Can Human Nature Be Changed?

Health & Happiness — POSTED BY Joe Mellen on December 30, 2009 at 5:57 pm

An introduction to the discoveries of Bart Huges relating to the economics of the blood supply in the brain, consciousness, LSD, and trepanation – something new…

Life is a struggle for survival. For plant or animal of any kind that is an unescapable fact. It is true for each individual human being, as it is true for the human race. In the course of our evolution we have become social animals. In society a balance has to be maintained between the needs of the individual and the group. Individuals must sacrifice their personal interests to a certain degree for the interests of the group as a whole. This is ultimately in the best interests of both; it is entirely reasonable and uncontestable.

Ever since man became a thinking animal, with the invention of speech, the best minds have been applied to finding a way to transcend the ego.

The question then arises, how come we have arrived at the present state of chaos, with human activities threatening our very survival as a species? The answer to this is actually well known; it is a result of the struggle between egotism and altruism, in which egotism usually wins. In an imperfect world the individual puts his own interests ahead of the group’s.

This is not altogether surprising, because the bottom line is that nobody else is responsible for your life. There are exceptions to this rule. People will sacrifice their lives for other people if they are driven by love or loyalty. Mothers will die protecting their children, so will fathers perhaps, soldiers will risk their lives to save comrades in arms etc, but in the general course of life, when push comes to shove, most people will save their own skin. It is human nature.

Having more blood in the capillaries means there is more available for the brain cells to use, so more brain cells than normal can produce consciousness and the total amount of consciousness is increased.

But, whilst in matters of life and death, it is understandable that individuals should put their own interests ahead of the group’s, in other matters that are less extreme, it is less understandable. In fact it is often short-sighted and counter-productive, the result of stupidity and wrong-thinking, an inability to see clearly what course of action is really in a person’s best interests in the long run.

This may be true, but the fact is that it happens and it is widespread. Unfortunately human behaviour is dominated by the ego. What can we do about it?

There is no short term answer to this question. Ever since man became a thinking animal, with the invention of speech, the best minds have been applied to finding a way to transcend the ego. In the past this has led to the creation of religions, in which a higher purpose than personal gain is proposed and the reward of a place amongst the blessed offered for the postponement of immediate gratification. This has had limited success and has often led to the establishment of ecclesiastical hierarchies as tyrannical as the temporal ones they attempt to transcend.

Now the question arises again – how to persuade people to transcend the ego in their own interests? Why is it so difficult? Because they are all stuck in one of these ego-traps which Huxley has so elegantly described in the above excerpts and they don’t want to be “released”

The very act of transcendence implies a climbing above. A transcendent state is one on a higher level than the one transcended. What does this “higher” in fact mean? Some people use the word “spiritual” to describe this level, implying that it is above the material level. Saints fast for days on end to achieve a state of enlightenment. By doing without the most obvious physical need, for food, they endure the temptations of St Anthony to reach the goal of disinterested awareness. In an enlightened vision the individual’s needs and desires are subsumed in a common, categorical view of those of the species as a whole. A feeling of indivisibility with all of life infuses the mind, an exalted feeling of being at one with the whole of existence.

In mystical traditions, such as the Kabbalah’s Tree of Life, there are various stages of development through which the individual can ascend. The lowest is the material level, the level of the body, then comes the level of personality, including the moral sphere, and the highest is the level of the spirit, the transcendent state of mind.

Aldous Huxley wrote a lot about the idea of transcending the ego and was a pioneer in the taking of LSD. In his book “After Many a Summer”, written in 1939, his character William Propter expounds his philosophy. Here are some excerpts from that book, which put in words exactly the advantages of the transcendent state that I would propose offer the best chance of overcoming the inbuilt disadvantages of our ego-dominated existence:

“He had come to this bench under the eucalyptus tree in order to recollect himself, in order to realize for a moment the existence of that other consciousness behind his private thoughts and feelings, that free, pure power greater than his own. He had come for this; but memories had slipped in while he was off his guard; speculations had started up, cloud upon cloud ……. Bondage is the life of personality, and for bondage the personal self will fight with tireless resourcefulness and the most stubborn cunning. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance; and he had failed to be vigilant. It wasn’t a case, he reflected ruefully, of the spirit being willing and the flesh weak. That was altogether the wrong antithesis. The spirit is always willing, but the person, who is a mind as well as a body, is always unwilling – and the person, incidentally, is not weak but extremely strong.”

