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Communication - Frissons

An abbreviated introduction to a phenomenon common to all, yet. Frissons are otherwise known as quivers, quakes, ripples, shivers, shudders. They are heard in flowing streams. They are referred to as trembling in the Bible, for instance, Philippians 2:12. In barest terms: sensation.

The experience which caused X to take sufficient notice of trembling to begin a study of such for several years:

March, 1997

During a three-hour drive from San Antonio to Houston, X experiences an overcoming power. X has been listening to Carmina Burana and is awed by the beauty of the ("atmosphere - climate - illumination - landscape - vegetation") on a cloudy, misty morning, to such degree that X ("groans, - sighs - weeps"). X regards nature as ("intelligent art owning a character"). X is experienced in meditation. Has expressed preference for scientific, rather than religious, investigations of existence and life.

X had read Psalms 132 through 134 before leaving San Antonio, curious as to "identities" and "pronouns" in the text. Upon leaving San Antonio X ponders lightning and zero energy in relation to ("the economy and equilibrium of the universe, there occurring neither too little nor too much": cosmological constant is precise to one part in ten to the 120th power, mass density to one part in ten to the 60th power: the description of a circle by pi: the delicacy of flowers which X describes as "just the touch". But for the remarkable landscape X feels as usual physically, psychologically and spiritually. Once out of the city X is able to concentrate (meditate) to a gradually greater intensity.

X is "filled with a force inexpressible" upon wondering "what is God doing at this moment". X feels as lifted from the driver's seat, high above the steering wheel. Description: "I know not what to call it but contact and mutual possession, in a manner one would never suspect". X further describes a "power, not an ecstasy, but perhaps a rapture": D is uncertain what a "rapture" is but thinks he might have experienced such on several occasions.

Description: "It was more like an indwelling of electricity, a little, if one can imagine, like being shocked by a flash of lightning stretched through time, that is dulled, into an occurrence of three hours. Yet it wasn’t like that either. It was, in a way, like a wind, both within and about me, a wind sufficient to lift you in the air and maintain you there. I doubt that I was actually raised from my seat, though I don’t know why that should be impossible. Regardless, words have not been invented to describe such the phenomenon. 'Holy Spirit' is the first that comes to mind."

Upon approaching Houston X feels an unusual need to pee. Very uncomfortable. Pulls off the freeway, parks, pees in "piss jug" in sleeper, wrestles with pillow "as if with a dear friend". Experiences a "nonerotic love". Ultimately comes to think of Christ. Begins to calm and become peaceful upon "reentering the mundane world".

Chemicals: "perhaps a donut". Experience precedes usual intake of coffee, making need to pee in only three hours the more unusual.

Experience is not a high, nor hallucinatory.

Had experienced vertigo prior to phenomenon, as occurs infrequently. "Not vertigo".

For all X knows, the three-hour experience (between San antonio and Houston) could well have been wrought by a "spirit". "Paraclete" comes to mind. X continues to describe the experience in terms of ("breath - energy - stimulation - vitality"). But as X is not sure just what (a) spirit is he accounts it  hypothetical to say that such the cause. Trembling is, however, indicative of something so X calls it a "signal." As a signal trembling would be distinctive, as the experience is peculiar: occurs now and again, not throughout the day like breathing or seeing.


Tai Chi (Qi). Trembling can be affected via physical movement, such as changing one's posture, especially during meditation, such bearing on the spine. Also mentally expressed in Tai Chi as change of direction. X knows nothing as to Tai Chi.

Physical occurrences: bowel movements. Quavering also common while listening to music. Sound (a relatively slow wavelength) alone can cause a frisson, but there is likely a subconscious association not recognized. Vision in itself may cause a frisson as well, such as "watching a calf gallop past". Again, a subconscious association at the least likely occurs. Trembling also caused by touch or nearly touching. The tactile sense is the only one (of the five) which is in itself sufficient to cause the phenomenon without deeper association, such as a cold gust of wind, which immediate association is merely liking or disliking.

Mental or psychoanalytical occurrences: frissons occur upon lingual operations related to meaning. Common upon arriving to a mental boundary, such as an attempt to grasp an inexpressible concept for which there are no words, an attempt to penetrate beyond the known, an encounter with a concept strange to oneself. (Not dissimilar to the energy requisite to penetrate a seemingly impossible aporia, contradiction, paradox. Frissons, however, are brief and pleasant rather than exhausting. More at replenishing than draining.) Quivering occurs upon a comparison, the notice of a difference, the notice of something unique, or upon a decision to make. Thinking alone, without emotion, is sufficient to cause a tremble: a doubt, a question, a curiosity, a wonder.

