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RichG

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"THE EFFECTS OF SOUND ON CONSCIOUSNESS"
by Tom Kenyon

The use of sound and music to generate "healing" has a long history stretching back to the virtual beginnings of man. Indigenous shamans and healers using instruments such as the human voice, drums, flutes and percussive instruments have been documented to alter brain states (i.e. the neural activity within the brain itself). These studies have shown, for instance, that certain drumming patterns increase theta activity within the brain, a state known to be connected with hypnogogic states of awareness, dream-like states of mind as well as states of high insight and heightened creativity.

Research studies conducted on the neurological effects of sound have shown that the human brain responds to pure tone in highly specific ways. PET Scans, which measure glucose consumption at the cellular level show that pure sound and music (without words) stimulate an increase of cellular activity in the right or "non-dominant" hemisphere.

Although both hemispheres of the brain process many different kinds of information, a simple division in tasking can be made. Basically the dominant hemisphere (left side for most people) processes language and logic. The non-dominant hemisphere (right side for most people) processes spatial information, paradox and is non-language based. While the abilities to understand and create language are vital components of our human experience, there are other valuable aspects of our intelligence that are not currently recognized by our culture as having intrinsic value. These other domains of our intelligence (such a heightened creative insight and states of high genius) are most easily accessed through non-dominant brain activity.

When the non-dominant hemisphere is stimulated, as in the use of pure sound or tone, there is often an increase in non-ordinary states of awareness. This occurs because the non-dominant hemisphere engages the spatial and intuitive aspects of our intelligence. In these neurological states, our perception of reality (both internal and external) can be very different from our everyday experience. Our senses may become heightened, or sensitive, more vivid or refined. It is not uncommon to have a more immediate experience of our inner mental and emotional life through the direct perception of our psychic drivers (i.e., our deeply seated emotions, fantasies and archetypal conflicts or dramas). These may present themselves as internal imagery (dream-like images) or even internal dialogues.

While our Western culture is generally unconcerned with these deep emotional and mental states, numerous anecdotal reports from the lives of great artists and scientists indicate that these state of mind are gateways to our innate genius.

Neurology has shown that most of us use less than ten percent of our brain. What this actually means is that in order to live our day-to-day lives, we only need ten percent or less of the neural pathways available to us. The other ninety percent is dormant. And it will remain dormant until a need arises for these "sleeping" neural pathways to "wake up." Having worked in the field of psychotherapy and human potential for over eighteen years, I am convinced that altered states of consciousness are a powerful key for unlocking much of our unused potential. And as a technology to assist us, sound and music are unparalleled.

Copyright 2006 - Tom Kenyon. All rights reserved.

For more info on Tom, his work and his many recordings please visit: 
http://www.tomkenyon.com 

Reprinted by permission.


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BenjaminSavage

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Correct me if I am wrong; but since the writing of this material, I believe the concept of hemispheres of the brain being responsible for specific tasks has been disproved. The concept of left-brain, right brain is no longer applicable or correct.

Also, the concept that we only use 10% of our brain is also a myth.

Even relying on science factoids can be a treacherous path to validate what happens with the gongs and sound.

© 2015 Benjamin Savage
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RichG

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenjaminSavage
Correct me if I am wrong; but since the writing of this material, I believe the concept of hemispheres of the brain being responsible for specific tasks has been disproved. The concept of left-brain, right brain is no longer applicable or correct.

Also, the concept that we only use 10% of our brain is also a myth.

Even relying on science factoids can be a treacherous path to validate what happens with the gongs and sound.


Well, it was the 'science' for quite awhile!
But if you read any real article on it, even as they start out with the simplistic lead-in that the left/right thing has been "debunked" or proven to be false etc.... if you read further you will see that the real answer (or current understanding) is that it is 'complex'. There are aspects of brain functioning that exist or predominate in one hemisphere and not the other. It just isn't a simplistic delineation as the 'common knowledge' would have us believe. 

To quote from a December 2013 NPR article:
"A new book by Stephen M. Kosslyn and G. Wayne Miller argues that the left / right brain divide is largely bogus, and should instead be replaced by a top brain / bottom brain distinction."

Yeah, ok... left/right, top/bottom. Honestly, I've personally never put much weight or concern on it. In my own experience I've only ever felt like I have a brain, period, and it's capable of many things. I was a science/math wizard in grade school days. As an adult spending decades working with music, I found my math skills got rusty while my creative art skills expanded - but I never felt any reason to associate these as left or right brain. It just never felt hemispherical.

What is funny to me is how suddenly all of the Science type articles are written calling it a 'myth' or 'debunked' or 'bogus' etc, like it was new age 528Hz woo woo.... when what we are talking about is something that scientific research itself first gave us.

Regarding the 10% thing.... yes, a myth.
But it's a hundred or so year old myth and one that was printed in prominent books and claimed to be the word of science (even if Science never exactly said it).

The current experts say we use all of our brains, but what I think IS true is that many (most?) of us do not use anywhere near our full mental capacities (and that isn't necessarily a 'bad' thing, I don't think - all depends on the individual situation). Also, in regard to current science, there seems to be only understanding of how about 10% of the brain works. Neurons make up only 10% of the brain and how they operate is known. How the other 90% operates remains a mystery, even if it is known that it does operate.

I imagine Tom Kenyon would update that, and probably already has but the version I copied and pasted from my own website is probably 10 years old.... so I'll take responsibility for furthering that outdated information.


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RichG

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PS - just re-reading Tom's article and it's funny but the right/left and 10% stuff was never the part that left any impression on me nor had anything to do with why I posted it.... even as it takes up signifcant space in the article!

He does say "...both hemispheres of the brain process many different kinds of information..."

And I do agree that there are dominant and non-dominant processes. It's the assigning them to exclusive left and right hemispheres that may be the mistake, not that they exist. 


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Sound Medicine Expansive Weekend Retreat!!
at the Omega Institute - Coming again September 25 -27, 2020!!
Please consider joining us!!! (Details not yet posted.)
http://www.richgoodhart.com/omega2019.php

Rich Goodhart
http://www.richgoodhart.com
http://www.facebook.com/Rich-Goodhart-Music-118609091489499/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3EDI7L60GcsDD7Ab1fdDMw

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