Alpha Waves and Your Spirit Part 1

As a word smith, I very much enjoyed the book “Blink.”  It is written by a man who does not believe in the human spirit, but who wrote an entire book about it.  Wild, huh?!

He brings together a remarkable number of other people’s research projects, showing beyond a question of a shadow of a doubt, that there is a whole lot of stuff going on in your brain that is not going on in the brain itself.  This, of course, is the human spirit that he does not believe in!

It amuses me to watch the effort he went to in describing the reality of the spirit, while dodging any mention of the word at all.

I am finding the same confabulation in the scientific discussions of alpha waves in the brain.  The authors report the reality of what actually goes on, while gently avoiding the fact that there are internal contradictions to what they say.

However, when you take the contradictory dynamics of the alpha waves, and plug in the existence of the human spirit, a lot of things suddenly make sense and are not contradictions at all.

Let’s build out the basic concept as presented in the standard science papers on the subject.  Our brain waves vary in speed.  They are arbitrarily categorized by different Greek letters based on how many waves occur in a second.

For starters, we have Beta and Alpha waves.  The divisions are a bit arbitrary so will vary from writer to writer, but Alpha waves are generally in the range of 8 to 12 waves (or cycles) per second.  Beta waves are faster at 13 waves per second and up.  The precise high end varies a lot depending on the writer’s opinion.

With that framework, let’s switch now to a basic EEG using the International 10-20 protocol.  After we wire someone up, we do two standard exercises designed to test for basic brain function.  As I facetious tell our clients, these are designed to see if you have a brain and brought it with you today.

During the first four minute test, I have them think gentle, pleasant thoughts with their eyes closed.  The objective is for them to relax from the hustle and bustle of getting wired up with all the attendant physical and emotional stimulation.  We want them awake, but calm.  Thinking, but not problem solving.  In a good mood, but not excited about wonderful stuff.

In this framework of peace and pleasure, the normal brain will default to generating Alpha waves in the occipital region (roughly at the base of the skull).  Alpha waves are categorized as brain activity when you are awake (different waves when you are asleep) but not so awake you are working at any level.

Then we make one minor change in the exercise and ask the volunteer to do another four minutes of approximately the same thoughts, but with their eyes open this time.  And the predicted result of that small change is that they will shift from Alpha waves to having a high percentage of the faster Beta waves generated by your brain.

It makes sense.  Even if you are not TRYING to problem solve, just having a visual field, even something as boring as looking at an office wall, causes your brain to ramp up, run a little faster, in preparation for interpreting and acting on any salient data that happens to float by, even though you were told NOT to problem solve.

Think of the parallel to your computer.  The hard drive is drifting along at a mellow speed while you write an e-mail, but as soon as you open a video clip you hear the hard drive rev up as it is having to work harder to process a much more intense batch of data than the simple e-mail you were working on.

Same thing with the brain.  Simple thoughts, no problem solving, no big emotion — Alpha waves.  When you add the visual field or start thinking purposefully in a specific direction, the center of activity moves from the base of the skull to higher up in the brain, and you switch to Beta waves that are faster, as you prepare to crunch the data.

No problem, right?  Clean, simple, logical.  Two gears in your transmission (I know, we will add more later, but let’s keep it simple for now).  Your engine can idle in Alpha or move down the road in Beta.

Now that it is nice, neat and simple, let’s throw in a joker and mess things up.

Around the world, and across the centuries, people have instinctively closed their eyes when praying.  This is not unique to a particular church or secular culture.

But wait.  Prayer is a pretty intentional process.  We are thinking.  Solving a problem.  We are deliberately crafting thoughts toward an objective, whether the objective is worship or intercession, most of our thoughts in prayer are not an engine idling.

So . . . why do we instinctively shift away from the standard higher energy Beta waves when we pray, by closing our eyes?  Is it possible that it has something to do with the spirit?  I don’t know, but I find it an interesting anomaly.

