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Extreme AVS Machine Chain - Etz Chaim

Rating: 43 votes, 5.00 average.
Before there was a MindPlace Kasina seekers of extreme AVS experiences or those who wished to combine multiple control sources together, might have to resort to a little creativity. The amazing thing about the Kasina is that it combines many of these functions into one machine ? compact simple and beautiful! But if you don?t mind creating a little cable salad and you have the full line of MindPlace machines available to you, then you will find vast new inner vistas await. The DIY blog posts of Craig Tice have inspired me to share some of my own adaptions. So, for AVS geeks everywhere, I present the Etz Chaim ? Ladder of Lights mind machine chain.

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Parts list:

  1. MindPlace Procyon
  2. MindPlace Proteus
  3. MindPlace Sirius (discontinued)
  4. MindPlace ThoughtStream
  5. SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip MP3 player
  6. Belkin RockStar Multi-headphone splitter
  7. 2 x 6 inch right angled 3.5mm audio patch cables (at least)
  8. Small spiral cable wrap.
  9. Large lens sunglasses (I used the old white bulb frames that used to be packaged with the MindPlace Sirius)
  10. LED strip from Sirius Ganzframes (not in my build? see above)
  11. LED strip from Procyon Ganzframes
  12. LED strip from Proteus Ganzframes

Per design, each MindPlace mind machine has a few features that others do not have. The goal of this build was to combine the unique functions of all these machines together into one consolidated set of light glasses. I combined the light strips from 3 pairs of MindPlace Ganzframe light glasses. As you can well imagine it makes for quite an amazing experience with every color of the rainbow being and blending, massaging your mind frame to changeling tessellations. I also kept the connectors and wiring in place so I can use the output of different machines for a variety of purposes. I will detail some of suggested setups at the end of this post.
Here is what all the lights look like when they are on at one time. There are a total of 22 LEDs. That is why I called the glasses the Etz Chaim ? Ladder of Lights ? for the 22 paths of the Tree of Life. (if that is unfamiliar to you, don?t worry about it. Mysticism aside?)

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I have an older Sirius on hand that I purchased years ago. It has white bulb style glasses with big frames. They aren?t the most comfortable frames in the world (new ones are much better) but I always liked the quality of the light that they produced. It has kind of a warm feeling to it. The bulbs protrude out a bit so in this build that provides an ever-so-slight brightness boost. If you don?t have a pair of these around then you will need to go searching for large frame glasses which aren?t difficult to locate given some of the bug-eye fashion trends.
In this particular pair of glasses, all the light strips fit perfectly. A bonus is that the added Ganzframe light strips being flat and flexible, with some adhesive already on them from the factory, are very tough, easy to remove, and mount with little need for further steps to hold them firmly in place.
This picture show the inside of the finished project.

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I didn?t think ahead enough to take a picture before I did the mounting, so many months ago. Luckily I found that some else had played with modifying these glasses and this is their image of them. Source:

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Take a pair of Procyon Ganzframes and a pair of Proteus ones as well and remove the LED PCB strips from them. This is easily done by removing the diffusers and pulling the light strips out of the housing. They are fairly durable and if careful there is only a very small risk of damaging them. The hardest part is that the wire harness is fed through a plastic hole in the frame of the glasses before they are soldered. Re-soldering wires this small and delicate is not something I pop my hand up to volunteer for, so I opt to carve away the plastic until I can remove the wire. The glasses are cosmetically destroyed at this point but my eyes and nerves are fine. You could put them back together later if you wish with a little tape to cover the destruction.
If you need a more detailed tutorial on removing the light strips then let me know in the comments. I?ve done it several times but never documented it.

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What I opted to do was place the Proteus strip on the top as it contains red and green LEDs and even by itself can be quite bright. I made the decision to reverse the strip as it mounted better and gave the additional benefit of reversed eye stimulation if I used the same AudioStrobe source at the same time on the Proteus and Procyon. The Proteus strip is outlined in green above. The nose piece and upper rim of the Sirius glasses provide a convenient space to anchor the strip.
The one downside is that the wire harness for this strip is now on the reverse side from the others. I hate stray, disobedient cables as much as the next person (and probably more), so I fed this wire around the front of the E.C. glasses and secured it with electrical tape. Not pretty, but still a nice ride with the lights off. Later images will show this.
The Procyon strip labelled in blue snuggles in with ease at the bottom of the lens, again tucking behind the nose piece. Note that the vertical alignment of the all of the LEDs works itself out naturally with no further hassle. Once the strips have been separated from the original Ganzframes, it is actually an easy, breezy build.

