Archive for September 2012

Part Three: Cyber-Shamanism: The Fusion of Modern Technology with Ancient, Plant-Based Shamanism

Part Three: Cyber-Shamanism: The Fusion of Modern Technology with Ancient, Plant-Based Shamanism

By Zoe Seven

 

The effects of ayahuasca are not only psycho-spiritual in nature but biological as well, as it sometimes induces vomiting and diarrhea in some individuals. People whom have had experiences with ayahuasca as well as the shamans that use it in their ceremonies and rituals, feel that these side effects are actually the physical manifestation of the release of psycho-spiritual traumas and blocks.

On the other hand, the mental effects bestowed by this teacher plant can best be described as those of an awakened dreamstate. In other words, one is dreaming awake.

This unusual state of mind gives the waking ego or conscious mind access to previously unconscious material via the subconscious mind – a spectrum of consciousness that few people are consciously aware of or familiar with. Yet this interior landscape of the mind has the potential to offer vast amounts of experiences including healings, transmission of various types of information, and even insights into the true nature of reality and the soul.

Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to sample this legendary shamanic potion while giving a lecture and workshop in the Amazon at an ayahuasca retreat. In the first couple of experiences I had with this teacher plant, I did have a play of dazzling colors and shapes before me – the typical psychedelic imagery – but what I felt was of most value was the release of lots of emotional energy – basically, I cried a lot while I recalled stuff that had happened to me when I was young – which indicated that apparently, I had a number of unresolved childhood issues to deal with. Now this was never apparent to me in my day-to-day life, but every so often I would become very depressed without knowing why. But after these two initial experiences with ayahuasca not only did I understand the reason for my sometimes ill emotional feelings but, apparently, I actually resolved these issues by confronting them on my own. In fact, months after my first encounters with this teacher plant people that know me commented that they saw changes in me and that I seemed much more relaxed, happy, and grounded. These comments alerted me to the immense therapeutic potential that teacher plants have to offer, especially the psychological healing offered by ayahuasca.

During my first stay in the Brazilian Amazon I also had the oportunity to try a plant/tech combination: ayahuasca together with my brainwave synchronizer running a program targeting delta brainwaves. This particular combination seemed interesting to me as I had achived some excellent “cyber-shamanic” results by combining various neuro-technology devices together with psychoactive compounds. These combinations, experiments and resulting experiences are chronicalled in my first book, INTO THE VOID – Exploring Consciousness, Hyperspace & Beyond, Using Brain Technology Devices, Psychedelics & Altered Mind-States (ZON Media, 2001).

Because of all my previous experimentation and research, I consider myself an experienced psychonaut, so I really had no problem, hesitation, or fear in taking the plunge of combining light and sound stimulation together with this potent shamanic brew. However, I should make it extremely clear that there are no studies on the short or long term effects of this particular combination. And as most of you may already know, on its own, light and sound stimulation may induce sizures in some individuals, while psychoactives may trigger psychotic episodes – BEWARE. The third time I tried ayahuasca I decided to combine it with photo-sonic stimulation so as to have the device “guide” the experience and target a specific window of consciousness. The reason for this being that neurological EEG studies have shown that those who ingest this brew go into an altered state most comparable to the hipnagogic state (but in full awareness), and I wanted to go “deeper” so as to see what was doing, so I dialed-up a low frequency delta session on my brainwave synchronizer.

I started by first ingesting the brew since it takes roughly between thirty minutes to about an hour for one to start feeling the effects. But this worked out great for as soon as the session with my brainwave synchronizer was over (about forty-five minutes later) the effects of ayahuasca began. But this time they were different than before, as I knew that I had effectively shifted my awareness to a different window of consciousness – deep delta, as opposed to alpha/theta. In my earlier experiments for INTO THE VOID, I discovered that if I decided on a whim to smoke say salvia divinorum for example, I had a particular type of experience. But if I first slowed down (or ramped up) my brainwave activity by way of binaural frequencies, neuroelectrical stimulation or photo-sonic stimulation, I would then have a significantly different experience when intaking a psychoactive.

End of Part Three

Copyright: Zoe Seven, Author and AVS Journal, Michael Landgraf, Publisher (2006) Granada Hills, CA. All rights reserved.

