Neuro-backed Musings on Quantum Change Experiences

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  • I suggest the “life flashing before eyes” in NDEs reflects high, paradoxical gamma activity activating prior emotional encodings, making them amenable to dismantling.
  • This could parallel the trauma activation step in Havening before delta waves facilitate receptor endocytosis to rapidly dissolve distressing memories.
  • As NDEs involve accessing non-local consciousness, I hypothesize this non-local consciousness could drive the “paradoxical” gamma in the depleted biological brain, priming it for a delta-wave dismantling process.
  • Positive NDEs may induce a widespread “Havening” effect, releasing inescapability and broadly updating neural networks. Negative NDEs may encode new traumas and even further entrench old traumas by meeting E.M.L.I criteria.
  • I propose the key factor is whether the NDE results in positive or negative astonishment, which determines if old learnings are released or if new trauma is encoded.

Quantum change refers to an abrupt, enduring transformation affecting emotions, cognition, and behavior. Quantum changes often share common features in how they unfold and the types of personal changes they catalyze. They may be sparked by pivotal life events and lead to dramatic positive changes in self-concept, values, and worldview.

In my post regarding fast and slow learning, gamma waves were a big part of the conversation. During fast learning, the amygdala is key, and subsequent gamma oscillations are associated with heightened attention, sensory processing, and rapid encoding of information. In threat-based fast learning, gamma waves help encode fear-based memories, while in novelty-based fast learning, they may facilitate the integration of new information into existing knowledge networks, supporting the brain’s ability to adapt and learn rapidly in novel situations (and overwrite old, outdated learnings).

As someone who experienced a quantum change as the result of a nondual experience during a nondual meditation, I am also pondering the role of delta waves as well. Why? Well, as Amanda E. Berman and Larry Stevens have documented in their study EEG manifestations of nondual experiences in meditators, during the actual nondual events, the EEG was showing delta, theta, and alpha.* Additionally, Stéphane Charpier’s Between life and death: the brain twilight zones, a paper discussing “time of death” research mentioned that “paradoxical” gamma waves were followed by delta waves. This gamma-to-delta shift in the dying brain is intriguing to me, though please note that I do understand that the delta pattern emerges here due to metabolic crisis. Additionally, as a certified Havening Techniques® Practitioner, I am always using the power of delta waves to dismantle threat-based encodings in my clients (they are unlearning, often instantaneously, uncomfortable, encoded emotional responses, and more). Moreover, twice while doing my Havening Techniques® cases studies, we had “visits” from deceased friends and family while generating delta waves to dismantle encodings unrelated to grief or loss (one person was havening for chronic pain, and another on her nighttime eating habits).

The Rare, Negative NDE (No Quantum Change, Resultant PTSD-like Conditions)

Near-death experiences (NDEs) are typically considered positive, but 1-2% of NDErs report negative experiences. They are out of body, but not in a good place. And this is not something that just happens to “bad” people.

Negative NDEs can lead to post-traumatic symptoms like dissociation, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, relationship strains, loss of meaning. PTSD-like conditions have been documented. In these rare cases of negative NDEs, I pose that based on the threat perceived by the body, fast gamma waves sweep through the brain, especially the amygdala (typical response to life threat). If PTSD, or PTSD-like conditions are encoded at the time of the negative experience, this would follow what we know about traumatic encodings which are “installed” in the presence of really fast gamma waves, under the conditions of EMLI (event,  meaning,  landscape, inescapability). While most NDEs are described as pleasant — or ultimately pleasant — some can be very distressing and frightening. These may involve feelings of isolation, hellish landscapes, encounters with demonic beings, vivid sensations of fire/heat. Why? Because the imprint of fear, confusion, etc, is carried out of body as well.

If you have studied NDEs and paranormal (or watched TV shows like The Ghost Whisperer) you likely heard of deceased who are afraid to go into the light, or are confused, meaning they don’t know they are dead (due to a sudden death), etc. The one truth is love, but in coming into a world of form, that love can take on an imprint — a frequency other than love.