“For little by little these thoughts and wishes and feelings had settled like a muddy sediment in a jar of water, and as they settled, his vigilance was free to transform itself into a kind of effortless unattached awareness, at once intense and still, alert and passive – an awareness whose object was the words he had spoken and at the same time that which surrounded the words. But that which surrounded the words was the awareness itself; for this vigilance which was now an effortless awareness – what was it but an aspect, a partial expression, of that impersonal and untroubled consciousness into which the words had been dropped and through which they were slowly sinking? And, as they sank they took a new significance for the awareness that was following them down into the depths of itself – a significance new not in respect to the entities connoted by the words, but rather in the mode of their comprehension, which, from being intellectual in character, had become intuitive and direct, so that the nature of man in his potentiality and of God in actuality were realized by an analogue of sensuous experience, by a kind of unmediated participation.

The busy nothingness of his being experienced itself as transcended in the felt capacity for peace and purity, for the withdrawal from revulsion and desires, for the blissful freedom from personality …”

What he is saying is that the only ideal worth pursuing is the ideal of liberation from personality. All other ideals are merely projections, on an enormously enlarged scale, of one or another aspect of personality, be it the artist’s ideal of beauty, the scientists’s ideal of truth, the humanitarian ideal of “goodness”, the political ideal of social justice or the chivalrous ideal of romantic love.  What is commonly called self-sacrifice is the sacrifice of one part of the ego to another part, one set of personal feelings and passions for another set. For example the feelings connected with money or sex may be sacrificed so that the ego may have the feelings of superiority, solidarity and hatred which are associated with patriotism or some political or religious fanaticism. The fanatic may be completely devoted, but in the final analysis his devotion turns out to be directed towards another aspect of his personality. His apparent selflessness is not really a liberation from the ego, but merely another form of bondage.

In discussing these things with the young man Pete, the old man (Father William) tells him:

“Scribes and Pharisees aren’t any better, in the last analysis, than publicans and sinners. Indeed they’re often much worse. For several reasons. Being well thought of by others, they think well of themselves; and nothing so confirms an egotism as thinking well of oneself.


The people who make wars, the people who reduce their fellows to slavery, the people who kill and torture and tell lies in the name of their sacred causes, the really evil people, in a word – they are never the publicans and the sinners. No, they’re the virtuous, respectable men, who have the finest feelings, the best brains, the noblest ideals.”

“Then where ought we to fight for good?”

“Where good is.”

“But where is it?”

“On the level below the human and on the level above. On the animal level and on the level … well, you can take your choice of names: the level of eternity; the level, if you don’t object, of God; the level of spirit – only that happens to be about the most ambiguous word in the language. On the lower level, good exists as the proper functioning of the organism in accordance with the laws of its own being. On the higher level, it exists in the form of a knowledge of the world without desire or aversion; it exists as the experience of eternity, as the transcendence of personality, the extension of consciousness beyond the limits imposed by the ego. Strictly human activities are activities that prevent the manifestations of good on the other two levels. For, in so far as we’re human, we’re obsessed with time, we’re passionately concerned with our personalities and with those magnified projections of our personalities which we call our policies, our ideals, our religions. And what are the results? Being obsessed with time and our egos, we are for ever craving and worrying. But nothing impairs the normal functioning of the organism like craving and revulsion, like greed and fear and worry. Directly or indirectly, most of our physical ailments and disabilities are due to worry and craving. We worry and crave ourselves into high blood-pressure, heart disease, tuberculosis, peptic ulcer, low resistance to infection, neurasthenia, sexual aberrations, insanity, suicide. Not to mention all the rest.”