 

Part Two: Cyber-Shamanism: The Fusion of Modern Technology with Ancient, Plant-Based Shamanism

Part Two: Cyber-Shamanism: The Fusion of Modern Technology with Ancient, Plant-Based Shamanism

By Zoe Seven

 

Ayahuasca’s content and preparation, much like shamanic practices, varies according to locale as well as shaman, as some shamans oftentimes add extra plants – native to the shaman’s region and culture – to their ayahuasca brews that others don’t. Some of these additives being a number of different plants including tobacco, datura and others. But for the most part, ayahuasca is made up of two components, Banisteriopsis cappi and Psychotria viridis.

Now from a pharmacological standpoint this particular combination is impresive to say the least. You see, the brew’s potent psychoactive active ingredient which is dimethyltryptamine (DMT) – one of the most potent psychoactives known to man – gets destroyed in the gut because of MAO. Breifly, MAO stands for Mono-Amine-Oxidase and it is an enzyme in the human body that breaks down a number of chemicals and foods. Therefore, the MAO enzymes destroy the DMT molecules before they have a chance to cross the blood/brain barrier and elecit their powerful and life-changing effects on the user. However, if an MAO inhibitor (MAOI) is added into this psycho-chemical equation, it will prevent the stomach enzymes from destroying the DMT.

This is impresive and defies a logical explaination, as shamans in the jungle, with no laboratory equipment to speak of, somehow resolved the problem around MAO inhibition with no formal pharmacological or biological training! Again, they figured that in order for DMT to be orally active, it had to be combined with an MAOI so that it could reach the brain. But this is almost impossible to figure out empirically as there are literaly hundreds of thousands of plant species in the jungle not to mention the almost limitless number of potential combinations. Therefore this had to be more than simply a lucky guess. Not only that, but even more unbelivable is the fact that this type of biological mechanism (MAO inhibition) has only come to be discovered and understood in modern medicine in the past seventy years or so, while shamans have been preparing ayahuasca for several hundreds of years if not longer…!

Curiously, when scientists and anthropologists first encountered this brew and studied its effects and how it worked in the body, they asked the jungle shamans how they figgured out the way to get around the MAO problem lacking modern pharmacological training, they simply replyed: “The plants told us how to and which ones to mix.”…. One may not know what to make of a statement like that, but, nonetheless, a solution was found by very unconventional means to say the least.

As far as the effects of ayahuasca are concerned they can be extremely strong, as this brew is easily one of the most if not the most potent psychoactives on the planet. Hence, ayahuasca generally caters to experienced psychonauts. Oddly enough, DMT is also an endogenous neurochemical secreted by the pineal gland and is part of the human brain’s natural metabolisim. Many researchers believe that DMT is what enables humans to dream at night, hence its highly visual characteristics.

End of Part Two

Copyright: Zoe Seven, Author and AVS Journal, Michael Landgraf, Publisher (2006) Granada Hills, CA. All rights reserved.

 

Part One: Cyber-Shamanism: The Fusion of Modern Technology with Ancient, Plant- Based Shamanism

 

Part One: Cyber-Shamanism: The Fusion of Modern Technology with Ancient, Plant- Based Shamanism

 

By Zoe Seven

 

Ever since life here on Earth began, all of its species have strived to explore it. From the microscopic organisms which were spawned deep in the seas and which later emerged to explore the landmass and become the land species we have on Earth today, to the caveman that ventured out of the familiar and safe surroundings of the caves and into the woods – the outside world – Man has constantly continue to venture into the unknown. Indeed from Columbus to Armstrong some individuals have dared to go where no other has gone before. But a different type of explorer has also existed throughout the ages. I am referring to the individuals that have opted to leave behind the familiar confines of their conscious awareness and ventured inward to explore the psychological landscapes of the mind. From Shamans to Zen masters, these individuals explore and even chart the unexplored regions of the psyche and hyperspace so that others brave or curious enough may follow.

These individuals, also known as psychonauts or mind explorers, depending on their cultural background, use a number of techniques as well as tools to acomplish their psycho-navigational feats. Tibetan yogis for example, have used fasting, sensory depravation, and even “technology” in the form of bowls and rattles to access various mind states. Similarly, shamans have used drumming, chanting, and the flickering light of campfires to help alter their consciousness.

It is interesting to note – at least from a neurological/technological standpoint – that the accesories used by both yogis and shamans in these cases is for the express purpose of slowing down or rather modifiying brainwave activity. In turn this facilitates the entrance into alternate states of consciousness. But a little known fact is that some Tibetan yogis as well as other spiritual practicioners use psychoactive compounds and plants, such as hashish and mescaline, as part of their spiritual practices.

