Daily Archives: February 15, 2009

The Power of the Mind!

  

An idea that we often hear is that we really only use 10% of our brains and if we used all of it we could do some pretty amazing stuff.  It has been speculated that we might be able to do things like remote viewing, telekinesis or mental telepathy or see the future.  This, of course, sounds like crazy talk from some wing-nut with a tinfoil hat but the reality is that a great deal of very serious research has gone into this very subject.

 In 1972, the CIA began a serious 24-year look into remote viewing and clairvoyance.  In 1981, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) began serious studies in the same areas.  These programs had code names like Star Gate, Grill Flame and Center Lane, Sun Streak and others.  DoD kept looking at these subjects up thru June 1995.  Stanford Research Institute (SRI) of Menlo Park, CA., SAIC, Institute for Advanced Studies in Austin and the American Institutes for Research (AIR) all have been or are still working on research in these areas.   

The Cognitive Sciences Lab at Palo Alto Calif. did extensive studies that were critical of the government’s studies of this subject (DIA and CIA).  Their conclusion, published in March of 1996 found, “that a statistically significant effect had been demonstrated” but they also pointed out that the CIA and DoD had ignored compelling evidence and had set the outcome of the studies before they began by using questionable National research Council’s reviews.  “As a result, they have come to the wrong conclusion with regard to the use of anomalous cognition in intelligence operations and significantly underestimated the robustness of the basic phenomenon.”  The reasoning for the government’s perspectives on these studies have been shown to have nothing to do with the science or the efficacy of the research but rather were the petty squabbling of top-heavy bureaucrats and mismanagement of the political and financial support.   

In other words, studies that were conducted by numerous contractors, scientists and government labs over a period of three decades found important evidence that showed this was a viable field of study but for unrelated reasons, they botched the studies and the results so that the net result was that the whole subject has been taboo for serious studies or funding ever since. 

All this is to day that there is much more to this subject than my personal interests.  Lots of very serious scientists, government agencies and academic research facilities have looked and are still looking into these various psychological properties of the mind collectively grouped under headings like parapsychology, “anomalous cognition”, and psi abilities. 

If you read all these reports as carefully as I have, you will find that almost all of them did, in fact, find some statistically significant effect to a greater or less degree.  In fact, some of these studies found capabilities that defied both logic and conventional science so much so, that the scientists involved were ridiculed and derided to the point of nearly destroying their careers, when they tried to get some recognition of their results.  For that reason, many of these kinds of studies are no longer popular or abundant as they once were and are now done, if at all, in secret facilities and those involved are very cautious to keep a low profile. Since I have no interest in research money and have mostly retired from my R&D career, I have no qualms about telling of my adventures and success – especially since they have led to such startling discoveries. 

Most of this is completely verifiable from numerous Internet sources – including many reports from the government and R&D reports from and about programs described above.  For the most part, I have not so much blazed a new trail of research as much as I have combined various proven methods, techniques and processes in a variety of ways that probably were not tried before.  I have used special aids and tools to assist me that have proven to be effective by themselves but have a synergistic effect when combined with other aids and techniques.  In some cases, I have stumbled upon methods or techniques that have been well proven to work but I did not know about them beforehand.  If you doubt any of this, then do your own research on what I am trying and you will find it is all based on sound and proven science.  

What I am about to tell you will be hard to believe because we have all been told that this whole subject area is foolish nonsense and that only tricksters and con-men and deluded space cadets really believe in any of this.  If you are to understand the significance and why it is true, I have to give you some background and tell you the whole story of how I discovered this.  Let me start from the beginning…  

The truth is that humans dream but we don’t know why.  There are lots of theories.  The latest and most accepted is that it is the brain’s way of establishing and organizing our memories.  This sounds plausible until you consider the continuity, complexity and detail of some dreams that bear no relationship to any real-life experience.  It is also thought that dreams might be subconscious manifestations of our emotions but that does not explain the majority of dreams that appear to be about random events and places.  Some people believe that dreams are much more powerful and can tell the future or reveal a person’s innermost feelings.   

