It is pointed out (in the framework of the author's biophysical relativistic model of altered states of consciousness) that transitional states of consciousness represent an excellent framework for the understanding and mental control of transpersonal mystical states of consciousness described in various religious and esoteric traditions of East and West during the history of civilization, implying their real biophysical nature. The transitional character of these states also demonstrates why these phenomena are short-lasting and poorly reproducible, and also why they are most easily mentally controlled shortly before a waking/sleeping transitional state. This might also be an explanation for the extraordinary efficiency of prayer accomplished shortly before sleeping. This practice is recommended by all religious traditions. It also has significance in the mutual reprogramming of psychic conflicts (as a germ of the future interpersonal fight; as well as of the potential psychosomatic and psychological disorders of the persons in conflict); as well as during transpersonal interactions of the persons in conflict. All this suggests that a deeper biophysical understanding of the nature of consciousness and transpersonal phenomena might soon give rise to scientific understanding and empirical verification of even fundamental philosophical/religious questions (like the practical/spiritual significance of imperative moral behavior of every individual and the appearance of a new type of humanism.)
It is currently estimated that the problem of consciousness belongs to the ten most significant scientific problems, owing to its potential scientific implications, including a possibility for deeper understanding of some ultimate philosophical/ religious questions. Traditionally, these have remained outside the domain of theoretical and experimental methods of natural sciences. And therefore have been a subject of deep and painful irrational divisions throughout the whole history of human civilization.
The prevailing scientific paradigm considers information processing inside the central nervous system as occurring through hierarchically organized and interconnected neural networks. There has been a development of experimental techniques enabling the physiological investigation of interactions of hierarchically interconnected neighboring levels of biological neural networks. In addition, there has been a significant contribution in establishing the neural network paradigm by theoretical breakthroughs in this field during the past decade . Apart from the brain's hierarchy of neural networks, a significant role in global distribution and memorizing (over the whole cortex) of hierarchically processed information is played by brainwaves . Of particular interest in this process is the extended reticular-thalamic activating system (ERTAS) . ERTAS is characterized as a hierarchical system of neural networks which compares currently processed information with the one memorized in the cortex, giving priority and amplifying one piece of information to the conscious level; the remaining pieces of information rest non-amplified at unconscious levels. This is basically also the mechanism of "emotional coloring" of some information.
A particularly significant role of brainwaves involves modeling states of consciousness -- and especially altered states of consciousness. The latter state is characterized by an extraordinary acceleration in psychological information processing. This processing cannot be explained by the purely electrochemical intersynaptic processes found in biological neural networks. This is because the mechanisms of the ERTAS are not accelerated up to several orders of magnitude. Moreover, the subjective time sense is dilated in altered states of consciousness [4-6] in respect to the normal awake state.
According to the author's biophysical model for altered states of consciousness [7-9], the electromagnetic (EM) component of ultralow-frequency (ULF) "brainwaves," as related to "subjective" reference frame of consciousness, enables perfect fitting with the narrowed-down limits of conscious capacity in normal awake states and also with the very extended limits found in altered states of consciousness. These effects are due to the biophysical, relativistic mechanism of the dilated subjective time base. In this model, consciousness is a subtle internal display in the form of an EM component comprised of ULF brainwave ionic currents. Complete information (both conscious and unconscious) is permanently coded from the brain's neural networks as a spatio-temporal pattern, and is resulting from changes of the electrosynaptic interconnections in the neural networks of the brain.
Thus, according to this model, altered states of consciousness (REM sleep, meditation, hypnosis, psychedelic drug influence, some psychopathological states, and near-death experiences) are a consequence of the partial displacement of the ionic acupuncture system outside the body (when the embedded EM component of ULF brainwaves is propagating throughout this weakly ionized structured gaseous medium of low-dielectric relative permittivity, e r » 1), while normal states of consciousness (alert state, non-REM sleep, ...) are achieved when there are no such displacements (when brainwaves are propagating only through the structured brain tissue of high-dielectric relative permittivity, e r » 1)!
