What is an Altered State of Consciousness?

An altered state of consciousness in one in which one is not in a normal state of wakefulness. States of consciousness occur with four levels of brainwave activity: beta/complete waking consciousness, alpha in which material from the subconscious is accessible (the brain is in this state during light hypnosis, meditation, daydreaming as well as prior to and after drifting off to sleep), theta is equivalent to light sleep which is a state of unconsciousness in which one is unaware of what is going on around one and the delta level is deep sleep (1).

  1. Guiley, R. E., 1991. Harper’s Encyclopedia of Mystical & Paranormal Experience.