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10 Ways to Alter Your Consciousness Without Drugs

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I'm typically not one for altered states of consciousness. I don't do drugs. I've never been drunk. In fact, the only time I can claim to have been synthetically high was when, against my will, I was injected with Fentanyl moments before being put under for surgery (and that high was not a pleasant experience). So, when I purchased a book Get High Now (without drugs) at a book sale, many of my friends and loved ones thought it extremely peculiar. When I set out to make an Instructable along the same theme, they felt I had perhaps come unhinged.

This whole endeavor is highly out of character for me. I am not one to seek out altered states of consciousness, and everyone seemed plain confused as to why I suddenly wanted to (and without drugs, no less). Some friends wanted to know if this meant I would go out drinking with them now. Others simply wanted to know who I was, where I came from, and what I did with the real Randy. All of that said, I am not particularly certain what made all of this resonate with me so strongly, but I found it compelling enough to give it a try.

Collected here are are a number of techniques for altering your consciousness. All of these have been vetted by myself and found to be effective for me on some level. That means that I did try and reject a few consciousness altering exercises that might work for others. The most notable rejection was transcendental meditation. I could not get it to do much of anything for me other than make my legs stiff. Really, the only thing I found transcendental meditation good for was striking a nice pose for the main image of this Instructable.

While none of these 10 approaches are as consciousness-altering as being injected with Fentanyl, I can say that they will all make you perceive the world in alternative ways.
 
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Step 1: Sleep Deprivation

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The body and mind need rest in order to operate at peak performance. When the body and mind do not get the required amounts of rest time, they start doing weird things. Envision for a moment a talking children's toy with dying batteries. The voice slows down and distorts and the moving parts twitch helplessly as they try in vain to move. In some way, this is a good metaphor for sleep deprivation.

If you have ever gone longer than twenty four hours without sleep, chances are that you experienced some form of altered state as a result of sleep deprivation. In fact, the more days that you go without sleeping, the more dramatic the altered state becomes. A small sample of things that you might expect to experience while sleep deprived include strange social interactions, a slowing of cognitive ability, and a distorted sense of self.

My experience:
The longest that I have stayed awake has been three and a half days. By the middle of the third day I was trying to talk to people, but primarily mumbling incoherently to myself. In turn, people would talk to me and I would answer, but not know what I was saying. There was a strange feeling of detachment from my surroundings. My reaction time slowed down and my actions were lethargic. I was there, but not there. Sometimes I would start doing things and not know why. It was as if everything - even my most immediate concerns - were happening in my periphery.

I finally found myself on the train on my way home from work. I kept falling asleep standing up. I tried to combat this by sitting down for a few minutes and then standing up for a few more minutes. I think I might have also been mumbling to myself to stay awake, but I can't fully remember. At the point, it was hard for me to tell what I was doing. After about eighty-five hours of being awake, I managed to make the seemingly eternal 3-block trek home from the train station. When I finally made it home, I laid down in bed, and passed out for a solid eighteen hours. The whole experience was rather unsettling, but definitely interesting.

Step 2: Binaural Beats

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Binaural beats are created by playing two loud tones in each ear that are very close in frequency. The brain processes this by filling in the difference and creating a third tone that is roughly the difference of the two. For instance, if you play a 400 Hz tone in one ear and 410 Hz tone in the other, your brain will create a binaural tone of 10 Hz. The theory behind this is that you can create specific audio clips that when played in your ears will stimulate your brain to produce a tone that corresponds with one of the naturally occurring brain states.

The five cognitive states that your brain operates within are Gamma (>40 Hz), Beta (13 - 39 Hz), Alpha (7 - 13 Hz), Theta (4 - 7 Hz) and Delta (<4 Hz). As the frequencies decrease, cognitive focus and alertness decrease, and you start moving into more meditative states, until you finally find yourself in deep delta sleep. There are a ton of websites online with different sound clips which produce tones in all of the mental states (except gamma, as the frequencies that create binaural beats can't be greater than 30 Hz apart). By listening to different audio clips optimized for different brain states, it is possible to alter your consciousness.

My experience:
I went into this experiment with expectation that this was a bunch of new age hippie nonsense and wouldn't result in much, but to my surprise, I must say that listening to this audio does in fact have an effect on my conscious states. Aside from the immediately obvious phantom third tone echoing throughout my head, I experienced a change in mood depending on which tone was being played. When i listened to an alpha-targeted binaural beat for a few minutes I started to feel very calm. And, when I listen to a beta-targeted clip, I became somewhat restless and agitated.

To keep things interesting, I did not research exactly what the different clips were supposed to do prior to listening to them, but upon looking them up later, most of them induced a feeling in line with that particular brain state. That said, I feel that there is something more to these clips than merely being a pure placebo effect.

Step 3: Hypnagagic Induction

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Having just touched upon different brain states, hypnagagic induction is an exercise to maintain a constant theta state. This is not something that is typically easily accomplished as the theta state tends to be a transitory state between an alert (beta) state and deep sleep (delta).

The goal of this exercise is to not allow the brain to enter the delta state and stay in the Theta state for as long as possible. This is easily accomplished by sticking an arm up in the air while you are trying to go to sleep. When your body slips out of consciousness, your arm should drop down and wake you enough for you to put your arm back in the air. Ideally, the exercise would end by waking up and writing down some of the thoughts you had while you were semi-lucid and your mind was wandering. However, often you just end up falling asleep.

My experience:
The first time I tried this, I was only able to maintain that state for a few moments before my arm dropped. The more that I tried, the longer that I was able to maintain this state. On a typical night I would try to do about five to ten repetitions of raising and dropping my arm. I found that more often than not I fell to sleep instead of waking myself back up to reflect on my thoughts. The first few times I managed to wake I had trouble recalling what it was that I had been thinking about. After a while this got a little bit easier, but I still had some trouble remembering all that had occurred in mind. While this mental state is interesting to experience, and this trick for maintaining it is quite fun, I can't say that I got much of value out of doing this.

