Stonehenge and Other Megaliths are Mind Altering Acoustical Devices

Stonehenge: a great place to jam out

Talk about Stonehenge: a great place to jam out!

Studies spanning decades have revealed that Stonehenge and other ancient megalithic structures and tombs may have been used to create music and various mind altering sounds. These studies represent a relatively new theory to explain what megalithic structures like Stonehenge were used for, and how important they were to early humans. They have also created a new field of study called archaeoacoustics, the study of the acoustical properties of archaeological sites.

According to authors Steven Brown, Björn Merker, and Nils L. Wallin in their book The Origins of Music,

The language-centered view of humanity has to be expanded to include music, first, because the evolution of language is highly intertwined with the evolution of music, and, second, because music provides a specific and direct means of exploring the evolution of human social structure, group function, and cultural behavior. Music making is the quintessential human cultural activity, and music is an ubiquitous element in all cultures large and small.

Music plays a much larger role in the history and evolution of humanity than we normally give it credit for. So, maybe it isn’t so far fetched that early humans dragged 25 ton stones over 100 miles just to create Stonehenge and jam out. This is the conclusion that researchers from the Royal College of Art in London are beginning to entertain.

Related Article: The Mystery of America’s Stonehenge: Coral Castle

In 2006 Paul Devereux and Jon Wozencroft began testing rocks with digital field sound recorders in hand. They focused most closely on rocks found at a site called Carn Menyn in South-West Wales, where archaeologists believe many of the blue stones used to create Stonehenge and other similar megalithic structures in the area came from. The researchers stated that,

Because it would be impractical to attempt to acoustically test all the thousands of individual rocks involved, our methodology was to conduct percussion tests using small hammerstones on many rocks (over a thousand in all) in organized transects at points along the Carn Menyn ridge. From this we could make an informed estimate of the incidence of ringing rocks.

While not all of the stones at Stonehenge they tested “rang,” or made various drum, gong, and bell-like sounds when struck, a surprising number did. The variation in the sounds that the rocks can make is incredible. After having a listen it is very easy to imagine our ancestors creating ritualistic music or just killing time by jamming on the gigantic monoliths.

Related Article: Modern Language May Share Common, Ancient Ancestor 

It was inevitable that the researchers would test the stones at Stonehenge. They expected all potential sound to be muted due to a lack of air space around each stone. The results, however, surprised them, as they were still able to play the monoliths like giant xylophones. Amazingly, archaeologists have reproduced the results of this study many times at various sites around the world, even in ancient crypts in Greece. Some researchers have even created reproductions of what ancient Lithoacoustic (music created from stones) songs may have sounded like.

Time to swallow some cactus and trip out at the local megalith!

Time to swallow some cactus and trip out at the local megalith!

Research into archaeoacoustics jumps down the rabbit hole via a further field of study called psychoacoustics, a branch of psychophysics which deals with physiological and psychological responses to sound. Studies performed at an ancient site called Chavín de Huántar in Peru have revealed that ancients intentionally constructed sites to enhance the psychoactive effects of the San Pedro cactus, and to intensify psychedelic and ritualistic experiences. Ancients constructed their sites with such precision that a single hand clap while standing on a central staircase sounds identical to a quetzal bird. Additionally, areas of the sites were specifically constructed so that shadows produced by sunlight outside of the structure would create incredibly psychedelic shadows and effects when perceived by an ancient. According to Miriam Kolar, a researcher at Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research and Acoustics,

These structures, unlike those at Stonehenge, could be physically disorienting and the acoustic environment is very different than the natural world. The iconography shows people mixed with animal features in altered states of being. There is peyote and mucus trails out of the nose indicative of people using psychoactive plant substances. They were taking drugs and having a hallucinogenic experience.

Related Article: Music’s Grand Effect on the Mind

Mayans and other ancients were the original hippies, superior to hippies in that they appear to have empirically explored the psychological and physiological effects of sound and imagery on the observer. Right now we can only imagine what those at Stonehenge experienced during their jam sessions.

If you are interested in experiencing the effects that specific sound frequencies can have on your mind and body, check out binaural beats, which are tones that affect the way our brains function and process thoughts and information in various ways. Through the use of binaural beats, simply listening to a particular frequency can induce states of incredible calm, stimulation, or even heightened awareness. I recommend this playlist of different frequencies to experience the profound effects of these sound vibrations on the mind and body.

Screw mediation, let's just listen to these audio files and go deeper than Gautama!

Screw mediation, let’s just listen to these audio files and go deeper than Gautama!




