Altered States of Consciousness Essay

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Pages: 4

Altered States of Consciousness

Consciousness is a state of awareness. This includes a person’s feelings, sensations, ideas, and perceptions. There are many different states of consciousness.

Sleep is a state of altered consciousness, characterized by certain patterns of the brains activity and inactivity. An altered state of consciousness is when a person is not completely aware of their surroundings. Some researchers believe that we sleep to clear our minds of useless information. Other people believe that it is a type of primitive hibernation: we sleep to conserve energy.

There are four stages of sleep. In the first stage (10 min. into sleep), your pulse slows down and your muscles begin to relax. Your breathing
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However participants only see the full affect of their cleansing meditation if the continue to practice it.

Altered states of consciousness can be achieved many different ways. One way is through the use of drugs. Psychoactive drugs are chemicals that affect the nervous system and result in altered consciousness. A psychoactive drug can range from stimulants like the caffeine in your coffee or in cola drinks to depressants like alcohol to powerful hallucinogens like marijuana and LSD.

Marijuana has increased throughout the 1960s and than most of the 1970s, but since then it has declined. The active ingredient in marijuana is a complex molecule called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which occurs naturally in the common weed Cannabis sativa, or Indian hemp. The effects of the drug vary from person to person and also depend on the setting in which the drug was taken and the users past experiences. In general, most marijuana users report hyperactive senses. To them, colors seem brighter, music sounds fuller, smells are stronger, foods have stronger flavors, and other experiences seem more intense than usual. To some, the world might seem more meaningful, and even the most simplest of tasks may take on an extraordinary significance in the participants day. However, as some users have come to know, the drug can instill or heighten a variety of unpleasant experiences. If the user is frightened, unhappy, or depressed to begin with, the chances are good that taking the drug