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Understanding Various Levels Of Consciousness

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posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 03:38 PM
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I would here like to propose a general workable explanation of consciousness. In this explanation, I would like to incorporate sleep states, hypnagogic states, meditation, as well as our knowledge of the different brain waves, and their associated frequencies. We must first operationally define the brain’s functioning, consciousness, as occurring entirely through relative associations. This means nothing having to do with consciousness exists in and of itself, or with inherent meaning. Instead, the various phenomena occur due to the interaction of their relative associations. This is an assumed understanding behind all of this, but I want to make sure I am entirely clear about it. The mind functions entirely through associations!

In terms of brain waves, we know of gamma, beta, alpha, theta, and delta waves. These are in order from highest to lowest frequency. Just note that beta is normal waking consciousness, theta is dreaming, and delta is deep sleep. Lower frequency means that the brain makes less connections per unit of time. According to our normal viewpoints, we describe this as becoming less conscious. I propose that this is not actually the case. Our standard waking consciousness is very linear and cautious with its reasoning. To take you from idea A to idea B, it may take 10 steps, or associations. As you go into the deeper states, say closer to being asleep, you may make that same transition from the one idea to the other in one step. If you want to understand this, pay attention to your mind as you lay down to sleep. According to the general functioning of your conscious mind, you may think your thoughts are becoming nonsensical. They are not. It is simply that you are jumping from one idea to another far faster than you normally do. You normally carefully reason your thoughts step by step. As you get to these deeper states, you skip that slow step by step process and take larger leaps.

As we go into these deeper states, we generally ‘lose consciousness.’ In reality, we never lose consciousness. So why does it seem we do? Our conscious minds can only handle processing information at a certain rate. You need those 10 steps to understand how idea A relates to idea B. As the connections spread further and further apart, where your conscious mind need more and more steps to understand how they are related, you cannot maintain awareness; perhaps more accurately, you cannot maintain awareness as you understand awareness. This is why you ‘lose consciousness,’ as when you sleep. You can train yourself to understand more and more fluid connections, however. This is one thing meditation does. You can do similar things by training yourself to maintain awareness as you get closer and closer towards sleep. It is actually possible to be aware while you sleep. There are various levels of sleep, though. If you are interested in pursuing this, learn to maintain awareness as you enter the hypnagogic state. This is the state that is in-between being awake and sleeping. As you lay down to sleep, simply try to maintain awareness. This is a process, but you can learn to maintain awareness into deeper and deeper states, and even control the states.

The connections that your mind makes in these deeper states, as I said, may seem like nonsense. They are not. You need to understand that. It’s sort of having humility toward your own brain. Accepting that your brain is more capable and intelligent than your conscious mind. Maintaining awareness where you normally do not have it is simply becoming aware of deeper levels of cognitive functioning. As I alluded to before, this is related to meditation. Through meditation, you also learn to intentionally go into deeper states, this time not with the intention of falling asleep. Going deeper in meditation, in fact, makes it easier to maintain awareness in deeper states towards sleep. Sleep and meditation are not so different, in fact. We may, therefore, operationally define one sense of meditation as awareness. Learning to become aware of deeper and deeper levels of mental functioning. These deeper levels are lower frequency brain waves, which just means that it is skipping most of the steps of reasoning that your conscious mind deems necessary.




posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 04:01 PM
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reply to post by TheJourney
 


I agree with everything you just said.

I want to add that people get really confused about what they are.

People think that only the "wakeful" piece of consciousness, is the I..

I am all of that, and you can have multiple levels going at once. It's cool when you "merge" different streams because it's like you know all these things that you never consciously knew you knew before..

It's like merging with God.



posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 05:02 PM
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reply to post by TheJourney
 


I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree, so I'll have to ask a few questions. After reading your original post, what exactly is your workable explanation of consciousness? I couldn't figure it out when I read you. Another question is; why are you using the sleeping state as evidence for a workable explanation of consciousness? Why would you rely on a middleman(instruments showing brain waves), instead of direct testimony from the subject? I mean, how do we know a machine assigned to picking up brain waves can inform us about what is actually happening in the mind? And finally, TheJourney, what do you mean by "deeper"? You use the word numerous times in your OP.



posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 05:13 PM
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Originally posted by trysts
reply to post by TheJourney
 


I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree, so I'll have to ask a few questions. After reading your original post, what exactly is your workable explanation of consciousness? I couldn't figure it out when I read you.


