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RichG

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~ Getting In Tune with the Schumann Resonances ~

Rich Goodhart, February 2019 

(Yes, “resonances”, plural – there's more than one.)

As with many ideas and practices in the sound healing and new age scenes there is much misunderstanding floating about, and the reality of the Schumann Resonances is no exception. That such misunderstandings (and maybe sometimes intentional misinformation?) commonly exist is enough of a challenge, but that such erroneous information is too often propagated by well-known and respected new age gurus only adds significantly to the confusion. Videos and written statements by some of these teachers are often rife with errors. (And this article has nothing to do with Rife, a topic in itself that is too often rife with errors!)

 To begin with, it isn't "the Schumann resonance", singular, as it is often referred to, but the Schumann resonances, plural. There are many, at intervals of approximately 6.5Hz. Thus, beginning with the primary and most quoted resonance of 7.83Hz, we then have 14.3Hz, 20.8Hz, 27.3Hz, 33.8Hz and more. There is also a lower one that doesn't follow the pattern and fluctuates between about 3.5 - 4Hz or so. All of these numbers are averages as they all fluctuate depending on atmospheric conditions, magnetic field activity, and primarily on solar activity. It is significant to note that these resonances are not in any “in tune” harmonic relationship with each other.

Another common and primary misconception is to call the most prominent one, the 7.83Hz resonance, "the electromagnetic frequency of the earth" or “the resonance of the earth”, “the fundamental tone of the planet” or “the correct frequency of the earth” etc, but this is not accurate, not even close. There isn't a singular electromagnetic frequency of the earth. The magnetic field of the earth, which is believed to be generated by electromagnetic process deep within the earth's core, has a wide range of fluctuating frequencies and that which are very much not the Schumann resonances. Further, the Schumann resonances are electromagnetic resonances found in the space between the earth's surface and the ionosphere – a condition and artifact of the atmosphere, not of any vibrations emanating from the planet itself. These atmospheric resonances are activated by lightning, and their oddly inharmonic frequencies are determined by the imperfectly spherical atmospheric cavity. The resonance fluctuations are caused by the varying size and shape of the upper atmosphere/ionosphere layer extremity, and this variability is most significantly caused by solar flares.

Again, the Schumann resonances are not “of the earth”, are not generated by nor are a resonance of the physical body of the earth. And again, it is lightning that actually activates these resonances, not that lightning causes an “earth frequency” to fluctuate, as some have stated. Being clear about this, I also realize that one can make the case for our earth's atmosphere to itself be “of the earth”, and of course it is this atmosphere that we live and breath in. This reality isn't lost on me, nor do I believe it to be an insignificant consideration. However, when one then speaks of our natural condition to be in the resonant field of 7.83Hz, and that is our fundamental tuning note, and that increasing our 'dosage' of this tone will somehow give us greater health or awaken our consciousness to higher realms, one then also needs to consider the full expression of Schumann resonances. As mentioned earlier they are not harmonically in tune with themselves**. What then does it mean to be attuned to, or existing in the resonant field of such a collection of inharmonic tones? I have no idea. However, being that the amplitude of the Schumann waves electrical field is so significantly smaller than the amplitude of the static fair-weather electrical field (around 300 microvolts per meter compared to around 150 Volts per meter); and the Schumann resonances magnetic field amplitude is many orders of magnitude smaller than the earth's magnetic field, it is quite possible that there is exactly no felt or measurable effect on us from the Schumann resonances, regardless of how dissonant the intervals are.

We of course all know that there is no shortage of misinformation on the internet about all sorts of topics, and in regard to the Schumann resonances one can easily find more than what I've mentioned here in this brief article. One additional and common example that I'll address is the claim that “the Schumann resonance is rising” and that this is an indication of planetary changes – even an indicator of awakening or heightening consciousness among earth's inhabitants. One very “science” appearing and claiming website addresses this by saying: "Schumann resonance has been...pulsating exactly at 7.83 Hz for thousands of years", and that since June 2014 there have been significant increases. They go on to say: "It is concluded that these changes clearly show that the planet is changing."Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately!) no such conclusion has been made by reputable science, particularly since there hasn't been any such changes observed. Winfried Otto Schumann mathematically predicted these resonances in 1952 and they were first successfully measured in the early 1960's. No significant changes in frequency since then have been noted (regardless of the colorful charts we might see claiming so), other than usual solar flare induced fluctuations. Also, again, 7.83Hz is an average – it hardly pulsates “exactly at 7.83Hz” for a whole day let alone “for thousands of years” (usual variation is around +/- 0.5Hz every day, with larger variations during extreme solar activity). It is likely that the averages have been consistent for quite a bit longer than thousands of years.

