Harmonic Mind is an 8-week meditation audio program that uses binaural beat frequency technology embedded into specially tuned ambient music to support new and intermediate meditators in starting or deepening a daily meditation practice. Through our program participants are provided with an effective means for making rapid progress toward meditation excellence without much of the difficulty that often accompanies the early stages of practice. In this paper, we provide an introductory view of brainwave entrainment technology used in our audio programs and their benefits and examine some of the theoretical components that inform the design principles. This article will provide detailed information for those who are new to mediation and state training and offer some key insights into its purpose within the larger framework of developmental evolution.
Introduction ~ NeuroAcoustic Meditations Tuned to Chordal Harmonies
People from every walk of life are practicing meditation and recommending it to others. Even some medical practitioners have begun recommending meditation to treat stress, high blood pressure, pain, and certain psychological disorders. For people who suffer from difficult symptoms and treatment side effects, mind-body therapies such as meditation, have been shown to help relieve anxiety, stress, fatigue, general mood, and sleep disturbances, improving the quality of life.
Oftentimes people starting a meditation practice find it challenging to know what to do, how to stay focused, or struggle to stay consistent with a daily practice. There are many different types of meditation and schools of thought related to them. Meditation techniques are often situated in spiritual philosophies or religions that don’t resonate with the modern mindset and worldview. People who are new to meditation can also get the impression that practicing a certain type of meditation requires their participation in the religious or spiritual tradition that it came from. This can lead some people to avoid it altogether.
But without guidance, starting a meditation practice can seem like a daunting task. Where do I start? You might ask, should I study the Zen Buddhist method, Vipassana, or mindfulness meditation? There’s no need for meditation to be complicated. Beginning a daily meditation routine doesn’t mean you need to sign up for participating in a particular spiritual tradition. Spiritual traditions are beautiful and can be profoundly enriching, but we need not enroll in a tradition to get the benefits of meditation practice. With Harmonic Mind state training technology, we have a simple and effective tool to quickly gain proficiency in meditation.
The ABC’s of meditation for personal development
While more and more people are beginning to learn to meditate for the benefits of stress relief, better cognitive performance, and mental health, meditation’s intrinsic value appears to be very promising in its ability to promote healthy developmental maturation (Schuab 61-68). To better understand why meditation is an essential practice for personal development we will consider some of the basic insights from the field of developmental psychology.
According to developmental theorists like Jean Piage, Robert Maslow, Susanne Cook-Grueter and many others, developmental maturation occurs well beyond adulthood. Post-adult development involves progress through successive stages of psycho-spiritual maturation marked by improvements in general competencies, as well as an ever expanding orientation to the meaning and purpose of life. Under the right conditions adults will continue to deepen their sense of self knowledge, their understanding of the world and make continuous progress toward realizing their potential for self actualization. For these individuals, an altruistic intention for the betterment of all humankind is understood to be the source of ultimate fulfillment in life.
For every individual development follows a basic trajectory from childhood into adolescence, adulthood and post-adulthood. Each stage of life corresponds with a set of capacities, an identity and set of values and ways of thinking and being in the world. There are many developmental models but they can all be simplified to consist of four basic stages or developmental milestones; The Egocentric, Ethnocentric, Globalcentric, and Cosmocentric stages. (Miller and Cook-Greuter)
The Egocentric stage is associated with the primary concern being for one’s own individual identity, desires and survival needs. At this stage the world and environment are things to obtain or experience for the sake of personal gratification. Characterized by an “I, Me, Mine” attitude the egocentric stage deploys the personal will for its own fulfillment, often at the expense of others.
The Ethnocentric stage is the next milestone where a person becomes more identified with their family, cultural or ethnic group and communities. A more expanded sense of identity incentivises the tempering of the impulses of the personal will and desires in order to accommodate the needs and desires of those in their identity group. This shift from “me”, to “we” provides for the minimum necessary requirement for cooperating in society and its social conventions.
