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Hyper-associative States, Synchronicities, Isomorphisms, & The Universal Pattern

James Kent

Chapter 16: Psychedelic Information Theory

If there's one thing the human brain loves, its ordered patterns. The brain likes audio patterns (rhythms); visual patterns (stripes, mandalas, mosaics); syntactic patterns (language, logical formulas, melodies); interpretive patterns (charts, graphs, symbols); metabolic patterns (respiration, hormonal pulses, circadian rhythms, action potentials); behavioral patterns (routines, habits); etc. In fact, it is not a stretch to say the brain's entire function is ordered pattern recognition, memory, and recall. That's it. The task of pattern recognition, memory, and recall describes our every basic organic function from the genetic level on up. This ordered pattern construction works both ways along the atomic scale: Humans are created out of ordered patterns of nucleotides (DNA), which arose out of conditions within ordered patterns of water and minerals settling on the surface of the earth, moving in ordered revolutions around the sun, spinning in the ordered web of the greater cosmos, which was itself condensed out of distributed patterns of energy spreading across a vast expanse at high speeds. But in addition to pattern recognition, pattern memory, and pattern recall, humans can also create new patterns that are uniquely their own. This is the essence of genetics, language, art, science, invention, and cultural evolution. Like DNA, we can absorb patterns, remix them, and reproduce them in new ways, and we do this by applying abstract associations between patterns to create meaningful connections.

What I am talking about here are the fundamentals of neural logic processing, the way the brain recognizes and memorizes data patterns, and how it recalls and reproduces those data patterns to produce what we call human thought and behavior. This is all done by first creating an array to store data patterns (the layers of the cortex, formed in utero); then by creating a method to store patterns in the array (synaptic connections, which begin forming in the cortex as early as two to three months after conception); and then creating an associative mechanism that can be used to connect these existing patterns together in meaningful ways (neural plasticity, the ability to grow and strengthen new connections between neurons, which lasts a lifetime). All of this is generally referred to as "brain development" and "learning," but these are all based on ordered biological process unfolding in ordered metabolic patterns in reaction to local stimuli. The process of our genes (DNA) expressing ordered patterns of neurons and associative patterns of synaptic connections (through time) is what makes us who we are; it is what makes us unique and gives us our own distinct personalities and styles. Over our entire lives, we have absorbed patterns and integrated them into our concepts of self and the world, and we look to associative connections between these patterns to make successful decisions for ourselves. If these patterns shape our very thoughts and behavior, how does this apply to various facets of the psychedelic state?

Since pattern recognition and recall is so essential to basic human functioning, it is no surprise that many cognitive psychedelic phenomena rely heavily on these abilities. In order of magnitude from smallest to largest, the cognitive psychedelic phenomena which rely on the augmentation or amplification of ordered pattern-recognition functions are as follows: 1) Enhanced pattern recognition, or a new awareness of "hidden" patterns in nature that are not normally sensed; 2) Synchronicities, or the perception of meaningful connections between similar patterns that occur in close temporal proximity; 3) Isomorphisms, or a new awareness of the elaborate "hidden" or "buried" mathematical or morphological (shape) similarities between previously unrelated patterns; and 4) Singular Consciousness, which can be defined as a state of mind where all patterns seem to merge into one harmonious "Universal Pattern" from which all other smaller patterns flow.