Step 4: Self-Hypnotism

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I once saw a bunch of lobsters get hypnotized and stood upright on their heads. This was pretty cool, but a bit disturbing to watch (especially since they were then boiled alive). Ever since, the idea of being hypnotized by anyone - even myself - kind of makes me uneasy. I am not sure whether it is an aversion to trance states, or whether I simply am afraid of being boiled alive. Perhaps it is both. Any which way, the idea of inducing myself into a deep disconnected hyper-suggestive state is mildly unnerving. Yet, tons of people claim this works, so I had to at least give it a go. What I found was that it does indeed work and is rather kind of cool. I have yet to see any long term effects from doing it, but I can definitely put myself in a mild trance state.

My experience:
There are a ton of different approaches for self-hypnotism, but they are all basically along the same lines. I tried a few and then found an approach that worked for me that is a synthesis of about three or four other routines.

I start by creating a mantra of something private about myself that I would like to change. I write this down as to internalize it and set it aside. I now recline in a comfortable chair. I close my eyes and breathe deeply. I tense my body for a few seconds and then release. Working my way from my head down, I tell myself that I am relaxing my muscles (shoulders, arms, chest, etc.). Continuing to breathe deep I feel all of my body start to very slowly relax and sink. I am now in a dark deep cave. There is a pool of water in the cave. I step in and continue walking down deeper. I tell myself that the water is now up to my ankles, knees, waist, etc. I feel a tingling rising throughout my body as I go deeper and deeper. Finally, I am completely underwater and floating in an infinitely dark pool.

I tell myself that I am completely relaxed. I feel as though I am sinking deeper and deeper. I am now floating in a deep calm void. I repeat the mantra I wrote down earlier to myself. After some time I will start to emerge from this place back into the pool. I will slowly rise out of the pool. First my head, then my shoulders, then my waist, etc. Finally, I will step out of the pool and walk out of the cave. I slowly open my eyes and amazingly about twenty minutes have past.

Against all personal skepticism, I have induced myself into a trance and risen out of it. It was not merely a matter of relaxing myself, but I felt myself actually transition into a trance state. It was as though I sunk into the back of my head, into the farthest reaches of my brain. I can't really explain it, but it was very cool. As to whether or not the mantra I brought into the trances with me will have any long term effect, I cannot say.

Step 5: Isolation Tanks

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I have been intrigued by isolation tanks ever since I was first introduced to the concept in college. At first, I was skeptical of the idea. Yet, as the years have gone on and I have garnered more life-experience to draw from, I had grown slightly more convinced of their effectiveness (to the point of curiosity). I decided to try one for myself and see if it created an out-of-body euphoric experience or simply resulted in a panic attack and ear infection. So, one normal afternoon, I trekked out to Float: Flotation Center and Art Gallery in Oakland and gave it a shot.

My experience:
Float is a little bit tricky to find, but I made it out there with a little bit of time to spare (in spite of always getting lost in Oakland). When I got there I noticed that the art gallery front room was filled with some pretty cool plasma globe art. This kind of distracted me and made me a little less apprehensive about climbing into a closed box full of salt water. There was another woman who arrived there at the same time as me for a session, and since we were both first time "floaters," we both got the 10-minute introduction. It started with a little history of the machine, followed by the science behind the tank, and lastly a crash course on what to expect and how to behave inside the tank. The short summation is that the tank is filled with 1,000 pounds of medical grade epsom salt and this is diluted in about 10 inches of water. No matter what you do, you are going to float. Turning over is very difficult, and if you do, you are going to regret it as your eyes will burn for a long time. That said, the chance of falling asleep and drowning is almost nonexistent. The idea is to lay on your back, clear your mind and try to enter a deep meditation. Most first timers enter a prolonged theta state inside the machine, but with some practice, you can fall into a deep sleep in the delta state.

With that introduction, I rinsed off, privately took off all of my clothes, entered the tank, and shut the door behind me. It took a few moments to get used to being in a dark closed space filled with super-saturated salt water. Once I had my bearings I began to try to fall asleep. I couldn't. I was very awakened by the experience. Some more time passed. I suddenly felt my feet start to sink and head start to rise. I moved my body to stop this, which was when I realized that my body was not actually moving. I tried to do make this floating feeling happen again. With some practice I could spin around in all directions without actually having moved. Being a metaphorical weightless disembodied brain in a giant vat was starting to be fun. I was in a trance state akin to being self-hypnotized without actually having to hypnotize myself. All I really had to do was climb in and lay there.

After a while I could no longer easily tell if my eyes were open or shut. I began having visual day dreams. These were typically centered around flying or being a ship on the ocean with moonlight shining on me. I could see the moonlight. This continued for what seemed like 15 minutes and I started to get dizzy and a little bit nauseous. I tried repositioning myself and shifting my center of gravity. Not really having a center of gravity, I kind of did a sideways nose dive like fighter planes often do. I grabbed for the side of the tank and reassured myself that I wasn't actually moving. It was at this moment that I realized that perhaps encouraging out-of-body weightless spinning was not a good idea. I worked at being calm and still. I found a position in which I became an immovable object that was hugged tightly on all sides by the universe. This was quite nice. I liked this. I was finally getting into the groove of this whole isolation tank thing when I heard 3 knocks on the door and knew I had to get out and take a shower.

I was a little off-balanced when I finally sat up, and forgot to follow the directions of how not to get salt water in my eyes. Needless to say, I managed to get some salt water in my eye. This burned like there was no tomorrow. I went and rinsed off. I was a bit dizzy still, but had this weird calm feeling about me. I cannot explain it. When I finally went downstairs and had some tea (Float ends sessions with a cup of tea and gets an A+ for all-around experience), I was kind of feeling - for lack of a better term - strange. I cannot think of any other experience I have had quite like it. I would definitely consider trying it again and recommend it to anyone curious to try.