Now of course this is all very true, but in everyday life, with children and the need to earn a living etc, it is not so easy to avoid the worry and craving – it is easier if you can lead the life of a contemplative!  Still, that is the way … and taking acid regularly keeps you in touch both with the animal and “God”

There is just one thing missing in Huxley’s vision – he says that humans have it in their power to transcend personality and reach the level of “God”,  but he doesn’t say how … only suggests that it can happen spontaneously on occasions – alternatively it takes a disciplined life of asceticism and contemplation to reach that level, which pretty well precludes the normal life of child-raising and money making … of course the book was written in the thirties, before Huxley had taken psychedelics, so it was fairly remarkable …

Now the question arises again – how to persuade people to transcend the ego in their own interests? Why is it so difficult? Because they are all stuck in one of these ego-traps which Huxley has so elegantly described in the above excerpts and they don’t want to be “released”, or, to put it another way, to admit the folly of their ways or the fault-lines in their belief-systems – it is an almost insuperable problem in fact …

Huxley’s brilliant prose paints a good picture of the transcendent state, but it is a poetic description, as it were. What Bart Huges did was explain the experience in physiological terms. He provided a scientific explanation of the mystical experience, thus bringing within reach of the common man what had previously been a secret guarded by the esoteric elite, the priests and shamans, who protected the sacraments for the exclusive use of initiates.

In giving an explanation of expanded consciousness and also the Ego’s domination of behaviour, Bart opened the way to a reappraisal of the advantages and disadvantages of the particular adaptation that homo sapiens has made use of to arrive at his present position in evolution, standing in the upright position and talking. It should be said that the explanation flies in the face of a lot of received wisdom.

I will try and explain Bart’s discoveries. I believe that they provide the answer to this all too human predicament of ours, how to transcend the Ego. I believe that expanded consciousness is the central religious experience. Bart’s explanation of it is an advance on all previous explanations. It explains what is happening in the brain – not that previously religions have stated that as their purpose, but still the concept of God, as expressed by Huxley in the excerpts above, and as expounded by the mystics of all religions, the state of mind in which union with God is experienced, is just that, a state of mind – and Bart’s discoveries explain that in materialistic terms – so it is a big advance on the mystics’ poetic gropings in the dark.

And yet the man or mystic on the Clapham omnibus would in all probability be shocked to have their “union with God” reduced to a matter of muscle and blood! (I speak not absolutely literally here, because strictly speaking blood vessels are not muscles, but they can be constricted to control the distribution of blood, so it comes to much the same thing.)

And here we come to the nub of the matter. Consciousness is, whatever else you can say about it, a product of the brain metabolism, the oxidation of glucose. It is produced in the brain cells. It is not a cloud or mysterious vapour from the outer universe. It arises in the brain and nowhere else. When the heart stops beating that is the end of it. The “effortless awareness”, the “impersonal and untroubled consciousness”, which Huxley describes, is a state of mind in which the Ego is transcended. What does this actually mean? Let me explain.

The Ego is the agency through which the central nervous system directs the blood to the parts of the brain in action. Which parts those are depends on whether the Ego allows the blood to get to them or not. You can think of the Ego, for all intents and purposes, as the speech system. It is in fact responsible for keeping that system in operation. By controlling the distribution of blood in the brain it ensures priority to the centres for talking, listening, reading and writing. The way it controls the blood distribution is by having a grip on the arteries in the brain; by constricting those leading elsewhere it concentrates the blood in the speech centres first and foremost.

It is as if the brain is a sponge with a limited amount of water in. To concentrate water in one part you must squeeze the sponge and, in so doing, restrict the supply to the rest of the sponge.

In the brain of the adult only about 5% of the cortical layer is in function at any one time. There is not enough blood for more than that to function at the level of consciousness. For the function of a brain cell to become conscious it requires a certain volume of blood to reach it. Below that level it will survive, remain in existence, but its specialized function will not reach consciousness. It will, as it were, remain in the dark. Consciousness is like a beam of light which can be directed onto the function of a cell, or a collection of cells, a brain centre. Without that light directed onto it the particular function remains unconscious. We are not aware of it. The light is the effect of the oxidation of glucose. Glucose is the encapsulation of sunlight in a plant through the process of photosynthesis. When it is combusted with oxygen in the brain it releases the energy stored in it as consciousness, another form of energy, or light. Glucose and oxygen reach the brain cells in the blood. So the consciousness of a function, say the smell of coffee, depends on a sufficient blood supply to that centre (the olfactory in this case). It will then light up and we become aware of it. Alternatively, if we are concentrating very hard on a piece of writing, for example – say, studying for an exam – we can completely repress all other perceptions, including the smell of coffee, to keep totally focussed on the meaning of the words.