Each of these four states of hyper-associative� thought can be described in terms of pattern processing or cognitive morphology, and the primary differences between these distinct states is the intensity with which patterns fuse into one another, and the areas of the brain which are interconnecting (which can range from extremely localized to entirely globalized depending on focus and context). In our normal waking state, we are in a "connected" state of consciousness, which means that we parse meaning from our environment and make decisions based on logical connections between patterns we recognize from memory. For instance, we don't expect to turn on the TV and have water come out, we already know that the TV doesn't produce water, so when we want water we go to the faucet. This is connectivist logic in action: the concept "Water" is a vital resource, so there is a hard-wired connection between "Water" and "Faucet" (or "Pump" or "Well" if you live in rural areas), but "Water" is not directly connected to "TV" in any way. In the realm of connectivist thought, the patterns for TV and Water exist in separate domains of information, and it would be illogical (a connective misfire or pattern-recognition error) to confuse a TV with a water faucet, or to associate a TV with water due to electrical hazards. However, in the psychedelic state, logic becomes "hyper-connective," meaning that new and arbitrary connections can be formed between previously unrelated and unconnected patterns and memories, and an absurd thought like expecting water to come out of your TV (and actually believing that it will) is suddenly not all that strange. And then, of course, there is a state of mind where the cortical pattern recognition functions are completely interrupted and/or offline, which is a state of mind more like amnesia or a waking dram: You know you are awake and are aware of things, but you have no idea where you are, who you are, what anything is, or what you are doing. You are able to walk around and react to stimulus, but are unable to name even mundane things, and see them as if seeing them for the first time. I'll talk more about these specific kinds of dream/amnesia states a bit later — and the novel types of thoughts and emotions they can produce — a bit later, but for now let's just refer to these states of diminished pattern recognition as semi-interrupted or disconnected.

But in order to understand how these hyper-connective states work, we must first look at how our brains handle pattern recognition and analysis, and what is going on when those functions get altered. First of all, pattern recognition, storage, and recall all are part of memory, and the brain has a very complex memory mechanism which stores patterns in the form of networked connections between neurons. Let's take for granted that each one of the millions (billions? trillions?) of patterns we store in our head are all encoded in tiny little networked clusters of neurons, each specific snippet of holistic memory (color, shape, sound, smell, texture, facial expression, word, etc.) is probably no more than a few micrometers in diameter. All of these tiny "pattern pieces" overlap in some capacity; some growing out of others; some that are integrated into multiple patterns; some that are only loosely connected through multiple synaptic leaps; some that are intimately hard-wired with many redundant connections. For instance, I could sing the first few bars of, "Happy Birthday to you....", and in addition to you being able to recall the rest of the song in your head, you could also send that data to your motor output area and sing the entire thing without thinking twice or missing a beat (because you have done it over and over, the motor connections are strong and easy to recall). In addition to the recall of the song, you might also have a spontaneous memory of a birthday party you recently attended, or from a birthday party in your distant past. This would happen� because of an associated link between the memory of the song and the memory of the event stored an a physical synaptic connection between those two distinct patterns. These links would tie into memories of the people who were there, the events of the day, etc., degraded over time but able to come back together again in vivid detail with only the smallest stimulus to goad it along.

Although this is a overly simplified view of memory, it does provide an accurate model for what we consider "hard wired" associations and "loose" or "irrational" associations. For instance, you would not expect to have a spontaneous recall of a funeral upon hearing the song Happy Birthday, because it is generally not customary to sing Happy Birthday at a funeral, it would be considered poor taste. There are at least a few boundaries separating the notion of birthdays and funerals, so it would seem irrational for there to be a "hard wired" connection between these two things. However, if your life has been sufficiently surreal and you actually have attended a funeral where Happy Birthday was sung (for whatever reason), the funeral would probably always come to mind when you heard that song. The novelty impact of such a morbid contextual irony would create a lasting memory associated with the song Happy Birthday forever, and that tiny synaptic association between two commonly paradoxical patterns would become hard-wired into your personality, no getting around it (unless you want to erase your memory, which is another book altogether).