One generally accepted biological concept about dreams is that the conscious mind becomes inactive and the subconscious mind takes over.  The subconscious mind is that portion of the brain that is not directly controlled by willful and deliberate thoughts of a person.  It is the part of the brain that runs everything without being told to do so.  It keeps the heart beating, the blood flowing and controls the body’s reaction to temperatures, fear, surprise and other automatic reflexes.   

Some parts of the body seem to be controlled by both the conscious and the subconscious mind.  Like breathing and eye movement.  We can control these parts when we want to but it seems that they shift into automatic for most of the time.  During a dream, the real physical presence around the dreaming person can often be incorporated into the dream.  If you get cold in your bed, your dream might conjure up a dream that involves you getting cold.  If you hear sounds like dogs barking or bells, your dream might also have these sounds.  This implies that the subconscious mind is receptive to the body’s real senses and can incorporate the real world into the dream and yet it can also modify those real world sensations so that they appear in the dream in a totally different form.  Of course, this is simply anecdotal observation and is not a scientific analysis of what is really happening. 

The truth is that our best scientists and researchers don’t know much about dreams beyond what we can observe.  But because we do this every night and there are so many different aspects of it, there is a lot of interest by the hard-core scientists as well as a lot of average people.  I was one of those that was intently curious and wanted to find out more. 

About nine years ago, I began reading and working with lucid dreaming.  This is a technique of training your conscious mind to remain aware and active during a dream so that it can direct and control the subconscious mind and your dreams.   

I had read about brain waves called delta, theta, alpha, beta and gamma that are related to various thought patterns in the brain.  Way back when I was in the Navy, I bought a surplus recording electroencephalograph (EEG) and all of the hookups.  I had played with it as an interface to my computer and eventually had gotten it to recognize binary responses to my thoughts.  I could, for instance, answer yes-no questions using the output of this EEG fed into an A-D converted and then into the game-port on my old computer.  Now I got out that old EEG and began recording my night’s dreaming to map my REM and NREM sleep and to record my brain’s electrical activity.  I wired the EEG into some lights and into my computer so I could trigger various events with my brain waves.  It was fun to experiment and helped me define and refine my lucid dreaming. 

It took me about a year of practice before I had my first lucid dream and it was amazing. 

I tried keeping a log of my dreams and ordering my brain to remember to dream but I found the best technique was to first relax all over and then to imagine that I was walking up a long stairway to a special sleep temple.  I enhanced this image by slightly rubbing my feet together as if I was taking the steps up those stairs.  When I reach the temple, I was asleep and dreaming and was aware I was doing it.  Over time, I could shorten this climb up those stairs and even got to the point that I could do it during the day while waiting or riding a bus or train and while riding in a car.  After awhile, I could enter my dreams as if I was a spectator at a movie but I gradually began trying to exert control over what I was dreaming.   

I tried to enhance the lucid dreaming state with various drugs and herbs and teas and other foods.  I tried melatonin, kava kava, passionflower, St. John’s wort, and various herb teas with and without caffeine.  They all had some effect but I did not like the idea of having to take a drug to make this work so I stopped all of them except a multi-vitamin that gave me a bunch of “B” vitamins, fish oil, choline, and other stuff for an old guy like me. 

Eventually, I gained almost complete control of my dreams so that I could conjure up any event, environment or people I wanted to and then will them to do something.  The nature of this control is a little weird.  The subconscious mind is still creating the dream and can take it in an independent direction if I don’t exert some willpower but I can’t just command it to do my bidding.  I have to think it and want it, to make it happen and even then, it will do it but in a way I might not have chosen to do if my conscious mind had full control.  For instance, if I want to go fishing, it will create the entire fishing environment before I can define the boat or where or what I want to fish for.   