The speech centres are the latest to have evolved in the brain. They are situated in the cortical layer right at the top, as far away from the heart as you can get. What Bart realized was that by adopting the upright position man was placing himself in the position of a hostage to gravity. The heart had to pump the blood up into his brain in direct defiance of that universal force. There are two fluids in the brain, blood and water (actually cerebrospinal fluid (csf), but essentially, for the purposes of the present argument it is water). Blood is heavier than water and the csf is produced and circulates only inside the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), so it has squatters’ rights, so to speak, – it has nowhere else to go – whereas the blood obviously circulates around the entire organism. The result of this is the loss of some blood from the brain relative to the horizontal position. As the blood drains away, it is replaced by the lighter csf. The parts of the brain that will suffer most from this are obviously the parts farthest from the heart, which would include the speech centres if the Ego mechanism had not evolved to preclude this eventuality.

This loss means the loss of a degree of consciousness, since there will be less blood available for the brain cells and therefore less of them will be able to function at the conscious level. Mythologically, this loss has been called the Fall of Man. We have fallen from a state of animal grace. The “knowledge of good and evil” comes with self-consciousness, a result of the creation of language.

“You are old Father William, the young man said

And your hair has become very white

And yet you incessantly stand on your head

Do you think at your age it is right?

In my youth Father William replied to his son

I feared it might injure the brain

But now that I’m perfectly sure I have none

Why I do it again and again.”

The wisdom of the old man was, of course, regularly to reverse the effect of gravity on the brain and bring a little relief to the Ego, which has a hard job to do to keep repressing function in other parts of the brain (and therefore often the body) in order to keep the speech centres functioning full time, because Cogito Ergo Sum – the human being depends on his thought processes to maintain sanity and give the necessary instructions to keep the organism as a whole functioning in the required manner. The adult cannot afford to stop thinking. Virtually all his behaviour is filtered through the speech system. It is predominantly conditioned reflex, learnt behaviour. He thinks and then he acts, he decides what to do next. This process goes on relentlessly all the time, from trivial decisions, to pick up the fork and spear that bit of fish before bringing it to the mouth, to major ones, such as what to invest your money in. We are animals, yes, but we don’t behave like animals. Somatically we are sub-animal. It is in the realm of the psyche that we have fashioned our own mode of survival. We’ve become the thinking animal. There are pros and cons in this. Among the pros are the inventions we are capable of and the cooperation we can organize. The biggest of the cons are the illusions we create about ourselves and the rubbish we talk.

To go into a bit more detail about the Ego, the way it works is this: when the meaning of a word spoken is recognized in the listening centre, by reflex more blood is concentrated in the talking centre for another word to be spoken and recognized and so on. The meaning of the word is therefore the conditioned stimulus for this conditioned reflex mechanism. A closed circuit is formed between the talking and the listening centres; a chain of word associations maintains priority in the distribution of brain blood to the speech centres. The Ego represents the speech system. It is a tyrant and it behaves as tyrants invariably do, hogging the lion’s share of the blood for itself. Let the rest go hang!

This is just what is required for the speech system, and we depend on our speech system for our survival, so you might think well, that’s alright then. But the speech centres make up only a tiny proportion of the whole brain cortex (the talking centre is the size of a pea, whilst, for example, the visual part comprises about 50% of the total area) and among the rest which have been let go hang may be centres that are just as important for the health of the organism as a whole as the speech system is for sanity. Mens sana in corpore sano (a healthy mind in a healthy body), as the old adage has it.  For instance, Puritans repressed their sexuality to the detriment of their general health. Their whole demeanour spoke of disapproval of the animal appetites, but beneath their frock coats their cocks must have risen in protest at Protestantism.