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The images above and below show the arrangement of LED colors. Since the Proteus strip is reversed you are able to make a variety of different effects from one AudioStrobe source? and that is only one potential way.

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This image shows the electrical tape stretched around the front of the frames to hold the Proteus cable in place before it feeds into the main harness. it is not that objectionable. I wonder why I left that Poly Carbonate sticker on? Must have been in a hurry to get to the good stuff.

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Now that we have 3 cables slithering from old Etzy, we had better take some steps to prevent future frustration and regret. Repeat after me: ?Spiral cable wrap is my friend.?

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From the end of the spiral harness we have an extremely manageable set of connectors. The small size spiral wrap that you can buy most anywhere fits the combined diameter of these cables really well, with a nice, tight wrap. The original plugs and wiring remain unaltered so unless you have been really ham-handed everything should work like nothing had ever happened. But we now have whole new worlds to explore.
Quick note: I was feeling a bit well organized that day so I took the red/green stickers from the original Proteus glasses and taped them to the proper connector; just in case premature aging sets in.

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So fire it up and test it out. All good and gravy. Let?s see what we can do with this thing!

Part 2 will detail some suggested setups.

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Updated 01-19-2014 at 07:53 PM by neuroasis

AVS , Light and Sound , BioFeedback , Technology


  1. Robert Austin's Avatar
    Very interesting project, Scott--thanks for posting this information!

  2. Carie373's Avatar
    Genius! I think you probably have a mini-Lucia there :-) I'm looking forward to hearing about the experiences you have with this brilliant setup. The key to a good experience is of course the firing of the LEDs, but also try it with the white light on for the entire duration of a session with no flicker. Good luck Scott!
  3. neuroasis's Avatar
    Hi Carie,
    Thanks so much for that. I didn't know about the Lucia n3 before.. . I have experimented with similar setups using strobe lights and also AVS controlled high intensity LEDs. I will say that bright white light provides an incredible range of pseudo colors.

    I also have an inexpensive 'zero-gravity' chair setup as well as a more extreme 'inversion table' setup... looks a great deal like what some of the pictures on that site show. I will detail these in later blog posts.

    More details to come on how I utilize the machines together with these glasses.

    Thanks so much for your comment!

  4. Robert Austin's Avatar
    I had a chance to try a Lucia last Spring at a conference in Oakland, and it was quite impressive. I had a prototype Kasina with me and ran a session on one of the inventors who was there, who said it was quite nice. Lucia is very expensive, though, around $25k as I recall. It's advertised as useful for triggering near death experiences (!).
  5. neuroasis's Avatar
    Wow, that's good money if you can get it. Some of these 'high end' spa type systems are trying to get outrageous prices. I hope to show in this blog and other materials that for a reasonable budget you can still get excellent results with a bit of knowledge and imagination.

    I have actually had some 'near death' type experiences with AVS if you would care to label them as such. Something I encounter with certain theta/delta borderline sessions is what I have come to call the 'tunnel of sleep' where hypnagogic imagery really starts to become vivid and encompassing. Tunnels of light and a sense of familiar (familial) 'passed' presences is one manifestation of this phenomena I have experienced.

  6. neuroasis's Avatar
    I have actually had some 'near death' type experiences with AVS if you would care to label them as such.
    Now having said that, would I say that this or that session or this or that machine could reliably produce the same result in all people.. no way. Would I say that it produces that result with me in a reliable way... nope. Can I rule out any other factors? No.. Was I dreaming... yes. Did that change the nature of the experience? No. Did the session help me to set the right conditions? Yes.

    See, that is where the line gets crossed with 'claims'. If I say I experienced that, then it is one thing. If I say the session or machine 'does' that... that is a much larger thing.

    And if I paid $25,000 the machine better well do what it says it does.
  7. CraigT's Avatar
    What an unbelievably cool toy! Or is it a ploy to get people to buy armloads of AVS devices

    I'll have to resurrect my halogen/xenon strobe beasty - it's currently buried in a very messy garage. The way it was usually used (it's a black cube with a circular hole in it) was to bottom illuminate a fishbowl full of milky water - very effective in a dark room, especially with colored gels over the halogen lamp.

    Another visual trick worth playing with is monochromatic illumination of a plain white unlit paraffin wax candle in a darkened room. Try it with your AVS LEDs. See the black spots throughout the candle? They will be easiest to see without the lights flashing and using a single color at a time. As the spots move with angle-of-view, this is an excellent stillness tool. This works super-well with a decent laser.

