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Old 03-26-2008, 10:44 AM   #1
Don_Modesto
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I am the universe

Eighteen minutes of engrossing narration. A neurologist dissects her stroke for us.

Is enlightenment reduceable to neural disfunction?


Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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Old 03-26-2008, 10:57 AM   #2
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: I am the universe

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote: View Post
Eighteen minutes of engrossing narration. A neurologist dissects her stroke for us.

Is enlightenment reduceable to neural dysfunction?

Don,
Is there a particular thing you are referring to here? I don't think I am getting it...
- George

George S. Ledyard
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Old 03-26-2008, 10:59 AM   #3
akiy
 
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Re: I am the universe

Hi Don,

I'm guessing that you left out the URL by mistake?

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/229

How does this relate to aikido to you (and others)?

-- Jun

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Old 03-26-2008, 11:47 AM   #4
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: I am the universe

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote: View Post
Eighteen minutes of engrossing narration. A neurologist dissects her stroke for us.

Is enlightenment reduceable to neural disfunction?

You say reduce-able as if it is somehow less. For people without some sort of brain pathology, it takes many years of practice to learn to shut off the left brain chatter and tap into the right brain processing.

I come from the hippie days and many of my friends achieved much the same result for temporary periods using various psychotropic substances. The problem with an experience that comes out of the blue and has no context, that one has not used some sort of discipline to develop, is that when one returns to ordinary existence, it is very difficult to take the experience any deeper.

For instance, in Zen, Kensho is basically an "opening experience" but daily practice can take that initial "opening" and expand it. Through an actual practice one can learn to deepen the experience while still being able to maintain left brain function and act effectively in the world.

Having had friends who sought to access this state via chemicals, I can tell you that they were largely unable to integrate the two brain experiences and they turned into total space cadets. We always referred to these folks as having burned out too many brain cells. The Dr.'s description of her stroke sheds some interesting light on what Enlightenment is in a neurological sense. Clearly, as a scientist, she would be a fairly right brain type ordinarily. Her experience of having the left brain pretty much turn off for a time gave her this insight. But, like the hippies who did it with drugs, she doesn't have direct control over this, at least as far as I can tell from the talk given.

The Buddhists have always conceded that Enlightenment was possible outside of practice. There is a classification of Buddhas known as Pratyeka Buddhas who achieved Enlightenment spontaneously, outside of formal practice. Could be that some of them had some sort of brain episode that gave them access to this state. Certainly sounds like that is what happened here.

But I don't think that describing the process as a dysfunction would be correct nor do I think that the Dr.'s experience does anything other than validate the ideas presented by various spiritual systems. The difference is that in formal systems the subject learns to control access to this state. Having heard talks by various Roshis over time, I can tell you that they are generally quite functional in their left brain ability... usually very incisive, articulate, precise, etc. Not at all like the folks who achieved similar states using chemicals. The Dr, seems to have done much the same thing in the sense that she had the experience of the left brain shutting down and then had it turned back on. That has made her aware of an alternate reality but has also left her quite functional. It is unclear whether she would be able to access the alternative experience again with doing much the same training as certain spiritual systems advocate.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:02 PM   #5
Keith Larman
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Re: I am the universe

I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob!

Okay, sorry, couldn't resist.

To the extent that some sorts of experiences might be helpful in apprehending the world "as it is" clearly and without interference I can see a relation to Aikido. Also to the extent that some practice aikido as a form of mediation in a sense (and I'll put myself into that class -- it is my way of quieting the clutter in my head) I can see it related.

And it made me pull out my old copy of Jaynes "Origin of Consciousness..." book. Got me wondering if subsequent neuroscience has added anything to those sorts of theories of consciousness.

That said, it's always nice being reminded of how subjective our experience is and how easily it can be "disrupted". Which always begs the question of what sort of experience is the "correct" or "true" experience of the world... Age-old vexing question of philosophy...

Now to put on my rose colored glasses and go get some work done...

Last edited by Keith Larman : 03-26-2008 at 12:03 PM. Reason: My speling sumetims stincs...

