Are you your Thalamus?

Okay, this is going to be weird, but here goes. I have not yet realised the full potential of the procedure that follows, so please take extreme care with what you decide to try out for yourself. Be aware that the outcomes of this experiment can assume significant philosophical/spiritual significance, so proceed with caution if your beliefs rely heavily on external intelligence(s).

A high quality MP3 file is now available in Library/Downloads/Freebies.

Right, formalities dealt with.

The theory that “experience” takes place in the cortex and “perception” in the thalamus has quite a strong following in the neuroscientific community. It takes a bit of mental gymnastics to get your head around this idea (literally!). It really only becomes acceptable once you have managed to relocate, to a greater or lesser extent, your point of being to that location.


First of all you’ll need to have a good look at an anatomical diagram and gain a clear picture of where the thalamus is located. If you care to do a bit of reading on the matter, you’ll find that the thalamus is directly connected to pretty well all the sensory and motor pathways, as well as having intimate connection with the cortex. Numerous experiments around the world have observed a 40-45Hz EEG signal that corresponds to cognitive binding and that this signal is often seen to be synchronised by a signal in the theta range. Both, it would appear, are clocked by the thalamus. That’s the theory in a nutshell – Google any of the terms and you’ll find more than you could possibly want to know on the subject.

The MWS session uses some unusual tricks to provide a 40Hz gamma signal and a 6Hz theta signal. I’ve been experimenting extensively with the theta/gamma combo and the results are beginning to be quite impressive. Unusually for me, this session does not use AudioStrobe – photic stimulation dramatically diminishes the effect.

Run the session at a volume that blanks most ambient noise and is just verging on penetrating (which isn’t necessarily all that loud, as the sound really does bore into your brain!).

It is necessary that you be in an upright position with as little contact with anything as possible – I strongly recommend the Dragon asana and, if circumstances allow, no clothing that might create any sensation. Stillness is vital. Your breathing must be quiet, shallow and through your nose. The room should be free of draughts and neither warm nor cool.

Close your eyes and run through your usual induction checklist, then focus completely on the sound. Initially you will be aware that it is an external sound, arriving at your perception via your ears. Bring the location of your thalamus to the forefront of your consciousness. Whenever your awareness of the sound shifts to an awareness of your ears, or the speakers, refocus again on the place behind your nose. Shortly the sound will exist solely at that point.

Once the sound is rigidly fixed in the location of your thalamus, direct your attention to whatever it is that you see with your eyes closed (some variation on reddish darkness with occasional phosphene flashes if everything is working normally). Where is “it”? Typically “it” will be perceived as being just in front of your face. You’re very used to perceiving your world from the perspective of your eyeballs, but that is only customary. In reality, what you perceive is a multitude of  electrochemical events in your visual cortices (yes – primary and multiple secondary). But even that is not the seat of your visual perception. Your “I”, Descartes’ homunculus, is your thalamus.

As you did with the sound, change your centre of visual perception to the place you know to be your thalamus.

And then change your sense of self to the place you know as your thalamus and start observing your thoughts. Whenever any thought arises that implies location, ownership or perception by anything but your thalamus, query it and correct it. You are your thalamus or, from your point of view, “I” is the specific thalamus that occupies the cranium of a homosapiens at your location at that precise moment, and what you are perceiving is the terminus of all incoming neurons.

You can proceed through all the senses if you so desire. You can examine the virtual form of any part of your body and check its “inputs”. It’s convenient for these inspections to visualize yourself as an old fashioned telephone exchange operator, able to tap into all the incoming lines.

I don’t really know that I can say much more that will be meaningful until you give it a go and have at least partial success. Please be aware that such a stark vision of your uniqueness, and such a complete shattering of illusion can be rather disconcerting.

Have fun and, please, take care. I’ve only scratched the surface of what can be done with this technique. So far I’ve only played the observer, but I have the very strong suspicion that with a little practice it would be possible to manipulate the motor system.


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  • jc  On August 7, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Hey Craig…
    Your experiment sounds interesting and I would like to give it a try but I will be away till early September. When you have a moment, I would appreciate a copy of the corresponding mp3 file (I do not possess the MWS).
    Thanks in advance 🙂

    • craigtavs  On August 7, 2009 at 1:13 pm

      Hi jc,

      MP3 is on its way by email.


  • Brit  On August 29, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Hi Craig,

    Thanks for this blog, and for your posts on various forums. I respect your combination of open and tough mindedness. I’d be very curious to try this mp3 as well.

    Thanks again,


    • craigtavs  On August 29, 2009 at 3:45 pm

      Hi Brit,

      MP3 is on its way by email.

      Thank you for your kind words.


  • Simon  On February 12, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Hello Craig,

    I would like to try the thalamus mp3. Unfortunately this mp3 is gone. Can you email or post a link to this mp3?



    • CraigT  On February 13, 2013 at 7:29 am

      Hi Simon,

      I’m sorry to say that the MP3s on the Freebies page are not currently available. Hopefully I will have sessions/fragments available soon.


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