Throughout human history, we had our fair share of experiments. Some helped us make strides in understanding the nature of our being and proved to be invaluable. Others did the same but were deemed unethical by modern standards.
Either way, our natural curiosity always gets the best of us in the quest for knowledge. Certain phenomena are even studied in secret, conducted in classified government researches. Combine that with the most fascinating thing in the universe – the human brain – and you're in for some gripping content.
Such was the series of experiments conducted by the CIA back in 1983. Declassified in 2017, it intrigues its' readers to this very day. It was called "Analysis and Assessment of Gateway Process," and the report details the discoveries of the human mind, which can only be described as paranormal.
In short, the subjects underwent a long series of procedures that trained their minds to enter altered states of consciousness.
It could be understood as a type of meditation, although according to the report, it's an entirely different experience with a wide variety of implications. If we were to list various states of the mind by their complexity, it would look something like this:
- Normal consciousness. It's how we operate in our day-to-day life. Although, more often than not, we drift through our lives on autopilot, not paying too much attention to our surroundings. Even this basic state can be altered if we focus and concentrate by living in the moment and fully appreciating the experiences we go through every day.
- Hypnosis. Even though one could argue that it's immensely complex, this state of mind is rather simple. It essentially disconnects the left hemisphere of the brain, which results in the right hemisphere accepting suggestions of various feelings and sensations unchallenged. That's why one can easily induce happiness or numbness, for example, in subjects under the effect.
- Transcendental meditation. People who practice meditation for a long time (years) can reach such a state, resulting in creating acoustic standing waves in the cerebral ventricles, which are then conducted to the gray matter in the brain's right hemisphere. In this state of mind, people can do a lot, and the best example of such a technique can be observed by watching trained monks.
- Biofeedback. This technique is a bit similar to meditation, but it's an inward process. One can focus on the self and bring about changes in their body, such as raising its' temperature or speeding up the healing process.
Now that we've established these altered states of consciousness let's move on to Gateway Process.
Subjects were trained for a long time, supervised by the scientists involved in the experiment. In the words of the scientist who wrote the report:
"Fundamentally, the Gateway Experience is a training system designed to bring enhanced strength, focus and coherence to the amplitude and frequency of brainwave output between the left and right hemispheres so as to alter consciousness, moving it outside the physical sphere so as to ultimately escape even the restrictions of time and space."
Our brain hemispheres are rarely (if ever) synchronized. It wouldn't even be a stretch to imagine them as different parts of you, each responsible for different tasks and having a personality of their own. Sure, they do work together, but in a way, their jobs are contradictory. To function properly, we do need both of them, and we could not conduct our daily routines if not for the work of both the left and the right hemispheres. Both emit different types of waves. They are in constant communication with each other but are never "on the same page," so to say.
When engaging in meditation or hypnosis, however, the function of one of the hemispheres is compromised. It allows the consciousness to transcend into altered states.
The Gateway Process, on the other hand, engages with the entirety of the brain rather than "shutting off" a part of it. Some practitioners of meditation can also reach such a state, lasting up to 15 minutes. More precisely, the state was observed in a person practicing Zen meditation for over 20 years. In the Gateway practice, both hemispheres are synchronized.
That is, the emission of brain waves from the left and the right hemispheres are identical in both intensity and frequency.
Subjects in the Gateway Process did not have to train for decades, however. By employing various techniques in the experiment, training took as little time as seven days. The key procedure behind the brain synchronization was to emit certain frequency sound waves to one of the subjects' ears and a different to another. Such a practice aimed to put the left hemisphere to virtual sleep and then bring both the hemispheres into coherence.
Because the brain tends to mimic the frequency of the waves perceived, researchers used this to bring about the changes in the brain to make it emit waves of an enormous frequency and amplitude.
In fact, the frequency achieved managed to transcend the limits of known physics.
The report puts forward the idea that matter and energy are not different but rather reflect two sides of the same coin. All matter, in essence, is a vibration of various energy grids in the subatomic particles. Consciousness can then be perceived as a type of energy, and by manipulating its' state, one can interact with the infinity of the universe and bring about knowledge not accessible by conventional methods – all by transcending the dimensions of space and time itself.
The implications behind this technique are fascinating. Let's walk through what the experiments managed to achieve by altering the consciousnesses of the subjects involved.
