THE EXPERIENCE OF MUSIC IN ALTERED STATES OF by gjmpzlaezgx

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Susan Miller McGowan
California Institute of Integral Studies, 2007
Daniel Deslauriers Ph.D., Committee Chair

          THE EXPERIENCE OF MUSIC IN ALTERED STATES OF
  CONSCIOUSNESS: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY OF THE SANTO
        DAIME CHURCH AND HOLOTROPIC BREATHWORK

                                      Abstract


       This dissertation will bring into focus an understanding of the profound

influence that music has by looking specifically at the experience of music in

altered states of consciousness. Using the phenomenological research method of

imaginative variation, I analyzed five interviews from Santo Daime Church

members from Brasil, and five interviews of Holotropic Breathwork participants

living in Atlanta, Georgia.

       Literature related to music and altered states of consciousness from the

fields of psychology, altered states of consciousness, anthropology and spiritual

traditions are reviewed to lay a foundation in which to discuss the findings of the

interviews. A section on various ways that music can trigger or facilitate altered

states of consciousness is included, as supportive material in understanding this

phenomenon.

       Through the analysis of the interviews and a discussion of the reported

experiences, an understanding of this phenomenon is elucidated and the

commonalities brought forth. The findings of the interviews through the analysis

are brought into dialogue with the literature to create a more complete

understanding of the experience of music and to provide clues for an expanded


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understanding of the power of music to facilitate healing and transformation. This

discourse elucidates ways that music can bring psychological and spiritual healing

and transformation. The findings of the research also led to an understanding of

the many ways that music is experienced, through the creation of a matrix of

musical experience. The findings of this research expand the understanding of our

experience of music so that we might be more conscious of the impact of music to

find ways to encourage or facilitate positive, healing experiences through music.




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                                             TABLE OF CONTENTS




Abstract .................................................................................................................................iv

Chapter 1: Statement of Research .........................................................................................1
  Introduction ......................................................................................................................1
  Rationale ..........................................................................................................................4
  Definitions ........................................................................................................................7
     Music. ..........................................................................................................................7
     Altered states of consciousness. ..................................................................................8

Chapter 2: Literature Review ...............................................................................................10
  Psychological Perspective on Music ................................................................................10
     Psychoanalytic perspectives on music. ........................................................................11
     Music psychology. .......................................................................................................14
     Music therapy. .............................................................................................................16
  Altered States of Consciousness ......................................................................................19
  Anthropology ...................................................................................................................24
  Spiritual Traditions...........................................................................................................30
  Music as a Trigger for Trance/Altered States of Consciousness ......................................33
     Shamanic drumming. ...................................................................................................34
     White noise. .................................................................................................................36
     Beat frequencies. .........................................................................................................37
     Symbolic entrainment. .................................................................................................40
     Intense affective release. ..............................................................................................40
     Resonance entrainment. ...............................................................................................41
     The physiological effect of repetitive rhythms on the inner ear. .................................42

Chapter 3: Methodology ......................................................................................................44
  Description of the Population Interviewed .......................................................................44
     Santo Daime Church. ...................................................................................................44
     Holotropic breathwork. ................................................................................................47
  Data Collection.................................................................................................................50
  Data Analysis Procedure ..................................................................................................54
     #1: Read entire description to get general sense of the whole. ...................................56
     #2: Discrimination of meaning units within a psychological perspective and
        focused on the phenomenon being researched. .......................................................57
     #3: Transformation of the subject‘s everyday expressions into psychological
        language with emphasis on the phenomenon being investigated. ...........................58
     #4: Synthesis of transformed meaning units into a consistent statement of the
        structure. .................................................................................................................59
     #5: Synthesis of the situated structure of meaning into a general structure. ................60
     #6: Synthesis of group general structures into the general structure of the
        experienced researched. ..........................................................................................60
  Limitations and Delimitations ..........................................................................................61




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Chapter 4: Findings ...............................................................................................................65
  Santo Daime Situated Structures for Individual Participants ...........................................66
  Santo Daime General Structure of the Experience of Music ............................................68
  Situated Structures of the Experience of Music during Holotropic Breathwork for
     Individual Participants 6-10 ........................................................................................70
  General Structure of the Experience of Music during Holotropic Breathwork ................74
  General Structure for the Experience of Music in an Altered State of Consciousness .....75

Chapter 5: Discussion of Findings .......................................................................................77
  General Structure of Meaning ..........................................................................................81
     Music as primary influence of experience. ..................................................................81
     Music as an energy supporting flow of experience......................................................82
     Music facilitated expanded, nonordinary, altered state of consciousness. ...................83
     Music facilitated processing of difficult experiences and a movement towards
        wholeness. ..............................................................................................................84
     Participants experienced deeper sense of connection and belonging. ..........................85
  Generalizability ................................................................................................................86
  Implications of this Research ...........................................................................................88
  Conclusion .......................................................................................................................103

References .............................................................................................................................105

Appendix A: HRRC Application—Santo Daime ..................................................................110

Appendix B: Consent Form for Susan Miller—Santo Daime ...............................................115

Appendix C: HRRC Application—Holotropic Breathwork ..................................................117

Appendix D: Consent Form for Susan Miller—Holotropic Breathwork ..............................121

Appendix E: Research Participants Bill of Rights… ............................................................123

Appendix F: Imaginative Variation Protocols Key ...............................................................124

Appendix G: Participant #1 ...................................................................................................125

Appendix H: Participant #2 ...................................................................................................139

Appendix I: Participant #3 ...................................................................................................147

Appendix J: Participant #4 ..................................................................................................154

Appendix K: Participant #5 ...................................................................................................160

Appendix L: Participant #6…………………………………………………………….170

Appendix M: Participant #7……………………………………………………………196

Appendix N: Participant #8……………………………………………………………210

Appendix O: Participant #9……………………………………………………………227

Appendix P: Participant #10…………………………………………………………..263



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                         Chapter 1: Statement of Research

Introduction

       Music, the universal language, has been a part of every known culture

throughout history. Music has been used at the core of sacred rituals as well as to

occupy the silence of our daily lives. Whether used for entertainment or ritual, as

humans, we have an ancient, deep relationship with music.

       One of the gifts of being human is the ability to express ourselves through

the arts. Humans can participate in the conscious creation of beauty, and thus

participate in the mystery of creation. The experience of creation through music is

reflected in many spiritual traditions. Sound or music is the means used in various

spiritual traditions by Creator to create, such as the ―Word‖ in the New Testament

of the Christian tradition, ―Om‖ in the Rg Veda, or in the book of Genesis, ―God

said let there be light . . . ‖ (Berendt, 1983). The expression and worship of the

sacred in many traditions use music, often combined with trance states, to bring

one into communion with Creator, as well as to co-participate in the creation

process.

       All art can enrich spiritual rituals and worship, but music is a central

aspect of spiritual traditions around the world. Many spiritual traditions developed

rituals using music and trance states, intensifying the experience of union with

Creator and the spiritual realm. Why is music so closely connected to the

expression of the sacred?

       Yet no one has lived in this world, has thought and felt, who has not
       considered music as the most sacred of all arts. For the fact is that, what


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       the art of painting cannot clearly suggest, poetry explains in words, but
       that which even a poet finds difficult to express in poetry, is expressed in
       music. (Khan, 1996, p. 4)

       The ―sacredness‖ of music, its ability to express our deepest or most

profound thoughts and feelings, allows music to serve as a connection to some

greater experience of the personal and the transpersonal (beyond the personal).

Music became an effective healing tool in many traditional societies that were

based on the belief that all was spirit, as it allowed the healer/healed to easily

connect to the realm of spirit. I will explore the experience of music in altered

states of consciousness to better understand the gift of music for healing.

       Many anthropologists (for example, Doore 1988; Eliade 1964; Halifax

1979; Harner 1990; Rouget, 1985) have observed some sort of connection

between music and altered states of consciousness, though few, if any, discuss the

experience of music in altered states of consciousness. Rather than add to the

observations of examples of music and altered states of consciousness catalogued

by anthropologists, I will adopt a psychological perspective to explore the

experience of music in altered states of consciousness. Through

phenomenological research methods using interviews and the review of available

literature, I hope to bring a greater understanding of some ways in which music is

experienced and enriches our lives.

       To more clearly understand the experience of music in altered states of

consciousness, I will look at literature that discusses how music triggers and

facilitates altered states, the psychological impact of music and the relationship of




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music to altered states. It will also be necessary to look at the field of altered

states of consciousness to provide a clearer picture of altered states and how the

process of altered states of consciousness might affect or be affected by music.

        It is my belief that people‘s experience of music during altered states of

consciousness will provide information to assist in understanding the complex

relationship between the two. I will use phenomenological research methods to

interview participants from two groups, the Santo Daime Church of Brazil and

Holotropic Breathwork groups in the United States, who use music and altered

states of consciousness as a part of their psycho-spiritual practices. I will be

asking participants from these two groups, ―What is your experience of music

during an altered state of consciousness?‖ The data from these interviews will

form the core of my research.

        Once analyzed, the data from the interviews will be discussed in the

context of available literature on music, psychology, and altered states of

consciousness. There is very little available literature in the field of psychology

on the experience of music in altered states. The theoretical aspect of this research

will therefore explore related literature on music as a trigger for altered states of

consciousness, music and psychology, anthropology, as well as the experience of

music in altered states—such as ecstatic trance states—found in many spiritual

traditions.




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Rationale

         I would like to discuss my choice of this research question, ―What is your

experience of music during an altered state of consciousness?‖ and my personal

experience that led to this question. As I began thinking about my research, I

knew I wanted to understand some perspective of music and psychology. With the

broad umbrella of music and psychology, I began to look at my experiences of

music.

         In my life, I have had many different relationships with music. As a young

child struggling to learn to play the piano, I felt inept and unmusical. In my teen

years, after years of performing in band and chorus, I began to do some solo

performances; I was finding my voice. I went on to earn a bachelor‘s degree in

music-voice performance. I competed and performed for ten years in opera and

classical music. Always, I held a love for many forms of music.

         After leaving the professional field of music, I pursued a master‘s degree

in psychology and was introduced to drumming, shamanic ritual, and the music of

the Grateful Dead. These different uses of music led me to experience music in

many different ways. I was highly influenced by Mickey Hart‘s book (1990),

Drumming at the Edge of Magic. I began to experience, and therefore understand,

how music can facilitate spiritual experiences. I began to explore these

transpersonal dimensions of music while doing my master‘s degree in psychology

and eventually in my Ph.D. program in East-West Psychology.




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         I have experienced music and sound in many ways: as entertainment, as a

performer and composer, as a teacher, for relaxation, for healing physical

ailments, as emotional catharsis, and as an aid for spiritual worship. The

experience of music that has had the greatest impact in terms of this research are

the times I have participated in ritual works with the Santo Daime Church, as well

as my experiences in several Holotropic Breathwork sessions.

         During the Santo Daime works, I began to experience music in many

different ways. At times, the hymns served as guides, facilitators, healers, and

pathways bringing me into awareness of the Divine Presence. I also experienced

the hymns as having a consciousness of their own which I could directly relate to

and interact with. Granted, all of these experiences occurred while in an altered

state of consciousness, but I have been aware of similar experiences while in

ordinary consciousness, since my awareness of these perspectives of music has

grown.

         My desire is to know how others experience music in altered states of

consciousness. My understanding of music and its impact has grown because of

my experiences both in ordinary and altered states of consciousness, but

especially because of my experiences of music in altered states. I feel that others‘

experiences will add to a greater collective understanding of music.

         My experiences of music in altered states have provided many insights

into music‘s impact that I would not have understood otherwise. I experience

altered states of consciousness as a type of microscope examining a particular




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experience. This analogy of a microscope (personal communication from Ralph

Metzner in class lecture, 1998) helps elucidate the process of experience that one

can have during an altered state when the experience of the subject (music in this

case) is amplified. This amplification can provide insight into otherwise unnoticed

characteristics of the experience of the music. There is a lack of research

specifically on the experience of music in altered states of consciousness. This

research will provide insight on how music is experienced, which may bring

understanding of functions that music serves in our experience. This

understanding of music from the perspective of experience in altered states of

consciousness may allow for more effective use of music as a tool for healing in

the fields of psychology and music therapy.




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Definitions

       Music.

       Before I explore the topic of music and altered states of consciousness

more fully, it is important to understand the terms music and altered states of

consciousness. As a classically trained musician, when I think of music, I imagine

a beautiful melody supported by rich harmonies, similar to a symphony, concerto

or opera. I have a difficult time extending my definition of music to include some

of the popular music. And then, there is drumming. Are purely rhythmic sounds

with no melody considered music? In my years of researching this subject, the

most useful definition of music that I have found comes from a seminal text by

Boyle and Radocy (1979).

       The ultimate answer to the question under consideration must be in terms
       of the function of the sounds within a given cultural context. If sounds are
       created or combined by a human being, are recognized as music by some
       group of people, and serve some function which music has come to serve
       for mankind, then those sounds are music. (p. 172)

This definition of music is very broad in that it allows for many kinds of sounds,

not just melodic and harmonic ones to be considered as music. This includes the

types of music one hears from indigenous people from around the world, and even

includes today‘s popular music.

       Boyle and Radocy go on to examine the functions of music cross-

culturally. They draw from Merriam‘s list of ten functions of music (Boyle &

Radocy, 1979, p. 164): (a) emotional expression, (b) aesthetic enjoyment, (c)

entertainment, (d) communication, (e) symbolic representation, (f) physical




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response, (g) enforcing confgormity to social norms, (h) validation of social

institutions and religious rituals, (i) contribution to the continuity and stability of

culture, and (j) contribution to the integration of society. By using Boyle and

Radocy‘s definition of music we have an understanding of music that will be

appropriate for many cultures and traditions, including the forms of music used in

the ritual works by the Santo Daime Church and Holotropic Breathwork.



        Altered states of consciousness.

        Another term used in this research, altered states of consciousness, has

had a wide variety of definitions. Within the literature of altered states there is

little agreement on the definition of an altered state of consciousness. Primarily,

the disagreement seems to revolve around the differences between ordinary,

cyclical states of consciousness and altered states of consciousness. This

dissertation will not involve itself in the argument of where the boundary between

altered and ordinary states of consciousness should be drawn, but will instead

choose a very general definition of altered states of consciousness by Ludwig (in

Tart, 1990):

        For the purpose of discussion I shall regard altered state(s) of
        consciousness [hereafter referred to as ASC(s)] as any mental state(s),
        induced by various physiological, psychological, or pharmacological
        maneuvers or agents, which can be recognized subjectively by the
        individual himself (or by an objective observer of the individual) as
        representing a sufficient deviation in subjective experience or
        psychological functioning from certain general norms for that individual
        during alert, waking consciousness. This sufficient deviation may be
        represented by a greater preoccupation than usual with internal sensations




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       or mental processes, changes in the formal characteristics of thought, and
       impairment of reality testing to various degrees. (p. 18)

This general description of altered states of consciousness will encompass the

states of consciousness experienced by those in the Santo Daime Church and

Holotropic Breathwork and is likely to apply to those states mentioned in the

literature. Some of the states of consciousness that will be included in the general

definition of altered state are: hypnosis, guided imagery, trance, hallucinogenic

states, some forms of meditation, and transcendent or ecstatic states. For the

purpose of this research the bias is for changes in consciousness that have the

possibility for creating experiences of healing and transformation. Experiences of

altered consciousness that are a product of what might be termed psychosis, from

organic or accidental damage to the brain, are not being considered. The phrase

altered states of consciousness may be used interchangeably with the word

trance. There is a more complete discussion of altered states of consciousness in

the literature review in the next chapter.




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                           Chapter 2: Literature Review

       To explore the relationship of music and altered states of consciousness—

and more specifically, the experience of music in altered states—requires that I

review information from several fields of academic research. Primarily, these

sources will come from the fields of (a) psychology (including the psychoanalytic

perspective of music; the emerging field of music psychology; and the field of

music therapy; (b) altered states of consciousness; (c) anthropology; (d) various

spiritual traditions; and (e) music and altered states of consciousness.

       This dissertation will explore the relationship of music and altered states

of consciousness from a psychological perspective, but to do this thoroughly I

will draw from related fields of inquiry. I will bring together data related to music

and psychology to build a strong foundation for the more specific topic of music

and altered states. This is important because there are very few sources available

specifically on music and altered states of consciousness, especially from a

psychological perspective.



Psychological Perspective on Music

       In the field of psychology there is little written about music and altered

states of consciousness. To build a psychological foundation for my research I

will look at different aspects of music from a psychological perspective.




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         Psychoanalytic perspectives on music.

         Music occupies a small, specialized area in the field of psychoanalysis, but

what is available is significant and needs to be reviewed. These psychoanalytic

perspectives include the psychological importance of music, psychoanalytic

developmental theories, the development of musical abilities, psychoanalytic

theories on the composition and performance of music, and studies of specific

composers. While these perspectives do not directly mention altered states of

consciousness, they do provide information on psychological perspectives of

music.

         The psychoanalytic perspective offers insight into the psychology of

music, or how music plays a role in our psychological functioning. Theodore Reik

(1953), in The Haunting Melody, explores how the appearance of certain melodies

in the mind are a reflection of a particular psychological state. Reik states that

melodies or tunes that seem to spontaneously come to mind most likely are

expressing an unconscious thought. This is especially true when songs appear

within the psychoanalytic session. An aware analyst may use an intruding tune to

explore the unconscious of the analysand. Sabbeth (cited in Feder, Karmel, &

Pollock, 1990) has a similar theory, which states that music can be an expression

of unconscious material. This is somewhat reminiscent to Freud‘s theory about

jokes; that is, both jokes and music can allow us to express unacceptable thoughts

and feelings in an acceptable form.




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       Kohut and Lavarie (cited in Feder, Karmel, & Pollock, 1990) add to the

psychological functions of music. These include the enjoyment one experiences

through music, catharsis, emotional language expressed through music, musical

activity as an exercise in mastery, and a form of socially acceptable regression of

the ego. The occurrence of catharsis through music is of interest as a possible way

that music triggers trance or altered states of consciousness. This will be

discussed in the section dealing with music as a trigger for trance states.

       Nass (cited in Feder, et. al., 1990), shows a broader perspective of the

experience of music, moving from the focus on id functions into a structural

perspective of ego functions. Nass states that auditory stimuli are processed and

experienced differently than other sensual stimuli. In part, musical stimuli may

allow for more ambiguity in experience than, for visual stimuli.

