Down deep inside each of us there lives another. Not an altogether different other but an-other nonetheless and who not so easily met is patiently waiting, ever ready and eagerly willing to be known. That is, if the right conditions for the meeting are set.
This is the story of one such meeting. The conditions prepared, the time just right, and the hope of something completely different than any meeting at all was the goal…
man on a mission
It’s Martin Luther King Day 2007 and while working out at the gym I feel a terrible pain in my right foot. Fast forward seven days later and both of my ankles are swollen to the size of softballs and my knees were immensely swollen which left me on crutches at best or in pain in bed otherwise (which was most of the time). I could barely lift my right arm and the worst of all was my right hand pinky finger swelling to twice its size. The pain was very intense which unfortunately leaves many people these days hooked on addictive pain medication when diagnosed with this type of dis-ease. I opted for the occasional ibuprofen. The pain must not have been that bad many might think I’d imagine, but that was most assuredly not the case.
With no hope in sight, a fairly dire diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) from the doctor, prescribed low dose chemotherapy, high dose steroids, and basically immobilized due to the swelling, I needed something, anything… I was only 34, a father of two beautiful girls and my wife and I had two mortgages at this time. I was unable to go to work where I was employed as an Audio Director for a video game company in San Diego. I was also the sole breadwinner for our family and needless to say, we were in huge trouble.
One other awesome fact about this medical condition is the potential for calcification of the joints, which can often be seen in the crippled fingers of the very old (my heart goes out to anyone dealing with this). My rheumatologist at the time couldn’t have painted a more hopeless outcome stating something along the lines of “get used to it”. There is no known medical cause or cure for RA , however in my mind and in hindsight I am satisfied by what I understand caused my condition. Being a musician and my career necessity, I refused to entertain anything less than full recovery. I couldn’t, I had no choice…
While researching endlessly day and night during this time to find something that could help I found out that stress could be a contributing factor. That’s common sense right? Sure, but what do you do about it and if that was the problem for my condition how could it be cured? At first I thought it was food as my research suggested that certain foods could trigger arthritic symptoms with some cases taking years to develop prior to an acute allergic reaction. To begin I tried an elimination diet eating only certain root vegetables, white fish, olive oil and water – all commonly non-allergenic type of foods.
This helped mentally and surely was physically good for me otherwise, but nothing changed. After weeks and weeks of this diet, the swelling and pain continually resisted my efforts. Resisted… I kept looking, desperately grasping for any help I could come upon and then suddenly and unexpectedly, I would find it.
In the beginning however this was nothing more than an idea and leap of faith. Many a great idea or thought, or dare I even say hope, has come to physical manifestation from the subject-matter of dreams or dream-like states of consciousness. How about Einstein figuring out the general theory of relativity which apparently came to him in a dream “like a giant die making an indelible impress, a huge map of the universe outlined itself in one clear vision.” or this dude’s similar story.
I had only one idea and hope in mind at the time of course – to heal and fast!
down the rabbit hole
So where and how does this connect? Inside the mind of course! Deep down the rabbit hole of consciousness on the hunt for the hidden Arcanum at its depths. The severe pain, desperation, lack of control, worry and fear were all put to rest in a short sequence of events which began simply enough by just closing my eyes and breathing. I had found the answer…
Meditation. It’s a good word to describe the activity/experience/result but for many is probably an uncomfortable or unfamiliar term. I remain stunned at how powerful meditation is and poof… nothing – nothing really, by way of common knowledge or understanding of this remarkable fact, at least not as much here in the West. Maybe this will help in some way to inspire a few more people to a different way of looking at or feeling about a subject so vital for our future.
One physical proof, most uniquely, of the effects of meditation on humans is that the brain folds more densely (greater gyrification) in the cerebral cortex which was found in studies conducted with a meditating population. Why would the brain fold more tightly? It reminds you of how muscle will grow if forced to through resistance exercise. Resistance, there it is again – and you thought muscles were sexy, a tightly toned brain will not fail to catch your third eye.
