Thursday, May 12, 2016

About Brainwaves

I am on the process of understanding brainwaves, hopefully can utilized its potential in my artworks as well as in my daily living...

Brainwaves can be categorized according to their frequency:

  • Gamma     
  • Beta
  • Alpha
  • Theta
  • Delta
(100 - 38 Hertz = cycles per second)
(38 - 15 Hz)
(14 - 8 Hz)
(7 - 4 Hz)
(3 - 0,5 Hz)
Although logical thinking is often attributed to the left hemisphere and intuitive and creative activities are seen to be located in the right hemisphere, the Mind Mirror EEG in most people is quite symmetrical. Both hemispheres are very well connected, and even though there are brain activities that can clearly be located in one hemisphere (e.g. speech), most of the time both hemispheres are active.

The Mind Mirror display shows the brain waves according to their frequencies from top (38 Hz) to bottom (0.5 Hz). The strength of the signal (amplitude) is determined in how far from the middle the curve reaches outward.

Gamma brainwaves (100 - 38 Hz) were detected later than the other brainwaves, less is known about them so far. They have been seen in states of peak performance(both physical and mental), high focus and concentration and during mystic andtranscendental experiences. A lot of research is currently being done on gamma brainwaves in the 40 Hz range during meditation. One of the characteristics of gamma waves is a synchronisation of activity over wide areas of the brain.
Gamma brainwaves are not easy to detect because of their low amplitude and can only partly be displayed on the Mind Mirror screen. Sometimes they may be seen as a narrow frequency band at 38 Hz.

BetaBeta waves (38 - 15 Hz) are the brainwaves of our "normal"waking consciousness, of our outward attention, of logical, conscious and analytical thinking. High frequency beta ("splayed beta") is seen with restlessness, stress, anxiety, panic or while our inner critic or commentator is active. Splayed beta can be differentiated from the low frequency beta of the awakened mind, when thinking feels clear, alert, creative and to the point.

AlphaAlpha brainwaves (14 - 8 Hz) are seen when we are in a relaxed state, daydreaming or visualizing ("sensualising" seems to be more appropriate as imagination in all senses - hearing, kinesthetic, smell, taste etc. - stimulates alpha waves. Your visual sense may not necessarily be the strongest for you. Some people rather feel an inner knowing). We need alpha waves as the bridge to the lower frequencies of the subconscious (theta), if we want to remember the content of our dreams or our meditation, or if we want to retrieve information from our subconscious. For this reason alpha is especially important in combination with other brainwaves.

ThetaTheta (7 - 4 Hz) represents the subconscious. We see theta during dream sleep (REM sleep), meditation, during peak experiences and creative states. In theta we find unconscious or suppressed parts of our psyche as well as our creativity and spirituality. Theta images are usually less distinct and colorful than alpha images, sometimes of a blueish color, but they often feel more profound and meaningful. As long as we only produce theta brainwaves, their content will stay inaccessible to our waking mind. We need alpha to bridge the gap between theta and beta brainwaves to consciously experience or remember theta content.

DeltaDelta brainwaves (3 - 0.5 Hz) are the brainwaves of the lowest frequency and represent the unconscious. If we only produce delta we will find us in dreamless deep sleep, but we also see delta in various combinations with other brainwaves. They may then represent intuition, curiosity, a kind of radar, hunches or a "feeling" for situations and other people. Delta is often seen with people who work in therapeutic environments or professions and with people who have had traumatic experiences and have developed a "radar" for difficult situations.

You might have noticed that the "subconscious" and the "unconscious" are used here in almost the same way as there is no clear distinction or borderline between the two. Both states are normally inaccessible to the waking mind, and they are less close to our waking consciousness than a phone number that we usually know by heart but cannot remember in a given moment.

Let us agree to refer to the parts of the personality that normally are not conscious to us (theta) as the "subconscious", whereas the "unconscious" goes beyond the individual and includes the "collective unconscious" (C.G. Jung) and transpersonal aspects of consciousness (delta). 

States of consciousness: a symphony of different brainwaves
The different states of consciousness can be described as combinations of beta, alpha, theta and delta brainwaves. (There is still research being done on gamma brainwaves and their significance). Most of the time we see not only one category of brainwaves but rather a combination of brainwaves interacting in concert.
Wachzustand"Normal" waking state (Gurdjieff called it "waking sleep"): beta brainwaves alone or in combination with delta (hour glass pattern).
Please note that the amplitude is highest at 38 Hz, the curve is open at the top. This "splayed" beta is another form of beta than the low frequency beta of the awakened mind.

MeditationMeditation: alpha and theta in combination, delta may also be present.
Both alpha and theta are necessary here: without alpha we would not be conscious during the meditation or remember its content, if theta is lacking we experience a lively and colorful imagination but without the depth, profundity or insight of theta.


Awakened MindAwakened mind: You will produce an awakened mind pattern first described by Maxwell Cade if you add low frequency beta to the meditation pattern.
You will then be able to tap into the intuition of delta, the creative inspiration, personal insight or spiritual consciousness of theta, the relaxed, detached imagery of alpha and the conscious processing of thoughts in beta, and all of this simultaneously!!

Anna Wise and Maxwell Cade discovered that while producing an awakened mind information (the "content" of consciousness) can flow freely between all levels of consciousness if all categories of brainwaves are present and in correct interrelation to each other. Consciousness is then sharper, faster, more flexible and unique. The awakened mind is the key to creativity and connects the various levels of our personality. When the different brainwaves of the awakened mind occur not simultaneously but in close succession, the pattern is called a sequential awakened mind. Sudden deep insights and aha-experiences are usually correlated with a brief flash of an awakened mind pattern. Please note that in an awakened mind pattern there is very little high frequency beta that is associated with inner unrest, repetitive thinking, stress and analytical thinking. 

The awakened mind pattern is not only commonly found in yogis, but is also usually present in kids of pre school age. After school starts the pattern gradually changes and shows more and more high frequency ("splayed") beta found in most adults, whereas theta and alpha become less present.

This is an awakened mind pattern as it shows on the Mind Mirror screen:
Hirnwellenbild eines Awakened Mind in Echtzeit

And what kind of brainwaves are the best?!?

As Anna Wise states, it is not about spending our entire life in an awakened mind pattern, but to attain mastery of our brainwaves. Mastery means, we want to be able to be in the state of consciousness (the brainwave pattern) of our choice at any given time, and to achieve what we want to do with it. So flexibility and mastery is what we are looking for.

We also look at the state of consciousness and its content. The state (e.g. the awakened mind) can be seen as the "hardware", that allows us to process content (creativity, decisions in any area of life, health, spiritual growth..., the "software"). State and content are in interrelationship with each other, i.e. certain content can help stimulate certain brainwaves, and the different brainwave patterns can help to access various kinds of content.

Can you learn to produce an awakened mind pattern, the brainwaves of the yogis? Yes, we all can. We all had an awakened mind pattern in preschool age. With some practice and with modern equipment and technology it is possible even if you are leading a busy professional and private life. Find out more  here.

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