Step 6: Fasting

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Fasting has been used by numerous cultures throughout the century as a way to cleanse the mind and body. Adherents of fasting claim that once you get past your body's hunger reflex, you start to experience things more clearly and, depending on your religious leaning, experience a deeper relationship with God. I'm not particularly a religious man, but I recently tried a 24 hour fast in the Jewish tradition; that being with no food or water.

My experience:
I started my fast at sundown the night before with a large meal. Rather than sitting on the couch thinking about leftover pizza all day, I set out on a vision quest. Basically, the following afternoon, I trekked through my neighborhood and walked up a bunch of stairs to the top of a very big hill. When I got to the top I was a bit light-headed and tired. My stomach had stopped grumbling at this point. I can't say that I had any grand vision atop that hill, but I definitely fatigued, not quite "thinking straight." I walked down the hill and went home. I proceeded to sit on the couch and think about food and water. My mouth was dry. I had a headache. My stomach would grumble loudly once and a while to remind me that I had not been eating. I laid there until roughly sundown and then had some bagels.

Overall, I would say that my consciousness had been altered. However, I would also say that it was an entirely negative experience that I will not soon be repeating. Albeit I am not a religious man, I would say that if there was a greater power out there, they intended for us to eat and drink.

Step 7: Biofeedback

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Biofeedback enables you to monitor and affect physiological functions that are otherwise not immediately apparent. It does this by taking body functionality that you otherwise would not be able to easily sense, and represents them as sound, visuals, or tactile sensations. One popular thing to sense with biofeedback is the frequency your brain is functioning at (this is called neurofeedback). Using an EEG machine you could monitor brain waves and train your brain to function at certain frequencies. For instance, if you want to be more focused, you can train yourself to induce a hyper-alert beta brain state. This may sound like science fiction, but is actually quite extensively researched and practiced.

My experience:
One simple biofeedback exercise is to monitor neck muscle tension using EMG and train yourself to relax them to prevent tension headaches. Since I sometimes get neck stiffness and headaches on my left side, I decided to give this a try. I built my own EMG setup and configured it as outlined in this DIY EMG Biofeedback Instructable. I tried it for a few days to see if I could relieve muscle tension in my neck and found the results promising. It became increasingly easier to relax my neck muscles. I feel like that with more practice I will be able to control my neck tension without an EMG setup. Being able to prevent headaches by thinking about relaxing muscle groups is one way to subtly alter your mental state.

Step 8: Clary Sage Bath

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I read that adding Clary Sage oil to a nice warm bath has a bit of a calming effect. While it is easy to be skeptical of "hippie things" like aroma therapy baths, I found this one very much worked as advertised. It worked so well, that I would heed warning and not try this while drinking alcohol (it is supposed to have strong narcotic effects).

My experience:
After a few minutes - to my surprise - I started to feel a heaviness in my temples and a sense of lightheadedness. This was a little bit unnerving at first, but after a few more minutes I started to feel very relaxed - very - very - relaxed. My motor skills seemed to be a bit off as well. I reached out to turn the spigot and add more hot water into the tub and missed it. I decided to stop reaching for things and just sit back and relax.

I was now very calm. I closed my eyes. I was hearing all of the sounds around me. I heard water occasionally drip from the faucet, cars driving past a few blocks away on the main road, and a dog bark way off in the distance. Typically, when I take a bath, I spend most of my time wrapped up in thought, but I found myself instead simply relaxed and my mind very clear of thought. It was like I had sunk into the world's most comfortable chair and could not get up. Eventually I managed to break free of the peaceful grip of the tub. The very relaxed and lightheaded feeling persisted for some time afterwards.

Step 9: Staring at a Candle

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Okay. This seems kind of silly, but if you sit in a dark room and stare at a candle for ten minutes while trying not to blink, you will experience subtle visual hallucinations. This sounds too simplistic to actually work, but I begrudgingly admit that it does. Which brings me too...

My experience:
At first it was hard to keep focused on the candle without blinking. After about a minute this task started to become easier. My eyes focused on the light and began to relax and the candle doubled in vision. After a while longer there started to be a glowing red and yellow sphere around the flame. Then, I blinked. I had to start over. I got to seeing the sphere, blinked, and started over again. This time I began to see a sphere and pushed through my desire to blink. My entire field of vision began to become wavy and finally the sphere appeared to be shooting arcs of light out of it kind of like a lightning globe. This was not the most exciting thing I ever saw, but definitely was a visual hallucination. I wasn't able to maintain it for long because then I blinked, my vision reset itself and I quit because I figured I took this about as far as I could. When I was done, I turned on the lights and had a blue and red dot burnt into the center of my field of vision for about five minutes. This alarmed me enough not to ever try this again. I suggest that you don't try this either.

Step 10: Go Upside Down

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This seems kind of simplistic, but turning upside down will change the way you perceive things on two levels. First, it will change your visual perspective. The ceiling becomes the floor. Floor lamps become chandeliers. Things in general just get strange. That aside, if you stay upside down for more than a few seconds, you will get a rush of blood to your head. The heart has not evolved not to pump blood against gravity very well and standing on your head means that more blood will settle there. Over a short period this will result in a mildly-altered state of consciousness. Over a long period, this can result in bad things like stroke, heart attack or blindness. I don't recommend standing on your head for very long.

My experience:
While I initially resolved simply to lean upside down over the edge of the couch, I decided to go all out and fully stand on my head. I cannot remember the last time that I had stood on my head, and it was a bit more of a challenge than I remember. However, I leaned against a wall, and once I got up, I was very stable and confident in that position (minus the discomfort of my whole entire body weight pushing down on my neck). After about 30 seconds, my orientation changed and what was up was down; and down was now up.

