03 June 2004

The People With Holes In Their Heads

Just read an excellent article about self-trepanation i.e. the drilling of holes in your head to facilitate clear thought and psychedelia. Apparently it's all based on an hypothesis about the blood-brain volume or something but makes for fascinating, and slightly disturbing, reading. Here's a sample in case you can't be arsed to click:

"'After some time there was an ominous sounding schlurp and the sound of bubbling. I drew the trepan out and the gurgling continued. It sounded like air bubbles running under the skull as they were pressed out. I looked at the trepan and there was a bit of bone in it. At last! On closer inspection I saw that the disc of bone was much deeper on one side than on the other. Obviously the trepan had not been straight and had gone through at one point only, then the piece of bone had snapped off and come out. I was reluctant to start drilling again for fear of damaging the brain membranes with the deeper part while I was cutting through the rest or of breaking off a splinter. If only I had had an electric drill it would have been so much simpler. Amanda was sure I was through. There seemed no other explanation of the schlurping noises. I decided to call it a day. At that time I thought that any hole would do, no matter what size. I bandaged up my head and cleared away the mess.'

There was still doubt in his mind as to whether he had really broken through and, if so, whether the hole was big enough to restore pulsation to his brain. The operation had left him with a feeling of wellbeing, but he realized that it could simply be from relief at having ended it. To put the matter beyond doubt, he decided to bore another hole at a new spot just above the hairline, this time using an electric drill. In the spring of 1970 Amanda was in America and Joey did the operation alone. He applied the drill to his forehead, but after half an hour's work the electric cable burnt out. Once again he was frustrated. An engineer in the flat below him was able to repair the instrument, and next day he set out to finish the job. 'This time I was not in any doubt. The drill head went at least an inch deep through the hole. A great gush of blood followed my withdrawal of the drill. In the mirror I could see the blood in the hole rising and falling with the pulsation of the brain.'

The result was all he had hoped for. During the next four hours he felt his spirits rising higher until he reached a state of freedom and serenity which, he claims, has been with him ever since."

Don't try this at home kids.

1 comment:

Devil said...

I find I reach the same state of euphoria when purchasing expensive silk underwear and sequinned, soft kid leather high heeled shoes. Less mess although I do like drills and power tools of all descriptions, I must buy more of those.

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