Here is another problem.  Various research associates extreme accuracy in controlled sports with the athlete’s brain getting to Alpha wave state.  So if you are competing in marksmanship, for example, the best shooters are those who can dial back from the Beta waves (problem solving speed) and get to the Alpha wave state.  In this non-problem solving mode, they solve the problem of accurate shooting.


Is there any chance that this has something to do with the human spirit?  Is it possible that the soul/brain/Beta wave combination is not as sophisticated as the human spirit, so it has to be gotten out of the way?  Can it be that this athlete is actually hitting the bulls eye, because his spirit made the final calculations not his soul?

Here is another.  This researcher obviously failed charm school, but if you can get past his three categories of people, he makes an interesting assertion.

“Creativity is another activity for which Alpha brain waves are helpful. Scientists have shown that highly creative people have different brain waves from normal and non-creative people. In order to have a creative inspiration, your brain needs to be able to generate a big burst of Alpha brain waves, mostly on the left side of the brain. The brains of creative people can generate these big Alpha brain wave bursts, and do so when they are faced with problems to solve.

“Normal and non-creative people do not produce Alpha brainwave increases when they are faced with problems, and so they can not come up with creative ideas and solutions. Any time you have an insight or an inspiration, you know your brain just produced more Alpha waves than usual. Increased creativity is helpful for everyone. One way to increase creativity is to increase Alpha brain waves.”

This excerpt is from  His credibility is dimmed by the lack of evidence for his assertions, and by the fact that he is selling a doodad that will help you improve your life by being able to generate Alpha waves on demand, but suppose there is something to what he says.

Suppose creativity is linked to Alpha waves?  Isn’t that paradoxical?  Alpha waves are our default when we are mellow, not thinking about problems.  They are reduced or diminished in volume as soon as the eyes open and we shift to Beta waves to solve life’s problems.

But to solve the really big problems that require highly creative thinking we slow down instead of speeding up?  Really?  Isn’t that counter-intuitive?

Yes, it is, unless perhaps the objective of the Alpha waves is to reduce the chatter coming from the soul/brain partnership, so that the spirit can step to the front and do the heavy lifting instead.

I clearly don’t know that for sure.  My questions stem from my interpretation of other people’s interpretation of yet another person’s granular research.

All I am saying is that a paradigm without the human spirit creates some problematic interpretation.  When you redesign the boundaries of your paradigm to include the human spirit, some of the data fits much better.

And, as I work through the EEGs we have, I will be following the trail of Alpha wave/spirit activity closely.  We just might possibly end up with some hard data to support this half baked potato!

Check back in a few days for a couple follow up articles on the messy mysteries of those not-so-boring Alpha waves.

Copyright January 2013 by Arthur Burk

From home

Posted in Research Insights | 23 Comments

The Root — We Think

Fred reports that the time with his prayer partner ended up in a very unexpected place.

The root issue appears to be a trauma bond to time.  Remember that when we have a trauma that clashes with our view of God, we have three common ways to resolve it.

1)     A few walk away from God completely, declaring Him useless in their lives.

2)     Many violate a rule “just once” in order to get themselves out of the tight spot that God did not rescue them from.  This was Eve’s solution to her supposed cognitive poverty.

3)     Most decide God is not trustworthy in that area of their lives, so they opt to trust God in many other areas, but to be god to themselves in the area where God did not come through.

Fred went for #3.  His family line was involved in some pretty brutal religious wars in past generations.  God obviously accepted their worship and self-sacrifice, but did not keep them alive in the face of persecution.  Somewhere back there, a forefather sat in judgment on God deciding that God did not intervene in issues with authorities.

Once we make a judgment against God, the enemy is happy to validate it for us.  We have given him authority to change the world outside us, to conform with the belief we have inside us about God.

Fast forward some generations.  Fred and his recent forefathers decided not to engage in any conflict with governmental or religious authorities, preferring to suffer the small loss of walking as victims, than the presumed larger loss of going for justice and losing badly because God certainly would not intervene on their behalf.

