy body, the louder and more present the “sound” seemed to be for the next few days…which, of course, got me thinking in whole new ways.

Because, as I had very-long considered: what if this sound really is a frequency that I am meant to be receiving and what if the more balanced my human vessel is, the more likely that sound will ring out in my experience; like a well polished instrument will omit a purer and much louder note!

Like a bell that was being struck, what if this tone is indication of how well tuned I am becoming and how my human vessel is meant to be receiving the cosmic frequencies that are all around us, all of the time; which, even science will concede, hold the unfathomable “messages” that trigger massive leaps in evolution.

So, in short, what if the present version of a human body struggles to express this new frequency coming in, via the traditional senses; and is simply doing its best to match it to those limited senses we currently have (I believe we have many more held in potential, within our DNA…they are just out of practice or, as yet, not activated). Is this what it feels like to live through an evolutionary leap? I tend to think so.

I mentioned seeing colours and lights; well, the latter came in flashes of light, like those we associate with “migraines” and so I took less notice of them than my tones; and, to be honest, they are less frequent or bothersome. When I do experience these episodes, assuming I don’t manage to mitigate the effects promptly enough (I use CBD oil and lemon balm or liquorice tea for this), they often come in tandem with that super-intense migraine type headache, though for me they affect the whole head (not one quadrant) and they almost always cascade into what I term a “whole body migraine” as my entire nervous system jumps on board. The times when they happen the most tends to be when the sound I am hearing is most intense and “pure”, also at times of experiencing incredible insight, like I am at the receiving end of a fire hose of information, coming “in” so thick and fast that I can hardly keep up with processing it.

It had occurred to me, long before reading Jawer’s book, that this all felt somehow related to my synesthesia and the fact that I am highly sensitive. After all, if I notice more than many other people do, picking up on frequencies (which I clearly do as I am electro-sensitive) then, of course, I will hear frequency as sounds, which most other people seem to be oblivious to. Of course, this realisation also had the potential to alarm me as it felt like it was saying that what I was hearing was indication of a world beset with far too much man-induced electromagnetic radiation than I could cope with and that I was being harmed by it; and yes, there is still a level where this is “true” (just as there are many pollutants and other man-made factors out there, invisibly impacting our health). However, I now find I can accept the latter…and do what I can to mitigate my own exposure to manmade pollution..without this “fact” being  at the expense of the far more positive interpretation that I want to focus on here.

Reading Jawer’s book has really concentrated my mind on what I already know about synesthesia, from having had it literally all of my life so I really don’t know any different than to experience this way. I have vivid recollections of how I processed so much more data via its cross-over mechanisms, as a child. All those teaching and conditioning mechanisms that lead us towards adulthood tend to train us out of such innate abilities and yet this is still my default operation mode and the one that gets drawn on most instinctively when exposed to a brand new experience, rather than something I have “learned how” to interpret.

Jawer goes to great lengths to demonstrate those parts of the brain that light up when a synesthete encounters sensory data…and they are different, and more complex, than for a person that does not have this. He does likewise for people who have high sensitivity or who are of a type her refers to as “thin boundary” people, which he concludes is a result of both genetic and circumstantial factors, especially circumstances in the womb and as a very young child (I have touched on this topic before) and traumas that have been experienced during this and even other lifetimes – yes, he touches upon reincarnation and an increased incidence of anomalous experiences for those who seem to be consciously aware of a previous life. Again, for much more on this, including all the related studies that have been carried out by various individuals, I refer you to Jawer’s excellent book.

Sticking to what I know for myself, it is this; that, due to a sort of open party going on between various members of the “sensory interpretation” team in my head, I can experience, say, numbers and words as colour, memories as a tactile sensation or a smell, music as colour…and so on (in far too complex and overlapping ways to try to itemise or explain).