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Old 03-26-2008, 01:16 PM   #6
charyuop
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Re: I am the universe

I wish I had known what it was about...for sure I wouldn't have watched it.
It brought me back to a friend of mine. He drove home and left his family in front of the apartment building where they lived to go park the car. In the way between the garage and home he had a stroke and he had to force himself to reach the entrance of the building before collpasing down. He was unconscius to the world, but very conscious in reality, able to hear people talking, feel pain and fell the need of air that he was not able to collect since the lungs didn't work very well. Feeling the pain of a cathader put in and not been able to move or shout, or ask the Dr to do it less painful...

He told us (me and another friends) what he went through and it is horrible...nothing as paradisiac as that video describes.
He died 3 years ago for heart complications, but everytime I remember him, his story comes back to my mind and I shiver to the idea that it could easily happen to me.
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Old 03-26-2008, 01:22 PM   #7
Timothy WK
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Re: I am the universe

Continuing along the same lines as George, this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone familiar with meditation or the like. It's been known for a number of years now that the altered states of consciousness meditation practitioners experience are caused by changes in brain waves and patterns.

But as many spiritual leaders and counselors will say, even though the experience of meditation and/or prayer can be profound, in the end it's meaningless. The issue is not what you experience in meditation or prayer, per se, but how that experience impacts the rest of one's life.

I believe most would distinguish between having glimpses or flashes of Enlightenment, and living an Enlightened existence. Experiencing the former in no way implies or guarantees the latter.

--Timothy Kleinert

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Old 03-26-2008, 02:00 PM   #8
Aristeia
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Re: I am the universe

so are we saying that O'sensei's famous moment of insight, bathed in light etc in his garden may have been a stroke?

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 03-26-2008, 02:46 PM   #9
Fred Little
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Re: I am the universe

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Don J. Modesto wrote: View Post
Eighteen minutes of engrossing narration. A neurologist dissects her stroke for us.

Is enlightenment reduceable to neural disfunction?

Reducible to neural dysfunction? No. If it were, it wouldn't be enlightenment.

Accessible through neural dysfunction? Yes. If it weren't, it wouldn't be enlightenment.

Next....

FL
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Old 03-26-2008, 03:11 PM   #10
DonMagee
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Re: I am the universe

They say doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is insanity. I've gotten up and gone to class, done the same thing over and over and expected a different result. I am possibly insane.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 03-26-2008, 03:27 PM   #11
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: I am the universe

Quote:
Michael Fooks wrote: View Post
so are we saying that O'sensei's famous moment of insight, bathed in light etc in his garden may have been a stroke?
Or a endogenous DMT overdose.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/23185/DMTT..._related_doc=1

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Old 03-26-2008, 03:58 PM   #12
Erick Mead
 
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Re: I am the universe

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Newberg, D'Aquili (2000). "The Neuropsychology of religious and spiritual experience." Journal of Consciousness Studies 7(11-12): 251-266.
Newberg, D'Aquili (2001). Why God Won't Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief. New York, Balentine Books.

These studies documented increased neural activity in the prefrontal cortex and decreased activity in the posterior superior parietal lobe. which governs the identity or distinction between self and non-self.
Quote:
mystical experience is biologically, observably, and scientifically ‘real' rather than ‘wishful thinking' .. [we] saw evidence of a neurological process that has evolved to allow humans to transcend material existence and acknowledge and connect with a deeper, more spiritual part of ourselves perceived of as an absolute, universal reality that connects us to all others (Newberg 2001)
The expansion of sense of self involves mirror neurons, which are, in my estimation, what we are primarily using in the experience of musubi. That lies on a spectrum of experience between simple hand-grabbing, seamless flowing within an attack, one-touch throws, no-touch throws, and somewhere at the end of that (non-linear) progression, the proverbial golden light and identifying with the universe.

As a purely martial matter, highly efficient mirror neurons processing an attack without mediating ego input makes the survival value and hence the evolutionary basis of this observed faculty fairly robust, in my opinion.

"True Budo is love."

