Epsilon, Gamma, HyperGamma, Lambda Brainwave Activity
Ecstatic States of Consciousness
Dr. Jeffrey D. Thompson, D.C., B.F.A.
mapping research studies into different brainwave patterns associated
with different states of consciousness has been carried out in major
centers throughout the country. The normal range of brainwave frequency
activity in the cortex neurons has traditionally been from 0.5 Hz Delta
to 30.0 Hz Beta. Most of the early brainwave research was concerned with
sleep studies. From these studies, it became accepted brainwave
nomenclature to associate Beta activity with externally directed linear
thinking mental activity, Alpha activity with internally directed
non-linear mental activity, Theta with dreaming sleep, emotional
elements and experiences and Delta with the deepest and most physically
restorative portion of sleep.
non-sleeping states, these brainwave patterns are associated with
various states of "waking" consciousness. High levels of Beta are
associated with high levels of focus and concentration, Alpha is
associated with inner mental "pondering," Theta with original, creative
inspiration, problem solving, visualization and Delta with deep physical
meditation studies, Alpha brain states are associated with a typical
"Zen" meditation, in which the attention is in a state of "open focus."
In this state, one's attention is directed to everything simultaneously.
Theta brain states are associated with out of body or astral forms of
mediation. In these states, one usually experiences seeing the guru,
experiencing places of beauty or peace, and sometimes receiving great
spiritual insights with associated visions and sounds. These Theta
states are also associated with the classic Shamanic "journeying"
experiences. Delta mediation states are associated with being in the
void or "white light" states. These states are timeless, formless and
linked to states of suspended animation. Deep-level Yogic adepts can
slow respiration and heart beat to be virtually undetectable.
here at the Center for Neuroacoustic Research have shown clear and
repeated evidence, in patients, of brainwave frequency patterns below
the traditionally accepted lowest Delta rhythms of 0.5 Hz. This would be
brainwave activity as slow as one quarter cycle per second, one
frequency per 10 seconds, per one minute, or even longer. Indications of
ultra-slow frequencies are evident on the EEG traces of certain
patients experiencing extraordinary states of consciousness. These
states seem to be associated with very high states of meditation,
ecstatic states of consciousness, high-level inspiration states,
spiritual insight and out-of-body experiences. Some of the higher Yogic
states of suspended animation associated with deepest Delta brain states
actually continue deeper into these below-Delta brainwave states, which
we are calling the Epsilon State (Epsilon, since it is the next Greek
letter of the alphabet after Delta).
order to explore these deeper extraordinary states of consciousness
associated with Epsilon brainwave patterns, we have had to use
traditional EEG equipment in unique ways and to initiate the design of
specialized EEG equipment to measure frequencies this slow. Most regular
EEG equipment is not set up to measure frequencies below 0.5 Hz.
have also noticed that whenever there are extraordinary meditation
states present, brainwave electrical activity between the right/left
hemispheres tends to synchronize. This synchronization of the cerebral
hemispheres seems to only happen in special circumstances of
consciousness - the "aha" state, the moment when the answer to a problem
occurs, creative inspiration, great insight and moments of awareness of
one's own existence.
have also been reports in the EEG literature from other researchers,
that there is evidence of extraordinary states of consciousness
associated with higher-than-Beta brainwave activity. These brainwave
patterns go from 40 Hz and above - in some cases, as high as 100 Hz or
more. The 40 Hz higher-than-Beta activity is now an accepted brainwave
state in EEG nomenclature being referred to as "Gamma" brainwaves. We
are calling brainwave frequency patterns significantly higher than 40 Hz
"Hyper-Gamma" brainwave states. More recently, there have been reports
by EEG researchers of ecstatic states of consciousness associated with
brainwave frequencies of 200 Hz, we are calling these frequencies
"Lambda" brainwave states.
evidence of the 40 Hz EEG brain activity from the Neuroscience Unit at
the University of Birmingham has shown these frequencies to be
associated with higher levels of brain organization "binding"
information from all the senses together for a higher-level awareness of
unity of the objects of our perception. Gamma rhythms also seem to be
associated exclusively with higher mental activity, including perception
and consciousness. - since Gamma activity disappears with general
anesthesia. There is also evidence that Gamma frequencies appearing in
different areas of the cortex synchronize themselves together in a more
holographic manner during these extraordinary states of consciousness
associated with "Shamanic" and "Mystical" experience.
states of consciousness that appear to be associated with HyperGamma
brainwave activity (at 100 Hz) and Lambda brainwave activity (at 200 Hz)
seem to be described in exactly the same terms as we have been
describing our discovery of Epsilon (below 0.5 Hz) over the years. It
has seemed extraordinary that different groups of EEG researchers,
independent of one another, should find the same states of consciousness
associated with such divergent brainwave activity - below 0.5 Hz Delta
to above 100 Hz HyperGamma to 200 Hz Lambda.
seems to be a circular link between these two extremes of brainwave
activity and the states of consciousness which they represent. They
appear to be associated with the type of extraordinary states of
consciousness we find in the highest states of meditation, deepest
levels of insight, personal original creative problem solving and high
degrees of Self-awareness. We have surmised that these extremely slow
Epsilon brainwave patterns might have extremely fast HyperGamma/Lambda
brainwave patterns modulating within them - just as the
Hyper-Gamma/Lambda brainwave patterns are "riding" on a super slow
Copyright: 1999 - Dr. Jeffrey D. Thompson, D.C., B.F.A - Center for Neuroacoustic Research