"Journey to the Healing Heart of Your Dreams"
Theta and co-consciousness training is Phase 2 of our Grant Solicitation
and Pilot Study of the phenomena of CRP journeys. Co-consciousness,
a state of deep rapport, is taught through shamanic techniques, within
the journey process, and through individual and shared biofeedback (neuralfeedback)
training. The pilot study seeks to determine if resonant brainwave
rhythms are, in fact, observable through EEG monitoring of both parties
during the shared journey; and if theta training facilitates integrative
experiences, and psi sensitivity. Further studies would try to detect
temporal lobe transients (TLTs) or microseizures, associated with meaningful,
CRP and THETA REVERIE
and Co-Consciousness in Shared Journeys
by Iona Miller and Graywolf Swinney
Abstract: The theta range of brainwave activity is four to seven cycles
per second. This is reportedly the psychic range of the mind and
the area from which psychic experiences emerge is the temporal lobe, source
of most theta generation. Children under seven have a predominance
of theta, although they experience other ranges as well. Therefore,
children in this age group are highly receptive to suggestions or “programming”
from all sources. In theta, learning is extremely rapid, and may
Co-consciousness, the shared virtuality of the journey process, is a
telepathic rapport wherein both participant’s brainwaves become synchronized
or entrained, in essence, into a single holographic biofield. Co-consciousness
might be measured via the observation of spontaneously shared, matching
or resonating brainwave frequencies. Experimental verification (through
EEG monitoring of both participants) of these hypotheses is scheduled as
the second experiment in our pilot study of CRP phenomena.
Conversely, in the CRP training program, theta training in deep reverie
via biofeedback offers trainees a definite experience of the target state.
Most subjects can increase their alpha production easily; theta is more
difficult but also can be increased. A second part of this experiment
would be to induce shared states of consciousness via shared biofeedback
where both parties synch to the same deepening rhythm toward a very deeply
Previous neurological studies conducted for Asklepia by Thomas A. Blakely,
Ph.D. [Neuropsychology and Clinical Electroencephalography] of Lake Oswego,
Oregon have indicated that co-consciousness reveals itself through unique
brainwave patterns. The subject appears to be sleeping, but responds
and remains internally focused, interactive within and without the shared
Journey. This has implications for restructuring trauma patterns
(state-bound learning), and the process of facilitating spontaneous psychophysical
Theta brainwave generation is associated with dreams, creative thinking,
and twilight states. Theta is probably the best model we have for
the shared nature of co-consciousness. Spontaneous psi phenomena
have been associated with theta waves by Krippner (1977), the Greens (1977),
and more recently Persinger (1997). These phenomena include but are
not limited to telepathy or ESP and synchronicities. The left hemisphere
of the brain is linear and logical, while the right hemisphere is non-linear
and perceives gestalts. Theta generation entrains both hemispheres
in a single activity that creates a harmonization and sense of deep-felt
meaning and well-being.
Preparing for the co-consciousness process can be described as "emptying".
Any preconceived notions about self, the mentored or the process are completely
suspended, and the Journey is approached with a "beginner's mind."
But one's experiential skills and wisdom are brought to the process.
Though theta generally indicates a deep sleep, it is possible to maintain
awareness and be interactive in the journey process. Brainwaves will
fluctuate back and forth across the alpha-theta boundary as both participants
move deeper into the journey.
The ability to generate theta and remain consciously aware has been demonstrated
by yogis and experienced meditators. It's almost like falling asleep,
but then something else happens, a lucidity. In order to produce
theta consciously it is necessary to quiet body, emotions and thoughts
all at the same time. This leads to integrative reverie, a deep focus
of attention. Training in theta reverie leads to integrative experiences
of physical and psychological well-being.
