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Altered States Of Consciousness

Logoby Earl Foster / 

Much has been written about our conscious mind and altered states. Being a bit tipsy or even under the influence of drugs is of course one altered state of consciousness, but I am talking about something a bit deeper going on in our minds.When we are fully asleep is a good example. We pass through various phases of sleep to achieve what science refers to as "REM" state, or the rapid eye movement of sleep. This is reportedly the deepest stage of sleep and is considered an altered state of consciousness. During this stage although unconscious we dream, and have nightmares, or even visions and thoughts, that at times seem quite vivid. From this we conclude that the mind in an altered or even unconscious state continues to work and process things. It's interesting that during the most restful and deep phase of sleep where our bodies receive the best rest and replenishment that the mind continues processing. This alone tells us a a lot about altered states. 

AlteredDreams and nightmares are widely subjective and many books have been written about interpreting their meanings. That being put aside what can be said about the ability to alter ones state of consciousness to a different awareness? Not in a sleep phase, not in a REM state or unconscious but awake, aware and alert, but tuned in to a different frequency. Everyone has experienced what they though might have been dream, but they though they were awake, and became fully awake with some confusion about it, and wondered about it. Did you see, or hear something perhaps in a different type of altered state? If our mind continues to process and work in spite of our consciousness can we indeed alter our state to many other things we know very little about? After all, science reports that human beings typically use about only 10% of the minds true capabilities. How much more could any of the remaining percentage truly achieve? My belief is more than we can fathom. 

We know through certain meditation practices, and therapies people can achieve calm, or relieve stress, and live a more relaxed life. This is in itself is the practice of modifying or altering your inner state. I believe this altered state of consciousness is where planes of existence and knowledge can collide. I have written of experiences that occurred and it was as if my mind was simply moving me through motions, as though I were in an altered state at the time but still functioning. Every human being has experienced altered states. As I have said in the past, every human being has a certain inherent empathic or even psychic intuition to varying degrees. Altered states I believe have much to do with what the mind is capable of. We have all heard stories of "super human strength" being employed to save someone, or amazing and astounding events of predictions across many miles that came true. Our minds are capable of amazing things. In our human condition and what is known to us inhibits a lot of that thinking. Our life in the human condition is but a short dance to learn as much as we can, expand our thinking, and of course open up our minds. 

(Earl Foster is a lifelong resident of South Jersey. He resides in and writes from Brooklawn NJ. Earl can be reached at, or on his website at Looks for us on Facebook at