Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Entrainment and Entertainment

In case you were lured into reading this supposing it's all about entertainment--you should pay attention to the title again--yes, it's also about entrainment, especially about brainwave entrainment. Now having made the distinction between the two words lets see what we have to entertain us here.
Entertainment
Entrainment

Entertainment is all about following the mind. It's all about getting rid of boredom. Dramatically, more the means of amusement at our disposal, more the boredom, and hence the requirement of more and more means of entertainment. It's a never ending vicious cycle created by the monster called mind. For example--lets take cinema as a means of entertainment. You may find a particular genre more interesting than others. Say for example--you are fond of mystery thrillers. You start watching them---a time comes when you get bored of whodunit cliches. You get bored of linear narratives and need non-linear narratives for enjoyment. Then you get bored of them as well--every director doing the same thing--telling (otherwise) ordinary story in a non-linear fashion to make it sound like an extraordinary one! Then something else is needed. If you watch  mystery movies which were made in 1960s--they would not appeal you if you are a modern viewer because they don't seem intelligent enough. My point is--what was entertaining a few decades ago might be cliche now--so you consistently need novelty.  



Entrainment is all about taming the mind using the brainwaves knowledge. Entrainment is also called 'frequency following response'--i.e. you expose your brain to a certain desired frequency and in course of time your brain starts following it. Electroencephalography(EEG) shows us the various waves associated with various mental states. For example--when you are calm--your brainwaves would be in Alpha or Theta range; when you're in deep sleep your brainwaves would be in Delta range etc. The idea is to expose your brain to desired frequency range and then along with your brain your entire system starts harmonizing itself towards that frequency range. Entrainment might be visual or auditory--but dominant entrainment type being used is auditory--i. e. use of binaural or isochronic beats.


Meditation is also a type of entrainment. Surat Shabad Yoga or Quang Yin meditation stress upon focusing on certain sound frequencies internally leading to a harmonized state of body and mind. Meditation is a natural way of entrainment whereas brainwave entrainment is an artificial one. But both of them have their own uses--the later one is part of Science which could be controlled to benefit many when compared to the prior one, which is, more or less subjective being part of spirituality. Having said that it must be stated that even brainwave entrainment is not yet considered a Science--some regard it as a protoscience and others as a pseudoscience.  
Entrainment
Entertainment

   Entertainment is also a type of entrainment. You expose yourself to audio-visual media all the time and wide range of frequencies are entraining your delicate mind. That is why it is suggested that too gory or too violent graphic content should be avoided in order to have a peaceful state of mind. Entertainment is all about following mind whereas entrainment is making mind follow your instructions for self-improvement.  

Enterainment is also a type of entertainment these days, in the sense that not all users out there use binaurals, isochronic and monaural tones to tame their mind to a disciplined spiritual regime. Internet is full of I-dosers and various other uses of brainwave entrainments which give a temporary high like chemical drugs. This is yet another way to escape from reality for addicts. This goes to show that entrainment is also a two way path going either towards self-improvement or towards self-annihilation.

Image source: here and here