So, what if so-called head tones (though, in my view, they are really nothing to do with the ‘head’) or this kind of tinnitus (though, actually, nothing to do with the “ears”) is a simple case of “mystery” frequency being interpreted by the body using the vernacular of another, more everyday, sensory mechanism; say as a “sound”. Perhaps when it reaches really high frequencies or, maybe, achieves especially perfect (what we would translate as) pitch across both hemispheres of reception, in balance, my brain feels it is now appropriate to interpret such frequency with an add-on visual effect, such as very bright, indescribably dazzling flashes of ultraviolet or white light. Perhaps this is somewhat so for many of the people who experience what they consider to be disturbing sensory effects; and it is for them to explore this hypothesis as they deem most appropriate.

Part of why we tend to react just so strongly when these effects occur is due to the fact we don’t…as yet…seem to be able to receive these intense new frequencies without the body, at some level (that good old fight-or-flight mechanism) panicking at its inability to interpret them according to “what it already knows” from past experience. More on that panic effect in a moment.

I suspect, part of the bigger purpose of this riveting effects “show” is simply to get our attention. We are, presumably, meant to STOP all the mundane things we are doing, to pull back from the maelstrom of life and go inner for a while, attending to our spiritual needs over our more worldly affairs (and so the intense light show cancels our day at work and, suddenly, we are lying down on a couch). Often, if I am physically capable, I turn to the outlet of writing about what I am feeling or intuiting at these times…or I meditate, go out in nature, even if all I can do there is lie down under the sky, breath deeply (this part is important) and absorb what is coming through me…and it very much does feel like “through” is the correct word to use. Bringing me to my next point…

I feel the locality of “head” is way-too simplistic as an area of focus when it comes to describing the symptoms I have (and we do this, I suspect, because we assume they must be to do with the eyes and ears); even though it can all feel as though it is all happening “up there”, where the sensations are being processed . Some of this localised feeling is, I suspect, to do with the location of the pineal gland which, as it were, receives external frequencies, somewhat like a radio tower, and then relays this frequency-information around the body (in zero time…via mechanisms we hardly grasp as yet) via the rest of the nervous system. Certainly, when the tones in my “head” are playing particularly intensely, it can feel as though a sword of indescribably high-pitched “sound” is piercing right through my head!

Yet dissociating any other “mystery” body symptoms from these analogous episodes, or compartmentalising the brain from the body, makes it all too easy for doctors to label any other body effects as “women’s hormones” or “work induced stress”. I do, also, feel the vagus nerve plays an inherent part in “delivering” this – crucial, positive – frequency information to the rest of the body; and, sometimes (as I can attest to) this can feel way-too much, all in one go. The body, especially if it has been through a  rough ride….and bear in mind that the body is also the seat of the emotions…can often be triggered by anything new or intense “coming in”; its default being to go into crisis mode, which can trigger a cascade of strange symptoms…in the gut, chest, bladder, skin, blood pressure, adrenals and so on…all areas associated with the giant communication highway that is the vagus nerve (for much more on that, see my previous blog). Therefore, yes, this is a time for pulling out all your favourite tricks to keep the body calm and comfortable. My go-to tactics are being extremely compassionate with myself (nothing else “has” to be done that day), keeping out of fear, eating clean, taking herbal teas and using CBD oil at whatever dosage gets allows me to ride through it all much more gently.

CBD, by the way (as I intend to write about soon), does not dull down the body’s natural responses in the way of traditional medication but helps to encourage them back to a sort of natural response level that most of us, living the western-lifestyle, have lost the knack of. The nervous system is ready equipped with cannabinoid receptors and, indeed, the body already produces its own (now limited…due to modern stress levels) supply of this entirely natural substance so, by boosting this, I suspect that we support the vagus nerve in coping with the arrival of new information according to its highest abilities in what is, truly, its area of specialism as a crucial link between our physical and non-physical aspects.

There is no way that the topic of high sensitivity can be left out of a discussion such as this since, I would speculate even though I don’t have that data, that most, if not all, people experiencing strange head tones (that are not caused by some other medical condition), and other such anomalous effects, come from within the highly sensitive populace. I have long assumed there to be a link in my case.