According to this model, dreams and dream-like hallucinogenic states are characteristics of altered states of consciousness (e r » 1). In such states, the relativistic Doppler mapping of the EM component of the "objective" ULF brainwaves power spectrum on the zero-degenerate frequency "subjective" spectrum - enables dream-like mixing of normally conscious and unconscious contents. This could be the biophysical mechanism of dreams. In particular, this implies their psychological significance. In dreams, one has continuous access and more efficient "subjective" integration of normally conscious and unconscious contents, thereby giving rise to integration and growth of human personality (which is otherwise divided into conscious and unconscious associative "ego" states). As a consequence, this process results in the alleviation of emotional conflicts [7-10]! Then meditation, as a prolonged altered state of consciousness, enables a more efficient "subjective" integration of human personality. But this is inevitably accompanied by a decay of ultradian rhythm. This rhythm governs alterations of both normal and altered states of consciousness (having a periodicity ~ 1.5 - 2 hours, in both waking and sleeping ). However, if a person bears strong internal psychic conflicts, i.e. "ego states," the result of such a prolonged meditation will be the integration of human personality around several of the foregoing "ego-states." This will produce the undesirable result of a multiply-divided (instead of well integrated) personality. Competent teachers of meditation are fully aware of these perils, and do not recommend its accelerated practice to psychically weak persons (for whom the main priority is often a reprogramming of psychic conflicts.) We shall consider this further on within the context of controlled transpersonal interactions in transitional states of consciousness.
The displaced ionic structure in this model must have a form of a weakly ionized gaseous "optical" neural network. This is necessary for continually inflowing information from the brain's neural networks to be "subjectively" recognized. Hence, such an ionic neural network behaves also as an optical sensor, which can perceive an environment panoramically, as reported by reanimated persons .
Even the most peculiar spatio-temporal transpersonal interactions are predicted in transitional (nonstationary) states of interchange of normal and altered states of consciousness. This occurs when brainwaves traverse from high-dielectric (e r » 1) to low-dielectric (e r » 1) state or vice versa -- the relative velocity of "subjective" reference frame being therefore subjected to abrupt change in short transitional period t ~ 0,1 s, with "subjective frame" acceleration ~ co/t ~109 m/s2.
A deeper understanding of the physical mechanisms of these processes obviously sinks into the General theory of relativity. This is because physical processes in a highly accelerated reference frame outside the gravitational field and those inside a strong gravitational field with equal (gravitational) acceleration are identical. (This is the so-called Principle of equivalence, which is one of the fundamentals of both Newton's and Einstein's theories of gravitation). Theoretical analyses show  that in enormously strong gravitational fields, so-called "wormholes" (or Einstein-Rosen space-time bridges) are created, whose entrance and exit could be in very distant space-time points. As in transitional states of consciousness, the "subjective" reference frame (as related to an EM field of brainwaves), is subjected to a very quick change of velocity. This is accompanied by an equivalent acceleration comparable with that of one being in an enormously strong gravitational field of wormholes. This is in accordance with the Principle of equivalence. This is as one would expect in such brief states, given the creation of the Einstein-Rosen bridge. The tunneling of "subjective observer;" i.e. consciousness as previously "mentally addressed;" simply exits in space-time. Such reminiscences on passing through some sort of tunnel are often reported by many patients reanimated from clinical death . It should be pointed out that apart from the EM field, the displaced part of the ionic acupuncture system (in the form of ionic neural network, having the "optical" sensory function), must also be tunneled in such (acausal) interactions of consciousness with distant events in space-time!
Hence, a space-time destination, where a deceased ionic structure is tunneled at the moment of death, depends on the post-mortem mentally loaded addressing of the dying person. Therefore, it is quite reasonable that persons from different traditions, reanimated from clinical death, are reporting on bizarre spiritual contacts with "light beings." These beings are identified as founders of their particular religious traditions (being mentally addressed as a target of prayer prior to the near-death experience). Or with a series of pleasant or unpleasant spiritual entities (contacts with them being induced by positively or negatively mentally loaded contents, successively activated in the deceased ionic structures). Or with their close relatives (being a target of personal concern of the deceased) .
