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Altered states of consciousness: the elusiveness of the mind - Ness Labs

https://nesslabs.com/altered-states-of-consciousness

nesslabs.com

Altered states of consciousness: the elusiveness of the mind - Ness Labs

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Ordinary and altered states of consciousness

Ordinary and altered states of consciousness

Altered states of consciousness can only be defined if there is an understanding of an ordinary state of consciousness.

While scientists can't agree on a clear definition, altered states of consciousness are nevertheless essential to understanding the human mind.

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Modulating states of consciousness

  • Excessive dancing, meditation, and mind-altering plants were used in ancient civilizations to modulate the activity of the mind.
  • In 1892, the term "altered states of consciousness" was used to refer to hypnosis.
  • William James introduced the scientific investigation of mystical experiences and drug-induced states into the field of psychology.

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The five altered states of consciousness

  • Pharmacological. These altered states include short-term changes caused by psychoactive substances, such as LSD MDMA, cannabis, cocaine, opioids, and alcohol.
  • Psychological. Hypnosis, meditation, and music can lead to altered mental states.
  • Physical and physiological. An altered state of consciousness is achieved through sleep, where dreams dissociate one from reality.
  • Pathological. A traumatic experience causing brain damage can lead to an altered state of consciousness. Other sources include epileptic or psychotic episodes.
  • Spontaneous. Daydreaming and mind wandering can cause altered states.

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The four personal value orientations

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Jorge Luis Borges

“So plant your own gardens and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.”..."

Jorge Luis Borges

Taking care of your mind garden

  • Seed your mind garden with quality content. The format may impact how close you are to the source. The depth of the content you consume is not a measure of quality.
  • When consuming content, grow branches on your knowledge tree by taking notes. It will help you remember better.
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The generation effect

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Next time you experience a tip-of-the-tongue state, don't retrieve the information from memory. Instead, look up the correct answer. Repeat it a few times or write it down to help with encoding.

People that experience the tip-of-the-tongue state often suffer from incorrect practice time. Instead of learning the correct work, they are learning the mistake itself. For example, some music students who claim to practice diligently can get worse over time. This is because they keep on repeating the same mistakes, instead of using deliberate practice. They actually train themselves to make mistakes.