How can we maximize conscious use of our brain capacity?
How do we breakthrough limited neural conditioning to shift into expanded states?
What can we do to naturally bio-hack our brain’s potential?
Our brains have an innate ability to access superconscious states. Yet most people are only aware of a small fraction of what is happening inside them. By learning how to activate and harmonize the different brain regions, we can become more conscious our full brain capacity. By becoming aware of and connecting all the areas of the brain we can tap into the neurological system’s true potential.
What is Consciousness?
Consciousness, as it is used here, consists of a unified field of sentient awareness and intelligence that is universal and primary. Consciousness comes before matter, not as a result of matter. It is the source of all forms of information and energy that are transmitted throughout the Cosmos.
Modern mainstream science has attempted to reduce consciousness to a neurological epiphenomenon in the brain. Perhaps that is somewhat true for simple definitions of waking vs sleeping consciousness. But Consciousness (with a capital “C”) extends far beyond such simplified notions. Besides, there is No solid evidence that proves consciousness is a product of the physical processes in the brain. All that can be said regarding various brain imaging and mapping research is that certain brain regions interact and correlate with certain functions of consciousness. Scientists are now starting to realize that brain regions are much more holistically connected than once believed.
What is Mind?
In life we have to ability to actively awaken to higher states of consciousness. The mind acts as a bridge from the Cosmos to the brain-body interface. The mind’s primary function is to become aware of the various stimuli and information coming from Consciousness, and then to choose to act according to intention.
The mind is the complex mental and emotional framework through which we perceive, think, discern, judge, decide, reason, learn, emote, intuit, innovate, create, intend, etc.
There are several levels of mind, including the subconscious, the ego, the conscious personality, and the higher mind — all dealing with orientation towards “self” in relationship to everything else.
Bridging the Mind with The Brain
With a view of Consciousness that is universal and non-local, the function of the brain-body system then becomes to act as a receiver and transducer, rather than a generator, for consciousness. The mind serves us with the ability to perceive, analyze, and interpret all that is registered by the brain-body system. Then we are able to respond back to the stimuli according to our mental framework.
An analogy that has been used to clarify the triune system of Brain-Mind-Consciousness is comparing it to tuning-in to a radio. Consciousness is like the Broadcaster… Mind is like the various radio frequencies being broadcast with different information… while Brain is the individual radio hardware that receives the broadcast according to what station on the dial (or what frequency) it is tuned in to. When someone wants to listen to classical music on the radio they turn it to the FM channel that plays this genre of music. If someone else wants to listen to pop music they tune-in to the corresponding channel, and so on. Similarly, our intention decide what we tune-in to and our internal systems affect what stations or bandwidths are accessible to us.
The nervous system, spine, and primitive brain are among the earliest systems to begin development within the embryo, and they are the last to be completed after birth. Brain development continues up to early adulthood, and even then it is subject to remolding throughout life due to its neuroplasticity.(1)
As the brain develops in utero, it forms in three primary systems, building one on top of the next while employing the underlying systems into the next one’s higher functioning capacities. The three systems are: the old brain, the limbic system, and the neocortex. After birth a fourth brain system also begins developing called the prefrontal cortex, located just behind the forehead.
One popular way to talk about the brain has been to describe it in terms of its hemispheres: “left brain” and “right brain”. We like to compartmentalize parts of the brain according to the functions they relate to. However, the truth is that the brain is not comprised of separate analyzers. Nature has given us one very connected brain.
The average neuron has anywhere between 1,000 – 10,000 synaptic connections by which it communicates with other neurons. There is also a biochemical exchange of information between the brain and the rest of the body via neuropeptides and the hormones of the endocrine glands.(2) When we become aware of how holistically interconnected the brain is, there are things we can then do to enhance its conductivity, connections, and capacity for accessing higher consciousness.
Evolutionary patterns guided our development from undifferentiated oneness to the fully formed human we are today. Our growth and development progresses in ways that may in some cases leave various levels of our system incomplete or missing altogether. Like in the radio analogy, if part of the radio hardware is crossed or missing circuitry, it might get stuck on just one station or may not pick up the stations as clearly as intended.
