Altered state of consciousness

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Overview

An altered state of consciousness, also named altered state of mind is any condition which is significantly different from a normative waking beta wave state. The expression was coined by Charles Tart and describes induced changes in one's mental state, almost always temporary. A synonymous phrase is "altered states of awareness". An associated body of research has been conducted in trance and this is becoming the predominant auspice terminology. Trance includes all "altered states of consciousness" as well as the various forms of waking trance states.

Causes

An altered state of consciousness can come about accidentally through, for example, fever, sleep deprivation, fasting, oxygen deprivation, nitrogen narcosis (deep diving), or a traumatic accident.

It can sometimes be reached intentionally by the use of sensory deprivation, Isolation tank, sleep deprivation or mind-control techniques, hypnosis, meditation, prayer, or disciplines (e.g. Mantra Meditation, Yoga, Sufism or Surat Shabda Yoga).

It can also be attained through the ingestion of psychoactive drugs such as alcohol and opiates, or more commonly with entheogenic plants and their derivative chemicals such as LSD, DXM, 2C-I, peyote, marijuana, mescaline, Salvia divinorum, MDMA, psychedelic mushrooms, ayahuasca or datura (Jimson weed).

Another effective way to induce an altered state of consciousness is using a variety of Neurotechnology such as psychoacoustics, light and sound stimulation, cranial electrotherapy stimulation, and such; these methods attempt to induce specific brainwave patterns, and a particular altered state of consciousness.

Naturally occurring altered states of consciousness include dreams, lucid dreams, euphoria, ecstasy, psychosis as well as purported premonitions, out-of-body experiences, and channeling.[citation needed]

See also

References

  • James, William The varieties of religious experience (1902) ISBN 0-14-039034-0
  • Tart, Charles T., editor. Altered States of Consciousness (1969) ISBN 0-471-84560-4
  • Tart, Charles T. States of Consciousness (2001) ISBN 0-595-15196-5
  • Wier, Dennis R. Trance: from magic to technology (1995) ISBN 1-888428-38-4
  • Hoffman, Kay (1998). The Trance Workbook: understanding & using the power of altered states. Translated by Elfie Homann, Clive Williams, and Dr Christliebe El Mogharbel. Translation edited by Laurel Ornitz. ISBN 0-8069-1765-2

Roberts, T. B. (editor) (2001). Psychoactive Sacramentals: Essays on Entheogens and Religion. San Francosco: Council on Spiritual Practices.

Roberts, T. B., and Hruby, P. J. (1995-2002). Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments An Entheogen Chrestomathy. Online archive. [2]

Roberts, T. B. "Chemical Input—Religious Output: Entheogens." Chapter 10 in Where God and Science Meet: Vol. 3: The Psychology of Religious Experience Robert McNamara (editor)(2006). Westport, CT: Praeger/Greenwood.

External links

de:Trance (Zustand) el:Μεταβαλόμενη κατάσταση συνείδησης nl:Trance (bewustzijn) fi:Transsi sv:Trans



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