So the position is that our mental life is completely dominated by the Ego, which needs to keep a large part of the brain under repression in order to keep the thinking mechanism working. From a holistic point of view (that of the organism as a whole), this is not a healthy situation. If we could lift the need for repression even a little, it would greatly ease our troubled minds, and it is in our troubled minds that most of the difficulties confronting the human race arise, the conflicts and complications that bedevil our existence.

How can we lift the need for repression? The simple answer is by increasing the volume of blood in the brain capillaries. But how can we do that? Well, standing on the head is one way, but it is a slow business; you will have to stand on your head for at least twenty minutes to notice any difference, and that can be a pain in the neck. There are other ways.

What we’ve been considering up to now is the distribution of the blood inside the brain, which, as we’ve seen, is under the control of the Ego. Lets now consider the more general picture: how does the blood get to the brain? The blood circulation goes like this: the blood is pumped up by the heart in the arteries; from there it goes into tiny blood vessels called capillaries, from where the cells take the oxygen and glucose for combustion to take place. Combustion is a like a fire. The oxygen and glucose are used up, converted into energy, consciousness, and the waste product, carbon dioxide, is deposited in the capillaries and thence into the veins, in which it is transported back to the heart via the lungs; the “old” blood is relieved of its carbon dioxide in breathing out, whilst new oxygen is taken in by breathing in. This “new” blood is then pumped round again, and so on.

The central nervous system, by controlling the rate at which the heart beats and the tension of the arteries, which have nerves attached to them, maintains a constant flow of blood as far as possible, so the same amount of blood is always entering the brain.

The veins, on the other hand, have no nerves attached to them. They are just drainpipes through which the “old” or “used” blood is carried back to the heart. They have valves in them to ensure that the flow is one way. Imagine what happens, then, if you stop blood from leaving the brain through the veins; suppose you apply a handgrip to the veins in the neck strong enough to do this (you should only do this for a short time incidentally), what will happen? Inevitably the capillaries will expand, since the same amount of blood is still entering the brain, but less is leaving. How can the capillaries expand? Something has got to give, surely. Yes, the extra blood contained in the capillaries will exert a pressure on the volume of csf in the brain and force some of it out through the nerve channels.

Having more blood in the capillaries means there is more available for the brain cells to use, so more brain cells than normal can produce consciousness and the total amount of consciousness is increased. This means the Ego doesn’t have to repress function in as much of rest of the cortex as usual in order to keep the speech system supplied, so it’s under less pressure than usual.

To block the venous outlet from the brain by physical means, standing on the head or a handgrip on the neck veins, is rather extreme. There are easier ways of doing it. The easiest method is chemical. By taking a vaso-constricting substance the veins will be constricted by chemical means. Since the arteries are controlled by the nervous system the blood flow into the brain will not be affected, but less blood will be able to leave it. This will have the same effect. The volume of blood in the brain capillaries will be increased. There are a number of substances that are vaso-constrictors, drugs such as alcohol, amphetamine, cannabis, LSD, mescalin, psilocybin, cocaine, heroin and many others recently synthetized, like ecstasy, MDMA etc etc. Many of these are toxic and addictive to varying degrees. Heroin is the most addictive, cocaine probably the next most. Alcohol is addictive, but can be taken in moderation for a lifetime without doing much harm, though it can of course have unfortunate side-effects if drunk in too large a quantity, like losing balance and judgement. The safest ones to take are the non-toxic ones, cannabis and LSD, although a certain amount of knowledge about the whole process is advisable to mitigate the consequences of taking them in ignorance.

In the “high” state the Ego is transcended. The individual experiences a sense of freedom, released from the bondage of personality which Huxley talked about above.

This is why man has always taken drugs to rise above the humdrum monotony of adult life, to break out of the chains his Ego has him shackled in, to lift the weight of gravity from his shoulders, or more precisely his brain.