       One of the characteristics of listening to music is that it facilitates the
       emergence of less structured states of consciousness and thus provides
       experiences which may be easily connected with more fluid states of
       consciousness. The cognitive quality of the hearing experience is of
       necessity a more ambiguous one since the symbols used can reflect
       varying nuances of meaning…more easily transformed into ambiguous
       experience than is the visual sphere. (p. 306)

Nass continues by showing that the less structured ego states create more fluid

states of consciousness that are different from our ordinary waking reality, which

by definition, makes this fluid state of consciousness an altered state of

consciousness. This is one piece of the foundation of understanding the

relationship of music and altered states, and it is important to note that the

ambiguity of the experience of music can facilitate a change in consciousness.




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         Beyond the psychological functions of music from the psychoanalytic

perspective, there are other issues explored by psychoanalysts. These include

research into the development of musical ability, creativity, using music as a

transitional object in child development, and psychoanalytic studies of great

composers. All of these ideas can be found in the landmark compilation

Psychoanalytic Explorations in Music (Feder, Karmel, & Pollock, 1990), a

collection of essays on music from a psychoanalytic perspective.

         The groundbreaking work of Christopher Bollas (1987) includes an

exploration of music as a transformational object. The term transformational

object refers to objects that represent the process of transformation, rather than

representing the thing in and of itself.

         A transformational object is experientially identified by the infant with
         processes that alter self experience. It is an identification that emerges
         from symbiotic relating, where the first object is ‗known‘ not so much by
         putting it into an object representation, but as a recurrent experience of
         being- a more existential as opposed to representational knowing…Not yet
         fully identified as an other, the mother is experienced as a process of
         transformation, and this feature of early existence lives on in certain forms
         of object-seeking in adult life, when the object is sought for its function as
         a signifier of transformation. Thus, in adult life, the quest is not to possess
         the object; rather the object is pursued in order to surrender to it as a
         medium that alters the self. (p. 14)

Music becomes, par excellence, an object to facilitate the process of transformation, as we see in

our exploration of music in altered states of consciousness. This is one perspective of the process

of transformation that can be facilitated by music. Further   discussion will be found in the

section of music as a trigger for altered states of consciousness.

         Although the field of psychoanalysis has some interesting perspectives on

music and its impact on our psychological functioning, most of this literature does


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not directly apply to this research. Ordinary psychological functions, development

of creativity and musical ability, and the analysis of composer‘s lives, though

interesting, are not directly related to music and altered states of consciousness.

The themes of interest here are the connection of music to altered states through

its ambiguous character, emotional catharsis, and the use of music as a transitional

object, all of which are discussed in the section on ways that music can trigger

trance/altered states of consciousness.



       Music psychology.

       Music psychology is an emerging field of study that focuses on a broad

spectrum of music in relationship to psychology. Much of the work is coming

from the University of Texas, San Antonio, which is where the CAIRSS

(Computer-Assisted Information Retrieval Service System) for music databases is

located. Charles Eagle (in Hodges, 1996) defines the task of music psychology

first by defining music:

       Defining music as organized sounds and silences in a flow of time [and in
       space], several tentative conclusions and questions have arisen: Music->
       Sound->Vibration (?). And vibration [energy] is the essence of all things
       [mass]…
               But, if music is organized sound, then can we get a better
       perspective of the essence of music if we study unorganized sound defined
       as noise? Can we understand music and its influences better if we know
       the influences of nonmusic (noise)? In what ways do these musical and
       nonmusical sounds influence behavior, human and infrahuman? What are
       the biological effects? Physiological? Neurological? Psychological?
       Sociological? Anthropological? Acoustical? Educational? Therapeutic?
               The disciplines I have just enumerated (and others) furnish
       scientific and artistic approaches in studying the influence of music and
       behavior and, conversely, behavioral responses to music. (p. 2)


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Like the psychoanalytic perspective, the approach of music psychology has

spawned many interesting theories, but little that is related to music and altered

states of consciousness. In this field are many articles about the physiological

aspects of music. This includes the physiology of the hearing process as well as

the physiological impact in the body from listening to music, such as changes in

brainwave patterns and heartbeat.

       This literature review covers aspects of music psychology such as

psychological, anthropological, physiological, and some elements of how

behavioral responses to music are influenced. These aspects of music psychology

are researched in their relationship with altered states of consciousness through

other disciplines, such as anthropology and music therapy. At this time, I am

unable to find literature in the field of music psychology, or through using the

CAIRSS database, that discusses altered states of consciousness and music. Since

it is the intention of music psychology to integrate information from various fields

of research related to music and psychology, this dissertation may provide

original research in the field of music psychology dealing with the relationship of

music and altered states of consciousness.

       I will discuss some supporting literature on the physiological effects of

drumming as a trigger for altered states of consciousness, anthropological

perspectives of music, and some previously discussed psychological perspectives

of music. In this way, I am upholding the stated intent for music psychology

without immersing my research in this field. Those readers who may be interested


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in this field of music psychology might choose to read the Handbook of Music

Psychology (2nd ed.) edited by Donald Hodges (1996).



       Music therapy.

       The field of music therapy may be seen as the practical application of the

influence of music, used for healing on psychological and physiological levels.

Most music therapy sessions occur with people who are institutionalized in such

places as hospitals, psychiatric wards, nursing homes, prisons. But there are

many, such as Helen Bonny and Louis Savary (1973), who created the Guided

Imagery and Music (GIM) method who sponsor workshops around the country.

The GIM techniques have been integrated into many therapeutic environments,

and their work is still influencing the field of music therapy.

       Bonny and Savary‘s GIM (1973) and Moreno‘s (1995) ethnomusic

therapy are closely related to my research on music and altered states of

consciousness. Bonny and Savary‘s 1973 Music and Your Mind outlined the GIM

method and provided many stories of participants‘ experiences:

       Music and Your Mind was the first book to demonstrate the profound
       relationship between mind and music and to outline exercises and suggest
       musical selections to accommodate an altered state of consciousness. (p. 8
       [preface])

Bonny and Savary explore the relationship of music and consciousness through

the GIM work. Like me, they address consciousness is affected by music. The

insights from their work parallel some of my work, but we approach our research

using different methods and from a slightly different perspective.


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         Bonny and Savary gathered many descriptions of participants‘ experiences

of the guided imagery and music. These descriptions of participants‘ experiences

provide much insight into the experience of the music and the guided imagery,

which often results in the experience of an altered state of consciousness. The

intention of Music and Your Mind (1973) is:

         to examine the relationship between consciousness and music by studying
         all three phases of inner space exploration: (1) an understanding of
         nonordinary levels of consciousness, (2) techniques for going beyond
         ordinary consciousness, and (3) suggested exercises for individual and
         group exploration of the frontiers of various levels of consciousness. (p.
         14)

Bonny and Savary offer an understanding of music and altered states of

consciousness from a practical application perspective. By this I mean that they

have developed exercises to facilitate altered states of consciousness with music

and guided imagery. These techniques are useful and effective. They also, as

stated, explore levels of consciousness in relation to Assagioli‘s model (pp. 152-

157). The creation of a mood wheel and the cataloguing of pieces of music by the

predominate moods that listeners experience created a list of music with possible

mood associations to be used in facilitating transformative experiences through

music.

         Another perspective in the field of music therapy that has implications for

this research comes from the work of Joseph Moreno (1995). Moreno pulls from

many disciplines such as medical anthropology, ethnomusicology, and music

therapy in an effort to understand how to use music more effectively as a healing

tool. With an understanding of the challenges faced by music therapists working,


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often in institutions, with Westerners who are not steeped in the culture of

traditional people, Moreno brings some good issues forward, and asks questions

that open the doors for additional research.

       Certainly it would be naïve and purposeless to attempt to literally recreate
       traditional music-healing rituals in modern hospitals involving patients
       from an entirely different culture… Rather, what needs to be sought out
       and identified are those essential elements in music-healing rituals that, at
       least when appropriately adapted, might sustain a positive effect that could
       transcend cultural-contextual boundaries. (p. 333)

Moreno wishes to create a discipline that will seek out the essential elements in

music-healing rituals that could be effective cross-culturally. He calls this field

ethnomusic therapy.

       I define ethnomusic therapy as the multidisciplinary study of indigenous
       music and healing practices with a patient–centered focus. Integrating the
       disciplines of ethnomusicology, music therapy, medical anthropology and
       medicine, ethnomusic therapy considers the impact of music in ritual
       performance upon the measured progress of patient-participants with
       psycho-physiological problems of known etiology. (p. 336)

       Moreno‘s research is similar to mine in several ways. We both are

drawing information from varied disciplines such as anthropology and music

therapy. We also are looking at similar phenomenon—music and altered states of

consciousness. One of the research participant groups, the Santo Daime, though it

is a recent synthesis of traditions, could be considered more of a traditional ritual.

The Holotropic Breathwork group is an example of a cross-cultural synthesis

integrating traditional elements in a Western context, which Moreno is working

towards creating in the field of music therapy.




                                               18
       Primarily, we are both seeking to understand what the essential elements

of the music are in these contexts. Moreno has chosen to focus on the melodic,

harmonic, and rhythmic aspects of the music, and I am focusing on the essential

experiential elements. ―The object of this kind of approach is to isolate the

essential musical elements critical in the healing process‖ (Moreno, p. 333).

Perhaps my research can bring important information on the essential experiential

elements of music, which could have implications for the field of music therapy.

Certainly, the current research has the potential to bring forth information about

music and altered states of consciousness that could help in understanding their

relationship. As Moreno (1995) points out, ritual using music and some form of

altered states of consciousness seems to be effective in healing. I hope that the

more we understand the dynamics of music and altered states of consciousness,

the more effective music therapy techniques will be.



Altered States of Consciousness

       The interest in therapeutic uses of altered states of consciousness has

grown tremendously in recent years. The use of altered states of consciousness is

now a part of popular psychology. Opportunities to use meditation and guided

imagery for healing physical and psychological imbalances abound. A number of

workshops are being offered around the world that use various forms of altered

states to achieve more creativity, heal psychological issues, create an abundant




                                             19
life, experience deeper joy and peace; there are many spiritual guides and

shamans who offer healing using these modalities.

       The advent of humanistic psychology in the late 1950s brought an interest

in human experience including altered states of consciousness. The experiences of

altered states led to the development of transpersonal psychology, in response to

the spiritual/transcendent experiences that often occurred during these altered

states. Research on the therapeutic aspects of altered states of consciousness was

pioneered by many including, Abraham Maslow (1971), Stanislav Grof (1980,

1985, 1988, 1998), and Timothy Leary (Leary, Litwin, & Metzner, 1963).

       In the 1960s, an increasing interest in altered states of consciousness

developed through the use of psychedelics and various forms of meditation. At

that time, there was a great deal of experimentation with psychedelics both in

controlled therapeutic environments and in uncontrolled social situations. The

government subsequently outlawed the use of psychedelics; fortunately, the

therapeutic benefits of altered states of consciousness had already been

documented by many researchers such as Leary (Leary, Litwin, & Metzner,

1963), Maslow (1971), and Grof (1985).

       Before the advent of psychology in the late 1800s, altered states of

consciousness were used by many in the healing process. This included the

indigenous cultures as well as Western Europeans (e.g., Charcot‘s and Mesmer‘s

use of hypnosis. Even Freud temporarily studied with Charcot and used hypnosis

to heal physical ailments created by what was then called ―hysteria‖ (Gay, 1989).




                                            20
As Freud progressed in his career and worked to be acknowledged by the medical

community [and perhaps because of difficult experiences with his patient known

as Anna O.], he moved away from the use of altered states of consciousness

through hypnosis. Eventually Freud pathologized the experience of altered states

of consciousness, and modern psychology followed his lead as the field developed

and sought to use scientific, medical research systems. By the beginning of the

twentieth century, altered states of consciousness had been pathologized and

much of the early information on its healing effects had been lost. And so it was

for the medical and psychological community until the pioneers of the 1950s

began the exploration of altered states as a therapeutic process.

       The above-mentioned authors as well as anthologies edited by Tart (1990)

and Ward (1989) are important to the study of altered states of consciousness.

Tart‘s and Ward‘s collections cover many aspects of altered state research,

including anthropological reports, psychological perspectives on what creates an

altered state of consciousness, physiological measurements of brain waves and

other body functions during an induced altered state, and sleep/dream research.

These essays are useful in understanding altered states of consciousness from

various perspectives and disciplines. They seek to define what an altered state is

and whether it is a valid psychological phenomenon, simply a physiological

response as an epi-phenomenon that occurs from the release of certain brain

chemicals, or a combination of many processes.




                                             21
       This dissertation is based on the belief that altered states of consciousness

are valid and even desirable experiences to cultivate. In this research, I am

concerned with an experience of music that may facilitate healing in an altered

state, and with understanding how to best facilitate those experiences. In this

quest, I align myself with individuals such as Stan Grof, who has dedicated his

professional life to cultivating opportunities to use altered states of consciousness

for healing and transformation.

       My primary interest is to focus on experiences that represent a useful
       source of data about the human psyche and the nature of reality.
       Particularly those that reveal the existence of the spiritual dimensions of
       existence. I would like to explore the healing, transformative, and
       evolutionary potential of these experiences. (Grof, no date)

       I also align myself with traditional healers and religious traditions around

the world in the understanding that altered states of consciousness are not only

healing and transformative, but also a necessary experience for a healthy, well-

balanced psyche. In most indigenous healing traditions around the world, altered

states of consciousness were used for healing, either by a group, the healer, the

patient, or the healer and the patient. The altered state served to connect with

information not accessible through ordinary consciousness. The information

received, or the experience created—which often involved emotional catharsis

and may have been experienced as a connection to Divine spiritual beings—

served to heal the patient. If altered states of consciousness were not effective for

healing, these traditions would not have continued to use them. It should not be

surprising that the modern altered state researchers have also found altered states




                                              22
of consciousness to have the potential for healing. In these cultures, there were

also group rituals designed to create access to altered states of consciousness for

everyone through music and dance rituals, as well as hot-stone lodges and times

of fasting and praying.

       Looking further into altered states and their healing potential, Leary and

Metzner‘s research description on set and setting (Metzner, 1989) has been

helpful:

       . . . states that the particular contents of psychedelic experiences are a
       function of the individual‘s set (expectation, intention, personality, mood,
       values, attitudes, beliefs) and setting (context, physical and social
       environment, expectations and behavior of others present, especially any
       guide, therapist, healer, or teacher). The drug was said to be a trigger, or
       catalyst, of the change in state of awareness but not to have any content
       per se. (p. 334)

       Understanding that one‘s set (intention, beliefs, attitudes, etc.) as well as

the environment or setting, have an effect on one‘s experience of an altered state

of consciousness is helpful in the exploration of how to use altered states for

healing and transformation. In the effort to understand the process of altered states

of consciousness, it is important to realize that the individual‘s set will determine

a great deal about their experience of the altered state. It is also important to note

that the environment will also have an impact on the effectiveness of the

experience. This is a complex human experience, which I believe has an

enormous ability to heal and transform, so the more we understand about the

experience of altered states, the more effective we can be in creating opportunities

for healing. In my discussion of findings relative to the matrix of musical




                                              23
experience, I explore more extensively the relation of set and setting to the present

research.

        Clearly, there are many influences that have an impact on the altered state

of consciousness and one‘s experience of it. It is important to understand how

music, as part of the setting as well as a possible altered state trigger, affects the

experience of the altered state.



Anthropology

        Anthropology has been the primary field researching the relationship

between music, trance states, and traditional wisdom connected to healing through

music. Through their documentation and cataloguing of many rituals,

anthropologists have furthered the understanding of traditional knowledge. A

primary contribution, related to my research, is the information on the use of

music by traditional healers for entering altered states of consciousness, and the

many forms that this music and these rituals can take. From shamanic drumming

to complex trance possession dances, anthropologists have shown that music does

have a direct relationship to states of consciousness (though the nature of that

relationship may be hotly disputed).

        One of the most important books on the topic of music and altered states

of consciousness is Music and Trance: A Theory of the Relations Between Music

and Possession (Rouget, 1985). Of all the literature reviewed, this book has been

of great assistance in writing this research. Rouget, a French anthropologist who




                                               24
visited various traditions around the world, observed many forms of trance states

and how music triggered and affected them. He attempted to categorize different

forms of trance possession states and the various types of music used in these

situations. Through exhaustive literature reviews and his own observations,

Rouget brought forth two of the theories of music as a trance trigger that I am

reviewing. His work has served as a basis of many other researchers interested in

music and altered states of consciousness (e.g., Aldridge & Fachner, 2006; Becker

2004; Campbell 1991; Moreno 1995;).

       The challenge of the type of research Rouget conducted is summed up in

this quote:

       Music occurs as one of the component parts of those systems, and the role
       it plays varies with the models upon which those systems are structured.
       But, since music is itself a system, its relations with each model are
       equally determined by its own organization . . . How can we try to grasp
       such a constantly shifting reality? (1985, p. 31)

In Rouget‘s attempt to classify and theorize about the relationship of music to

altered states of consciousness, he looked at many varieties of trance

phenomenon. Anthropologists such as Harner (1990), Halifax (1979), Eliade

(1964), Doore (1988), and Walsh (1990) focus either on the more simple forms of

music found in shamanic rituals, often consisting of only a drum and perhaps

voice, or on the more complex trance possession rituals found in Asia, Africa, and

Central/South America, in which a large group of instruments might play

polyphonic rhythms and complex harmonies. Any attempt to categorize these

diverse forms of ritual into one system is difficult. Rouget attempted this difficult




                                             25
task, and other researchers (for example, see Ward, 1989) disagree with many of

his conclusions, such as his classifications of types of trance. Nevertheless, he

brought together two possible ways that music can trigger trance (symbolic and

affective release), which are discussed in the section on music as a trance trigger.