Perhaps 'workable explanation of the various levels of the functioning of consciousness' would have been better, with the general principle of association defining consciousness more broadly.


Another question is; why are you using the sleeping state as evidence for a workable explanation of consciousness? Why would you rely on a middleman(instruments showing brain waves), instead of direct testimony from the subject? I mean, how do we know a machine assigned to picking up brain waves can inform us about what is actually happening in the mind?


Well, the sleeping state is a manifestation of consciousness. It is useful to draw parallels between various levels of consciousness, to understand the general principle, and how it applies to different states. And I'm just referring to the measurable difference of brain waves for reference. The different states can definitely be directly experienced, and the subject is more complex than you would gather from reading the generalized explanations of the different frequencies.


And finally, TheJourney, what do you mean by "deeper"? You use the word numerous times in your OP.


Deeper as in, more fundamental, existing with less entanglements. 'Deeper' levels implies lacking the various web of reasoned steps the conscious mind deems necessary. More broad, freely associated impulses, without being filtered through linear reasoning processes.
edit on 15-10-2012 by TheJourney because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 05:15 PM
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Originally posted by Dustytoad
reply to post by TheJourney
 


I agree with everything you just said.

I want to add that people get really confused about what they are.

People think that only the "wakeful" piece of consciousness, is the I..

I am all of that, and you can have multiple levels going at once. It's cool when you "merge" different streams because it's like you know all these things that you never consciously knew you knew before..

It's like merging with God.


Yea, as you become aware of deeper levels of mental functioning, it really is like merging with, or being confronted by, God. You become aware how incredibly powerful your brain is. People shouldn't take this using of the word God too lightly. It is true. Certainly many people who gain awareness of the brain's functioning think it is God. It is really like that.



posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 05:22 PM
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reply to post by TheJourney
 


Thank you for answering my questions, TheJourney. Very interesting OP



posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 05:30 PM
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reply to post by TheJourney
 


Very good OP.

Although I think the term 'consciousness' is insufficient, circumscribes nothing and should be stricken from the dictionary, your post makes some valid points to overall bodily experience and states of conscious activity.



posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 05:33 PM
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This is really an excellent start, and fairly unique hypothesis. You seem to imply that consciousness is some sort of emergent property associated with complexity of connections, which is something that I have heard more than one neurologist say.

You make a pretty good case for that.

Perhaps consciousness is a by-product of any complicated set of connections?

Maybe consciousness is a mysterious by-product of creating such a system -- similar to the mysterious side-effect of moving electricity through a wire, i.e. magnetism -- some physical law that makes conscious thought appear in the universe based upon linkage between vast numbers of associations such as those between the neurons of a high order nervous system. Seems possible...

I have just one question which seems left out of all this:

If complexity creates conscious thought, where do feelings such as pain and pleasure come into the equation?

Any answer to that last question would be greatly appreciated, TIA. I have struggled with that question for quite some time without any progress. Sensation and feeling seem at the core of any discussion on consciousness, at least to me...



posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 05:34 PM
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Originally posted by TheSubversiveOne
reply to post by TheJourney
 


Very good OP.

Although I think the term 'consciousness' is insufficient, circumscribes nothing and should be stricken from the dictionary, your post makes some valid points to overall bodily experience and states of conscious activity.


I actually somewhat agree. This is something I have been struggling with lately, in discussing with people. I use the term consciousness because people generally like it, and I'm quite used to it at this point. Nonetheless, I often feel when I use it that I am referring to something more than what people think of when they hear 'consciousness.' I sometimes feel the urge to put consciousness in quotes. Perhaps 'information-processing' would be more sufficient.



posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 05:47 PM
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Originally posted by Axial Leader

I have just one question which seems left out of all this:

If complexity creates conscious thought, where do feelings such as pain and pleasure come into the equation?