 

As far as being able to "uncode the mysteries of our planet earth" or “access higher consciousness” by attuning to that one particular frequency (as some have suggested), well, have those who believe this been able to do so? I'll leave it to others to research that question if they wish.

A note regarding our brains and brain waves: there are many different and fluctuating frequency electromagnetic waves happening all the time in our brains. The Theta range is generally considered to be 4-7Hz, or 4-8Hz, and the Alpha range 8-12Hz (these numbers often vary slightly depending on source quoted - it is not an exact science). Thus, the 7.83Hz Schumann resonance occurs at the transition of Alpha to Theta. What does this mean, beyond coincidence? I don't know and I'm not sure that anyone knows. The lower 3-4Hz Schumann resonance is at the top of the Delta range, bottom of Theta. The next in line 14.8Hz Schumann resonance is in lower Beta range. Tuning forks that create a sub-aural 7.83Hz difference tone between them, and other products that create (or claim to create) a 7.83Hz vibration, may or may not have an effect on our consciousness and/or biology. Will it be more significant, more “special”, more mystically or cosmically profound than 7.5Hz or 8.2Hz or 9.31Hz etc (if any effect is in actuality created and measurable)? If so, I'd be most glad to see some research on it, or detectable evidence of such effects.

~ copyright 2019, Rich Goodhart ~

 
**Footnote:

Some proponents like to round off the 7.83Hz to a convenient 8Hz, thinking it's “close enough”, and then do the Pythagorean Fifths math that shows it in alignment with 432Hz.

8x2=16, 16x2=32, 32x2=64, 64x2=128
C=128Hz
128 x 1.5=192, 192 x 1.5=288, 288 x 1.5 = 432 …. A=432Hz

However, if we stick with the actual average primary Schumann resonance frequency of 7.83Hz and do the math we arrive at:
C=125.28Hz
A=422.82Hz ….not exactly evidence of “432 in nature”, not nearly close enough.


Now if we look at several of the other Schumann resonances, and bring them up four octaves each into audible range:

7.83Hz....... C=125.28Hz
14.3Hz....... 228.8Hz
20.8Hz....... 332.8Hz
27.3Hz....... 436.8Hz
33.8Hz....... 540.8Hz

That first interval is actually an approximately 3Hz sharp minor 7th , in Just Intonation.
Frequency math wizards, have fun with those numbers and let us know what other relationships you might find!


Maybe someone would be willing to make and upload a sound file of those five tones played simultaneously as a chord –
The Schumann Chord TM  – it could be the Next Big Thing!! [wink] 

 ~ R.G., 2019

 

Additional Note: Two more notable false claims found in the “literature”

~ “This number (7.83Hz) is important because it’s the same frequency our brains use to survive and thrive.”
- Sorry, but no scientific or medical evidence that our brains use this or any other specific frequency to survive, thrive or even operate at a basic level with. Our brains generate many frequencies and when healthy are in continuous variability. Whether or not our brains in some way "calibrate" or "tune up" to a planetary "reference tone" is an idea that may have merit but one that has yet to be verifiably demonstrated.

~ “In early space missions, astronauts became surprisingly weak and ill when they went into space and left the resonance of the earth behind. They (NASA) now alleviate this distress by having a vibrational device attached to the ships that resonates at the Schumann Resonance.”
- Simply stated, NASA does not do this.

(Most of the many cross-referenced sources for the information in this article were found on the internet and are available for all to see and corroborate, or explore further. Always check your sources sources, whenever possible! ~ R.G.)
.

http://www.richgoodhart.com/omega2019.php
2019-GOODHART_OMEGA-Banner_002_72smaller.jpg 



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9ways

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Reply with quote  #2 
Nice presentation Rich, always good to offer a different narrative to what passes for truth these days. Things are abundantly clear, give a little science to someone who does not understand science, but they feel compelled to show their self importance, and the next thing you know the whole universe rotates around the thought of 7.83hz.
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RichG

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Over at the Facebook "Art & Science of Sound Healing" page there has been some discussion on this and I added several lengthy follow up notes.
I'm adding them here in a series of post.....