Shamanism also appears to be greatly influenced by geographical location as well as cultural factors. Therefore shamanism can be thought of as being not a fixed modality, rather, it appears to be an open-ended practice that is very much creative in nature given its wide number of incorporated belief structures and artifacts, which are fused into its practice.

For example, the Santo Daime and UDV churches based in Brazil practice a combination of plant-based shamanism and Christian doctrines. This curious fusion may very well be because of both Christianism and shamanism having large followings in South and Central America.

Similarly, in north America native Americans have been known to use another (psychoactive) sacrament, peyote, a cactus, in their spiritual ceremonies. Interestingly psychoactive plants and compounds afford users entrance into exotic states of consciousness in a single sitting as opposed to having to practice mental exercises for years. On the other hand of the spectrum shamans feel that plants are a sentient species capable of interaction and likewise capable of bestowing states of illumination and transcendence on those that ingest them. In addition, the states of mind experienced while under the influence of shamanic teacher plants (another term for them and one which, I like to use) allows users to experience reality and even their own state of being from a number of perspectives than the usual, day-today linear one. Indeed, under the proper guidance and care, a shamanic journey with a teacher plant can be one of the most life-changing events ever.

A wide variety of psychoactive plant species are used in plant-based shamanic practices, such as datura, salvia divinorum, psilocybe mushrooms and San Pedro (another cactus) to name but a few. But the most infamous shamanic sacrament used in the south American countries of Brazil, Peru, and other regions of the Amazon, is a potent psychoactive brewed called ayahuasca, also known as yage or vine of the dead, which is prepared and used by shamans called ayahuasqueros in their ceremonies. The effects of this brew last anywhere between three to six hours.

End of Part One

Copyright: Zoe Seven, Author and AVS Journal, Michael Landgraf, Publisher (2006) Granada Hills, CA. All rights reserved.

 

Part 5: Shakti – New technology for spiritual process

Shakti – New technology for spiritual process.

Todd Murphy Researching

Behavioral Neuroscientist Laurentian University

Behavioral neurosciences program Associate researcher.

www.spiritualbrain.com  (Part 5 of 5)

 

On the other hand, things get a bit more interesting when we look at Shakti’s positive effects. First of all, there are two primary ways to use Shakti. In one, the person is looking for lasting after-effects. In the other, the person is looking for more dramatic experiences. Like what they may have seen in documentaries featuring Persinger’s work. There’s a safety precaution, though. These sessions should last an hour, and should be done more than once in three weeks, following a successful session. In looking for lasting positive effects, the person needs to repeat the sessions once a week, in normal states of consciousness. These sessions last 30 minutes. Even though most people became interested in this technology because of the more dramatic things possible with longer sessions, most Shakti users are opting for the shorter session, done more often. Enough suspense.

Here’s some of the effects produced during or after repeated sessions. – calm – a reduction of depression – enhanced introspective skills – lucid dreaming – out-of-body experiences – a greater sense of self – a sharp reduction in anger – enhanced visual acuity – pleasant detachment – floating sensations – “a sense good spiritual balance and general sense of being centered and optimistic” – “During my session it was as if I were seeing through the mask” – “wonderful vivid dreams” – “I had the strong feeling of sitting just reversed in my room and facing the opposite wall (eyes closed). This was a strong visual impression. – “I saw a black board with several words written on it. It seemed like I understood these words but when tried to look closer I noticed that they were written in a language unknown to me” – “relief from something that always seems to be there. ” These vary from one person to the next. Each brain is different. Some fight back, trying to reestablish the old neural settings in a process called metabolic snapback. Visit the website for more information. www.spiritualbrain.com Longer sessions have produced visions of many kinds, mostly brief, and only a couple of people had truly episodic visions. I mean the kind that happen in NDEs or the native American vision quest. So far, it seems that being totally relaxed, still, and in a silent place help a great deal, and not everyone is able to manage the complete silence. One user tried white noise as a background, but that only interferes. A lot of the temporal lobes are involved in monitoring ambient noise, and white noise only adds to this activity, which must be quieted to allow Shakti to recruit the same area fully. Most people who are interested in this technology will prefer to read the testimonials taken from reports by participants. Now that Shakti is past the safety phase, the next goal emerges. Shakti still isn’t covered by any insurance, so the same disclaimers, etc. are still in place. Read them. But the goal is now to find whatever procedures are necessary to guarantee each person a spiritual process, even dramatic visions.

