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Transforming the Mind ~ by Peter Shepherd

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Dynamic Consciousness


'Dynamic' consciousness means an ability on the part of the person concerned to be in the appropriate state of attention for the task in hand. Much of the current New Age movement is held in thrall by the attainment of 'ideal' states of consciousness, in particular a static state of right-brain awareness combined with a predominantly Alpha (relaxed) meditative detachment. Whilst this state has objective existence, and is different from the states of awareness experienced by most people most of the time, it is nonetheless comparable to a still photograph from the motion picture of life, or a still point at the extremity of the swing of a pendulum. It is only an ideal state for operating in particular contexts, but as real life is not static, we are continually changing from one context to another, and we need to be able to adjust our state of consciousness to be optimal for each situation.

The true meaning of 'raised consciousness' is the ability to rapidly and under one's own volition, attain the most appropriate state of consciousness for any circumstances.

The primary signaling system in the brain is the sensori-motor (first program) centered in the lower brain and controlling energetic responses and feelings. This is common to all animals. The secondary system, peculiar to man, is mediated by the frontal cortex and it reflects the primary impulses in the form of symbolic representations that may be communicated. Our present level of awareness is mainly restricted to this second system.

Intelligence develops from childhood in the way outlined by Piaget, starting with the sensori-motor stage from birth. A pre-logical, intuitive stage follows this while the child builds up a second (emotional-territorial) program and learns how best to adapt to the environment. By the age of five, when he goes to school, concrete imagery enables him to think constructively, then from about seven years of age language and other symbolic left-brain means of analysis are developed (semantic third program). The further development of this stage, that of formal operations (left-brain dominance), seems to be cut off when the 4th (socio-sexual) program is imprinted, as that fixes the current scenario as a status-quo. If it continued to develop, it is postulated it would develop towards integration of the right-brain and include 5th program (holistic) functions, a return to an intuitional state, except that it would be a mature intuition.

Our current level of maturation is such that the signaling rate of our secondary system has only about a quarter of the reaction speed of the primary system. This means that our peculiar type of human consciousness can only exist by actively inhibiting the lower, primary (limbic) system. When the secondary system is switched off, as in hypnotism and shamanic trance states, the primary system is accessible to the hypnotist and its animalistic powers cause the strange phenomena of shamanic ritual. But this is not self-directed power, the individual is 'out to lunch'.

Should a way be found to activate primary consciousness while we are at a normal level of integration, the higher centers would be swamped with input that could not be processed. Restricted to formal operations conducted logically and serially, we would be compulsively in desperate cope in present time and unable to inhibit responses to incoming stimuli selectively. This is the state that a Kung-Fu or Karate expert is able to attain momentarily, in order to deliver a blow with the full force of the sensori-motor system and with the level of accuracy possible in this heightened mode of sensory acuity. A fraction of a second would seem like several seconds at this speed of signaling - time would stand still.

As the higher cortex becomes more developed there is both a better specialization and delegation of functions, and a greater degree of integration of those functions, with whole-brain synchrony of dominant wavelengths, so that the degree of inhibition of primary centers can be reduced. Ultimately the secondary system of higher centers can fully integrate with the sensori-motor mode of consciousness. With the mature intuition of developed Open Focus, the higher centers will be able to undertake many operations simultaneously in parallel; linear thinking will be complemented by fully developed lateralism.

“The Open Focus state arrives and the full power of the primary system then becomes available under the control of the higher cortex.”

The Open Focus state empowers the individual to relax at a relatively high Alpha rate or signaling speed, so that the mind-body (cortical-limbic) link is fully maintained. On the fifth (holistic) program of the Open Focus state, a new meta-telic motivational mode is now possible, whereby the learning cycle progresses from relaxation with an awareness of intended action already in place, through to action with reflection taking place in parallel, to excitement with integration of dangers and threats incorporated, i.e. without causing any anxiety. In a creative sense, this enables a vision to be held and totally involved (high arousal) creative actions to be taken towards manifesting the vision simultaneously. A full repertoire of states of consciousness is available, with the dominant frequency ranging from the sleep state of very low Delta frequencies through dream-like Theta frequencies, relaxed Alpha frequencies, up to the highest arousal Beta frequencies, and at all times the cortex remains switched-on at high Beta. This facilitates the mind awake-body asleep states of consciousness as found in 'lucid' (controlled) dreaming and out-of-body experience (OOBE), and because the full power of the right-brain is being accessed, there are accompanying holistic insights of 'spiritual consciousness' and creative lateral thinking.

Techniques that can develop the brain to this level are those that tend to increase the speed of mental processes at the Beta frequencies - arousal of the forebrain - and simultaneously cause synchronised arousal at the Alpha, Theta and lowest Delta frequencies, so that the secondary system of the cortex is integrated with the primary system of the lower brain. The Open Focus state arrives and the full power of the primary system then becomes available under the control of the higher cortex.

If the basic problems were unhandled the required level of cortical arousal could not be reached because of the amount of traumatic material that would be reactivated and the defense systems that prevent integration of the hemispheres and create the mind-body split would prevent adequate synchrony. However, when the Open Focus state is achieved, this automatically opens up remaining blocked channels and offers the potential of optimal functioning on all programs.

Approaches to raising consciousness to this level achieve this by entrainment of the brain with auditory and/or visual stimuli, creating a relaxed, slow but strong (well integrated, i.e. 'synchronous') Alpha and Theta brain rhythms, and simultaneously stimulating the high Beta frequencies of the forebrain, and all of this in synchrony.

Gradually, incremental changes are accomplished, and the brain centers physically adapt to these new requirements and actual neuronal pathways are grown to bridge previously blocked routes, at the same time this reorganization necessitates a clearing of buried, emotionally charged material.

Move on to 'What the Thinker thinks, the Prover will prove'

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