Life and Brains

One cat of mine, a wonderful black cat for obvious flatus reasons named "Stinky", was hit on the head by a car. After the blow it raised itself up on its four legs and, due to a ponderous electrical discharge, it jumped up as high as about one meter above the asphalt and fell down dead.

Years ago I was by the death bed of a relative, hit by a stroke. She was for two days in apparent deep coma (although deep coma implies a flat EEC response; no electroencephalography was available in that hospital), however strong electrical discharges in the irremediably damaged brain caused her recurring violent convulsions which brought the dying person, in presumably irreversible coma, even to a sitting position and, with totally impaired muscular coordination, unbelievable facial expressions.

Back for a moment to my 'electrified arms'. For all that I know I can suppose that it might have been even sudden death, were it not that the violent - in itself possibly not far from lethal - blow on the head, right between ear and neck, resulting from the fall in the bath tub stopped or reversed the process. I will say a little more about personal electricity, but first let us give a cursory look at the brain's powerhouse.

A brain's neuron has a resting potential of -6 mv (millivolts) which can raise to +6 mv due to muscular action, all in all a measurable peak voltage of 12 mv across the dividing line if we look at this voltage's display on an oscilloscope. We can think of it as a micro-condenser or a micro-battery with a specific resonant frequency.
Since we have over one hundred billion neurons within our bony shrine, suppose for a while that they are all quiet at their resting potential so that we can say: "My brain, the whole of it, has a resting potential of -6 mv" and that amounts to all but a remarkable electrical voltage.
Now suppose that these one hundred billion neurons could be connected, one by one from the first to the last, observing the right polarity as we do with the batteries of our transistorized radio, in series, one after the other like beads on a very long string: then we have one hundred billion linked cells, it means one hundred billion multiplied by six millivolts. If we measure the voltage at the two terminals of this indeed long chain of neurons we get a reading of (100,000,000,000/1000x6) = 600 million volts! A voltage which can set up monstrous atomic reactions in a cyclotron. A voltage high enough to enable us to be propelled in sidereal space without a rocket and not even a space suit. (Clearly the tiny amperage would not allow such feats!)
If on the other hand we connect these one hundred billion neurons in a suitable series-parallel way and we feed the output to a large copper coil wrapped around a suitable iron rod we can get an electromagnet capable of pulling up of tons of iron. (Here the tiny voltage would not allow such feats.) And all this energy is hidden within a lump of about one and half pound of grayish-pink soft tissue!
Keeping up with our fantastical experimental work, now suppose that this brain as a whole is in its normal physiological working condition but, since every cell has a distinct resonant frequency, with some sort of psychophysical exercise we can tune it to some preselected resonant frequency of our choice so that it can, at will, interact with the environment's resonant frequency (Schumann Resonance) with a predetermined aim and result. [7] What then? Why do we use phrases like:" in tune with the infinite", or, "I am not in the right tune today" and so on?

Together with my travel companions I am hostage of the Afar's Rorom tribe, in the hottest and one of the most desolate spots on the planet earth in the heart of the African Rift Valley. We are by the lifeless Lake Afrerà, a salty lake second only to the Dead Sea's depression, with a small island in the middle - taboo for the region's inhabitants - in the heart of Dankalia at 120 meters below sea level. The lake is a beautiful azure with foamy white waters by the banks, and it is fed by thermal waters which form hot pools (click the picture to enlarge) under Dum palm trees. The Afar are a fierce nomad population and survival in such an environment easily turns them into ferocious predators; we won't be set free unless the Rorom get food and medicines from us.

This place within a terribly barren wasteland of deserts, black lava and active volcanoes for me is an angle of paradise. It is December 1972 and this time it is not a dream or psychical perception. In the middle of the night, under a full moon I walk to one of those crystal clear pools gently carved into the rock by a thermal spring. But I am not alone since two Afar, both armed with a rusty '91' Italian rifle which, I doubt, can hardly shoot, follow me and sit on the pool's opposite side. The Afar are mostly Moslem and animist and for some unknown impulses I recite, loudly in Arabic, the opening verse which appears in each (but one) suras of the Koran: "In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful". At this moment, in that most suggestive place under the moon, a strong but gentle current - hard to define - envelopes, completely, my whole being. In unison with the cosmos I feel transported to another world. The experience last a few seconds and cannot be aptly described. [1]

About ten years go by and I enter in a small but beautiful church in Parma, Italy, just to visit it like the other people who are inside, mostly tourists. As soon as I cross the threshold the same current which I experienced by the Afrerà Lake envelopes me, but this time it is much more intense and, this time too, it lasts only a few seconds and, once more, I return to the world wondering at this marvelous phenomenon.

