Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Altered states through voice
Driving across the US I had a lot of time to practice eliciting altered states via voice, like mantra but without specific religious mantras. For a long time now I've been experimenting with just chanting vowels, sometimes individually, sometimes all together, just intuitively as I feel into the moment. In every case, whether for a few moments or for a few minutes, it produces a change of state. With more extended practices like on this road trip I've been able to produce LSD-like states of limited duration, perhaps only minutes long.
All of which led me to ponder that humans have been experimenting with this sort of thing for a long, long time, no doubt starting as I did with just an intuitive feel for it, then observing and recording what effects are produced by what sounds. Mantra has become quite a science and art, both east and west, to elicit very specific states. Obviously there has been a lot of metaphysical interpretations associated with the states but one can postmetaphysically alter the view while still maintaining the practice to produce profound and beneficial effects from the practice.
This and other practices can help integrate the various aspects of our body-mind making for more equanimity, compassion etc., personal development in general. Which is of course a social good, for in such balance we obviously want to share this wealth and health. We might even call it enlightenment from a postmetaphysical stance, but one much more grounded, embodied, immanent without the supernatural mumbo jumbo traditionally associated with it.