       Along with Rouget (1985), Judith Becker (2004) attempted to understand

the relationship of music and trance states. Becker began with Rouget‘s work and

built on it. As mentioned earlier, one of Rouget‘s primary points is that although

music does not have a physiological impact on triggering trance states, it does

have social/cultural as well as psychological/emotional impacts. Certainly, as

Becker states, ―Every hearer occupies a position in a cultural field not of his or

her own making: Every hearing is situated‖ (2004, p. 69). The work of Rouget

and Becker reminds us of how complex our human experience is, which is true of

our experience of music. It is very difficult to separate out one‘s experience from

the set and setting, the personal as well as cultural expectations of the experience,

from the thing that is being experienced. We can only observe, as both of these

researchers have, and draw the best conclusions available at the time. Here is

where I question some of the conclusions and how we can create a truly cross-

cultural understanding of the relationship of music and trance. In my section on

music as a trigger for altered states of consciousness, I discuss seven ways that I

believe music can indeed trigger trance or altered states of consciousness. I

appreciate the perspectives of cultural conditioning and emotional catharsis

Rouget provided, but I find that music may also have a physiological trigger. My




                                             26
challenge is to open up the possibilities for the use of music as a trigger for altered

states of consciousness. Although Rouget presents compelling arguments that

music does not have a physiological trigger capability, I have found compelling

arguments otherwise, which I will discuss. My primary concern is that since each

human is a unique creation, it is important not to limit our understanding of the

effects of music, even in the area of trance trigger. This will be discussed in more

detail in the following section on music as a trance/altered state trigger.

       Rouget (1985) classified trance states as possession and shamanic, and

added the category of ecstatic states. Trance states contain active expression,

often with amnesia; ecstasy states are quiet and serene. Rouget differentiates

between possession trance and shamanic trance, since they occur and are

expressed in different ways. Possession trance is usually in a group with the

musicians not trancing, but providing the support for the trancers who experience

possession by a spirit or god. Shamanic trance is usually in small group with

primarily the shaman entering trance; it may not include a possessing spirit. ―The

most important difference, however, is that in every case the shaman is the

musicant of his own entry into trance‖ (Rouget, p. 126). It is true in my

experience that the shaman is usually the main one to enter trance, but it is not

true in my experience that the shaman is his own musicant. There are times that

others provide the music in support of the shaman. This is true, for example, in

Lakota lowampi ceremonies in which I have participated. This is just one




                                              27
variation on an infinite number of variations of trance expressions and

experiences.

        Becker (2004) adds another classification of altered or trance states, using

the term deep listeners. Deep listeners are those who become so emotionally

involved in the music that they experience an altered state of consciousness, but

usually do not have the extreme physical expressions that one in a trance state

(according to Rouget) would likely have.

        Both trancing and deep listening are physical, bodily processes, involving
        neural stimulation of specific brain areas that result in outward, visible
        physical reactions such as crying, or rhythmical swaying or horripilation.
        Deep listeners may stop there and remain physically still. (Becker, 2004,
        p. 29)

        These different classifications of altered states—trance, ecstasy, and deep

listeners—each seem to suggest a different relationship with music. Trance almost

always occurs in a group setting, ecstasy and deep listening can occur in solitude,

yet I would say that in these cases the real difference is in the socially expected

expression, and the intent of the participant, as to the expression of the

experience. I believe that one limitation of Rouget‘s and Becker‘s work is that

they look at trance/altered states of consciousness primarily in cultures that have a

tradition of these type rituals.

        Trance experiences are socially constructed and personally experienced
        within a particular religious cosmology which encourages some kinds of
        feelings and some kinds of bodily attitudes, and constrains others. Trance
        processes are embedded within world views, within cosmic systems that
        are enacted by persons in trance. (Becker, 2004, p. 27)




                                              28
        What Rouget and Becker see as socially conditioned forms of entering

trance, I see as socially conditioned forms of expressing trance. It is my belief,

and experience, that altered or trance states through music can occur, whether one

is in a culture which acknowledges and encourages trance states, or not. It is

primarily the expression of the trance state that is culturally determined, not just

the entry or the expected type of music. It is possible that it is more difficult to

understand trance/altered states in the industrialized West, not because it does not

occur, but because people are less likely to talk about their experiences. I can

speak from my personal experience and say that I have experienced music as a

trigger for altered states in many different ways. There have been times that I

entered altered states in a socially expected way doing transformative rituals, and

I have spontaneously entered an altered state by listening to a classical concert in

a major concert hall without any social conditioning.

        Rouget (1985) and Becker (2004) do offer important information on the

cultural/social importance of trance ritual. Yet, as a psychologist and a participant

in trance/altered state of consciousness work, I can provide different perspectives

on their observations. I am indebted to all the anthropologists who depathologized

trance states and sought a greater understanding of this phenomenon. It is the

groundbreaking work of such anthropologists that has opened the field of music

and trance to be analyzed from a psychological perspective.




                                               29
Spiritual Traditions

       Music, the word we use in our everyday language, is nothing less than the

       picture of the Beloved (Khan, p. 2, 1996).

       The experience of music and altered states of consciousness is most

vividly found in the teachings of many spiritual traditions. Recorded history

shows that music has been an integral part of worship and/or form of connection

to the Divine.

       Throughout history, we have used music in all forms of worship to set a
       reverent mood and a mental state open to the influence of deity. Though
       highly organized and regular, music moves us into the transcendent,
       transpersonal state. (Crowe, cited in Campbell, 1991, p. 114)

There are many beliefs about the characteristics of music that make music ideal

for use in spiritual rituals. Some of these beliefs are shared by many traditions,

and may be expressed in the interviews I will be analyzing for this dissertation.

Some of these characteristics are: music as a meditative aid, music as the creative

force or source, music as an aid for union with the divine, music to call certain

spirits or ancestors, and music as the keeper of universal order. I will briefly look

at each of these characteristics and how it may apply to the present research.

       One way that music is used in spiritual rituals is as an aid to meditation.

We find this in the mantras of the Buddhists and Hindus, in the prayer chants of

the Jewish, and the chants of the Christian monks and priests. These chants, and

many others, are different from songs in that they are usually sung in a monotone




                                              30
voice with little variation of pitch. Certainly, there are many traditions and

meditative rituals that do not use music as an aid but,

       Those who attain to that perfect peace which is called nirvana, or in the
       language of the Hindus samadhi, do so more easily through music.
       Therefore the Sufis, especially those of the Chishti school of ancient
       times, have taken music as a source of their meditation and by meditating
       thus they derive much more benefit from it than those who meditate
       without the help of music. (Khan, 1996, p. 6)

       Another characteristic of music that one might experience when one is

participating in a spiritual ritual—which usually includes an altered state of

consciousness—is the ability of music to facilitate the experience of union with

the Divine. Some compare music to a ladder or stairway reaching to the heavens,

or as an opening through which the divine can appear. One way I experience this

characteristic of music is that the veils between the Divine and me are parted

through spiritual songs. Another example of this experience comes from the

Kabbalistic tradition:

       One must say it is that of song. This singing was a great and awesome
       matter, ‗a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty‘ [Isa. 28:5]. By means of
       the melodic song, both vocal and instrumental, the soul is awakened and
       the Holy Spirit shines within it and it is elevated, understanding things far
       more sublime than it had understood beforehand. This praiseworthy song
       is the sound emanating from the musicians‘ mouth in awe, reverence, and
       holiness, rising and falling, extending and shortening as if it were
       emanating from the song of the heavenly angels. (Idel, 1988, p. 59)

       Music has another power within spiritual rituals that is found in the

literature of many traditions—the ability of certain songs to call specific spirit

beings. This is true in Santo Daime, where a song might be received to call a

specific being, such as a particular Saint, the Virgin Mary, Jesus, or any of the




                                              31
orixa that are connected to the Daime works (Polari de Alverga, 1999). When a

song is sung to call upon the Virgin Mary, it is believed that she will appear to

believers who are seeking her. Similarly, a shaman might call a particular power

animal with its special song. In Zimbabwe this is found with the use of a

particular type of mbira played in a specific way to call the ancestors of a village

for help (Berliner, 1978). This characteristic of music could have an impact on the

experience of an altered state of consciousness by opening a relationship to a

particular spiritual being for the participant to interact with during their ritual.

        Stories of how the universe was created by sound or by a song can be

found all over the world. Among these stories are the mantra om, from which all

things emanated (uttered by Vac in the Rg Veda), and the Biblical role of creation,

―God said . . . and it was.‖ Many traditions honor music and sound as the source

of creation as well as the force of creation.

        Music reaches farther than any other impression from the external world
        can reach. The beauty of music is that it is the source of creation and the
        means of absorbing it. In other words, by music the world was created,
        and it is again through music that the world is withdrawn into the source
        that has created it. (Khan, 1996, p. 5)

        Related to the power of music to create is the power of music to maintain

universal order. This belief is found in several traditions (including some

indigenous cultures) and is the foundational teaching for Hinduism and Buddhism

through the Vedic scriptures. The understanding is that it is the responsibility of

the people, priests, or shaman to regularly sing or play certain songs which help

the sun rise, the rains fall, and the stars keep their course in the sky. In the ancient




                                                32
Veda texts there are certain hymns for this purpose that the priests were

responsible for reciting. ―Recitation of hymns were thought to contribute to the

task of maintaining universal order and keeping the powers of nature operative‖

(Collins, 1982, p. 41).


Music as a Trigger for Trance/Altered States of Consciousness

        Throughout this dissertation, the focus is on the experience of music

during an altered state of consciousness. In this section I would like to review

another aspect of the relationship between music and altered states of

consciousness: the capacity of music to trigger an altered state. It is not clear how

much effect music‘s ability to trigger altered states of consciousness has on the

experience of music during the altered state. I feel it is important to include this

information because, as the interviews are analyzed, the experience of music

facilitating or triggering an altered state is likely. It is also important to include

this information because I have not found a clear, concise outline of the many

ways music can trigger a trance or altered state of consciousness in any of my

sources, and I feel this information is a key to understanding the relationship

between music and altered states, and to being able to use music therapeutically.

        This section brings together information from anthropology, psychology,

philosophy, and medicine. Through my research and integration of these many

disciplines, I have classified seven possible ways that music can trigger trance

states. There may be a multitude of ways music can trigger an altered state, but

these seven trigger processes seem primary. Some of the ways that music may


                                               33
trigger trance states are primarily physiological and others are psychological or

cultural. Though Becker (2004) supports music as a social/cultural trigger, she

also states,

        The long-standing argument between trance as basically physiological or
        as culturally constructed is based on the idea that it is possible to separate
        minds from bodies, psychology from physiology, ―nature from nurture‖-
        all dichotomies that are becoming increasingly irrelevant. It is undeniable
        that strong rhythms and drum timbres have a direct impact on our bodies
        as physical organisms. There is no necessity to insist on the primacy of
        any one of the senses of embodiment over the others. (p. 37)

        It is my intention to place primary emphasis on any particular process by

which music may trigger a trance or altered state. The intention is to show how,

through these various processes, the experience of music as a trigger for altered

states is truly a complex process with many possibilities. In traditional cultures,

one may find that several of these triggers are present in a particular ritual. I do

not show that one trigger has preference over another in its ability to produce an

altered state of consciousness. This is simply a list of possible ways,

psychological, cultural and physiological, to trigger a trance or altered state

through music that I have compiled from many sources.



        Shamanic drumming.

        Shamanic drumming is the primary form of trance induction discussed in

literature concerning music and altered states of consciousness. I use the phrase

shamanic drumming to refer to strong repetitive rhythms, often used in traditional




                                              34
healing rituals in which the healer enters an altered state and then performs the

healing.

         Central to the shaman‘s task of entering the state of altered consciousness
         that is crucial to the healing process is the use of rhythmically hypnotic
         and repetitive supportive music, most typically in the form of rhythmic
         drumming. (Moreno, cited in Campbell, 1991, p. 173)

Examples of the use of shamanic drumming as a trance trigger can be found in the

works of Harner (1980), Doore (1988), Halifax (1979), Eliade (1964) and many

others in both anthropology and psychology. It is interesting to note that shamanic

drumming has been shown to alter brain wave and heartbeat patterns.

         Neher‘s (1962) subjects indicated that the typical tempo of tribal
         drumming, replicated in the experimental setting, was close to the basic
         rhythm of alpha wave production (8-13 cycles per second). Additionally,
         the drumming produced an auditory driving of the alpha waves leading to
         a trance-like state in the subjects. (Moreno, cited in Campbell, 1991, p.
         174)

         Though there is research showing that repetitive drumming can alter brain

wave patterns and heart rates, there is no set formula to create an ideal brain wave

pattern to enter an altered state of consciousness.

         These cited studies of the 1970s…did not seem to contain conclusive data
         about the ability of external rhythms to entrain internal rhythms. An
         external rhythm of 60 beats per minute should reduce the heart rate and a
         much faster rhythm should raise it, but the change was not always directly
         proportional (Goldman cited in Campbell, 1991, p. 222)

So, it seems that repetitive rhythms can trigger trance states through an influence

on internal body rhythms, but that the effects vary by the individual. Another

possible process that occurs with drumming is described by Moreno (in Campbell,

1991).




                                              35
       The hypnotically repetitive rhythmic music can be seen as a sedation of
       the left hemisphere of the shaman‘s brain. The hemisphere that might
       otherwise be concerned with distractions of ‗ordinary reality‘. This
       sedation then liberates the right hemisphere of the brain to travel to the
       spirit world, a journey that is integral to the healing process. In more
       poetic shamanic terms, the drum is seen as the shaman‘s horse that allows
       him or her to fly to the sky to encounter the world of the spirits. (p. 175)

However the process of drumming affects the body and mind, the use of repetitive

rhythm is the most common use of music to induce trance states cross-culturally.



       White noise.

       White noise is a fuzzy or buzzing sound that is present in all music to

some degree, with the exception of digitally mastered music. All non-electronic

instruments create some white noise, which leads to the experience of tone as

having warmth or color. I am separating white noise from drumming as a trigger

for altered states of consciousness because I believe the processes are different.

Repetitive rhythms are effective at triggering altered states, but drums, as well as

other common rhythmic instruments such as rattles, create white noise as the

rhythms are played. Many traditions use rattles as a primary trance-inducing

instrument. The Santo Daime Church uses maracas (rattles made with tin cans) in

work with spirit beings. In Zimbabwe, the mbira or thumb piano is used to

communicate with spirits, but it is necessary that the mbira used in spiritual work

have beads and jangles attached to create a loud buzzing noise (Berliner, 1978;

Turino, 1997).




                                             36
       As many of us have experienced when our televisions have lost the signal,

white noise is enveloping and tends to overwhelm the conscious, rational mind.

The white noise used in ceremony could be a way to overwhelm the busy,

conscious mind and to allow intense focus on the spiritual world. ―The

consciousness-altering effects of intensive sensory stimulation by rhythmic

drumming and rattling appear to be operant in the Gourd Dance, as in other

Amerindian ceremonial‖ (Jilek, cited in Ward, 1989). In my experience, it is

consciousness altering to have a rattle vigorously shaking near me. I have

experienced intense rattle noise in Native American ceremony that was a

powerful trance trigger.



       Beat frequencies.

       Beat frequencies are created when two notes that are closely related,

approximately one-half to one-quarter step apart, are sounded. It is the sound that

occurs when one note seems slightly out of tune with another, creating a wah-

wah-wah sound.

       The phenomenon is this: If you use two independent sound sources, for
       example a tuning fork of 100 cycles per second and another of 108 cycles
       per second, they produce a tone that waxes and wanes in a pulsing wah-
       wah-wah sound or beat. The rapidity of the beat equals the difference
       between the two frequencies…The entrainment or frequency following
       response did not take place only in the area of the brain responsible for
       hearing…the entire brain resonated, the waveforms of both hemispheres
       becoming identical in frequency, amplitude, phase and coherence.
       (Goldman, cited in Campbell, 1991, pp. 223-224)




                                            37
Beat frequencies seem to have a powerful effect on the brain wave pattern. This

phenomenon is very interesting when one looks at traditional music, especially

those cultures who regularly participate in trance rituals. At this point I need to

show the significance of brain wave patterns and states of consciousness.

       Our brain waves pulsate and oscillate at particular frequencies that can be
       measured, just like sound waves, in cycles per second. There are four
       basic delineations of different brain wave states, based upon the cycles per
       second of the brain. They are:
               Beta waves-from 14 to 20 hz. They are found in our normal
       waking state of consciousness. Beta waves are present when our focus of
       attention is on activities of the external world.
               Alpha waves-from 8-13 hz. They occur when we daydream and are
       often associated with a state of meditation. Alpha waves become stronger
       and more regular when our eyes are closed.
               Theta waves-from 4 to 7 hz. They are found in states of high
       creativity and have been equated to states of consciousness found in much
       shamanic work. Theta waves also occur in state of deep meditation and
       sleep.
               Delta waves-from .5 to 3 hz. They occur in states of deep sleep or
       unconsciousness. Some of the newer brain wave work indicates that a state
       of deep meditation produces Delta waves. (Goldman in Campbell, 1991,
       pp. 220-221)

       In the Balinese gamelan or orchestra, for example, the primary instruments

are drums, flute, and a type of xylophone. Each of the xylophone type instruments

has its partner or pair, one representing the feminine and one the masculine. What

is fascinating is that these pairs are tuned slightly differently, about one-quarter or

one-half step apart. I have a gendar, which is a smaller xylophone instrument in

the gamelan. Its range is approximately from d above middle c and goes for two

octaves. In this case, for example, a above middle c has a hertz of 440 beats per

second, the b flat one-half step above has a hz of 466 bps, which would create a

beat frequency of 26hz. If the quarter-step above a 440 was played, the beat


                                              38
frequency would be 13hz. This 13 hz. beat frequency would have the capability to

entrain the brain into an alpha state that is associated with meditation. If the

octave below, a 220 hz. was played with the b double flat (not in our Western

scale but is a musical note) which is one-quarter step above, the beat frequency

would be 6.5. The 6.5 frequency would entrain the brain into the theta state,

which is connected to deep meditation and trance states. According to Aldridge

and Fachner (2006), both alpha and theta brain waves are necessary for trance

states. Since the human ear cannot hear these low beat frequencies, creating them

from the dissonance of the instruments, which can be heard, is the best way to

make them available.

       This ―out of tune‖ phenomenon is found in every culture that uses trance

states in their rituals. Even in the United States where people are trained in music,

this occurs. In Pentecostal Churches where members regularly seek trance states,

there are always one or two strong voices that are ―out of tune.‖ Even in shamanic

drumming, if more than one drum is being played, the drums are never tuned to

the same pitch, creating the possibility of beat frequencies from the drums. To the

musically trained Western ear, it seems that most traditional music is sung or

played ―out of tune,‖ but with the understanding of beat frequencies, one can

understand that this music is ideal for creating trance states.