I was just hanging out here checking things out for about another two to three minutes when I started to feel a throbbing pressure in my head. This was the feeling of blood rushing in. I held this for another 30 seconds and suddenly things did not feel quite right. I decided that perhaps balancing on my head in this state for much longer was not a good idea. I carefully returned to my feet and was very light-headed and dizzy. Aside from a stiff neck, things were feeling good, and perhaps I was imagining things, but my vision seemed sharper.
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Roguer5 days ago

SMFH

Sleep deprivation is amazing, I love it, it just takes away all my shyness and makes me an enjoyable person everybody likes. I'm probably going to attempt it for an event tomorrow.
DanL132 months ago

Tratka is an ancient method of (gently) staring at a small object or candle flame, without blinking, used in India (and I believe in Asian martial arts) to help create powerful focus. You start off GRADUALLY: the first few times for only a minute or even less. Then over a few weeks, increase the length of time. I've been able to do it up to 20 minutes, and it is amazingly helpful for meditation and focus. I've never had any bad side effects. The after image is a commonly known phenomena which is harmless.

ErnestS3 DanL1320 days ago

or you could just take a hit of LSD and enjoy a real deep altered experience, don't look in the mirror though!

T0BY DanL131 month ago
Don't you get sore eyes?
ErnestS320 days ago
ErnestS320 days ago

Wouldn't the staring at a candle experience just be an optical illusion, as oppose to a visual hallucination? Hallucinations originate without external stimuli.

Hallucinations could be stimulated by an external stimulus. It could be caused by accustomisation of the eyes and brain compensating for the continued unwavering stimulation. What is described is also similar to meditation which can caused altered perceptions.
sdcharle7 months ago

sleep deprivation is pretty dangerous if you have a job or are a student and your only way to get around is by driving.

I once lasted a week without sleep. I never put my mind to it beforehand but I definitely had some experience with sleep deprivation. I used to be an avid gamer in my teens so it came about naturally. I found out, on this particular occasion, that after a day or two I didn't even mind it all that much - I never, after the first night basically, had any trouble falling asleep or anything like that. I think ( it's really hard to remember this exactly of course) I entered a continuum of conscience - sort of - and it was awesome. By the sixth day, in the morning, I remember smoking a cigarette and feeling how it burned somehow and visualising it differently than what I should've actually seen when looking at it. Same thing when watching at trees, and so on.

I think it helps if you're concetrating on the same thing indefinitely. So, like, it might be a good idea if you're trying to write a book and want to be super-consistent maybe... Also I think you get better and better at the thing you're doing when you're not stopping too much to do anything else( like sleeping).

DanL132 months ago
e-beth7 months ago
I pray every day as a Christian. If I pray for more than say, 5 minutes consecutively, when I open my eyes, I usually have a feeling of sensory overload for a second. I know studies out of Duke University have shown that prayer has actual physical effects (on you, AND the people you pray for, but that is a different topic). I would say that the difference between prayer and meditation is the focus. Meditation focuses inward, prayer focuses OUTWARD. Meditation fosters a sense of self, prayer aligns your mind with the realities of the world, and prompts you with ideas and ways to act them out for the good of the world. It gives you compassion for the person you are praying for. You increasingly become more mature and less selfish.

Having done both, I agree with what you've said about prayer, but I would disagree with your views on meditation.

Buddhist meditation causes a feeling of no self and Hindu meditation can lead to feelings of being 'at one with the universe'. It is therefore not some form of selfish naval-gazing, but is a path to connecting with and helping those around you (just like prayer).

Ah, yes. I didn't mean for it to sound like meditation was selfish. Sorry! I was thinking more like this-losing self and/or being one with the universe is very different than submitting the self to the will of the Biblical God. The change originator is God, since He is perfect, and we are not. IIRC, Buddah did not declare himself perfectly divine? I know that he is often regarded that way, but was his purpose to speak to each individual as they mediate for all eternity with omnipotent wisdom? That is not a rhetorical question, I do not know.
The mind altering experience of prayer is supposed to be a permanent life change conformation to the Biblical God's revealed word. That Word (the Bible) is relentless in its exhortations to put God first, others second, and self third.

First of all...what is god? In the ancient teachings of meditation...the same teachings that Yeshua (Jesus) studied in the Far East, in Tibet, Nepal and in India...he learned that the disfigured and misinterpreted god that Western Christians think of today...IS nirvana. God is not a person...or even an entity, nor even a personality...god is a state of mind...a state of consciousness...a state of being...and when you reach that state...you are what is considered to be in nirvana...at peace with The All That There Is.

WE are god. God is an expression of The All That There Is...ALL consciousness on all levels, from the Devic Souls that represent the weather, water, and nature spirits, to what we consider the higher forms of consciousness, meaning intelligent, sentient, self-aware and ensouled physical beings, such as humans, cetaceans, great apes...and perhaps pachyderms. There might be others that we are not aware of...but then, we're not perfect, right?...At least...not yet.

See...religious folk tend to separate themselves out from their intrinsic connection to their true inner self and project outwardly an image (make up whatever image you want...and as we've seen over the eons...many have and still do) of a "fatherly" (or motherly) figure who watches over them. That is O.K., there is nothing wrong with that. We are spiritual beings and we all evolve on different levels and at different rates of time and speed. There is no race for the soul to evolve. Sentient, self-aware (and intelligent?) species (at least those that become highly technologically advanced) destroy planets (and themselves) at an amazing rate. But that is why the universe is such an immense place. Life sustaining planets are a dime a dozen in this almost infinite universe...and to us anyway...it might as well be infinite.

But then, consciousness is infinite...so why would the universe be any different? Since WE created it anyway!

I know, I know...Blasphemy!

Well, I guess you are mostly following Hindu ideas?
Christianity is a religion with a historical basis in the real person of Jesus who lived in Nazareth. He claimed to be God and performed many miracles including raising from the dead. This made many people at the time accuse HIM of blasphemy! The Jews were waiting for Messiah to come, but did not believe that Jesus was He. Hence, the crucifixion. You are free to believe what you will,
but you come across as kind of arrogant to say all of Christianity is wrong and that basically the whole Bible is inaccurate. Not a great way to prove you are enlightened my friend.