Any answer to that last question would be greatly appreciated, TIA. I have struggled with that question for quite some time without any progress. Sensation and feeling seem at the core of any discussion on consciousness, at least to me...


Sensations and feelings are just 'different' types of connections. The same process applies here, as in what I referred to as 'thinking' and 'reasoning.' This is a good point to bring up! I feel even more confident in saying this due to my experiences with hypnagogia, sleep paralysis, and dreaming. If you learn to maintain awareness in say the hypnagogic state, you can actually take control of your perceptions. You can see, hear, or feel literally anything you want. This demonstrates that in the deeper states, it is also easier to transmute different 'types' of cognitive functioning. So, easier to translate 'thoughts' into sights, sounds, and feelings.



posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 06:05 PM
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Consciousness is God's partial (that is, veiled) self-awareness. There are seven global levels of this, of which four were classified by the great psychologist, Carl Jung, as his four "psychic functions" constituting the human personality: sensing (body), feeling (psyche), thinking (mind) and intuiting (soul). Each level is divided in seven in a way that is analogous to the global division. This makes 49 sublevels, or states of awareness. The lowest 26 of these are dualistic in character: they maintain the illusion of separation of the observer and the observed. The 49 sublevels are experienced whilst evolving in the physical body in the physical universe. Beyond them are six superphysical levels in which - put simply and inaccurately because they are really ineffable - the physical universe itself becomes, effectively, one's physical vehicle of consciousness. These cosmic superphysical levels are each divided into seven sublevels, making 42 superphysical sublevels of cosmic awareness. In total there are 91 sublevels. Currently, the average human being's awareness spans the 28 sublevels of the four lowest modes of being.

This cosmic spectrum of consciousness has been shown in a rigorous mathematical way to be mapped out in certain sacred geometries. Their various beautiful, analogous embodiments can be studied here.



posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 08:41 PM
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Originally posted by micpsi
Consciousness is God's partial (that is, veiled) self-awareness. There are seven global levels of this, of which four were classified by the great psychologist, Carl Jung, as his four "psychic functions" constituting the human personality: sensing (body), feeling (psyche), thinking (mind) and intuiting (soul). Each level is divided in seven in a way that is analogous to the global division. This makes 49 sublevels, or states of awareness. The lowest 26 of these are dualistic in character: they maintain the illusion of separation of the observer and the observed. The 49 sublevels are experienced whilst evolving in the physical body in the physical universe. Beyond them are six superphysical levels in which - put simply and inaccurately because they are really ineffable - the physical universe itself becomes, effectively, one's physical vehicle of consciousness. These cosmic superphysical levels are each divided into seven sublevels, making 42 superphysical sublevels of cosmic awareness. In total there are 91 sublevels. Currently, the average human being's awareness spans the 28 sublevels of the four lowest modes of being.

This cosmic spectrum of consciousness has been shown in a rigorous mathematical way to be mapped out in certain sacred geometries. Their various beautiful, analogous embodiments can be studied here.


Hmm, thanks for the link! It looks very interesting. The theme itself is interesting, but its discussion of the tree of life is what particularly caught my attention. This is because recently I have been doing some study of Aleister Crowley, and along with that has come learning about the tree of life.



posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 09:18 PM
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That was very well written.




As you get to these deeper states, you skip that slow step by step process and take larger leaps.


That's a very interesting insight, and nicely said.

Hence, someone asleep a mere 10 minutes can feel as if he had been somewhere for hours.




It is actually possible to be aware while you sleep. There are various levels of sleep, though.


I'm interested in asking you something: I've heard this claim many times by mystics who claim they can maintain awareness during sleep. I find it amazing, yet when I try it, I wake up groggy and feel as if I didn't sleep. So while my body may have 'slept', in that I can recognize a difference between my normal conscious state and this altered state, I wake up with an insane tiredness and what feels like complete bodily exhaustion.

