"THE EFFECTS OF SOUND ON CONSCIOUSNESS"
by Tom Kenyon
use of sound and music to generate "healing" has a long
history stretching back to the virtual beginnings of man. Indigenous
shamans and healers using instruments such as the human voice,
drums, flutes and percussive instruments have been documented
to alter brain states (i.e. the neural activity within the brain
itself). These studies have shown, for instance, that certain
drumming patterns increase theta activity within the brain, a
state known to be connected with hypnogogic states of awareness,
dream-like states of mind as well as states of high insight and
Research studies conducted
on the neurological effects of sound have shown that the human
brain responds to pure tone in highly specific ways. PET Scans,
which measure glucose consumption at the cellular level show that
pure sound and music (without words) stimulate an increase of
cellular activity in the right or "non-dominant" hemisphere.
Although both hemispheres
of the brain process many different kinds of information, a simple
division in tasking can be made. Basically the dominant hemisphere
(left side for most people) processes language and logic. The
non-dominant hemisphere (right side for most people) processes
spatial information, paradox and is non-language based. While
the abilities to understand and create language are vital components
of our human experience, there are other valuable aspects of our
intelligence that are not currently recognized by our culture
as having intrinsic value. These other domains of our intelligence
(such a heightened creative insight and states of high genius)
are most easily accessed through non-dominant brain activity.
When the non-dominant
hemisphere is stimulated, as in the use of pure sound or tone,
there is often an increase in non-ordinary states of awareness.
This occurs because the non-dominant hemisphere engages the spatial
and intuitive aspects of our intelligence. In these neurological
states, our perception of reality (both internal and external)
can be very different from our everyday experience. Our senses
may become heightened, or sensitive, more vivid or refined. It
is not uncommon to have a more immediate experience of our inner
mental and emotional life through the direct perception of our
psychic drivers (i.e., our deeply seated emotions, fantasies and
archetypal conflicts or dramas). These may present themselves
as internal imagery (dream-like images) or even internal dialogues.
While our Western culture
is generally unconcerned with these deep emotional and mental
states, numerous anecdotal reports from the lives of great artists
and scientists indicate that these state of mind are gateways
to our innate genius.
Neurology has shown
that most of us use less than ten percent of our brain. What this
actually means is that in order to live our day-to-day lives,
we only need ten percent or less of the neural pathways available
to us. The other ninety percent is dormant. And it will remain
dormant until a need arises for these "sleeping" neural
pathways to "wake up." Having worked in the field of
psychotherapy and human potential for over eighteen years, I am
convinced that altered states of consciousness are a powerful
key for unlocking much of our unused potential. And as a technology
to assist us, sound and music are unparalleled.
more info on Tom, his work and his many recordings please visit:
www.tomkenyon.com and also soundhealingfoundation.org
Reprinted by permission.
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is scary, but it's better than the numbing deception of making
believe reality is real."
~ Ram Dass