Oh...I never claimed that I am enlightened. I think there is only an extremely small handful of truly "enlightened" human beings on this planet at any given time. By the way...the original "scriptures" that the "bible" are based on weren't even written until between sixty to ninety years AFTER the death of Jesus. Only in the fallible bible does it say that Jesus claimed to be god. In truth, what he actually said was: "I am the son of god...and you are my brothers and sisters." Meaning: "We are ALL the children of god." But as is always the case with zealots and religious control freaks (I'm not saying that that is what you are, but the leaders of the main religions of the world throughout human history are and have been), is that human beings, especially small minded, greedy, self-serving, arrogant, ignorant and power hungry little people with tiny little minds, once in power...discover how much they like having the power they hold, and then the true meaning of ANY religion...no matter which one it is...tends to hold no meaning whatsoever any longer.

And no...I am not "following" Hindu Ideas...as I do not "follow" any particular religion. Instead, I would say that I am a spiritualist. I believe in spirit. I just don't refer to spiritual consciousness as god. I don't need to go to a church or a temple or a mosque to get my spiritual guidance. Some people need that. That's O.K., I respect that. As long as religious folks keep their religions in their homes and in their churches and in their temples and in their mosques...I can respect their religions. Just keep their religious ideologies out of my government...out of my children's schools...out of and off of my mother's...my wife's, my sister's and my daughter's bodies...and perhaps keep them out of and off of my body as well.

Anyway...no where did Jesus ever claim to BE god and the miracles he did perform were because he was an acultist. He was a master at manifestation. He was a Seventh Level Old King and living his last life on Earth when he finally passed from this plane of existence. But he never actually claimed to BE god. That is a massive misinterpretation by the small minded little people who for all the various reasons small minded little people misinterpret the various spiritual teachings of the enlightened spiritual teachers throughout human history have taught.

Even Jesus said: "Build no temples in my name." and what did all the small minded little people end up doing? They placed Jesus on a pedestal and called him a god. That is EXACTLY what he DIDN'T want. One of the problems with two thousand years of time between our culture and the culture of Jesus' time is that there is a massive language barrier as well as a massive cultural barrier. Honestly, no one seems to understand what spiritual teachers ever seem to be teaching. But the basic teachings of the big three were to not judge each other, turn the other cheek...which is why Jesus was talking about and teaching people about Karma. But no one now seems to get it. Why turn the other cheek? Because, what goes around, comes around. Doesn't have to be in THIS lifetime.

The Jews were smart...very intelligent people. They clearly understood that Jesus was not a god...that he was a man...that he was a rabbi...a teacher...and that obviously he wasn't born in some silly immaculate conception from a virgin. He was a normal human being who lived like all other human beings did on the same biological level as everyone else. The fact that he was a spiritually ascended master is another thing entirely.

The bible is inaccurate in many things. Much of what Jesus said that was written in the bible is correct...but is misinterpreted by most Christians. But in the end...who cares? When we die...we will all find out what's what. Right? I know that I am not going to a place called heaven nor a place called hell. Those are inventions of the human psyche. But we will all find out soon enough. We do live short lives. So make the best of them. :-)

Also...you accused me of being arrogant...but doesn't that also go the same for those who call themselves Christian or believe in Christianity? Isn't it arrogant of ANY religious person to tell an agnostic like me that they are right and I am wrong? Could I not then accuse them also of being arrogant?

Anyway...this has been an excellent subject and a wonderful debate. Thank you all for such lively intercourse.

Well, I'm not sure where you got the authority to declare the world's largest religion, the best selling book of all time and the man that split history "silly". What exactly are your credentials? How many times have you read the entire Bible? How do you serve mankind? My church in my little town feeds the hungry, visits the sick, takes refugees into their homes, adopts children in foster care, builds wells in several continents, fixes up old cars and gives them to people, adopts special needs teenagers, offers free couseling, I could go on and on. My faith has taken me around the world and I've seen people's lives change from night to day. I've given my life to minister to all kinds of people.
If I sound arrogant or exclusive it's because the authority I refer to is indeed exclusive. But it is also truth, and if you are right and I (and my authority) is wrong, no big deal for me. If my authority (God) is right and you are wrong, well it breaks my heart to think of your destiny.
AivaWolf  e-beth3 months ago
I respect and honor not worship all gods and goddesses I believe all have some form of truth to their tales but the Christian God is the only one I've seen who demands to be worshipped my soul is in its 6th universal cycle I know others who remember lives outside of this tiny planet and personally I have small memories of Aphrodites hot full of herself it's part of her race but yes churches In His name feed and house the poor but not before pushing different sides of their beliefs down their throat I help I listen I don't judge them I go to a local church run hospital er every hour I have to hear a prayer while voices tell me to die people say he's all living but demands to be feared think on that one wether I imagine what I know or not I know for sure I believe in God just enough to hate him he's verm shoved down my throat so much

Hmmm...interesting...also...have you ever heard of punctuation? That was the longest non-sentence I have ever read. Non-sentence because there wasn't even a period at the end of the entire thing...let alone any commas or periods anywhere else in that diatribe. But anyway, interesting.

Abnertgu  e-beth3 months ago

e-beth, You´ve been deluded. You´re mixing myths, superstition and dogma with truth and common sense. I had the intention of REFUTING every and each one of your comments, but then realized that dsantil71 had already given you a clear and good answer to your arroogant claims; he even "played the same game" by using some bible verses. Besides, that would make me into another arrogant humang being, and I don´t want that...I´ve had enough of that already in my life. I also realize that no matter now many good arguments, proof and facts anyone here might present to you, you´d simply not open your ears and eyes to the truth. Not ´your´ biased truth, nor any religion´s "truth", but simply THE TRUTH, which is based on facts, not on lies.

