An Introduction to Brainwaves[i]
This is a brief overview of the five bands of electromagnetic waves generated by human brains. I offer this material so you will recognize the terms when they appear later in the book.
In general, the slower brain waves are associated with deeper meditative states.
Gamma – 38 Hz (cycles per second) and higher
Gamma waves, the fastest brainwaves, have only recently been discovered because of their very low amplitude, so they are not yet thoroughly understood. These waves appear to be associated with heightened perception and expanded consciousness, or a peak mental state, when the brain is simultaneously processing information in different areas.
Beta – 12 to 38 Hz
Beta waves dominate normal waking consciousness. They are produced during active thinking activities, such as solving problems, making judgments and decisions, focusing on tasks, and engaging actively with surroundings.
Alpha – 8 to 12 Hz
Alpha waves are associated with a calm, relaxed state of mind: the resting state of the brain. These waves occur during light meditative and mindful activities, or quietly flowing thoughts. This state is also associated with artistic creativity and being “in the zone. Alpha waves indicate mental calmness with alertness, mind/body integration and learning.
Theta – 3 to 8 Hz
Theta waves occur in dreaming sleep and in deep meditation. They can also be produced during free-flowing, unconscious thought that can occur while doing automatic tasks. In Theta, the senses are less aware of the external world and more focused within. This is also the twilight state, experienced during coming awake or drifting off to sleep.
In Theta it is common to experience vivid imagery and intuition, and to receive information and insights from beyond our normal conscious awareness.
Delta – 0.5 to 3 Hz
Delta waves are low brain waves generated during dreamless sleep and in the deepest meditative states. This is the state of awareness of the nonphysical or spiritual realms. In the Delta state, we are generally not aware of our physical body or environment.
When I guide journeys into the realm between lives, I begin by taking clients into the Delta state through a process that requires forty-five minutes to an hour. Attaining this state is necessary in order to enter the realm of souls. The process is similar to what I followed on my journeys to be with my pre-birth self.
The client leaves behind most of their connection with the physical world and in particular the need of the mind to understand and control their circumstances. With good guidance, almost all of us are capable of making this transition.
As mentioned above, after practicing meditation for several years, I was able to enter states of deep meditation quickly and consistently. Initially, I used visualization and a drumbeat. Eventually, I could make the transition without those props, using only a simple breathing technique.
I learned to function physically in the Theta state, though the air felt as thick as syrup and I had to move slowly in order not to make a mistake, even when doing something as simple as preparing a cup of tea. When I spoke in this state, I had the feeling that I was not quite of this world, that someone else’s mouth was expressing thoughts that I knew originated in my mind.
In the even deeper Delta state, my awareness was disengaged from the physical world to the extent that I was mostly unaware of my surroundings and almost completely unable to move. It was in this state that I did most of my work with Grant.
Although my awareness and perceptions were almost entirely of the nonphysical realm, I found that I could speak, with considerable effort in the beginning and then more easily with practice, allowing me to describe to Grant what I was observing and feeling. It was as though my consciousness occupied two compartments. In one compartment, the part of my consciousness that was in Delta experienced a reality that was completely detached from the physical. From the other compartment, as though through a doorway, the part of my consciousness that was in the Alpha state was observing and describing the Delta experience to Grant.
Later, I learned that distinct parts of the brain can simultaneously produce different frequencies of brain waves. This allowed one part of my awareness to be in Delta and another part in Alpha. It provides an explanation for what I was able to do.
Four features of my experience in the womb differed from what is present in ordinary consciousness: size, identity, time, and space.
Anyone learning to do this work must adjust to these differences. Fortunately, the adjustment is easy to make after the initial strangeness.
On my meditative journeys, everything around me appeared normal in magnitude from the point of view I held in the moment. When I took on the identity of the egg and saw from that perspective, the approaching sperm cells looked like tiny hyperactive tadpoles. When I “became” the sperm, the egg appeared immense and the other sperm cells were the same size as I.
These different perspectives were disorienting at first. They reminded me of astronomical displays illustrating the relative sizes of Earth (tiny) beside Jupiter (huge), then Jupiter (tiny) beside the sun (huge), then the sun beside a blue giant star, that star within a galaxy, and so on.
From previous experiences I knew that this was a natural aspect of meditative journeys to environments that are physically very small or very large in comparison with our physical bodies. That helped me to adjust to the differences in scale as I moved my point of view back and forth from sperm to egg.
After conception, there was only the one viewpoint of the growing embryo, rather than the two of egg and sperm. That was both less exciting and less confusing.
I could choose between two points of view: the organism in the womb (egg, sperm, zygote, or fetus) and that of my adult self.
When I took the viewpoint of the organism, everything was a new, completely absorbing first-person experience of now. Then when I shifted from there to being my adult self, I felt like an outside observer. From that point of view, I had the advantage of several decades of life experience. I was more aware of a larger context and less absorbed in the moment.
It was as though I were watching a play in which I was also the main actor where I could perceive from either the place of the actor or a member of the audience. Either point of view was possible and I could change from one to the other instantaneously.
As the observing adult, I also had absolute confidence that I would survive. If I had not survived, I would not be there to observe my pre-birth self!
After I had been doing this work for several months, I found that the distinction between my fetal self and my adult self disappeared. There was no longer a sense of separation; it was all simply and wonderfully me. It remains so today.
Time and Space
In the meditations I was not limited by three-dimensional space or time. I could move from any moment and any location in space to any other with no sense of discontinuity.
For some readers this may give rise to a question: how is it possible to have a sense of moving back and forth in time when it is said of higher planes of consciousness that there is no time or space there?
It is true that there is a state of consciousness in which the concepts of space and time are genuinely without meaning. This state is often called Awareness, Unity, or Oneness.
In these meditative journeys I did not move into that level. I was in a realm that in a sense is one level down from the place of Unity. In the realm I was in, time does exist in the sense that I perceived events as occurring in sequence. Even so, any moment that I chose to visit was the present moment to my perception. The experience was not like a memory; rather, it was a genuine re-experiencing in what I perceived as real time.
In this state, I was able to move to different moments in time through nothing more than an exercise of intent. If I wanted to be at a chosen point in time in the womb or at a specific developmental event, I was there with no effort and no feeling of having made a transition.
Space also exists in this realm in that I perceived a “here” and a “there.” In other words, I had a sense of location. As with time, it was possible to move between locations in space without effort and without limitation.
These two critical differences made it possible to shift in time from being myself as an adult to being an egg cell (the egg cell), and to shift in space from the couch my body was on to the womb of my mother with no sense of displacement or incongruity.
It was not that time or space ceased to have reality or meaning, but that my journeys were not subject to the limitations of ordinary three-dimensional physical existence. This was possible because I was experiencing a different kind of reality.
Posted June 11, 2021