                                              39
       Symbolic entrainment.

       This theory became clear to me after reading an article ―Mask as Symbol‖

by Laughlin (1990) in Brain, Symbol and Experience. When a particular piece or

style of music is believed to trigger trance or altered states within a culture or

social institution, the music comes to symbolize the expected trance state. Since

reading this article, I have come across this theory in other writings.

       Or, music can be seen as one of a variety of critical and culturally-
       conditioned prompts (such as related elements of dance and drama) in
       rituals in which both shaman and patient are willing participants
       subscribing to a socialized belief system (Rouget, 1985). This belief
       system predisposes the shamans to enter the trance state, in response to
       specific music stimuli that are played at certain times and, under culturally
       determined conditions, shamanic music associated with certain spirits can
       direct the content of the shaman‘s ‗imagery of these entities‘. (Moreno,
       1985, p. 329)

Thus, whenever the symbolic music is played, some will experience the socially

expected trance state.



       Intense affective release.

       The category of intensive affective release is based on anthropologist

Gilbert Rouget‘s research (1985) in the field of anthropology and Christopher

Bollas‘s (1987) theory of transformational objects in the field of object relations

psychology. As a transformational object, music can create intense affective

release:

       In adult life, therefore, to seek the transformational object is to recollect an
       early object experience, to remember not cognitively but existentially-
       through intense affective experience- a relationship which was identified
       with cumulative transformational experiences of the self. Its intensity as


                                              40
       an object relation is not due to the fact that this is an object of desire but to
       the object being identified with such powerful metamorphoses of being. In
       the aesthetic moment the subject briefly re-experiences, through ego
       fusion with the aesthetic object, a sense of subjective attitude towards the
       transformational object. (Bollas, 1987, p. 17)

This means that music, as an aesthetic moment, can trigger intense emotions

related to the earliest ego experiences of transformation of the developing self.

This can create a sense of the profound transformation and intensity of experience

for the adult, creating an alteration of consciousness. This is the psychoanalytic

version of what Rouget (1985) observed in his research on music and trance states

with many different groups. He noticed that in trance rituals, the music usually

began gradually, then increased in intensity as the participants became

emotionally aroused. The acceleration of the music often served to intensify the

emotions, which triggered a trance state.


       Resonance entrainment.

       The theory of resonance entrainment is based on the work of Bentov

(Stalking the Wild Pendulum, 1988). This theory says that when a group of people

are together, their brains begin to entrain to one another.

       The rhythmic aspects of human behavior are so powerful that entrainment
       is possible. Entrainment occurs when two or more persons become attuned
       to the same rhythm…Human entrainment has been demonstrated
       experimentally when two people in conversation produced brain wave
       tracings so identical as to appear to have emanated from the same person.
       (Davis, 1982; Mantague and Matson, 1979). Entrainment may also be
       operating in riots and other large crowd behaviors. Musical entrainment
       probably occurs at nearly any concert, but is particularly evident in overt
       audience behaviors, such as at rock concerts and dances. (Hodges, 1996, p.
       510)




                                              41
In other words, a group of people can be affected by the vibration of the music

and the vibration of the energy from each other, in the same way that a room full

of pendulum clocks will all begin to swing together in synchronized time.




       The physiological effect of repetitive rhythms on the inner ear.

       This theory was developed by Alfred Tomatis (1991), a respected ear

doctor; the theory says that fluid in the inner ear begins to move back and forth in

response to sound. This creates a similar experience to being in an elevator and

feeling a little light-headed with the movement (Campbell, 1991). The repetitive

rhythms that continually assault the inner ear cause the fluid to move in a way that

simulates the experience of the movement of an elevator, though over an extended

period of time. This creates the experience of disorientation, which may lead to an

altered state of consciousness.

       After reviewing the seven primary ways that music may trigger altered

states of consciousness, I wish to add some personal observations. Having

participated in many trance rituals, including Pentecostal Churches in the United

States, Native American rituals, New Age rituals, and many others, as well as my

study of music from around the world, I have a few conclusions of my own. I

have noticed that in many cases, though not always, trance occurs in a socially

expected environment, and with music that would easily create beat frequencies.

Music that rich in beat frequencies would include most traditional music that

seems a little ―out of tune‖ because of the way it is played or sung. Also,


                                             42
instruments with a very resonant timbre, that contain many overtones and

undertones, are also likely to create beat frequencies through those over- and

undertones. Like Rouget, who spent his life studying this phenomenon, I am

aware that there is no one answer for the myriad of experiences included under

the topic of trance and music. The complexity of each individual, with varying

sets and settings, are major determinants as to what type of music would be most

effective as a trigger for altered states of consciousness. This section on music as

a trance trigger is designed to bring awareness as to possible ways music can

facilitate an altered state of consciousness, in hopes that this information can be

used to more effectively create therapeutic altered states of consciousness.




                                             43
                              Chapter 3: Methodology


Description of the Population Interviewed

         The two groups of people I have chosen to explore, with their use of music

in rituals along with altered states of consciousness, are the Santo Daime Church

of Brazil and the Holotropic Breathwork groups in the United States. By choosing

two very different groups, I hope to gain a broader and less culturally dependent

view of how music affects the experience of the altered state. Neither the Santo

Daime nor the Holotropic Breathwork people are dependent upon music as the

primary trigger of the altered state, but both traditions hold the view that the

music is an essential part of the experience. Here I will describe in more detail the

rationale of my choices and explain what each group is and what they do.



         Santo Daime Church.

         The Santo Daime is a syncretic church that combines Christianity with the

influence of Brazilian indigenous traditions and West African traditions. The

church service consists of a group of people, usually seated on six sides with the

men and women separate, and a small group of musicians seated at an altar or

table in the center. The ritual is called ―a work,‖ which is how it is often

experienced. The ritual work is an opportunity for those present to participate in

spiritual work that brings healing for the individual, the community, and the

world.




                                              44
       The people say prayers and then drink the sacrament they call the Daime,

which is an entheogenic tea otherwise known as ayahuasca or yage. The term

entheogenic signifies a plant substance that can create the experience of god

within. The term hallucinogenic can also be used, but I prefer the term

entheogenic, especially since in the Santo Daime Church, the intention is to

connect with Spirit/God. During the Santo Daime work, hymns are sung and the

people either sit or dance in lines while singing, depending upon the type of ritual

work that is being done. These works can last for eight or more hours, during

which several sacraments of the Daime may be ingested. The entheogenic

qualities of the Daime or ayahuasca, provide the Fardados (the term used for

church members) with visions and experiences that can bring healing and insight

(Polari de Alverga 1999; Richman 1990).

       The music plays a central role in the work, and church members have

many beliefs about the music. The Santo Daime has a rich heritage of music or

hymns. These hymns number in the thousands now and are considered the

property of the church. These hymns are not composed in the way of Western

music, but are received by the participant through a miracao or vision. The church

believes that all the hymns exist on the astral plane, which is a higher spiritual

dimension, and that a participant can receive the hymn as a part of a dialogue with

the Divine. In this way, even illiterate people who are non-musicians can bring

forth a Daime hymn. The hymns contain the theology and beliefs of the church

and are the teachings of the Divine beings who are connected to the lineage of the




                                              45
Santo Daime. As the hymns change, the church‘s teachings change to reflect

changing times. There are hymns being received in many different countries and

languages, but they all are the teachings of the church. It is believed that each

hymn has its own spirit and can also call on various spiritual beings to be present

for the work (Polari de Alverga, 1999). I intend to explore the role of music in

relationship to Spirit and how the music affects the experience of the work for the

Fardado.

       In understanding the Santo Daime participants or Fardados and their

experience of the music, it is helpful to understand the people of the Amazon

Basin and their spiritual beliefs. The Santo Daime Church began as a vision

received by a black man who was harvesting rubber in the forests. Mestre Irineu

was introduced to ayahuasca by the indigenous people of the Amazon. There he

received visions of the Virgin Mary, who appeared as the Queen of the Forest; he

was led to found a syncretic church based on the use of the sacrament ayahuasca

or Daime. In time, Mestre Irineu gained followers, and the Santo Daime Church

became an offspring of these humble beginnings. The beliefs of the indigenous

people of the forest blended with the Catholic and West African background of

Mestre Irineu. In the West African and Amazonian traditions, all of creation is

imbued with Spirit. There are spirit beings all around us and in relationship with

us, though we may not always be aware of them. Psychology and healing are

experienced in terms of spiritual healing through the relationship with Spirit.

Altered states of consciousness are experienced as spiritual, rather than




                                             46
psychological, states or experiences. It is important to understand that the context

of the experiences of the Fardados will be in relationship to Spirit and spiritual

beliefs.

           Though many of the people interviewed for this research are not originally

from the Amazon forest, they are now living in the Santo Daime community of

Ceu do Mapia, which is deep in the forest. The participants have chosen to adopt

this spiritual lifestyle and belief system. This belief system, which centers on

Spirit (not psychology), is expressed in the interviews about their experience of

music in altered states of consciousness.



           Holotropic breathwork.

           Holotropic Breathwork participants form the other group that I have

chosen to interview. The Santo Daime participants come from a spiritual

background, and the Breathwork participants come from a very eclectic

background with a variety of belief systems. The Breathwork participants are

from the United States and are a part of modern, Western culture. The language

used by Holotropic Breathwork participants reflects a grounding influenced by

popular psychology, more than a grounding in spiritual traditions.

           Holotropic Breathwork was developed by Stanislav and Christina Grof in

the United States. Stan Grof had previously worked with LSD therapies and was

interested in how to use altered states of consciousness to access deep states of

healing in his work as a psychiatrist. After the use of LSD and other psychedelic




                                               47
drugs became strictly regulated in the United States, Stan and Christina developed

a process in which deep regular breathing combined with music triggers an altered

state of consciousness and helps people access the healing and information

available through that experience (Grof, 1985). In these sessions, participants lie

down on the floor, each accompanied by a sitter to provide any assistance needed

during the session. (The sitter usually participates as a breather in the next

session.) The participants then begin a deep regular breathing pattern and

evocative music is played. The participants will usually enter an altered state of

consciousness and work on whatever personal healing they wish to explore. The

term used for this type of therapeutic process is designed to refer to a specific

experience.

       I have coined for them the name Holotropic. This composite word literally
       means ‗oriented towards wholeness‘ or ‗moving in the direction of
       wholeness‘ (from the Greek holos = whole and trepein = moving toward
       or in the direction of something). (Grof, no date, p. 2)

       There are three primary sections of the Breathwork session: Fire, Struggle

and Heart. The session begins with the Fire section. The music used in the Fire

section is usually very rhythmic. It often evokes images of primitive rituals that

contain high energy drumming. The music in the Fire section is often

polyrhythmic, which means there are several rhythms being played at once. This

music can be experienced as rhythmically intense. The Struggle section contains

music that often evokes images of some sort of struggle such as military style

music. This music may be rhythmically intense as well, but usually includes more

harmony and melody. The Struggle music will usually contain a lot of harmonic


                                              48
dissonance, which can be experienced as uncomfortable to the listener. The Heart

section is at the end of the Holotropic session. It is characterized by calm, smooth

melodies. The rhythm is slower and is not a strong part of the music. Instead, the

listener is soothed by the beautiful melodies, which often evoke images of angels

or the sacred.

       The use of the music in Holotropic Breathwork is essential and facilitators

of these groups work, through trial and error, and sharing this information with

each other, to find types of music they feel will be most conducive to the altered

state and the experience of healing. In the Breathwork, the participants are

receiving the music, not actively creating it. The music is on compact discs and is

timed to create a flow of experience through each section.

       For both of these groups, the music is a central part of the ritual. In the

Santo Daime, the altered state is triggered by the Daime or the ayahuasca, but the

music is believed to guide and influence the experience. In Holotropic

Breathwork as well, the music is not the primary trigger of the altered state (the

deep regular breathing would be considered the primary trigger), but music is

essential in directing, facilitating, and guiding the experience. In the Santo Daime,

the participants are actively creating the music through singing and playing

instruments. As discussed, the Breathwork participants are receiving,

experiencing in the listening mode, the music in a relaxed environment. For all

these reasons, I feel that these two groups of people will be ideal in understanding




                                             49
the experience of music in altered states of consciousness from a cross-cultural

perspective as well as from a participating/receiving perspective.


Data Collection

       To acquire descriptions of others‘ experience of music in altered states of

consciousness I chose to focus on these two groups—the Santo Daime Church

and Holotropic Breathwork groups. This will provide a cross-cultural perspective

of the experience of music in altered states of consciousness. With most

phenomenological research, ten participants are required.

       I traveled to Ceu do Mapia in Brazil, which is the central community of

the Santo Daime Church. While there, I gathered ten interviews (though five were

chosen for this research, based on understandability of the tapes by my translator)

on the experience of music during the Santo Daime work. I had previously met a

woman who lives in this community, and I was able to stay in her home during

my visit. Since she is the head of the school in the community, I asked her to help

me find a variety of people who were willing to participate in this research. The

participants represent a diverse group within the community, and a few visitors

from other countries. The participants represent a wide range of ages, though all

are adults. They are all Fardados or members of the church and have experienced

music during an altered state of consciousness.

       I chose the participants from the Holotropic Breathwork groups in a

similar manner to the Santo Daime. I asked a friend who is connected to these

groups to recommend ten people to participate in this research, from which I


                                            50
chose five to interview based on the participant‘s willingness and availability.

Even though age, gender and occupation are not essential variables in this

research, I desire to have a variety of people to describe their experience from

their unique perspective. Therefore, I have a mix regarding gender, age and

occupation in my choice of participants from Holotropic Breathwork.

        There were many variables to consider when planning to gather data in

Brazil from those in Ceu do Mapia. The unknown literacy rate was a major factor,

as well as the political and legal standing of the use of ayahuasca in the United

States and in Brazil. To accommodate participants with unknown literacy rates,

the obvious solution was to do only taped interviews on the experience of music

during a Santo Daime Work. Giorgi (1985) recommends collecting written

descriptions of the phenomenon and then doing follow-up interviews for

clarification. Yet,

        Giorgi (1971) strongly emphasizes that any research method must arise
        out of trying to be responsive to the phenomenon. No method (including
        this one) can be arbitrarily imposed on a phenomenon since that would do
        a great injustice to the integrity of that phenomenon. (Hycner, 1985, p.
        280)

        In this case, my participants required flexibility in gathering data. With the

permission of the participant and the assistance of a translator, I interviewed in

whatever location was comfortable for the participant. This was sometimes in

their home, at the church, in the School, or even just sitting under a tree and

talking. I only asked the question about their experience and then listened and

taped. Any other question that I might have asked would only be if they wished to




                                              51
say more, or to answer any direct question about my research. My limited time

there (one month) made follow-up interviews difficult if not impossible.

Unfortunately, I could not call these participants up and arrange to meet later for a

follow-up interview. I must rely on the data gathered in the original interview.

With my conversational Portuguese and the help of others who spoke some

English, I felt confident that each participant was allowed to express what they

wish to share about their experience.

       In keeping with the protocol already established, I did one taped interview

per participant in the Holotropic Breathwork groups. This allowed for consistency

in data gathering methods. I realize that with the Holotropic participants, I could

gather a written description and then do a follow-up interview, but I chose to use

the established protocol for consistency.

       The interviews of the participants for the Santo Daime Church occurred

most often in the person‘s home, but always in a place chosen by the participant. I

allowed the same choice to the Holotropic participants. I contacted those

recommended and those who agreed to participate and allowed them to choose a

place to meet for the interview. Most often this was in a home, but the interviews

also took place in offices and coffee shops.

       I briefly mentioned one concern about the unclear legal status with the use

of ayahuasca and that it could create special considerations for my research. This

issue arose most relevantly in the consent process. Since the consent form is

customarily written and is signed by the participant, it leaves identifying




                                               52
information as to who participated in this research from the Santo Daime Church.

Therefore, I collected oral consent for two reasons. First, I was not sure if every

participant in the village would be able to read and write. Secondly, I felt that

there should be no identifying information available in this research because of

the unclear legal status of the use of ayahuasca in the United States (even though

it is legal in Brazil). By relying on oral consent, there is no direct connection to

any participants. In this way, should there be any change in the legal status of the

use of ayahuasca in Brazil, there could be no way to connect my research with

any particular member of the church. Therefore, I have no official record of

consent from the participants which might provide identifying information. I read

the consent form in Portuguese and a written copy was provided to those who

wished.

       For those participants from Holotropic Breathwork groups in the United

States, the consent process does not face such legal or literacy issues. The

participants were provided with a written consent form that they were required to

sign. The consent form will be similar to the one for the Santo Daime, and both

are included in the HRRC section of the appendix. The written consent forms are

kept separate from the interview tapes and every effort is made to keep

identifying information from the taped interview. The signed consent forms are

stored in a safe location and the tapes are in a different safe location to maintain

confidentiality.




                                              53
Data Analysis Procedure

       I have chosen to approach this research through phenomenological

investigation as a way to begin to understand the subjective experience of music

in altered states of consciousness. There are those who record brain waves and

heart rates of subjects that are listening to music to measure physiological changes

(Hodges, 1996), but I am interested in the quality of one‘s experience of music in

an altered state of consciousness. I am seeking to give voice to the subjective

aspects of human experience, and what meaning is given to this experience by the

participant. This type of information, though difficult to quantify and categorize,

can bring depth and richness to our understanding of the impact of music on us.

       With the exception of a few studies, research on physiological responses
       to music stops short of actually examining interrelationships between the
       two types of behavior (physiological and psychological) hence providing
       little insight regarding affective responses to music. (Boyle & Radocy,
       1979, p. 191)

Not only is the literature limited in providing insight into affective responses to

music, but it is also limited in exploring our experience of the music, especially in

an altered state of consciousness.

       I know of no better method to approach understanding human experience

in a systematic way than through the phenomenological research method of

imaginative variation as described by Giorgi (1985). To use traditional forms of

psychological research (i.e., quantitative or even surveys) in understanding the

experience of others can distance the researcher from experience. I believe that




                                             54
the original experience can be known and understood through an interview that

asks for a description of the participant‘s experience. This implies that a subject

knows his or her experience, and I am willing to trust that one knows, in essence,

what they originally experienced, even while in an altered state of consciousness.

       One of the first criticisms that is often raised is that interviewing a
       participant about a phenomenon elicits a retrospective viewpoint…I would
       argue that any description of an experience is already different from the
       experience itself. Language, by its nature can enhance or distill an
       experience…The best we can do through the medium of language is to be
       one step removed from the original experience...Finally, it should be
       obvious that for research purposes, if we want relatively verbal
       descriptions of experience, that we will primarily have to rely on a
       retrospective viewpoint. ( Hycner, 1985, p. 296)

Phenomenological research creates a solution to understanding subjective

behavior as rigorously as possible.