Sorry, couldn’t resist. How does meditation correlate with resistance? Meditation is supposed to be this relaxing and very calm and cerebral activity/experience right? Just think of all the images that come to mind of beautiful people sitting crossed legged in Lotus position on a mountain, park, or beach with their hands resting there on their knees while holding their index fingers and thumbs together, blissfully just being. It’s funny that this is generally a very uncomfortable position for most Western adults to sit in for any length of time and subsequently try and relax. Sounds a bit like exercise to my mind, you have to work for it…
the rhythm of life
I briefly studied Buddhism in my teens and was just trying to understand the message and had tried meditation but had no real ah-ha! moments. Nevertheless when I read success stories about the benefits of meditation I told myself I would do whatever would help get me back on my feet (literally) and playing with my kids. In hindsight, which still makes me think, is the fact that my healing experience would manifest through the use of sound or frequency vibration.
The Earth of course has a fundamental resonate frequency of around 7.83Hz (cycles per second). Coincidentally enough when we are in R.E.M. sleep and having visual dream experience our brain wave state is in roughly the high Theta range which also vibrates at this region of ~8Hz. This frequency range is well below human hearing and suggests Mother Earth effects organisms on her surface in a much more significant and deeper way than we currently understand.
At all levels of existence, we find the ebb and flow of waves of the electro-magnetic-vibrational-frequency-pulse that is life. Perhaps this wave phenomena is one of the meanings of the ancient snake allegories we find all over the world and across so many cultures. Frequency, vibration, polarity, rhythm, heart beat, breath, male/female, black/white, positive/negative, Sun/Moon, conscious/subconscious, awake/asleep, 0/1, up/down, round and round, ad infinitum…
Just as gravity keeps us from floating off into space, unseen forces act upon on biologic systems and consciousness/reality-experience without any effort on the part of the organism (you, me). Think about the autonomic processes we take for granted in our own bodies – breath, heartbeat, nervous system, endocrine system, etc. all pulsing along over and over and responding immediately to external stimulus without any conscious effort.
If not for these processes consciousness would not exist at all as a matter of fact. Why should that matter? We are, in effect, perpetual energy machines but powered by what? Considering the ideas of modern thinkers such as Ray Kurzweil who expects Singularity soon, technology will continue to increase bridging the gap between our conscious thoughts and ideas and the low level libraries of our subconscious activity where intuition and super-subtly-sensitive mechanisms/processes breathe and flow without thought but are drenched in meaning, knowledge, and motivations of life.
I see nothing more important to look into but I should get back on track. Music and Sound has always been my passion and when I came across a technology that would serve to quicken my meditational development and had real “science” to back it up – well, the irony of finding an audio related resolution (therapy) was not lost on me.
Termed “Binaural-beats”, aural entrainment allows the user to simply listen to audio recordings that can systematically induce the experience of a wakeful conscious state to one of deep dreaming while the listener remains awake and conscious. These brainwave state frequencies are typically measured by the use of Electroencephalography (EEG), which is the recording of electrical activity along the scalp. EEG measures brainwave activity.
I had no idea what to expect or expected anything at all really. I found a binaural audio entrainment recording CD online, ordered it and set to work at once. There’s not a ton of direction needed, just put on a pair of headphones (required to work effectively), get comfortable, and shut your eyes. The very first experience was surprising and a little startling. About 20 minutes into it (likely somewhere around the Theta state) I saw an array of multicolor geometric shapes flying at and away from my closed eye field of vision. Mostly simple shapes such as triangles (very pronounced), squares, circles, etc. that moved extremely quickly toward and away from me, continuously expanding and contracting, morphing into and out of each other.
It was so vivid and a different experience from anything I could recall from my dreams but it absolutely had that feeling about it. This could be described as that type of dreamy darkness that gives way to landscapes and scenes right before your eyes as you would recall from any typical dream. I was still very much awake however, only my eyes were closed and I was stone cold lucid at mid day. This was only a taste of what was to come.