Do you build a tolerance to this, or something? Or is there some difference between my 'awareness' in sleep and your 'awareness' in sleep? Also, is the awareness akin to a conscious awareness; do things 'pass' by according to our normal waking perception? Or do they pass by according to those wide units you described before?





The connections that your mind makes in these deeper states, as I said, may seem like nonsense. They are not. You need to understand that. It’s sort of having humility toward your own brain. Accepting that your brain is more capable and intelligent than your conscious mind. Maintaining awareness where you normally do not have it is simply becoming aware of deeper levels of cognitive functioning. As I alluded to before, this is related to meditation. Through meditation, you also learn to intentionally go into deeper states, this time not with the intention of falling asleep. Going deeper in meditation, in fact, makes it easier to maintain awareness in deeper states towards sleep. Sleep and meditation are not so different, in fact. We may, therefore, operationally define one sense of meditation as awareness. Learning to become aware of deeper and deeper levels of mental functioning. These deeper levels are lower frequency brain waves, which just means that it is skipping most of the steps of reasoning that your conscious mind deems necessary.


You have done is a fine job of defining the parameters of spiritual experience in academic terms. But what of the phenomenology of experience? As you descend deeper into lesser frequency brain waves, you can become 'aware' of forms or creatures existent at that level of perception. Also, there are claims that there exists a 'parallel' world identical to the physical, where the apparent 'laws of physics' generally do not apply. How do we make compatible your theory of lesser brain waves - and I imagine a less definable awareness of multifarious things, with the claims I've read in robert bruces 'astral dynamics', which describes a perception of reality - what he calls real-time zone - in terms very similar to our own experience of the world?

Forgive me if I'm not quite understanding the dynamics of this level of reality. When you say there are less logical sequences between A and B in a very deep state of mind, that seems to imply that the associations - which I take to represent individual mental concepts the mind correlates - create an experience which is necessarily small in the details.

Perhaps the awareness I refer to - a sort of imaginative state of mind - is of a different nature than the trance states you referred to above.

However, every guru in 'astral' travel I've read explains that you must enter a trance state before you can enter a 'real time zone', or higher astral and mental levels of being (typical theosophical terms for what you could word something else).

My problem is shouldn't perception, or association at that level of awareness increase brain activity? And wouldn't that contradict the differences between beta,theta, etc waves?

The exercises he prescribes to increase awareness of the subtle or 'projected' body, is tactile imaging, where the conscious mind focuses itself on a particular body part, and imagines itself 'in it'. The intention is to create an imaginative awareness of 'bodily' energy in the form of the physical body.



posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 09:24 PM
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That explains a lot, the square of the first four primes sum to the number of yods surrounding the center.
The Supernal Triad or the 21 is just the product of 3 and 7 without the 5.
Pythagoras also obviously liked 73 and 47.
Saw the yod and the hand in the Dali painting I posted earlier but didn't know what to do with it.
Thanks! now I won't have to pickle anything I'd regret later.
edit on 15-10-2012 by Cauliflower because: typing in my sleep



posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 09:40 PM
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I'm interested in asking you something: I've heard this claim many times by mystics who claim they can maintain awareness during sleep. I find it amazing, yet when I try it, I wake up groggy and feel as if I didn't sleep...

Do you build a tolerance to this, or something? Or is there some difference between my 'awareness' in sleep and your 'awareness' in sleep? Also, is the awareness akin to a conscious awareness; do things 'pass' by according to our normal waking perception? Or do they pass by according to those wide units you described before?


Well, there is a variety of potential experiences of being aware in sleep states. I have had a couple experiences where I have 'randomly' snapped into awareness during the 'deep sleep,' or dreamless stage. This is, I would say, similar to states that 'Eastern types' speak of as desirable. States of no-mind, emptiness, etc. If you become aware in this state, there is nothing there, yet an awareness. In this awareness, there is no sense of being bored or anything like that. It is kind of like it would take too much effort to analyze things, or it seems meaningless. It is very peaceful.

