Altered states of consciousness are powerful moments that break us out of our everyday reality. Its as if our psyche gets reprogrammed, our perceptions are out the door and we are no longer perceiving things from the familiar human perspective.
The way I see it - an altered state of consciousness - is when we detach from that which we are habitually attached to. This state can last for moments or a lifetime depending on the cause.
In our normal life, our brain is on auto pilot; its perceptions and paradigms stay the same as we keep having the same kind of experiences and are around the same kind of people. But the moment, we are out of our auto pilot mode of existence and we encounter something powerful that changes the frequency of our body and mind, we enter an altered state of consciousness.
How does one experience altered states of consciousness?
Here are some consciousness altering paradigms that I have experienced:
As per quantum physics, the act of being observed changes that which is being observed. In meditation, as we sit and observe the stream of thoughts that constantly arise, without attaching emotions or responses, gradually, this act of observing our consciousness alters our consciousness.
The many postures of Yoga combined with the breathing techniques alter the vibrational frequency of our body and mind, leading us to experience paradigm shifting moments.
This ancient healing practice of directing energy within the body produces a radical shift in habits and the needs of the body and the mind.
As we observe nature, our mind is disconnected from the human experience and our consciousness connects with the elements of Cosmos, leaving us with the cosmic perspective.
Running can leave us with a strange mix of exhaustion, energy, calm, fulfillment and euphoria.
Staying hungry for extended periods of time is almost like creating a passage through the body and the mind for insights, images and experiences associated with altered states of consciousness.
Any kind of tragic life experiences will alter human psyche. This can be a permanently altered state of consciousness.
Creativity can help connect dots, experience a state of flow and peel back layers of the psyche, bringing to light a transcendental experience.
Powerful mantras that one believes in with all of their being can instantly shift the state of consciousness and open the doors to a new kind of reality.
10. Sleep Deprivation
Lack of sleep for prolonged periods induces clarity filled moments and an unparalleled alertness where creativity or deep insights flow effortlessly.
Basically, any kind of experience that pushes the limits of the body and the mind & brings us out of our everyday life can lead to a shift in consciousness. We might receive images, answers, messages, or experience intense emotions and catharsis.
On the bright side, one experiences unconditional love and euphoria, clarity and profoundness. It's a state of being, a state of transcendence that is independent of achieving any desire. You cannot subdue it or control it. It comes and goes.
On the dark side, it's a state of falling through an abyss where the grief and hurt, completely annihilate a person's psyche.
An altered state can bring a person closer to their true nature and give them a fleeting glimpse of the godlike nature of reality or it can forever wreck a person, separating the person from their existing identity.