The Globalcentric stage is marked by a greater concern for humanity and the planet at large. Identity has expanded to include all people across all ethnic and cultural groups. Personal rewards and achievements are measured with the impact on the planet and all people being taken into account. Goodness and harmlessness become key factors in how decisions are made and fulfillment in one’s life and work are measured.
The Cosmocentric stage is a stage comparatively few people have reached and so little data about this stage exists outside the context of the spiritual traditions that have developed practices for its attainment. At this stage people are concerned with the deeper nature of existence, the purpose of life and the source of the laws that bring about the activities of nature and human consciousness. Identity has expanded to include not only all peoples and communities but also all beings and living systems. The nature of the self and existence is seen to be a continuum of creative intelligence flowing in an ongoing process of evolution. (Wilber)
An even more basic description of the major developmental milestones describes them as pre-personal, personal and trans-personal stages of growth. Pre-personal being related to our early life and formative years, the personal relating to our building our own unique individuality and identity in relationship to the world and transpersonal being related to an understanding and experience of the reality as a unified whole and its ultimate meaning. Maturity in this context can then be considered in terms of an expanding circle of care, which creates the boundary conditions for what we are capable of noticing, valuing and therefore caring about. Our developmental maturity defines the scope of what we consider to be important. What we are able to notice and care about is a product of the depth of awareness, the complexity we have the ability to be cognizant of and the values sphere we inhabit.
In short, each developmental milestone or value sphere comes with a set of ideas about ourselves, our world and our ideas about how to go about meeting the needs and desires most relevant to us. In the more advanced stages of maturity our circle of care expands to include the larger human family, all living beings, the ecosystem, and biosphere of planet Earth. These more advanced stages of maturation are expressed as universal care and compassion, and relates to a profound concern for humanity’s ultimate destiny, its place within the cosmos and its highest evolutionary potential. When we have a healthy environment, all our needs are taken care of, we have a good education and meaningful relationships, people will naturally continue to grow in life.
“People move through an invariant, hierarchical sequence of increasingly complex and coherent stages of reasoning from birth to adulthood. Each higher stage follows the next lower in a predictable order. Each higher stage not only follows, but also transcends and integrates the content of the lower into a more complex mental model of reality. In other words, each higher stage can understand and coordinate the stage below it while the reverse is not true.” (Fisher, Hand & Russel, 1984). 2008 Susanne R. Cook-Greuter (Mature Ego Development: A Gateway To Ego Transcendence?)
Development is not just a measure of what we care about, it’s also a measure of how well we are able to attend to what we care about. With greater intelligence and emotional resources we are better able to be of service to those things that matter to us. But development can become frozen or stuck for a number of reasons. Hardships in childhood or adulthood, dysfunctions in society and a lack of internal resources can cause people to cling to their current position in life, forcing them to work to get by rather than to thrive and grow or be of service to others.
Individuals that remain stuck at earlier stages throughout their lives experience greater hardships than they would if they continued to develop. Since each successive stage improves competencies by providing access to greater awareness and intelligence, personal resourcefulness can be more skillfully applied toward alleviating the causes of hardships. Things like poverty, addiction, depression and abuse can be alleviated through improving an individual’s self knowledge and capacities, and applying them toward the improvement of their life circumstances.
When large portions of the population remain stuck at earlier developmental stages, systemic and structural dysfunctions become more prevalent compounding the hardships faced by individuals. This creates a feedback loop where societal dysfunction creates more dysfunctional people. In order to improve the overall health of society, individuals must be provided the means to improve their developmental capacities.
According to Mental Health America 19.86% of adults are experiencing a mental illness (AMI). That’s equivalent to nearly 50 million Americans, with 4.91% experiencing a severe mental illness. According to SAMHSA the substance abuse mental health services, Any Mental Illness (AMI) is defined as having a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder, other than a developmental or substance use disorder. Any mental illness includes persons who have mild mental illness, moderate mental illness, and serious mental illness.”
