Altered States of Consciousness without drugs

“Although the use of psychoactive drugs can easily and profoundly change our experience of consciousness, we can also—and often more safely—alter our consciousness without drugs. These altered states of consciousness are sometimes the result of simple and safe activities, such as sleeping, watching television, exercising, or working on a task that intrigues us. In this section we consider the changes in consciousness that occur through hypnosis, sensory deprivation, and meditation, as well as through other non-drug-induced mechanisms.

“Changing Behavior Through Suggestion: The Power of Hypnosis

Franz Anton Mesmer (1734–1815) was an Austrian doctor who believed that all living bodies were filled with magnetic energy. In his practice, Mesmer passed magnets over the bodies of his patients while telling them their physical and psychological problems would disappear. The patients frequently lapsed into a trancelike state (they were said to be “mesmerized”) and reported feeling better when they awoke (Hammond, 2008). [1]

Although subsequent research testing the effectiveness of Mesmer’s techniques did not find any long-lasting improvements in his patients, the idea that people’s experiences and behaviors could be changed through the power of suggestion has remained important in psychology. James Braid, a Scottish physician, coined the term hypnosis in 1843, basing it on the Greek word for sleep (Callahan, 1997). [2]

“Hypnosis is a trance-like state of consciousness, usually induced by a procedure known as hypnotic induction, which consists of heightened suggestibility, deep relaxation, and intense focus (Nash & Barnier, 2008). [3] Hypnosis became famous in part through its use by Sigmund Freud in an attempt to make unconscious desires and emotions conscious and thus able to be considered and confronted (Baker & Nash, 2008). [4]

Because hypnosis is based on the power of suggestion, and because some people are more suggestible than others, these people are more easily hypnotized. Hilgard (1965) [5] found that about 20% of the participants he tested were entirely unsusceptible to hypnosis, whereas about 15% were highly responsive to it. The best participants for hypnosis are people who are willing or eager to be hypnotized, who are able to focus their attention and block out peripheral awareness, who are open to new experiences, and who are capable of fantasy (Spiegel, Greenleaf, & Spiegel, 2005). [6]

“People who want to become hypnotized are motivated to be good subjects, to be open to suggestions by the hypnotist, and to fulfill the role of a hypnotized person as they perceive it (Spanos, 1991). [7] The hypnotized state results from a combination of conformity, relaxation, obedience, and suggestion (Fassler, Lynn, & Knox, 2008). [8] This does not necessarily indicate that hypnotized people are “faking” or lying about being hypnotized. Kinnunen, Zamansky, and Block (1994) [9] ”

“used measures of skin conductance (which indicates emotional response by measuring perspiration, and therefore renders it a reliable indicator of deception) to test whether hypnotized people were lying about having been hypnotized. Their results suggested that almost 90% of their supposedly hypnotized subjects truly believed that they had been hypnotized.

“One common misconception about hypnosis is that the hypnotist is able to “take control” of hypnotized patients and thus can command them to engage in behaviors against their will. Although hypnotized people are suggestible (Jamieson & Hasegawa, 2007), [10] they nevertheless retain awareness and control of their behavior and are able to refuse to comply with the hypnotist’s suggestions if they so choose (Kirsch & Braffman, 2001). [11] In fact, people who have not been hypnotized are often just as suggestible as those who have been (Orne & Evans, 1965). [12]

“Another common belief is that hypnotists can lead people to forget the things that happened to them while they were hypnotized. Hilgard and Cooper (1965)[13] investigated this question and found that they could lead people who were very highly susceptible through hypnosis to show at least some signs of posthypnotic amnesia (e.g., forgetting where they had learned information that had been told to them while they were under hypnosis), but that this effect was not strong or common.

