Common steps and sub-activities

Binaural beats and hemi-sync

This method is cross referenced by the activity Listening to sound and music

Binaural beats are pulsed sounds generated by applying sound of one frequency in one ear and sound of another frequency in another ear.  It relies on a rather strange property of the way the sound is carried within the brain in that the two incoming frequencies interfere with each other cancelling each other out, but leaving a remnant frequency equal to the difference of the two.  So, for example, if 300HZ was played in one ear and 310HZ in another a pulsed signal would result of 10HZ.

The intensity is low as long as the incoming signal is low, so we have here an ideal mechanism by which to invoke an experience.

Its mechanism is thus by interference.  In physics, interference is the phenomenon in which two waves superpose each other to form a resultant wave of greater or lower amplitude. Interference usually refers to the interaction of waves that are correlated or coherent with each other, either because they come from the same source or because they have the same or nearly the same frequency.

When two sinusoidal waves superimpose, the resulting waveform depends on the frequency (or wavelength) amplitude and relative phase of the two waves. If the two waves have the same amplitude A and wavelength the resultant waveform will have an amplitude between 0 and 2A depending on whether the two waves are in phase or out of phase.

But, if there is slight difference in the frequency and they are out of  phase [which is what happens with binaural beats], they don’t cancel each other out, but generate a tiny wave equal to the difference between the two.

The effect is actually well known in acoustics and is sometimes used to tune instruments.  Tuning two tones to a unison will present a peculiar effect: when the two tones are close in pitch but not yet identical, the difference in frequency generates the beating. The volume varies like in a tremolo as the sounds alternately interfere constructively and destructively. When the two tones gradually approach unison, the beating slows down and disappears.

The frequency of the sound is key.  As the stimulation works via resonance, the frequency of the sound must match the resonant frequency of the organs in the brain to be stimulated – the reticular formation, the amygdala and so on.  As every person differs in the size of even the organs in their brain, it is possible that a certain frequency will work for one person but not another – one person may get a profound experience, another may get nothing, another might get an overwhelming prod to their emotions and feel bliss joy or despair.

Example systems

One of the perhaps best known approaches in this category of using binaural beats is the approach developed by Robert Monroe and the Monroe Institute.

The  trademarked brand name for the process developed at the Monroe Institute is ‘Hemi-Sync’.  Hemi-sync is  short for Hemispheric Synchronization.  The Institute provide courses using the technology and also audio CDs. Other companies have also created and marketed products based on the concept of binaural beats such as Holosync by the Centerpointe Institute.

The Monroe Institute is not alone in providing these sound systems, one can buy machines that claim they produce these binaural beats, but I would sound a note of extreme caution about them. 

Given the very very fine line that exists between each frequency and its effects, you could affect your immune system, set your heart racing to unsustainable levels and give yourself a heart attack; you could upset your metabolic rate or completely unhinge your emotional system. 

It has taken the Monroe Institute 30 plus years to get where they are, in an understanding of just some of the frequencies.  In the course, the sessions last no more than 30 minutes or so, you are brought back from wherever you end up going, by the sound of a beacon and Robert’s voice; furthermore you are constantly monitored to make sure you are OK.  All facilitators have been trained in how to handle the various experiences and possible emotional outcomes for people.

It is for this reason that I have included no details of any equipment on the market which exists as a stand alone do-it-yourself spiritual experience inducer.

Put simply, I regard them as highly dangerous.

Given the effectiveness of the equipment, I also believe you must use this form of technique within the setting of a proven and dogma free organisation whose ethical ethos does not involve subliminal messaging and who have a research arm.  I also think the concept of profit and spiritual experience are incompatible in this context, as such the organisation must be non profit-making

This technique works and it works really well, so effective is it, that the military use it, so as a technique it has to be treated with real respect.  DO NOT USE any of the machines on the market that purport to be binaural beat technology.  You could make yourself very very ill or frighten yourself into actually going insane – I DO NOT JOKE HERE.

To summarise the specific advantages and disadvantages of this technique

Advantages 

It works really well.

It works almost immediately, you have no need to practise or spend hours befuddling your mind.

It is legal.

It is not intrusive.

It needs no training from you 

It is available from organisations who have set up well monitored sessions, facilitators and CDs.

Disadvantages

This is not a cheap option, the courses are not expensive, but they are only available from a few sources.

This mechanism is also so potentially targeted and effective that it is clear people undergoing this would be as highly suggestive as they are during hypnosis, so however effective it may be, you run the risk of being brain washed if your helper is of an unscrupulous disposition.

Although you can use CDs with this, the more responsible organisations only sell CDs that promote quite mild effects.  The very heavy duty effects – out-of-body states and ‘rebirth experiences’  - are only covered on the courses, because people who experience these need help afterwards [I can vouch for this].

So you must be hugely careful which organisations you choose to go to.  I described the Monroe Institute simply because at the time of writing they were an ethically run organisation. 

Be extremely careful how you choose your organisation

So we have here a potentially hugely effective, safe, targeted mechanism, made highly risky by the fact it needs to be operated by strangers to you.

If you think this is not a serious threat then read the following about what the military did with their new found knowledge.

Extract - Something in the cellar, Vic Tandy

Modulation of the infrasonic signal is considered, by those engaged in the design of infrasound weapons as an important property if the weapon is to be effective.

 An article in the New Scientist (1999) suggests that experiments in the use of pure, airborne infrasound as a weapon have been ineffective whereas direct coupling of the energy in the form of vibration has been shown to cause physiological effects. The problem is the coupling of the energy to the body. It will come as no surprise that little is written about this area of research. However, Dr Kalus-Dieter Thiel of the Fraunhofer Instiut für Chemische Technologie (ICT), a colleague working in this area, has stated that current research into infrasound weapons places emphasis on the use of modulation to enhance their effectiveness. In his recent book, Future War, Colonel John Alexander (2000) refers to experiments with Pulsed Periodic Stimuli (PPS) an extreme form of modulation.

"The technique.. [PPS] .. can be applied to situations where it is desirable to cause perceptual disorientation in targeted individuals. This is important, as it is the first acoustic weapon that does not rely on high intensity to cause the desired effects. Rather low-intensity, pulsed, acoustic energy can induce fairly strong effects in humans." (Alexander 2000)

Observations

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