In less severe cases meditation or state training as described in this paper is an effective means of unfreezing and even accelerating development. It can rapidly improve a person’s cognitive capabilities, emotional well-being, social intelligence, responsiveness to life circumstances, moral development, integrative or systemic thinking, and overall sense of well-being. By improving the quality of one’s inner life and by making upgrades to one’s cognitive capacities and emotional balance, state training can be a powerful resource in the healing of individuals and society.
MEDITATION AND SPIRITUALITY
The Harmonic Mind program can be used by people from all spiritual or religious backgrounds. All paths and perspectives are welcomed and will be able to receive value from this program, including atheists and agnostics. Given the desire for growth and openness to experimentation, anyone can receive the benefits and apply their experiences within the context of their preferred perspective lens. This training system is rooted in practical methods and experiential learning, and does not directly promote a spiritual philosophy or belief system. Because this audio technology promotes improvements to cognitive performance and emotional balance it’s able to help individuals become more positive versions of themselves.
For those who do apply themselves to spiritual teachings, Harmonic Mind will have great value potential. It’s been noted by many spiritual aspirants that there is often a gulf between the wisdom, values and aspirations of a spiritual teaching and one’s ability to enact them. There can be a certain degree of intellectual understanding of non-dual metaphysics or unity consciousness available and yet unless it is known by direct experience and fully integrated into the self-system, it can remain a system of beliefs that have limited impact on one’s life. For the wisdom within any tradition to flower into its full expression, intellectual understanding must be accompanied by the capacity to identify and address the conditioning of the personality.
There is therefore a portion of time required for aspirants to go from a conceptual understanding of spiritual knowledge, to apprehending it by direct experience. Some would argue that only when one has grasped a spiritual teachings by direct experience can we be said to have truly learned it. And, only when we are able to enact it through our behavioral intelligence have we truly integrated what we’ve learned. Many spiritual traditions report on higher states of consciousness and the types of observations of reality that are made there. And while these descriptions can indeed be inspiring mythopoetic accounts of a divine reality, our responsibility as spiritual aspirants is to self authenticate the claims of mystics by our own personal inquiry.
The portion of time needed to close the chasm between a conceptual understanding and its integration in behavior could be considered a practice period. This period is where the appropriate prerequisite practices are firmly established as a daily routine. Meditation is the key practice we seek to firmly establish as a routine. Philosophies, and belief systems like those elaborated on in spiritual traditions are best understood when they follow a practice, especially in regard to states of consciousness. When they precede practice, we do not have experiential evidence to help us interpret them properly. This commonly leads to various misunderstandings and misapplications of the teachings. For this reason this program focuses primarily on the practice of state training rather than a philosophy of higher states of consciousness.
Thus, in order to simplify the process of beginning a meditation practice, and provide an accelerated means of attaining direct experiential knowledge of higher states of consciousness we are offering an eight week meditation course using neuro-acoustic technology. This program offers effective state training audio sessions in combination with supplemental tools to provide for a comprehensive meditation training program.
Meditation Vs. State-Training
Throughout this paper a distinction is made between the terms meditation and state-training. Meditation is a general term which often means different things to different people. In order to clarify the nature of this particular program and highlight the various distinctions of specific states of consciousness, this paper will use the term state-training.
State Training is the practice of entering non-ordinary states of awareness for the purpose of self healing, inner exploration, and developmental evolution. This includes flow states, hypnogogic or trance states, deep meditative states, and the various degrees along their spectrum.
Primary States of Consciousness
Waking ~ Dreaming ~ Dreamless Sleep
There are three primary states of consciousness or what this paper refers to as ordinary states – waking, dreaming and dreamless sleep. These states are common everyday experiences. Dreaming states and dreamless sleep states involving delta and theta bands and are typically unconscious states. When they occur, the person experiencing them is unaware of the experience. Non-ordinary states on the other hand involve accessing these states with a greater degree of awareness. The waking, dreaming and dreamless sleep states can occur under non-ordinary circumstances. Dreaming and dreamless sleep states can be paired with wakefulness so that practitioners can remain conscious, like in the case of lucid dreaming. The combining of conscious awareness with otherwise unconscious states is referred to as state stacking. States like Hypnogogia, and trance like those experienced during hypnosis and profound meditative states as well as mystical experiences are examples of non-ordinary states involving state stacking. These states require some training in order to experience. State training practices are the primary means of developing this capacity.