Yours -your mental conditioning- is a deplorable state of affairs characteristic of so many millions of people who have been led astray from what is real---yes, and What is real? That´s precisely what honest, sincere and brave human beings strive to know. Not by blindly accepting everything that´s been fabricated and told to them by an authoritarian religious figure, but by inquiring, by searching, by into the nature of the things they see, hear and experience in this world.

However, I appreciate your human efforts to bring relief to others less fortunate than you (materially speaking). BTW, there are many other religious and even secular groups that do the same. I am NOT condemning you, but I´d suggest you make an honest effort to inquire more of what it means to be humble, and to do some research regarding the true foundation of your faith and religion...if you do, you might be really and shockingly surprised by your findings. In fact, I challenge you to do it. I challenge you to make full use of your "God-given" potential and skills and to learn by yourself, and to stop repeating teachings and doctrines that only serve a hidden -and sometimes, not so hidden- agenda.

Some ppl here do not share in the idea and concept of the existence of a "God" and all that this implies. They all have their own motives and reasons for doing so; either bc of the cartoonist misrepresentation of Him- Her-It made by many self- professed believers, or bc of a set of very personal intentions reflected in their inmoral or amoral lives that they do not want to acknowledge, especially on a public internet site...But that´s their right. One´s beliefs are very intimate and personal, and these should not be impossed by force to anyone. Hopefully, we can expect that truth and love will win them to their ranks.

Peace to you, e-beth...really...I wish you the best.


religion-tolerancia_EN.PNG

Santa Clause has brought joy to many children in the western world and he is based in a complete lie. Illusions and lies can bring joy and temporary help sometimes, they have in my life. It doesnt make them true. Just because something is popular and infuential or the largest in the world does not mean it is true or has any authority. No one needs credentials to speak of what is real or true. Just because you have helped a lot of people or your religion has served you and many others it does not mean it has the ultimate say in what is truth. Nor does it make you superior to than those that have not. You have invested so much into your religion that you cant see beyond it or yourself beyond it. So stop your self righteousness. A person's life can be changed for the better by many things and may other religions. I don't know if this god entity you pray for exists but if he does I still stand strong that he is not my creator nor my father. Most religious people don't even truly love him. They fear him, have unhealthy submissive obsession that would be creepy if it was towards another person or if not, just pray to win his favor. Actually I think everyone prays to win his favor no matter if their intentions are selfless or selfish. People are so mesmerized by the tales of angels and a beautiful heaven after death and eternal happiness that will be GIVEN to you like you never deserved it before. I find all that so shallow and sad. I might go to hell but this god of yours will never be able to touch my heart soul essence because he did not create me nor can he destroy me and will never own me. My soul is mine and it is all that I am and no one has power over it.

Santa Claus is based on a real man, St. Nicholas.

The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus' words to "sell what you own and give the money to the poor," Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.

St. Nicholas is connected with the tradition of secretly giving presents. There was a nobleman in Patana with three daughters but he was too poor to provide them with a dowry for marriage. He was almost on the point of abandoning them to a sinful life when Nicholas heard of his problem. That night he took a purse of gold and threw it in an open window. The nobleman used for a dowry the next day as he did a second purse he found the next night. Curious about his benefactor, the third night he watched and caught Nicholas in the act but he was told not to reveal the Saint's identity or generosity. Ever since, St. Nicholas has been identified with the tradition of gift giving.

There is centre dedicated to St. Nicholas where you can find much more information about him at http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/home/

I hope that you find this information interesting.
dsantil71  e-beth6 months ago

For a self-proclaimed christian your comments are very un-christian.

You said "He claimed to be God and performed many miracles including raising from the dead."

But Jesus answered them, "My Father is working until now, and I am working." This is why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

John 5:17-18

So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.

John 5:19

JESUS NEVER CLAIMED TO BE GOD

You stated "My church in my little town feeds the hungry, visits the sick, takes refugees into their homes, adopts children in foster care, builds wells in several continents, fixes up old cars and gives them to people, adopts special needs teenagers, offers free couseling, I could go on and on. My faith has taken me around the world and I've seen people's lives change from night to day. I've given my life to minister to all kinds of people."

"Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 6:1-4

I could go on & on & point out more mistakes you said but I think I made my point. To be clear I am a non-practicing Catholic who is christian but I believe everyone has the right to practice & believe in whatever way they desire. I will not condemn, or look down on anyone just because they don't believe in the same thing I do. I feel we are all equal. I even want to learn about other faiths, practices & customs to enrich myself more.

I just hope you can open your heart to others of whatever practice as well. As Jesus intended

getting off of my soap box now, lol

You have read my mind on what god is, thank you for being in exsistance. If only everyone could see the truth of everything... I declare you winner of the debate too lol. E beth loses for assuming that what her church does is only possible because theyre a church, were all just people.. She also loses for hinting you will go "hell" for thinking with an open mind, god isnt a 5 year old - "love me and tell me all the time or youll burn!" lol -Anonymous with love
Very well put. And it can't be rebutted because it's not based on a theory; it's fact, and as real as you can get.
cfuse  e-beth6 months ago

Prayer has no scientifically proven efficacy when it comes to acting on others.

If you want to help other people, then help other people - you don't have to wait for anything or anyone to do that on your behalf.

rf  e-beth7 months ago

Meditation and prayer are very much the same thing.

spark master rf6 months ago

I humbly disagree. I am not a religious person at all. I am agnostic. Since 8th grade, I meditated, back in 1972 I formally gave up on organized fake religions. I along with a friend, who guided me, could achieve total white on a NYC subway car standing up at rush hour. That is, eyes open, with practice I could go blank in a few seconds. No vision, muffled sound and white screen. If you tried to pick my pocket or get around me, like a screen saver I leaped to the occasion. Nano second to full awareness. No Joke.

I know some people can achieve the same thing with prayer as they are just repeating the same prayer over and over and over. That will do it. But prayer is a one sided conversation with a perceived theoretical personal god. You constantly are asking for stuff. This is not meditation, (to me), this is prayer as I was taught in Cat-Lick School. This a beseeching of god for favors. This does not come close to what I experienced in meditation. And I was a firm believer in my faith and truly prayed Sundays and other days as I felt the need.