Binaural entrainment is achieved by applying a specific frequency to each ear, independently isolated via headphones typically, wherein the brain then synthesizes the two frequencies by synchronizing with the rhythmic differential of the two offset signals. To achieve these lower brainwave dreaming-states of experience (which basically begin where human hearing ends) sound frequencies that are audible are used. Generally the tones used are on the lower end of human hearing range. For example, a single synthesized tone of say 300Hz (think lower male voice humming type of sound) applied to the right ear and 310Hz (male voice only very slightly higher in pitch) to the left, produces a difference of 10Hz which is in Alpha brainwave state range. The EEG measured brainwave then hums along with this 10Hz until the stimulus is removed.
Music has a very similar effect on consciousness as well, recall the drums used in sacred and Shamanic trance ceremonies the world over – for all time… They’re not just used to add some weird ambience – well ahh, not entirely! These trance ceremonies helped with many types of transition as well as communion with other perceptions – valid perceptions and experiences.
altered states of conscious reality
There are many other methods of entrainment technologies that exist as alluded to regarding the Earth’s hum correlating with REM sleep frequency, so before proceeding it should be noted that electro-magnetic phenomenon does indeed have a measurable physical and experiential effect beyond binaural examples. Research conducted by Michael Persinger of Laurentia University has demonstrated that by the application of magnetic coils around a subject’s temporal lobe (which produces an subtly altered magnetic field) will induce visual (eyes closed) experiences where some have claimed near-death like tunnel of light visuals, etc. ala meeting God moments.
However, where some might argue that this type of entrainment phenomenon (or many other forms of conscious altering possibilities) negates any valid experience and therefore not worthy of discussion at all much less serious study, I imagine bigger potential for new technology success and human potential. Vibration and patterns of frequency interference is the very thing that is common across all physical manifestation and experiential human perception and what it is to be conscious to Think and therefore Be.
In fact, frequency and vibration is the very thing that creates form. Demonstrated so beautifully in a field of study called Cymatic’s (watch this) we see the hidden world of vibration at play and its veil lifted for all to see the beautiful natural geometry, that in this case sound vibration alone shapes into form. From the fractal river systems on Earth to our physical nerve systems to everything else. Check out the natural tattoos that are left on those lucky or unlucky enough to be struck by lightening. It’s the frequency interaction that creates specific forms at every level of existence and our own human vehicle!
Another point of fact curio is that Dr. Persinger, by way of the result of measuring a well known psychic, demonstrated an elevated (and anomalous) magnetic field resonance on the right side of the psychic’s head! It was noted that when Mr. Harribance was correctly receiving psychically derived information this temporal lobe field resonance was elevated. All natural though folks, no external entrainment stimulus required…
Where we find fantastic experience we find the familiar activity of interesting vibrational correspondence. It gives a whole new perspective on Plato’s Music of the Spheres… or perhaps points a little more to what good ole Tesla knew about Earth’s energy resonances.
I knew I held stress and personal issues inside at times but always considered myself very happy and in good spirits, excited to go to work, generally inspired, etc. My friends and family would likely tell you I’m often quick to laugh or make a joke and that I care about their happiness. What I didn’t know was that some of the stuff I held inside that I really didn’t think or even really knew existed, in fact were big deals and needed to be reconciled between me (the waking, work-a-day conscious me) and the other part of me, the shadow as C.G. Jung might say, the subconscious (unconscious) stuff. I was unwittingly creating the perfect circumstances for a life changing meeting.
doorways of perception
After the first meditation experience I thought, as you might, huh…? that was weird, but it was good and I must admit I eagerly wanted to experience the scene or something like it again. The next significant meditation event would live up to what others have described and what I would eventually come to use as a description (a bit uncomfortably), being that of an out-of-the-body experience or O.B.E. Another person I would communicate with later and has written on the subject would relate this to a near death experience given the changes that occurred after the events in a cause-effect relationship.
I settled into a seated position in my bed however with the legs necessarily straight due to the swelling. I put on the headphones, hit play, and shut my eyes. Around the same time again as last something else began to happen… I didn’t see anything, instead experiencing a feeling of curious warmth that spread over the whole body. After some minutes of this sensation it subsided slightly but then gave way slowly to an intense but sweetly pleasing vibration starting in the hands and radiated up the arms and then over the torso during the course of several minutes.
