Okay, click on this button and “Bam” you are in an altered state of consciousness.
To be sure the 16 tools I present you today are not designed to get you in an altered state of consciousness by pressing a button.
But they can help you become more mindful (one need of accessing altered states of consciousness).
You have to bring unconscious issues to the surface.
So you can simplify the process of attaining altered states of consciousness.
In your private or working life this can be the realization of toxic people being around you and/or limiting beliefs.
During meditation this can be certain thoughts, which are based on feelings. Latter are based on past events and beliefs.
The more subconscious things you can dissolve, the easier you can access altered states of consciousness and your true self.
There are some wrong concepts floating around about altered states of consciousness.
They are nothing, which you have to produce first, since they represent the essence of your true self.
You can compare it to remove layers of dirt of lower levels of consciousness, to be able to see the next higher one in a clearer way.
Actually, all levels exist all the time.
So you can also go the opposite direction and add more layers of dirt on top, limiting your consciousness and live in the realm of lower levels.
Don’t get me wrong. The term “level” just helps for better comprehension and doesn’t imply any sort of hierarchy, which doesn’t exist in the first place.
Several of such factors are:
- Toxic people
- Regular consumption of consciousness limiting substances like alcohol
- Consciousness limiting information (e.g. 95% of news and TV)
In the opposite direction, this is also the danger of consciousness altering substances. He who consumes them, gets access to an area which wasn’t accessible before.
Because it appears that the substance helped in that, you may draw a wrong conclusion. People very often conclude that the substance causes the altered state of consciousness.
But actually only a layer of dirt (e.g. negative emotions, thoughts, believes) was removed or bypassed temporarily.
Instead you access an area, which has been existing the whole time.
Under certain conditions effective shortcuts are possible:
- You use those substances in a conscious way
- You know the right dose
- You know how you integrate the experience into the “normal” day to day consciousness afterwards.
Less risky, but a bit more laborious is meditating.
Removing the dirty layers just takes a bit longer.
And then there are still some “natural” shortcuts via Breathwork.
Here too, one basic technique is to make yourself aware of thoughts and feelings without judging.
There are tools which help the user aware of brain activity.
Further tools complement these tools.
This instand feedback may eventually cause altered states of consciousness similar to psychedelic substances, bypassing the “layers of dirt” temporarily.
At the moment 90% of these tools are bio sensors in different variations.
If you check the negative reviews of a popular e-commerce platform, you will realize that this technology is still in an early phase.
16 Tools, which help you on your way to altered states of consciousness
Personal bio sensors
Wearing bio sensors the user can make himself aware of changes in his state of mind and bodily functions.
Most devices measure in a more or less successful way brain waves, heart frequency and breath.
Spire, for example, measures breath and emotional states.
Another bio sensor comes from Hearth Math Solution.
This one enables you to regulate your heart frequency and thus to better calm down.
Muse promises to help you learn the art of meditation, when the brain is focused and when it is distracted.
Art (not every work of art) always had a consciousness altering element.
Often the work of art itself is the intent to translate individual altered states of consciousness to the “normal” world and to capture it there.
There is a current trend with art projects to make it more interactive with technology and bio sensors.
Some works of art were designed in a way, that they change from one moment to another and can never be experienced in the same way again.
One example is the so called Mutual Wave Machine.
It’s a capsular closed room for two people, which produces audiovisual impressions according to the brain activity of both.
You will hear and see what your other half is thinking in an abstract manner. So if you want to try it, make sure you choose the right partner.
The more your brainwaves are in sync, the more vivid and harmonious patterns it produces.
If there is no sync at all between you and your partner’s brainwaves a dark audiovisual chaos occurs.
Several similar art projects:
Further tools and projects:
- Neuromore: a platform that bundles data from different bionsensors creating an audio-visual experience for its users.
- OpenBCI: An open source project, where hardware and software for EEG based brain computer interfaces is developed.
- SoundSelf: a video game in development, based on virtual reality. The core component of the project is, that the player can create virtual reality again and again by her own voice.
- [email protected]: A platform with many pieces of music, which are optimized for higher focus and productivity. They adapted those pieces of music to the natural focus cycle of the brain.
- Nervana: The devices from Nervana stimulate and synchronize the vagus nerve in a non-invasive manner with music. Thereby fast relaxation and heightened focus are caused.
- Neumitra: Everybody knows them – places that relax and places do the contrary. Neumitra maps those places with an interactive map. Every user can edit and share other places on the map.
- Lief: Lief is another bio sensor. This one is put on the body like a patch. It measures your heart rate, your breath and gives you instant feedback of your state. Based on that it gives you hints, what you could do to reduce your stress reaction. You get a training in awareness about your stress situations and what triggers them.
There have always been “tools” and “technology” to trigger altered states of consciousness in short time. (E.g. Ayahuasca, Cannabis, Breathwork, Dance, Yoga, rituals, etc.)
By the fast developing technologies it is obvious that they too will be used for that at some point.
Technology will simplify to make things aware as a first step and as a second step, simplify access to altered states of consciousness.
Like older “tools” the challenge won’t be making altered states of consciousness possible. It is rather to be able to integrate those states back into day to day life.
If not it would only be another technology based drug with a certain addiction factor used for escapism.
What would you like to know more about? Let me know.