The brain’s self healing process

I’ve been feeling exceptionally good since my brief seven minute exposure on Sunday to Lucia, the Lucid Light Stimulator. Slept well — two nights ago I slept for ten hours straight and woke up feeling relaxed and buoyant. I walk to work and marvel at the colors of the leaves, the grass, the passing cars. Focusing on the colors distracts me from cramming my mind with the usual mundane nagging thoughts.

The brochure describes the hynogogic light experience this way:

Extreme circumstances – i.e. during a near-death experience, competitive sport, or deep meditation – are able to set physical and mental regeneration processes in motion. This can lead to a realignment of the entire organism.

In this context, multi-disciplinary research in the 1980s was able to prove a significant increase of quality of life and spontaneous healings.

The cause for these changes taking place was described as a confrontation with a very bright light.

The Viennese neurologist and founder of Logotherapy and Existential Analysis, Viktor E. Frankl, (1905- 1997), described the mental dimension of a human being as a dimension in which disease is not experienced.

The hypnagogic light experience taps into this source of well-being in the light.

I felt how the warmth of the light enveloped my body and filled my inner self with every breath I took. It seemed like boundaries between my body and soul dissolved.” (Client describing his experience with the hynogogic light treatment)

Lucia No. 03 presents the access to a high performance neurostimulator, which facilitates the EEG wave pattern that usually only shows up after years of practicing meditation,. After only one treatment one will experience an intense and incredible effect.

The hypnogogic light experience is effective without having to engage in prolonged practice:

  • a quick and sustainable deep relaxation
  • an out-of.body experience
  • a spiritual or inter-dimensional experience
  • experience of time and space having no importance
  • allowing self to slow down
  • increase of mental abilities
  • increase of awareness

The hypnogogic light experience is effective in clinical therapy for

  • fear and depression
  • traumatic and mental symptoms
  • pain
  • addictions (intervention and therapy)
  • life crisis
  • burn-out syndrome
  • sleep disorders
  • sexual disorders including lack of libido

Connecting the dots in consciousness and schizophrenia

The therapeutic treatment of serious mental health issues like schizophrenia will converge in future around consciousness.

Eric Allen Bell
I asked Deepak, “Why is there suffering in the world” and he answered..”All suffering comes from the hallucination of separateness”.

Scientists are taking a new look at hallucinogens, which became taboo among regulators after enthusiasts like Timothy Leary promoted them in the 1960s with the slogan “Turn on, tune in, drop out.” Now, using rigorous protocols and safeguards, scientists have won permission to study once again the drugs’ potential for treating mental problems and illuminating the nature of consciousness.

Lucid dreaming
People who focus single-mindedly on a task during the day, be it a computer game or playing a musical instrument, are more likely to experience lucid dreams, says Jayne Gackenbach at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, Canada.

These experiments in lucid dreaming, few though they currently are, may have wide-reaching implications in clinical situations, particularly in the study of mental illness. “When you’re a schizophrenic, you’re in primary consciousness really,” Voss claims. “What you’re lacking is reflective awareness; you cannot distinguish between reality and your hallucinations.” On this basis, Voss wonders whether it might be possible to stimulate the necessary regions in schizophrenic patients to help them achieve greater lucidity in their waking life. The work might even suggest ways for healthy people to enjoy lucid dreams. “Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get somebody in REM sleep to become a lucid dreamer just by stimulating his brain?” says Voss. “No one’s tried this before.”

The Satori system
This privately developed technology is being used by the US military in veterans centers and in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is becoming widely available in US spas and the developers are partnering with Mental Health America to distribute 250,000 MP3 complimentary downloads to U.S. servicemen (emphasis, my own)

The Satori system uses alpha, theta and delta frequencies to induce relaxation by lowering brainwaves, lowering serotonin levels and bringing the body into a REM-like state.

Chris Forbes on sound (color) therapy
A very interesting thing happened, which accelerated the time it took to achieve “zen” with the color therapy. Beginning with red (opposites), all the tension left me and I entered into a different space, a space that was not defined by my body but rather was defined by my “rational” mind, the part of me which had preferences and opinions. My mind was liberated, and while I did not enter into free fantasy or “lucid dreaming”, I was questioning things I took for granted, and how I defined most things against my body. At green and blue I was released completely from the present and concentrated on my memories, and I became aware of the life flowing in my limbs and the changes, I could see how my legs had become stronger but less flexible since I started treating the body like a machine.

The hallucination of separateness

A message from Eric Allen Bell, founder, Global One TV – Online Spiritual Television for a New Age

A message to all members of Global One TV

I want to thank everyone who participated in the live chat with Deepak Chopra on Sunday. The topic was “Oneness” and he had quite a bit to say on the subject.

What I found particularly interesting was this notion that the internet has become the modern Akashic Records. And that if you wanted to know the state of humankind, look at what’s popular online. Of course this has been a fascination of mine for some time and is much of the reason for my decision to launch Global One TV in the first place.

I asked Dr. Chopra a couple of questions and I wanted to share with you the answers that he gave…

The first question I asked was a rather general one, but perhaps a classic when it comes to one of the obstacles so many people have in believing in a Divine intelligence. I asked Deepak, “Why is there suffering in the world” and he answered..”All suffering comes from the hallucination of separateness”.