States have both a subjective component and a neurological or objective correlation. The subjective experience is the felt sense of the state, while the objective component is the physiological correspondence which is measurable in qEEG or qualitative electroensephilograghy. Subjective experiences and their neurological correlates are co-arising in a causal loop such that internal processes can drive the alteration of the neural activity and the external processes such as neuro-acoustics stimulus can drive the subjective state experiences.
Neuro-acoustic tools can act as a driver for neural activity, entraining brainwave patterns to specific frequencies which then in turn drives the subjective state experiences. State training with brainwave entrainment works by driving the neural activity thereby causing the subjective state experiences. Using binaural beat frequencies as the driver, allows practitioners to bring about the subjective experiences of non-ordinary states.
Neuro-acoustics not only drive specific brain states but can also bring about the phenomenon of state stacking. State stacking is the layering of multiple brainwave bandwidths like theta and alpha which provides the subjective experience of remaining conscious while the brain is in a dream state.
An Overview of Brainwave Entrainment
Research in the field of brainwave entrainment has revealed the remarkable potential for acoustic stimuli to bring about significant improvements to the overall functioning of the brain. In 1839 Heinrich Wilhelm Dove discovered binaural beats and published his findings in the scientific journal Repertorium der Physik. The subject remained little more than a scientific curiosity until 1973 when Dr. Gerald Oster published the article “Auditory Beats in the Brain” in Scientific American, reinvigorating interest in the potentials of binaural beat frequencies for research in neurophysiology. During this time Robert Monroe of the Monroe Research Institute began conducting experiments using an EEG machine to monitor subjects’ brainwave patterns.
From thousands of experiments he concluded that he could “entrain” subjects’ brainwave patterns using binaural beats. In addition he noticed that he was able to get a response in not only the areas responsible for hearing but throughout the entire brain. He observed a resonance throughout the entire brain in response to his acoustic stimulus. Monroe noticed that binaural beats were able to bring about a resonance in the brain where frequency, amplitude, and phase become synchronous across both hemispheres of the brain, a condition later referred to as hemisphere synchronization.
Entrainment means to pull or draw along after itself. In Chemistry the term is used to mean, “To carry (suspended particles, for example) along in a current or into the vapor phase.
In subsequent research, hemispheric synchronization and overall brain coherence has been shown to be associated with more integrative thinking and behavior, enhanced creativity, learning ability, emotional balance, moral reasoning, self-confidence and a sense of well-being. Scientists learned that the brain’s peak performance largely depends on its coherent functioning, and auditory stimulus is profoundly effective in bringing about this physiological condition.
Higher coherent brain functioning has also been shown to accompany a regular meditation practice. Oftentimes however people struggle to begin a practice or to make progress in meditation, and with so many types of meditation out there, it can be a challenge to know where to start. Entrainment programs can be very useful supplemental tools to help beginning practitioners overcome the initial challenges of meditation and decrease the amount of time it takes to make progress.
The potential applications and benefits of these tools are broad sweeping. Binaural beats are a non-invasive method for addressing the functioning of the brain without the use of pharmaceuticals. They also provide a means for experiencing deep meditative states without the need for following a specific spiritual tradition. With entrainment programs practitioners can get immediate results in terms of generating particular brain states, but more importantly over time, exposure to these types of programs offer cumulative benefits, helping the brain to function at its very best, while consistently raising the bar of what its best can actually be.
How Brainwave Entrainment Works
Brainwave entrainment is a natural phenomenon of the brain. It is referred to as the “frequency following response” or (FFR), because the dominant brainwave frequencies fall into step with an external stimulus. Given a period of time the brains’ electrical activity will begin to align with the acoustic stimulus firing in unison with it. Then, as the frequencies of the external stimulus are decelerated or accelerated, the brainwave frequencies will follow. The brain falls into unison with acoustic stimulus as a kind of vibrational rapport in the sense that it maintains a connection to the frequency patterns that its processing aurally. If we slow the frequencies down during a state of rapport, it becomes possible to drive the brain to enter particular brainwave frequency ranges.