The problems of drug-taking come from two things: first, the toxic drugs have side-effects which can incapacitate the user if taken in excess and even, in extreme cases, result in death from overdose. Toxic drugs can also lead to addiction, the need to increase the dose to get the same effect. Eventually the addict needs the drug just to avoid the withdrawal symptoms. Addiction, especially among the poor, leads to crime.

The second problem comes from taking the non-toxic drugs in ignorance. The non-toxic drugs do not lead to physical addiction. You need never increase the dose. The same amount will always produce the same result. There are no particular side-effects which are the characteristic “benefits” people seek in toxic drugs, the speed of amphetamines, the uninhibitedness of alcohol, the “I’m alright Jack” cool of heroin etc. With non-toxic drugs you just get high. There are no special effects. It is just you with more awareness. However, because the increased volume of blood in the brain leads to an increased brain metabolism, which means that more glucose is being consumed, the sugar-level in the blood can fall quite rapidly, since a small volume of extra blood can feed a few billion brain cells. When the sugar-level falls the symptoms of hypoglycaemia appear, loss of concentration, perceptual distortions, hallucinations, paranoia etc, which can result in considerable psychic discomfort. Knowing this means that one can easily take measures to avoid it, simply by keeping the sugar-level normal, which involves nothing more complicated than eating sugar in one form or another, sweets, fruit or any form of food. It is only necessary to know that different forms of food take different lengths of time to be digested and turned into glucose; for instance a high protein breakfast (say bacon and eggs etc) will keep the sugar-level reasonably high for the whole morning; a spoonful or two of sugar in your coffee, a fruit juice at regular intervals, or whatever, will keep it topped up. You may in fact enjoy the experience of sugarlack – a lot of people do – but if you don’t, you know what to do.

The sugar level in the blood is regulated by two hormones. If it is too high insulin is secreted to extract glucose from the blood and store it in the liver. If it is too low adrenalin is secreted to inject more glucose into the blood from the liver. Adrenalin is also the hormone that serves as the body’s emergency measure in times of fight, fright or flight. It does two things: first it constricts the veins, thus getting you instantly high and secondly it gives you an instant shot of glucose, so that you are in the optimal state of mind to deal with the emergency.

A problem can arise when the sugar-level is reduced through taking drugs. In this case adrenalin will be secreted to rectify the situation, but because it is normally secreted in emergency situations, images associated with such events can arise in the mind and, particularly because the critical faculty is diminished by the sugarlack, one image can lead to another and what is known as “the horrors” can ensue. If you know that the cause of this is sugarlack, you can easily take some sugar to get you out of it, but if you don’t it can get worse and worse. It is worth knowing that, for the synthesis of adrenalin, ascorbic acid, vitamin C, is essential. The body does not store vitamin C. On a big sugarlack the body’s store of adrenalin can be used up fairly quickly, so taking a time-release vitamin C tablet is a wise precaution before taking a trip.

With knowledge of the safety measures, sugar and vitamin C, taking LSD is quite safe. The dangers come when a prolonged sugarlack leads to the exhaustion of the body’s store of adrenalin and this can lead to the deconditioning of the Ego mechanism – the meaning of the words you speak is no longer recognized, so you lose your identity. This state of Ego-loss is not at all desirable. An ego-less individual is essentially insane. Knock knock – no one at home. When it comes to taking acid, ignorance is by no means bliss; being wise is not folly at all!

In the sixties, when acid first hit the streets, as it were, there were a lot of casualties, who ended up in mental hospitals. It was commonly held that Ego-loss was the whole point of the trip. Hallucinations were sought after. Trippers vied with each other to recount the most way-out experiences. It was all a lot of hot air, a complete misunderstanding. To transcend the Ego is one thing, to lose it is quite another. It is a mechanism without which one cannot think. Without thinking one cannot survive. Without an Ego you can’t look after yourself. In a transcendent state of mind you can quite well look after yourself, but you can also see quite clearly how your own interests dovetail with those of your fellow hairless talking apes – sorry, human beings!