Our task is to consciously repair or rebuild the connective bridges by applying more harmonious and intentional methods that stimulate the formation of new neural pathways. This is the secret to naturally bio-hacking our brain’s capacity. We can enhance the connectivity between Body-Mind-Consciousness to help us access our greater potential. The process of reconnecting and bridging the gaps is best done by retracing the steps of the brain development.
The prefrontal cortex, known as the “executive center” of the brain, has a left and right region, reflecting our bilateral nature. These prefrontal hemispheres allow us to deliberately govern the orchestration of other brain regions from the Cortex to deeper brain regions.(3) Human frontal lobes occupy as much as 35 percent of the brain mass, which is twice the size of the frontal lobes of lesser apes and five times that of dogs.(4) This brain region goes through two developmental stages, the first happening from birth to age 15 and the second occuring between age 15 to about age 25.
The extent of connectivity and functionality between the prefrontals and the rest of the brain is highly dependent upon experience, environment, and social interactions during developmental years. These factors weigh heavily on whether a person becomes well-rounded and balanced or problematic. A healthy and well-developed person’s prefrontals will be extensively and dynamically interlinked with every module, gland, lobe and hemisphere of the brain, giving them proper executive function. (The cultural bias towards the left-hemisphere in the West only really took root after the Enlightenment era and technological revolution, yet it dominates so much of our society today and has led to great imbalances.5)
When the two hemispheres of the brain are ordered and harmonized, the brain comes into a coherent state. A coherent state is one in which minimal energy gets wasted and the system functions at optimal levels. When the cortex is in such a state, it provides the best conditions for learning and facilitating new neural connectivity throughout the rest of the brain.(6)
Repairing the Prefrontal Balance:
The brain has the capacity to rewire through neuroplasticity. The brain is always changing; it’s wiring for better or worse, depending on the inputs we give it. By harnessing this capability, first through intention and second through taking actions that will restore balance, we can improve our brain’s functionality and the quality of our life. We can awaken our innate ability to access transcendent states through proper inputs and actions.
The popular saying that shows us how to rebuild the bridges from the prefrontal to other regions is, “”What fires together, wires together.” When neural pathways repeatedly exchange information across synaptic gaps, they tent to reorient closer to each other for greater ease of information exchange. Conversely, when they stop firing together, they disconnect that pathway over time.
Exercise to Balance the Right and Left Hemispheres:
Musical Entrainment Balances the Cortex Via Harmonic Sounds: Research has shown that music is an important unifying stimulus for the brain. Music engages nearly every region of the brain that we can directly monitor. In particular music is a great way to synchronize the hemispheres of the cortex and the prefrontal cortex.(7) However, not just any sound or music will work for balancing and harmonizing the brain. We have to use the right kinds. Sounds that create harmonic patterns are music to our ears and positive stimuli for our brain. On the other hand, chaotic sounds that are dissonant or clashing can be harmful to the brain. Also, music without lyrics or vocals is preferred in this case, as words preferentially trigger the left hemisphere and will not lead to balanced stimuli.
For example, students listening to classical music of Mozart’s “sonata for two pianos in D major” performed better on IQ tests than when listening to no music.(8)
You can also check out binaural beat and isochronic brainwave entrainment music. For example, Hemi-Sync™, the meditation albums I’ve helped create with collaborators, or I also love the music produced by Higher-Music.com.
You can also listen to your favorite music with harmonic melodies and no lyrics to achieve the benefits of natural musical entrainment.
Rewiring from the Prefrontals to Other Brain Regions
Sensory inputs are one of the keys to stimulating the rest of the brain. Our brain is constantly flooded with sensory information. The more capable we are at registering this information and making sense of it via the prefrontal cortex functionality, the more clear and appropriate our decisions will be in response. Sensory capability is a matter of sensitivity to three things:
Bandwidth or range,
Strength versus subtlety,
Ability to measure or discern details.
Improving our sensitivity levels in these three areas has a ripple effect on our brain’s ability to process and Re-wire, for optimal higher functioning
Exercise: Using the senses in a conscious manner helps heighten this capacity. The first sensory organ to fully develop in-utero is the ear. This is partly why sound can be used so efficiently to help us heighten our awareness and develop a super brain. Use harmonious music (as described above) to start working with this connection.
