The therapeutic coma

 

 

The ancient Greek word ‘coma’ translates as sleep (or deep sleep). Sleep is usually and vaguely defined as a psychophysical  activity during which an individual appears to be non-responsive to, meaning not conscious of, external stimuli.

 

It is common experience that ordinary sleep functions as a therapeutic coma. Sleep appears to have evolved as an ‘on standby’ operation that serves to restore, i.e. repair and reenergize humans to maximum (personal) survival capacity. Without sleep (for instance when people are tortured with sleep deprivation) humans rapidly disintegrate mentally and physically and die rather quickly.

 

Every night I sleep between 6 and 8 hours. I (often) go to bed mentally and physically exhausted, and sometimes ill, sometimes depressed. Then I wake up the next morning mentally and physically fully functional, fit as a fiddle, my batteries recharged/elated and my illness miraculously gone.

 

So how do brain and body recover full operational capacity during sleep. Well, no one knows! There are plenty of guesses.

 

When I’m asleep (i.e. in a mild to medium coma) I appear not to be aware (but in fact am, to some as yet unknown degree) of what goes on outside me (in much the same was as during a barbiturate induced medical coma). I wake up by becoming aware of external contacts. Usually I have amnesia for whatever went on during my 6 to 8 hours ‘on standby’ in unawareness (but of actual high neural (albeit low brainwave frequency), chemical and physical activity). Being aware means: generating a running mental (albeit virtual = pretend) map, a sort of systems status display of both external and internal contacts. Or, as the fully awakened (meaning: fully aware of none) Buddha first observed: “Awareness arises from contact.” .. more..

 

Which begs the question, “Awareness of what?” And the answer is, awareness of the current contact (as acute stressor). So, I’m aware only of the contact/stressor I’m processing (i.e. responding to) in my brain and not aware (hence asleep, i.e. in a coma) in relation to all other contacts (= data) that I’m not processing.

 

So how does all that relate to flooding my brain with benign Forest contacts/stressors and entering a green coma?

 

If all I am aware of is forest ambience contacts/data because I’ve blocked contact with (hence am comatose in relation to) all other data, then the benign forest contacts alone determine my mental, physical and emotional states, thereby putting all three into benign states. The upshot is that by focusing on (meaning, selecting) benign forest data to the exclusion of all other data I induce a partial unawareness, meaning: a partial coma. It’s during my partial coma (hence ‘on standby’) state that my brain, body and emotions can recover full functional capacity, the more so the selected focus (as initial distraction) instructs (as placebo) my brain (operating as blind auto-pilot or Bio-Nav) towards self-recovery.

 

Example: Supposing you’re a pilot and need to fly your Airbus 380 to New Delhi. There are of course a zillion airports you could fly your plane to, meaning that your autopilot as such is fundamentally, meaning initially, blind to all airports. So how to you get to New Delhi? You select and then punch ‘New Delhi’ (actually a pair of coordinates) into your autopilot. That (dominant) instruction blocks (i.e. puts into sleep or coma mode) all other destination instructions thereby deciding the flight path, meaning, it gives actual awareness (a dominant, hence deciding on-going contact  = quasi sight) to your autopilot. From there on your autopilot will disregard (i.e. remain unaware, i.e. unconscious of) all contacts/data not relevant to New Delhi until the journey (i.e. its primary outcome) is completed. In short, to get to New Delhi (or to any destination or outcome of your choice) you have to induce and maintain selective awareness in your autopilot (meaning in your own BIO-Nav). Obviously your autopilot will register all other planes it encounters and, since they are not going to New Delhi, will mark them ‘insane’.

 

 One of the most important mental and physical selective awareness (hence mild, sometimes deep coma) states most people experience is the annual holidays and which help them regenerate for another year’s slavery in their preferred salt mine. Idem a visit to pub or coffee shop (as altered (selective) awareness states).

 

So, by selectively focusing fully on, meaning flooding my brain with ‘forest data’ I sleep (i.e. go ‘on standby’) in relation to all other data and can thereby benefit from the therapeutic action of my partial sleep state.

 

Interesting diversion