So far, most Shakti users (over 90 %) have had something to report, and the remaining few are working through a variety of procedures and new wave forms. One of them, “Shakti 5″ is available to all participants on request, and it has elicited experiences when the standard one didn’t. I feel sure Shakti is on the right track. One day, we may find, partly thanks to the present Shakti participants, that the spiritual process, different for each person, can be engaged with a helmet and a few CDs. The spiritual process, as it’s understood traditionally, has a lot in common with Shakti. Both take time. Both can involve a ‘dark night of the soul’ both are different for each person. Both offer no promises to any one individual. But I can and do make one promise. That I will go on working out procedures for each person, until a session design appears for that person that works. And so on. Until each person has the same chance at spiritual transformation, no matter what their history or background.

 

Copyright: Todd Murphy, Author and AVS Journal, Michael Landgraf, Publisher (2006) Granada Hills, CA. All rights reserved.

 

MindMachines.com Announces 2012 First Annual Light and Sound Machine Awards Presentation

MindMachines.com is announcing the first annual light and sound machine awards presentation hosted by Michael Landgraf, author of Mind States – An Introduction to Light and Sound Technology and Fred Williams, light and sound specialist and presented by The AVS Journal Magazine.  Mr. Landgraf will be recognizing the best of the best that the world of light and sound and brainwave entrainment technology has to offer.  The award ceremony will take place Friday September 28, 2012.  Twelve awards will be presented.

Award categories include:  

  • Best light and sound machine
  • Best meditation device
  • Best mind machine for sports brainwave focus training
  • Best light and sound machine accessory
  • Best low cost brainwave entrainment device
  • Most innovative use of brainwave entrainment technology
  • Best new mind machine
  • Best Supporting Modality
  • Best CES device
  • Best mind machine for clinical use including ADD and PTSD
  • Best use of binaural beats in MP3
  • Outstanding Light and Sound Machine manufacturer

Part 4: Shakti – New technology for spiritual process

Shakti – New technology for spiritual process.

Todd Murphy Researching

Behavioral Neuroscientist Laurentian University

Behavioral neurosciences program Associate researcher.

www.spiritualbrain.com  (Part 4 of 5)

 

What the hypothesis says is that when activity in a given brain part on one side of the brain (or an entire hemisphere more generally) becomes active enough, crossing a threshold, the activity can spill over into the same structure on the opposite side of the brain. Given that most brain parts have symmetrically opposite functions (‘functional homologues on the two sides of the brain, the phenomena that accompanies this is a dramatic shift in the person’s experience. My fear and anxiety didn’t just stop. It turned into the opposite. Bliss. Joy. So wonderful to be alive. Just to see the sky is ecstasy. Each person is beautiful. My right amygdala had been active. Now it was quiet, after applying the amygdala’s signal only over the left side. I had been in anxiety and pessimism, living in a storm of awful thoughts for a few days.

Now, I was in bliss.

Other things had happened. My week with an active right amygdala seems to have recruited my right hippocampus, too. And many of it’s associated phenomena only emerged when my right amygdala was told to shut up. I could heal by laying on hands. I tested it many times. That’s tapered off a bit in four years since all this happened, but not without many ups and downs as my own Shakti session designs change. I could also do remote viewing, but like many who’ve had the experience, I chose not to practice it, because I found myself uncomfortable at some of the things I saw. I did confirm some of these perceptions, though. I saw auras, too, but not in the brilliant colors some psychics describe. Just faint glows around people when I looked for them. I experienced quite a lot of hypnogogic phenomena, too. Brief perceptions, clearly from within, that happened while I was falling asleep.

I continued doing sessions, but I didn’t really experience anything new using the DAC, with it’s single signal, until I got a new wave form from Dr. Persinger. It belonged to the hippocampus, a cognitive structure. One that deals in words on the left and in non-verbal cognition on the right. Soon, I knew what it would do on both sides of the brain. On the right, it quieted mental chatter and enhanced visualization skills. It also enhances what’s called ‘positive thinking'; the expectation of positive outcomes for ongoing events. On the left, it encouraged mental chatter, and negative expectations for the outcomes of ongoing events. Over both sides, it reduced the intensity of emotions overall. Shakti results continue to support these generalizations, although they have yet to be published. So, now I could apply the amygdaloid signal over the left – OR – the hippocampal signal over the right.

