Causes of Altered States of Consciousness:
1) Accidental - An ASC may be brought on accidentally (usually more common)
Examples of accidental ASC are:
- Sleep deprivation
- Oxygen deprivation
- Having a high fever
- Any kind of traumatic event
- Deep lucid dreaming
2) Intentional - An ASC can also be brought on intentionally for either religious and/or recreational purposes
Examples of intentional ASC are:
- Sensory Deprivation
- Mind-control techniques (prayer, hypnosis, meditation)
- The use of psychoactive drugs (opiates, alcohol)
- The use of entheogenic drugs (marijuana, psychedelic mushrooms, LSD, DMT, Peyote, etc.)
Types of Altered States of Consciousness
Rapturous - Can be induced by sexual stimulation, ingestion of certain drugs, intense religious conversation. This state is one that is distinguished by overpowering emotions and/or extreme feelings.
1) Sensory level - Typified by reports of the alteration of time, space, body image, and senses.
2) Re-collective-analytic level - Typified by the remembering of one's past and provides insight in regards to personal relationships, self, and work.
3) Symbolic level - Typified by vivid visuals of religious, historical, and mythical symbols.
4) Integrative level - Typified by one enters into intense religious illumination, a dissolution of themselves, and comes into contact with a divine being.
Relaxed - Can be induced by an overall lack of external stimulation, such as floating in water, sunbathing, or certain drugs. This type of ASC is typified by a state of little mental activity, and a lack of motor activity.
Trance - Can be induced by being especially attentive to a single stimulus such as ones own heartbeat, a chant, certain drugs, the voice of a hypnotist, or different kinds of trance-inducing rituals.