When my subconscious mind leaped ahead like that with something I did not want, it took me a long time and it was hard for me to learn to backup and redesign the dream.  At first, I’d have to dock the boat and walk to another boat in order to change.  Now I have learned how to “reset” the dream and do an instant redesign to something more like I want.  My reset signal is a little weird and I found it by accident.  I dropped an LED flashlight in my bed covers one night.  While in a deep sleep, I suddenly lost the dream I was dreaming as if it had been erased.  I willed myself awake and found that the flashlight was on and was under the covers near my legs.  It was odd that it would have any effect on my legs but I wired up a light to a pressure switch on my finger and then tried to reset a dream.  Eventually, I found that if I put the light under my legs, it would give me just the right amount of mind control over resetting my dreams.  Weird but it works so used it.  Using this reset signal, I can exert a lot of control but I have to work at controlling the switch. 

At first, I felt thrilled by this newfound capability and would sometimes remain excited for hours after I woke up.  After awhile, I realized this was not just being thrilled but I was feeling anxious and nervous.  I sometimes felt guilty for what I was seeing or felt anxiety over simply being in the dream.  This got to be a problem until I started making overt efforts while I was in my dream state to tell myself to be relaxed and calm when I woke.  I practiced meditation and yoga-like poses in my dreams to facilitate this effort with very good results.  Eventually, I was able to calm down and enjoy my dreams and actually feel relaxed and calm after it was over – even if the dream itself was exciting. 

I wanted to expand on my capabilities so I contacted a psychology professor friend of mine that I met back in my government R&D days.  He is a good friend and knows how to keep a secret.  I won’t give you any information that will let you identify him because I don’t think he wants to be seen as being involved in any of this but the truth is; he has been dabbling in it for years.  He pointed me toward lots of studies on the various brain waves and processes like REM and NREM sleep and slow-wave sleep and the stages of sleep and circadian rhythms, etc.  He told me about sleep inducements like being body temperature, (hot baths), a high carbohydrate diet and exercise.  I told him I wanted to stay clear of any drugs but he told me that lots of foods and over-the-counter drugs could affect sleep.  I must have spent months reading all about sleep, how it works and what causes it.  As with dreams, I found that there was a lot about what can be observed about sleep but not much about why we sleep. 

One of the most amazing aspects of lucid dreams is that you can immerse your entire being in the dream so that it seems as real as if you were really there.  You get the sights, smells, feelings and taste of your dream world.  It reminds me very much like the holodeck that they showed on the Star Trek TV series in which the computer could create artificial environments, people and nature. 

This realism is great most of the time but it can also be very disturbing.  I foolishly dreamed I was in a shooting war against some gang members and I got shot.  The link between my conscious and subconscious mind was so powerful and complete that I felt the shock and pain in my dream as if I had really been shot and it forced me to wake up and when I did, my heart was racing, my body felt flushed and I was breathing very hard.  I don’t think I would really die if I died in my dream but I have not wanted to test that theory. 

At first it was fun to experiment with stuff.  I even used it to conjure up famous scientists living and dead to discuss some science problem I was having at work.  Amazingly I often would solve relatively complex problems in these dreams and then take them to work and find out that they worked.  I also found that I could look at a book or magazine as fast I could turn the pages while awake and then recall that book in my dream and see every page clearly and even do a word search of the contents.  It was sort of a weird kind of photographic memory that I could tap into only in my dreams. 

I also explored other sensations and wild experiences.  I made myself able to fly, I swam faster than fish, and I became super strong, and other super powers.  I went through a phase of experimenting with sex and drugs – or what I imagined what drugs would do to you.  I played out all the great movies I had ever watched.  Some of these experiences were so much fun that I really looked forward to getting a good night’s sleep and often wanted to remain asleep in the morning. 