There is one way that the Ego’s tyranny can be lessened permanently and that is by trepanation, the making of a hole in the skull. In the infant’s skull the plates are separated from each other. In the course of birth they can, as it were, fold in on one another as they pass through the cervix and then pop out into shape afterwards. It is easy to see the brain pulsating on the heartbeat inside the baby’s cranium through the fontanelles. In the course of growth, first the fontanelles seal and then gradually the sutures, or seams, between the plates seal until by the end of growth the skull has become a solid case around the brain.

The effect of the sealing of the skull is to inhibit the pulsepressure in the brain. The blood pressure ranges from the systolic, when the heart is contracted, to the diastolic, in between beats. The pulsepressure is the difference between these two measurements. The brain is a soft organ, which expands and contracts with the heartbeat. Once the skull has completely encased the brain it can no longer expand on the beat. The pulsepressure is suppressed as the blood passes through the brain. Obviously the presence of this pressure in the arteries causes them to expand and enables more blood to reach the capillaries and, conversely, the loss of it has the opposite effect and consequently less reaches the capillaries. With the sealing of the cranium, therefore, the total capillary volume is reduced. Consciousness is thereby diminished. In other words the adult has less consciousness than the child. If you think about it you will probably not find this difficult to imagine. The energy and playfulness of childhood is unmistakeable. Indeed many people describe turning on, either with marijuana or even more with LSD, as a rejuvenating experience.

Making a hole in the skull reverses the effect of the sealing of the skull. By allowing the brain to reverberate, as it were, on the heartbeat, the pulsepressure is restored and with it the childhood level of brain metabolism. This is not a great “high”, merely an energy boost. On an imaginary scale, if one was to say that LSD was 100, some good hash say 60, then trepanation would be about 30. It is not enough to tip you into sugarlack, give you the “munchies” as the weed does. It is just a relief from the oppression of the Ego, a gentle and permanent mental lift.

Of course the common perception is expressed in the sentence “I need that like a hole in the head”, meaning it’s the very last thing you could possibly need. Well, isn’t that strange! As a matter of fact the skull has a different origin, anatomically speaking, from the rest of the skeleton, with the result that a hole in it doesn’t seal. If the science behind it was recognized and the advantage was accepted, it would be a simple matter to administer a routine injection and deaden a layer of tissue on the inside of one of the fontanelles in the infant’s skull  to prevent it from sealing. At a stroke we would be freed from the comedown of adulthood. It is only in the later years of adolescence, when the constriction of the skull sealing starts to affect our mental buoyancy, that we turn to drink or drugs to try and restore the vitality we feel, unconsciously, we are losing.

In conclusion, therefore, I am suggesting that a possible “correction” can be made to alleviate the disadvantage of standing in the upright position, the loss of blood from the brain. By allowing the brain to pulsate on the heartbeat after the skull has sealed, the childhood metabolism can be restored. This takes the pressure off the Ego, which has to maintain a constant state of repression in order to keep the speech centres fully functioning. Further than this, taking psychedelics and other drugs in moderation can lift us into the transcendental state, in which we can experience eternity and feel the indivisibility of all existence, leaving our worries and cravings behind us for some blissful hours of unity with the smallest and greatest collections of particles that universal energy has assembled for their transitory materialisation in our mind’s eye, that extraordinary bundle of particles that is our transitory self. Lets enjoy it while we can!

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  • Joe Mellen says:

    there are no clinics that offer the operation as yet – as I said, the explanation is new science – though it has been performed for longer than any ither operation – from the stone age onwards – they alwsys said it was to “let light in” or “let demons out”. The skin heals very quickly, leaving a small scar. The hole in trhe bone doesn’t seal. Anatomically speaking, the skull has a different origin to the rest of the skeleton and holes in it do not seal. Recent research has been carried out with positive results. See for this research by Moskalenko (Russian physiologist) or read article in New Scientist 13th June 2009 “Like a hole in the head”. No downsides, no side effects.

  • scroog3 says:

    So, do any clinics offer trepanation? And what are the downsides? Does the skin over he cranium just heal normally and seal the hole, or is there a risk of matter escaping through the hole?

    Are there any scientific reports of the effects of trepanation in modern day? I would imagine that skull fracture might be comparable in some way.

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