There was a lot of talk about non-duality. Although I don’t personally have a religion, if I did it would be that of Advaita Vedanta – the Vedic mystic tradition of non-duality. Separateness is clearly an illusion. It causes us to perceive ourselves as being separate from God. That and the idea that we are separate from one another has been the source of most wars. The concept of us and them exists only in the mind, which leads me to the second question I asked Deepak:

I asked,”Does the mind exist in time or does time exist in the mind?” to which he answered…”Neither. Time and mind exist in non-local consciousness.”

Someone asked where we go when we die and he answered, “You do not go anywhere as there is no time and space.”

On the subject of oneness and non-duality Dr. Chopra went on to say that “You are the ocean and the drop of water” meaning that we are not one or the other. There is a beautiful saying I heard once at a Science of Mind conference that says, “God in me, as me, is me.” Chopra put it differently referring to a quote by Franz Kafka which says, “All of our problems are the result of an inability to sit quietly and do nothing.”

But of all the insight that Deepak Chopra had to share with us, what stuck with me the most was this quote: “I am that, you are that, all of this is that and that is all there is.”

Sound of mind

I sent Chris’s sound shaman the New York Times article on hallucinogens. It is very exciting to me that researchers are actively probing the ways in which consciousness can be heightened by chemical means (psilocybin). Though the results so far are encouraging they are also preliminary, and, according to the article researchers caution against reading too much into these small-scale studies. They do not want to repeat the mistakes of the 1960s, when some scientists-turned-evangelists exaggerated their understanding of the drugs’ risks and benefits. (Rossa’s comment: Now, if only they would use their findings for good and not evil!)

Chris’s sound shaman is mechanically inducing heightened consciousness through sound manipulation, which is a drugless way of going after the same results. Here is his reply to my e-mail.

Hello Rossa,

Thank you for the interesting link.

The key phrase here is experience in which the boundaries between the self and others disappear . This exceptional phenomenon is attributed to an ecstatic, spiritual, and out of body sensation, as it spans a vast realm of experience, method, and interpretation. These sensations can be brought upon by the use of external stimulants. In practically all cultures the practice of changing sensory state is achieved through a change in sensory perception functions via the energy exchange occurring between elements through chemical reaction, mechanical vibration, and motive force! Specific drugs, sound, and movement, are the primary interface methods for experiencing this phenomenon known as a changed state of perception.

Wishing you a good evening, and hope to speak with you soon.

Pharmacology and consciousness

Abstracts from the 9th Annual International Bioethics Forum that will take place April 22-23 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin.

Neurochemistry and Receptors as Mediators of Consciousness
David Nichols, Ph.D.
In the science of pharmacology, if one wishes to understand some physiological process, one can administer a substance that perturbs the process in some way, and then observe some effect that hopefully leads to understanding of the normal unperturbed process. Likewise, if one wishes to understand consciousness, the same principle should apply, and one could employ a substance that perturbs consciousness. As we know, psychedelics produce dramatic alterations in consciousness and would therefore seem to be perfect tools to help understand consciousness. Thus, this presentation will focus on some of the molecular aspects of psychedelics, including their brain targets, how they interact with those targets, the kinds of signals they generate, and some of the brain areas where these effects occur. There is now a general consensus that psychedelics activate the 5-HT2A type of serotonin receptor. These receptors are quite ancient, probably differentiating from the larger serotonin receptor family about 600-700 million years ago. Thus, these receptors have been around since the evolution of nervous systems began and, one might argue, have therefore been integrated into brain function at a very fundamental level. Reductionist neuroscience approaches to the study of this receptor in the brain will no doubt ultimately elucidate many of the components and processes involved in consciousness; the so-called “easy problems” of consciousness. It seems unlikely, however, that this knowledge will lead in any direct way to understanding consciousness. The explanatory gap between physical processes and consciousness is not one that will be easily bridged, but understanding how some of the component processes are affected by psychedelics may at least give some appreciation for the difficulty of the problem.

Psychological dimensions, neural networks and neurotransmitter dynamics associated with psychedelic-induced altered states of consciousness in humans
Franz X. Vollenweider, M.D. will first present new data on the phenomenology and structure of psychedelic-induced altered states of consciousness (ASC) based on a meta-analysis of a series of controlled studies conducted in healthy human subjects (n= 534) using state-of-the art psychometric and neuropsychological measures. Second, he will demonstrate that specific etiology-independent key dimensions of ASC, such as the experience of unity, ecstatic or anxious loss of ego-boundaries, religious exaltation or visionary states, are associated with circumscribed changes in brain activity in various extended neural networks. Third, he will also present novel data indicating that the serotonin 5-HT2A receptor together with the glutamate system plays a key role in the mechanism of action of classic hallucinogens such as psilocybin, and will discuss the implication of this recent finding for the understanding and putative treatment of some psychiatric disorders.
Geyer M. A. and Vollenweider F. X. (2008) Serotonin research: contributions to understanding psychoses. Trends Pharmacol. Sci. 29, 445-453.