The FFR can be accessed in many natural ways including; shamanic drumming, dance, rhythmic breathing, or through the use of technology like mind machines, with visual and auditory pulsations. Rhythmic movement of the cerebrospinal fluid, like in the case of cranial-sacral therapy or the swaying prayer in the jewish tradition, also have a powerful effect on the brainwave patterns making it possible to go deep into non-ordinary states of consciousness relatively easily.
Brainwave entrainment audio programs use what are called binaural beat frequencies, which are two different frequencies played into each ear individually. The difference between the two frequencies creates a third frequency which the brain tends to fall in sync with. For example, if the left ear heard 210Hz and the right ear heard 194Hz, the binaural beat would be a 16Hz oscillation. Over time the brain would then begin to fire in unison at 16Hz. Another method of BE (brainwave entrainment audio programs) uses isochronic tones which is a rhythmic monophonic signal. These tend to be quite a bit more obvious than binaural beats but are effective without the need for headphones.
Music production software allows for the use of further methods like filtration (ducking or amplifying certain frequencies) and gating (the opening or closing of particular parameters, like amplitude according to a rhythmic sequence) and tempo deceleration making it possible to account for more nuanced detail within an entrainment program.
With EEG machines scientists have not only been able to map out the dominant brainwave frequency ranges, they’ve also been able to note the subjective states of consciousness associated with those frequencies.
The four basic brainwave states
There are four basic states of consciousness associated with a particular brainwave frequency range. Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta. These correspond with the three primary brain states : waking dreaming and dreamless sleep beta/alpha – waking, theta – dreaming and delta – dreamless sleep.
Beta 12-40Hz is an alert and vigilant waking state. Coherent beta is useful for activities where we need to have high energy and respond quickly to situations. Beta focuses attention to get things done. Exercise, athletics, problem solving and activities that require a certain amount of sensory motor responsiveness are accompanied by beta brainwaves. Incoherent beta however, leads to stress, anxiety, and decreased performance. Too little or incoherent beta is connected to attention deficit disorder and other learning and performance disabilities.
Alpha 7-12Hz is a calm, relaxed and attentive wakefulness. Coherent alpha is ideal for the creative processes and promotes the felt sense of well-being. It’s the feeling of being “dropped in” to the deeper place of ease, otherwise described as the flow state. Where beta is active, alpha is more receptive. It corresponds with an open, curious, alert and grounded sense of awareness that improves learning memory and performance. Incoherent alpha however can feel scattered. There can be a sense of confusion, disorientation or lethargy. Too little alpha might mean beta is dominant contributing to undue stress and anxiety.
Theta 4-7Hz is associated with trance, meditation, dreaming and visions. Coherent theta is potentially therapeutic. Associated with the period between waking consciousness and sleep, during theta states the unconscious mind is more receptive to suggestion from self hypnosis. Theta has also been associated with the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system (secondary nervous system) allowing deep healing and change to occur more easily. The immune system as well as the mechanisms responsible for behavior, learning, memory and past traumas are deeply connected to the parasympathetic functions making theta state training a powerful part of a holistic path of self healing and developmental evolution. Too much or incoherent theta however could be connected to cognitive problems like ADHD and psychological disorders. Too little theta can be associated with sleep disorders.
Delta .5-4Hz is associated with deep dreamless sleep and profound meditation. Delta is a low frequency high amplitude wave thought to be associated with declarative and explicit memory formation. Profound meditation in delta occurs when the delta state is accompanied by wakefulness. Together deep dreamless sleep and witnessing awareness are the background for superconsciousness or spiritual states of consciousness. Disrupted delta is involved with narcolepsy, depression, anxiety, OCD, schizophrenia and sleep disorders. State training with delta can improve sleep, memory retention and significantly enhance development in meditation.