As this sensation progressed I began to perceive an expansion outward of maybe three or four feet and a separation of the body physical from whatever the hell this part-of-us-bio-electromagnetic-energy is. It was as real as a kiss in my experience, and exists as a part of and apart from what we consider ourself and typically thought of as our body, which our mind then supposedly resides within. It was more like an in-and-out of body state of being to relate it more closely to the experience.
The feeling was like that of flexing a muscle without the physical effort of trying and then subsequently realizing/perceiving a new size of physical being (or electro-magnetic field), a strong like mass but subtle like light combined form. This may sound funny but I very literally felt like, and had the thought at the time of this very thing, that I felt like what the Incredible Hulk might know in terms of the feeling/sensing of size on a much larger scale having been smaller only a short time before.
In fact, I have often described this feeling like that of pressing two like-polarized magnets together but instead this similar feeling/sense radiated from within-to-around and beyond the body physical and had a definite size. I imagine it is something along the lines and being similar to the magnetic field of the Earth. Yea, exactly like that. whew… As the ancients have written, As Above So Below.
beyond the body
It’s a fascinating phenomenon of nature that the human body, as magnificent as it is, oddly filters out tons of data. Humans can only perceive, i.e. realize and process as experience, a few frequency bands in each spectrum associated with physical body – sight, touch, taste, smell, hearing.
All our senses are a manifestation of vibration divided into ranges or sections of perceptive parts but what about all the other frequency data (experience) we humans don’t have access to and is filtered out and essentially deleted from mental/physical cognition. We have no concepts that closely apply at all to understanding what this additional data input would allow us to know in a wholistic way. Not even in stereoscopic 3D, 5.1 simulation can we absorb this lost data into our mind/body/consciousness to have any hope of finding new concepts that would naturally stem from that awareness.
We have no concepts of comparison to what Elephants for example experience using their subsonic methods of communication, or sea life, or birds, etc. It has been discovered that birds can hear down to 0.1Hz – umm that’s 0.1Hz – that’s insanely low frequency – the physical wavelength is 11,253 feet long. The theory is they can image ground topography data enabling them to navigate great distances. That’s only considering the sound frequency side of things not to mention light, etc. and what about us humans? Clueless really, until technology is able to pass this additional data into our minds/body in a real time for us to begin to reconcile all the data internally.
We greatly deny justification of consciousness exploration and the realities that reside there. Only what our instruments can show us is real. What of Dream-land, why do we dream, no one really knows. Well, some do I imagine…
meet me on the other side
Seated there in that meditative state I had for the very first time in my life experienced the ability to see myself outside myself. I could see, not to be taken literally (at least this time…), the decisions/perspectives/emotional data-sets that were tangibly apparent and representative of periods of time imaged and presented in snippets or snapshots-of-significant-emotional/maturity-conditions which morphed to and from and over the other key-points of time/interest which added up and lead to my current predicament.
It’s different than say watching yourself on video in reality or just remembering a situation, as the ability in this state allows for separation from the experience but also to be connected yet in control of the emotion which would otherwise produce some kind of (likely negative) emotional response. In my case it allowed me to cast aside that code or bugs running in the background (subconscious) program that I could now re-cognize and reprogram in a sense.
What did I see? The stressors-to-the-system-thought-object bugs that were hanging around in my mental/emotional background. All kinds of things were presented here but that I had not previously realized their significance consciously but that certainly manifested in confusion and stress of various forms. Many things were more like worries really. Worry about my job, my family, my career, my future, my progress, my ambitions. Ambition… careful what you wish for has taken on a whole new meaning for me now. That was a big one I realized in that my ambitions, what I thought I wanted in my life, weren’t balanced with purer inspiration to create or manifest what I needed in my life.
Though it would appear that the physical experience described above would have been enough to give anyone something to think about for a long time, it was this other information-actuation phenomenon that was the key to unlocking the mystery of my dis-ease. Realizing it’s always going to be ok, no matter if it all seemingly turns to shit, it will still be ok. I know, sounds kinda corny but I never understood what the word freedom really meant before this time. I felt expanded and more intimately connected with who I Am and how much more mysterious life really is.