       Once the interviews were gathered, the analysis of the data began. Richard

Hycner (1985) has published some helpful guidelines for data analysis in

phenomenological research. These guidelines follow Giorgi‘s (1985) imaginative

variation technique, which will be used in this research. For this description of my

data analysis technique I will draw from both of these texts.

       According to Giorgi (1985) there are four essential steps in data analysis:

       (1) One reads the entire description in order to get a general sense of the
       whole statement. (2) Once the sense of the whole has been grasped, the
       researcher goes back to the beginning and reads through the text once
       more with the specific aim of discriminating ‗meaning units‘ from within
       a psychological perspective…(3) Once ‗meaning units‘ have been
       delineated, the researcher then goes through all of the meaning units and
       expresses the psychological insight contained in them more directly…(4)
       Finally, the researcher synthesizes all of the transformed meaning units
       into a consistent statement regarding the subject‘s experience. (p. 10)




                                             55
I will review each of these four steps and add two steps necessary to bring many

interviews together into a general structure, to provide further insight into these

based on Hycner‘s (1985) work.



       #1: Read entire description to get general sense of the whole.

       This step is the obvious beginning, but leaves out a necessary earlier step

in my research, which is to transcribe the interview tapes. I hired a Brazilian

student at a local university to transcribe and translate my tapes from Brazil.

Using a native speaker to do the translation ensures a faithful representation of the

interview. For the transcriptions of the Holotropic Breathwork interviews, I did

not require a translator, but hired a person to do the transcriptions.

       Once the interview tapes were transcribed, I read each description to get

the general sense of the whole. I also re-listened to the interview tapes to capture

any non-linguistic cues such as sighs, laughs, and pauses that may have been

omitted from the transcription.

       Hycner (1985) expresses that to truly get a sense of the interview, the

researcher must bracket presuppositions and attempt to enter into the world of the

participant.

       It means suspending (bracketing) as much as possible the researcher‘s
       meanings and interpretations and entering into the world of the unique
       individual who was interviewed. It means using the matrices of that
       person‘s world-view in order to understand the meaning of what that
       person is saying, rather than what the researcher expects that person to
       say. (p. 281)




                                              56
       The month I lived in the Santo Daime Church community in Ceu do

Mapia consisted primarily of time spent working in the community, getting to

know the people, and participating in the works. This time was designed to assist

me in getting a sense of the worldview of the participants there. My participation

in the community also allowed those in the village to know me; this promoted a

trusting relationship which was important in obtaining these interviews.



       #2: Discrimination of meaning units within a psychological perspective

and focused on the phenomenon being researched.

       This stage involved separating the interview into meaning units consisting

of words that express one idea. For instance, throughout the interview there are

changes in the themes expressed. This change in theme often occured at the end

of a sentence, but this is not necessarily the case. It can be difficult to know when

the theme has changed and to know what the meaning unit includes. Hycner

(1985) defines a ―meaning unit‖ as,

       a unit of general meaning as those words, phrases, non-verbal or para-
       linguistic communications which express a unique and coherent meaning
       (irrespective of the research question) clearly differentiated from that
       which precedes and follows. (p. 282)

Hycner also emphasizes the importance of non-verbal cues, which need to be

included as a part of the meaning unit discrimination process. Giorgi (1985) refers

to meaning units as ―constituents‖ and clarifies that these constituents are context-

laden, or are to be understood for what they provide to and within the context of




                                             57
the whole. The complete interview is divided into these meaning units. These

meaning units are worked with individually in the next stage.



         #3: Transformation of the subject’s everyday expressions into

psychological language with emphasis on the phenomenon being investigated.

         During this step the researcher takes the meaning unit and through a

process of reflection and imaginative variation transforms the meaning unit into

the essence expressed in psychological language.

         Once the units of general meaning have been noted, the researcher is ready
         to address the research question to them. In other words, the researcher
         addresses the research question to the units of general meaning to
         determine whether what the participant has said responds to and
         illuminates the research question. (Hycner, 1985. p. 284)

         To find what is essential in relationship to the research question, one uses

imaginative variation. This involves imagining the wording of the meaning unit

being changed and asking does this change affect what is being expressed in

relationship to the research question. For example, if I were researching the

experience of rain and the participant stated that she walked in the rain with her

black umbrella, I would ask if the umbrella were essential to her experience, and

it probably would be, but is the color black essential? Depending upon the

context, the color of the umbrella may not be essential; the experience of rain

could be the same if the umbrella was green. This means that the color of the

umbrella may not be essential and may be excluded from the description at this

point.




                                              58
       During this step, the description is transformed into psychological

language, keeping what is felt to be essential to the experience being researched.

Then redundancies are noted, but the extras are eliminated as well. This process

may require repeating until the researcher is satisfied that what remains is the core

of the experience.



       #4: Synthesis of transformed meaning units into a consistent statement of

the structure.

       At this point, all transformed meaning units are brought together to create

a statement of the essence of the experience being researched. Most often this

statement is only a few sentences distilled from the interview. This step takes into

consideration what is expressed in the interview to help elucidate the most

essential aspects.

       In any event, the last step of the analysis is for the researcher to synthesize
       and integrate the insights contained in the transformed meaning units into
       a consistent description of the psychological structure of the event. In this
       synthesis all transformed meaning units must be taken into account. The
       criterion would be that all of the meaning units are at least implicitly
       contained in the general description. (Giorgi, 1985, p. 19)

The synthesis of the transformed meaning units resulted in a situated structure of

the experience of music during altered states of consciousness. This situated

structure is faithful to the specific situation described (Giorgi, 1985).




                                              59
        #5: Synthesis of the situated structure of meaning into a general structure.

        This research requires further steps in the transformation of meaning to

integrate the ten interviews analyzed. In this step, it is necessary to work with the

five interviews from the Santo Daime Church and separately, the five interviews

from Holotropic Breathwork participants. The intention of this process is to

combine the situated structures from each group into a general structure of

meaning for each group. The general structure reflects what is essential to the

experience for the whole group rather than the individual.

        From the situated structure it is now possible for the researcher to bring

forward the general description. ―Whereas, the general description of the situated

structure tries as much as possible to depart from the specifics to communicate the

most general meaning of the phenomenon‖ (Giorgi, 1985, p. 20). This general

meaning is useful in that it can be used to understand the essentials of the

experience outside of the specific situation, which can then be discussed in

relation to the literature.



        #6: Synthesis of group general structures into the general structure of the

experienced researched.

        Now that there is a general structure for each group interviewed, it is

possible to see if there is generalizability for the experience of music in altered

states of consciousness through the combination of the Santo Daime experiences

with the Holotropic Breathwork experiences. As I arrive at the general structure




                                              60
of meaning of all the interviews, I may be able to see applicability for larger

groups or other experiences. If there is consistency between all research protocols

on the experience of music in altered states of consciousness, I would be able to

draw some generalizations about the experience of music in altered states for

others. If there is only consistency within the Santo Daime protocols, and different

experiences for the Holotropic protocols, then I would be able to make

generalizations for the Santo Daime rituals that do not apply for Holotropic

Breathwork sessions and vice versa. I may learn, if there is a lack of consistency

in the protocols, that one‘s experience of music in altered states of consciousness

is very individual and personal. Therefore, any attempt to control one‘s

experience of music in altered states of consciousness will only be randomly

effective.



Limitations and Delimitations

        I have specifically chosen to use phenomenological research methods

because I believe that this is the best form of research to systematically and

scientifically understand a very subjective topic such as experience. Of course, it

is difficult to faithfully reflect human experience, which should be, in my opinion,

the goal of the field of psychology. I believe, along with other phenomenologists,

―Merleau-Ponty has written that the real is not to be constructed or explained but

described‖ (Giorgi, 1985, p. 40). To get at the reality of human experience

requires description of experience as it is lived. This is the way to be faithful to




                                              61
human experience. That is my goal in this research—to get at the reality of the

human experience of music in altered states of consciousness.

       In any form of research, the researcher influences the experience under

investigation, whether the research is conducted in a laboratory or in a home (as

with my interviews). The goal for good research is to minimize the interferences

of the researcher. In phenomenology, the participant (sometimes referred to as the

co-researcher) participates in the research by doing something that humans often

do—describing an experience. We all talk about and share experiences, though in

this case, the experience shared is then analyzed by the researcher to provide the

essential meanings of the experience.

       Even in the common activity of sharing an experience, it is important to

understand that the researcher still has an influence on the descriptive process.

The way the research question is worded and asked, and the way that any follow-

up questions are asked, can influence the outcome of the description. It is my

intention to reduce any interference as researcher by asking the research question

clearly and by allowing the participant to speak about what comes to them

without interference. Any follow-up questions are focused on whether there is

more the participant would like to say. In this way, I hope to not interfere with

their authentic description of their experience. Of course, the act of asking the

question about their experience of music in an altered state of consciousness

already sets a bias to speak about something special in their experience, not

necessarily the participant‘s more common experiences. It is important to




                                             62
acknowledge my bias that music does affect one‘s experience during an altered

state, perhaps in a special way. This bias is present simply in the fact that I am

doing this research. My intention is to keep my attitude as open as possible and be

interested in the unique experience each participant desires to share.

       Another challenge for this research is my choice to interview people from

another culture and language, the Santo Daime church in Brazil. As an outside

researcher, there were some challenges, such as mistrust and misunderstandings

that might arise through cultural differences. Therefore, it was important that I

spent time with the people of this village, living, working, and worshipping with

them to gain their trust and to understand their cultural differences that may be

expressed in the descriptions. I hired a Brazilian to do the interpretations and

transcriptions, which insured that language differences were faithfully interpreted.

Fortunately, my years of participation with the Santo Daime and its teachings

helped me understand their experiences. Hopefully, creating a sense of trust and

being open to each unique description of experience helped me to be as faithful as

possible in gathering and analyzing the descriptions.

       The same openness to the interview process is necessary as I moved

through the process of analysis, using the imaginative variation technique

recommended by Giorgi (1985). I had to be aware of my own biases and

experiences and constantly check to see if these biases were influencing my

interpretations. To assist me, I used the basic stance or attitude outlined by Wertz

(discussed in Giorgi, 1985).




                                              63
       1. Empathic immersement in the world of description. The researcher
          uses the description as a point of access to the situations lived by the
          subject…
       2. Slowing down and dwelling…he must slow down and make room for
          the description in order to dwell upon the situation in all its details.
       3. Magnification and amplification of the situation…The slightest details
          of the subject‘s world become large in importance for the researcher.
       4. Suspension of belief and employment of intense interest…the
          researcher takes up an intense interest in their genesis, relations and
          overall structure.
       5. The turn from objects to their meanings…He turns his attention from
          these facts to their meanings (for the subject) and the particular
          participation in terms of which such meaning arise. This delivers the
          researcher to the situation precisely as experienced, as behaved, or
          more generally as meant by the subject. (pp. 174-75)

By continually referring to these helpful steps and with the feedback from my

committee, I feel that the research and analysis that I have done maintained

faithfully what the participants shared with me about their experiences.




                                            64
                                Chapter 4: Findings

       In this chapter I will discuss the essential themes found as well as the

situated and general structures for each participants‘ interview. The process of

analyzing these elements provided the opportunity to determine if there were

similarities and differences between individuals and the groups. I explored which

themes were repeated often and which were unique. This information provides the

basis for the dialogue with the literature, which follows in the discussion of the

findings in the next chapter.

       I analyzed and worked with the interview copy for each participant until,

through imaginative variation, I had distilled the essential meanings and

combined them into a situated structure of meaning for each participant. These

situated structures were then combined, first by bringing the five Santo Daime

participants together and the five Holotropic Breathwork participants together.

This created one general structure of meaning for the Santo Daime participants

and one for the Holotropic Breathwork participants. In these structures, as in the

protocols from the original interviews, the letter ―P‖ indicates ―participant.‖ The

situated structures for the individual participants as well as the combined

structures, for the Santo Daime participants and the Holotropic Breathwork

participants follow. The full interviews and imaginative variations recorded are

found in the appendix.




                                             65
Santo Daime Situated Structures for Individual Participants

       Participant 1: P1 had no significant experience of the music to begin with,

until an unexpected song touched her and she experienced a sense of love and

connection to the music. which she felt in her body and expressed through

singing. P1 experienced the music as providing access to a more profound,

expanded experience and experiences a deep level of self-awareness during the

rituals as the music provides access to a deeper experience

       P1 experienced a sense of connection to and understanding of others

around the world and the Divine through the participation with the music, which

she experiences as speaking only one language. P1 experience is that each song

brings a specific energy that is unique for that song or group of songs, such as

music for celebration, which influences the personal and collective experience. P1

experiences that the music reveals knowledge and understanding of the more

technical aspects of music, which came to her through visions. P1 experiences

music as a teacher, and as she continues to do this ritual, new understandings are

revealed which bring more gifts through the music. P1 experiences relief from

physical and psychological pain as she sings. P1 experiences, through the ritual

and the music, that she receives understanding, insight, ability to heal herself and

others, connection to others and the world and happiness.

        Participant 2: The music facilitated an expansive experience of love for

P2. P2 experiences the music as a teacher and through connection with the

Divine, she experiences the music as a guide for her life. Through focus on the




                                             66
music, P2 experiences a healing of pain, which is beyond her rational

understanding. P2 experiences an intimate and beautiful relationship with the

music and experiences euphoria from certain songs. P2 experiences that the music

communicates deeper than just the words. P2 experiences music as a path to

receiving insight and knowledge from a Divine source. P2 develops a deeper

experience of the power of the music through the gifts she received.

        Participant 3: P3 initially experienced happiness and ease while singing in

the ritual but then experienced a time of constriction and difficulty in her ability to

sing. P3‘s experience of ease and difficulty are reflected by her ability to

participate through singing in the healing rituals. P3 received insight through the

music and ritual. P3 experienced a physical healing, which was reflected in ease

and happiness in singing. Because of P3‘s perseverance and faith in the Daime,

she experienced healing and happiness through the music. P3 experiences joy

through the music. P3 experiences a greater purpose. P3 experiences music as the

essence of the ritual.

        Participant 4: P4 experiences the music as sacred and healing. P4

experiences the lyrics as a powerful force guiding the spiritual teachings and as a

connection to receive information from spiritual entities in a safe and appropriate

way. P4 experiences that the connection with Divine beings allow for

communication and the receiving of gifts such as insight, guidance, healing and

harmony through the lyrics and the power of the music. P4 experiences the music

as bringing gifts of divine desire and pleasure, harmony, love, truth, justice,




                                              67
health, and peace. P4 experiences that the music can bring healing even to those

who are not present at the ritual. P4 experiences a spiritual connection with the

astral plane through which a new hymn is received.

         Participant 5: P5 experiences an expansion of consciousness,

understanding of possibilities and the development of intuition through the music.

P5 experiences that since these hymns are from a spiritual source, they help him

achieve expanded spiritual states. P5 experiences music as a guide and a teacher.

P5 experiences a greater sense of faith, hope and love through the music and its

teachings. P5 intuitively knows the power that certain hymns will have on his

experience, through the energy present even from the first notes. P5 experiences

the music with all six of his senses and attains expanded spiritual states. When

many participate in the music, P5 experiences a unique collective energy and he

experiences a greater understanding of the power of music through the expanded

spiritual state.



Santo Daime General Structure of the Experience of Music

        The essential experiences of music in the Santo Daime for the majority of

the participants include experiences of the music as a spiritual energy and guide,

bringing teaching and insight. The music brings the experience of connection to

the Divine and community. The music facilitates the experience of expanded

altered states of consciousness. The participants share a trust and faith in the




                                              68
music as they experience love and healing. The participants experience health and

healing on physical and/or spiritual levels.

       There are some variations for individual participants to be discussed. P1

and P3 experienced the music as bringing experiences of understanding, wisdom

and specific information about important subjects, rather than music as guiding

and teaching. P1 and P4 experienced variations to the experience of connection to

the Divine by experiencing a connection to specific Spiritual beings brought by

the music.

       Additionally, P1 reported experiences of personal fulfillment, health and

along with P2, happiness. P1 and P4 witnessed the healing of others through the

music. P2 along with P3 experienced joy through the music. P2 experienced a

personal, beautiful, intimate relationship with the music and expanded emotional

states of love. P2 experienced the music as a power that brought many gifts. P3

experienced times of difficulty and constriction as well as times of ease. P3

experiences the music as the essence of the ritual.

       For P4, the unique experiences were of the music as bringing harmony,

love, truth, justice and a sense of peace.

       P5 did not express an experience of personal healing through the music,

yet he did experience the music as providing access to spiritual states of being,

facilitating altered states of consciousness, increasing intuition, bringing hope and

creating a strong collective energy during the ritual. P5 shares the observation that

the effects of the music vary by the individual.




                                               69
Situated Structures of the Experience of Music during Holotropic Breathwork for

Individual Participants 6-10

       Participant 6: P6 finds it difficult to express her experience of the music in

words. She had expectations (her set ) that this experience would be experienced

kinesthetically. P6 experienced the music as a guiding energy or force. P6

experienced the music kinesthetically, pushing her beyond physical limitations,

through yoga-like expression, and experiencing inner strength and personal

empowerment. P6 had a more intense experience when the music was more

intense, and her experience changed as the styles of music changed. P6

experienced the music as the primary influence on her experience. She

experienced a sense of nurturing and grounding through her experience of

connection to the earth, other people, and the universe. P6 experienced

spontaneous expression of sound through chanting, which emanated from the core

of her being and was transformative for her. P6 experienced intense emotional

release. She experienced a deep altered state of consciousness and a change in her

perception of time. Although P6 experienced a deep level of altered state of

consciousness, she maintained a level of conscious observer. P6 had a profound

and phenomenal experience through the music in the Breathwork session.