Thus the amazing contradiction in Fred’s life.  He walks in high authority over most of the demonic around other people because he believes in God’s laws and the fact that the absolutes of God apply to the devil in other people’s lives.  But when it comes to his own life, he has no confidence that God will intervene for HIM in any conflict with civil or religious authorities.

Hence the hole in his armor.

So, he took out some trash today, and we will watch to see how things progress.  At the end of the day, there are some neurological patterns in his brain that will need to be changed.  There are certain kinds of problems that generate instant high faith in him.  Those problems immediately activate the faith portion of his brain.  By contrast the issues related to authorities immediately activate the pathway to passivity.

So pruning the one neurological highway and building the new one will take some time.  But we expect to see his spiritual authority restored right away, once he came out of agreement with the lie.

Copyright November 2012 by Arthur Burk

From the Hub, in Anaheim

Posted in Progression | 8 Comments

A Surprise Twist

Fred came today, for his EEG.

He was on time and was quite ready to lean into the project.

However . . . NOTHING is ever simple with Fred.  And today was no exception.

What could complicate a simple EEG?  We have done dozens of these this year.

Well, Fred walked in the door with an angel.  And he discerns angels on his scalp — which really muddies the waters since I was planning to track the footprint of his spirit on his scalp, not the presence of his angel.

I must have played hookey the day they taught us how to do EEGs on people who are packing angels.  I can’t find that anywhere in my notes.  Where is Loretta when I need her!

Anyway, suffice it to say, it was an unusual EEG.   It will be interesting to study it in detail next week when I get a chance.

Just glancing at the raw data, it does not look as though our hypothesis was substantiated.  We will take another look at the three tests later on through the grid of quantitative analysis, to see if the frequencies of the brain waves involved tell us anything, but the broad test for location seems to be a dud.

All eyes are now on Fred’s appointment with his team prayer partner tomorrow as he checks to see if he can isolate the vulnerability to one portion of his spirit.

Meanwhile, the usual question swirls around our failed experiment — were we simply off on a rabbit trail?  Was this just a soulish impulse that could have been avoided if we had prayed through it longer?

OR . . . is this a bait and switch?  Did God draw us into this test using Fred’s flawed anti-virus software, but in reality He is trying to show us something completely different than what we think we are looking for?

I am inclined to think the latter.  It feels to me as though we are in the zone of things we don’t know we don’t know, therefore we are not looking for them, therefore God has to use revelation.

In other words, broaden your prayers.  Instead of this being about Fred (and all the other Fred’s out there with a 2% problem) let’s make this a prayer for revelation of God’s real agenda.

I will be mulling these last three days over repeatedly in the next week or so.  I think there is something here . . .

Copyright November 2012 by Arthur Burk

From the Hub, in Anaheim

Posted in Live Tests | 5 Comments

The Brain and Spiritual Authority

This blog is a continuation of a discussion that began in the Noble Subject blog.  Click here to read the article entitled “Spiritual AIDS.”

The question of the hour is whether our brain can limit or hamper the range of our spiritual authority.

On the surface, it seems counter-intuitive.  After all, we put the spirit in the primary position and use the spirit to heal the brain.

However, as I pondered it more, I realized that we have a Catch 22 situation here.  Think back to the clip I did a long time ago that is available on YouTube entitled “Brain Rot.”  I showed from Scripture how our bad choices (when our brain was clear enough to choose) swiftly caused damage to our thinking processes, so that we could not choose clearly over the long run.

The same sequence would apply here.  Of course the spirit is primary.  But if the spirit sins grievously, there are always consequences.  Could some of those consequences be in the area of brain function?  Certainly.  We don’t know for sure that the brain would be compromised, but since most of our bad choices manifest in the body, it is within the realm of possibility that sinful thoughts/actions could manifest in the brain.

That does not keep the spirit from being a healing agent.  While there may be brain damage resulting in limited spiritual authority at some point, the spirit is not completely neutralized, and the very spirit that sinned and caused the damage would still have the authority to repent and partner with the Holy Spirit in healing the damage.

