Archive for the ‘Neuro Science’ Category

Tweet out in your dreams (Dream Share this Sat night)

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

News out this week from another Kickstarter campaign about lucid dreaming devices, so what’s the story and how does it shape up?

 
Well, I don’t have the product as it’s still in development so we have to go with what we can see and I can say that what they are showing looks like a step in the right direction for me.
 
As most of you will know, I’m very much pro-tech as so far as I am concerned, all nature is technology so when someone talks about short cuts and what not, I’m already just tuned out. Nature is short cuts and from what we can see, it is a series of progressive short cuts, that’s why we take planes and not camels to cross countries today.
 
Ok, rant over, what do I like and what don’t I like  about the product?
On the plus side, they have progressed the classic model of of light cues to a more sophisticated algorithm, which, from what they tell us, will help to trigger lucid dreams with a higher frequency.
 
Am I buying this? Can’t say for sure but I do like light inducing tech as I do find it reasonably effective. Needless to say one does need some skill and practice of their own (the more the better), so the light tech is and aid and not a substitute.
 
The REM detector looks pretty smart too and I feel they might be offering a little more of an edge here as well, so that’s a thumbs up.
 
The wrist band and phone diary seem a little gimmicky for me but I expect that many people will like the multi-pronged approach here. 
 
On the down side, the mask does seem a little clunky but I guess the question is this offset by the extra tech features? 
 
Best feature, without a doubt, is the blue tooth connect to your Twitter/Facebook update. The first person to update their status from an LD is bound to make some headlines so let’s wait and see how that plays out but it is exciting to see us building even more intrinsic ways of connecting with each other! 

 Don’t forget that we are attempting our dream share on this coming Sat night!!!

@TheMutualDream

Dream Technology (and a big announcement)

Friday, May 16th, 2014

images (1)There has been quite a stir in the media this week about the use of gamma frequency radiation signals, to prompt the induction of lucid dreams and I would like to share my view on the matter. Where do we stand regarding technology and lucid dreaming?

I think we should approach this matter with caution,  as the risk we face here is the often nebulous schism that seems to separate science and spirituality. The argument, I frequently hear, is that lucid dreaming should be pursued “naturally” and any technological interfacing of the process would allude to something less spiritual.

Well, to put things in perspective, I might ask how any of us have pursued our process today, did we take automated transport, have we employed cellular phone technology, what about the clothes we are wearing, did we hand stitch them or are the machine woven?

Technology is a word and what it implies is not somehow distinct from nature, as people of often imply, we are nature doing nature. If a bird builds a nest, how is that so different to us building a sky scraper?

Labeling lucid dreaming as an exclusively spiritual practice is neither very scientific nor is it spiritual as one is judging the process and tying it up with some cultural notion. The truth is that nobody really knows what lucid dreaming is, except that it is important and and looking increasingly like the next most logical place for the self reflective mind to explore.

So instead of standing on some proverbial Luddite platform, spouting cultural propaganda, we should consider the matter not as an “either/or” situation but instead a “both/and” as we should look first and foremost to make this process possible for people. 

Now before anyone shouts “Yes but anyone can do it with enough practice!” – Can anyone jump 6 feet with enough practice? Let’s not be naive about matters which we simply cannot quantify. Lucid dreaming is amazing, it is probably the most interesting thing a conscious being can contemplate, so let’s embrace it together and keep cultural notions out of it.

I, for one, am a firm advocate of technology, as I see what we are doing as no more (and perhaps even less so) sophisticated than a plant turning light into energy, we are all nature doing its thing, so let’s keep doing it well. 

In closing, I would like to announce to everyone that we have a new partner working with the site – iWinks – the creators of The Aurora Headband. They are a really productive team with their finger firmly pressed on the pulse of lucid dream technology and their game changing device scooped a massive $239,094 on Kickstarter. These guys are, in my view, the leading tech team on lucid dream research and I hope people support them by checking out and postng out about their product, which we are featuring on the home site. Link here – https://iwinks.org/

Dream Share Experiment is on the 31st this month, so passwords ready and let’s keep at this, who knows where the future will take us, but rest assured it will be exciting!!