The trouble was that left amygdaloid activation tended to spill over to the right amygdala (via the anterior commisure), and right hippocampal activation tended to spill into the right amygdala, too (via their extensive connections). I wanted to do both at once. And for that I need two signals at once. I wanted a stereo DAC. But none existed. I’d have to go without it or invent it myself. So that’s what I did. The only audio equipment I had to work with was a computer sound card, so that’s what I worked with. I recorded the sounds the DAC made, as though the signals were common sounds. I saw instantly that it wasn’t the same. Not even close. I set out to find a software that would let me create sound files for a PC, using the wave forms provided by Dr. Persinger as templates. Seven drafts, and scores of audio softwares later, I had files that worked. A bit further along, I had a CD that played the sound files. Designing the Shakti helmet was another matter. Unlike the Koren helmet, it had to have safety as it first concern. That meant, of course, that it had to have separate output to the two sides of the brain. It also had to omit all signals not specifically derived from neural brain structures.

Knowing that a given effect emerges from a structure on one side allows one to stop the effect by applying the same signal to the other side. Anything Shakti can do, it can undo, if the person uses their tech support and follows the procedures. Also, the helmet had to have coils outside the temporal lobes, so that repeated use would not quieten the parietal and especially the frontal lobes. Further, the rotating coils used in some Koren helmets needed to be omitted. They recruit larger areas of the brain, more than what is needed to elicit experiences. It’s also less well-tested in Persinger’s labs for repeated use. Once I had the invention, it needed to be tested on more people than just myself if it was ever going to be more than only my own plaything. And, in spite of the many studies done at Laurentian University, it could be argued that the safety of the sessions found there did not apply to self-administration of two signals at once.

When I ran the first successful Shakti session, using a sound card and an impromptu headset improvised from two sets of DAC coils, I was satisfied. I won’t go into the details, because, as It’s inventor I have a stake in what’s said about it. Once others began using it, those with more dispassion than I, began to speak. They also have more typical brains than I have. Mine has TLE in it’s past. Others don’t. I offered prototypes of Shakti from my website at www.spiritualbrain.com and right away I began to get applications to participate in a safety study. I had to start with a safety study, of course. I had to begin saying that we didn’t know how safe it was for individuals to use it themselves. But that didn’t stop a lot of people, mostly men, from applying to participate.

After about a year, it became apparent that Shakti was safe. There were a couple of incidents. One man, using the standard helmet and CD, found himself having too many moments when he had a word on the tip of his tongue that he couldn’t get out, and a growing sense of detachment that interfered with his work in sales. I knew that these were moments when the right hippocampus was more active than the left. He had been using Shakti for weeks, experiencing this, but not availing himself of tech support. In the end, he corrected things using the left side signal only, applied over the left side. In spite of his experience, he later wrote that he’d give up his Shakti when it was pried from his “cold, dead fingers.” A few people have had passing headaches. These are also associated with the hippocampal signal, and they seem to stop using the left channel alone, or using common headache pills. They really aren’t headaches, actually. They’re better described as feelings of pressure. They tend to happen for a few sessions (when they happen at all), and then to stop. Less than 15% of Shakti users get them at all. Those are the two most unpleasant and common side effects of Shakti, now with over a hundred users.

End of Part 4…

 

Copyright: Todd Murphy, Author and AVS Journal, Michael Landgraf, Publisher (2006) Granada Hills, CA. All rights reserved.

 

Part 3: Shakti – New technology for spiritual process

Shakti – New technology for spiritual process.

Todd Murphy Researching

Behavioral Neuroscientist Laurentian University

Behavioral neurosciences program Associate researcher.

www.spiritualbrain.com  (Part 3 of 5)

 

 

Only a few of the “matrices of neurons” that TLE can recruit support altered-state experiences. Others, more available, support the more common seizural experiences, like lip-smacking and simple ‘spacing out’. But we should remember that seizures activate the brain in non-functional ways. There are patterns of electrical activity that ‘belong’ to specific brain parts and specific neural jobs. These patterns ARE functional, and seizures create all sorts of patterns, including a lot of meaningless noise. The ‘spiking’ pattern of epilepsy is a useful diagnostic marker because it usually only appears during seizures. And that brings us to Persinger’s other line of research.