Emotional occurrences: thinking of something one enjoys, appreciation, absurdity (humor - laughter not unalike the tremulous frisson), relief (: realizing that what one thought was an error is actually correct). Trembling often associated with fear. X cannot recall documenting such, though has logged occurrences upon thinking of something mysteriously or eerily strange, or noting a need to be cautious. Awe is a frequent cause of trembling, as well as an embracing emotion such as love. Switching from one condition or mood to another can also cause a frisson, such as feeling a need to accelerate (heightened sense of purpose), making an assertion, shifting from anxiety to confidence. Frissons are very common upon thinking such as "please" or "thank you."

Trembling is a flowing or wavelike phenomenon, ranging from a not unpleasant "pulse" to more intense frequencies of vibration indicative of transitions from one mental mode or state to another. 

Note: philosophy: arc; fluctuation ("flux") at a boundary, such as the flesh; alteration between open and closed. Notes: circuits, electromagnetism, quantum theory.

Signals: response? X claims "response" to both audible and written pronunciations, calling such
"extraintelligent" or "supernatural" while at once admitting "ignorance" of just what such phenomena are, the possibilities being numerous. "Shaking," however, does not require speech alte voce. Silent speech, that is, thought, is sufficient to experience frissons. (Conscious rational or original thought is distinguished from the subconscious flow in which all exist and operate repetitively on automatic throughout the day. It is also distinguished from emotion which retards as much conscious thinking as such may inspire. [Why political activism is generally mindless. A lot of loudmouth half-conscious shouting of no greater than decibel significance, remarking more passion raised aloft by subconscious randomness than thought.]) In relation to "response" X ponders if trembling is not in some manner a "dialogue". [Eight years later X comes across a particular means of "dialogue" via computer. Like trembling, it is common, a popular computer program. "But people don't listen, to what they are doing while they use this program, so they miss what is quite real beneath what appears to be frivolous. Somewhat in the way people can live for years without noticing the extraordinary movies which occur via hypnogogic images upon but closing one's eyes. What has always been there goes as nothing only for lack of looking." X cannot say what relation, if any, there may be between trembling, extraintelligent phenomena and said program. But all have "response" in common.] Be as may, trembling is not a sensation that only "just happens". It can be induced by oneself at any time one wishes as well.

Signals: prompts? "If trembling is a signal, yet neither comprehended nor understood, may such be said to be evocative without being persuasive? That is, an answering without answering. That is, a signaling of something significant, but leaving such up to you, being free and sovereign of one's person. That is, a clue without suggestion, absent of manipulation. Ambiguity doesn't tell one what to do. Your election. But a quiver often distinguishes listening from hearing. They often occur when one's conscious ability and knowledge are taken to one's limits yet fail to grasp understanding. That is, the potato may be warmer, but it's far from baked."

Signals: estimations. "In asking what a thing is it sometimes useful to ask what it is not. There is one thing that never occurs with a frisson: indifference, neglect, the taking of something for granted. It is always a valuation of something beyond everyday mundanity. A frisson might occur upon smelling hamburgers as one drives past a restaurant. But it's not the thought of eating a hamburger that brings a frisson; it's the enjoyment, of the thought. Likewise, people take little note of what they assume to be intellectually self-evident. One might then do well to take note of seemingly insignificant frissons, which light emphasis is like something tapping your shoulder with its index (pointing) finger."

X categorizes four intensities:

1. "Soft, light, airy traces" too frequent for X to record. "Think of a rippling stream." Longest in duration but the exact stimulus or mental phrase is often elusive. Various causes: watching birds in flight, a pretty melody, sympathy with someone's plight.

2. Trembles with a more "fluid, voluminous, deep and heavy wavelength" than above. X distinguishes this frisson from the lighter by comparing "beauty" to "the pretty." Can be caused, for instance, by music more at beautiful (X examples Rachmaninoff) than simply delightful. Sometimes precedes "sighing, heaving, welling into tears".

3. Distinctly intense vibrations to which X limits his documentation. The cause is generally clear and/or the phrase in one's mind can usually be accurately noted. Complete sentences on occasion, but usually phrases within phrases.

4. "Rushing". This vibration, not precisely a frisson but related, is audible. X compares the "serpentine sounds" one hears while using lysergic acid. Often occurs with a sensation of "sinking" as well. Sometimes occurs in meditation, sometimes upon entering into a "zone" of lechery.

Frequency: several days may pass between trembles or several may occur on the same day.

Tangential notes:

X has mentioned the possibility of an invisible "twin" or "twins." X gives three ways to think of such: 1. The twin may be as like the vertices of a dual octahedron in correspondence to the faces of its dual cube. 2. The twin may be as like a mirroring opposite, as like days cycle into nights, as like pedals on a bicycle move a common axis, one foot pushing, one foot resting. 3. The twin may be as like a parallel rail, which both together make a railway. Not science. But the notion oughtn't be despised, as there is considerably more to, and happening concurrent with, this existence than infant science can perceive, identify or comprehend.

Rhyming. ("Accord" and "a chord" are identical yet not.) Harmonics.

The quantum: string theory.


Music: the rippling stream.



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