Aristotle famously called humans the most “social animal” on this planet. Throughout social evolution we developed ways to interact and communicate, both verbally and non-verbally. Processing communication is a primary function of the circuit running between the prefrontals and the temporal lobes. The ears and therefore the temporal lobes, are stimulated both from the words and sounds we hear from the world outside, as well as directly from our own voice, which we can hear internally.
Exercise: Singing, chanting, and toning out loud helps us feel really good. Many ancient spiritual practices around the world have used voice and music’s universal bridges to directly experiencing elevated streams of awareness. They developed many techniques along these lines, including: mantra meditations, chanting or toning sacred words, incanting prayers, singing hymns, reciting rituals, combining sound with somatic breathwork, shamanic journeying through musical entrainment, and performing sound healing with various musical instruments. For example, try toning Ohm (pronounced “Ohm” or “Aum”) for 5-10 minutes and notice how you feel afterwards. Ohm is said to be the Sanskrit mantra representing one of the most mystical sounds of creation, like the “out-breath of God”.
By scanning brain activities of Tibetan Monks, Franciscan Nuns, and other mystics immersed in deep meditation or prayer states, neuroscientists have identified what areas of the neocortex relate to different experiences of mystical transcendence. The Parietal lobes are responsible for our sense of orientation and perception of physical space-time limitations. When activities in this area are diminished, through deep meditation for example, we lose our sense of self, and any perception of separation between us and Universal Consciousness starts to dissolve.(9)
Exercise: Deep Meditation and prayer are two activities that reduce activity in this area of the brain. Begin meditation by sitting in a chair, feet on the floor (uncrossed), your spine straight yet relaxed, then close your eyes, focus on your breathe, and just keep bringing your attention to your breath. This is a form of mindfulness meditation. For more on how to properly meditate click HERE. The intention of this practice is to bring our focus from the outer to the inner. This transition point is a critical doorway we must cross through our journey to transcendence and maximizing our brain capacity.
The limbic system is a border region or gateway between the old brain and the cortex. It regulates many of our hormones, emotional responses, and autonomic nervous system. Mastering the limbic region of the brain is crucial to giving us the power to relax and de-stress at will. Without such ability, we may be in a chronic state of hypertension and anxiety. This part of the brain is highly active in childhood, after about 3 years of age. It relates to our child-like abilities to dream up inner visions and introspect.
Exercises: Introspection is a process where we turn our focus inwards, loosen up our attention, and get in touch with our feelings and emotions.
- As we close our eyes and relax, we allow our mind to wander in a daydream or light meditative state. In so doing, our thoughts about the outer world begin to quiet down and we can hear the inner voice speaking to our mind. Introspection is essential for accessing transcendent states. Without introspection, we are easily consumed by the outer world with all its chaotic activities, and are unable to discern the inner, subtler realms of consciousness. Introspection and accessing the limbic system brings an awareness of the inner-subjective world and our emotional relationship to the outer world.
- Techniques such as Zen meditation, guided imageries, and Tai Chi are great tools for facilitating introspection and helping the body to release stress.
- Additionally, with its connections to our sense of smell, aromatherapy techniques have been broadly used to stimulate the limbic system for supporting emotional release and healing of old memories.
The Old Brain:
Under the limbic system and above the brainstem is where our journey to transcendent states of consciousness deepens. The old brain system comes from earlier, pre-mammalian stages of evolution. It is patterned by habits, ritualized behaviors, and the physical aspects of a well-learned and integrated skill. In the evolutionary sequence of things, the old brain’s role became to take over those sensory-motor functions and basic physical survival needs that become “second nature.” Once learned these skills become unconscious. This ability to prioritize and make some levels of functioning more automatic allows for our higher mind to be freed up so that we can direct our attention towards discovering new things and refining various skills. The “pleasure centers”, “somatic centers”, “intuitive centers”, and the “seat of consciousness” are said to reside in the Old Brain structures as well.(10)
Becoming aware of the things we do every day helps us to optimize and access the old brain’s potential.