One interesting event happened about this time.  I go for a physical every year but the one I had about this time showed me to be in much better shape than ever in the past.  My blood chemistry was that of a person half my age and I had no visible or detectable problems of any kind.  Since I am an old guy with the typical old- guy problems – arthritis, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, age spots, etc., the doctor was both amazed and confused that I showed no signs of any of these maladies.  He wanted to do the tests over but first asked me a lot of questions.  I mentioned that I had gotten a lot of sleep over the past two years but I was careful to not mention my lucid dreaming.  He did run the tests again and told me that he added a few extras.   

When he got back the results, we had another meeting.  He told me that I had elevated levels of something called dimethyltryptamine and decreased levels of cortisol.  These were not just slight changes but at levels that he thought were way out of the ordinary.  He also noted that I had unusually high levels of acetylcholine, serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine and said, “no wonder you feel good, you are high on natural uppers”.  I tried to downplay the results and told him it was probably diet. 

After about two years of this, I got tired of all the weird stuff and decided I try to find something really useful I could do.  I wanted to try to do things like remote viewing, telekinesis or mental telepathy, mind reading or see the future.  I quickly discovered that this was not like trying to influence my dreams – I had to exert much more control over my subconscious mind in order to make it focus on what I was trying to do.   This required me to not just direct the subconscious mind with my conscious mind but to actually superimpose the two over each other so that I would have all the benefits of both.   

As with all of this, I did my own research and found that the two sides of the brain are connected by the corpus callosum.  A sort of communications superhighway between the two hemispheres of the brain.  It turns out that this inter-hemispheric communications is vitally important to my efforts to superimpose the conscious mind onto my subconscious mind.  I discovered that being left handed, a musician and having worked in both artistic and math related career jobs, were all contributors to my corpus callosum being very efficient in letting me overlap my subconscious mind with my conscious mind. 

I can’t tell you have many hours it took but about a year later, in 2007, I was able to begin to control the essence of my subconscious.   I began to have some success when I began using a sleep sound machine that gave me 60 choices of various sounds to sleep by.  I began with white noise but soon found that something that had a background beat to it worked better.  To explore more sounds faster, I got two sound machines and put them on the left and right side of my bed for stereo sounds.  After a lot of fiddling with them, I found a range of frequencies that worked best and surprisingly, they worked best when they were not both set to the same tone.  A psychology professor that is a friend of mine told me this was called binaural beats and entrainment and that it was a well developed technique to create infrasound inside the brain.  I read up on this subject and soon was tweaking my sound machines to give me exactly what I needed. 

I also saw an advertisement for a relaxation aid that put flashing LED lights on the inside of some sunglasses so that you could see them with your eyelids closed.  I bought a pair and experimented with them.  I found that different combinations of sounds and flashing lights gave me different capabilities while in my dream state.  With some, I was very pensive and analytical and used them for problem solving and designing.  With other combinations, I was more aggressive and physical and could imagine building things and making decisions better.  I also found that when I used the right combination of lights, I could induce sleep almost immediately and by putting the lights on a timer, I could end my dreams on a set schedule.  My psychology professor friend told me this is called hypnagogia. 

After more than a year of experimentation, I began to have some success but frankly, at first it was a big letdown.  I was able to feel my senses while asleep so that I could feel and hear the environment around my sleeping body.  At the time, I thought “no big deal”.  Almost by accident, I decided to see if I could feel my heart and suddenly I was actually inside my heart – looking at it beating.  I could touch it and feel it and even change its speed of beating, at will.  I continued this exploration all over my body – lungs, brain, ears, eyes, etc.  I tested it by going to my lower left leg where I have been shot.  Some tiny bullet fragments are still in my leg and I could actually see them.  I later matched up where I “saw” them to an X-Ray of my leg and they agreed.  I had actually seen the inside of my real leg…and heart and lungs, etc. 