“Some hypnotists have tried to use hypnosis to help people remember events, such as childhood experiences or details of crime scenes, that they have forgotten or repressed. The idea is that some memories have been stored but can no longer be retrieved, and that hypnosis can aid in the retrieval process. But research finds that this is not successful: People who are hypnotized and then asked to relive their childhood act like children, but they do not accurately recall the things that occurred to them in their own childhood (Silverman & Retzlaff, 1986). [14] Furthermore, the suggestibility produced through hypnosis may lead people to erroneously recall experiences that they did not have (Newman & Baumeister, 1996). [15] Many states and jurisdictions have therefore banned the use of hypnosis in criminal trials because the “evidence” recovered through hypnosis is likely to be fabricated and inaccurate.

“Hypnosis is also frequently used to attempt to change unwanted behaviors, such as to reduce smoking, overeating, and alcohol abuse. The effectiveness of hypnosis in these areas is controversial, although at least some successes have been reported. Kirsch, Montgomery, and Sapirstein (1995) [16] found that that adding hypnosis to other forms of therapies increased the effectiveness of the treatment, and Elkins and Perfect (2008) [17] reported that hypnosis was useful in helping people stop smoking. Hypnosis is also effective in improving the experiences of patients who are experiencing anxiety disorders, such as PTSD (Cardena, 2000; Montgomery, David, Winkel, Silverstein, & Bovbjerg, 2002),[18] and for reducing pain (Montgomery, DuHamel, & Redd, 2000; Paterson & Jensen, 2003). [19]

Love ❤️

Laura Zukerman

Owner and Founder

At The Goddess Bibles, A Memoir

Altering Consciousness

“A psychoactive drug is a chemical that changes our states of consciousness, and particularly our perceptions and moods. These drugs are commonly found in everyday foods and beverages, including chocolate, coffee, and soft drinks, as well as in alcohol and in over-the-counter drugs, such as aspirin, Tylenol, and cold and cough medication. Psychoactive drugs are also frequently prescribed as sleeping pills, tranquilizers, and antianxiety medications, and they may be taken, illegally, for recreational purposes. As you can see in Table 5.1 “Psychoactive Drugs by Class”, the four primary classes of psychoactive drugs are stimulants, depressants, opioids, and hallucinogens.

“Psychoactive drugs affect consciousness by influencing how neurotransmitters operate at the synapses of the central nervous system (CNS). Some psychoactive drugs are agonists, which mimic the operation of a neurotransmitter; some are antagonists, which block the action of a neurotransmitter; and some work by blocking the reuptake of neurotransmitters at the synapse.

In some cases the effects of psychoactive drugs mimic other naturally occurring states of consciousness. For instance, sleeping pills are prescribed to create drowsiness, and benzodiazepines are prescribed to create a state of relaxation. In other cases psychoactive drugs are taken for recreational purposes with the goal of creating states of consciousness that are pleasurable or that help us escape our normal consciousness.

“The use of psychoactive drugs, and especially those that are used illegally, has the potential to create very negative side effects (Table 5.1 “Psychoactive Drugs by Class”). This does not mean that all drugs are dangerous, but rather that all drugs can be dangerous, particularly if they are used regularly over long periods of time. Psychoactive drugs create negative effects not so much through their initial use but through the continued use, accompanied by increasing doses, that ultimately may lead to drug abuse.

“The problem is that many drugs create tolerance: an increase in the dose required to produce the same effect, which makes it necessary for the user to increase the dosage or the number of times per day that the drug is taken. As the use of the drug increases, the user may developa dependence, defined as a need to use a drug or other substance regularly.

Dependence can be psychological, in which the drug is desired and has become part of the everyday life of the user, but no serious physical effects result if the drug is not obtained; or physical, in which serious physical and mental effects appear when the drug is withdrawn. Cigarette smokers who try to quit, for example, experience physical withdrawal symptoms, such as becoming tired and irritable, as well as extreme psychological cravings to enjoy a cigarette in particular situations, such as after a meal or when they are with friends.