The one that led me to develop Shakti. He had begun to apply magnetic signals to the brain using patterns derived from EEG signatures. And these were creating spiritual experiences for some people. Some of them were quite phenomenal, too. He tried quite a few basic frequencies, but the clear winner was the ‘burst-firing’ pattern. The reason it was so successful was that it approximated the amygdala’s own firing pattern. The principle is simple. The brain produces electrical activity. Electric activity produces magnetic fields. If a magnetic signal has the same patterns as a neural electrical signal, it can elicit the same phenomena that normal activation would, within the person’s own habituated patterns.

I read a few of his papers, and then I called him on the phone. I had some small credentials to offer as a Buddhist theologian, working on death and dying issues. I had tried to learn the vocabulary he used, and I succeeded enough to manage conversation with him. We discussed a couple of applications for his principles, including applying his questionnaires to groups of Thai Buddhist meditators. It was at that point that Dr. Persinger provided me with a prototype digital-to-analog (DAC) converter. The one that produces the electrical signals that are converted into magnetic signals. My early sessions with it were interesting and highly visual at times, but they weren’t the correct signals, due to a computer problem that was eventually solved by Stan Koren, who developed the Koren Helmet as well as the DAC. He also developed the computer files for the signals themselves. Later, these were to become the templates for the Shakti signals, too. After I had my computer (a 386 laptop) setup correctly, I was able to duplicate the signals used in the documentary I had seen two years earlier. In the meantime, I’d been studying. Of course. Almost immediately, I began making mistakes. The first of these was doing too many sessions, too close together. After about 8 days, doing about 45 minutes a day, I had a psychotic episode. In retrospect, it was most likely a recurrence of the “Schizophrenia-like psychosis of temporal lobe epilepsy” as one researcher called it. It only lasted a few days. And it had a trigger. A romantic disappointment.

Ouch. So sad. But my response to it was EXTREME, to say the least. I knew, at the time, that it was not like other such moments in my life, and I knew that it had to do with the DAC. Now the studying paid off. I looked at my own neural history, and I knew that my right amygdala, specialized for fear, was involved and a bit of introspecting let me see that this disappointment had a strong component of anxiety. Other such times in the past, anxiety hadn’t been there.

The excess ‘connectivity’ of my right amygdala, created during my TLE seizures, had gotten it active even when I was not having a seizure. Like most TLE in children, Mine stopped with the onset of puberty. But until that happened, I had an ‘interictal’ (between seizure) epileptic psychosis. These same AMYGDALOID pathways were awakened when I used the amygdala’s signal. I’d used it over both side at once (Not a standard Shakti presentation). But, my own neural history had made the one on the right more sensitive. At some point in the long-week-of-my-dumb-sessions, I had crossed a crucial threshold, and the same pathways that had once made me a “disturbed child” now made me crazy one again, after all those years. So, to move away from insanity, I did the first intelligently designed session of my career. A corrective one. Based on a person’s unique neural history. I applied the amygdala’s signal to my LEFT temporal lobe. And what I got was not simply an end to the episode. It ended, yes. Very definitely. But what came next was not a return to normal consciousness. Rather, it was a demonstration of the ‘interhemispheric intrusion’ hypothesis. Interhemispheric means, in this case, crossing between the two hemispheres of the brain. An Intrusion refers to a higher-than-normal load/level of activity.

 

End of Part 3…

Copyright: Todd Murphy, Author and AVS Journal, Michael Landgraf, Publisher (2006) Granada Hills, CA. All rights reserved.

 

MindMachines.com representative’s comments called controversial by educator

MindMachines.com editor has received a response from an educator in response to press release advocating the use of light and sound machines in US schools.

The editor at MindMachines has received several emails regarding this story and the quotes given by our representatives, Fred Williams and Michael Landgraf.  As per our privacy policy we do not publish email addresses of respondents.

Posted are a sampling of the responses received:

RE:  “MindMachines.com Challenges Education Establishment to Adopt Light and Sound Machines to Boost Learning In US Private and Public Schools”

We really need to wake up.  Wake up America!  We used to be the envy of the world.  I do all I can with my students, but budgets are limited.  We need more good teachers!  I imagine a future where technology can help us bridge the gap, feel free to send me a light and sound machine to offer to my students!

Jennifer Gartner
Educator

RE:  “MindMachines.com Challenges Education Establishment to Adopt Light and Sound Machines to Boost Learning In US Private and Public Schools”

It is about time someone decided to do something about our crumbling education system.  It is a disgrace!  We should be on top of every list.

