Open-Eye Bliss

I haven’t used the Laxman for quite a while. My wife, Lori, fell in love with it and it was squirreled away to her lair, coming out only briefly to impress guests. I repossessed it when the goggles went out.

Today I went to the post box, as I do, expecting very little. Two Inland Revenue envelopes and a Signature Required card. My blood chills a little every time I see the Inland Revenue logo. It taking me a long time to get over the dark days when such envelopes always contained ever deteriorating news. I’m pleased to say I’m all square with the IRD these days, and it’s such a weight off the shoulders – envelopes shouldn’t be a fearful thing any more.

The Signature Required card was most unexpected. When I’ve got something on order from overseas I’m eagerly watching for them, but this one was out of the blue. Neurotronics. Thankyou, Hans. My new Laxman goggles. Yay! They now ship with a little “Sensitive Electronics Inside” making it clear that the nose-bridge is not for bending.

Neurotronics have just released Laxman sessions synchronised to popular AudioStrobe titles. I haven’t availed myself of this as yet, but after this afternoons delightful reaquaintance with the Laxman, I surely shall.

I had an hour to spare and I was in the mood for Theta. Beach and Lovely sessions. Early on I was obsessive about keeping my eyes open. Eyes-open theta is a bit self-defeating – keeping the eyes open makes it hard to get into alpha, let alone theta. I found however, as countless monks have, that there is a neutral position where there is neither effort to open nor effort to close. The eyelid just sort of hangs somewhere slightly open, and it becomes possible to almost forget you have eyes, as there is no muscle movement or tension. In this state slight changes in eyeball position change the experience from open-eye to closed-eye without any sense of transition. There was one particular scene in Lovely that really brought it home – it was for all the world like lying on my back, looking up into a clear blue sky, with the sun just out of my field of vision and my eyes loosely shut. Beautiful.

I love the way Laxman sessions have the light and sound following a story. The lights might fade from oranges and reds, through to deepening blues, followed by a bright flash of yellow, and an orange glow, as the sun sets and a campfire is lit, the sounds of the evening, followed by the strike of a match, and the crackling of fire. The Laxman truly excels for pure relaxation and escape.

In these sessions there is no entrainment content in the audio. The colours are applied as washes, influencing mood. The only frequency-specific content is in the flashing of the lights, which is often little more than a flicker. A lot can be learned about alternative session design by observing the techniques used. Very subtle. Very effective.

You’d think you’d run out of new things to see. Not yet. It seems there are a multitude of ways to see, or more correctly, perceive. How far open or closed the eyelids are changes things. Whether the eyeballs are rolled back, pointed ahead, swiveled sideways, all change things. Mentally focusing on a different field – left, right, centre, periphery, changes things. Concentrating on the dark or the light changes things. And then you get to do it all over again with different sessions, brightness settings, machines, glasses. Familiar visuals often lead into new levels of complexity – it seems the more you relax and just let the session be, the more intensity, detail, clarity comes to the imagery.

Mostly what I see is geometric, but quite often more dreamlike imagery will over lay it, often appearing most clear in the dark flashes. During one particular scene in Beach I was looking up into the sky, gently flickering, to the sound of seabirds. Before I knew it my mind had filled in the gaps, and there were a dozen seagulls circling and passing overhead. It’s a whole new world, and I feel like I’m just learning to see.


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