This is why shamans do psychopomp work, telling the deceased to “Go to the light, there will be no judgment… only love….” This is why we hear NDE accounts where a tour of the post-life dimension included areas where people were getting their energies “cleaned up.” Love is the only thing. Anything that is not love, needs to get called back to love… here on Earth, and beyond the veil as well.

And you don’t need a shaman to point you to the light. I love how Bill Letson explains the hell-ish experiences:

“It, almost every time… It’s like they sort it out. One woman was in a coma for weeks, and at one point she… She sorted it out. And she started, um… singing a spiritual song that she sang in church. And she popped right out of Hell! (laughs) And but… And she said, that most of the time, she had no idea she was dead! This thing about leaving this world in an astonished state. You know, you’re going to bump around in these low-vibrational places until you can sort out that astonishment.

In these cases, I surmise that we don’t see a quantum reset, because the gamma activity is associated with installing new trauma encodings. Even though the brain may shift down to the slower delta pattern, there is no escape, and thus all 4 criteria of EMLI (event,  meaning,  landscape,  inescapability) stay intact.

Positive NDE (with Quantum Change)

In this case, gamma is also involved, perhaps in the same way: fast gamma waves. We often hear NDErs say “My life flashed before my eyes.” Perhaps in that process, the previous traumatic encodings become activated and thus pliable to change (subsequent dismantling via swift endocytosis). This makes a lot of sense to me. In fact, it is believed that chronic stress and neurotic traits (often brought on by past traumas) are considered primers for the quantum change experience, while acute stress can trigger one! This is according to a theory called Pivotal Mental States (PiMS). PiMS are transient, intense hyperplastic states, characterized by elevated cortical plasticity, enhanced associative learning, and the potential to mediate psychological transformation. In my experience of quantum recalibration I was describing as “All my parts dropped their baggage.” This is called a spontaneous unburdening in Internal Family Systems (IFS). We are not just one personality, we are a mix of subpersonalities… We have “parts.” Sometimes parts take on burdens. The burdens that parts take on would map to the whole list personality detailers described under the umbrella of “neurotic traits.” But understanding “My parts dropped their burdens!” was one thing. As a biochemist, I wanted to find out: What actually happened to my brain????? The first clue was that this was the exact opposite of PTSD. PTSD happens (often) after a one time threatening experience, and now, going forward, a person’s biological spacesuit is indefinitely changed. Well my mind was wiped clean. Reset.

The more burdens you have to drop… The more trauma encodings you have installed… The more “primed” you are for a quantum change experience…. There’s more to reset.

So though my money’s on the fast gamma coming into play, I will still point out that we can really look at three types of gamma rhythms: low gamma (25 to 40 Hz), medium gamma (40 to 65 Hz) and high gamma (65Hz and above). Interestingly, different gamma rhythms occur at different phases of the CA1 theta rhythm. This suggests that the variations in gamma frequency might help route information in the brain and separate potentially conflicting information from different sources. (This also means that if the newest theories on the quantum soul are correct, and the alpha-theta threshold is where we connect to the larger conscious system, then “external” quantum theta induction of in-body gamma is plausible.)

How might a slower gamma rhythm come into play? Perhaps after the initial shock in the face of life threat, the gamma rhythm slows a bunch. Based on the neuroscience of learning, slower gamma waves would be involved in “new learning.” It’s also generally accepted that gamma waves are involved in the processes that allow for flexibility to accommodate new learning (“loosens” up older encodings/”learnings” so they can be overwritten with better, newer information).

Additionally, studies** show that in expansive states, gamma activity reflects neural flexibility, new learning and growth rather than dysfunction, and that these gamma waves are believed to enable connectivity between far-flung brain regions. Interestingly, gamma waves are linked non-ordinary states of consciousness related to meditation, flow, psychedelics, spiritual practices, etc. The gamma patterns appear to facilitate new perspectives and learning in these expansive states. We know that in the face of novel experiences (and new learnings), the old learning becomes pliable and can be dismantled quite swiftly. (This is well documented over the ages, and most recently it’s been documented here: The times they are a-changin’: a proposal on how brain flexibility goes beyond the obvious to include the concepts of “upward” and “downward” to neuroplasticity.)