While this spirit/organic theory is still on the table, we are also looking at a totally spiritual explanation.  On a much more plebeian level, what if one portion of Fred’s spirit is compromised?  Even though the whole of his spirit walks in high authority, wouldn’t he be vulnerable in those 2% areas if one portion still had unhealedness, or worse, some overt “junk?”

This would be a much simpler explanation than the spirit/organic one, and we like the cleaner modalities.

So on Friday, Fred will do the EEG to see how it stacks up to the other two in our little test group.

And on Saturday, he will work with a team mate, checking out each of the seven portions of his spirit, to see if he can find an open door there.

Vulnerable Fred may be.  Lazy . . . not so much.

Copyright November 2012 by Arthur Burk

From home

Posted in Research Insights | 6 Comments

Data Collection in Odek

I was in Uganda last week and had occasion to visit the Gulu region of Northern Uganda.  While in the Giver town of Gulu, we were introduced to a young lady who is studying at the university there, while also working at a day care center for kids with Nodding Disease, in the town of Odek.

She was extremely helpful in framing the problem, then she introduced us to the doctor who has been commissioned by the government to do the definitive study of the problem.  Between the two of them, they were a treasure chest of information.

This is the region where the Lord’s Resistance Army played such havoc for so long, specifically preying on the children.  As a response to the assaults on the villagers, the government set up a series of refugee camps where they moved people on a wholesale basis so they could be protected by the army until the insurgency was put down.

What emerged from the discussion is that absolutely 100% of the kids with Nodding Disease had been in the camps.  No exceptions.  However, not all the camps were affected.  There were around 100 camps, and the doctor guessed that possibly as few as 20 of them had produced kids with this problem.  Yet only a tiny percentage of the kids who were in the camps are affected.

That poses an interesting logic challenge.  At present the government is looking at nutritional issues in the camps as the possible trigger of the disease.  However, even if malnutrition were the trigger, it still suggests that there was a pre-existing condition that is triggered by the lack of nutrition, and why, if it is nutritionally related, the restoration of a good diet does not resolve the issue.

Joseph Kony was deeply vested in the demonic realm.  He had set up seven altars around the region which provided him with supernatural protection from the Ugandan army many times.  The president of Uganda eventually authorized a group of pastors to tear down the altars with the help and protection of the military.

This was a game changer.  With his protection gone, he had to flee to South Sudan.

Clearly land, violence, children and the demonic are all involved in this package.

We decided to drive the 60 miles or so from Gulu to Odek to visit the day care center that handles about 40 kids a day.  I had no sense of geography but when we crossed the spiritual boundary of Kony’s previous turf, I was hit hard.  Upon querying the Ugandan’s in the car, it became clear what I had felt.

What that means is that even though Kony and the LRA are physically gone from the area, the covenant he established between the land and the forces of darkness is still considered to be in force by the dark side.

And, it suggests that since the demonic force is not receiving the regular human blood sacrifice it required from Kony’s hand, it is collecting the ‘taxes’ due it through tormenting children with this disease.

We arrived at the school and I watched the kids for a while, then pulled out six to minister to.  I met with each one individually and asked a few questions.  To further confirm my hypothesis, there was one girl who did not fit the spiritual brokenness profile.  When I asked further, it came out that she was not born in Kony’s region.  AND, she probably does not have the Nodding Disease, since her seizures are very different from those of the rest of the kids.

The parents of the kids welcome prayer by the overtly Christian day care center (that is funded by a doctor in San Antonio, Texas).  They in turn have authorized me to deal with whatever spiritual issues I find.

The plan is for me to work with the six kids whose profiles I took and do deliverance for them from a distance over the next few months.  We will throw everything we know at this problem.  Meanwhile, the kids have a baseline from which to measure against, and the other 34 kids in the group serve as the control.

It will be a bit tricky to determine what specific warfare action worked because all the kids are on anti-seizure medication.  Some still seize occasionally in spite of the meds.  It will be up to the doctor in charge as to when he will lower the dosage for each child.  Coming off the meds is a slow process, so we might be months before we have any clue whether this approach is going to work.