       Participant 7: P7 experienced music as having an impact on his experience

during the session and in daily life. P7 experiences the music as a trigger for

higher, expanded altered states of consciousness while still maintaining a level of




                                             70
conscious observer and awareness of his surroundings. P7 noticed that his

intentions and beliefs (his set) had an impact on his experience of the music

during the session. P7 experienced his consciousness responding to different

styles of music, such as soaring beyond ordinary consciousness and physical

boundaries on a high note or experiencing intense emotions such as anger or fear

through intense rhythmic music. P7 has had kinesthetic experiences with an

auditory hallucination, personal healing through access to childhood memories,

and transformational experiences with collective symbols of death and rebirth

through the music. P7 experiences that a greater variety of music facilitates his

hearing the optimal music to access transformational states of consciousness. P7

has deeper, more profound experiences with music that has personal spiritual

meaning. P7 experiences an expanded awareness of his life and its possibilities

through music.

        Participant 8: P8 finds if difficult to put her experience of the energy of

the music into words. She loves music and feels it is essential to the Breathwork

session. P8 experienced that music deepens her experience. She enjoys

experiencing the vibration of the music in her body as the music‘s energy opens

blocked or constricted areas in her body. P8 experienced that the music with the

deep breathing, facilitates a deep state of relaxation that is accompanied by a

change in her perception of time. P8 experiences trust that the music will facilitate

her moving through constricted or difficult experiences, providing guidance and

support, which allows her to go deeper into her experience and give up conscious




                                             71
control of her experience. P8 experiences music that has archetypal or religious

meaning for her will bring up related issues for healing. P8 experienced the

intense rhythmic music in the beginning of the session as movement of energy,

and the calm music at the end facilitated an experience of sweet, pure

unconditional love for self and others. P8 experiences that she can reconnect to

her powerful experiences by listening to the music from the Breathwork session.

        Participant 9: P9 experienced the music, especially intense rhythms

combined with melody, as the primary facilitator of her experience into and

throughout the altered state of consciousness in the Breathwork session. She

experiences the altered state through music in the Breathwork as more effective

than traditional talk therapy at accessing core issues and supporting the healing

process. P9 experienced the music as framing, supporting and evoking, though not

creating the specific content. This framing of experience changed through each

thematic section; fire, struggle and heart, of the Breathwork session. Although

most of the music in the Breathwork is familiar for P9, she feels that the music is

evocative, allowing her personal experience to vary depending upon her set

(intention). P9 experienced a transformation from a disturbing experience of

darkness to one of joy and light through the change of the musical style. Another

transformation occurred for P9 as she experienced, through the music, a

connection with the experience of all beings, which transformed her beliefs from

being opposed to spiritual beliefs to embracing the transpersonal belief of the

connection of all beings. P9 experienced the music as facilitating a full range of




                                             72
human experience from the profound to the mundane, from suffering to joy, to the

connection to all experiences of creation.

       Participant 10: P10 experienced the intense, rhythmic music at the

beginning through a primitive physical expression with the expansion of physical

and conscious boundaries. She sometimes experiences the transition from the

more rhythmic music into the next section with more intense harmonic

(containing a lot of dissonance) and melodic music as difficult, and often

experiences the need to push through boundaries which she symbolically

experiences as an infant pushing out of the womb. During the harmonically

intense section (struggle section), P10 has experienced being in a death-like

frozen state and being in an agitated, angry trapped state. P10 experienced an

opening of her heart, being filled with love and sometimes tears of joy, as well as

an experience of her inner child being celebrated, loved and supported by

significant others through the serene, etheric music at the end of the session.

Throughout her Breathwork experiences, P10 has experienced physically moving

closer to and a deep connection to the earth, a growing sense of wholeness, and a

powerful connection and union with others. She has access to experiences and

emotions that are not easily accessed in ordinary consciousness; she also

experiences an expanded feeling of love and connection.




                                             73
General Structure of the Experience of Music during Holotropic Breathwork

       The essential experience of music during Holotropic Breathwork sessions

for these participants included the experience of the music as the primary

influence, guiding, directing and framing their experience. The participants

experienced a change in their experience as the style of music changed.

Participants experienced the music as a trigger for expanded altered, nonordinary

states of consciousness. The participants experienced the music as facilitating

profound spiritual and transformational experiences. Four participants

experienced the music as evoking archetypal images of light/dark, birth/death for

healing and integration. Three participants experienced kinesthetic expressions,

expanding past ordinary physical boundaries, and one experienced becoming

physically constricted and rigid before expanding physically. Participants

experienced the music as creating a connection to the earth, other people, the

universe or the Divine.

       There are some variations for individual participants to be discussed. P6,

P7, and P9 were aware that their beliefs and intentions (set) had an effect on their

experience of the music. P6, P7, P8, and P10 experienced that rhythmically

intense music created a more intense experience; P10 also felt that harmonically

intense music (containing a lot of dissonance) facilitated difficult experiences

such as death or being trapped. The gentle harmonious music was experienced as

love, acceptance, and connection by P8 and P10.




                                             74
       P6 experienced inner strength and personal empowerment through the

music. P6 and P7 both experienced intense emotional release and a sense of being

a conscious observer observing their own experiences. P7 experienced auditory

phenomenon triggered by the music as well as personal emotional healing and an

expanded awareness of life and its possibilities. P7 expressed that a greater

variety of musical styles is helpful in creating the most effective experience.

       P6 and P8 found it difficult to put their experience into words. P8 and P9

experienced trust that the music would support healing difficult, constricted

experiences. This trust in the music allowed P8 to release conscious control of her

experiences.

       P9 experienced a transformation of her beliefs through the connection to

all of life and creation facilitated by the music. She also experienced that the

music facilitates a full range of human experience. P10 experienced a sense of

wholeness through the music.


General Structure for the Experience of Music in an Altered State of

Consciousness

       For the participants, the experience of music in altered states of

consciousness was the primary influence on their awareness as the music

surrounded them and filled the experiential space on physical, emotional, and

spiritual aspects of awareness. The music served as an energy that supported the

flow of experience for the participants, so that as the style or meaning of the

music changed, the experience of the participants changed. The music enveloped


                                             75
the task oriented ordinary consciousness, allowing the participants to experience

an expansion of the nonordinary, altered state of consciousness, and opened the

participants‘ awareness to alternate ways of knowing and experiencing self and

other. The alternate ways of experiencing, facilitated by the music, created the

opportunity for an expansion of possibility in perceiving and transforming

difficult experiences which facilitated a movement toward wholeness, health, and

well-being in physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of self. Through the

experience of the music and the expanded awareness, the participants experienced

a sense of connection and belonging with those participating with them, their

larger communities, the universe, and Divine Source.




                                            76
                         Chapter 5: Discussion of Findings

       In this chapter I will take each essential meaning unit and look more

closely at how each can enhance understanding of the experience of music in

altered states of consciousness. I will begin with a few significant themes in the

situated structures of both the Santo Daime as well as the Holotropic Breathwork

that are not covered in the general structure of meaning.

       In the general structure of meaning, when I speak of music as an energy, it

is important to note that in the Santo Daime doctrine, the energy of music is more

specifically experienced as Spirit. This is in keeping with the belief that the

hymns have a connection to the spiritual realms. As Participant 4 said, ―The

music is a good source of messages from spiritual entities from the forest, the

earth, and the sea.‖ To understand the doctrine of the Santo Daime, it is helpful to

know that the doctrine is revealed through the music. Therefore, one of the

primary uses of the hymns is to teach the theology of the church and spiritual

truths. As Participant 1 shared, ―Now, I go to schools and teach children to sing

the music of the Daime correctly. And within the music, I also talk about religion

with them. Because within the music of the Daime lies the religion.‖ So music is

the source of the teachings that bind the church, which is now international,

together. ―The music, it does not matter if you are American, Dutch, German or

Japanese, for the Daime understands the mind and heart of everyone‖ (Participant




                                              77
1). In the Holotropic interviews, music was not experienced as a teacher of

specific knowledge, but as a guide to self-revelation and knowing.

       In the Santo Daime interviews, there were four participants who shared

experiences of physical healing through the music. In the interviews the

participants did not elaborate as to what type of illness had been healed; they

discussed the experience of being healed through the music. I wanted to discuss

this because of the elements of the Daime and faith that are also present in these

ritual works. The Daime is also known as ayahuasca, which is the entheogenic

tea, but it is an herbal mixture that has healing qualities. They often experience

drinking the Daime as taking in a Spiritual Doctor who enters the body to heal it.

The members of the Santo Daime Church also have faith that they can be healed

in these ceremonies. The power of belief for healing certainly plays a role in

reports of physical healing. Yet, there is evidence that music can be a tool to

facilitate physical healing. Richard Gerber, M.D. (Vibrational Medicine, 1988)

and Mitchell Gaynor, M.D. (Sounds of Healing, 1999) use music as a tool for

healing in their medical practices. As Participant 3 said, ―Afterwards, I only

needed healing. I needed to concentrate on the cure of my body. To me, the

principle of the healing and the Daime, of course, is also the music.‖

       The interviews with the Holotropic Breathwork participants give support

that music does have a physical impact. ―but during this experience the music was

so, I mean it was like so in my bones and body that I was just kind of doing all

kinds of like, yoga poses and positions, and then the strength...‖ (Participant 6).




                                             78
Although none of the Holotropic Breathwork participants reported a physical

healing, four of the five did express powerful kinesthetic experiences. These

results support the idea that music has a physical impact that can be used to

support physical healing, whether on its own or in conjunction with other healing

elements.

       The other meaning unit that I wish to discuss is from Holotropic

Breathwork. The participants experienced the music as evoking archetypal images

of light/dark and birth/death for healing and integration. ―It [music] carried me

into what I felt like were watery graves where I felt myself under water and was

able to bring me through the wateriness back into the air where I could get

renewed in life again‖ (Participant 7). Certainly, the music provides access to

deeper levels of human experience, including what Carl Jung referred to as

archetypal images (1956). Data on this access to archetypal images and more has

been studied by Stan Grof (no date); he finds that Holotropic Breathwork does

facilitate these experiences. The question that arises for me is, Do the participants

in the Santo Daime have similar experiences? The participants of this study from

the Santo Daime did not express their experiences in the same images as the

American participants of the Holotropic Breathwork did. This does not mean that

the Santo Daime participants did not have similar experiences, since they do

express themselves differently. I did notice that, in the interviews, there is a

difference in the way experiences are expressed. The participants from the Santo

Daime were not as verbose or colorful in expressing their experiences. They




                                              79
tended to be more direct and to the point. For example, Holotropic participants

used terms such as light and dark, ―It carried me into deep states of darkness

where I had to struggle with the darkness to come out of it into the light‖

(Participant 7). In the Santo Daime, the expression of this type of experience is

more likely to be expressed in the experience of singing, whether one can sing

easily or if the singing is closed. ―I felt myself that the Daime opened for me to

see it all, but it closed…And now, I already feel that I can and it is best for me to

sing. I really feel that I have all of the bad singing out from inside of my body‖

(Participant 3). The situating of their experiences in the Santo Daime Church with

the experience of singing is common in the interviews. This reflects the central

role that the hymns play in these rituals. There is also a noticeable difference in

the length of the descriptions of the experiences. The Santo Daime interviews

were much shorter and less descriptive, more direct and to the point. Maybe this is

cultural, maybe it‘s because of the differences in language; I have no way of

knowing for sure why the Santo Daime interviews were shorter and less

descriptive. I can say that the spiritual experiences that were shared could be

considered archetypal, because Jung (1956) considered spiritual symbols and

experience to be archetypal. I can also say that as a Westerner who participated

with the Santo Daime, I had experiences that contained archetypal images of

light/dark and birth/death. However the experiences are expressed, it is clear that

music can facilitate access to archetypal experiences and images which can

facilitate healing and transformation.




                                              80
       I will now look at the general structure of meaning for all participants. I

will take each meaning unit and work towards a greater understanding of the

experience.



General Structure of Meaning

       Music as primary influence of experience.

       In both the Santo Daime and Holotropic Breathwork groups, music was

the primary influence on their experience. The Holotropic Breathwork session is

designed to reduce sensory stimuli, except for the music. The participants begin

with their eyes closed, lying on the floor. This reduces both visual and physical

external stimulus and creates a situation where the music is the primary influence

on the experience. And there is something in the nature of music that also gives it

primacy in our experience. Music encompasses the body with sound and

vibration; you cannot escape sound, even when you plug your ears, because we

also hear through bone conduction. ―Being on the floor with these huge speakers

and music just filling the room to where it‘s so loud it encompasses your whole

body‖ (Participant 8). When we listen to music, we are experiencing more than

just what our ears hear, it is a kinesthetic experience as well. In this way, sound

occupies both aural and kinesthetic experience simultaneously.

       In the Santo Daime, there can be times of quiet contemplation or of

spoken prayer depending upon the type of work. When the music is present, it

becomes the driving force. ― So the life of Daime is the music. Without the music,




                                             81
it is hard. You have concentration, but also you have music. So, music is the key

to the door which is the Daime‖ (Participant 1). During the Santo Daime work,

you are upright, sitting, standing or dancing with your eyes open, except during

quiet contemplation. In the Santo Daime work, the music is usually loud with

maracas shaking, which creates a lot of white noise that can seem to take over

one‘s awareness, creating the experience of the primacy of music.



       Music as an energy supporting flow of experience.

       The music served as an energy supporting the flow of participants‘

experiences, so that changes in the music created changes in their experiences.

Although music cannot determine the specific content of your experience, it can

create a sense of movement through your experience. In the ancient Kabbalah,

using the Hebrew words, zemer which means ―melody,‖ has the same letters as

zerem which means ―current,‖ showing that music sends currents through the

body, motivating a person to move and act (Glazerson, 1988). In the Santo

Daime, many spoke of experiencing different spirit beings that come with specific

songs, though the style of most of the songs is similar.

       For example, each lyric, each song, when sung correctly (the tone, the
       rhythm) brings you something. For example, in a song, I can be happy,
       receiving it, and then in another song, I can be crying. It all depends on
       each person, and how they receive the music, and the power of the Daime.
       (Participant 1)

       The hymns of the Santo Daime have variation, but an outsider may think

they sound alike. One primary difference is in the meter. Hymns will be in 3, 4, or




                                             82
6. Each meter creates a different feel and experience. For the Santo Daime, it‘s

not primarily the change in style of music, but the change in meaning and

connected energy of the songs that facilitates a change in experience.

       In both the Santo Daime and Holotropic Breathwork, if the music has

personal meaning, that particular piece may have more influence on the content of

one‘s experience.

       Then, all of a sudden, a piece of music would switch and it would go into
       either a Buddhist type chant or a Gregorian chant or something of that
       nature. Next thing I know, I would be in tears and up on my knees or in a
       prostrate position, prostrating myself to the Great Spirit. (Participant 7)

       Otherwise, it seems, especially in Holotropic Breathwork, where the music

usually does not have the specific meaning of the Santo Daime hymns, that more

intense music creates more intense experience, and calmer music creates more

calm. As the style of the music or the meaning of the music changes, the

experience of the person changes.



       Music facilitated expanded, nonordinary, altered state of consciousness.

       The music enveloped the task-oriented ordinary consciousnesss, allowing

the participants to experience an expanded, nonordinary, altered state of

consciousness and opened the participants‘ awareness to alternate ways of know

and experiencing self and other. This research includes a section of many ways

that music triggers altered states of consciousness. Even when music is not the

primary trigger, when it is paired with an entheogen or deep breathing, music




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facilitates the experience of a deeper alteration or expanded state of

consciousness.

       It‘s almost like the music carries energy to get in touch with just that pure,
       just love, unconditional kind of love for myself, love for others, love in
       sharing that space with others in the room. That music comes on, it takes
       me to just a much, much deeper place… (Participant 8)

       Since the use of psychedelics is strictly regulated, music can be used not

only to trigger an altered state of consciousness, but can be used to deepen the

experience with other triggers that are available to us, such as meditation or deep

breathing.



       Music facilitated processing of difficult experiences and a movement

towards wholeness.

       The participants experienced that the alternate ways of experiencing,

facilitated by the music, created the opportunity for an expansion of possibility in

perceiving and transforming difficult experiences, which facilitated a movement

toward wholeness, health, and well-being on physical, emotional, and spiritual

levels. The ability of music to trigger altered states of consciousness, deepen

altered states, and provide access to archetypal and/or transcendent experiences

makes it a powerful tool for healing. The Holotropic Breathwork participants did

not report physical healing, but they did experience psychological healing and

transformation. The Santo Daime participants experienced healing on physical

and spiritual levels. The ability to facilitate transcendent experiences brings many




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gifts. Stan Grof (no date) discusses this in relation to, what he calls Holotropic

experiences, which are what I would call transcendent experiences,

       We can reach profound psychological insights concerning our personal
       history, unconscious dynamics, emotional difficulties, and interpersonal
       problems. We can also experience extraordinary revelations concerning
       various aspects of nature and the cosmos that by far transcend our
       educational and intellectual background. However, by far the most
       interesting insights that become available in Holotropic states revolve
       around philosophical, metaphysical and spiritual issues. (pp. 3-4)

       Music can facilitate psychological transformation and there is evidence to

believe that the physical healings attributed to music are also valid.

       When properly mobilized, sound can specifically entrain the human
       organism toward the greater harmony and homeostasis that it requires to
       remain vibrant and to regenerate after injury or illness. Sound and breath
       are one, and practices of toning, chanting and singing revitalize breath-
       itself a key to harmony and homeostasis. (Gaynor, 1999, p. 76)

       I discussed the experiences of physical healing earlier with the experiences

of healing in the Santo Daime through the music. It is clear that music can

facilitate psychological/spiritual and physical healing.



       Participants experienced deeper sense of connection and belonging.

Through the experience of the music and expanded awareness, the participants

experienced a sense of connection and belonging with those participating with

them, their larger community, the universe, and Divine Source. Both of the groups

interviewed participate as a group which creates a shared profound experience.

―And it was, more about my connectedness not only to the earth, because I felt

also very planted in the soil, but also my connectedness to other people and




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everything in the universe‖ (Participant 6). Sharing the experience of the music

creates the feeling of connection to something greater than oneself. For both

groups, the experience of entrainment as a group is probable. In the case of the

Santo Daime, since the participants are also singing or playing instruments they

can experience coming into harmony with each other, literally and energetically

which also creates the experience of connection to each other.



Generalizability

       My intention is that this research will reveal, through the use of altered

states of consciousness (by analogy) as a microscope, a clearer view of the

experience of music that not only applies to altered states of consciousness but

also to ordinary reality. Through interviewing two different populations, this

research combines the expansion and clarification of the experience of music in

altered states of consciousness with a cross-cultural perspective as well as a

comparison of drug/non-drug induced experiences. By choosing such varied

groups—the Santo Daime Church of Brazil and Holotropic Breathwork

participants from the U.S. —I am able to understand whether the experience of

music in altered states of consciousness is culturally determined, perhaps, a by-

product of a drug induced hallucination, or whether is it generalizable to a larger

population.

