It may first be important to consider the variable methods of interpretation here, available to us under vastly different contexts.
This can all be approached from a neurological angle (explained by the neurochemical reactions brought about within the brain — of which will be presented below as the focal point of this article).
But it has to be noted that it can also be explained from a more general physiological angle (i.e. blood alkalinity fluctuations, calcium shifts). Maybe it’s worth assessing on a level relating to spirituality (is the hiss one that emanates from a Kundalini Awakening?) or one of psychology (is it all some kind of manifestation of the sub-conscious mind?).
Depending on who’s asked, who’s interpreting and who’s reading the interpretation, the truth changes every which way, so it’s most sensical to not become confined to one box of thinking.
For myself, I’m most inclined to think that it’s all happening within the parameters of a physiological state of affairs but — here’s the hook that got me — there’s some psychological element that warrants greater appreciation, one that jives with the spiritual experiences and falls in line with the neurological happenstance.
The changes, while they’re ostensibly psychological (the shift in auditory perception, the visuals, the heightened sensory experience), they’re indicative of something that runs deeper in terms of it all, something rooted in cognition — a common-denominator pulling at the strings.
This mental element — one whereby thinking itself is changed and thought processes seem to be recalibrated to some degree — is not necessarily getting the kind of attention that it should receive.
And there remains much to be said about the fact that this range of phenomena has already been explained if you ask the right person — say, anyone trying to awaken their Kundalini (which accompanies pleasurable sounds — oft described as a hissing snake!— changes in auditory or visual perception, ‘awakened’ or ‘heightened’ sensations relating to taste, touch, etc.).
But what I’m after is an explanation as comprehensive and verifiable as it is transcendent of our physical understanding, and so I have to set aside the spiritual elucidations, many of which are pre-emptively set aside by most skeptics to begin with.
Despite any skepticism or over-enthusiasm, it’s critical to suspend our intuitive understandings about much of this subject matter — about how we hear sounds and the entire process of a soundwave reverberating through our inner ear canal; about how the neurological system transmits signals so efficiently without our full understanding; about how our brain processes what we see, even with our eyes closed.
And so I happened to reach out to a neurologist, specializing in meditative studies, to see if anything can be gleamed from the less-than-fantastical interpretations of observational science.
To my amazement, neuroscience has uncovered something of a bombshell to be dropped on everything we know relating to not only this subject but to the general ways by which we practice any sort of self-reflective art.