- Re-pattern by eliminating destructive or harmful behaviors, while replacing them with doing new things every day that serve and support your physical system better. When we commit to making a change and sticking to it 7 days a week our chance of success in integrating the new behavior or habit is 85%. It is even further improved if we perform the activity more than once a day and at the same times of day or in the same routine sequence. If we drop even one day of this new practice the successful integration drops down to about 40% and continues to drop with each day that we skip. So identify the new behaviors that will support you and commit to doing them every day, even when you don’t feel like it. Remember it takes a consistent input (here created by your daily actions) to entrain the brain to a new pattern and facilitate its rewiring. The first forty days are typically the hardest, but after that, if you have successfully carried out the action every day, it becomes much easier and will begin to integrate as part of your body’s biorhythms.
- Controlled deep rhythmic breathing: this controlled breath elicits somato-respiratory release and entrainment. A simple one to start with is breathing in the nose, being sure to pull the breath down to the lower abdomen (just below the naval), and then breathe out through the mouth with an audible sound. This type of breath stimulates the parasympathetic channel of the autonomic nervous system, causing the body to become calm and relieve stress. You may experience yawning, coughing or other body sensations as a result of blocked energy being released. As each realease happens continue with the breath and soon it will let you sink deeper into a harmonized Theta brainwave state – which helps heal the old brain.
We have great potential to learn how to achieve super-brain consciousness. By practicing breathwork, meditation, sound entrainment, and being conscious of our actions we can take steps to rewire our brain. We can ultimately journey back to Unity through retracing our steps back over the developmental bridges. Intention is the first step when activating the potential of the brain, then consistent supportive actions with the proper stimulation to rewire. There are even further steps we can take to harmonize the brain with the heart and the deep body system. The Spirit Activation is a powerful modality that helps to awaken the brain regions and bring them to their more optimal functioning by activating key regions of the brain and enhances the neurological functions of theBody-Mind-Consciousness systems.
To read more about these steps, get greater detail on each brain region, and how to fully achieve transcendent states of consciousness, check out my chapter “Bridging from the Mundane to the Conscious Universe” in Brain, Mind, Cosmos: The Nature of our Existence and the Universe, Sages & Scientists Series Book 1, with contributions from notable scientists and philosophers, edited by Deepak Chopra. In Chapter 6 of this collaborative book I go into detail about a seven-step process called I-BRIDGE, taking us from the mundane to the transcendent by the following sequence:
- Intention Bridge – Mind
- Balance Bridge – Prefrontal and Cortex Hemispheres
- Re-wire & Re-focus Bridge – Prefrontal to Cortical (Temporal, Parietal, Occipital) circuits
- Introspection Bridge – Limbic System
- Doing Bridge – Old Brain & Lower Limbic Structures
- Gratitude Bridge – Heart & Brain-Heart Coherence
- Expansion Bridge – Surrendering to the Void
- Pascual-Leone, A., Amedi, A., Fregni, F., & Merabet, L. B. “The plastic human brain cortex” in Annual Review of Neuroscience, v. 28, (2005) p. 377-401.
- Pert, C. B., Molecules of Emotion. Simon & Schuster, New York, NY (1999).
- Miller, E.K. and Cohen, J. D., “An integrative theory of prefrontal cortex function” in Annu. Rev. Neurosci. V. 24 (2001), p. 167–202.
- Miller, E. K., Freedman, D. J., and Wallis, J. D. “The prefrontal cortex: categories, concepts and cognition” in Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond., B, Biol. Sci. v. 357 (issue 1424): (2002), p. 1123–1136.
- McGilchrist, I., The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT (2009).
- Bennet, A. and Bennet, D., “The Human Knowledge System: Music and Brain Coherence” in Vine Journal, v. 38 (3), (2008), p. 277-289.
- Levitin, Daniel J., The is Your Brain on Music: The science of a Human Obsession, Penguin Group, (2006), p. 85-100.
- Rauscher, F., Shaw, G., & Ky, K. N., “Music and spatial task performance” in Nature, (October 14, 1993 issue), p. 365.
- Newberg, Andrew, M.D. and Waldman, Mark Robert; How God Changes Your Brain, Ballantine Books, New York, NY (2009).
- Bullard, T. and Bullard, B., “Bridging from the Mundane to the Conscious Universe” in Brain, Mind, Cosmos: The Nature of our Existence and the Universe, Sages & Scientists Series Book 1, contributions from notable scientists and philosophers, edited by Deepak Chopra (see Ch 6 in section called “The Doing Bridge”)
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