       When I was first setting up this research, my intention was to interview

only Santo Daime participants on their experience of music during the ritual




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work. I realized that this would limit my research to generalizability only for the

Santo Daime Church, since they are culturally different from other traditions that

use altered states of consciousness. I also understood that the use of the Daime

(ayahuasca) would limit my research to only groups that use entheogens as a part

of their ritual. This would mean that my research would have very little impact on

western psychology, since it is a different culture and the use of entheogens are

strictly regulated in the West. This led me to choose to add interviews from

Holotropic Breathwork participants. Holotropic Breathwork was developed by

psychiatrist Stan Grof; it uses no chemical substances to achieve the altered state

of consciousness. The participants were all well-educated and lived in a

metropolitan area in the U.S. So one group, the Santo Daime, are from a more

traditional culture, have varying levels of education, use entheogens, and live in

the Amazon forest. The other group, Holotropic Breathwork participants, are from

a modern culture, are primarily well-educated, do not use entheogens, and live in

a metropolitan city.

       I had fears that there would be no consistency in the findings drawn from

the interviews, but I knew that if there was consistency, it would create

generalizability for greater applicability of the experience of music in altered

states of consciousness. This was the ideal solution for my research to have

generalizability in regards to the experience of music and what might be revealed

about the gifts that music brings. Fortunately, there is generalizability in the

experiences of the participants, as shown in the general structure of the experience




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of music in altered states that has been discussed. These experiences include

information as to the essential characteristics of music and its effects on people

from a more universal perspective, not limited to the West or to indigenous

traditions, or levels of education, or whether one is from a major city or a forest.

The primary limitation of this research is that both groups are intentional groups.

That is to say, all of the participants are gathered with the intention of having an

experience of music and altered states of consciousness that could facilitate some

form of transformation or healing. Any insight into the experience of music in

altered states of consciousness is situated in the context of some form of group

work. This does not mean that these experiences cannot occur for an individual

outside of intentional group work, but does give preference for these experiences

to group work with altered states of consciousness.



Implications of this Research

        In this section I will review some of the essential experiences of music in

altered states of consciousness. These experiences will be examined more closely

to understand what each has to offer the field of psychology. The examination of

the experiences of music in altered states of consciousness will lead to ways that

these experiences can enhance our knowledge of the impact of music and the

therapeutic possibilities.

        The participants often referred to music as a guide or energy that

supported the flow of experience for the participants. As the style or meaning of




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the music changed, the experience of the participants changed, which directed

them through a series of experiences; they saw these experiences as important for

their healing. ―I trust that the music will just take me where I need to go and that

helps me just give up control in some ways‖ (Participant 8). With the support of

the music, participants were able to access experiences and information that were

helpful in their personal healing journey. And as P8 pointed out, the music

seemed to guide the experiences to what the participant needed at that time.

       The participants also experienced music as a guide in that it kept them

from being stuck in difficult experiences for too long. This is easily seen in the

Holotropic Breathwork sessions where the music played continuously, and the

participants experienced a continuous flow of experience. In the Santo Daime

work, it can be seen what happens without music as a guide when there is silent

contemplation. During the silent concentration times, the work often became

difficult. There is a saying in the Amazon forest among ayahuasca shamans that

without singing, all you see is snakes, implying that without music, you can

become stuck in difficult experiences.

       After Cordova-Rios became familiar with ayahuasca, he discovered that
       he could direct, or at least greatly influence, resulting visions by songs and
       chants. This technique has been much used by native curanderos. Among
       some tribes, it is even said that ‗without singing, only visions of snakes
       appear‘.‖ (Stafford, 1983, p. 352)

       This means that in work with ayahuasca, and other altered states of

consciousness, music can keep one from being stuck in difficult experiences.

―And so I trust that I know when the shift of music happens, that there will be a




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shift in me‖ (Participant 8). This is significant in that music allows for the

individual to go through their psychological process, but not stay stuck in any one

experience. Maas and Strubelt (in Aldridge & Fachner, 2006) describe this

phenomenon from the experience of the Mitsogho culture in Gabon, Africa,

which uses an entheogen called iboga. ―The music is the ‗safety rope‘ reaching

from this life to the hereafter and serves as a means of locomotion in the visionary

space‖ (p. 106). Any facilitator of therapeutic experiences involving altered states

of consciousness can benefit from understanding that the music supports the

therapeutic flow of experiences in altered states.

       As powerful as music is as a guide to keep one from being stuck in

negative experiences, it is important to note that if the music has a very negative

meaning, either by the words or the style, for a person, it can trigger a difficult

experience.

       On a couple of occasions, but I think one in particular, part of the music
       was very churchy. And I‘ll never forget one time it had shifted and it was
       like maybe organ or something like that and somebody in the session
       yelled ―cut that Catholic shit off!‖ you know it was like somebody was
       just totally pissed off about it.‖ (Participant 10)

       This experience shows the importance of the choice of music by the

facilitator. Pilch (cited in Aldridge & Fachner, 2006) discovered this while using a

rattling tape that had been used to trigger trance states for others.

       When I played the rattling tape for her during a communal prayer session
       she quickly asked me to shut it off. That sound was disturbing, agitating
       and grisly to her ears. (p. 45)




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       I personally experience that simple drumming with a steady rhythm is

helpful in supporting me in shamanic journeys, yet polyrhythmic drumming,

while making me want to dance, does not facilitate the experience of a journey.

One suggestion could be to interview participants about their preference in styles

of music before selecting the most effective music for the experience. This could

support the selection of the most therapeutic music for the participant(s), without

relying on the facilitator/therapist‘s preferences.

       The experience of music enveloping the task oriented ordinary

consciousness, allowing the experience of an expanded, nonordinary altered state

of consciousness which opens the participants‘ awareness to alternate ways of

knowing and experiencing self and other is an important theme. The role of music

as facilitator for experiences of transformational, expanded, altered states of

consciousness is important, especially in the fields of altered states of

consciousness research and transpersonal psychology, both of which embrace the

gifts of altered states of consciousness for healing. That is why the section of this

research on the seven ways that music triggers trance/altered states is important to

whole of this research. Certainly, the participants in this research experienced

music as facilitating the experience of the altered state of consciousness, even

with the presence of other triggers for the altered state (breathing and ayahuasca).

―You know, sometimes it (music) will really grab me and send me into an altered

state‖ (Participant 7). The more one understands how music triggers these




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experiences, the more powerful the facilitation of altered states of consciousness

can be to support healing.

       The importance of altered states of consciousness for psychological health

and healing is being better understood. Michael Washburn (1994) refers to these

healing through altered states of consciousness experiences as regression in the

service of transcendence. Washburn brings a new perspective in psychoanalytic

theory to experiences of transcendence and trance states. He has effectively

integrated psychoanalysis with transpersonal psychology. Washburn stated that

these transcendent experiences are not always ego regression to an earlier state of

being or immature ego, but a healthy experience for the ego.

       Accordingly, the experiences distinctive of regression in the service of
       transcendence begin now to give way to positive correlates: negative
       object relations give way to positive object relations, dread gives way to
       spiritual ardor (intoxication, ravishment), strangeness gives way to
       enchantment, trance to transport, engulfment to ecstasy, ‗resurrection‘ of
       the body to ‗reincarnation‘ of the ego, derepression of the instincts to
       integration of the instincts, and tormenting fantasies to guiding visions.
       (1994, p. 257)

       Altered states of consciousness can be therapeutic and the use of music to

facilitate these experiences provides a tool for therapists, not just those in music

therapy, but any therapist who has an understanding of the healing nature of

altered states, to create therapeutic experiences.

       The participants experienced that music facilitated an experience of

connection to others and the Divine. There are many ways that this feeling of

connection through the music and the shared experience of the music is important.

I know that as I worked in a maximum security, women‘s prison in Alabama as


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the choir director, I witnessed how music helped these women to feel connected

to each other and a higher power. This helped them feel better about themselves

and encouraged them to create a better life. Also, when I worked at a residential

treatment center for adolescents in Warm Springs, Georgia, I created a choir with

my group of ten girls. Those girls really benefited from singing together and

performing for the larger center. We also made drums and rattles and played

together to create music. These experiences brought these girls together in a

supportive way. In a residential treatment center for adolescents in Douglasville,

Georgia called Inner Harbour, they have an African drumming group that now

travels around the country and performs. These are anecdotal observations, but

they point to effective healing techniques for difficult populations.

          The other part of this meaning unit to discuss is the experience of

connection to Divine Source. It is difficult for me to write about this in a

psychological paper. My hesitancy comes from my personally intense feelings of

the importance of having a connection with Spirit. This is a place where my bias

is present. But, fortunately, there is a growing amount of research that shows that

having a spiritual tradition or religion is supportive of psychological and physical

health.

          Once an individual has reached a point where awareness of the
          transcendent is the necessary healing component, music can serve as an
          agent of change, providing a vehicle to reach beyond ordinary
          consciousness and ego-functioning to new awareness and new ways of
          viewing the self in the universe. (Crowe in Campbell, 1991, p. 115)




                                               93
       There are many sections in this research that discuss various spiritual

traditions and the use of healing through music. Music has been used as medicine

and as a connection to Spirit to provide healing for almost every group of

traditional people that we have on record. Our ancestors used these techniques

because they worked better than any other healing modality available at that time.

The ability to communicate with Spirit was an essential tool of a healer. The need

to communicate with Spirit, or something greater than ourselves for our healing

and health is still important. ―The hymns can serve as a spiritual connection and

bring us a vision, direction, cure, improvement of one‘s relaxation and calm.‖

(Participant 4) The access to insights on the self and the revelations about the

nature of the cosmos, etc, provide tools to create an understanding of life and new

ways to make meaning out of the sometimes difficult experiences we encounter.

Music can facilitate these experiences, whether one is in a religious institution or

alone in the woods. Music and the facilitation of connection to Spirit can be

adapted to any environment for healing and health.

       You know, I started out like, anti-spiritual would be too mild, like hard
       core, this is bullshit, there is nothing beyond current existence…At this
       point in my spiritual belief system it‘s like, we‘re all definitely
       interconnected…Other times, during the heart music, you know that‘s
       when I have experiences of union with the cosmos kinds of things,
       touching God! (Participant 9)

       The transformation that occurred for Participant 9 is a great example of

how working with altered states of consciousness and the possibility of

connection to Spirit can transform our lives in a positive way. Since our ability to

make meaning is essential to our psychological health, it is important to have


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access to a bigger picture. I‘ve heard the saying that ―you must be bigger than

your problems.‖ This is a way to allow people to experience their problems from

a bigger, transcended perspective and hopefully, create a more positive and

creative way to respond.

        The biggest challenge in using music with altered states of consciousness

for healing seems to be in understanding how this phenomenon actually works.

How can therapists be effective for one client, but not so for another in creating

positive, transformational healing through music? I have reviewed many theories

on how music affects us and which kinds of music may be most therapeutic. Yet,

for every theory there are plenty of exceptions. We do not all respond the same to

music or to altered states. I will discuss the different factors that need to be

considered when attempting to create a positive, transformational experience

through music, in the hopes that being aware of these factors may increase the

therapeutic quality of this type of work.

        These factors that affect the experience of music and altered states of

consciousness are perspectives that have arisen out of this body of work and my

personal experience. I call this system the matrix of musical experience. This

matrix of musical experience brings many factors together to understand more

completely the complexity of our experience of music. The first aspect I will

discuss is the model of set and setting (Metzner, 1989). Set and setting is an

inclusive model of the experience of altered states of consciousness. As I discuss

other aspects, most will clearly fit within the model of set and setting. Yet, the




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model of set and setting is so general that I feel it is important to discuss other

aspects in more detail. As quoted earlier in this research, set is the expectation,

intention, personality, mood, values, attitudes, and beliefs of the participant and

setting is the context, physical and social environment, expectation and behavior

of others present (Metzner, 1989). For the set and setting model there is also the

trigger, which can be sound, or a variety of influences. The interaction of the set,

setting and the trigger are what determine the experience of the participant.

Keeping in mind the model of set and setting, I will discuss in more detail aspects

that may generally fit in the model of set and setting, but will make up the matrix

of musical experience.

       The first aspect of the matrix of musical experience I will discuss is the

experience of rhythm. I have shown that rhythm is a key element in trance/altered

state induction. Whether a piece is fast or slow, in duple, triple or is polyrhythmic

has an effect on the hearer. More intense rhythms, faster and more complex or

poly, tend to create more intense experiences. In Holotropic Breathwork sessions,

rhythmically intense music is used to drive participants deeply into an altered

state of consciousness. ―it started off with a lot of drumming and that‘s the part, I

mean the drumming was really about me feeling my strength. So that really

pushed me‖ (Participant 6). Native American traditions use straight rhythms

usually in a duple meter, whereas African rhythms tend to be polyrhythmic. Either

way, the choice of rhythms will have an impact on one‘s experience. For

Participant 7 the intense drumming in the beginning was experienced as, ― The




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drumming would send me into a point of getting in touch with fear as well as

anger.‖ It has been my observation that polyrhythms tend to create more of a

physically active, even frenzied, expression of experience, whereas the simple

meter of the drum for a shamanic journey is expressed in (usually) a more

subdued, physically still way. I want to be clear that I am not proposing a direct

connection from any aspect of the matrix to the expression of the experience of

the music. We humans are far too complex to follow limiting rules, I am

expressing some general observations.

       Harmony and melody are other aspects of the matrix of musical

experience. Harmonies can be open or close, dissonant or harmonic. The role of

close dissonances of one-quarter to one-half steps creating beat frequencies,

which can entrain the brain and facilitate trance/altered states, was seen in the

section of music as a trigger for trance/altered states. Through the interviews,

especially of the Holotropic Breathwork participants, I noticed that the music used

in the struggle section of the session contained a lot of dissonance and melodies

might be more jagged. Whereas, the music in the heart section at the end was

usually described as gentle, more melodic with open harmonies, ―And then, at the

end, the calming, beautiful serene music, it really taps a kind of awe, maybe I can

describe it, maybe pure sweetness or gentleness‖ (Participant 8). Melody and

harmony (or the absence thereof) create infinite variability to the character of

music. Harsh melodies and harmonies are usually experienced as uncomfortable,

and gentle harmonic music is usually calming and relaxing. Songs written in a




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minor mode are usually experienced as sad and major modes create brighter

moods.

          The meaning of words is a part of the matrix of musical experience. As I

have discussed, in the Santo Daime Church, the character of the music did not

change much, primarily the change from duple to triple meter, but the words and

the messages they bring from Spirit creates an impact on the experience. ―Then,

one day, I heard a different song. The lyrics meant something different. I felt the

music in me‖ (Participant 1). This is true, especially if the words are in the

language of the listener and can be understood. If the words are in a different

language, sometimes the melodic nature, such as chants, of the words will have

impact.

          Personal associations have an impact on musical experience. If a song is

connected to a particular experience, then hearing that song will connect the

hearer with that experience. Most couples have a song that is their song. Perhaps

it has a connection with a first date. The exact style of the song is not as important

in this aspect, as the experience that it is connected with. For example, my

husband and I have a special song, a blues song Fool For Your Stockings. It‘s not

the most romantic song, but my husband sang that song while playing with a band

on our first date. We have other songs that are significant for us, but Fool For

Your Stockings will always have a special meaning for us. Two other examples,

from the same type of music are shared in the Holotropic Breathwork interviews.

―Then, all of the sudden, a piece of music would switch and it would go into




                                              98
either a Buddhist type chant or a Gregorian chant or something of that nature.

Next thing I know, I would be in tears and up on my knees or in a prostrate

position, prostrating myself, to the Great Spirit‖ (Participant 7). Or from

Participant 8,

       It‘s like that music shifts and immediately something will come on like,
       let‘s say. I have lots of mixed feelings about organized religion and let‘s
       say there‘s something that, um, Catholic kind of song, or something and I
       just…I go into a place in my body and I do healing work around those
       mixed emotions.

For Participant 7, religious music bring experiences of reverence and for

Participant 8, the same type of music would bring difficult experiences in need of

healing. The only difference is in the personal associations that each one holds

towards religion.

       Personal associations can also become social/cultural and social/cultural

associations become personal. Especially in cultures that cultivate trance rituals,

certain songs are associated with certain spiritual beings or forms of trance. This

issue is discussed in more detail in the literature review in both the anthropology

section and the music as a trigger for altered states section. The socialization of

associations of music is used in commercial advertising and in creating national or

religious fervor. This aspect of the matrix of musical experience can be used to

control the behavior of societies for ill or good.

       Probably the most complex factor is intention. Personal intention is

closely connected to expectation and I will discuss these aspects together.

Personal intention sets the stage for the probability of what type of experience one




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may have. For example, both the Santo Daime Church members and Holotropic

Breathwork participants intend to have some sort of healing, transformative

experience. This is why each participant made the effort to be present for these

experiences. Beyond the general impact of personal intention creating an overall,

general type of experience, it is interesting to note that sometimes participants

reported experiences that matched their intention, but not always in the way

expected. ―I thought I was gonna do a lot of crying, but it was, other than crying,

a lot of screaming‖ (Participant 6). Participant 6 reported very powerful healing

and transformation, which was her intention, but not in the way that she expected.

If one listens to music with the intention of having a transformative experience, it

is likely to happen.

       Another aspect of intention is the intention of the composer of the music

being played. I experience the impact of the composer‘s intention as occurring in

ordinary as well as nonordinary consciousness. Music that is written with a

spiritual or transcendent intention is usually more effective at creating that type of

experience. That is why, I believe, there are many who find Western classical

music, for instance, effective for facilitating transformative experiences. Looking

in the appendix of Music and Your Mind (Bonny & Savary, 1973) there is a list of

recommended music to use with altered states. Scanning the list of classical

composers, I notice that all of these express either a direct religious intention, or

the adoration of the earth/nature (or the planets, e.g., Holst). The composers in the

Baroque and Classic periods all worked for churches. The Romantic and Modern




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period composers had some religious/church connections but often composed

from their love of nature, another transcendent theme. These higher, inspirational,

transcendent intentions of the composers can facilitate higher, inspirational,

transcendent experiences for those who experience this music. This intention can

be seen in vocal music through the meaning of the text, but also carries through in

purely instrumental music. It is interesting to note that in the Holotropic

Breathwork, music chosen for the struggle section of the process is often music

that was written about war. When looking at the endless variety of music used in

religious trance rituals, it is clear that there is no pattern of rhythm and melody

that emerges as the best for facilitating trance/altered states. One of the aspects of

the matrix of musical experience then may be the composer‘s intent, not just the

composer‘s combination of text, rhythm and melody.