Perhaps, as ever, being a highly sensitive person (science has demonstrated that such people, making up 15 to 20 per cent of the population, receive and process a whole other level of sensory data to other people), I was just living up to being one of a minority again…noticing and giving interpretation to what is, really, being received by all of us; but few of us notice enough to comment. Because that is what synesthetes do; they use every tool in their rather limiting five-sensory tool box to try to give form to more subtle sensory data than it is truly equiped to handle. Its like they know they are missing some sort of equipment from their sensory “kit” and have to set about creating their own, from bits and pieces they find lying about. Like an artist who can’t quite get to the particular hue that they want to express, they end up using and mixing up many different pigments, various types and textures of paint and other substances, all at once, to try to get there; quite literally making use of whatever they can get their hands on and selecting whatever gets closest to conveying, at least in volume or sheer impact, whatever it is they so struggle to express.

Another personal hypothesis; I think the body turns to whatever sensory data we are most likely to pay attention to in our individual case…so I am primarily sensitive to sound and to visual data, in that order actually (because, although I am an artist not a musician, sound moves me like nothing else), whereas I am far-less in touch with my feeling senses around my own experiences, if I am being truly honest with you. In fact, I can be quite obtuse in that regard, being much more likely to feel what another person, or whole collection of people, are feeling than what is going on in my own domain.

This ties in with the fact that I am, in Myers-Briggs terms, an INFJ; the personality type that make up only about 1.5 per cent of the entire population. Yes, as an INFJ ~ highly sensitive ~ synesthete, I truly am the rarest of the rare…but that’s not to say my experiences are different, thus irrelevant, to other people’s experiences; it’s just that I process them differently, more intensely and in a far more aware, thus analytical and expressive, way. Or at least, I keep trying to…

In order to sense something going on outside of the personal-zone, we all rely on our extrovert traits; so, assuming a frequency is, indeed, trying to get my attention (and you can apply your own verson of this is you become familiar with the Myers-Briggs system), it would need to “speak to me” in the language of one or other of those extrovert traits; even though I am an introvert type.

My INFJ trait means that, although I am predominantly introverted, I have two extroverted traits in my stack. The strongest of these is my Extroverted Feeling (Fe) trait; in other words, I feel and pay attention to other people’s stuff (their emotions, problems, hurts) much more than I do to my own; its all about empathy. As such, perhaps frequencies that might, otherwise, be felt as, say, waves of internal energy flooding into my body or, dare I say it, feelings of intense wellbeing or love in my heart don’t gain the kind of attention they are looking for; as I am far too distracted by empathising with what everyone else is going through to pay enough attention. Instead, something trying to gain my attention, lets say a cosmic frequency containing an important message, is forced to employ a sound and light show (talking the language of my five senses). By doing this, it is calling upon that other extroverted trait in my stack, in the hope of some attention. This is my fourth, thus least evolved, trait (I prefer “work in progress”); my Extroverted Sensing (Se), which occurs by way of the five primary senses (sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste). It is also tuned into, thus easily triggered by, memories (and thus assumptions made from) “the past”. This means that, as an inferior trait, it is also inclined to pick up on environmental anomalies and deal with them as warnings or threats.

Still, to a cosmic frequency that wants to be perceived, attention is still attention and (a bit like a child tipping over the table to be noticed by a parent), it will use whatever it can to be acknowledged. You could say, I was far more likely to notice a firework crack and light explosion than warm fuzzy feeling of love spilling out of my own heart so that’s what it went for; and that’s what I get – lights and tones. I wonder how much this is true of other sensitive types with the Extroverted Sensing trait (the resultant degree of overwhelm to their senses is likely to be in proportion to whether this is an inferior trait and/or combined with Extroverted Feeling). So, thoroughly knowing your Myers-Briggs can be such a boon in these conundrums.

