After last week’s dark matter, I welcomed a beam of light, provided by a friend who engaged a small group into exploring how to access altered states, states of consciousness outside the ‘normal’ Beta brainwave frequency (between 13 and 30 Hz cycles per second) defined as awake and alert state.
Imagine everyone was normal, or, by definition, alert, outward orientated and falcon-eyed. Present governments and corporations would be challenged. So it seems a paradox that our culture puts pathological labels on altered states of consciousness, which are as common as day and night, and as changeable as the seasons. Artists, athletes, train spotters, kids on play consoles, football fans, shoppers wandering dazed through supermarkets … are all under the spell of certain wavelengths. Depending as to where our energy is drawn to or focussed at, we may be carried by any collective mood, be it of disenchantment or Joie de Vivre. Whatever wave we surf on or drown in, when we resonate with a like-minded tribe, we feel less alone. There is no such thing as a ‘normal’ state.
The frequency of our brainwaves shifts in two ways: changes in mood alter our physiology – changes in physiology alter our mood.
Re: changing our physiology – our friend brought along a few technical gadgets and apps we played with. Listening to the pulse of higher Beta frequencies, for example, tricks the body into stimulating synapses and can activate higher energy centres (chakras.) See, for example the link to mind-machines at the end of this post. There are apps offering similar devices that can be downloaded from the internet.
One exercise we did without gadgets lightened my heart, which had been battered last week. We formed groups of three’s and had one person facing two others who stood close together and slowly moved their outer arms, independently. The person observing moved their left and right arms in accord with the arms of the two people they were facing, trying to match the disparate movements. This involved right and left brain attention. After about 10 minutes the rapport achieved was beyond words – peace and spaciousness and a deep appreciation of where the other was innermost, like being taken into a sacred circle. This blissful sense of connectedness works best among people who have trust and sympathy for each other.
I use methods of mirroring, matching and mismatching sparingly in my work with clients. And if appropriate, I offer guided imagery, which induces a light trance state that facilitates fluid awareness, images, and striking insight.
As children we may have been mirrored in ways that affirmed, ignored or rejected our sense of reality. Affirmation happens through rapport, a sense of being accepted and recognised. Lack of rapport and interference can send us on less-walked, though potentially creative journeys. With the advent of virtual global networks the chances of finding rapport have widened. Then again, given the internet is also a mirror to our collective unconscious, we may occasionally drift rudderless in the hive mind, which is also a kind of trance, feeding us stuff.
Trance states draw us into collective wave-signals. We need rapture to remind us of a greater unity, like when millions of us look up to the full moon at the same time, or watch global events on our screens. We need those reminders of belonging like the air we breathe. Innumerable focussed activities produce altered states: art, games, sport, dance, voice, music, spiritual practices, rituals and mind altering drugs, dreaming, writing, reading, guided imagery, meditation, sound frequencies, light pulses … the sun 🙂 and so on.
Altered states of consciousness fluctuate. I’m not alone in having had lucid dreams and out-of-body experiences, sensations of oneness and peace, as well as being subjected to global traumas and the occasional attack of negativity. Means that improve our rapport with ourselves, others, nature, and the cosmos – means that regulate and tune our psychic energy and gain us a wider perspective on our existence, seem more wholesome than antidepressants. Though it’s useful to keep in mind that subliminal sound/light pulses can be applied to manipulate the public.
No doubt biofeedback devices have a future. Hopefully technological advances will lead to the realisation – and evidence that humans are part of one intelligent, pulsating organism – the cosmos – expanding and contracting – yet in a continuous process of becoming conscious of itself and connecting to deeper and further dimensions.
Sites that may interest: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_machine http://synthesislearning.com/article/brwav.htm http://www.brainwavecollege.com/what-are-brainwaves.htm http://www.nlpu.com/NewDesign/NLPU_WhatIsNLP.html
A Ted talk on advanced applications of brainwave readings http://www.ted.com/talks/tan_le_a_headset_that_reads_your_brainwaves.html
There are many related blog posts on this sit, here the most relevant: http ://courseofmirrors.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/thoughts-on-dark-matter/ https://courseofmirrors.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/the-mystery-of-thoughts/ https://courseofmirrors.wordpress.com/2011/05/14/thoughts-on-awareness/
14 responses to “… accessing altered states …”
All I can do here is to sigh. This is such a lovely post and I identify with much of it. When I lived alone for a while in UK I attended a Sprituatlist temple quite regularly and one of their meditation classes and we had some guided meditation which I found absolutely wonderful and this post has reminded me of that time, thank you.
Thanks Diane. Such memories are highlights we can return to by re-evoking the scene with our senses , another way of accessing an altered state.
Lovely, simply lovely.
🙂 Thanks, Jed.
Lucid living as well as dreaming! Beautifully constructed.
Hi Phlippa, thanks, an honour. Re: Archventure sessions, you’re on for May.
Does the successful mirroring experience create symmetry? Is it the symmetry that produces the sense of calm or satisfaction?
In a superficial way, symmetry,yes. Salesmen use mirroring and we guard against too obvious techniques.
A prolonged period of rapport among people who trust each other delves into deeper, maybe multi-dimensional levels, beyond our ordinary senses.
Unless a better word is invented, I’d call it spiritual.
You have just sent my day on a great journey. Really enjoy reading your posts and I look forward in anticipation to many more. I once read Buckminster Fuller and thought “what have I done with my life” given that his ideas and thought pattern were so extreme. So I began my own journey of discovery and challenged myself to understand better the bigger questions of existence and human movement. The only thing stopping me now is the BIG words so I pretend that the writer wasn’t able to find an easy word and it all becomes clear. Your work is going to make my Sunday night big ideas discussion time with my partner, so much more amazing. My partner hates being kept awake by me proposing theories on all matter of things and this will make it all the more fun.B
Oh thanks. I’m cheered you enjoy reading here. Was also visiting your blog and left a comment with a video link, which came up huge. Hope you don’t mind. I’ll explore your posts for more discoveries.
The BIG words – you mean the ones that hold up the flow and you want to put on Soul or Jazz and sit back and have a drink … ? 🙂
By now following your blogg I expect a lot more Big words but I’m sure you will assist if required. Looking forward to your future posts. B
Thanks, I’ll try. Though I don’t always grok the things that flit through my mind. Now ‘grok’ is a word I find interesting. First came upon it in a Heinlein novel, Stranger in a Strange Land.
I love your posts, Ashen, always a tonic for the soul! 😀
Pingback: … dreams … | Course of Mirrors