R

 

The Experiment Promo Vid

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Hi guys, I have just put a new promo vid together for the experiment, to help raise awareness around the globe. Please check it out and share out on your usual channels :)

Keep exploring..!

Do Animals Have Lucid Dreams..?

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

What a question…this one was raised to the panel at the wonderful Gateways of The Mind conference in London this year by a rather curious member of the audience and I for one was perplexed by its far reaching philosophical concerns.

Well, as it happens I did have the privilege of taking up the question for further discussion with one of the panelists and presenter of Gateways, lucid dream teacher and author Charlie Morley. If you haven’t already checked him out, he works with the Tibetan Buddhist lineage of Dream Yoga and his debut book “Dreams of Awakening” is out to buy now. Here is the video and I hope you enjoy, as ever your comments are appreciated.

Non Duality with Robert Waggoner

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

As ever, I will let the video do the talking here, but please allow me a moment to introduce to you the wonderfully insightful author Robert Waggoner. It has been a few short years since I first picked up his wonderful book “Lucid Dreaming – Gateway To The Inner Self” and I still regard it as the single most intriguing inquiry into the dream world I have ever encountered. I expect most of you have read the book but if you haven’t I can only offer my envy as you get to experience the story for the first time – enjoy and here is a discussion recorded at my studio one recent late evening with Robert…

The World is Made of Langugae

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

I will let the video do the talking here folks
#Language

Mind Altering Agents..?

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

I tackle the question of mind altering agents here and offer a different perspective on the subject, could you be tripping right now..?

New Vid

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Here is a great chat I just had with author of Spirit Guided Lucid Dreaming, Nick Barrett. We really dug up some interesting avenues of discussion bout the nature of reality here, so I hope you like.
Comments and shares would be greatly appreciated..!

A Simple Lesson…

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

artistic-ringThere is great wisdom in simplicity…sometimes the answer is written in the very fabric of our form, if we can just venture ourselves to look inside…

Try this little experiment – Breathe in… Now breathe out… Just follow this cycle passively and as you do so, ask yourself “Am I the in-breath or am I the out-breath?”

The fact is that neither can exist without the presence of the other. Left only comes to exist through right, hot only by virtue of cold, light emerges from darkness and so forth, polarity is a fundamental truth of our world, so what should we regard as real?

No state in the Universe is constant, the in-breath becomes the out-breath, night becomes day, hot becomes cold, the only thing that can prevail is change…

In meditation we learn to focus our attention on the the gentle flowing of the breath and in doing so, we learn to become the change. Where change prevails, there is no place for the mind to attach and label, here we can start to dissolve the dualism in our consciousness…

The deeper truth we are being exposed to here is not always apparent at first, what in fact we are contemplating, in truth, is the essential nature of paradox. Between future and past, between waking and slepping lies the infinite now, the eternal dream, where time and space conduct themsleves in a controled chaos, this is the true essence of our being.

The quest we must follow, however, leads us not just to recognise this place, but ultimately to accept and fully embrace this constant state of flux. Only then can we come to live as, and not just inside of the Universe, but the cost is not cheap, we must come to embrace death, for otherwise, life would simply cease to exist.

So the next time you feel pain, know that it is why one has pleasure, loss preceeds gain and terror will some day give way to awe, this is the Dao, or to put it in the words of the briliant Mr Miyagi “Wax on…Wax off…Breathe in…Breate out”

Enter The Mouth of Madness

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

I have been struggling with an idea for some time, what is this war at the heart of nature between order and chaos, is it something inherent in the process of the Universe, a necessary cause for creation, a catalyst or side effect?