Now, it is often said that psychedelics "shatter" or "dissolve" the "boundaries" between things, even though the concept of what the actual "boundaries" we are "shattering" and "dissolving" are a little vague. But I am prepared to argue that what we really mean when we say that psychedelics "dissolve boundaries" is that psychedelics allow un-inhibited crosstalk between previously unrelated (or even actively gated) patterns and ideas stored in the connective tissue in our heads. Under the influence of psychedelics, the "hard" boundaries which normally separate unrelated events (such as birthdays and funerals) begin to fade away, and areas of the cortex that become hyperstimulated begin to stimulate areas nearby that may be of little or no contextual relevance; may contain similar but contrary notions (such as birth or death); or may contain ideas or memories which seem to have no relation to each other at all, but contain some previously hidden pattern or connection between the "pattern pieces" they used to store the event. In such a context, singing Happy Birthday may feel uncharacteristically creepy and morbid, and the boundaries which previously separated the two notions of birth and death may disappear altogether. Coupling a celebratory birth song with the ideation of death or funerals would not be a strange notion to have on a psychedelic trip, in fact, within the psychedelic mind the two notions often collide together into a gruesome wheel of birth/death that becomes something far greater than the� dualities themselves. Within the hyper-connective state, patterns that were once separated by logic or cultural propriety often blur into one another, or become meshed into one underlying "universal pattern" where all things are connected, all things are one, everything happens as it should, and the two events that define either end of our mortal existence (life and death) are no more than mere quantum blips in the eternal continuum that is the unfolding of the "universal pattern" through time. When reality is viewed through a lens with a perspective that long, why not sing Happy Birthday at a funeral? If you believe in reincarnation, or have notions of celestial re-birth into a heavenly realm upon death, the odd coupling of singing Happy Birthday at a funeral may not seem creepy at all, it may seem perfectly logical (or paradoxically brilliant), cultural propriety be damned!

Pattern Recognition

Now that we understand a little about connectivist logic and what I refer to as hyper-connective states, let's break down the order of magnitude in which these states emerge. First, there is pattern-recognition, which is the essential component of how we process raw sense data into meaning. Again, when I speak of "meaning" I am not talking about emotional salience (as in "It was a very meaningful experience"), I am talking about parsing of very basic contextual data about the self and reality, such as "I am awake," or "I am reading words right now." Your pattern-recognition functions are working properly, and you recognize all the characters on this page. That is a normal waking connectivist state. Under the influence of psychedelics, the first stage of hyper-connective awareness is enhanced pattern recognition, in which subtle patterns (or disruptions in patterns) tend to stand out more even under casual observation. The amplifying and sharpening affect of small doses of psychedelics has been widely reported, and this could be due to a loss of noise gating at the thalamus (as discussed earlier) but is more likely due to an excitation of the sensory processing areas of the cortex, leading to a more detailed and articulated scanning of data, or a higher resolution of environmental perception. Colors are richer, lines are cleaner, contrast is sharper, shadows are deeper, the sharpness of little details stand out, and within this context the overlapping patterns of activity in the brain become increasingly complex and dense with meaning.

While pattern recognition is a global operation requiring visual and spatial processing cues, it is interesting to note that the process of parsing of the symbolic importance of any given pattern (such as properly identifying and naming things) occurs in the temporal lobe of the brain, which is also the primary area indicated for both mystical and audio phenomena. So when we talk about enhanced pattern recognition, we are essentially talking about an excitation of both the visual and spatial cortices, but more importantly an excitation of the symbolic data parsing components of the temporal lobe, which are key in properly identifying external objects.


A synchronicity can be defined as "meaningful coincidence" between similar patterns recurring in close temporal proximity. A classic example of a synchronicity is thinking about someone you haven't talked to in a while, and then having them phone you up out of the blue some short time later. In this instance the quality of the synchronicity can be mapped in terms of probability and coincidence. The longer it has been since you have talked to that person (say one to ten years), the lower the probability they will call for no reason; the shorter the time span between your thought of them and the phone call (say one minute to a few hours) the, the higher the coincidence rate. Thus, when you have low probability patterns suddenly recurring out of the blue with a high coincidence rate (close temporal proximity), the greater the impact of synchronicity for the person experiencing it. The synchronicity may be amplified if the coincidence is sparked by a third random event which appears to have nothing to do with anything (no contextual relevance) on the surface. For example, say your friend's name is Bob, and you happen to be eating a bag of "Bob's Maine-Style Potato Chips," (which you picked out of the blue, for no special reason), and while you are eating them your mind wanders to your old friend Bob, who then calls on the phone.� This experience could also be called a "coincidence," but when these coincidences are parsed through our logical analysis filters, the spontaneous recurrence of specific pattern of data multiple times within two or more separate domains (Bob:Chips, Bob:Memory, Bob:Phone) over a short duration create the most meaningful synchronicities.