Mickie McIntyre
Concerned Mother

RE:  “MindMachines.com Challenges Education Establishment to Adopt Light and Sound Machines to Boost Learning In US Private and Public Schools”

Maybe the manfacturers of these devices would offer schools a large discount?  That would be nice.

Dave Waters
Middle School Teacher, Mathematics

 

RE:  “MindMachines.com Challenges Education Establishment to Adopt Light and Sound Machines to Boost Learning In US Private and Public Schools”

Um, since when did South Korea get higher test scores than us?  Pretty controversial to say that.

Jeff
Trenton,NJ
High School Physical Education Instructor

RE:  “MindMachines.com Challenges Education Establishment to Adopt Light and Sound Machines to Boost Learning In US Private and Public Schools”

This sounds like paranoia.  We are Americans and our education system is the best in the world.  I don’t believe that any other country is ahead of us academically.

William Buckley
Denver, CO

RE:  “MindMachines.com Challenges Education Establishment to Adopt Light and Sound Machines to Boost Learning In US Private and Public Schools”

I have never heard of light and sound machines before this.  I would like to know why they are practically unknown to the general public in the US and why other countries are using them.  It makes me worry that if other countries are using them to enhance their minds they will surpass us and we will decline.  Knowing so little about this subject is somewhat scarry.

Sherry Williams, Educator and Mom

 

RE:  “MindMachines.com Challenges Education Establishment to Adopt Light and Sound Machines to Boost Learning In US Private and Public Schools”

Your remarks are provocative and controversial.  While I do understand your intention to improve our schooling system I feel that pointing out our deficiencies is not the way to win us over.

Sincerely,

John MacDonald
Teacher 5th Grade, Kansas

Part 2: Shakti – New technology for spiritual process

Shakti – New technology for spiritual process.

Todd Murphy Researching

Behavioral Neuroscientist Laurentian University

Behavioral neurosciences program Associate researcher.

www.spiritualbrain.com  (Part 2 of 5)

 

Some years later, while reading about near-death experiences (NDEs), I read an account of an NDE that included a story of being in an infinite, black the void with a tiny, brilliant point of light in the center. At last, I had some point of reference for the experience that had so shattered me as a child. Whatever it was, it could appear during the human death process. I was very excited, and of course I wanted to know more. I found a couple of fragmentary reports that were similar in the works of Wilder Penfield, the Canadian neurosurgeon who first mapped the brain’s surface by stimulating it with an electrode, and then observing the patient’s response. I wasn’t really looking to understand my own experiences so much as to understand what science had to say about death and dying in the human species. NDEs seemed to offer the best evidence about that. And so it seemed a simple enough thing to do to watch television documentaries on the subject. One of them was to completely change my life. I was staying at a friend’s house for the week end, watching a program that featured near-death experiencers telling their stories.

It featured a segment filmed in a Canadian Neuroscience Laboratory. A man was shown wearing a motorcycle helmet and a blindfold. to describe experienced by saying that he felt himself to be in infinite black space with a tiny point of light, very very bright, at the center. Now, I was really excited. I knew that I was being shown an experiment, and that all experiments are guided by theories. Beside myself with excitement, I stood up and kept watching the documentary.

Then, someone entered the room and told me to turn off the television because it was going to keep them awake. I ask to be allowed to keep watching it long enough to find out the name of the Researcher, but I was told that I was being “too attached”. To my vast disappointment, they shut off the television. I walked away from the TV thinking: “THAT’S what I want to do with the rest of my life. Whatever that man is using to create such experiences reflects a whole science, not just the specific experiment I saw.”

A couple of months later, I read a book that mentioned this line of research, and gave me the name of the Researcher. Dr. Michael A. Persinger.

30 minutes later, I was in a medical library reading a list of Persinger’s Publications. I was amazed by two things. The first of them was the subjects mentioned in the titles. Out-of-body experiences. Paranormal phenomena. Precognition and precognitive dreams. Meditation. The other amazing thing was that his methodology was completely conservative. He wasn’t explaining anything in terms of orgone energy, kundalini, Chi, Prana, or parts of the brain labeled God-module’ or “The circuit Boards of Mysticism.”

