CHANGING CONSCIOUSNESS WITH MUSIC
(c)1992 by Michael Riversong
Originally published in Borderlands Magazine
From the Vedas, which were put together thousands of years ago, to our present time, many scientists and philosophers have said that music has an inherent power to change consciousness.
At times, specific musical systems have been developed with that goal in mind, but normally, most cultures generate consciousnesschanging effects through music at random.
Since the beginning of Ravi Shankar's American releases in 1962, many artists have been influenced by the system of India, which is based on the Vedas. This influence has been accelerating, helped along by Ali Akbar Khan's school in California, which makes the system available to anyone. In typical American fashion, other artists are developing systems of their own with varying degrees of organization, now that we know it can be done.
In this article, we will focus on a few of these innovations, and report on results gained through analysis and clinical use of the pieces. One way to determine if consciousness is being altered is to use a piece of music while experiencing pain, and see if there is an alteration in the perception of that pain. An easy way for me to do this was to make myself into a guinea pig during several excruciating visits to the dentist in December, 1991. The procedure involved was called "root scaling", and a local anesthetic is normally administered. I chose not to use any drugs for this, and instead used stereo headphones and several tapes. Some tapes generated no effect, and are not reported here. In addition, a couple of other tapes are noted that were used at other painful times.
TIBETAN MEMORIES by Jon Shore Light Unlimited Publishing 4747 E. Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018 602-952-8164
Tibetan bells form the focus of this tape. Below them flow synthesizer tracks that harmonize with the bells in an exquisite manner. Now this is not easy, because the Tibetan bells are not pitched to Western standards, and some of their subtleties are often lost on audio recordings. On a technical level, this tape was quite difficult to produce, and took a tremendous amount of expertise. Its pain reduction qualities were excellent. That's partly due to the bell pitches themselves, and partly due to areas of complexity on the tape, which drive the consciousness away from pain.
RINGS OF URANUS NASA-Voyager II Space Sounds
204 N. El Camino Real Suite E116
Encinitas, CA 92024
These are part of a series of tapes that were derived from audio tracks generated as the Voyager II space probe passed several planets and moons. Dr. Jeffrey D. Thompson edited and developed the raw feeds into coherent tape products. Both tapes demonstrate intense levels of complexity within the sounds, and thus were useful in creating a distraction from pain. The range and quality of these sounds are truly amazing. Many of the sounds on both tapes are totally unfamiliar to humans. It is partly the unfamiliarity that helps to force changes in consciousness. With these two tapes especially, we are encountering realms of sound that have never before been present in human society in any form.
Both Miranda and the Rings of Uranus are startling environments from an astronomical perspective. In comparison with other space sound tapes, that uniqueness is carried over in these tapes. Learning about these celestial anomalies through their sounds is thus a worthwhile pursuit in itself. Miranda contains bizarre geological features that are like nothing else in the solar system. Its sounds are quite variable, and indescribable. The Rings of Uranus are tilted vertically relative to the planet. On the tape, there are a lot of long, slow sounds which often have a character similar to Tibetan bells. Its overall sense is contemplative.
I would strongly recommend all the tapes from this series to serious students of astrology. They can help researchers who are trying to gain an understanding of the possible effects of these bodies as they generate complex waveforms extending to our planet. Tapes are available from the same source for Saturn, its rings, Jupiter, Io, Uranus, and Neptune. Intensive clinical research is being done on the sounds in this series, and we will certainly see more specific information appear as time goes on.
VOICE OF EARTH I NASA Space Recordings of Earth
Brain/Mind Research -- address above
Our planet is quite different from the others in the solar system, as it harbors a huge amount of three-dimensional carbonbased life forms. The space sounds reflect that -- they are busy, complex, highly textured, and infinitely variable. This particular tape was built from recordings by several satellites. I found these sounds to be at first almost overwhelming. But once I got used to them, there was a sense of comfort, knowing that we are never really alone on this planet, not with all the incredible variety of consciousness that exists here. Use this tape to reduce the pain of loneliness, because it will work. Due to the high density of these sounds, it can also be useful as a distractive anesthetic.
THE EGG OF TIME by Dr. Jeffrey D. Thompson
Brain/Mind Research -- address above
Dr. Thompson uses synthesizers and a few sounds from the NASA tapes to weave complex musical patterns. This is exquisite music in its own right. Actually, I've rarely heard the ending to either side of this tape. It generates effects that tend to put me to sleep in short order. This is actually a good recommendation, because it shows that people who suffer from high stress levels will find this tape quite useful. It is deeply researched, and carefully constructed. When stress is reduced, consciousness changes into a state where healing of all kinds can rapidly occur. It may have contributed to unusually rapid healing from a flu in November.
COMFORT ZONE by Steven Halpern Sound Rx
P.O. Box 1439
San Rafael, CA 94915 800-726-3924
In 1989, I had to have surgery to remove a cyst from an eye. This type of operation is delicate, and only a small amount of local anesthesia can be used. It is very uncomfortable. While in the operating room, I got permission from the doctor to have this tape played. The changes in consciousness generated by the music definitely helped, as I noticed a lot of pain when it stopped between sides. The surgeon also liked it. Yes, it's been around for more than 11 years now. Not many people know about it these days, so this tape is still worth buying for clinical and home use.
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