I have tried free Binaural beats, but for me they were useless, but I can't make the generator work to make custom beats. I was considering a home brewed God Helmet or the like, and visual vesion (like the lucid dream machine here on Instructables) added to a sound generator.

http ://ww w.instructables.com/id/The-Lucid-Dream-Machine/

Kinda hoping for the state achieved in "Alter States" the movie from 1980 but w/o the drug.

http: //w ww.imdb.com/title/tt0080360/

Go in Human, come out primordial slime brooahhhhaaaa!!!~)

Just think if you can get there w/o drugs and it makes you feel good, you break no laws, you buy no drugs, it is free, recylable and infinitely scalable. Helps aid with digestion, insomnia, anxiety and even obnoxious in-laws. (remember, eyes open and blank)

thanks fer the post My favorite part was the link to the book, that shows the chronosynclastic infindibulum. I thought that was just a Kurt Vonnegut silliness.

http :// gethighnow. com/chronosynclastic-infundibulum-aka-rotating-snake/

AS a kid I used to get nasty head aches and eventually they went away, but I do,(did), get visuals and it looks like a dot , then a cheerio, then it grows into a a boomerang , then a sliver phase of the moon (all were composed of the the illustration as the fill), and it moves and scintillates. Then it floats away.

Quite pretty, and obnoxious. Neuro MD said, it's visual migraines, well, it is better then the pain type I remember and unlike drugs, free AND legal! And they last exactly 20 minutes every time.

The ability to show someone what I see to me, is priceless. It is not a perfect description, but it is close enough. Next time I see a Neurologist I will put this past him/her. I have never been able to verbally describe it.

Again thanks fer this post, and all the comments, even the ones I do not agree with, kudo's to all!

Blaise_Gauba2 months ago
Hi e-beth:

Actually...meditation is not about fostering a sense of "self" at all. It is about releasing self...releasing ego...it is about fostering inner peace...inner sanctity...inner vision...it's about letting go of your Earthbound ego long enough so the soul can recognize that it is infinite...which is what we are. We are infinite beings of light...of consciousness. We come from the Tao...we are cast from the Tao...for you...let's call Tao god. God is not DEMANDING of anything...only the ego or False Personality of ensouled, sentient, self-aware "living" beings, beings who choose to experience life on the "Physical Plane" such as you and me, have False Personalties...egos and therefore are the only beings (False Personalities) who DEMAND anything.

The bible along with all religious books were written by human beings...mostly by MEN. Men with False Personalities. Those who followed the teachings of Yeshua (Jesus) all had False Personalities (egos) just like you and me. And the people who started writing down their "INTERPRETATIONS" of what they "BELIEVE" Jesus was talking about...that there is absolute certainty that there were and ARE incorrect interpretations, false beliefs, and misinterpretations of Yeshua's teachings. Over time...as different human beings...mostly MEN...again...with False Personalities...with their egos...and we all know that egos can warp perceptions...warp people's personal truths...and cause them to go completely astray from "The Path" enough so, that they decide (choose) to do some pretty "evil" (energy) things to their fellow human beings. Lying is just one of those things that False Personality (fear) causes people to do. Then you can build upon that.

It's true...[god] the Tao...gave us free will. That means that every single sentient, self-aware, ensouled "living" being throughout the entire Universe...including the Multiverse...and the Higher Planes of Consciousness can do whatever they want with themselves. There IS Karma. Karma is recorded into the Akashic Records. Karma is the exchange of energy between sentient, self-aware, conscious "living" beings. This energy is only energy. Religious thinking people call negative energy exchange "evil", but the more enlightened souls call it "energy" and energy, whether perceived as "negative" (evil) or "positive" (good)...in the end...is only energy. No one is actually judged by anyone...especially a (your?) god...except by those with strong egos...i.e., False Personalities. The Tao...(god for you) has no Ego...it has no False Personality. Tao is The All That There Is. We come from Tao. We are an intrinsic part of Tao.

To me...there IS NO god. There is only the Tao. Tao is the source of our disembarkation. We who choose to come to the Physical Plane, do so as volunteers...you, me...everyone. We are ALL on the "Path" to enlightenment...and we are all doing it on our own terms...in our own way...as we see fit. We ARE supposed to follow some rules...but souls as they are...like to experiment, like to break the rules. So this is why there is Karma...to keep track of the "energy" which is recorded into the Akashic Records, so that at some later point in [time?] all energy exchanges are well...exchanged fully and fairly.

This is what Yeshua was talking about. Turn the other cheek. Revenge is mine sayeth the lord. This means, leave it to the Akashic Records...leave it to the balance of energies, because even Jesus taught everyone that we will reincarnate. THAT is the "rebirth" that is misinterpreted in the Bible. Again...there IS NO GOD who is DEMANDING ANYTHING. Believe what you want to believe. Apparently your "belief" is very strong in you...so good for you. But it is based on a book written by men almost two thousand years ago...a book that has been rewritten by men who have ulterior motives.

As long as religious folks keep their religions out of the various governments on this planet...and since I live in the United States, I would like religious "fanatics" to keep their religions...whatever they may be...because I don't care if they claim to be "Christian" or "Jewish" or "Muslim" or "Buddhist" or "Hindi" or "Satanist" or any other religion. Just keep your religions in your homes and churches and temples and mosques etc. and keep them out of my government and out of my children's schools and out of and off of the bodies of the women in my life.

Religions tend very much to be self-righteous.

Clearly I can see that you know absolutely nothing about meditation whatsoever. Like I have stated previously...I have been meditating since I was twelve years old. It has helped me a lot in my life. It has helped me to connect with my Spirit Guides who have helped me get through some interesting times. I've tried prayer...especially when I was a child...before I realized that it didn't bring any answers to me. Religion did allow me to leave it behind and find meditation. So I thank the Catholic Church for that.

