Friday, August 15, 2014

The Anechoic Mind

There have been a few times in my life where all the white noise in the background has been tuned out leaving immense clarity, focus and peace. It's like stepping into an acoustic anechoic chamber - a bizarre experience because it is so different from bombardment of stimulation our senses get on a daily basis. Today I came across TDCS (Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation) while listening to a podcast. It's a system of applying a small current to certain portions of the brain to stimulate it for a specific type of activity. According to testimonials it makes you super focused which I surmised was due to it dampening all the other noise in the brain. That was later partially confirmed by one woman saying that the effect lasted for several days where all the subconscious noise in her brain (mainly anxiety) was gone and she had a clear view of who she was "like wiping off a section of a fogged mirror". 

That is exactly the way I have felt in my times in the mental anechoic chamber - like I could see myself clearly. Some people do not seem to have all that noise in the background which probably has a lot to do with childhood however, I don't think it's out of reach for everyone. I plan to build one of the TDCS devices soon and experiment with it myself which I will report back on. My gut feeling is that it probably accomplishes something similar to meditation. When we have stress, I think our brain tenses up and in a sense becomes a hard surface for all troubling thoughts to bounce off of creating a cacophonous fog of mental noise. In a relaxed and placid state stray thoughts simply dissipate their energy having a shelf life shorter than grocery store sushi. 

Clearly my opinions are not based on scientific research but rather gut feelings and existential pondering. Hopefully I'll get a device built soon and be able to have some data of my own to add to the growing number of people experimenting with TDCS. Ultimately though, if the same effect can be accomplished through meditation, I would prefer that since I prefer the any method for mental and spiritual health that is self contained. 

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