On the other hand, you can maintain awareness as you fall asleep, and then enter into a dream. When you do this, you feel yourself falling asleep, and images and perceptions start to flicker. Over time, these become more and more clear and vivid, until suddenly there is a whole environment. If you choose, you can enter into the dream, and when you do this you forget about your body. It is actually possible to keep your awareness of your body, and not enter into the dream. I have done little experimenting with this, but have done it, so know it's possible. If you stay in yourself, the potential for experiencing perceptions, and even controlling them, is phenomenal.

I think what the issue with your tiredness, is that perhaps you are trying to be aware during an entire sleep, right from the get go. This probably results in you staying in a very light sleep, akin to a good meditation, and thus never sleeping well. This is actually good to do for naps, but not for a night's sleep.




You have done is a fine job of defining the parameters of spiritual experience in academic terms. But what of the phenomenology of experience? As you descend deeper into lesser frequency brain waves, you can become 'aware' of forms or creatures existent at that level of perception. Also, there are claims that there exists a 'parallel' world identical to the physical, where the apparent 'laws of physics' generally do not apply. How do we make compatible your theory of lesser brain waves - and I imagine a less definable awareness of multifarious things, with the claims I've read in robert bruces 'astral dynamics', which describes a perception of reality - what he calls real-time zone - in terms very similar to our own experience of the world?

Forgive me if I'm not quite understanding the dynamics of this level of reality. When you say there are less logical sequences between A and B in a very deep state of mind, that seems to imply that the associations - which I take to represent individual mental concepts the mind correlates - create an experience which is necessarily small in the details.


This is an interesting point. I'm glad you brought it up. This is something I wanted to discuss in OP. There is some equalizing principle, where as the number of connections is decreased, the energy of each connection is increased. Because the energy is increased, the experiences become more intense. Also along with the increase in energy, your brain has the potential to sort this energy in any possible way. This is why you can have visions, as well as hear and feel things. You interpret the energies, and you can project them in any way, with any amount of detail really. Any perceptions you have, though, will be free-associations. You can map these out in any way, but they are free-associations. They don't work in the same way as our conscious mind, thinking through each step. They are spontaneous.



My problem is shouldn't perception, or association at that level of awareness increase brain activity? And wouldn't that contradict the differences between beta,theta, etc waves?

The exercises he prescribes to increase awareness of the subtle or 'projected' body, is tactile imaging, where the conscious mind focuses itself on a particular body part, and imagines itself 'in it'. The intention is to create an imaginative awareness of 'bodily' energy in the form of the physical body.


What I just described above explains this. The energy of each individual connection is increased, proportional to the amount in which the number of connections is decreased. It is similar to Einstein's space-time. Faster speed, slower time. Slower speed, faster time. Similarly, more connections, less energy per connection. Less connections, more energy per connection.
edit on 15-10-2012 by TheJourney because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 09:55 PM
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I posted awhile ago but I do not have the words to describe in the enlish language.


Dream mastery is one term

Dream state acknowledgement

Dream state manipulation is the closest i can come for words that can help you
edit on 15-10-2012 by tekeen because: not in that order for all



posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 10:38 PM
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reply to post by TheJourney
 





Also along with the increase in energy, your brain has the potential to sort this energy in any possible way. This is why you can have visions, as well as hear and feel things. You interpret the energies, and you can project them in any way, with any amount of detail really. Any perceptions you have, though, will be free-associations.


So you project the realities which occur spontaneously? When you say spontaneous, do you mean, independent of the conscious will - and so like a dream - or does the aware individual possess the power to take control and project whatever thought he wants onto the world of his experience?




Slower speed, faster time. Similarly, more connections, less energy per connection. Less connections, more energy per connection.


What is the connection between 'associations' in consciousness, and connections in brain waves? Associations essentially construct reality. If a 'real world' can be created in a trance state where someone believes himself to be 'projecting' or 'remote viewing', I imagine the associations within consciousness are as complex or similar to associations made in normal consciousness.