The purpose of state training with BEs
Meditation with binaural beat frequencies is a bit like using training wheels while learning to ride a bike. They can serve as a supplemental aid for reaching deeper states of consciousness more quickly. Once a pattern is firmly established and the deeper states become more accessible however BEs become unnecessary and can even be an obstacle to further progress.
In the beginning meditation practitioners commonly report difficulties. An untrained mind can be very noisy, people easily get lost in a complex web of memories, desires, symbol associations, random fantasy or just fall asleep. Without proper instruction and regular practice, it can be very difficult to transform these mental patterns. BE’s are not meant to entirely replace a traditional meditation practice, but they can initiate us into a regular practice and help us overcome some of the initial difficulties with greater ease.
Benefits of BEs
Some of the benefits of BEs are immediate while others accumulate over time. Because the brain and nervous system are processing sounds that it doesn’t normally encounter, there’s a kind of neuro-aerobic workout associated with binaural beats. New neural network connections are being made in order to process these sounds which simulates brain development. The brain undergoes a process of restructuring as BEs provide a synchronizing stimulus to the corpus callosum, thalamocortical systems, and primary auditory cortex in ways it’s never experienced before. By leveraging the brains’ neuro-plasticity, BEs can be thought of as rewiring the brain in order to be able to process finer, subtler frequencies, adapting the neurology to process the audio signals in more efficient ways.
State training with BEs will effect significant changes in the brain and nervous system over time cultivating more robust and elastic neural network connections. Similar to weight training to build muscle, over time muscle mass and strength are increased which in turn improves physical performance in other areas of activity. When we consistently exercise our neurology with BEs we build our cognitive capacities, increase our emotional well being and develop familiarity with states of consciousness we’re normally unconscious to without the requisite awareness. Once these capacities become activated they become more accessible.
The brain communicates across the different cortical regions and even throughout the whole body through electro/chemical pulsations. In a sense the brain and nervous system are a symphony of sparks, all firing off in various frequencies of notes, each channel or neural network serving a particular communication function like an instrument in an orchestra. When these instruments are well tuned and play in accord with the other instruments, the whole of the music becomes something greater than each of its individual players. There is a cohesion that enhances the coordination of each of the parts. This enhanced internal coordination is often referred to as global coherence.
One of the primary objectives of state training is to develop this global coherence. In the brain and nervous system coherence is expressed as an electrical harmony, where its activities are synchronous, balanced and highly functional. Global coherence however, is not just harmony within the electro-chemical firing of the brain alone, it’s registered throughout the entire body including the heart, where there’s a high concentration of electrical activity.
When we experience coherence, there’s a harmony that enhances the brains’ functioning, allowing for greater ease of information processing, cross cortical communication and even heart – brain communication. One of the ways coherence can be measured is through brain hemisphere synchronization. Using an qEEG machine (electroencephalograph) researchers are able to observe to what degree there is balance and coordination across the left and right hemispheres and cortical regions.
Developing A Harmonic Mind Through State Stacking
Although these programs are influencing our dominant brainwave states, the whole spectrum of brain waves are in fact happening simultaneously to varying degrees. In more advanced uses of these types of programs we can begin to work with multiple states at the same time – a process referred to as state stacking. For example, accessing delta brainwaves and alpha simultaneously in a kind of harmonic chord, where the brain is generating both a 3Hz delta wave and the octave complement of 9Hz in Alpha.
Normally when we experience a delta state we aren’t aware of it because we’re unconscious. In delta we are in deep dreamless sleep, so there is no self conscious awareness there to notice deep dreamless sleep is happening. State training allows us to begin to develop the capacity to remain conscious throughout our dreaming (theta) and dreamless sleep (delta) states.
When we stimulate theta or delta brainwave patterns during a sitting meditation oftentimes we’ll feel ourselves dozing off. As the delta wave “spikes” happen we can begin to lose our focus from the objective of meditation. The head will sag downward, the posture will start to shrug and we drift off. This is useful for self hypnosis and treating sleep disorders, but with meditative state training we want to develop the ability to remain focused and alert throughout all the various state experiences. With a certain amount of practice, we can begin to find a conscious awareness present within the silent formlessness of delta frequencies, and the symbolic visionary theta frequencies.
