Exploring the Human Condition: altered states of consciousness

Archive for June, 2011

Another “heads-up” – A Canine Altered State

Before I embark on an exploration of the human condition in my blog, I find it highly illuminating that I am receiving obvious roadmarks for this adventure (“receiving” in that suddenly a shift has occurred in my thinking and I find myself becoming aware of these altered states occuring all around me).

Today is Sunday, to me the final day of the long week.  I awoke this morning to sudden frenetic activity around the front door of the house, to find that our two “watch” dogs had escaped their yard and were out on the eastern-most fence line, barking at and harrassing the neighbors as they tried to hitch up their boat to the truck, for a day out on the water.

The barking had been so intense that it woke Jim up and sent him flying out the door.  No harm was done besides disturb the peace; Jim had left the back yard gate open… ?  But here again was a clear display of an altered state, one of the canine variety.  When the dogs go into the “red zone,” as Cesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer, describes it, they go into an automatic response mode; it takes a great deal to break their fixation, to snap them out of their altered state.  Their adrenalin is revved, heart rates are soaring, and the frenzy they create just continues to escalate.  I’m sure it was a very disturbing scene.  When left on their own, animals can often react in their own primal way, which is not always optimal for the human condition.

So at the very start of my day, what I think was “peak experience” occurred.  Not exactly a positive experience, but very intense.  Clearly I am paused to wonder, do altered states serve to create “peak experiences?”  At first glance, possibly yes.  Perhaps altered states embody some sort of chain reaction.  Thanks to the Aussie Mix biscuit hounds, brother and sister, for providing these questions.  I just wish the neighbors could see the benefit.  (yikes…)

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Observations of Altered Feline States

It is in the wake of abandoning my blog position in an online social site, feeling a previous blog that chronicled daily events in my life had grown stale, that I embark on this newest and most ambitious of commitments, to create and write for a totally new blog.

I had to develop my theme or idea for the blog, and since lately I seem to be thinking a lot about altered states of consciousness, it seemed a perfect pretext to the blog.  But to pave the way for this somewhat serious subject matter, humor of the feline variety seems in order.

My new cat Spooky goes back to his bed whenever he needs comfort, and he kneads the blanket and puts his mouth to it.  When he goes into the zone like this, it truly becomes an altered state of consciousness for him.  He clearly goes wherever innocent housecats go when they need to revisit nirvana.

I can only assume at this point that our own quest for understanding, satisfaction, and contentment leads us down similar roads.  No, I don’t usually suck on my blankie, but I sincerely identify with Spooky’s need to reach an altered state.  It is my interest in the human condition, not the least of which is our dedicated search for these altered states, and a recognition and awareness of these states, that will be the sum part and parcel of my blog.

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