I couldn't tell you exactly what it was I wanted to see when I went in the first time, ghosts, I suppose, but I knew it wasn't the reality. I didn't know what I would see. But laying there, seeing nothing but static, hearing nothing but static -- I began in a maddened state and how dramatically it escalated. I couldn't do anything but cackle, harrowing peals louder than I've ever laughed. Lex Luthor may have laughed this way when he discovered kryptonite. I don't know how long this hysterical laughing went on. One minute? Ten? Twenty? But eventually I settled my self-pleasure down to a calm grin.
I wonder if maybe the laughter was a kind of defense against the wall of static in my ears, because the moment I ceased to laugh it struck me, unbearably. The sound of the static pierced and flooded my ears, overwhelmed my brain. For a while it was difficult to stay in there. Everything tells you to leave, your body cringes against the sensory assault. This phase, I term the Exposure Phase. I've noticed that it has held true in all subsequent trials.
After a few minutes you eventually acclimate and the environment actually becomes somewhat comfortable. The next several minutes are spent fighting boredom. It becomes like staring at a blank wall, in silence. This is the hardest phase, without administration, to get beyond and few do. I call this the Barrier Phase.
Through the first two phases, I estimate (though this is difficult with distorted sense of time, variability between participants and no equipment to unintrusively monitor thought) approximately 8-10 minutes.
The beginning of the final phase, TV Therapy's proper form, is noticeable first as a wash of calm, and then a deep interest in your surroundings. Patterns in the static, heretofore unseen, become apparent. Variations in the white noise also become apparent. For all intents and purposes, entering this final phase, the outside world is non-existent. What follows from this point on has proven dramatically different for each and every participant.
Next: Final Phase - The Ghost in the Fog