Some of these concepts are totally valid, but they’re still controversial. Ordinarily, that can be a good thing. But nothing seems to inspire scepticism and ridicule from scientists like efforts towards the integration of science with spirituality. But Persinger had found a way out. He published quite a lot of papers correlating religious and mystic experiences with patterns of neural activity. Now, by itself, this might have created a certain amount of hostile criticism. Except for one thing. He didn’t study religious and psychic experiences. He studied the “propensity to report” them. And that’s sound methodology. Talking about religious and spiritual experiences is one of the most common human behaviors known. Everybody does it at some point in their lives, if only to express disbelief, and all human cultures (excepting a few communist regimes) support it. A statistical study of the people who make such reports is totally sound science. On reflection, it seems strange that nobody thought of it before. What he concluded was that religious experiences were more likely to happen for people whose brains put them on the high end of a spectrum; one that includes TLE at one of it’s extreme ends. Now, it was beginning to make sense.

Mystic experiences share a lot in common with seizures and NDEs because the human death process requires the human brain to be pre-wired for certain experiences. When a seizure recruits one of these areas, it includes whatever phenomena that area supports. In one place, it might be an OBE. In another, it might be a being made of light. This explains why only some TLE seizures elicit mystic and religious experiences.

 

End of Part 2…

 

Copyright: Todd Murphy, Author and AVS Journal, Michael Landgraf, Publisher (2006) Granada Hills, CA. All rights reserved.

 

 

Shakti – New technology for spiritual process

Shakti – New technology for spiritual process.

Todd Murphy Researching

Behavioral Neuroscientist Laurentian University

Behavioral neurosciences program Associate researcher.

www.spiritualbrain.com  (Part 1 of 5)

 

When I was a child, I had temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). TLE is a form of epilepsy that does not cause convulsions. What it does cause is altered states of consciousness. In most cases, TLE causes events that we’re really not very interested in here. It’s symptomology is dominated by things like lip-smacking, staring off into space, repeated movements, and repeated recurring memories. In some cases, TLE can cause distinctly Spiritual Experiences, and this is what it did in my case. I had strange sensations in my body, incredibly intense moments of fear, and a very, very compelling visual experience. It had two Manifestations. One of them was when my eyes were open. Then, I would see things as though they were larger than they actually were, and farther away. An object that was 1 foot from me, and 1 foot tall would seem as if it were 10 feet away and 10 feet tall. The room I was in seemed huge. This illusion is called macropsia.

Lewis Carroll, author of ” Alice in Wonderland ” may have experienced something similar. The magic mushroom of his story made Alice grow larger and smaller, and that’s almost the same as feeling the world grow smaller and larger. When I closed my eyes during this experience, my sense of the room being larger expanded so that what I saw behind my eyelids was infinite space, broken only by a single point of light. It seemed to be both infinitely bright and infinitely far away. Like most childhood TLE, mine ended as puberty began.

I stopped being concerned with experiences in consciousness, and became very interested in women. For years, I gave no thought to these experiences at all. Later, I became interested in spirituality, like most people who have childhood altered state experiences. I did meditation, some Yoga practices, and began reading spiritual teachings, mostly Eastern philosophy and a little bit of Western mysticism. I also started remembering my childhood night time TLE Seizures (also called Complex partial seizures). it was obvious to me that although the spiritual path was very pleasant, at least usually, and my seizures were unpleasant, even terrifying, they were far more powerful events than anything I was getting through spiritual practice.

As a child, I thought that I was the only one having these experiences, should and I had a feeling that something terrible would happen if I ever told the adults, so I didn’t. As an adult, I was pretty sure that I was not the only one, but as I kept reading spiritual books and scriptures, I felt sure that I had seen things that were quite beyond any guru or mystic tradition. Now let me backtrack a bit. Earlier, I’d spend some time doing more disciplined studies in a completely different area. The history of science. I was deeply influenced by T. S. Kuhn, author of ” The Structure of Scientific Revolutions ” and ” The Copernican Revolution”. One of Kuhn’s points was that scientific theories guide researchers as they choose which experiments to perform. The popular misconception is that researchers perform experiments and then build their theories out of the results. Instead, new theories come first, and the experimentalists are concerned with either validating them or falsifying them. It’s impossible to do an experiment without having a theory. Perhaps the experiment is designed to confirm the theory or perhaps to falsify it. In either case, experiment and observation, even facts, are described in the vocabulary used in a scientific theory. And so I had some experience with spirituality, TLE Seizures, and the history, methodology and philosophy of science.

 

End of Part 1…

 

 

Copyright: Todd Murphy, Author and AVS Journal, Michael Landgraf, Publisher (2006) Granada Hills, CA. All rights reserved.

 

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