Everyone and her aunt associates the term “extasis” or “trance” with something else.
Some imagine some kind of tribal dances in an African village where pupils are not existing and the eyes show only the white.
Others visualize some ecstasy trip during an electronic music event.
And others imagine themselves in an ashram in India chanting to the feet of some guru early at 06:00am.
Only a few would imagine, that NAVSPECWAR-DEVGRU (Navy Special Warfare-Development Group), known as Seal Team 6, would have access to ecstasy or altered states of consciousness.
DEVGRU has recognized for a long time now, that accessing altered states of consciousness like “flow” is crucial for the success and failure of a mission.
This is not only a decision about life and death, but also if the mission was economically sound.
For, Seal Team 6 has much higher cost for ammunition and equipment than other organizations of the US Marines.
Failures can get costly very fast.
So in this case it is all about accessing altered states of consciousness to increase productivity.
The military interest in this area always has been existing.
Remember the connections between military, secret agencies and drug cartels and/or war on drugs.
They are flushed to the surface of public debate from time to time.
What is actually going on, can’t be brought to light at once, but usually appears gradually on the surface of the public.
The increased interest in altered states of consciousness of the past years was caused by the more and more scientific studies and technology.
Access to this knowledge has become systematically better and better.
Psychiatrist of Johns Hopkins elaborated the following definition for altered states of consciousness:
- A dramatic change in perception
- Intensive and often unusual emotions
- Deep changes in thinking processes and behavior
There is a multitude of different altered states of consciousness.
They can be caused by different techniques, situations and substances or can occur spontaneously.
All of them are more or less in the same brain frequency range. In order not to over extend this article, I present you three examples of the most important ones.
I wrote already about flow states in this article. These are moments, which are known as being in the “zone”.
They comprise also group flow, in which a group becomes one without external coercion.
Most people have experienced this type of altered state of consciousness. You too?
It may happen for example when going for a run, dancing or doing creative work like crafting, drawing, painting, writing or working in the repair shop.
While running, it can happen, that you switch in a type of trance state by combining your double quick with breathing.
In this state, there is only running, but no person running. (By the way philosophically asking: Has this person ever existed?).
Flow states usually are associated with athletes or artists.
Because peak performance can be reached in this state, DEVGRU (Seal Team 6) and Google are particularly interested in them.
The difference to other states is, that this kind of state can’t be “negative” in any way of form.
On one hand it is a very addictive feeling not having to deal with the little mind, always chattering and trying to create some drama.
On the other hand, these states are the entrance or first step towards way deeper altered states of consciousness. There, great insights can be gained and healing can take place.
Deeper states have very often a healing character. So, they can sometimes come with at the first glance perceived negative or lets say difficult moments.
Just interested in peak performance, and no paradigm shifts, healing, higher dimensions or other life changing effects?
Then you are good to go with flow states.
Mystical or contemplative states
Mystical or contemplative states could be met until now in the realm of spirituality or religion.
Usually these techniques and activities are being used:
- Dance (E.g. Sufis in mystical Islam)
- Sex (e.g. Tantra Yoga)
- Just recently technologies (not completely developed yet)
Technology in this field usually only supports your goal to shut up the little “I” (you know the monkey mind/ neocortex).
Up until now mystical states occurred usually in spiritual circles. They were associated with saints and spiritual seekers.
These states are much deeper than flow states and different levels of healing on a subconscious level can and need to take place in order to be stable.
A corrupted body-mind system wouldn’t be very stable during such states.
The way to get into these states works without external substances and uses the body as “portal”.
The consumption of external, natural or synthetic substances like LSD, mushrooms, Ayahuasca, Cannabis, etc. is usually necessary to attain a psychedelic state.
Soon 3-D printing will be a driving factor in this field.
Different molecules could be printed according to individual needs, when this technology is mature enough.
Thereby you will be able to produce your own individual substance.
Usually when most people think of psychedelics they think of hippies, flower power and “trippy” ravers.
In a sense psychedelics are more like Forest Gump’s box of chocolates.
You never know what’s coming and enough knowledge about dosage is essential.
This is because if you do this the first time and have never done any work on yourself.
You might open up a box of all kinds of surprises. In comparison to the before mentioned state, the access to your subconscious doesn’t happen in a gradual way.
It’s more like the fast lane and involves a higher risk. This direct effect makes some sort of preparation almost mandatory.
From the neurological perspective all mentioned states have a strong similarity.
Normal waking consciousness always has the same brain wave signature. This can be measured in the prefrontal cortex.
For example, beta frequency brainwaves regularly distribute stress hormones like cortisol and noradrenaline.
The previously mentioned three altered states of consciousness change this signature.
Brain activity changes to either hyperactivity or is barely existing (inactive).
It slows down to unsteady beta, alpha and deep theta waves. Stress hormones like cortisol and noradrenaline retreat.
Then they are substituted by performance and happiness increasing substances like dopamine, endorphine, anandamide, serotonin and oxytocine.
By having that knowledge, altered states of consciousness can be caused faster than before.
If this is a good thing depends on you. The same cautions apply as using psychedelics to get there fast.
Instead of practicing meditations for decades to access alpha and theta brainwaves, you could connect yourself to a neurofeedback device, bringing you directly in this brainwave frequency.
So the learning curve could be shortened quite a bit.
I agree only partially with the researchers. Since this technology is based on the assumption that the brain causes consciousness.
So shortening the meditation, learning curve might not be fully successful.
The current evidence base shows that brains are more like an interface or receiving station for non-local consciousness than a producer of it.
What points in this direction?
- Cases of NDE (near death experiences) and temporary cerebral death
- Findings of quantum physics
- The simulation hypothesis
- The body of work of biologist Dr. Lipton
Still neurofeedback devices could work. Even if they operate from a likely wrong assumption of a mechanistic and materialistic thinking approach.
My theory is this.
Instead of helping the brain to “produce” altered states of consciousness, this technology helps the brain as interface to connect faster with a certain frequency range of non-local consciousness.
Let’s compare this with a radio device.
The hassle of looking mechanically for the right channel of an old radio receiver would correspond with the long-time meditation in a lonely cave in India with “prana nutrition”.
The faster digital channel search would be the neurofeedback device and other technologies, helping to get you into a meditative state faster.
Some interesting things with interesting technological developments are happening right now, helping you to access altered states of consciousness faster.
Yet, as usual we should pay attention, that this technology doesn’t get into the wrong hands and will be accessible only by a small group of people.
One example of this from the past would be the technology development of MK-Ultra.
Similar to the internet, access should be possible for as many people as possible.
Humanity needs an increase of an overall level of consciousness.
The worldwide legal situation communicates indirectly the message, that consciousness, reducing substances like alcohol is clearly favored and consciousness increasing psychoactive substances are not wanted.
Cannabis is still illegal in most countries of the world.
Compare this with a much more damaging drug like alcohol.
About what would you like to know more about? Let me know in the comments below.
Are you even ready for altered states of consciousness?