    NDE is a very explicit term, the implications of which are often overlooked. NEAR death isn't death or any approximation thereof. The experiences are a phenomenon and no more. They provide zero insight into the nature of death or the hereafter. I have experienced rather a lot of NDEs - one very near miss through a stupid suicide attempt over thirty years ago, long before I was in any way prepared to make much use of the experience, and numerous subsequent adventures of varying extremity using a variety of potentially fatal techniques that I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT RECOMMEND. While providing little information about death itself, much is revealed about one's attitude towards it, especially if the plunge is taken deliberately (again NOT recommended) or is otherwise authentically life-threatening. Unless the process necessitates letting go of life (or clinging fearfully), if it is from the safety of certainty of return, it isn't really anything much. Like various psychedelics, notably Salvinorin A and DMT, the population of the altered state is largely dependent on the individual's fantasy world conceptions - one who is attached to the idea of fairies will probably find fairies, those with a predilection for aliens will probably find aliens, and those with a God/Heaven bent will probably do the inviting white light thing. The experience can be programmed by filling the mind with an imaginary realm before stepping into it although I prefer to take a headlong plunge into the unknown by initially suppressing ideas to the best of my ability. Salvinorin A, in heroic doses, in well structured practice, is probably the safest, legal in most places, reasonably accurate way of having a close look at personal death from this side of the great divide - although lacking actual likelihood of death, it's hard to remember that fact during a really intense journey! Salvinorin A is great in that it is short acting and clears quickly, leaving almost no physical or mental residuals - you can go again and again, just like a roller coaster ride.

    Personally, I have found nothing less aggressive that is remotely similar to a "real" NDE. Better value will be found by understanding the Tibetan and Egyptian Books of the Dead.

    All that notwithstanding, the dissociative, pseudo-psychotic states that AVS can facilitate are extraordinary in their own right and can contribute much to the understanding of one's own mind and, to a surprisingly large extent, mind in general.

    Neuroasis is right on the button with the matter of "claims" and again, language fails us, having so few satisfactorily agreed understandings of terms for subjective and extraordinary experiences. I do not in any way intend to suggest that anyone did not have an experience they say they have had - just that the words may be misleading.

    The desire to work with perception-altering toys and techniques is indicative a particular type of mind in itself

  8. neuroasis's Avatar
    I agree in the sense that we tend to have experiential lenses under which we group or interpret a range of 'supranormal' mental states. The number of tools available in one's imaginative toolkit of what is 'possible' determine how easily you can move into expansive areas without extreme triggers. That is why I tend to keep alive a certain aspect of myself that engages in wildly magical thinking. I do this intentionally. I am as skeptical as anyone else but as a mindset it is so limiting. As a worldview I don't find overarching skepticism very appealing at all.

    Now for the range of phenomena that could be interpreted as NDE (again not 'real' NDE as our machines won't nearly kill you first), I think AVS is a well suited tool. Without patterned familiarity with bright flashing lights and trance states, it is very reasonable to categorize fruitful outcomes in this arena. It is especially so because it is such a prevalent cultural mythology and great writers and broadcasters have painted vivid pictures.

    Concerning your discussions of psychedelics, let me point you to a very lucid and interesting blog: . Especially early posts around the 2010 -2011 timeframe.

  9. CraigT's Avatar
    Hi Scott,

    Excessive skepticism, or skepticism for the sake of it, as in Skeptics Societies, is a major handicap and rapidly becomes irritating. It's one of the things to be applied judiciously, although in many other matters I find moderation over-rated. To be honest, it's not something I have to think about much any more - I'm exposed to information, it gets processed in accordance with the model I have learned/developed for maintaining integrity of knowledge.

    It takes time to acquire the understanding you have and a special type of dedication. As you are well aware, many coming new to AVS want to know it and do it all by next Tuesday. I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but leaping straight into the extraordinary can lead to all sorts of misunderstanding. I like to encourage at least a few well paced steps before leaping, at least sufficient to understand some of the implications of the leap and prepare to realistically interpret the experiences. As I've said elsewhere on numerous occasions - with AVS everything is worth trying and something of value can be extracted from every experience, just not necessarily what you might seek or expect. "Naming" is innate to our being - it was one of the first things Adam is said to have had the opportunity to do, naming the creatures of the new world around him. There's no way around it, irrespective of the imprecision we have to make up words. It works quite well for things and events but it sucks for thoughts/ideas/inner processes. AVS can be dynamite and I would hate to be perceived as denigrating its potential.

    Thank you for the blog reference - I will spend some time there. Taking your advice to look at 2010-11, the first page I came upon was this... - the full title is One Helluva Kasina. Did you intend me to trip over that, or was that just a "coincidence".

  10. gareth's Avatar
    The L&S centipede