What we sense and control is not the brainwave itself, but the state of
consciousness, a gestalt of subtle existential cues. The production
of the brainwaves themselves do not constitute a "state", as such. Brainwaves,
in and of themselves, have no sensory representation. What can be
detected and restructured are factors such as focus of attention, thought
processes, and feelings. Theta training is awareness training, or
level of awareness training, and facilitates creativity.
Theta rhythms are usually associated with near-unconscious or subliminally
conscious states. The presence of theta is often accompanied by hypnagogic
or dreamlike images. It is not a daydream-type experience,
but a projection of impulses from unconscious sources. Although most
untrained people are unable to maintain full consciousness during theta
production, almost everyone maintains awareness during alpha.
In CRP there is a spontaneous rapport which kindles the participants’ oscillatory
harmonization and entrainment with one another. Theta probably does
not occur in the subject until the later portion of the journey when the
rapid eye movement indicative of REM, alpha waves, and the arousal phase
has yielded to the profound paradoxical relaxation of chaotic consciousness.
Dr. Stanley Krippner has demonstrated the reality of dream telepathy in
his research on the subject, and we suggest this is the mechanism of co-consciousness
in the mentoring of journeys. Ervin Laszlo (1996) has also attributed
these properties to an existentially fundamental "psi field," which he
likens to Jung's alchemical notion of unus mundus, where the realms
of mind and matter merge. Such co-consciousness is a classical phenomenon
in the practice of shamanism.
"In the 'experience of dual unity' a patient in an ASC [altered
state of consciousness] experiences a loosening and melting of the boundaries
of the body ego and a sense of merging with another person in a state of
unity and oneness. In this experience, despite the feeling of being
fused with another, the patient retains an awareness of his or her own
identity. Then, in the experience of 'identification with other persons,'
the patient, while merging experientially with another person, has a sense
of complete identification to the point of losing the awareness of his
or her own identity. Identification is total and complex, involving
body image, physical sensations, emotional reactions and attitudes, thought
processes, memories, facial expression, typical gestures and mannerisms,
postures, movement, and even the inflection of the voice. The "other"
or others can be someone in the presence of the patient or someone absent;
he or she can be part of an experience from the subject's childhood, his
or her ancestry, or even of a previous lifetime."
Lazlo goes on to recount Stan Grof's (1988) extensive work penetrating
beyond normal limits of personal sensory experience into "biographic-recollection,"
perinatal, and transpersonal domains. He reports identifications
with groups and group consciousness, animals, plants and botanical processes,
oneness with all life, and all kinds of natural processes, including waters
of rivers and oceans, fire, earth and mountains; catastrophes such as storms,
earthquakes, tornadoes, and volcanic phenomena, as well as specific materials
like diamonds, crystals, and other metals.
In fact, such experiences extend into the microworld, involving the dynamic
structure of DNA, molecules, atoms, interatomic bonds, electromagnetic
forces, subatomic processes, and the zero-point field. Cosmic dimensions
include "planetary consciousness," and "extraterrestrial experiences" of
stars, quasars, galaxies, even black holes, and "identification with the
entire physical universe." All these processes are experienced in
CRP as part of the organism and psyche of the all-encompassing dynamic
universal process, or holomovement. These experiences are expanding,
even spiritual, which begs the question of their source or origin.
Dr. Michael A. Persinger (1987) has demonstrated the temporal lobe as the
biological basis of the spiritual experience, and intense meaning.
The hippocampus and amygdala are within the temporal lobe, and have to
do with remembering and evaluation, reward and punishment. The hippocampus
becomes a gateway to the experience of images and its stimulation unleashes
a vivid stream of past memories. It can initiate inundations
of imaginal imagery.
Hypnagogic imagery is produced during theta rhythm dominance in the temporal
lobe. Reverie or the “fringe of consciousness”, hypnagogic imagery,
dreaming, and creativity are closely related. When consciousness
is alert but unfocused, alpha is found. When a person becomes drowsy,
or moves into a state of reverie, theta waves tend to appear.
As early as 1943, Kubie reports:
“The hypnagogic reverie might be called a dream without distortion.