I don’t want to enter into a dissection of the laws of thermodynamics, not the least because the subject largely alludes my own understanding, but I do want to point out to a certain feature, specifically, the second law, which states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems spontaneously evolve towards thermodynamic equilibrium —the state of maximum entropy (yes straight of Wikipedia, that one), but what exactly, or at least what roughly does that mean (let’s not get too daring in our demands)?

In essence, what it means is that systems decay, they naturally tend to a state of disorder and if left to do so, the Universe itself would simply, gradually fall apart at the seams, being reduced to nothing more than stardust, given a sufficient period of time. In fact, this second law is thought to be what gives time an arrow or direction, but we won’t get into that right now.

This incidental passage from order into chaos, as it is often prescribed by hardened materialists, seems to seal the fate of our world and yet, contrary to what one might have anticipated, recent findings at the periphery of our expanding Universe, found the rate of expansion to be accelerating and not, as was expected, slowing down…!?

This really has got scientists in quite a stir as it simply doesn’t fit their model, and what does one do when their model comes unstuck? We surely change it..? Now there, however,  is a concept that fundamentalists are slow to embrace and make no bones about it, the scientific avenue of inquiry is riddled with rigor.

I recently had a discussion with a colleague of mine, we are both medically qualified, my area being the oral cavity, his being the brain. As a psychiatrist, I gave him the benefit of the doubt as to having an informed view of the mind but I was quite shocked when I brought to his attention the work of another neuro-biologist, Dr J Allen Hobson, a Harvard professor, a researcher of altered states of consciousness, a pioneer of consciousness studies and the one half of the pair of minds that offered us the activation synthesis theory of dreaming. Whatever your opinion of the implications of this theory, the chemistry and physiology is flawless, how we interpret that, I will leave to debate, but the brain activity and function, during dreaming is brilliantly illustrated by the system.

Hobson is not one for controversy parse, in fact he is quite a conservative soul, I know as I have spoken to him at length. The topic we discussed, among others, was his diagnosis of dreaming as a form of acute psychosis. He uses a medical device, known as a mental status exam (MSE) to illustrate our nightly descent into disorientation and disorder of the self, a meeting with other persons in places, neither of which have any bearing in the so called physical world, we have effectively entered the the time and space of the schizophrenic.

Hobson goes on to illuminate us on how a model of the dreaming brain may be the road to understanding the schizophrenic essay, he outlines how it might be the dreaming brain leaking into the waking state that causes the alleged dysfunction to occur. Although I agree on the physiology, I might dispute the word dysfunction but that is another conversation.

I am an advocate of Hobson’s view and as an amateur dream researcher (it will become momentarily apparent why I do not chain myself to the constraints of academia), although the prescription of psychosis as a pathology, I would have to ask to be revised. Yes, the process can erupt into problematic situations, but as I said to my psychiatric colleague, surely this is as much of a product of how society treats the condition as much as the underlying biology. In the Bible, we had people visited by angels and demons alike, to say you are the son of God might land you a sentence in the loony bin in an increasingly cynical society.

Who decides who is mad? It is simply a matter of cultural perspective. In aboriginal societies, the shaman, the healer of souls is usually selected out of the community at a young age if he exhibits a certain kind of behavior…you guessed it, the hall marks of schizophrenia. I went on to explain this to my colleague and although, he could not argue to the contrary, he was certain that dreams had nothing to do with schizophrenia, that somehow chaos was an offspring of order and that we should continue to numb people up with drugs, if they did not meet the criteria of of our culture.

I was disappointed to see how attached a scientist of the mind could be to his view, especially in the evidence of something to the contrary. I say evidence but I did nit sit him down with a plethora of academic research, I felt a little anecdotal insight form the world’s leading researcher and a dose of investigative intuition would be sufficient but I was left wanting…

Change is precisely what underlies chaos, we need to let go of what we think we know in order to encounter what we don’t, let go of your assumptions, feel the chaos erupt, to feel it is to know it, the truth is that there is no fine line between madness and genius, they are on in the same…