Common steps and sub-activities
Watching stroboscopic lights in clubs
Most people are aware that the flashing lights at rave dances are deliberately used to help induce trance like states. Stroboscopic lights are devices used to provide regular flashes of light. The frequency with which they flash is regulated because “at certain speeds they induce epilepsy”, 1 in 80 people are susceptible to this effect. Rhythmically flashing lights act directly on the optic nerve. They can induce hallucinatory experiences or experiences which might be termed ‘spiritual’.
There are ‘personal’ stroboscopic lights available on the market, but I have covered these in the section on Dreamachines and Mind machines. The lights to which I refer here are those found in dance halls and clubs and used with music such as trance music. The combination of heavy drumming and dancing added to the light display has the potential to be hugely effective as it combines three techniques in one.
Most strobe lights on sale to the public are factory-limited to about 10-12 flashes per second in their internal oscillators. At a frequency of 10 Hz, 65% of affected people are affected. The British Health and Safety Executive recommend that a net flash rate for a bank of strobe lights does not exceed 5 flashes per second, at which only 5% of photosensitive epileptics are at risk. It also recommends that no strobing effect continue for more than 30 seconds due to the potential for ‘discomfort and disorientation’.
You are clearly not in control at a rave or a dance, the organisers set the frequency and the time of the display, however, assuming the British Health and Safety Executive recommendations are followed, you should at least not be subjected to over long exposure.
You should never attend a rave or club which uses a strobe light if you are epileptic.
Be aware that you will be experimenting upon yourself if you attend a rave with heavy use of stroboscopic lights. It is advisable to have your trusted helper ready in case anything goes wrong.
It is no use closing your eyes because the lights work through the eyelids, if you think you are being over exposed, leave the room.
Be aware that the side-effects can include atonia - the paralyzed or extremely relaxed state of skeletal muscles one experiences during sleep.
The frequency has an effect upon the type of experience, any number of organs in the brain can be ‘resonated’ by these devices, they are not inherently safe for this reason. The light is converted to electrical signals and the electrical signals could easily stimulate a whole load of other organs in the brain.
Some of these devices could be classified as ‘low intensity’ others as ‘high intensity stimulation’. High intensity is unsafe.