In regard to the claims that NASA adds the 7.83Hz electromagnetic vibration to their spacecraft:

Yeah, I know, but as far as I can tell it simply is not true. And I know there is a very legitimate appearing book on running barefoot and grounding, that claims that stuff about NASA and the Schumann resonance, but nothing that I found confirms this with any actual source. However I did find people legitimately debunking and refuting it. I can't claim that I have an iron-clad court case evidence in hand on it - that would require writing a letter directly to NASA and asking them. However, one of the things that was claimed was that Winfried Schumann himself solved the problem for NASA in the early 1960's. Well, the first manned spaceflight was Russian and occured in 1961, and the entire mission was 108 minutes long! In 1962 the first American to orbit the earth was John Glenn and his trip from launch to return came in just under five hours. A short term lack of microvoltage Schumann resonances were not a concern. Further, it was some time before spaceflight got extended, even the first trip to the moon in 1969 was only a few days. A little extremely low level 7.83Hz EMF vibration isn't going to mean a thing when you're soaring around the planet in a rocket.

Schumann retired from active research in 1961, though of course he could have consulted with NASA in his free time. But Schumann wasn't approaching the subject from a human health perspective. The whole idea that he, or NASA engineers at that time, were dealing with Schumann resonances as a health issue is without merit. As mentioned in the article, the earth's magnetic field as well as the static atmospheric electrical field are far, far, far stronger than the Schumann resonances - 500,000 times greater in the case of the electrical field, rendering any "Schumann effect" likely virtually non-existent. It requires special highly sensitive and elaborate equipment to even detect the resonances, they are so small in amplitude.

There are MUCH greater forces than the Schumann resonances at play in rocket rides to outer space that can and will mess with a person's equilibrium.

As I said right in the beginning of the article, the fact that much of this disinformation is perpetrated by well-known and respected new age gurus and "alternative doctors" only makes the problem that much worse.


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RichG

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Reply with quote  #4 
Second follow up note:

Regarding the NASA thing, one piece of evidence I found was a 1986 study that interviewed 10 former astronauts on all aspects of their astronautical experiences. Exactly one of them, in the "spontaneous comments" section of the report, brought up the Schumann resonances, saying that he had heard about them and wondered if the lack of them beyond the ionosphere might contribute to "Space Adaption Syndrome". His conclusion at that time was "So, I would FLAG that as an unknown."

The interviewer for the study was William K. Douglas, one of the top people at McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company. His notated comment on that was:
"I cannot comment on the role of low-frequency electromagnetic radiation in space and its physiological consequences and I am unaware of "Schumann Resonance", but I do want to underline this individual's comment as a possible route of inquiry, which NASA might investigate."

I was not able to find any evidence that NASA did investigate that route of inquiry, which doesn't mean they didn't, nor did I find a single piece of evidence that supported the claims that they now attach a "Schumann resonator" to ships. But I did find multiple others who said unequivocally that they don't. 
Also, that study was done in 1986, 25 years into space travel, and at that point it was apparently not a consideration. This would surely refute the claim that Winfried Schumann himself was involved in solving the problem for NASA, since he died in 1974. It would also cast doubt on the idea that the problem was discovered in "early space travel" and then rectified. Again, there are many other much more palpable and dramatic forces at play that can and do upset an astronauts equilibrium – even if the extremely low intensity Schumann resonances do in fact play a role in our biological attunement. (I'm sure there are subtle forces at play in our existence that we are as yet unaware of, or have no measurement of.)

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RichG

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Reply with quote  #5 
Further Note:
I imagine there are many here who know of the HeartMath Institute. They are among the biggest champions of the Schumann resonances that I have seen and they have published many articles on it. 
I'm curious what the more scientific minded 
among us here think of their work? I know in the past some have questioned the rigorousness of their science, but I can't say that I have enough of an informed view of their work to offer comment on that.

I will offer just a few quotes from one of their published articles, with my comments added:

1. “Like a tuning fork, the earth has natural sound frequencies and these are called Schumann resonances.”
This statement is shockingly misleading and mal-informing. The Schumann resonances are electromagnetic, NOT sound. They are nothing like a tuning fork (which of course is fixed pitch, sound resonates and emanates from it when struck), and the earth itself doesn't “have” these frequencies – a misleading implication that these resonances somehow come from the earth (like the tone from a tuning fork) or are held within it.
Such a statement starts me off on shaky ground, even as they then follow with a description of what the SRs actually are.