“Users may wish to stop using the drug, but when they reduce their dosage they experience withdrawal—negative experiences that accompany reducing or stopping drug use, including physical pain and other symptoms. When the user powerfully craves the drug and is driven to seek it out, over and over again, no matter what the physical, social, financial, and legal cost, we say that he or she has developed an addiction to the drug.

“It is a common belief that addiction is an overwhelming, irresistibly powerful force, and that withdrawal from drugs is always an unbearably painful experience. But the reality is more complicated and in many cases less extreme. For one, even drugs that we do not generally think of as being addictive, such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, can be very difficult to quit using, at least for some people. On the other hand, drugs that are normally associated with addiction, including amphetamines, cocaine, and heroin, do not immediately create addiction in their users. Even for a highly addictive drug like cocaine, only about 15% of users become addicted (Robinson & Berridge, 2003; Wagner & Anthony, 2002).

”Furthermore, the rate of addiction is lower for those who are taking drugs for medical reasons than for those who are using drugs recreationally. Patients who have become physically dependent on morphine administered during the course of medical treatment for a painful injury or disease are able to be rapidly weaned off the drug afterward, without becoming addicts. Robins, Davis, and Goodwin (1974) [2] found that the majority of soldiers who had become addicted to morphine while overseas were quickly able to stop using after returning home.

“This does not mean that using recreational drugs is not dangerous. For people who do become addicted to drugs, the success rate of recovery is low. These drugs are generally illegal and carry with them potential criminal consequences if one is caught and arrested. Drugs that are smoked may produce throat and lung cancers and other problems. Snorting (“sniffing”) drugs can lead to a loss of the sense of smell, nosebleeds, difficulty in swallowing, hoarseness, and chronic runny nose. Injecting drugs intravenously carries with it the risk of contracting infections such as hepatitis and HIV. Furthermore, the quality and contents of illegal drugs are generally unknown, and the doses can vary substantially from purchase to purchase. The drugs may also contain toxic chemicals.

Love ❤️

Laura Zukerman

The Goddess Bibles

A Memoir By Laura Zukerman

Consciousness and the two Concepts of Mind and Soul

“Consciousness is the personal awareness of the functioning of the internal control mechanism. It fulfils a dual role; it confirms the existence of the Soul and it provides feedback of how well human behaviour conforms to the dictates of the internal control mechanism. This feedback may cause feelings ranging from extreme happiness to the deepest disappointment and unhappiness depending on the level of conformance of the human actions to the dictates of the Soul. Without Consciousness one would not be aware of the functioning or existence of the Soul!

With the definition of basic concepts completed, let us examine in greater detail the overall interaction and the outcomes resulting from the co-operation between these various elements of human existence.”

“The two concepts of “Mind” and “Soul” in conjunction with the human body determine how the behaviour of an individual appears or manifests itself to other people. The Mind representing the imagination, creativity and the individual’s internal energy, enjoys, in theory, every possible freedom; unrestricted extent to imagine, design and contemplate anything and everything it desires! In principle, there is no shred of evidence that a physical or metaphysical power exists with the capability to limit the extent of this inherent natural right to freedom. Yet as it will soon be seen, human inventiveness has found ways and methods to influence the exercising of this freedom in such a way as to be equivalent to applying restrictions to its expression.”

“It is clear from the definition that the Mind on its own does not posses the capability to implement or transform its creations, imaginations and designs into reality. The actual transformation and interface with the environment, is undertaken by the physical housing of the human existence which is none other than the human body. If therefore the body had the freedom and power to act as per the demands of the Mind then the whole planet would have been similar to an ancient Roman arena and everyone would have been in conflict with everyone else because with all people having more or less similar wants, desires and objectives the resultant confusion, destruction and in-fighting would have been beyond description.”

The Goddess Bibles

A Memoir By Laura Zukerman

Maintain Your Level of Consciousness At A Higher Frequency

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Entering Higher Consciousness to Set Intention ❤️

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