Its immediate instigator is the day’s “unfinished business,” but like the
dream it derives from more remote ‘unfinished business’ of an entire lifetime
as well...Whatever the explanation...with [hypnagogic reverie] significant
information about the past can be made readily and directly accessible
without depending upon the interpretation...of dreams...It is probable
that in this partial sleep, in this no-man’s land between sleeping and
waking, a form of dissociation occurs which makes it possible to by-pass
the more obstinate resistances which block our memories in states of full
conscious awareness, and which contribute to the distortion of memory traces
Theta is associated with a deeply internalized state and with quieting
of the body, emotions, and thoughts. This allows usually unheard
or unseen things to come to consciousness in the form of hypnagogic imagery.
Typical imagery associated with theta is vague and diffuse, but includes
a number of classical or archetypal features: images of tunnels, the experience
of going through a dark tunnel, or a tunnel lighted at the far end; images
of stairs or ladders and climbing up or down; images of a cave or pyramid;
of eyes or a single eye, spirals or vortices, etc.
Hypnagogic imagery comes suddenly into the mind from some unconscious source;
it may be visual, auditory or somatic, a fragrance or a taste. It
has an autonomous character, seeming to follow its own course independently.
Attempts to observe it too closely or control it voluntarily usually make
it disappear. Pilot studies show that theta training increases the
ability to be aware of the images and hold them long enough to report the
Many theta trainees report spontaneously “going down there” into the figure,
"becoming," or merging with the image. The borderline of alpha-theta
means staying on that thin line between low-frequency alpha consciousness
and high-frequency theta semi-consciousness. The stream of dissociated
thoughts and images is constant, perceived as an autonomous flow.
Images simply float by, coming to mind from an unknown source.
There may be dissociation from the body, and thoughts are quite detached--flowing
along with the vague images with a feeling of perceptual change.
Some subjects report their focal point changing from being in front of
the eyes to behind the eyes, and a slight falling feeling.
The amygdala is the control center of emotions and moods, the heights of
euphoria and depths of depression. Connections between the frontal
lobes and temporal lobe means emotions become mixed with the experiences
of the self. Hippocampal cells display the highest electrical instability
of all portions of the brain. These cells are prone to repeated firing
long after the stimulation has been removed.
The amygdala and the hippocampus can learn specific electrical patterns.
One of the most frequent electrical patterns generated from this lobe is
called theta activity. Theta is associated with alterations in temporal
lobe function. These waves occur during dreaming, creative
thinking, and twilight states, according to Persinger.
Transient electrical perturbations of the human temporal lobe (TLT) result
in emergence of innate feelings of the God Experience. They range
from mild cosmic highs, to knowledge infusions, to religious conversions,
to peak experiences, and personal communions with God.
Psychic seizures appear without convulsions and the brain experiences vivid
landscapes or the forms of living things, glowing forms, or bright, shining
sources. The modality of the experience, that is, whether it is experienced
as a sound, a smell, a scene or vision, or an intense feeling, reflects
the area of the electrical instability. These endogenous sensory
images are accompanied by a sense of conviction or meaningfulness, personal
and profound significance.
The God Experience is a normal organized pattern of temporal lobe activity.
It can be precipitated by personal stress, or loss and the fear of anticipated
death, or the awesomeness of nature or sexual experience. It brings
a sense of personal destiny; it feels ineffable as details remain fuzzy.
All one remembers is that something important, profound, or deeply spiritual
These divine seizures bring seeming insight into another realm; feelings
of intoxication, lightness, flying, moving, spinning, or even leaving the
body (OBEs). There is both a compulsive and euphoric factor--compulsive
behaviors and thoughts, and euphoric or intermediately manic mood.
Personal and natural events become fraught with meaning or symbolism.
