The ancient Egyptians knew about the acoustic power of Vowels and believed that these sounds could generate vibrations with healing qualities. The same way, the very language of Sanskrit identifies A- U and Mmmmh as primordial sounds along with the 50 letters of its alphabet, able to balance and pacify our emotions and body. The traditional idea according to which the great pyramids were burial monuments has now been questioned for decades. A growing number of scientists believe instead that they were some kind of "energetic factories" used to not only decipher the movement of planets and their influence on Earth/us but also to generate energy and specific frequencies for uses which are still debated.
In essence, many monuments of the megalithic period around the world (i.e. prehistoric - well before 3000 BC), appear to have had a much more advanced and complex utility than traditional history we learned at school and seem to have used sound frequencies for healing as well as energetic purposes.
The Saqqara's Sound Chambers, for example, have a constant frequency of 110-111 Hz. MRI results suggest that at exactly 111 Hz, the brain turns off the pre-frontal cortex, deactivating the language center and temporarily switching from left to right dominance, responsible for intuition, creativity, holistic processing, inducing a state of meditation or a trance.
In Giza there are also sound chambers which appear to have been used for healing purposes (see video below - "The Pyramid Code" - documentary).
The megaliths of Stonehenge might have been raised to augment the area's natural sound cancellation, which is called Sound Illusion (2012 American Association for the Advancement of Sciences). And then obviously, there is the omnipresence of Sound healing in all ancestral cultures: from Australia to India and the use of chanting, singing, gongs, Tibetan bells and bowls and so on.
Mind Altering, Psychedelic Experience ?
We know that sound healing alters our perception and allows us to glance into our unconscious by plunging us into a "Theta" state of brain activity (or a slowed-down brain activity). As a result, patients who submit to it, report seeing colours, having visions, being vividly confronted with their emotional issues. Similar to an Ayahuasca healing ceremony, the patient is both present (i.e. aware of what is happening) and elsewhere ... I rarely dare compare the sound healing experience to a psychedelic experience when I explain it to a patient. Yet a groundbreaking study conducted by Selen Atasoy, Phd. at the University of NSW, Sydney, draws a striking parallel between the two and demonstrates that the two practices work physiologically in the same way. In this context, it becomes less surprising to note that all primitive societies used the two in conjunction.
Atasoy, using a new method called Connectome Harmonic Decomposition, studied how LSD affects the brain and consciousness and explains how the brain communicates through harmonics (a harmonic is a multiple of the fundamental note - or its lowest vibration) emitted by an object (note: everything vibrates at a certain frequency, animated and inanimate objects - it's also called an overtone). I've previously explained (here) how despite heavily relying on our sight, our earring is 3 times more nervously connected to our brain and organs than our eyes.
"One could argue that there is no other form of expression as impactful and far reaching as the ancient art of music"
Atasoy argues that our brain is more to be compared to a multi-scale resonance system than it is to computer. It's more like if the brain was playing music as an orchestra than compiling digits like a calculator. She found that the brain has different harmonics in the multiple of 9 and that the brain on LSD displays far more complexe harmonics associated with higher levels of cognition
than the normal brain. The study uses imagery to map the activity in terms of harmonics (or frequencies) which then allows to deconstruct what's happening in the brain in terms of musical notes and resonance. For example, the 9th, 18th and 27th harmonics are associated with deep sleep and loss of consciousness.
Atasoy concluded that external (music) and internal (psychedelics) stimuli altered brain states to re-organise its activity. All that through the principles of resonance and entrainment (which are explained here). This is crucial in that it allows us to predict the effect of a frequency on our own activity a bit as if there is a mathematical frameworks underlying all principles of our biology, a kind of harmonic code which can allow us to use certain frequency to obtain specific results.
Dr Atasoy found that psychedelics reliably give human beings greater access to higher brain harmonics where both hemispheres of the brain communicate with each other allowing for a state of coherence or homeostasis. This way, from a stressed state (sympathetic system) the brain can realign itself and find relaxation (triggering the parasympathetic system), in turn ordering the whole body to relax and illness to subside.
Using the voice through mantras or chanting , listening to the songs of the Shamans or to Tibetan bowls and the godly Gongs (when played harmonically of course) allows the vagus nerve and thus the whole body to tune itself harmonically too.
It seems like ancient civilisations we think of as non-advanced have a few things to teach us.
Read or Watch:
Gaia: Psychedelica 2
The Pyramid Code
Taapoa: How Sound Works