All these near-death experiences might be categorized into so called astral projections of consciousness. These are described by some rare practitioners as not being subject to spatio-temporal limitations [14,15]. Their descriptions are quite in agreement with the transitional states of consciousness predicted by the model.
These astral projections are presumably also the basis of most psychic phenomena . They also provide an explanation for the transitional nature and difficult reproducibility of these phenomena. This is because they last only ~ 0,1 s. The spontaneous conditions for them are achieved only every 1.5 - 2 hours, corresponding to the periodicity of ultradian rhythms which govern the interchange of normal and altered states of consciousness . However, it should be noted that the non-low-dielectric barriers in interaction with the low-dielectric barriers are helping in overcoming themselves in these astral projections. This is quite opposite to normal experience in usual mechanical interactions !
The predicted transitional states of consciousness could also be the biophysical basis of anticipationb in intuition, precognition, and deep creative insights. These states could easily be put under control by "mental addressing" on the problem chosen, shortly before a waking-sleep transitional state! On awaking, the brain would then amplify the dream concerning the solution of the problem addressed, giving to it the appropriate priority with respect to other processed information during the sleep phase. Information obtained in this way is usually mixed through associative coupling with other conscious and unconscious pieces of information during the following REM-sleep periods. This information therefore has some symbolic form, which has to be decoded through an introspective analysis of the dream. Naturally, to solve some scientific, technical, or artistic problem in this way, it is necessary for the person to be expert in the field, in order to articulate the solution obtained in the corresponding scientific, technical or artistic "language".
The above mentioned astral projections of consciousness are presumably also the basis of religious experiences. Such mental addressing on spatio-temporally displaced, energetically abundant, ionic disembodied archetype structures are found in religious traditions. They are being mentally addressed as a target of prayer in transitional states of consciousness. So, it seems that the efficacy of prayer in the self-healing of inner psychological conflicts might be a consequence of similar biophysical transpersonal interactions of the persons in conflict, and is due to the transitional states of the praying person. This effect is then accompanied by the mutualc reprogramming of interior conflicts (as a germ of future interpersonal fights, as well as of potential psychosomatic and psychological disorders). That might provide an explanation for the extraordinary efficiency of prayer accomplished shortly before sleeping, which is recommended by all religious traditions (with direct mental addressing to the person in conflict, or energetically more efficientd indirect mental addressing via ionically abundant disembodied archetype structures), when it is easiest to control the addressed mental contents prior the waking/sleeping transitional state!
It is hereby demonstrated that the author's model of altered and (particularly!) transitional states of consciousness is an excellent biophysical framework for various states of consciousness described in religious and esoteric traditions of East and West, implying their real biophysical nature. And also its significance for understanding mechanisms of transpersonal mystical and other transitional states of consciousness.
The transitional character of mystical states also demonstrates why these phenomena are short-lasting and poorly reproducible, and also why they are most easily mentally controlled shortly before a waking/sleeping transitional state.
All this suggests that a deeper biophysical understanding of the nature of consciousness and transpersonal phenomena might soon gives rise to a scientific understanding and empirical verification of even fundamental philosophical/religious questions (like the practical/spiritual significance of imperative moral behavior of every individual, which is extremely important for the accelerated integration and spiritual evolution of personality) - and appearance of a new/old humanism; a new/old one without meaningless, painful interpersonal, inter-ethnical, and inter-religious conflicts.
Acknowledgments: This paper is devoted to my late brother George Janjic, with permanent gratitude for crucial intellectual and spiritual impulses in early youth. I am also deeply indebted to my colleagues and friends G. Stanojevic-Vale , P. Vujicin, M. Golubovic, M. Trajkovic, D. -akovic, D. Kozic, D. Koruga, A. Skokljev, D. Dordevic, and Z. Jovanovic-Ignjatic, for pointing at significant references on this broad subject.
Copyright 1998, Dejan Rakovic, All Rights
21st, The VXM Network, http://www.vxm.com