Within the context of psychedelic activation of the cortex, the tendency to make meaningful connections out of even wider ranges of random data becomes amplified, and in this state even the most unrelated bits of perception can be pieced together into one large meaningful coincidence. This state can lead to paranoia (anxiety or fear of being watched, followed, trapped, manipulated, persecuted, etc.) or the thrill of discovery (Gnostic bliss, esoteric enlightenment, occult unveiling, mystical revelations, etc.). There are many schizophrenics who receive hidden messages from meaningful coincidences, and at the most extreme end of this disorder the data that is parsed is perceived as a coded transmission from God, or the Devil, aliens, ECCO (John Lilly's Earth Coincidence Control Office), or whatever supernatural other they believe is sending them secret signals. However, the encoded messages and hidden meanings which arise from these states are meaningful only to the people who experience them, and often sound perfectly crazy when they try to explain it to anyone else. And upon closer examination it would appear that these secret messages are not actually coming from an external source, but are actually being pieced together from "random noise" via an excitation of activity in the syntactical pattern-matching routines of their own temporal lobes.

So does that mean that ECCO doesn't exist? Probably. Does that mean synchronicities don't exist? No, they certainly exist, but we make the synchronicities in our head based on the connections we form between patterns in our neural tissue. Our brain is wired to parse synchronicities for a reason, so the art of finding meaningful coincidences between things has definite survival value. In fact, the ability to find meaningful connections between otherwise random events are the foundations of both deductive reasoning (logic and science) and spiritual belief (faith and intuition). The concepts of coincidence, probability, luck, and fate are intimately tied into our notions of self, God, spirituality, and the "existential meaning" of being. Hence any object which amplifies the levels of meaningful connections derived from otherwise random data (such as psychedelics) will be perceived as spiritual in nature, possibly even supernatural in origin (food of the Gods anyone?). Yet it is my assertion that these are not supernatural powers imparted by a spiritual force, they are merely our normal everyday powers amplified by a chemical excitation of the associative cortices. And to go back to my "Logic Mill" metaphor, the quality of the "meaningful connections" produced in the psychedelic state will vary with the dose range. At lower doses the meaningful connections and synchronicities are still hung on a logical-yet-loosely-associative framework; at higher doses the meaningful connections start to loose touch with actual reality, and spin off into illogical and paradoxical associations based solely on the user's own internal ideation. Both of these events can be extremely "meaningful" in the emotional and existential sense, but the quality of "meaning" produced is dependent on how well these new associations can be integrated into the user's pre-existing ontology upon returning to sobriety.


Unlike synchronicities — which are meaningful connections based on temporal coincidence of patterns — isomorphisms can be defined as logical connections between pre-existing patterns or systems, typically through a deeper statistical or mathematical analysis, or via an elaborate numerological deconstruction of some kind. Synchronicities, therefore, are more subjectively "meaningful" in that they emerge over a span of time in a syntactical, interpretive way that only the subject can appreciate. Yet isomorphisms have more "meaning" in that they seek to find real and measurable similarities between patterns that can be observed by anyone. These two events, the recognition of synchronicities and the discovery of isomorphisms, are almost mirror opposites of each other in terms of the right/left brain activity needed to construct them. The right side of the brain would be expected to parse the more intuitive, temporal repetitions of patterns that become synchronicities, weather they happen in the visual cortex, the auditory cortex, or the language parsing cortex. One of the distinct things about synchronicities is that they can be entirely context independent, meaning that recurring patterns don't have to be in the same domain of sensation to be meaningfully coincidental, in fact, as we discussed earlier, the opposite is true. The same is true with isomporphisms: the more unlikely the connection between the two systems (such as DNA, the Mayan calendar, the I Ching, etc.), the more profound the discovered isomorphism becomes.

