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History of Flickering Light

3 Examples of Flickering Light Throughout History  

While the Lucia N°03 was invented a decade ago, the concept of working with flickering lights to achieve expanded states of consciousness has been around since ancient times. 

Here we’ll share 3 examples throughout history. A more in-depth look at the History of Flickering light is available in our free course for owners of Lucia N°03 light systems.

160 AD - Ancient Rome - Ptolemy 

Back around 160 AD, the scholar Claudius Ptolemaeus (known in English as Ptolemy), was a geographer, astronomer, astrologer and scientist that lived in Alexandria, near Egypt. 

Plotemy wrote about his experiments with flickering light in his treatise entitled, "Optics." According to this text, he had his test subjects sit by a spinning spokeswheel/potterswheel, which he placed in front of a lamp, creating a flickering effect. 

Plotemy had his subjects close their eyes and explain to him what they saw. His manuscript includes sketches of the patterns and images they perceived as well as descriptions of the calming and euphoric feelings elicited from the experience. 

1909 - France - Dr. Pierre Janet

One of the fathers of modern psychology was the French doctor Pierre Janet. He was one of the first therapists to introduce the concept of past traumatic events affecting the current behaviors and emotions of clients. 

In his research and practice at the Salpetriere hospital in France, he wrote of working with flickering light (a spokeswheel spinning in front of a gas lantern). He would have his clients suffering from neuroses sit in front of and watch the gently flickering light, which he claimed helped reduce depression, tension and hysteria. 

1960’s - Paris - Dreamachine - Byron Gysin  

Painter, poet and visionary Brion Gysin discovered the visual effects of flickering light in the 1960s. As William Burroughs reported, Gysin had been falling asleep in a bus near Paris. When the bus passed by a grove of trees, “an overwhelming flood of intensely bright patterns in supernatural colours exploded behind my eyelids: a multi-dimensional kaleidoscope whirling out through space. The vision stopped abruptly when we left the trees. Was that a vision?” He wondered.

The Dreamachine was produced out of two lampshades with slots in them rotating in opposite directions, over a bright bulb (using a turn-table). This produced a slow-wave alpha rhythm (between 9-12hz). Gysin and Sommerville produced a commercial version, which Gysin believed would “eventually replace the television set in every home.”

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The Lucia N°03 helps clear the mind and allow even beginning meditators to reach a space of peace quickly.