Understanding the God Helmet

God Helmet: Lab prototype and Shiva System edition.

Thanks are due to the late Dr. Michael Persinger for his extensive help.
 Persinger’s Endorsement.
The God Helmet ®part of the Shiva Neural Stimulation System.
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The God Helmet Applies Magnetic Signals Over The Temporal Lobes Of the Brain.

According to Dr. Michael Persinger, inventor of the original laboratory God Helmet, the deep areas of the temporal lobes are the source of religious and mystic experiences.  The God Helmet works by stimulating the temporal lobes of the brain with magnetic signals.  The signals mimic “brain waves” that come from these deep brain parts.

Magnetic signals are magnetic fields that change their strength every few milliseconds. They’ve  been used in scores of laboratory experiments employing many hundreds of subjects.  Most of them have been placebo-controlled, double-blind experiments.

Technically called “rotating complex magnetic fields”, God Helmet technology relies on several principles. The magnetic signals move in a circle, completing one circle in a fraction of a second.

The patterns that control how the magnetic fields change their strength are derived from EEG monitoring of specific structures, or are based on other known effective magnetic signals. Both kinds elicit neural specific neural responses.

The magnetic signals move in two ways.

1) They switch from one magnetic coil to another, moving in a circle. This activates and then deactivates the area beneath each coil, building the ‘momentum’ and intensity as the stimulation proceeds. This movement happens quickly (less than one second per cycle).

The signals are carried by magnetic fields that move in a circle over the temporal lobes.

2) The signals are applied to one side of the brain, and then to both sides, creating an Interhemispheric Intrusion` (where activity in one hemisphere ‘intrudes’ into the other), the neural basis for spiritual experiences.  Interhemispheric intrusion is part of the theory of “Vectorial Hemisphericity.

After 20 or 30 minutes, the signals:
1) Change their shapes, and
2) Switch from one side to both sides.

This movement (which coincides with a change in the signal) is the basis for the God Helmet. The idea is that neural activation builds up in one area and suddenly ‘slingshots’ or ‘avalanches’ into another. This session design, using one signal over one side, and another over both sides, has proven to be the most effective in the lab, but there are others in this software that use much the same design, and may be more effective for some people.

Laboratory God Helmet Sessions include sensory deprivation, especially silence. A large amount of the temporal lobe’s ongoing activity is dedicated to monitoring ambient sound. This old evolutionary ‘program’ once helped us hear threats coming (especially at night), but it interferes with attaining the inner silence that so many kinds of spiritual experience depend on. There can still be effects without silence, but an acoustic chamber was used in the laboratory.  The quieter your environment for your sessions, the better.  (Note: The Shiva system does not include ear covers.)

How the Koren Helmet produced its visions of God (and other effects).

The theory of Vectorial Hemisphericity says that most phenomena we experience relies on both sides of the brain. There are no ‘right hemispheric’ and ‘left hemispheric’ phenomena. Our experiences reflect the activation of both sides of the brain. In each process, there is one area that is most (metabolically) active, and that area will always be on one side or the other. The process, whatever it is, will be a vector between the two sides of the brain. The area that’s most dominant on one side ‘intercalates’ with its counterpart on the other side of the brain.  Intercalation can be described as the reversible inclusion of one group into another.

The sense of self is a vector using areas of both sides of the brain to maintain itself, but its dominated by the side where the language centers are (usually the left). God Helmet technology is designed to separate the two sides of the brain, so that the portion of the ‘self’ (usually) produced by the right hemisphere is perceived on its own, as a being outside of one’s self.

For about 1% of the subjects in the God Helmet experiments, the being was God. For most of the subjects, the being was something else, most commonly a sense of a presence, though this isn’t often reported with the Shiva systems’ God Helmet configuration, mostly because most users don’t have truly silent places to do their sessions.  There is a user reports and reviews page, and there are more reports on the main page for the God Helmet.

For other subjects, the effects were different, and you may wonder why.

For some, the amygdala on the left (the ‘target’ structure in the animation above) may have unusually sensitive connections to areas that are usually harder to initiate. When this happens, the amygdala, activated by the session, can trigger these other areas.

The amygdala has connections to many other brain areas, and their sensitivity to input from the amygdala varies from very strong to very weak. Some of the brain parts the amygdala (or other structure) is linked to don’t respond at all when the amygdala signal used here (amygdala burst-firing) is applied. The ‘burst-firing’ pattern used here appears in normal brains, as well as during Temporal Lobe Events that can be accompanied by religious and mystic experiences.

The pathways that have the lowest thresholds will also be the ‘pathways of the least resistance’. You can think of the lowest thresholds as offering the amygdala a ‘downhill’ connection, and that activity will flow ‘downhill’ to other areas. Which areas are uphill and which are downhill (for this kind of amygdala activity) are different in different people.

The different strengths of the connection from the amygdala to the surface of the brain and to other areas in the limbic system partly determine the specific effects for each person.

Unless the pathways involved in visions of God are sensitive (have lower thresholds), then the person will not see God. According to Persinger’s results with the Koren Helmet, only a small percent of people are likely to have this experience with the God Helmet, though far fewer can have this experience without it.

The original laboratory prototype.Here, we’re only talking about the amygdala (together with the ‘chirp’ signal), but the same principles apply to the other ‘structure-specific’ signal used in this software (derived from the hippocampus). No limbic brain part is equally connected to its neighbors in everyone, and this makes the effects of working with them different for different people.

Besides a ‘chirp’ signal (which functions as a kind of activator, activating the brain to prepare it for the next signal), there are two ‘structure-specific’ signals, both taken from the limbic system. These signals are derived from specific brain parts, and they only affect these areas and, to a lesser extent, areas they’re connected to.

The Amygdala is specialized for emotions, and it supports opposite emotions on the two sides of the brain.

For most people, the one on the right supports negative emotions, most importantly fear, and the one on the left supports positive emotions. It’s a deep brain structure, and it’s extensively connected to the temporal lobes.

If you happen to feel anxiety or fear during the amygdala portion of a session, stop the session. If you feel fearful or anxious afterwards, use a different session the next time. There are others to choose from. The chances are very small, but safety comes first.

The Hippocampus is involved in all sorts of cognition.

You have two of them. On the right, it deals in non-verbal information processing including visualization and musical understanding. On the left, it’s more linguistic.

If you find you are having moments where you have trouble recalling a word or name after a session using the hippocampus signal, or that you’re a bit ‘spaced out’ at times, you should switch to another session design – one that uses a different signal.

Suggested Next Page To Read:

Understanding Mystic Experiences.


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NOTE: The God Helmet is one of the Configurations for The Shiva Neural Stimulation System.

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Read the Terms and Conditions before you call.
Legal: God Helmet Stimulation signals are based on the God Helmet signal templates licensed by Stan Koren and Dr. Michael A. Persinger.
The Shiva System and (it’s sibling technology), the God Helmet does not prevent, diagnose or treat any medical disorders.
The God Helmet Experiments (Book)


Gaia.com article on the God Helmet.


Review article by Dr. Michael Persinger:
Experimental simulation of the God Experience using the God Helmet


THE GOD HELMET is a  trademark (serial number of 90072427).