by Tom Butler
Binaural synchronization induced meditative state
Previously published in the Spring 2008 AA-EVP NewsJournal
Robert Monroe had spontaneous out-of-body experiences, which are well-documented in his books, Journey out of Body (Doubleday, ISBN: 0385008619, 1973) and Far Journeys (Doubleday, ISBN: 0385231822, 1985). An engineer, Monroe owned a radio production company, and so it seems natural that he would turn to audio technology in his efforts to understand his experiences. Before his transition, he “discovered” Hemi-Sync® and the Frequency-following Response.
Robert had a penchant for acronyms and frequently described the etheric worlds in which he traveled in terms that were catchy but often used to represent unfamiliar meaning. For instance, he used the term, “Locale,” to describe a region of reality and while we are still more or less associated with the physical in Locale I, we see in the transition to Locale 2 that we leave things physical behind.
Robert Monroe is on the other side now, but his legacy is maintained as the Monroe Institute. The Institute provides on-campus classes and well-designed home-study packages. In general, students listen to a series of audio programs in which they are verbally, and with subtle audio signals, guided to deeper and deeper levels of awareness. These programs are intended to be used as a training tool to help the mind “recognize” these levels, and thereby, more quickly return to their associated states of mind.
We have attended three, one week classes and have even met Robert. His daughter, Laurie Monroe, spoke at the 2006 AA-EVP conference. Our experience with the Monroe training programs is that they are a powerful tool for self-development, and are potentially important for people wishing to develop their mediumship abilities.
The Monroe experiment mentioned in the Viewpoint will test this belief with a series of EVP recording sessions with and without a special set of frequencies.
Robert Monroe discovered that the two hemispheres of the brain will synchronize with the beat-frequency between two audio signals. Using representative numbers, a 1000 Hz tone in one side of a stereo headset and a 1010 Hz tone in the other will result in a response to the 10 Hz difference between the two tones. This is “Hemi-Sync.®” Further, if the difference between the tones is reduced, say to 5 Hz, then the brain will follow. This is the “Frequency-following Response.”
The levels of awareness in electroencephalograph biofeedback training for meditation are described as:
Beta (13-40 Hz): Awake and alert
Alpha (7-12 Hz): Deeply relaxed; meditative
Theta (4 -7 Hz): Between deep meditation and sleep.
Delta (0-4 Hz): Sleep
Biofeedback is used to teach a person to recognize a deep meditative state, and in the future, to quickly “go there” without feedback aids. In the Monroe system, binaural-beats (Hemi-Sync®) are used to teach the person the same response. In fact, you just relax and listen to the program as the hardly heard frequencies slowly move you into deeper and deeper levels of awareness. Even if you are disturbed, say by a passing car, the frequencies will quickly “pull” you back.
Robert referred to the first level, FocusTM10, as the state of awareness in which the body is asleep and the mind is awake. Focus 10 is the beginning place for most of the programs. We believe it is correct to say that, in terms of biofeedback, this would be roughly equivalent to the “Alpha Level.”
The Institute has scanned the brains of people reported by others to be very successful trance-channels and did find a discernable difference from people who did not trance. A set of frequencies were developed from these EEG maps and were used to develop binaural-beats for audio programs designed to help the listener sense the presence of other intelligences. These are referred to as “Inner Self-Helper” or ISH frequencies and brain mapping of “ordinary” people, while they were under the influence of the frequencies, showed that they were measurably effective in inducing trance-like conditions.
There are many cosmologies describing how reality is arranged, and if you need a reference point, then it may work to say that Focus 1 is our waking state—body and mind awake, so that would be the physical. As the focus of attention is changed further and further away from the physical, there is a transition point at Focus 21. So Focus 1 through 21 is Locale 1. Focus 22 through 27 is Local 2, and beyond that would be Locale 3. In the more commonly held cosmology, Locale 2 would probably be thought of as the Astral Plane (level of existence), but one should not be too determined to relate the Monroe way with others. The Monroe way is based on direct experience that can be generally replicated in controlled conditions, so it is best to look for perceptual similarities amongst the cosmologies.
Here then, are the more important focus levels as described in the Monroe literature:
Focus 10: The first stage in separation of mind-consciousness from physical reality. “Mind awake/body asleep” is a deeply relaxed state in which awareness of physical sensory input is reduced, yet the mind is alert and attentive to experience. This gives birth to awareness that you exist with or without the physical body.
Focus 12: A state of expanded awareness in which you can become more conscious of inner resources and guidance; a powerful and empowering state which readily lends itself to many diverse applications.
Focus 15: A state of “no time” in which you explore beyond the constraints of time and place. Opportunities are abundant for establishing communication with larger aspects of self.
Focus 18: Self-love, self-trust, and non-judgmental acceptance
Focus 21: Like deep (delta) sleep, but with a significant difference. You are fully “awake” and conscious, directing the action, as you explore more deeply your personal self and the far reaches of other realities.
Focus 22: Where humans still in the physical can have partial consciousness, remembered as dreams, deliriums, and patterns induced through chemicals
Focus 23: Inhabited by humans who have recently exited physical existence and have not adapted to such change
Focus 24, 25 and 26: The Belief System territories where those who have exited the physical are residing in a particular belief system
Focus 27: The Reception Center, Way Station, or Park, designed to ease the trauma and shock of the transition out of physical reality.
Some levels are more “interesting” to one or another of us. Tom really likes working at Focus 15. Also, how the levels are visualized is very personal. He gets a lot of insights from people in spirit coming to talk to him in Focus 15 (no time) but others have described it as nothingness. Some people say that in Focus 15, they have learned to imagine themselves moving from a center, along spokes of a wheel to the circumference where they are able to go forward or back in time. Lisa likes to use Focus 15 to visualize what she would like to manifest and feels that Focus 27, The Reception Center, is the easiest focus level to use to meet with loved ones and friends now on the other side.