When divining an isomorphism between two objects or systems, the pre-frontal cortex must be actively engaged in parsing the symbolic content of raw perception and comparing it against patterns already stored in memory. The temporal lobe is absolutely necessary to this process as well, as is the hippocampus and most likely the spatial and mathematical reasoning areas of the parietal lobe. When these "pattern comparison" engines are activated and excited, the tendency to impose new symbolic meaning on otherwise mundane connections between two patterns goes through the roof. If you look close enough you will surely find many mathematical similarities between passages in the bible, astronomical charts, and the numerological prophecies of Nostradamus, and such a discovery may seem Earth-shattering (universe-shattering?) under the influence of psychedelics. And though finding the numerological similarities between disparate systems may seem like the road to some kind of "deeper truth" and "understanding" about the universe, I would like to point out that it is possible to find numerological similarities between the eighth chapter of Finnegan's Wake, the Mandelbrot set, and the distribution of hairs on my cat's tail. In terms of existential meaning, a discovery like this may seem very significant, but in terms of contextual meaning, the conclusions to be drawn from the discovery of improbable isomorphisms are often dubious at best. Are we to assume then that James Joyce was an incarnation of Vishnu, now reincarnated as my cat, and is secretly sending me messages through random numerological similarities between passages of Finnegan's Wake and cat fur? Obviously this is the reasoning of a deluded and borderline schizophrenic mind. The only "hidden meaning" or "deeper truth" that can rationally be divined from isomorphology is that similar patterns do indeed recur in different domains and systems over time. This seems to be a relatively simple notion, but it has only been recently codified (somewhat) within the emergent fields of complexity theory, or more specifically within the framework of cellular automata theory, which posits that the universe is like a giant supercomputer, and simple repeating algorithms (patterns, codes) are responsible for the entirety of "patterned noise" the universe produces. Thus, all the disparate systems of the universe which seem complex on the surface are in actuality derived from a small number of "root" functions which (when repeated ad infinitum) create the totality of everything. Within the framework of complexity and cellular automata, the fact that similar patterns recur in different systems is no surprise at all, in fact we would expect to be able to find some kind of isomorphic similarities between any two systems picked entirely at random.

Singular Consciousness

As stated earlier, one can see infinity in a grain of sand. To put it more concisely, I will borrow from a first-hand account of a such and experience, sent to me via e-mail while I was writing this very chapter (talk about a synchronicity):

"Everything was so crystal clear. I could see the patterns in everything. Every plant, insect and flower, I could see how it was ordered. When I looked at the trees I could see every leaf on every tree at once, and I could see the patterns that they made. When I looked into the sky, it didn't look blue anymore, I could see an incredibly large space, like I was staring into infinity... I could feel a magical force. I could feel the order inherent in reality and the energy that drives it. I realized that there is no God, no nature, no man, no woman. There is only one thing. It is everything and nothing, it is infinitely big and infinitely small. It is rational and irrational, chaotic and ordered, certain and uncertain. It is perfection, but it couldn't be any other way. Even when it is imperfect, it is still perfect." (R.A.)

The above is a report of someone trying a combination of smoked Salvia divinorum, Blue Lotus extract, and Cannabis, but it could have been a description of mushroom trip, an LSD trip, or one of many different kinds of psychedelic or dissociative drug trips. This passage describes what I what consider to be enhanced perception (the awareness of small details), enhanced pattern recognition (the grouping of small details — like individual leaves — into larger ordered patterns), expanded consciousness (the grasping of infinity), paradoxical ideation (mixing chaotic/ordered, certain/uncertain), and the awareness of a singular pattern (the "one thing") that governs everything. Although this trip probably lasted in the range of a few minutes at most, this describes almost perfectly the kind of perceptual subtleties and cognitive insights one receives in the hyper-connective state. Little details suddenly stand out as part of a larger associative pattern that was previously unseen: The patterns of the clouds seem more ordered; the patterns of the leaves rolling along the ground fit into the pattern of the sky and wind; the patterns of smoke drifting across a room match the patterns of the people moving and talking; the patterns of skin cells growing on the back of your hand match the patterns of cracks forming along a sidewalk. Everything around you seems tied to the same unified field of energy, all bound by the same laws of morphology as the firmament of the cosmos vibrates onward through space and time. Add an excitation of the visual cortex and the entire texture of reality becomes recursively patterned in the mind's eye until you can actually see the skin cells growing on your hand; see the wind painting the sky and sand; see the slow etching of water forming cracks across the earth; and sense the natural rhythms of a forest or city. And if you actually stare those cracks and study those patterns and listen to those rhythms, you'll begin to see that they are not separate patterns at all, but all parts of the larger universal pattern, the singular pattern, unfolding through time.