Meanwhile, the team on the ground is exploring strategies for going in and taking the cleansing of the land to a new level – disempowering the covenant.  The fact that they were so effective in their first round is hugely encouraging to them.

For now, we both have some work to do!

Copyright October 2012 by Arthur Burk

From the Admiral’s Club in Chicago

Posted in Research Insights | 9 Comments

Memories and Hope

Today is Sunday, the 16th of September.

One year ago today, five of us from four countries were in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, pondering why the Lord had brought us together.

After a few hours of spinning our wheels, I stopped and called home for more prayer cover.  Shortly after the intercessors leaned in, we came up with the historic question: “Is it possible for us to track the shadow of the human spirit on the brain, using an EEG machine?”

A year ago today.

As I look back, there are so many memories.

-The first test there in KL.

-The struggle to learn the equipment.

-The first big batch of tests in Virginia and all drama of our first manifestation on the screen.

-Developing a wordless synchronization with Loretta as spirit and soul were teaming flawlessly.

-The shock of watching the screen as people dissociated.

-All the awe moments as God would surprise us with His power and revelation.

-The time in Calgary when God used all those physical illustrations.  Loretta and I will always remember the picture of life as a spinal column.

-Don in Odessa with the learning disability that succumbed so gently to the power of the spirit.

-The whole team that did the media fast and how shockingly different their EEGs were.

-The time here in the office looking at the EEGs and seeing so many fascinating dynamics.

There are so many memories.  Good tests and bad ones.  Awe filled moments and comedic absurdities.  Tender connections and sterile experiences.

What a year!

So now we look forward.

While I am still staring at the gargantuan pile of data we have already acquired, trying to figure out how to digest it, how to extract strategies from it, and generally how to be a good steward of that data, God seems to be already down the road.

-I was in Texas chatting to an inventor last week when the topic of seizures in Uganda came up.  Suddenly I am in contact with a man of God who is living in a village that just got hit with the “nodding disease.”

This is a treasure trove of data.  What does it look like when these seizures first arrive in a village?  What shifted in the spiritual realm to allow that?  Is this a curse on time?  The LRA has been long gone from that region but used to be active there.  Is this an anniversary of some piece of iniquity committed on that land, long ago?

We don’t know, but clearly God wants us to look at this riddle or He would not have reached so far to give us a solid contact to explore this.

-A mom called me last week to share that her daughter struggles in school.  Ever since Mom began reading the blessings to her daughter, her reading skills picked up dramatically, but not her math.

My spirit is churning.  I absolutely do not accept the belief that the human spirit does not do math.  God is the ultimate mathematician and the Word is full of math.  What if I were (in my spare time) to record a series of blessings about the God of math and the math of God?  Would this be enough to catapult a child’s math abilities to a new level?

-After years of circling around the heart/spirit dynamics and not knowing where to start, God brought me someone with a problem I had never seen before.  He coached us through the cleansing/healing process and to my surprise it revealed a possible key to cleansing the spiritual dynamics of the heart.  I am “actively waiting” for the right person to come along, to be able to test the strategy a second time to be sure it is portable.

-The team of gloriously dangerous people from sundry ministries who go to Burning Man every summer, have been using our material for several years.  The report this year is that there was a pronounced uptick in the amount of release their visitors have received through working with the spirit.  It is so exciting to see the principles working flawlessly in the least hospitable context.

There is so much more before us.  There are seemingly unlimited open doors.

I invite you to spend some time savoring what God has already done, then to write and share a blessing for the coming year.  We have only barely begun and already what we can see with our natural mind is larger than we can even process.  The ramifications are far beyond anything I can possibly execute on my own.

Thus it is necessary for us to fight hard against allowing our soul/mind to define the project too small.  I would welcome some God sized blessings for a God sized project to be carried along by the wind of God’s favor and power.