During the Harmonic Mind training program over the eight week period the alpha, theta and delta programs incrementally bring practitioners into deeper states of consciousness, “tuning” the dominant EEG patterns to harmonic proportions with each other. In the last portion of the program the delta band is emphasized in combination with the theta and alpha band.
Our design philosophy looks to the patterns of nature for cues. HM includes mathematical proportions common throughout the natural world, specifically the golden ratio and the harmonic law of doubling that organizes the activity in sound, light and electromagnetism. The sound beds, and frequencies generating binaural beats are tuned to harmonic proportions to optimize acoustic coherence there by facilitating global brain coherence. Neuronal networks adapting to impact from coherent acoustic structures aligned to the golden ratio may provide benefits in-terms of decreased latency and impedance in electrochemical conductivity, which over time improves overall function and structural integration.
Unitive Cosmology, Acoustic Biomimicry and Speculations on Coherence Encoding.
In biomimicry, architects and engineers seek to model their designs after organic structures observed in nature. Through millions of years of evolution nature has cultivated certain forms that have a great deal of efficiency, resilience and beauty. Designers using biomimicry seek to draw from the wisdom of nature’s forms to make their own designs stronger, more efficient and aesthetically pleasing.
This core intuition reiterates many of the spiritual traditions’ propositions about the nature of substance and consciousness being essentially unified. It is believed that the essence of the universe is vibrational and that states of matter and consciousness rest on a foundational organizational pattern or set of principles that determine everything’s form and function. According to this view both mind and matter are operating on a single set of organizational principles which can be known and utilized for the improvement of the human condition and society through the realization of evolutionary potentials.
The central axiom of the wisdom traditions is that there is a unified field made up of a primordial substance out of which all things arise. The differentiated expressions of the multitudes are the result of variations in its vibratory rate. The build up of complexity in matter and in organisms follows a holarchical arrangement resulting from a scale free pattern of increasing diversity and integration. According to this view, everything, no matter its scale or domain follows a universal pattern of life-building activity. In humans that activity reaches its highest degree of complexity and integration as self conscious awareness. Yet, the human potential for self awareness is not static or fully experienced at the beginning of adult-hood. It grows according to the same pattern seen in the build up of atoms to molecules, to cells, to organisms and super organisms. This building up of complexity is paralleled in the developmental pattern of psycho-spiritual growth; growing from egocentric to ethnocentric to global centric to cosmocentric stages of evolution.
Development through these primary stages can be accelerated through the practice of state training. It will likely be determined that harmonic coherence between the fundamental level of consciousness at the unified field and the mind/brain allows for the awareness and integration necessary for the cosmocentric perspective. Integrative and profoundly coherent modes of consciousness will be understood to correlate to the physiological condition of a high degree of complexity and integration of neuronal pathways. A highly functional bioelectrical system is a key component for individuals to move through the stages of evolutionary development culminating in our ability to self authenticate a unitive cosmology by direct observation.
In considering that the bioelectrical system acts in a similar manner as acoustics with harmony and dissonance creating an aesthetic experience, we can postulate that harmony and dissonance in the neuronal activity will have a similar effect. Music, with its harmonies and rhythms is not just organized sound, its total expression taken as a whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. It becomes a transcendent experience of beauty.
So does the well tuned, highly functional neuronal orchestra produce a transcendent experience of perception and meaning. Looking out at the whole movement of life and mind we can recognize that of each seemingly separated and divergent strand of the cosmos as being fundamentally one with the unified tapestry of all that is.
Biomimicry gets real and measurable through the psychics of electromagnetism. One of the universal organizational principles in operation throughout the electromagnetic spectrum is the principle of harmonics. Harmonics is not just a property of sound, it is present in all forms of electromagnetic activity, including light, and gravity. A harmonic is a component frequency where doubles of the fundamental correspond in symmetrical intervals.