But let's take a close look at what is happening here when divergent concepts merge into a singular state; when the awareness of a "universal pattern" begins to form within consciousness. It is within this state that absurd and paradoxical notions can turn into "brilliant new ideas" and "life changing thoughts." As with the "lifting the veil" phenomenon, the emergence of hyper-connective states can be broken down by dose range and level of activity along the metabolic dose curve. The Concept Intensity of the "singular awareness" state kicks in at higher dose ranges, somewhere in the marginal ranges of the upper Plateau, right before entering the fully Peaking state. Because it is a high-dose cognitive event, the Concept Intensity of this kind of experience evolves very quickly and is very difficult to accurately capture with either words or memory, so identifying the hyper-associative state as such (naming it), and understanding what it is (integrating it) is a trick the Western mind is still having trouble grappling with. Often these hyper-associative states are indistinguishable from schizophrenia; with near total loss of personal context; synchronicities lighting up your head; a sense that a "god like" or "alien" presence is orchestrating random events in order to send you hidden messages; etc. These are not concepts that mesh well with the Western frame of mind, and are consequently one of the primary reasons that psychedelics were labeled as psychotomimetics (psychosis-mimicking drugs) when they were first discovered.

So number one, there is a language problem here, and it is a problem that has eluded Western mystics for centuries. In the Eastern traditions, the concept of universal patterns recurring through natural cycles of time are culturally embedded and easy to grasp. In Native American spirituality, the concept of the personal self being interconnected to a greater web of life through "all my relations" is a central theme, so the concept of the universal interconnectedness of all patterns is readily integrated through this framework as well. But we reductionist Western types took a mathematic left turn around the time of Plato, and the deconstruction and classification of tiny individual patterns has been the status quo ever since. Geometry and Algebra gave way to the occult traditions of numerology and sacred geometry, and the West has been looking for "God in the details" of mathematics in ever-tinier and more refined ways for as long as alchemy and science have existed. And so, the Westernized concept of "Universal Patterns" or isomorphisms — similar patterns which emerge in various places through time — and notions of the fundamental interconnectedness of all things are all very new to us, and we still call that "God" or something like it, even though the term is very broad and steeped in religious dogma. But the idea of a kind of Gnostic mind meld with the ordered-patterns of the universe has been buried in occult tradition for millennia, only to have been popularly described within the last few decades within the study of chaos principles and complexity theory — the kind of complex mathematical modeling that gave us fractals, cellular automata, and other ordered insights into what were previously thought to be random and dynamic natural systems. But what complexity theory and notions of a Universal Pattern, explicit interconnectedness, or a "Grand Unified Theory" are all attempting to describe is a very real thing, and there is a very real shift happening in the Western mind right now as it grapples towards a deeper understanding of these concepts, and how we integrate that notion into our existential selves.

But without full understanding of this universal pattern or "singularity" concept, the Westernized mind tends to only see bits and pieces of it, and often gets stuck in trying to find all the overlapping "little patterns" within the greater whole; like Terence McKenna trying to find a metaphysical truth by mapping pattern similarities between DNA, the Mayan calendar, the i-ching, and so on. On the other extreme you have pseudo-mystics like John Lilly, who define words like "alternity" and create entities like ECCO (the Earth Coincidence Control Office) in an attempt to explain the kind of synchronicities, explicit interconnectedness, and intimate ordered patterns revealed within otherwise random events. Both McKenna and Lilly believed very much that they had uncovered some "big secret" by discovering that there are all kinds of recurring patterns popping up in the supposedly "random" noise around us. To the Western mind not trained to see the universal patterns, the reaction to this experience is, of course, one of shock and awe. But to a mind that has already been seeded with the notion of the universal pattern, the revealing of recurring patterns within the random noise is not one of surprise, but of humble acceptance of what one already knows to be true.