I'm not questioning your theory, by the way. I agree with your overall idea. I'm just curious as to how the brain registers conscious activity of another sort in terms of 'less connections'
edit on 15-10-2012 by dontreally because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 10:53 PM
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So you project the realities which occur spontaneously? When you say spontaneous, do you mean, independent of the conscious will - and so like a dream - or does the aware individual possess the power to take control and project whatever thought he wants onto the world of his experience?


Well, initially it will be independent of conscious will. Yet still not entirely random. It will be projected by your subconscious, and based at least to some degree on how you feel. The individual does have the power to take control and project anything onto the experience, though. This isn't done through conscious analysis, but through focused imagination. Initially, I learned to project visions. Later on, I learned to project sounds. Later on yet, I learned you could actually project bodily feelings. Though this sort of thing is generally done in a more 'spiritual' context, I learned that you could actually, as an example, project the sights, sounds, and actual feelings of sex, yet just be lying in bed. Just to give an example of how it is more than 'just' vision. There is certainly potential beyond what I have yet done, but I have learned of the unlimited potential to create any sensory experience.



What is the connection between 'associations' in consciousness, and connections in brain waves? Associations essentially construct reality. If a 'real world' can be created in a trance state where someone believes himself to be 'projecting' or 'remote viewing', I imagine the associations within consciousness are as complex or similar to associations made in normal consciousness.

I'm not questioning your theory, by the way. I agree with your overall idea. I'm just curious as to how the brain registers conscious activity of another sort in terms of 'less connections'


Well, the basic point is that you remove external stimuli, and things become brain-generated. You do bring up an interesting point, in terms of what the brain-waves are like when creating real seeming worlds. I suppose it would be similar to the dream state.

Actually, perhaps this would be a good way of explaining it. Through the decreasing number of connections, yet increased energy of projections, intense 'general vibes' are created. The focus on the general 'essence' becomes very intense. Yet the other details do not appear to be missing. Rather, the focus is not on the details. In this way, the details are APPARENTLY filled, in a way that is satisfying to your awareness. Yet this is due to a lack of focus on details, and an immersion into the overall 'essence.'
edit on 15-10-2012 by TheJourney because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 11:45 PM
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reply to post by TheJourney
 


I'm thinking maybe memory plays a large part in holding together the 'details' of the 'dream world' the subconscious creates, filling that role of the 'background' which is noticed, but not cognized in the usual sense.

I'm not sure what your opinions are of OBE, but I've read some things - mostly along the lines of astral travel - that I'm just curious to understand in the terms you described.

Within the world's many mystical traditions i.e. vedanta, sufism, kabbalah, hermeticism, alchemy, shamanism etc, theres the general belief that through meditation one can 'project' into ontologically different realms of being. One realm - which the author Robert Bruce mentions in his book, but which is also a main feature of eastern traditions (mainly eastern traditions, although a few kabbalists, such as Abraham Abulafia, and others, are known to have developed systems, probably derived from Sufi esoteric schools, of astral dynamics, which sees the astral dimension as being between 'yesod' and 'malkuth'; outside of the kabbalists, there were also alchemists and others who dabbled; but the knowledge was most honed in the eastern world).

In any case, it's curious wondering if these traditions are valid, or if an 'real time zone - can be said to exist, ontologically, as an 'etheric' envelope around the physical.

But that would be speaking too literally, I think .



posted on Oct, 16 2012 @ 12:39 AM
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I'm intimately familiar with these connections. It's a process I call "archetypal chaining". In dreams, when you focus your attention on an archetype, your attention activates that archetype causing it to manifest it's varied associations. It continues to manifest it's associations until one of those new associations captures your attention, becoming the new dominant archetype, and in turn begins to manifest it's associations. The likely hood of any one association manifesting is determined by it's strength.

The strength of these associations are built up by three factors. Repetition, Emotional residue, and Novelty.

Since each connection has a varying strength, does that set up a minimal energy threshold for them to be relevant? Stronger ones remain active no matter what, but lower brain frequencies just don't provide enough power to access the weaker connections? What determines which connections stay and which ones get cut?

Or perhaps you're just describing Right Brain activity? The lack of context when "skipping steps" sounds a lot like right brain processing rather than fewer connections.




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