Honestly, it’s hard to explain, there was so much happening; it was a blurry yet blissfully divine level up, to crib a useful gaming term or like being lit on fire to pay respect to the writers of old. What I found here was #love. That really was the point to know that would seal the deal but that just sounds silly right. I buzzed for weeks requiring only a few hours sleep a night and waking up naturally refreshed. It was a very heady time…
the sacred art
I know this sounds a little strange and like something out of a Grant Morrison‘s The Invisibles comic but I make this promise to anyone reading this: given time sufficiently applying exercise in some type of meditative practice, you will experience something that will change your knowledge/understanding/perception of what you are and typically used to experiencing. It is that part of us beyond our most obvious experience-receptive-apparatuses like sight/touch/taste etc. It’s electric!
Comics, through the symbiotic relationship of image and text is a great representation of a left/right brain hemispheric synchronization experience. Reading comics or hieroglyphs for instance require dual-processing brain power for experiencing the visual-art/logical-text information. Similarly interesting is the fact that when meditating it has been found that both brain hemispheres synchronize and work together as a whole. That’s got to be a good thing right? Balance.
Sound in particular seemed to keep showing up in my search for meaning, leads on new research, etc. I consistently began finding examples of the connection of sound with that of altered states of consciousness. For instance, research conducted by Robert G. Jahn and Michael Ibison of Princeton University and John Devereux demonstrated that many ancient sacred sites around the world exhibit very fascinating acoustical properties.
The resonant frequency of every one of the six different Neolithic and Iron Age structures they measured demonstrated resonant frequencies between 95Hz and 120Hz, which is within the human hearing range. Beyond speculating here why those frequencies may be significant in terms of altered states of consciousness induction, it is very curious what art work appears around these sites as well.
The suggestion is that these spaces were specifically tuned to create the vehicle for expanded awareness or for who knows what purpose. It appears deliberate either way and not short on mathematical knowledge required to do it… Not to go off on a tangent but the Great Pyramid (fire in the middle) at Giza, not only one of the seven ancient wonders of the world but for many very smart and respected authorities, it is the secret.
casting a spell
I should also mention that I kept a journal during this time. It was recommended in an article I read. The main purpose of the journal was to write down everything I was grateful for, and I did, every day. My wife, my kids, my family, my passions, my inspirations, my good fortune, my life lessons, that I could at least type into the computer, my house, my pets, etc. etc. until I felt I had done so to my satisfaction that day. I would later understand this act is in part a requirement of the Sacred Art.
My intent was ever-present, to heal I needed to absorb the right information on a consistent basis (like exercise), bypass the conscious mind and repair the buggy subconscious code with this potently positive data, day after day. The autonomic bio-systems in our physical body might as well still be considered magic – we have no idea how exactly these systems manifest, we can only discuss what we observe of their phenomenal natures. That stuff is deep down in the root libraries of what constitutes consciousness, and connecting with it and manipulating it like we connect wakeful consciousness with the ability of the brain to control the hand or eye is tricky business. Dreaming is very significant topic in ancient writings yet most of us are not able to reconcile how the images and archetypes of the dreamscape may inform meaning to wakeful consciousness and so its purpose remains occult.
Ultimately, a spell was being created, the alphabet the tool, spelling out the intention while giving my left brain something to occupy it’s specialized business, overload it, while the deep meaning of the archetypes of my true and pure desire was lodged deeply in the subconscious mind. I didn’t understand any of these concepts at the time.
In accord with the drumming example above, Aboriginal tribes have long used the Digeridoo in healing ceremony and luckily enough we find ultra-sound (as in the X-Ray Ultrasound machines) being used to speed up broken bone recovery times by 40%. The Earth hums, the Bees buzz, our minds entrain to rhythm, the heart must beat, it is Plato’s Music of the Spheres, we just had no clue that what he and the greats were referring to was vibration at all levels! The Magick of the signal, the wave, or the snake.