When it notices these special effects, my Extroverted Sensing (Se) trait is much more likely to concentrate on the general impressions they make (rather than the details)…or to turn to my far stronger Introverted Intuition trait (Ni) to come up with a theory around what these effects are all about. Depending on how triggered I am feeling about these sensory impressions, I could run with a fear story at this point…or I could do what I’m doing here and go with the higher intuition. Better still, I could work on rebalancing my Extroverted Feeling (Fe) trait by paying myself and what I am feeling (rather than sensing) a lot more attention, rather than always tuning into the trials and tribulations of  other people…also by cultivating a lot more self love. Maybe, at that point, I will stop feeling so triggered in my body, and experience a whole lot more warm-and-fuzzy feelings distributing from my heart centre, into the rest of the body, during these episodes!

Remember, the brain and heart are intrinsically linked and the heart plays a considerably bigger role in the body than science has traditionally allowed it; indeed, the vagus nerve provides a direct highway between the two and is (so importantly) a two way street. Yet, I suspect, when sensory data dominates, especially when sensory processing is the lesser skill of an individual, (as in an INFJ), those head interpretations…rather than heart interpretations…of whatever new thing is going on in the environment can, literally, take over; turning back all the higher frequency messages as “wrong address”. This turns into a mission of high-frustration and ever-increasing intensity; as messages then have to come thicker and faster in order to be heard.

This “out-of-touch with my own feelings” trait is something I have also played with in terms of my electro-sensitivity; what if I feel all that environmental stuff because I am omitting to deeply feel myself…What if my nerves are ragged because my denied feelings, of more subtle things, are being forced to turn into a sort of high-pitch cellular noise (so that they can be picked up by the more rudimentary five senses …and I will then, pay attention to them); but that has now cross-processed into how my nervous system interprets all other frequencies, including the lower frequency variety and all those man made ones filling up the ether, so that I am left feeling them all, like a hammer in the body!

Thus, using these times of high intensity to experiment with what happens if I allow these intense sounds or lights to interpret as some other way of communicating, showing willing to listen out for “how I am feeling” in new and far more responsive ways, could be a powerful method of transforming both them and myself. Retraining myself to check in at regular intervals: “how am I feeling right now?” (which is quite different to “what am I sensing…” and has nothing to do with “what are those other people feeling?”) could be so powerful and, in fact, is already proving to be quite interesting. When they occur, I can also play with how much can I change my focus during the really intense sensory episodes, or when they seem to gain my attention more than normal; by, say, creating tactile experiences for myself…warm baths, massage, just gently touching myself like I might touch someone else that I deeply care about… and being aware of the more tender, flowing sensations of emotion within the body rather than those that feel like they are more externally triggered or shouting in a very high-pitch at me. In Jawer’s book, an out of touch or locked-up emotional response in the body is repeatedly linked to anomalous experiences and this could be my version. It’s not that I still carry deep trauma locked up into the body (though I once did) but that I continue the bad habits of not listening to my own emotional needs and this is all area for much more exploration.

I have made some beautiful theories out of what can be some pretty troubling experiences here yet, I am fully aware, those sensations can continue to be troublesome long after making them neat with a bow. There is much that I can take away from these insights and try using next time I have a really intense episode; and there are positive spins I can hold to on all the days when I simply wish things were simpler for me than they actually are, but what if they never get any less complex or over-stimulating, or become even more intense; how do I continue living with that? As ever, the best advice is one day…even one breath…at a time. The simple mantra “this too will pass” has got me through much more than I can possibly describe on these occasions; waves of such intensity don’t often last for more than a few hours or days…and they always abate at some point…so knowing this is a great signpost through the densest fog of either pain or sensory overwhelm.

Above all, allowing that these occurrences are not the signs of some nefarious thing “happening to me”; that I am not under attack but, rather, one of those on the early tide of something positive and evolutionary that is “coming in” to all of us, is key to my sailing through these waves and coming out of them unscathed. In fact, I invariably seem to come out of them more switched on and more knowing, somehow, than I was before.