       Another aspect of intention related to the matrix of musical experience is

the intention of the performer. As a performer of many styles of music, I know

that my intention, or my soul, is the difference between a technically correct

performance or an exciting performance. When I sing, my intention is to let the

music flow from my soul, whether it‘s sacred, classical, rock, pop or blues. I have

learned to convey more than just technical prowess. My husband, who is a

professional guitarist, has been a great help in understanding how even non-sacred

music can still transmit a transcendent energy. He can perform the rock standard

Born to be Wild before thousands of bikers and have them experiencing a

connection to self, community and a greater purpose through the intention of




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expressing his soul. Great performers are more than technically correct. I have

heard good performances in many concert halls that left me unchanged, and I

have wept with gratitude and joy in ecstatic moments with other performers who

could express the greater aspect of soul. When a performer plays from his/her

soul, people are transformed by that music, no matter what style of music is being

performed. The intention of the performer of the music makes a difference in how

the music will be experienced, and whether that music will be effective in creating

transformative experiences.

       There is a relationship that occurs when one experiences music. This

relationship is the interaction of the intentions of all involved. Music carries and

becomes the intentions of the composer and performer. The intentionality of the

music then enters into relationship with the person receiving it. This is true, even

if the receiver is the performer and/or composer. Thus, every piece of music has

intentionality, and we enter into relationship with each piece we come into contact

with. When the intentionality of the music is of a higher standard, it will have a

more positive effect on the receiver/hearer who enters into relationship with the

music. The opposite is also true, those that choose to listen to music of a darker,

more negative intention, will find their personal intentions changed in a more

negative way. Though I am not a proponent for censorship, I am a proponent for

consciously making choices to enhance our lives in a more positive way. This

understanding of the intentionality of music and the relationship that we have with

the music was shown to me through my spiritual practices in the Santo Daime




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Church. The Spirit that is brought through the hymns is similar to what one would

call intentionality. Not all music brings the energy of Spirit, but all music does

have intentionality and affects us accordingly.

       What is found in this research could offer insight for the field of music

therapy. At the present, music that is used in therapeutic situations is chosen

through trial and error. In other words, the therapist might choose a particular

song to use in a session because of personal tastes and because it was effective for

some others. As we understand more of the essential characteristics of music, and

how we experience it, we can more effectively choose music to better serve a

particular situation. This would apply to those in music therapy (Aldridge 1993;

Becker, 1994; Bonny & Savary 1973; Broucek, 1987; Lipe, 2002; Maranto, 1993;

Mayer, 1995; Moreno, 1995; Warja, 1994; etc.), as well as those in the field of

medicine who are using music as a healing tool (for example, Dossey, 1993;

Garfield, 1987; Gaynor, 1999; McClellan, 1991; Spintge, 1992).



Conclusion

        It is clear from this research that music has many gifts to offer us as

humans and as healers. Music and the experience of altered states of

consciousness, when experienced in a supportive, therapeutic environment can be

very effective at healing deep psychological/spiritual wounds. Music, when

shared with groups can create the feeling of connection and community. I hope

that others will understand the importance of school music programs, especially




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band/orchestra and chorus, as ways, not just to make music, but to provide a

positive place for kids to belong to a greater purpose.

       The use of music as a therapeutic tool is a powerful way to enhance the

therapeutic process. When using meditation/guided imagery and music, it is

important to choose music that will be positive for your client. Music can be

experienced in many ways, and it is helpful for those who choose to use music

therapeutically, to keep in mind the many aspects of the matrix of musical

experience. Understanding the experience of music as a relationship between the

intentionality of the music and the intentionality of the one participating with the

music opens a deeper understanding of how music affects us. This understanding

of the relationship one enters with the music can allow the facilitator to make the

best choices of music for the client. The facilitator can also time changes in the

music to create a flow of experience.

       Music as a shared intentional experience also has many therapeutic

benefits. If possible, provide the opportunity for people in treatment centers or

prisons the chance to make positive music together, which can facilitate healing

and rehabilitation. In hospitals and nursing homes, schools and after school

centers, bring people together to experience, whether passively or participating, in

a shared musical experience.



                               The possibilities are endless.




                                             104
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                                            109
                  Appendix A: HRRC Application—Santo Daime

                                       Susan Miller
                                       April 18, 2001


        Title: The Experience of Music in a Santo Daime Work


        Expedited Review Request

        SECTION 1: Study Aim, Background and Design

        My research will focus on the experience of music within the Santo Daime

Work. (the rituals are referred to as works) I will be using phenomenological

research methods to explore how the music is experienced within the Work which

regularly includes altered states of consciousness through the sacrament of the

Daime (or ayahuasca). I will be interviewing the participants in a community in

the Amazonian Basin which is the main center of the Santo Daime Church. The

participants will be asked to describe their experience of the music within the

work. I will use audio tape to record the descriptions. The participants will not be

asked to do anything other than what they normally do, with the exception of

talking to me about their experience. I think it is also important to clarify that in

Brazil, the use of ayahuasca, or the Daime, within a Church setting is a legal

activity.

        SECTION 2: Subject Population

        I will travel to the center of the Santo Daime Church in Ceu do Mapia

which is in the state of Acre, Brazil. The village has about 500 residents, most of




                                             110
whom are members of the Church. I know a few people who live in this

community and they will help me find a group of 10 volunteers to interview.

Since I will be relying on who volunteers, it is difficult to know exactly what the

make-up of the participants will be. These volunteers will be limited to adult

men and women. The nature of my research does not require any particular

characteristic of the volunteers, except that they participate in the Santo Daime

Work. I will interview each volunteer, either in their home or in a public setting

of their choice. Each participant will be interviewed once to gather their

description of their experience of music during the Work.

       SECTION 3: Briefly describe research methods

       My research question for this phenomenological inquiry is, ―Describe your

experience of music during a Santo Daime Work.‖ Any other questions asked

will be only to provide clarity within the original description. I will be using

phenomenological methodology as developed and taught by A. Giorgi. Each

participant will be tape recorded and I will be working with an interpreter to help

in the interview with any questions or concerns that the participant may have. I

have some fluency in Portuguese and will be able to carry on simple

conversations.

       During my stay in Mapia, I also intend to participate with the Church in

their services. One reason that I chose this Church for my research is my personal

familiarity with the Church and its Works. I have been an official member of the

Santo Daime Church for several years. I feel that the time spent in Mapia and




                                             111
participating with the community in the Works will be important in understanding

the setting from which the descriptions of their experiences arise. This will assist

in making my research reflect the intent of the participant more clearly, and will

help to eliminate cultural misunderstandings.

       SECTION 4: Risks

       This research will seek to understand the experience of participants in

activities that they regularly do. I will be planning for a ―low impact‖ intervention

into the lives of the participants, I do not forsee any risks. I will be asking about

what I assume are common experiences, which are neither necessarily deeply

emotional or difficult. Therefore, I do not forsee any major risks. The only risk

that could be possible is that someone could become emotionally upset by

thoughts that could arise during the interview. Since I am interviewing people

about a common experience, this possible experience of emotional upset is highly

unlikely. In the unlikely event that someone may become emotionally disturbed

by participating in my research, I will rely on the interpreter and those in the

community that I know, to help find the best way within the community to deal

with such situations. I know that the community has spiritual healers who are

available to the members of the community. My interpreter will be able to help

direct anyone who may need assistance to the appropriate source.

       I will insure confidentiality by not requiring personal identifying

information on the interview tape or during any part of my research. The

interview tapes will be kept in a safe place, either locked away or on my person at




                                             112
all times. When the tapes are transcribed, no identifying information will be

included.

        SECTION 5: Benefits

        Other than the enjoyment one may derive from helping me with my

research, it is my hope that the participants may gain insight into their own

experience. While this may deepen their own experience, it is to some extent

beyond my control, therefore, I cannot announce this possible benefit. I will be

paying the interpreter, but the participants will be on a volunteer basis.

        SECTION 6: Consent Process and Documentation

        I will be collecting oral consent because I cannot be sure that every

participant will be able to read or write in this village. Also, I feel that there

should be no identifying information available in this research because of the

unclear legal status of the use of ayahuasca in the United States (even though it is

legal in Brazil). By relying on oral consent, there would be no direct connection

to any participants. In this way, should there be a change in legal status of the use

of ayahuasca in Brazil there could be no way to connect my research with any

particular member of the Church. Therefore, I will have no official record of

consent from the participants which might provide identifying information. I will

read the consent form to the participant in Portuguese and a written copy will be

provided for those who wish. I will have a native speaker help me with the

translation of the consent form. The consent form follows in the appendix.




                                              113
        As mentioned above, in the risks section, all audio recording will be kept

in a secure place, either on my person or locked away. Once my research is

finished, the tapes will be recorded over and then disposed of. In this way, the

oral descriptions will not be accessible to anyone other than myself and my

interpreter.

        SECTION 7: Number of participants

        10 interviews will be recorded for this research

        SECTION 8: Human Subjects Bill of Rights

        I will have a copy of the Bill of Rights translated into Portuguese. I will

either read it to the participant, or give a copy to the participant, as they request.

        SECTION 9: Funding for this study

        I will be using a Kranzke Scholarship to fund this portion of my research.

        SECTION 10: Other Institutions: There are no other institutions involved

in this research.




                                              114
           Appendix B: Consent Form for Susan Miller—Santo Daime


                  The Experience of Music during a Santo Daime Work



       I am Susan Miller and I am a Doctoral student in East-West Psychology at

the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, California. I am

doing research on the experience of music during a Santo Daime Work and would

like to invite you to participate in this research. Your participation will involve

only a short (30 minutes to an hour) interview on your experience of music in a

Santo Daime Work.

       Your participation in this research is completely voluntary. You may, at

any time, refuse to continue this interview, or refuse to answer any question. This

interview will not be used without your full consent and knowledge.

       Your interview will be tape recorded and will not include your name or

any identifying information. When this research is published as a part of my

dissertation, no identifying information will be included.

       If you have any questions regarding this research, you may contact me

here in Mapia at the Hotel San Miguel until June 24th, or in the United States at:

       Susan Miller
       2156 Oak Grove Rd
       Carrollton, GA 30117
       USA

       Phone # (770) 854-7009
       e-mail smiller477@aol.com




                                             115
       If you have any concerns or are dissatisfied at any time, with any part of

this research, you may contact:

       The Chair of the Human Research Review Committee
       CIIS
       1453 Mission St
       San Francisco, CA 94103
       USA

       Any contact made with the Chair of the HRRC will be kept confidential

upon request.

       Do you wish to participate in Susan Miller‘s research on the experience of

music in the Santo Daime Work? Do you certify that you have received a copy,

or been read a copy, of the consent form and confidentiality statement, and do you

understand that your confidentiality will be protected within the limits of the law?




                                            116
            Appendix C: HRRC Application—Holotropic Breathwork


                                         Susan Miller
                                        June 18, 2002

       Title: The Experience of Music in a Holotropic Breathwork Session


                                   Expedited Review Request

       SECTION 1: Study Aim, Background and Design

       My research will focus on the experience of music within the Holotropic

Breathwork Sessions. I will be using phenomenological research methods to

explore the experience of music within the session, which regularly includes

altered states of consciousness triggered by deep, regular breathing. The goal of

the research is to further our understanding of the experience of music during

altered states of consciousness.

        I will be interviewing participants of Holotropic Breathwork in the United

States. The participants will be asked to describe their experience of the music

within the Breathwork session during an interview. I will use audio tape to record

the descriptions. The participants will not be asked to do anything other than what

they normally do, other than talk to me about their experience.

       SECTION 2: Subject Population

       I will be interviewing people who participate in Holotropic Breathwork

Sessions in the United States. I know some people who participate in the

Holotropic Breathwork and with their help, I will gather names of possible

volunteers that I may contact. I will contact a group of 10 volunteers to interview


                                             117
by phone and ask if they are willing to participate in this research by sharing their

experience of music during a Holotropic Breathwork session.       Since I will be

relying on volunteers, it is difficult to know exactly what the make-up of the

participants will be. These volunteers will be limited to adult men and women.

The nature of my research does not require any particular characteristic of the

volunteers, except that they have participated in Holotropic Breathwork Sessions

at least once.

        SECTION 3: Briefly describe research methods

        My research question for this phenomenological inquiry is, ―Describe your

experience of music during a Holotropic Breathwork Session.‖ I will be

conducting oral interview and any other questions asked will be only to provide

clarity for the original question. I will be using phenomenological methodology

as developed and taught by A. Giorgi to understand the experience of music

during the Holotropic Session. Each interview will be tape recorded. I will

interview each volunteer, either in their home or in a public setting of their

choice. Each participant will be interviewed once to gather a description of their

experience of music during the Holotropic Breathwork Session. Each interview

will last approximately one hour, but will end when the participant feels finished

with their description.

        SECTION 4: Risks

        This research will seek to understand the experience of participants in

activities that they regularly do. I will be planning for a ―low impact‖ intervention




                                             118
into the lives of the participants. I will be asking about what I assume are

common experiences, which are neither necessarily deeply emotional or

difficult. Therefore, I do not foresee any major risks. The only risk that could be

possible is that someone could become emotionally upset by thoughts that could

arise during the interview. Since I am interviewing people about a common

experience, this possible experience of emotional upset is highly unlikely. In the

event that a participant should become deeply emotionally upset, I will refer that

person to a professional counselor, Inge Myllerup (770) 836-1205

         I will insure confidentiality by not requiring personal identifying

information on the interview tape or during any part of my research. The

interview tapes will be kept in a safe place, either locked away or on my person at

all times. When the tapes are transcribed, no identifying information will be

included. After the tapes are transcribed, they will be taped over and disposed of.

         SECTION 5: Benefits

         Besides the enjoyment one may derive from helping me with my research,

it is my hope that the participants may gain insight into their own experience

which may deepen their own experience. All participation will be on a volunteer

basis.

         SECTION 6: Consent Process and Documentation

         I will be collecting written consent from each participant. Each participant

will receive a consent form and a participant‘s bill of rights form. (see appendix)

These consent forms will be kept separately from the taped interviews. As




                                              119
mentioned above, in the risks section, all audio recording will be kept in a secure

place, either on my person or locked away. Once my research is finished, the

tapes will be recorded over and then disposed of. In this way, the oral

descriptions will not be accessible to anyone other than myself and my

transcriber.

        SECTION 7: Number of participants

        10 interviews will be recorded for this research

        SECTION 8: Human Subjects Bill of Rights

        I will have a copy of the Bill of Rights and will give a copy to each

participant.

        SECTION 9: Funding for this study

        I am not receiving any funding for this portion of my research.

        SECTION 10: Other Institutions: There are no other institutions involved

in this research.




                                            120
      Appendix D: Consent Form for Susan Miller—Holotropic Breathwork



            The Experience of Music during a Holotropic Breathwork Session

       I am Susan Miller and am a Doctoral student in East-West Psychology at

the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, California. I am

doing research on the experience of music during a Holotropic Breathwork

Session and would like to invite you to participate in this research. Your

participation will involve only a short (up to an hour) interview of your

experience of music in a Holotropic Breathwork Session.

        Your participation in this research is completely voluntary. You may, at

any time, refuse to continue this interview, or refuse to answer any question. This

interview will not be used without your full consent and knowledge.

        There are no known risks inherent in discussing your experience of music

during a Breathwork session.

        There are also no known benefits inherent in participating in this research,

except possibly, the honoring of your experience.

        Your interview will be tape recorded and will not include your name or

any identifying information. When this research is published as a part of my

dissertation, no identifying information will be included and the tapes will be

properly disposed of.




                                            121
       If you would like a copy of my research, I will gladly send it to you.

Please contact me at the address below and send a self-addressed, stamped, large

manila envelop, and I will send you a copy as soon as the work is completed.

       If you have any questions regarding this research, you may contact me at:

       Susan Miller
       2156 Oak Grove Rd
       Carrollton, GA 30117

       Phone # (770) 854-7009
       e-mail smiller477@aol.com

       If you have any concerns or are dissatisfied at any time, with any part of

this research, you may contact:

       The Chair of the Human Research Review Committee
       CIIS
       1453 Mission St
       San Francisco, CA 94103
       USA

       Any contact made with the Chair of the HRRC will be kept confidential

upon request.

        Do you wish to participate in Susan Miller‘s research on the experience of

music in the Holotropic Breathwork Session? Do you certify that you have

received a copy of the consent form and confidentiality statement, and do you

understand that your confidentiality will be protected within the limits of the law?

Signed _______________________________________________

Date__________________________________________________




                                            122
         Appendix E: Research Participants Bill of Rights



                          You have the right to…

1. be treated with dignity and respect;
2. be given a clear description of the purpose of the study and what is
    expected of you as a participant;
3. be told of any benefits or risks to you that can be expected from
    participating in the study;
4. know the research psychologist‘s training and experience;
5. ask any questions you may have about the study;
6. decide to participate or not without any pressure from the researcher or
    his or her assistants;
7. have your privacy protected within the limits of the law;
8. refuse to answer any research question, refuse to participate in any part
    of the study, or withdraw from the study at any time without any
    negative effects to you;
9. be given a description of the overall results of the study upon request;
10. discuss any concerns or file a complaint about the study with the
    Human Research Review Committee, California Institute of Integral
    Studies, 1453 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103.




                                    123
                 Appendix F: Imaginative Variation Protocols Key


       This section of the appendix contains the original transcript of the

interviews as well as the imaginative variations for each interview. There are ten

participants; numbers 1-5 are from the Santo Daime Church, and 6-10 are

Holotropic Breathwork participants. The interviews and my analysis are arranged

as follows; Column I (the transcript of the original interview broken into meaning

units), Column II (the expansion of the meaning units using imaginative

variation), Column III(the distillation of meaning units towards the essential

meanings) and Column IV (the essential meaning units).

       Each Participant interview with the analysis is followed by its situated

structure of meaning. This situated structure is also found in the findings section

of the dissertation along with the situated structure for the Santo Daime

Participants and the Holotropic Breathwork Participants as well as the general

structure of meaning for the experience of music in altered states of

consciousness.




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