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Re: Personality Splits and Programming

by TGI (Parson)
on Aug 06, 2009 at 09:49 UTC ( #786356=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Personality Splits and Programming

I have found that music can provide a powerful set of cues for altering consciousness.

Back in High School I had a "calculus album" (Absolutely Free, if you care) that I always listened to when doing my calculus. Strains of "Call Any Vegetable" ran through my head as I was acing my AP exam.

Now, I have a few playlists for different coding states. Blissed out hacking gets "Sweetspace", long-haul deathmarches get "Long-Drive Sanity Check". For deep thought and design I listen to a bunch of Leonard Cohen.

SDL is another way to think about priming. Imbibing chemicals to create a brain state can be effective, but comes with a variety of side effects that can be hard to control (and potential legal issues). Some effort will allow you to go much farther in the exploration of altered states than drugs can take you.

Take what you've learned about shifting cognitive state from the use of entheogens, and begin to work on controlled, voluntary shifts of consciousness. Be careful, go slowly and focus on grounding and returning to "normality". A good way to get started is with simple breathing exercises and basic sensory deprivation (sitting in a dark, quiet room). Practice letting your mind race, and calming it.

If you interested in questions of personality fracture and the impacts of drug use, read some Philip K Dick, espicially VALIS and A Scanner Darkly.

You may find any of the many articles about transcranial magnetic stimulation experiments interesting. Especially the bits where savant-like states are induced.

I my experience, keeping a deep-code-zone for 8 or more hours makes returning to normal modes of communication and interaction difficult. It can take me a few hours to readjust to the point where I am fit to have a conversation with. My wife tells me that she avoids me after too much deep work, because I become too analytical, literal and detail focused and have a completely incomprehensible sense of humor. Over time I settle back into more normal patterns.

Anyhow, as you begin to turn your mind in on itself, be aware of the risk of nasty feedback.

TGI says moo

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