In either case, in the remembrance of Oneness and divine safety (the “I am Home” experience), the gamma waves would be followed by delta waves and AMPA endocytosis — basically an erasure of trauma encodings, unhelpful learnings, etc. And if we are dismantling a whole bunch of trauma encodings at one, it’s a quantum change experience. It’s a reset. The ion channels (AMPA receptors) that allowed information to flow through and made us feel stress, emotional discomfort, triggered, etc, are literally swallowed up like a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos.

As mentioned at the start of this post, in the dying brain, “paradoxical” gamma waves were followed by delta waves. Interestingly, this is the exact mechanism we discuss in Havening Techniques®. Fast gamma waves (and fast calcium oscillations) lead to the installation of AMPA receptors (we call them traumatic encodings). We activate those memories — and receptors — that were installed when there was a sense of inescapability. Instantly after activating them, we apply Havening Touch®, which gets delta waves going and shows the body that we did escape. The trauma encoding falls apart in the face of slow calcium oscillations. These are well know neuroscience phenomena, and we can say it in two ways:

  • Gamma oscillations are involved in the induction of LTP (long term potentiation — encoding the “learning”) while delta oscillations are involved in the induction of LTD (removing the “learning”). 
  • Fast calcium oscillations are involved in the induction of LTP while slow calcium oscillations are involved in the induction of LTD; Here is a good graphic from Long-term plasticity in the hippocampus: maintaining within and ‘tagging’ between synapses. On the left side of the graphic it is showing the fast oscillations and the installation of AMPA receptors (orange) associated with LTP and on the right side, this is LTD: slow oscillations and you can see that the orange receptors have been Hungry-hungry-hippoed on up.

It is fascinating that the same receptors (ion channels) are involved, however the fast oscillation leads to adding more AMPA receptors and the slow oscillation leads to dismantling (endocytosis) of AMPA receptors. LTP and LTD have early and late phases… This means part of the process happens swifty, and the rest likely involves some kind of tagging and molecular cascades.

Indeed with Havening Techniques®, PTSD can often be resolved in just one session. (Hungry, hungry hippos endocytosing AMPA receptors that ‘remember’ the trauma.)

The quantum change experience may really be akin to Havening everything everywhere all at once.

And don’t think you have to be in your body to have this recalibration. In fact, I would say most people are NOT in their body when this happens. Their Quantum Selves are out partying with entities in the Larger Consciousness System while their biological spacesuits are sending the brain through the car wash.

Food for Thought

Let’s get back to Stéphane Charpier’s Between life and death: the brain twilight zones, where he mentioned paradoxical gamma waves being followed by delta waves. He wrote that “The transient surge of gamma oscillations in the EEG in response to brain anoxia is apparently paradoxical since this cortical pattern is especially energy demanding… Thus, it is plausible that the burst of high-frequency activity during the dying process is not merely due to the breakdown of cell metabolism but also results from additional brain mechanisms that remain to be elucidated.”

What if the waves*** being witnessed were coming from a non-local mind (here’s an example of scientists making a case for this, and also this research from Keppler) and/or from a larger conscious system? A cosmic “Show’s over kid, time to drop all those protective mechanisms that were encoded in the biological spacesuit to help you stay alive… Let’s release those ‘helpful’ encodings as you don’t need them where you are headed next.” The newer alpha-theta theory aligns, as I mentioned earlier, in that theta brain waves affect the gamma rhythm. However, we can even push these latest theories aside, as older (2013) research has already shown statistically significant gamma involvement in the mystical:

  • Mediums engaged in the mental state of interacting mentally with a known deceased person, their brain activity in the gamma band showed significant differences compared to the other mental states.
  • Three out of four mediums demonstrated significant accuracy in their responses during the communication task.
  • Electroencephalography (EEG) data revealed statistically significant differences in brain activity among the four mental states, suggesting that communicating with the deceased may be a distinct mental state.

Why a quantum recalibration anyway?

