Altered conciousness is a state when conciousness status of the brain is changed. Let’s first explore what is Normal state of Consciousness—Neurons in the different part of the brain fire in synchrony-and pool their knowledge-Synchronization is mediated by –neurochemical Dopamine (Pleasure/ Reward chemical)
Human brain is a massive network of interconnected neurons-Each part of network process particular information-some section deal with, emotions, sensory stimuli, some memory and language.
When dopamine level is normal-Emotional process area limbic system-resonate in synchrony with part of cortex, where, Memory, Thought and Perceptions are located.
When we focus on anything –Pay attention-Neurons in the brain starts firing faster and faster-So to be fully conscious, one has to pay attention-like focus of a torch. If less than 1/5th of second-loosed from memory
Consciousness changes from moment by moment, sometimes Peak experience and sometimes troughs-Fragmented.
Peak experience– Dopamine Serotonin flood the brain +Activity in the limbic system (emotional) and there is hyper synchrony in the frontal cortex-Causing sense of Euphoria-Feeling of bliss, beauty and love
Fragmented Consciousness .If Dopamine level falls –synchronization is loosed in different areas of brain fragmentation of synchrony occurs , result is Fear and anxiety.
Hyper-oxygenation-Taking rapid, short breathing-Sudarshan- Kriya- Stimulation of Respiratory center of the brain-Release of Neuropeptide Hormone –Induces Trance and Relaxation.
Hypo-oxygenation by stimulation of Respiratory center-Dreamy, out of body experience ,death like experience.
Induced Altered Consciousness– Many Gurus, Spritual healers claim that they have created some sort of supernatural awakening among their deciples. But they only induce altered conciousness by either Drugs ,Dancing, or by various types of rituals .Chanting of mantra ,Meditation, Breathing , spiritual teaching cause secretion of feel-good neuro-transmitters in the brain.
Drugs Changes the neuronal activities of the brain.Cocain and amphetamines create a feeling of super smartness and confidance.Heroin and Ecstasy-create a feeling of facial glow and warmth.Cannabis distort the sensory perception, thereby creat repetitive activities. All these drugs are illegal, addictive and eventually produce burn-out of neurons.Which may lead to mood disorder or depression.
Dancing -creates repetitive rhythmic gesticulation of body and alters the conciouness. Dancers sometimes feel out of body experience -OBE . Satish Tripathi email@example.com