Enchanted out-of-body experiences. Although various meditation methods can achieve OBE with concentration and focus, people usually go to great lengths before their now altered consciousness can travel further beyond space-time restrictions. By starting the out-of-body experience in a state reached by the Gateway Process, subjects would essentially begin their journey from a point much "higher up" than usual. People could reach the state of perceiving higher dimensions and transcendence much quicker and for greater lengths. The report suggests that the energy of consciousness projects itself into the infinite and can wander freely throughout the cosmos in such a state. The technique allows to achieve information, travel to higher dimensions outside of the space-time continuum, and even interact with other forms of consciousness within the universe.
Be it the experiences reported or other research not mentioned in the report, the matter at hand leads the scientists to believe that consciousness is eternal, for it exists independently of the reality we perceive.
It has no beginning and no end. In other words, our physical bodies may die off and dissolve, the reality as we know it could cease to exist, but the consciousness persists to be under the notion of immortality.
Wandering off into higher dimensions, however, is not the only viable application of the Gateway Process. After reaching an altered state of consciousness, subjects were able to apply the experience to the betterment of their being.
- Problem-solving. After identifying the problems the individual wishes to address and solve in their lives, they may project the problem into the expanded awareness, which the Gateway Process brings. By consulting his "higher self," an individual may acquire knowledge and power to solve said problems. The knowledge presents itself in the individual over the course of a few days, frequently in the form of a sudden realization that they simply know the answer and all the context related to it. Initially, the individual may even lack the ability to put his newly found perception into words.
- Patterning. If the individual chooses to do so, he may channel the powers behind his consciousness to achieve the desired changes in his physical, emotional, and intellectual being. The report argues that by extending one's perception of the desired goal into the expanded consciousness, he manifests it kin to a hologram. Once this thought-hologram is established in the universe, it becomes a reality, for consciousness is the source for that reality. The more complex the desire, the more time the universe will require to adjust the perceived reality according to the newly established projection.
- Color breathing. It is known that color can affect the human mind – blue is often viewed as calm and soothing, while red is frequently associated with anger or pain. The technique of color breathing uses this to one's advantage by imagining various colors for the process of healing and the restoration of the body's energy by tapping into the earth's electrostatic field.
These techniques were conducted with individuals who managed to reach a state of expanded consciousness, called Focus 12.
However, according to the study, the mind can expand its' state even further and reach Focus 15, which is extremely advanced and difficult to achieve.
The report states that only 5 % of participants have managed to achieve it during intense training, lasting for a week. Experts argue, however, that with enough time, Focus 15 can be achieved by nearly anyone practicing the technique.
This extremely expanded state of consciousness can allow the individual to access his past. He can relive virtually any experience of his life by, once again, transcending the space-time continuum and traveling to a particular time and a particular place. Researchers also stated that the participant's own relived experiences are not the only things accessible for examination – events in which the individual was never present, nor had any connection to, can also be perceived.
The last and the most advanced state of consciousness achievable by the Gateway Process is called Focus 21.
The report states that individuals who access such a state may even have insights from the future. The report does not list any examples of such an activity, but it says that only those who practice the techniques immensely will be able to reach Focus 21 – and it will take years.
In regards to the out-of-body experiences, subjects were asked to travel, perceive and report their experiences. For example, participants were asked to move from one coast to the other in their OBE journeys and report back a series of ten numbers generated by a computer in the lab there. Even though not one has managed to report all ten correctly, the results suggest that the participants' consciousness was clearly present in the area.
Researchers explain the irregularities that happen are caused by information distortion. It is prompted by various fields of energy and dimensions, which the mind cannot easily differentiate from the physical reality it tries to perceive.
That is basically the totality of the Gateway Process summed up. One might be skeptical of the things that the researchers report, yet it is hard to disregard, for this was the official report of the CIA.
The human brain is as complex as it is fascinating, and we are probably decades, if not centuries, away from understanding it completely.
Combine it with the nature and origins of reality, the universe, quantum physics, and you're in for some trouble if your goal is to know it all. The tapes used in the Gateway Process were also declassified, and one can easily find them on the web to try and achieve these altered states of consciousness on their own.
One thing is for certain – we barely know anything at all about the universe. The Gateway Process might have found at least some of the hidden aspects of being, or perhaps it was all in the heads of the subjects involved. It's up to you which of these notions you choose to believe.