Copyright September 2012 by Arthur Burk

From the Quarterdeck

Posted in Progression | 8 Comments

Learning Disabilities

We were able to test the two young people who had been told they have learning disabilities.

There is a challenge in that label, since it is generally deduced from the behavior or academic challenges of the students.  When a child is declared to be LD, that is generally not the result of neuro-imaging.  Thus, it constitutes an assumption, not a diagnosis.

We did two different protocols with the girl and the boy.  For both we did the two international standard baseline exercises.  And we did a reading pre-test and an oral math pre-test.  From there we differentiated.

For the girl, I did a lengthy transition from soul to spirit and had her do a spirit only exercise, then did a spirit led reading and math test.

For the boy, we did a very short version of the transition from soul to spirit, then went directly to the reading and math tests.

For the girl’s test, both parents were in the room.  For the boy’s test, it was just me in front of him and Megan at the computer.

The boy’s EEG was a mess.  In the baseline protocols, the graphs were wildly scrambled, just like we saw with Don in Odessa.  This is when both volunteers were thinking gentle, pleasant thoughts, with no task to solve.  They chose their own thoughts and even then, the brain was massively desynchronized.

Having seen two EEGs that look more or less the same in this area, I am cautiously saying we have loose profile of what certain kinds of LD might look like in the brain.

The girl’s resting brainwaves looked very normal except for one small pattern which occurred from time to time which I have seen before in other EEGs.  That creates a problem.  Either she is not LD, or, some of the other people I tested were, and they didn’t know it.

My hunch is that it is the latter.  I don’t know what that small glitch is about, but it would be interesting to retest one of the adults who we know has shown this problem in the past and to run a range of different brain activities to see if we can make it surface again when they are thinking specific thoughts, then make it go away when they think thoughts that don’t use that sector of the “hard drive.”

Let me say it a different way.  IF that pattern indicates a region of the brain that is not able to do a particular task, the glitch is quite limited in its impact.  The adults who we tested who showed that pattern are all high functioning and have no clue that anyone would consider them to have a brain glitch.

Clearly it is a small thing, if it is brain glitches at all.  They can do 99% of their life with ease, but one kind of thought runs through the bad sector.

Going back to the girl:  there was no significant aberration in her brain waves (that an amateur can see!) when she did either of the pre-tests.  When we asked her to do the one spirit activity, it was clear that her spirit is immense due to what her parents have been doing with her, and it was glad to be in charge.

When it came to reading, the EEG was markedly smoother when she was reading with her spirit. This was a rather simplistic test, so we don’t know whether she read better with her spirit, or faster, or had higher comprehension.  We just know that the brain pattern looked better after she was instructed to use her spirit.

There was no appreciable increase in her math skills and only a minor change in her EEG during the post-test.

For the boy, I did the short version of calling the spirit to the front, but even so, there was a marked improvement in his reading ability.  His math scores in the post-test were considerably worse than in the pre-test and the EEG didn’t show anything dramatic.

So where do we go from here?

Well, the fact that both had improvement in reading and not math was quite fascinating.  It doesn’t quite fit my presuppositions to accept that the spirit is not able to do math, although quite a few kids over the years have, in fact, advanced the theory that math came from hell itself.

There is certainly room to explore more of what is going on with math, the brain and the human spirit, but it isn’t at the top of my To Do List.

The fact that the boy with the obvious brain glitches did measurably better at reading after the most superficial engagement of his spirit, strongly suggests that there is something worth pursuing here.

But what intrigues me most of all is the fact that the girl, who I don’t think has LD, also improved when reading with her spirit.

It suggests that whether you are LD or normal, perhaps most of the brain activities we do are better done under the direction of the spirit, than the soul.

Both of these kids have had some modest ministry to their spirits. Neither had this kind of work done in the womb.  It would be interesting to test a child who had extensive work on his spirit both in the womb and in early childhood, and is labeled LD.

Unless, of course, there are none!

Copyright August 2012 by Arthur Burk

From home

Posted in Research Insights | 7 Comments