Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Different Types Of Altered States Of Consciousness

What is an Altered State of Consciousness?

An altered state of consciousness (ASC) is a state of mind that is significantly different from any normal state of mind. An ASC is almost always a temporary state of mind where one enters into an altered state of mind. When a person is in an ASC, they often have a morphed sense of identity with their own body, along with their own sense of perception.

Causes of Altered States of Consciousness: 
Generally, there are two ways that people can enter ASC:

1) Accidental - An ASC may be brought on accidentally (usually more common)

Examples of accidental ASC are: 

- Sleep deprivation
- Oxygen deprivation
- Psychosis
- 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.

Fragmented - Can be induced for a temporary time period by accidents and psychedelic drugs, or in some cases, severe psychological stress over a long period of time. This ASC is typified by an overall lack of integration among the important segments of one's own personality. The ASC often results in amnesia, multiple personality, dissociation, or psychosis.

Hysterical - Can be induced by jealousy, fear, neurotic anxiety, rage, violent activity, or certain types of drugs. This type of consciousness is usually considered to be both negative and destructive to the person which exhibits the behavior, and the people around them.

Expanded - Can be induced by psychedelic drugs, meditation, prayer, sessions of psychoanalysis, and hypnosis. This ASC is made up of four different levels:

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.

Daydreaming - Can be induced by social isolation, sensory deprivation, or boredom.

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