One of the Mysteries of Science is Consciousness.
Is it Matter or is it in the Realm of the Mind?
It is of the Mind.
Mind, for theoretical purposes, is divided into compartments,
Conscious and the Unconscious and the Sub Conscious which acts as the Censor(Freudian Theory)
Do we retain consciousness during the time we sleep?
We do though we may not be aware( this is a funny expression as most of the expressions in Psychology are)
If a Mosquito bites, we kill it during sleep and we are no aware of it.
And there are dreams.
They appear to be real while they last , some more vivid than the others.
There is a school of thought tha there is no sleep without dreams.
Only that we do not recollect them.
Then we have Deep Sleep.
So we have three stages of sleep.
Dreaming state and
Deep sleep state.
How does our brain function at these levels?
1.Beta (14-40Hz) – The Waking Consciousness And Reasoning Wave
Beta brain waves are associated with normal waking consciousness and a heightened state of alertness, logic and critical reasoning.
While Beta brain waves are important for effective functioning throughout the day.
Beta brainwaves dominate our normal waking state of consciousness when attention is directed towards cognitive tasks and the outside world. Beta is a ‘fast’ activity, present when we are alert, attentive, engaged in problem solving, judgment, decision making, and engaged in focused mental activity. Beta brainwaves are further divided into three bands; Low Beta (Beta1, 12-15Hz) can be thought of as a ‘fast idle, or musing. Beta (Beta2, 15-22Hz) is high engagement or actively figuring something out. Hi-Beta (Beta3, 22-38Hz) is highly complex thought, integrating new experiences, high anxiety, or excitement. Continual high frequency processing is not a very efficient way to run the brain, as it takes a tremendous amount of energy.
Alpha (7.5-14Hz) – The Deep Relaxation Wave
Alpha brain waves are present in deep relaxation and usually when the eyes are closed, when you’re slipping into a lovely daydream or during light meditation.
It is the gateway to your subconscious mind and lies at the base of your conscious awareness. The voice of Alpha is your intuition, which becomes clearer and more profound the closer you get to 8.
Alpha brainwaves are dominant during quietly flowing thoughts, and in some meditative states. Alpha is ‘the power of now’, being here, in the present. Alpha is the resting state for the brain. Alpha waves aid overall mental coordination, calmness, alertness, mind/body integration and learning.
Theta (4-7.5Hz) – The Light Meditation And Sleeping Wave
Theta brain waves are present during deep meditation and light sleep, including the all-important REM dream state. It is the realm of your subconsciousness and only experienced momentarily as you drift off to sleep from Alpha and wake from deep sleep (from Delta).
It is said that a sense of deep spiritual connection and unity with the universe can be experienced at Theta. Your mind’s most deep-seated programs are at Theta and it is where you experience vivid visualizations, great inspiration, profound creativity and exceptional insight. Unlike your other brain waves, the elusive voice of Theta is a silent voice.
It is at the Alpha-Theta border, from 7Hz to 8Hz, where the optimal range for visualization, mind programming and using the creative power of your mind begins. It’s the mental state which you consciously create your reality.
Theta brainwaves occur most often in sleep but are also dominant in deep meditation. It acts as our gateway to learning and memory. In theta, our senses are withdrawn from the external world and focused on signals originating from within. It is that twilight state which we normally only experience fleetingly as we wake or drift off to sleep. In theta we are in a dream; vivid imagery, intuition and information beyond our normal conscious awareness. It’s where we hold our ‘stuff’, our fears, troubled history, and nightmares..
Delta (0.5-4Hz) – The Deep Sleep Wave
The Delta frequency is the slowest of the frequencies and is experienced in deep, dreamless sleep and in very deep, transcendental meditation where awareness is fully detached.
Delta is the realm of your unconscious mind, and the gateway to the universal mind and the collective unconscious, where information received is otherwise unavailable at the conscious level.
Among many things, deep sleep is important for the healing process – as it’s linked with deep healing and regeneration. Hence, not having enough deep sleep is detrimental to your health in more ways than one.
5) Gamma (above 40Hz) – The Insight Wave
This range is the most recently discovered and is the fastest frequency at above 40Hz. While little is known about this state of mind, initial research shows Gamma waves are associated with bursts of insight and high-level information processing.
Gamma brainwaves are the fastest of brain waves (high frequency, like a flute), and relate to simultaneous processing of information from different brain areas. It passes information rapidly, and as the most subtle of the brainwave frequencies, the mind has to be quiet to access it. Gamma was traditionally dismissed as ‘spare brain noise’ until researchers discovered it was highly active when in states of universal love, altruism, and the ‘higher virtues’. Gamma rhythms modulate perception and consciousness, disappearing under anaesthesia. Gamma is also above the frequency of neuronal firing, so how it is generated remains a mystery. The presence of Gamma relates to expanded consciousness and spiritual emergence.”
Now to Hinduism’s analysis of Consciousness.
There are Four levels.
Sushupti Deep dreamless State) and
Thuriya( beyond these three states and it is the extension of consciousness at the highest level and the nearest one can reach to Consciousness)
Consciousnes is called Chit.
The Stilling of the thought waves is the goal of Yoga.
At this level, your mind, the brain waves reach the Alpha level and Gamma is just behind it( as of now in Science).
Hinduism goes further by stating that Thuriya can not be explained and one gets submerged in Consciousness which an attribute of Brahman, the Reality.
- The parameters of the waves vary and have a tolerance band as in Medicine, as in BP, Diabetes.
- Citations and References.