Harmonics are the integral multiple of the fundamental frequency allowing for nested enfolding, such as what occurs naturally in theta and delta mediated gamma band oscillations.* Sound oscillations offer a stimulus that can potentially encourage neural synchronization to occur at higher degrees of harmonic coherence.
Harmonics likely play a significant role in the formation of physical structures and the dynamics of matter and energy. It is likely that harmonic proportion exists as a substrate or principal through which the self organizing patterns converge into coherent wholes. Within the vast spectrum of vibrational fields from the plank length to the diameter of the universe, the whole anatomy of the cosmos may be thought to rely most heavily on harmonics for its organizational patterning. Electrons, atoms, molecules, cells, biological structures, electricity, planetary and astronomical bodies are all coordinated and organized by the principals of harmonics. In tapping into this principal I’ve applied the laws of harmonics to each of the layer of the entrainment compositional process, from the carrier frequency to the, beat frequency to the sound beds and the deceleration protocol, mathematically encoding harmonic coherence into every feature of the program.
The Harmonic Brain
Brain activity can be thought of in a similar way to chords in music. There are harmonic and inharmonic relationships between states of consciousness, in the same way that there are harmonic and inharmonic notes on a scale. A music scale sounds harmonious because the frequencies are organized in ratios that have symmetrical relationships between the peaks and troughs of its waveforms. In music the law of harmonics or the principle of doubling, determines the distance between octaves. The Harmonic Mind program incorporates this idea into the design parameters of our tracks.
For example, the target brainwave state is calculated to occur on the harmonic spectrum of the fundamental frequency of the music and the carrier frequency of the entrainment program. I use the method of harmonic nesting with the understanding that whenever frequency and vibration are involved, whether we’re dealing with light, sound, electromagnetism or brainwave activity the laws of harmonics are at play. My insight and intuition have lead me to believe that brain and whole being coherence are accompanied by a physical component of harmonic coherence, where the brain and central nervous system are harmonically “in tune” if you will.
Based on my research and experimentation, I’ve come to believe that harmonic nesting and state stacking offer a significant resource for helping to bring about greater harmony in the brain and nervous system. People often have what is called brain lateralization which is the tendency for certain processes to be more highly developed in one cortical region, such as development of spatial and musical capabilities or verbal and logical processes. Lateralization establishes cognitive and neurological biases that allow people to excel in specialized skill sets, but can also impair cross cortical activity that would allow for a more well rounded, whole brain functioning. Structural integration through cross cortical communication, and global harmonic coherence may be a key factor in supporting holistic and systems aware cognition associated with post adult stages of ego development.
In addition to lateralization there is the phenomenon of synaptic pruning. Synaptic pruning happens as a result of the “use it or lose it” principal. Those capacities and functions that we don’t use will have weaker neural network connections than the ones we do use regularly. This is great for specializing, but decreases neural-plasticity – the ability of the brain to form new connections and reform old ones. This affects our ability to change behaviors, learn new skills and the reason the old adage goes, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ ‘. I believe we can teach old dogs new tricks if we can increase neural plasticity, and retrain the tendency of lateralization and specialization toward globalization. Brainwave entrainment programs have been shown to do just this.
Harmonic Mind training series is designed to begin the process of establishing global brain coherence. Not only is it working to establish harmonic resonance between the different cortical regions of the brain but it’s also working on entraining the brain into a condition of harmonic coherence between the four major brainwave states. Each track has been tuned to fundamental frequencies that musically correspond to the other brainwave states in the series. The intention with this series is to help listeners get accustomed to coherent, alpha, theta and delta states while also developing the neurology to access these states simultaneously, in a way that is harmonically in tune. Tuning these states together is a way to neurologically encourage a type of internal coherence.
Neuroacoustic entrainment is an effective means for accelerating the learning process of meditation. Using the Harmonic Mind program practitioners have and opportunity to learn to meditate in a simple, effective and enjoyable acoustic environment.