A good test is, if someone offered me an instant “cure”, would I snap it up? I don’t think I would; my instincts are too clear about the fact that this is something positive, exciting and very-necessary happening and that part of my role here is to help others to walk through the territory without experiencing great terror or loss of the will to live. It is only when we compare our newest experiences with what we have been through before that we get ourselves into such fear, but when we allow that we cannot possibly know what lies ahead for us, as an evolving species, we allow the thrill of the experience to carry us forwards…

These, of course, are all my personal interpretations and do not constitute medical conjecture or advice, so do what you feel is appropriate if any of these symptoms are yours. My viewpoint is just one of many held in potential and the greatest gift of being human is to realise just how unlimited our choices are; and how those choices determine the experiences we are then able to have, like an ever-widening panorama.

Related thoughts:

Gregg Prescott of In5D hears these tones and writes about them daily, using his musician’s ear to name their “note”. He says: “There’s a specific reason WHY we’re hearing the high-pitched frequencies that we’re hearing. They all contain messages within messages (the root note and the notes that comprise the chord) and each has a corresponding chakra energy center associated with it.” I find it so interesting to discover someone else talking about this, though I am not sure I hold with a single interpretation of what is clearly coming through him at the the individual level (which means those reading his interpretation, yet who don’t audibly detect frequency themselves, take his daily spin on the day’s frequency as “given”, like some sort of daily horoscope reading). Having  played with this a few times, my tones don’t tend to correspond with his on a particular day. I am, however, interested with how he has equated the tones with chakras and have found that useful to play with, similar to how I use healing music and tones to heal and calm down the nervous system, and its great to see more people talking about such things. It feels so important to get people to open up about anomalous experiences like this (many more people are having them than tend to readily admit; Jawer quotes some surprising figures), yet I would encourage as personal an interpretation as possible, since they tend to meet us exactly “where we are” in our personal evolution.

Incidentally, changes in tone intensity are most definitely associated, in my case, with incoming solar winds and other geomagnetic occurrences yet I personally feel it is unspeakably limiting to regard this as simply an “over-sensitivity” to space weather, EMFs, radiation, circadian effects, changes in air pressure, etc (all of which play a part…but that’s only part of the story), as though its just some sort of environmental allergy.

Related post (add-on information):

Too much (not too little) going on



This blog, its content and any material linked to it are presented for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or prescribing. The material and opinions shared are anecdotal and should not be considered to be medical advice or diagnosis. Please consult with a licensed healthcare professional before altering or discontinuing any medications, treatment, diet or supplementation program, or if you have or suspect you might have a health condition that requires medical attention.

3 thoughts on “High-sensitivity, synesthesia…and hearing tones, seeing lights or other anomalous experiences

  1. I relate to so much of this. I generally experience the ringing or buzz (which is nearly always present and generally quite comfortable, like a warm tingling) as my connection to energy. Same with the lights I see. The ringing is only uncomfortable when I’m downloading too much information too fast, and I can’t process it, or in times of spikes in the Schumann resonance , or when too much emotional data from the others who live in my community or society comes rushing in simultaneously. But quiet and music, Bach especially, help me process and restore comfort.

    It’s so great you’re talking about this. Few of us do, which contributes to the experience feeling more isolating than it need to .


    1. Its amazing how daunting it feels to speak about too…like breaking some taboo…and yet Im getting more hits than I ever have tonight. What you describe sounds like my experience up until October when, in sync with the SR being active, it increased to this new intensity…and has never settled down over what has been many weeks. Learning to be OK with that has been one of the biggest challenges of my life and is very hard to share with anyone who doesnt get it, so that includes family. Its so good to talk to you – and anyone else that relates – and I encourage much more conversation around it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! So important that we support each other! Right now, I’m listening to a very loud and persistent buzz–is it crickets? I think not… I think it’s the Universal Buzz! I applaud your talking about this so openly and encourage you to share as much and as often as feels right to you! It nearly always hits the target with me and some aspect of what I’ve been experiencing!

        Liked by 1 person

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