Mediation and similar cerebral praxis should be on the front lines of defense for just simply living life. Everyone has stress, no one escapes life’s lessons and hey, that’s cool, it’s not the mistakes you make that are important but the lesson learned right but… there is no mainstream discussion or practical education about it to give us all a helping hand. This is ancient and foundational human knowledge and for my money I want to provide my kids with the most advantages in life possible, like all of us do.
flipping the switch
There appear to be many dormant possibilities within all of us that may only manifest given the right trigger. Both that heal and that can kill us. For instance, the Endocrinologist Hans Selye was conducting an experiment on hormones where a control group of mice was injected with a saline solution vs. an ovarian extract injected group which both showed similar tell tell signs of dis-ease of stress induced conditions. Both groups were subjected to, for example, “chasing them, missing them, dropping them, and rattling brooms to get them from under the sink to inject them demonstrated negative health repercussions including peptic ulcers, greatly enlarged adrenal glands and shrunken tissues.”
The ulcers and tissue damage were created by stress alone. Stress is no joke and is at the heart of many dis-ease and dis-order’s. I’m suggesting that just like these unfortunate mice I unfortunately flipped my own dormant RA potential switch and then through the crazy experience after switched it back off again.
Not belief but knowledge of, experience of, miraculous and life changing result from, as sure as the experience of that kiss I know what I experienced. I recovered from a very significant health crisis immediately following the events I describe above. At the time of the events I quit taking the chemo and steroid medication of my own free will and changed my doctor to boot.
By the time I saw the new doc there was nothing much left to see. The swelling had subsided and I was flexible and in great spirits with a whole new respect for what to hold dear and most importantly what to be thankful for. There was, in my experience, a direct causal relationship between the scary and strange but beautiful events and the subsequent recovery. Seriously (and humbly), I’m not a doctor and telling you to do what I did or stop taking your medication or don’t go to the doctor. In fact I’ve nothing but the strictest respect for the medical institution but I Am saying these things need to be continually encouraged and investigated!
back to reality
Do I recognize that there exists confusion, misinterpretation, opportunism, and deceit employed from the fact these mysteries are still as of yet fully understood, yes I do. Seeing is believing as it’s said, which is true, but only in 1/6 sense so to speak. To those who have experienced something but can’t explain it, keep looking for the words to describe it and please tell us about it!
If more convincing is required, explore meditation and give it some time. The proof is in the pudding. Maybe it’s exploring ancient traditional techniques that will feel right or implementing a more modern methodology might be more easily adopted. Experiences might include things that are difficult to explain and very likely to surprise and create change both physically (as noted above) and in other ways. Hey, it might even be fun or just net out feeling a bit more relaxed. Everyone I imagine could use a little of that.
I guess many musicians and athletes, etc. experience the connection to the self in that sort of intimate and rhythmic way where the end goal’s musical patterns emerge and the desired skill begins to come natural, so to speak. Spending time practicing motion and intention over and over again is a type of meditative practice on its own. When that same rigor is applied to the focus of experiencing the inner dimensional space of the all-that-is-stillness of mindscape, a new rhythm (vibratory) sense is experienced and will introduce itself as an-other of that-which-is-you.
I like a take on this concept coined by the modern Magician, author, and scholar Mr. Lon Milo Duquette in his book titled; “Low Magick: It’s All In Your Head … You Just Have No Idea How Big Your Head Is”. That sums it up pretty well.
ΑΩ the end begins
The anniversary of that time has once again come ’round to pass and writing this feels like a fairly large weight lifted. I guess like most who are changed by extreme experience I feel I’m obligated to write about it but am grateful I can. I hope you made it through and thanks for reading. If it was at helpful or could be helpful to someone suffering you may know, please feel free to share. Like I found out then, people care about others and it was through letters and forums threads like this article that lead me to an experience that is just about the best thing that has ever happened in my life.
Thank you the reader and thanks everyone who took time to talk with me then and encouraged me to overcome. At the end of the day, I’ll always try to guide my two daughters with the thought that the most important question to ask is why …or maybe just why not?