Fear and terror are also effects and frequent parts of the temporal lobe
Dreaming is intimately tied to the function of the temporal lobe because
of the hippocampus-amygdala complex. Stimulation of the temporal
lobe region can unleash dreamlike experiences over which the person has
little control. Dream production can be induced directly by electrical
peculiarities or by interfering with the chemical transmitters that effectively
connect the neurons of the brain. Certain drugs appear to induce
dreams during the waking state, where they are experienced as real.
All human cultures have developed some form of meditational technique to
enhance the experience.
Psychological addiction to this type of God Experience occurs because of
the brain’s chemical reaction to the intense motor agitation or to the
seizure. The release of the brain’s own opiates can cause a narcotic
high during the agitation in receptor sites for endogenous opiates within
the amygdala. Elevation of brainstem levels of norepinepherine elevate
mood for several days to weeks. The person can become addicted not
only to the mystical experience but to the God high.
High altitudes, and low blood sugar can facilitate TLTs. Since the
temporal lobe is very sensitive to changes in hypoxia (lack of oxygen),
blood sugar (hypoglycemia), and blood flow, situations that produce these
are most correlated with the spiritual experience. Another source
of hypoxia is low-level breathing during meditation. A person trained
appropriately can drive the temporal lobe into bouts of theta activity.
Sometimes outright electrical seizures will occur, simultaneously with
the meaningful experience.
Psychological stress, and radical existential change is the most common
condition that facilitates the God Experience. Elevation of stress
hormones in the hippocampus and amygdala influence fantasies to be stored
as actual memories; vivid and realistic dream images can burst into awareness.
In general, the more severe the disturbance, the more intense the God Experience.
The most profound occur after the sudden loss (death) of a close loved
Depending on the degree of hormonal arousal and the instability of the
temporal lobe, the experience can occur due to simple cumulative effects.
They can be less spectacular, but just as impressive and meaningful.
Music can trigger TLTs in a sensitive brain. Very loud sound patterns
or flashing lights can drive the epileptic brain into seizures, as can
repetitive sounds, such as white noise or mantras. Conversely just
the sound of coean waves or even a gentle stream creates a soothing feeling;
when the negative ions from actual water are present, the effect is magnified
into well-being. Certain smells, perfume, or incense can be the trigger,
as the temporal lobe is the “home” of olfaction. Thus, sensory cues can
act as active drivers of theta.
In the context of the present hypothesis, there must be some feature of
the temporal lobe that is involved with the experience or origin of the
self-concept. The adult’s sense of “body image” is associated with
the parietal lobe. But, for the first few months of life, the body
image is not totally associated with the parietal, but is “stored” in the
temporal lobe. During the time the infant is dependent on the behaviors
of the mother and father and the pattern of those behaviors, the temporal
lobe integrates and grows with that information.
Body image and sense of self spontaneously emerge during the Consciousness
Restructuring Process. Usually locked away, they are there ready
to be released by the appropriate key. The key is the temporal lobe
transient. When it occurs the images and protosensations long locked
within the old contexts of the temporal lobe are released. The adult
experiences the old sense of the infant self. Basic images, long
forgotten are retreived in the God Experience. The infantile sense
of self is permanently shaped and bound to the pattern of parental behavior.
In CRP journeys after an initial stage of arousal (fear and pain), there
is a paradoxical switch to a deep state of tranquility and serenity, described
as a healing place. This switch is from the ergotrophic system to
the tropotrophic system of arousal.
Green, Elmer and Alyce (1977); Beyond Biofeedback; San Francisco:Delacorte
Grof, Stanislav (1988); The Adventure of Self-Discovery; Albany, New York:
Krippner, Stanley, Ullman, Montague (1973); Dream Telepathy; New York:
Macmillan Publishing Co.
Persinger, Michael A. (1987);Neuropsychological Bases of God Beliefs; New
THE INSTITUTE FOR APPLIED CONSCIOUSNESS
File Created: 1/10/01 Last Updated: 3/27/01
P.O. Box 301, Wilderville OR 97543
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