Firstly, it could be a byproduct of the dying brain’s downshift to delta. If the gamma activated the trauma encodings, then wheeeee… We accidentally just Havened every possible havening target in one fell swoop. How lucky.

Secondly, if we do have a soul contract, mission, or goal for incarnation, if we die when it’s “not your time, you have to go back,” the whole experience (and quantum reset) can help us get back on track.

Thirdly, at the true time of death, dropping the imprints that we pick up here on Earth (e.g. trauma encodings) will certainly help us to stave off needing to have our energy cleaned up later. It always has been curious to me what we take with us beyond the veil. Suzanne Giesemann often talks about how some spirits show here this eye opened symbol, meaning that they quickly dropped their grumpiness, anger, etc. Other spirits don’t do that, and work on it in the afterlife, with the help of beings of light. When I asked Vincent Todd Tolemen about personality, he told me “The personality is essentially the imprint, or the effect of having the existence here [Earth], in combination with the personality that was already there before we began here. So just like … say a guy goes to college, you grow a mustache or start growing a beard, start working out… like it doesn’t change us completely who we are but it changes attributes of who we are, right? So our Higher Soul is our Higher Soul before we got here. Then when we come here, we’ll take on some of the attributes.” This makes sense, because in another NDE account a woman was describing how hilarious she was when she was out-of-body during her NDE, and yet we wouldn’t expect Phineas Gage to step into the next dimension with his post-accident personality (he survived an accident in which a large iron rod was driven completely through his head, destroying much of his brain’s left frontal lobe and had an pretty angry personality thereafter).

After we die, we are no longer limited by the functioning of the biological spacesuit. We also get to choose what we take with us, even if it feels like a choice-less situation due to the encapsulation of extreme fear or confusion combined with frequencies that have been alchemized from love into something other than love. Those imprints can affect us beyond the veil.

Don’t be alarmed however: love is always the answer.


If you are curious about psychopomping, check out Shaman Durek showing Michael Sandler how to send a spirit with a negative message back to the light.

If you are curious about the nonlocal mind, get some popcorn and watch this: Consciousness Based In The Zero-Point Energy Field — Joachim Keppler How does this come into play? Well, the gamma surges could represent increased communication or information transfer between the brain and the nonlocal mind as the body shuts down. Gamma oscillations are thought to play a role in binding distributed neural processing, so may enable integration of the brain with the larger consciousness field.

End Notes:

*Though this is not what this particular post is about, I do want to acknowledge that a lot of the latest talk on the “paranormal” involves the alpha and theta brainwaves, and the cusp between them. When I say “talk” I do mean lectures. If you are interested in exploring more, I recommend checking out research from these nonprofits: IONS, IANDS, and The Theosophical Society.

**Gamma — some studies that provide evidence that gamma activity in certain expansive states reflects neural flexibility, new learning, and connectivity between distant brain regions:

  • Lutz et al 2004 – Showed long-term meditators had higher baseline gamma activity compared to novices which correlated with cognitive flexibility and emotional stability.
  • Braboszcz et al 2017 – Found increased gamma power during breath awareness meditation correlated with reduced mind wandering.
  • Hauswald et al 2015 – fMRI study saw increased gamma connectivity in default mode network during flow states.
  • Muthukumaraswamy et al 2013 – Found primary visual cortex gamma oscillations were increased after psilocybin intake during sense of meaning/insight.
  • Gallimore 2015 – Recordings during LSD state found gamma activity tracking reported changes in conscious experience.
  • Beauregard & Paquette 2006 – fMRI showed sustained gamma in multiple brain regions during Carmelite nuns’ states of union with God.
  • Valdez et al 2021 – Gamma spikes observed coordinating with reported moments of self-transcendence during ayahuasca ceremonies.

***Just like electricity and magnetism, waves and chemical mechanisms “go both ways.” That is to say that we can see, say a 10-step mostly molecular-based process that result in brain waves, BUT we can also see waves sweeping the brain, thus affecting molecular processes (electrochemical to be more precise). And we also see that the brain responds to external waves (if you are curious, look into brain wave entrainment via sound, sight, TMS, tDCS).