Then I began trying to push the capabilities of my subconscious to do some of those wild paranormal tricks.  Using all my tricks and aids I have learned over the past 6 years, I was able to eventually totally dominate the subconscious mind with my conscious thought.  The results were amazing.  Every time I tried it I discovered something new I could do or experience.  Here are just a few… 

Hyper-Senses – I was immediately aware of my surroundings at a level far beyond anything I could have imagined.  I could feel the variations in the thread covering of my bed sheets.  I could hear air moving in the room.  I could hear sounds from outside the house like I was using a massive hearing aid.  I could smell individual objects in the room like the wood dresser, the wool rug and the wall paint.  I could feel the vibrations of the furnace and after awhile, I could feel the vibrations of cars driving on the road a block away from my home.   I learned to open my eyes without waking out of my dream state and found I could see colors and detail I never thought possible.  And what was even more amazing was that I could do this selectively so that it was not all flooding my senses at once.  It was like listening to someone talking in a rock concert – only easier – I could tune in our tune out whatever I wanted to concentrate on.  

As I explored these hyper senses, I realized that when I sensed something by smell or touch or hearing, I almost immediately imagined an image of that thing.  When I truck drove down the road, I heard it first and then smelled it and then felt it and as I added each new sensation, I enhanced my image of it until I was convinced it was the garbage truck.  I then looked out the window and – for the first time – visually saw that it was indeed the garbage truck.  I did this with hundreds of things until I could “see” well beyond my visual range. 

X-Ray vision.  Well not exactly x-ray vision, more like having a selective virtual reality vision.  Because I know what it looks like on the other side of a wall, I could look at the wall and then look thru it.  Because of my heightened senses, I could hear, feel, smell and sense things in the next room even if they had been moved since I was in the room last.  It was as if the 3-dimensional qualities of my vision were expanded to include hearing, smell and feelings.  I could “see” – in my mind’s eye – my dog as he was walking across the next room until he walked into my door and was visible. 

Remote viewing  (RV) – or at least something like RV.  My hyper senses and this x-ray vision combined to give me the ability to look outside my house and then into other houses and down the street.  The limit seemed to be about ¼ mile but it was amazing.  I spent hours nosing around inside my neighbor’s houses; listening to their conversations and watching them do stuff. 

These were all just variations on the hyper senses that my mind was giving me but it was rapidly going beyond that.  I added these improved senses to the near photographic memory of what I could do and see now and added in a nearly perfect recall of my own memory to create some really bizarre capabilities.  For instance, I discovered I could revisit a moment in my past and see it in details even beyond what I experienced the first time the event happened.  I remembered going camping with my Dad when I was 12.  I could smell the pine trees and hear the nearby river and feel the heat of the sun on my face.  I could imagine the scene to the point of seeing in 3-D and being able to walk around the scene and see myself back then.  I could play it like a videotape and slow or stop the actions to study and see things that my senses recorded by that I have not remembered in all these years.  It was utterly amazing. 

I was in an accident in which I was hit by a school bus that ran a stop sign.  I cannot remember anything that happened that day from before I got up in the morning until I woke up in the hospital room.  I used these newfound senses of the overlapped mind to revisit that day and follow myself up to the accident.  Just as the accident happened, my visual memory of it went blank but I still was mentally recording the sounds and smells and feelings of the events around me.  I was able to recreate the scene as if I was watching from above looking down on the scene and saw what happened to me.  I heard the bus driver crying when she thought she had killed me.  I felt the ambulance guys working on me and the ride in the gurney to the hospital and the loud sound of the siren blasting.  It was incredible to relive those long forgotten moments.  These discoveries kept me busy for weeks but I wanted to push the limits even more.   

Remembering my earlier studies of brain waves called delta, theta, alpha, beta and gamma and that they are related to various thought patterns in the brain, I wanted to see if I could sense these waves.  I invited a friend over for a late night dinner.  She is a sound sleeper and I have had her over many times before so I knew I could count on her being a good test subject.  She slept in the guest room and after several glasses of wine; I knew she would sleep thru almost any noise. 