2. “As the mean intensity of the Schumann resonances increases or decreases because of day/night differences, changes in solar activity, global weather, etc., our brains and nervous systems respond to the changes.” 
Ok, are our brains and nervous systems responding to the SR fluctuations (typically +/- 0.5Hz), or are they responding to the actual and far more palpable and actively experienced day/night sunlight changes, and weather conditions? Also, regarding solar activity (primarily solar flares, solar wind, and occasionally CME's, which affect the SRs the most), when those things happen, earth is getting blasted with full range full spectrum electromagnetic intensity and subatomic particles. Maybe we are being directly affected by that far more than the secondary effect of such forces via the SRs? I don't know, I'm asking. Correlation doesn't assume causation.

3. “So, in summary, researchers have found evidence indicating that human health and behavior appear to be affected by changes in Schumann resonances.
Possible future considerations for scientists with respect to the Schumann resonances include learning why some people are adversely affected by changes in them, why most people are not...”

Firstly, “appear to be affected by changes in SRs”. “Appear to” is not a conclusion, not a declaration of causation. Second and more importantly, their own research indicates that most people are NOT adversely affected by SR changes. Hmmm.... something to remember in any discussion of Schumann Resonances and their effects on humans.

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RichG

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Reply with quote  #6 

And one more:

Thomas, it's good to know you've had great experiences with the HeartMath Institute. I have nothing against them, just reporting what I read on their website. One of my teachers was very enthusiastic about their work and another one was not. I think my own feelings reflect both of those perspectives!

Here's another report, published February 2018 and posted on their website, of a larger study that they participated in but involved others as well. The first link is just the Abstract and the second link is the 14 page PDF download full report. The title is:
"Long‑Term Study of Heart Rate Variability Responses to Changes in the Solar and Geomagnetic Environment"

The report itself is one of those (to me) dense and convoluted piles of words and charts and abbreviations that takes a fair bit of effort to decipher properly. I can easily admit that I have not come close to deciphering the whole thing! (And I do question why and if it needs to be so dense and challenging, and if there would not be greater value in a more direct and clearly stated communication.)

It's easy enough to sift through the 14 pages and see all of the suggestive but inconclusive statements like "This appears to show..." or more specifically "changes in the EEG were similar to variations in the SR (Schumann resonance)" etc.
A little bit more difficult to see exactly what that evidence was, like "how similar?" or "how much greater than random chance but less that 100% total"..... remember, in the other report they stated that:
"some people are adversely affected by changes in them (SRs), (though) most people are not". In that previous report I don't recall seeing an indication of exactly how much was the rather vague terms of "some" and "most".

Here's one of several statements from the report that to me kind of sums up the suggestiveness but inconclusion of their findings:
"This suggests that under certain conditions, variables affecting the Schumann parameters (such as solar wind) may affect brain activity, such as modifications of perception and dream-related memory consolidation."

Add this, from the Conclusions:
"Overall, this study strongly confrms that daily ANS (autonomic nervous system) activity, as refected by HRV (heart rate variability) measures, responds to changes in geomagnetic and solar activity primarily during periods undisturbed by solar activity. Furthermore, these ANS responses are initiated at different times after the change in the various environmental factors (apparently anywhere between immediately and 10 hours later-RG) and continue over different lengths of time. Solar wind was negatively correlated with IBIs indicating that heart rate increases with increases in solar wind that suggests a physiological stress reaction occurred."

(I can tell you, I don't need solar wind to increase my heart rate - the extreme terrestrial wind blowing through the trees outside my window all day today is doing the job quite well!!)

I'm not assuming anyone wants to dig into this stuff, but here's the links if you do.... and if so, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts:
https://www.heartmath.org/.../long-term-study-of-hrv.../
https://www.heartmath.org/.../long-term-study-of-hrv...


PS - Is this statement confusing to anyone else, or is it just me misreading something:
"...responds to changes in geomagnetic and solar activity primarily during periods undisturbed by solar activity"


....changes in solar activity during periods undisturbed by solar activity?? Umm, what??

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