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Binaural Beats

By Nobleman Nash Hollowhill – September 14, 2009

The time at which I am writing this article is 5pm. My experience began at exactly 1:58 earlier this afternoon, and up until now, I have had only an ethereal perception of the passage of time. As far as I know, binaural beats emit different frequencies into each ear, causing some phase cancellation so that the brain hears an entirely different tone. This can be used to trigger theta brain waves which exist before and after sleep, and are the goal of zen meditators. A report on Erowid said listening through regular speakers can cause sickness. After putting on my over-ear noise-cancellation headphones, reclining in a chair, and downloading an audio file from designed to improve study, memory, concentration, and learning, I pressed play and began to feel almost immediately the positive flow of energy through my body. I experienced a heightened awareness of floaters on the surface of my eyes and closed my eyes as the music grew louder. I began to feel as if I were drifting into sleep and was aware of drifting purple and chartreuse clouds behind my eyelids. Though this persisted and their edges became slightly more defined, I was definitely wide awake, and my thought patterns began to expand and form more rapidly. Periodically I would open my eyes to see if I was hallucinating, I saw nothing abnormal except a marked increase in sensitivity to light and detail.

As I began to relax more and more toward the beginning of the experience, I felt relaxed and rejuvenated as tension released from more and more areas of my body. This soon gave way to feelings of euphoria, peace, and happiness. I began to lose track of how many thoughts were going through my mind, though it seemed like more than normal, they also seemed to have more space between them. Then I had the feeling of losing myself very briefly, and once I came back I realized I had forgotten I existed or who or where I was. After maybe ten minutes, I had an auditory hallucination, and it felt amazing. I couldn’t describe what it sounded like, because it was so brief and disappeared as soon as I began to listen to it, but it was definitely the same sensation I had had on LSD and psiolocybin.

Soon afterwards, I began to hear different tones in the sound that were so subtle that I could no longer hear the loudest, lowest tones whenever I brought my mind to these. I continued exploring with this state once I found it was easy, and faded in and out between the most obvious sounds and the more subtle sounds, tuning each in and out respectively, as sometimes happens when I am falling asleep with a fan running. After this time I slipped into a state that was not sleep, but it was certainly not ordinary waking consciousness, in which 40 minutes may have passed without me knowing. I rode in and out of the sounds I heard and before long, I heard my dad come home so I checked the time. It was 2:58 already, and the sound was fading. Once it was over, I could still hear an intensely quick phase-shifting of some noise, even though the sound had stopped playing. I turned off the noise-cancellation in my headphones and realized I had been able to hear it, although usually this sounds like nothing more than a quiet, solid level of uniform noise. The phase shifting continued and was laid over each noise I heard after that and lasted maybe 5 minutes, while the euphoria is still with me.

At 3:30 I went to my general psychology lecture, and I find that lecture halls usually make it difficult for me to obtain information, but before I knew it (I guessed it had been probably 20-30 minutes but in actuality it had been an hour and 15.) the class was over and I had 3 pages of notes on neurotransmitters sitting in front of me, with all of the information in my head, most of which I already knew. Nevertheless the concepts I was unfamiliar with before going into the class are now crystal clear in my memory. I realize it has been about 12 minutes since I started writing this and now I am done.

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