I waited until she was well asleep and then entered my dream state and quickly moved into my conscious control state.  While remaining asleep, I walked into her room and sat in a chair by her bed.  I then concentrated on visualizing her brain waves.  To my surprise, I began to see a totally new dream scene.  It took me a minute or two to realize I was seeing her dream.  I was looking at her dream as if it was a 3-D movie being projected on a screen in front of me.  She was dreaming of swimming on a beach.  Within a minute or two, her dream changed to a completely different dream.  Now she was back in college and was studying for a test with some friends.  In another minute or two, it changed again.  I sat there for two hours watching her dream snippets come and go. 

She was a good friend and so I did not try to enter her dreams or influence them in any way.  I somehow thought that was not a good thing to do to a friend.  However, in the weeks that followed, I tried this same effort on several other people – mostly neighbors that I knew very little.  Soon, I was able to do it without leaving my bed.  I could use my remote viewing and hyper senses to “see’ the person’s brain waves and then see their dreams.  I even was able to do this with my neighbor but the range of this was very limited – to about 100 feet.  Once, I even went to a motel and roamed all of the nearby rooms and explored their dreams. 

What I found, over time, is that most people dream in very short dreams that often seem disjointed and illogical.  It sometimes seemed like I was seeing a 2-minute excerpt of a longer movie and the film kept skipping and jumping thru scenes.  Only about one in 25 or 30 tries did I find someone that would dream a coherent story line that I could follow and was interesting.  This disappointment prompted me to move into other new directions. 

I figured if I could use my hyper-senses on someone asleep in the next room or next house; why not try it while they are awake.  I began tweaking my sound machines and lights and searching for the right conditions.  I found that noise from them talking or watching TV or music overwhelmed the sensation of vibrations and made it impossible to read anything.  It was like trying to feel your heart beat while riding on a motorcycle.  I began looking for someone that liked to sit in a quiet room and remain awake.  I began buying books for all my neighbors in the hopes they would sit and read.   

Unfortunately, this too was a disappointment.  I found that most people that are reading are paying attention to what they are reading – duh!  The effect was that the image in their mind was simply a dreamlike version of what they were reading and not of any thoughts that they might have about their lives or living.  Once in awhile, I would get someone that would project themselves into the story but even then, the story moved slowly – at the speed they were reading – and had very little personal insights.  It was time to move on to other efforts. 

We are now up to about a year ago.  I have been doing this for more than ten years and have found it has almost dominated my life.  I started it after I retired and I retired with enough money to never have to work again but I have actually done little else.  I have not interacted with my neighbors and I have done relatively little community service or helping of others other than sending money to charities.  I decided I wanted to get active again outside of myself but I was not sure how or what I could do and I wanted to try to do something with my new found skills.  Everything I could think of seemed like it could not bridge the gap between my mental world and the real world.  I could imagine and dream and sense all kinds of things and situations but there was no way to translate that into the real world.  So that became my goal – find some way to manifest my mental capabilities in the real world. 

I got out my old EEG again and began to experiment with the brain-to-computer interface again.  This time, I was in full control of my dream state, my subconscious and my body.  I quickly found I could create code sequence patterns in my delta waves.  I was able to consciously send patterns of two and three cycles of delta waves into the A-D converter and have the computer interpret them.  In my dream, I imagined that I created a typewriter that had a cord that ran first to my head and then to an antenna so that as I typed my brain waves were being “transmitted” out in the proper pattern for each letter.  I then programmed my computer to recognize about 40 different code patterns based on the old ASCII codes that they use to use in TTY devices back in the 1950’s.  This gave me a way to type in my dreams but have the actual printing occur in the real world on a real computer. 

This is a simplified version of what took me a year to do but I eventually got it working.  I found that I could type in my dream state a whole lot faster than I can type in real life.  In fact, what you are reading right now has taken me about 5 minutes to type.  Several other stories on this blog were also typed this way.  I am going to start a novel next week and hope to have it done by the first of March (it is now Feb 15th). 

I hope you have enjoyed this description of my exploits over the past decade in lucid dreaming.  I can only say that that if I can do it, anybody can.  Give it a try.