I get interested in analog transitions between two very different states. I like to watch and watch and watch and try and capture exact instant of the transition. Examples:

Sometimes when I think about systems that can't be watched my thought also revolves around locating "exact points of transition". For example, when I was younger I was very curious about how exactly physical stimuli was transduced to information in the nervous system (once I found out how it basically worked, I wasn't that interested in the details; but initially I was fascinated in the exactly point of transition, for instance how do you have amounts of photons, and then later, that gets turned into amounts of action potentials? How do you have pressure waves in the air that get turned into action potentials?).

The stars

Hypnagogic state of mind

I've heard of hypnagogic imagery, but it's more than just imagery for me, actually. The weakest form (when I am closest to awake; how it "starts") is imagery; just normal (visual? or are there other modes too? i dont seem to remember sounds that much; wait i came back to this later and remembered that sometimes i do hear things, sometimes voices saying a phrase; don't worry it's always clear at the time that the voices are imaginary) imagination, but a little more vivid. Often it's very "free association"; like I'll imagine one picture and sometimes that'll remind me of something else and then I'll instantly visualize a picture of something else, without stopping to think/holding back.

(interestingly, sometimes the pictures are of something that i would find a little scary or disgusting, like bugs crawling all over the wall. For some reason these pictures don't scare me though, at least not when i'm in my cozy apartment building and not sleeping at home alone in a large house far away from another human being :). I am fully aware that they are only "in the mind's eye", which is probably why they aren't so scary -- although they are vivid)

When it gets deeper it's more like a 3D perception of a visual landscape combined with certain feelings (states of mind), different almost each time, often ones that I never experience in waking life. Notably, often there is just one flash, and then "nothing" (i.e. that perception fades very very quickly, almost instantly, and then I perceive nothing except sitting there with my eyes closed again for 40 seconds or so); sometimes a few in fairly rapid succession (not unrelated; rather, free association). Notably, the first flash is often seemingly unrelated to anything I was thinking before.

Also, the mind seems to work better; it's like i'm at a higher level of consciousness. Part of this is as if the mind travels in deeply worn ruts during most of waking life (for example, the FEEL of reality/life doesn't change much from day to day except when you visit a new place or do something equally novel) and for some reason is able to move freely out of these ruts during this period.

Part of the "higher consciousness" bit is harder to describe. It's like different modes of mental representations can be related to one another more fluidly. Once I was 70% sure that I was actually able to think two thoughts at once.

I feel like much of this can happen, but only to a tiny extent, while awake when I am really sleepy (when I stay up much later than I usually do. Right now I can feel it a little, both because I am writing about it, and also because it's 5am and I've only been staying up until 4 recently (don't laugh :) ; anyway, it's not that strong because I got up at 2:30pm today). Specifically, I can get states of mind that come out of nowhere (are unrelated to what I am thinking) and that are broken out of the ruts that govern most of the day, and also, sometimes thought becomes more "fluid" (although in sort of a sludgey way; example: when doing math really late at night sometimes you just get "confused" and see the math in some 'mathematical'-feeling, yet incorrect way; example: often when I am sleepy I catch myself anthropomorphizing math in political science terms; but going too far, as if that were the PRIMARY MEANING of the math, and from that, making incorrect inferences. These examples don't make it sound like a "better" consciousness, but they do perhaps point out what the disadvantages of this state might be (although I feel like the confusion part could be subtracted while leaving the rest of it, and maybe is during the hypagogic state; remember, when you are up late at night doing math while sleepy, you are fighting the state; you are forcing yourself to concentrate on something in particular, to keep your attention focused on that one thing, while you mind starts jumping around in weird ways). But one of these examples also illustrates the good parts; math metaphors in political science; these are two domains that i would be less likely to connect with metaphors while the mind is intact).

Unfortunately, one thing that does not work as well is memory. Memory is as bad as dreaming, maybe even worse (at least I usually remember the last few minutes of dream narrative if I'm woken up in the middle; it's really hard to remember even the last few seconds of what I was thinking in a hypnagogic state). Unlike a dream, if I'm abruptly pulled out of a hypnagogic state from external stimuli I never seem to remember anything; very rarely, I've choosen to come out of it from within so that I can bring something back to a waking state to be remembered. I have not yet had "hypnagogic hallucinations", though. I "see" weird things but they are clearly in the mind's eye.