I would like to give credit to all the sources of information I have used, but that is hardly possible, since it seems that all of my experiences contributed bits and pieces that sometimes seemed unimportant. I guess I have to start with my High School chemistry book, author long forgotten. which listed uranium as a worthless trace element, and my High School physics teacher who explained that the chemistry book was as obsolete as our physics text. Kind of made me think about a lot of other things having nothing to do with academics. I started to search for things that weren't obsolete and found that almost anything that threatened the existing system was at the least considered controversial. If the controversial information was confined to a small group it was belittled and ridiculed. Then if the group grew it was proscribed and perhaps persecuted, then outlawed if the information was threatening enough. So I started looking around the fringes of "The System". I tried college and found that system more firmly entrenched as I advanced, but, the library did have some clues By a fortunate coincidence I was prevented from taking finals and somehow I never made it back.
Then I found I wasn't alone in my frustration. Another series of fortunate coincidences found me in study groups using books by Baird T. Spaulding, Stewart E. White, The Society For psychical Research papers, Kepler and Phythagoras, and popular books on relativity and quantum physics. Then came the explosion of controversial information Keysey, Leary, Lilly, Watts, Pierce, rock and roll and Eastern Gurus. Radionics surfaced again and psyonics emerged. I was overloaded with information. I tasted some of all of it. Tolkein, Casteneda, and Lobsang Rampa led us on mythic journeys. Thomas E. Beardon and Robert Anton Wilson opened some doors that many would have preferred stay closed.
The phenomena of mutual phase locking of oscillators, or entrainment, is universal in the broadest sense of the term. The universe is composed of an interlocking web of mutually entrained vibrations, from the quickest sub atomic dances to our bodies, the solar systems, and galaxies.
I first became intimately aware of the phenomena of human body functions entraining with external stimuli in about 1968. I was active in Edgar Cayce study groups and local metaphysical and meditation circles when Jose Silva entered the scene with his Mind Control courses. I took the courses and they worked. I took the professional hypnotism course and became a teacher.
At that time we were using a taped backround sound to help students relax during the early group hypnosis sessions. There was a pulse beat that started at about eighty beats per minute and slowed down gradually to a deep rest state of about forty, and a sharp click that started at a wide awake beta frequency of about thirty per second that slowed to a middle alpha state of about ten per second. This tape was used as background for the instructors programing. Many students reported having a similar experience during the programing sessions. After the first few sessions they became unaware of the tape and asked why I had quit using it. It seems that when your body entrains, that is, when your heart beat synchronizes with the pulse on the tape and your brain synchronizes with the clicking, you ignore it.
We found that with a conscious effort you could, of course, still hear the background tape, but it took a conscious effort. That conscious effort prevented you from entering the much more pleasant alpha state so usually we just relaxed and went with the tape. There was a whole lot more going on than this, but at the time we weren't sure what.
This phenomena became much more real one afternoon when I was meditating listening to a tape I had made for my personal use, my voice over the background tape with a standard induction and some additional experimental programing. I was lying on a couch in my study with a portable tape deck on my chest. I experienced the usual sensations, relaxation, dissassociation, floating, etc., and then I became aware that I was not in my usual condition as an observer to what was going on with "ME". I was NOT lying on a couch listening to a tape. I was NOT on an out-of-body trip. I was NOT in a lucid dream. I was NOT on an out of control psychedelic trip. Me, myself, and I were ALL in what was definitely a place. It was very light, almost too light, and I wasn't alone. Some things of a very personal nature happened there. I came to lying on the couch, struggling for breath, cold, and panicky. I heard a growling in my ears and felt my heart pound with it, and somehow pulled the earphones from my head.When I could sit up and function I found that the batteries in the tape deck were almost dead. My body had entrained to the extent that it followed the ever slowing tape to where basic survival functions had taken over. I learned that solo trips can be dangerous and entrainment phenomena is very real.
Then biofeedback devices became available. The brain waves we had been talking about were being detected by a small portable device and filtered to modulate an audible tone that could be heard on headphones. You could hear the alpha waves as a warbling tone instead of watching a pen trace on a very expensive lab machine. I found that, as advertised, we were in alpha on demand. The programing worked! We also found that the brain at alpha had a measured voltage output many times that of outer conscious beta. There are millions of brain cells firing in unison at alpha. Beta is the random firing of cells in response to external stimuli. This is, of course, somewhat over simplified, but is still very true at a gross level.
The brain tends to synchronize with external electromagnetic fields. This entrainment can also be triggered by audible and visible stimuli. It may also be triggered by other brains. A brain at alpha, with many times the field strength of one at beta, will tend to entrain other nearby brains. All of this, so far, his been about brains, that gray squishy collection of chemicals operating electrochemically and electromagneticaly confined inside our sculls.
Then who are WE? The term "mind" comes to mind. Mind uses and controls brain, and vice versa. The Silva courses side stepped the old quests I had followed searching for the identity of the searcher by lumping all the psychological and metaphysical jargon into three categories, brain, mind, and "higher intelligence". This worked for the purposes intended, that of eliminating emotionally charged terms and the necessity of long sessions defining and agreeing on labels. It was also about this time that the core group that I am still associated with was formed. We still use these terms, though the agreed upon meanings have evolved and been explored and refined over the years. Enough of that for the purposes of this record. back to brain waves.
With biofeedback available we quite rapidly found a physical explanation for some subjective experiences. There was an annoying buzz in the earphones when a new subject was first hooked up. We thought this was the old hi-fi 60 cycle hum. We thought it was the equipment but quickly found it was our brain entraining with the 60 cycles being broadcast by the house wiring. With all the lights off it was not as bad but still there. Outside away from all power lines it was quiet. With a little practice it was possible to block the static even under a transformer, but it was an effort to continue this for any length of time. We also found that there were other forms of energy that the brain was receiving and converting to electrical impulses.