So now that I've talked a little bit about what it is that people experience in the hyper-associative state, I can begin to suggest a few mechanisms by which such states might occur. The first and most obvious suggestion is that while under the influence of psychedelics, the brain's pattern-matching systems are shifted into overdrive, which means the temporal lobe is revving up it's mystical God module and is ready to roar. In essence, what this means is that mysticism is just another form of pattern recognition: you cannot see God until your brain is able to "recognize the pattern," and once you recognize the pattern and name it as God (or whatever all-pervasive force you choose), then the mystical experience has begun. Now this is a heavy concept, to be sure, and a complex cognitive construction like this would rely on the following bio-mechanical pieces: 1) enhanced perception; 2) amplified signal flow; 3) enhanced pattern-recognition and analysis; 4) a hyper-activated associative cortex; and 5) an executive area aware enough to name and remember the patterns perceived in the hyper-associative state as real and an accurate representation of reality (as opposed to instantly forgetting it as dream-like ideation). So what kind of neural event is taking place here?

Well, beyond the temporal lobe we are obviously talking about high activity in the occipital lobes (visual pattern recognition) and the pre-frontal lobes (reasoning, executive functions), but I will make a case for two other specific areas of the brain that would also be active in this state. One would be the intuitive cortex of the posterior frontal lobes — which we talked about earlier as being critical for making "snap" decisions based on intuitive data, also sitting just above� Broca's language origination area — and another area of the brain where the posterior temporal lobe joins the caudal parietal lobe, behind the ear towards the rear of the brain, on the right side to be specific. This would generally be the mirror twin of Wernicke's area — where spoken language is parsed — but on the right side instead on the left. I pick this area because of it's location at the nexus of the spatial and mathematical areas on the parietal lobe, the visual areas of the occipital lobe, and the auditory and intuitive centers of the temporal lobe. For those of you who are hardcore neuroanatomy geeks, this would be somewhere towards the posterior (rear) interior (inside) fold the lateral sulcus, around the area referred to as the angular gyrus. Research has shown that the angular gyrus is essential to the ability for humans to understand metaphors, and it is essential to parsing the tonal quality (rhythmic, melodic, and narrative flow) of sight and sound data. Since there is no common name for this area, or even this function of the brain, I'm going to refer to it as the Feng Shui nexus: that part of our brain that parses reality on an intuitive basis, and helps analyze how "true" something feels within the context of "design and flow" of the environment at the moment.

Now I may be getting a little mystical with my invocation of Feng Shui — which is the Chinese art of decorating that strives to find harmonious placement within the natural patterns of the environment — but it is a telling point that the Chinese have a term for this concept that Westerners do not. Perhaps this area of the brain is more nurtured in Eastern cultures, so they are more adept at using it and speaking about it, but the closest thing we have to it in the English language is something like a "gut reaction" or "sixth sense," a kind of intuitive reasoning based more on tonal and emotional context than on rational or literal parsing of content. For instance, sometimes you can tell a person is lying or exaggerating just by their tone or expression. This sense does not come from a literal parsing of what they are saying, it comes from a holistic analysis of behavior based on underlying patterns and rhythms in body language; verbal delivery style; word cadence; eye contact; pitch and intensity; facial muscle tone; etc. Also, you may be able to look at an outfit, walk into a room, or listen to a piece of music and know that "something's not right" or "something is out of place," even if you couldn't put your� finger on exactly what was wrong. You would just be able to feel it. This kind of intuitive reasoning is what allows us to recognize dissonance and/or harmony within the immediate contextual environment, and thus allows us to make intuitive judgments based on that comprehension. And, in practical terms, the higher the contextual comprehension goes, the more harmonious the underlying order appears.

While the kind of singular consciousness discussed here generally occurs at higher dose ranges, but it is definitely a sub-peaking experience. It is worth mentioning that even at low dose ranges the hyper-connective state can be amplified with mediation and focus on seeking the underlying patterns within the mix of reality. Generally tryptamines work best at bringing about this kind of cognitive awareness, though many different experiences (including schizophrenia and temporal lobe epilepsy) can also lead to spontaneous emergence of singular consciousness. Also, there is no guarantee that this is the experience you will receive from a psychedelic trip, though if you are intent on finding an experience like this and open to seeking it out, it is out there.

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Tags : psychedelic
Rating : Teen - Drugs
Posted on: 2005-08-19 00:00:00