Changing Our Minds

I have come to the conclusion that underlying the conscious mind is a remarkable brain that is aware of everything we are exposed to. Imagine what life would be like if we had to consciously process all of the sensory input when, for example, driving. Vast amounts of sensory data is scanned and only when it is deemed immediately important, or outside the scope of trained/habitual response is it brought to consciousness, which I identify with beta and gamma activity. Hypnosis and similar techniques expose the mind to direction whilst suppressing conscious processing. Relative to the massive amount of pre-processing done behind the scenes, conscious thought is slow and intrusive. Repeated exposure to the same information, whether in the real-world or under AVS/hypnotic conditions, develops stronger and deeper recall/habit and automated response, much like “muscle memory” that allows the smooth and apparently effortless motions of skilled athletes and performers.

I dislike any proposition that treats any part of the mind as a wayward beast that has to be tricked or manipulated into compliance with the “master’s” Will. The reality is that it is integral to our being and if it appears to be misbehaving or need direction it because there is a stronger part of us that considers the “misbehaviour” to be of higher value than the behaviour we think we ought to want. A high level decision to change, a decision based on a genuine assessment of cost/benefit, followed up with regular and frequent reinforcement by exposure, thought and act, has the highest probability of bringing about change. I use alpha contemplation to weigh up life matters and decide whether I Will to act in any particular way, and beta to form an action strategy. The great danger in this is that you may find that your true values are incompatible with the life you think you ought to be living.

Crafting or adapting your own sessions increases their usefulness immensely. By understanding/choosing stimuli that are appropriate for the mental task at hand and forming the soundscape according to your own pleasure, you will be more inclined to trust the session, even if the raw drive of the session is diminished. Symbolism is important in any session – you will respond more immediately if the sounds have meaning to you. The act of creation of such intimately personal “art” is itself very good for cultivation of a fine mind. I have found little value in binaurals except for low delta – they simply don’t elicit an EEG-measurable response in the auditory cortex or anywhere else – the usefulness at slow rhythms is due to a mechanism unknown to me but it certainly isn’t entrainment. I think maybe heavy marketing of binaural-based content has created belief, and the experience of having a sound form in the perceived middle of the brain is pretty cool.

In designing a session or writing scripts for suggestions it is worth noting that the mind is especially adept at recognising patterns. Subtle patterns, such as slow fading back and forth between isochronic and monaural beats at the same rate, pitch and volume, will make the soundscape comforting and engaging. Scripts that place key words at the same time interval but in different sentences will be more persuasive than simply repeating the same sentence. Whatever language you use in scripts will be understood – it then becomes a matter of building up the value you place on the proposition by repeated exposure and conscious acceptance/application. Arguments asserting the correctness of any session/script form over any other are usually proprietary rather than results based. Try what you believe will appeal to a mind of your type – you will soon know if you are hitting the target.

It is a remarkable thing we have between our ears, the pinnacle of order/complexity in a universe inclined to disorder/chaos. Any effort to oppose entropy by cultivating consistency/unity of thought and deed by elimination of internal and external conflict and baseless prejudice or predilection is consistent with the highest purpose of our species. In case you haven’t noticed, as a whole we’re not doing too well.

Cheers,
Craig

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