Psychiatrists Cannot Distinguish the Sane From Insane

One of the most important criticisms of psychiatric diagnosis is the Rosenhan experiment, which was an experiment orchestrated by David Rosenhan in 1973.  In these experiments, completely sane people faked hallucinations in order to gain access to mental hospitals in an attempt to show that

psychiatrists cannot reliably tell the difference between people who are sane and those who are insane.

In the study, the fake patients, three women and five men, kept written records on how 12 different hospitals in 5 different states were generally operated and also how they were personally treated.

The experiments began by each of the fake patients making appointments at the hospitals and describing voices and words that they heard in their heads.  They provided

a false name and job, but all other details they gave were true including general ups and downs of life,  relationships, events of life history and so on.

After being admitted to the hospital, they acted exactly as they would in the outside world, participating in activities and regularly talking to patients and hospital staff in a friendly, jovial manner.  They also immediately told the staff that they felt fine, and no longer heard voices or felt the slightest bit depressed.

The sane patients were in the hospitals for 7 to 52 days, with an average of 19 days of admittance.  Their objective: to be declared sane and get out of the hospitals by their own devices.  This is where things get interesting…

First, none of the patients were detected by the doctors or staff at the hospitals as being normal or sane, while many of the clinically insane patients spotted their sanity immediately.  In fact, 35 out of 118 patients publicly voiced their suspicions regarding the fake patients.

Second, normal behavior was viewed as symptoms of their illness.  Writing notes on the staff (which they did openly as the staff took no interest in the subject matter of the writing) was considered ‘writing behavior,’ and showing up early for meals was labeled as ‘oral-acquisitive syndrome,’ rather than simple boredom.

Here are the results of the staff’s behavior toward the fake patients:

Response Percentage making contact with patient
Psychiatrists Nurses
Moves on with head averted 71 88
Makes eye contact 23 10
Pauses and chats 2 4
Stops and talks 4 0.5

Next up, the researchers flipped the study on its head and lied to hospital staff, telling them that one or more sane patients would be admitted to the hospital.  The staff was to rate each patient on a 10-point scale as to the likelihood of them being a fake patient.
The results:

Number of patients judged 193
Number of patients confidently judged as pseudo patients by at least one staff member 41
Number of patients suspected by one psychiatrist 23
Number of patients suspected by one psychiatrist AND one other staff member 19

The psychiatrists at these hospitals failed miserably at even remotely being able to tell the difference between sanity and insanity.

Rosenhan notes that the

experience of hospitalization for the pseudo patients was one of depersonalisation and powerlessness. Powerlessness and depersonalisation were evident in the ways in which the patients were deprived of many human rights such as freedom of movement and privacy.  Medical records were open to all staff members regardless of status or therapeutic relationship with the patient and personal hygiene was monitored and many of the toilets did not have doors.  Some of the ward orderlies would be brutal to patients in full view of other patients but would stop as soon as another staff member approached.

Anyone that has ever taken a look at the DSM knows what a joke modern day psychology and generalized labeling has become.  According to the DSM, everyone is clinically insane and requires very similar if not identical treatment.  As Rosenhan urged so long ago,

instead of labeling a person as insane we should focus on the individual’s specific problems and behaviours.

We could also strip society of senseless laws and restrictions that halt progress and use something that has been proven to work.  Time tested, and safe, what could be better?



For Cure, Administer Two Times Daily – How Effective Is Our Medicine?

It’s not uncommon to turn on the mainstream media and hear the results of a new health study or miracle cure. Whether it’s the hot new weight loss pill or “groundbreaking research” in the cure for diabetes, there’s a good chance that your ears perk up when you hear such positive words about the ailments that consume us. However, how many times have you questioned the veracity of those statements? Have you ever asked what is behind these dubious cure-all claims?

In Ben Goldacre’s new book, Bad Pharma: How drug companies mislead doctors and harm patients, he presents an interesting exposé into how drug manufacturers selectively choose information from research studies. It goes without question – we rely on our doctor’s advice to get treatment for what ails us. What the doctor has been advised, however, is a little less clear. But drugs have been tested by the FDA, right?

Drugs are tested by the people who manufacture them, in poorly designed trials, on hopelessly small numbers of weird, unrepresentative patients, and analysed using techniques that are flawed by design, in such a way that they exaggerate the benefits of treatments. Unsurprisingly, these trials tend to produce results that favour the manufacturer. When trials throw up results that companies don’t like, they are perfectly entitled to hide them from doctors and patients, so we only ever see a distorted picture of any drug’s true effects.

That’s a bit tough to swallow.

At the source link below, they’ve done a great job of breaking down information in Ben’s new book. Head over there, give it a read and check out all of the linked articles. It sparked something in me, and unfortunately, it can’t be cured with a pill.

Source: io9