If your religion helps you to be a better human being...then I am very happy for you. And in your travels around the world as you help the poor...I also hope that you do not proselytize to those whom you are "helping" and that you respect their cultures enough to allow them to believe in what they believe in.

Religions screw a lot of things up for people. Look at the African country who's leader thinks that gay people should be killed. Not very "Christian" of him...even though he CLAIMS to be a Christian.

Jesus would NEVER say to kill anyone...for ANY reason whatsoever. Jesus didn't die for anyone's "sins". He died because he was living by example. He refused to fight or kill any of his accusers or attackers. He said to LOVE your enemies. He meant that from his heart. Love them fully...with deep compassion...with deep love and humility and with empathy. He forgave those who harmed him...those who crucified him. THAT is an enlightened soul.

He also said: "Build no temples in my name." and look what all you "believers" did. No one listens, because they have other plans...ulterior motives. Jesus cannot and does not "save" anyone's soul. Only YOU can save your own soul. Maybe you have with your religious beliefs. Who knows?

If you have interest in building your own float tank check out the Facebook group called 'Float tank DIY'. It can be done for under €2500. Unlimited floating at home ;-)

TheJMan8153 months ago
How much clearly sage would
You actually use?
DanatTLFN5 months ago

A Great Article Thanks Very much, I think I might start the standing upside down things. Could be good to get the blood flowing.

One other thing I would like to add is eating a really heavy meal before bed. I get awful sleep paralysis when I do this because shortens my breath and makes me catatonic. Its horrible, but you could give that a go.

dsantil716 months ago

I’ll have to show this to my son. He is very interested
in & is always trying to do this. He meditates daily.

This was with drugs so it doesn’t count, I took Ambien for
the first time then went to bed. My hubby & kids said I started walking
around the house, got in my son’s bed & talking gibberish. I barely recall the
event, lol. Never took it again!

Step 2 Binaural Beat - I listened to one, it was awful, I
could feel a migraine coming on. Then I got some free ones that were supposed
to help with certain things like “stop being lazy”, “increase IQ”, didn’t see a
difference, lol.

Step 7 - The biofeedback sounds really cool, I want to
try it.

Step 10 - I have been wanting to buy one of those
inverter devices that hold you upside, for my herniated discs but no money.
That would prob be easier on your head not on the wallet, lol

Step 4 What you call self hypnotism is now called
mindfulness & deep meditative relaxation.

I cheat, I listen to audios that tell me what to do with
relaxing music in the background, lol. I love it.

You actually did a combination of deep meditatitive relaxation and
cognitive behavioral therapy.

A 2 for 1! Way to go!

The CBT was the “mantra of something private about myself that I would like to
change”

The key to CBT is REPETITION! I personally am still
working on that part, lol

"Our thinking is very changeable. If you worked on changing
your thinking everyday by reading, listening to the audio exercises, and completing a cognitive diary you
will find your thinking changing even within a few weeks." Monica A. Frank, Ph.D. from www.excelatlife.com

You can’t beat being
able to improve/change yourself for the better!

There are also a lot of health benefits to mindfulness
& deep relaxation, here are some links for info.

A BRIEF PRIMER
ON THE BIOLOGY OF STRESS AND HOW CBT CAN HELP

http://www.excelatlife.com/articles/stressbiology....

WHAT ARE THE HEALTH
BENEFITS OF DEEP MEDITATIVE RELAXATION?

http://www.excelatlife.com/articles/relaxation3.ht...

1) Reduction in Stress and Anxiety.

2) Reduces Depression and Substance Abuse.

3) Reduces Symptoms of Various Physical Illnesses.

4) Improves Cognitive Performance.

5) Reduces Pain Sensitivity.

6) Slows Cellular Aging? Maybe

You don’t have to go to a gym, or see a therapist or dr
for the deep relaxation.

croftsjoey6 months ago
Very interesting read. Though "hippies" have nothing to do with aroma therapy. Nor binaural beats. I believe you understand now that you have tried them, but everything "hippie" related was once a great breakthrough in the scientific community. Especially lysergic acid (and more importantly DMT, though im unsure of its discovery) LSD (less harmful to the body and mind than citric acid) is excellent for the expansion of conciousness. I could ramble for days about hippies, but "they", myself included i suppose, understand NOTHING really matters other than unity among the people, following your bliss, and loving yourself.
I may have gone off topic a bit. Im tired
cbessette16 months ago

I read in a biography of Thomas Edison that he would take mini naps in his lab by sitting on a bench holding a spoon. He would close his eyes, and when he lost consciousness later, the spoon would fall, waking him up.

Yes that is true but it wasn't because of the same topic, it was because he was a workaholic, he felt he only needed very little sleep, once the object he was holding fell he would then go back to working
Exocetid6 months ago

I have to agree with teslaberry, you strayed off your Instructable by using clary sage. If you want to do this right, go get a refillable e-sig and vape it. Mind blowing and quite legal. I recommend the brand by Lafayette Organics.

gainsun6 months ago

You have fast for longer than 24 hrs to be able to mark any changes. Recently I did a 3 day fast and the main takeaway was an improvement of the 5 senses- particularly eye sight. The eyes are the fastest healing organ in the body and since the body does not need to expend energy in processing food and waste during a fast it can free up more resources and energy to perceive the immediate reality in finer detail. Colors where much more vibrant- almost like I could sense them vibrating. While out on a nature hike I instinctively was relaxing my vision while trying to shut down delineating construct of the mind. The problem is that people are under the illusion that they are their minds. That , that alone is the totality of their awareness/existance. This has been scientifically been proven to be false for thousands of years. I will leave you with this thought: You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it. Free your mind and come to your senses....

There is an non- local experience of reality that doesn't even involve what the author (although useful to an extent) has presented here. Check out the science of Kriya Yoga if you want to go up the ladder of broader awareness- the world need it.

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