While I tried, unsuccessfully for the time being, to willingly reproduce the recent 'turned around compass' experience, so far I have not tried to reproduce, with some sort of meditation exercise, this 'enveloping current' experience: why? Possibly because the only thing I am afraid of, as previously stated, is myself and I consider the risk involved into such an exercise in terms of not being ready to confront the experience. It could possibly be like forcing Kundalini Yoga [2] in my surviving cats, or Pho-Wa [3] (consciousness-transference yoga ) to a flatworm. Little do I doubt that we have tremendous untapped powers which can be released for good or for worst; this, however, does not mean that I blindly believe in a flying Padma Sambhava, [4] a flying Milarepa, [5] or other mythological and historical characters performing similar feats, while I might change my mind if I should ever succeed in levitating. We know that we use only about ten percent of our marvelous brain and the rest is unaccessible to us; we also know that tampering with psychical powers without a clear knowledge of what we are doing, i.e., releasing risky psychical processes which we cannot support, can be disastrous in terms of mental sanity. This means, by way of analogy, that if while driving a nail into the wall where to hung my best picture I hammer my finger I can still get the picture hanging on the wall, while if I psycho-hammer my brain with some hazardous psychic experiment I risk loosing reliable pictures - or, worst - the world around me. And if I look at these facts with in mind the concept of the electrical brain mentioned above, and my physio-electric experiences, little doubt remains that we can be demigods.

Back to the brain's powerhouse, [6] very likely it is not the voltage distribution in the brain - besides all the biochemical exchange taking place all along - but the frequency is the important side of psychic experiences. The word frequency implies both undulating, or wavelike motion, and propagation into some medium, or in other words, some sort of vibration be it mechanical, or musical, or electromagnetic or others, known and unknown. In the case of psychic experiences we do not know what sort of vibrations are set in motion nor the relative frequency (even if voltage variations with a certain frequency - namely electrical frequency - can be observed with an electroencephalographic apparatus which records the brain's electrical activity) and hence the difficulty - since the objective plausibly is to get in tune with some sort of baffling cosmic tuning fork whereby, metaphorically, the sky opens and the light is perceived. It is just like tuning the radio to the desired transmitting station but with the brain we cannot, as a rule, freely achieve it. However this possibly is the source of all siddhis - or extraordinary powers which just a few gifted humans can willingly acquire. Obviously, these psychical powers won't come effortlessly and, surely, it is not really necessary, as most believe, to be an hermit in the Himalayan heights, or a self-flagellating fakir, or a trappist monk to achieve particular gifts which, all in all, belong to our nature. The hindrance is our materialistic civilization pushed to the extreme, the substitution of genuine human and religious values with that banknote-god which may appear hard to come but possibly very rewarding if it does since it can answer many of our prayers, the warmongering attitudes leading to pillage and destruction, the do unto others all that which you would not do unto yourself.


[1] "There can be no perception without a perceiver; and contemplatives retain their selves enough to perceive as they rejoice." Renée Haynes in Arthur Koestler's "The Roots of Coincidence" - Richard Klay (The Chaucer Press) Ltd., Bungay, Suffolk - 1972.
[2]See: Sir John Woodroffe (Arthur Avalon) - The Serpent Power - Ganesh & Co., Madras 17 - 1972.
[3] See: W. Y. Evans-Wentz - Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines - Oxford University Press - London - 1970.
[4] See: W. Y. Evans-Wentz - The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation - Oxford University Press - London - 1969.
[5] See: W. Y. Evans-Wentz - Tibet's Great Yogi, Milarepa - Oxford University Press - London - 1972. Also: W. Y. Evans-Wentz - The Tibetan Book of the Dead - Oxford University Press - London - 1969.
[6] This brings to my mind those unexplained phenomena of spontaneous combustion, that is, people found charred to death for no apparent condition nor traces of fires.
[7] Aware of the effects that electromagnetic radiation and acoustic frequencies have on all biological organisms I have built an apparatus for experimental research with magnetism in biomedicine and biota, however lacking a precision digital-display audio generator I did not make a guinea pig of myself to see if it would shake of the dross of old age... or the other way around.

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