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 03-26-2008, 04:22 PM   #13
Fred Little
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Re: I am the universe

Quote:
Timothy Walters Kleinert wrote: View Post
Continuing along the same lines as George, this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone familiar with meditation or the like. It's been known for a number of years now that the altered states of consciousness meditation practitioners experience are caused by changes in brain waves and patterns.

But as many spiritual leaders and counselors will say, even though the experience of meditation and/or prayer can be profound, in the end it's meaningless. The issue is not what you experience in meditation or prayer, per se, but how that experience impacts the rest of one's life.

I believe most would distinguish between having glimpses or flashes of Enlightenment, and living an Enlightened existence. Experiencing the former in no way implies or guarantees the latter.
This bears repeating, particularly whenever overly broad claims about Ueshiba's "Golden Light" experience are waiting in the wings.

Best,

FL
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Old 03-26-2008, 04:28 PM   #14
Don_Modesto
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Re: I am the universe

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote: View Post
Hi Don,

I'm guessing that you left out the URL by mistake?

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/229
What a twit I can be. Thanks, Jun.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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Old 03-26-2008, 11:20 PM   #15
wideawakedreamer
 
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Re: I am the universe

"Oh my gosh! I'm having a stroke! I'm having a stroke...wow, this is so COOL!" lol

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Old 03-27-2008, 03:31 AM   #16
Stefan Stenudd
 
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Opposites are not the whole

The doctor talks about experiencing nirvana, but that is extinguishing. She might mean satori, the sudden moment of enlightenment described in Zen. Any Zen monk would tell you that such a brain hemorrhage is an experience that might work as well as a koan, to give you a moment of satori.

She also talks about "the life force power of the universe", and we sure can relate to that.
Is her experience of it an illusion, caused by a brain malfunction? Maybe, but not necessarily. As a scientist, she had probably lived a life devoted to logics and reason, so this sudden burst of what can be called inspiration might be new to her. When all of a sudden her left brain hemisphere is struck out, her right hemisphere finally gets to show its perspective to her, and she is amazed.

I am not that attracted to the idea of defining man's mind too much by the differences of the brain hemispheres. The mind is a whole. Splitting it into different parts does not necessarily explain the whole.
Also, the principle of opposites is quite archetypal in human thinking through the ages - like yin and yang, good and evil, heaven and hell, man and woman, et cetera. Even scientists are easily seduced into that kind of reasoning. They should beware, as soon as they jump to such conclusions.

In aikido, we have tori and uke. We tend to think that tori is the one doing aikido, and uke is doing something else by attacking -- but really, aikido is what happens in the interaction between tori and uke. It is the whole, not any of the parts.

Stefan Stenudd
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:00 PM   #17
Walter Martindale
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Re: I am the universe

As Rene Descartes didn't quite say:

I think I think, therefore I think I am.

should I really post this?
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Old 01-16-2010, 07:57 PM   #18
Suru
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Re: I am the universe

Words that help me understand O'Sensei's "I am the Universe" realization come from one of my favorite novels, Hermann Hesse's Steppenwolf:

"...if ever the suspicion of their manifold being dawns upon men of unusual powers and of unusually delicate perceptions, so that, as all genius must, they break through the illusion of the unity of the personality and perceive that the self is made up of a bundle of selves, they have only to say so and at once the majority puts them under lock and key, calls science to aid, establishes schizomania and it protects humanity from the necessity of hearing the cry of truth from the lips of these unfortunate persons."

Hermann Hesse won the Nobel Prize for Literature for this work and such other classics such as Siddhartha. That was back when the prize meant something, and - not that I'm too concerned - hopefully will again.

I would like to open this for discussion before saying much more, but could it have been O'Sensei's obvious and complete positivity, his aura of love, that kept him from going "under lock and key?"

I am excited to hear other's thoughts on this.

Drew
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Old 01-16-2010, 10:15 PM   #19
Janet Rosen
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Re: I am the universe

I read the book by this woman and strongly recommend it as it really addresses issues of post-stroke rehab - the approaches to take and those to avoid - from a perspective not often available.

For those who may wish to pursue a somewhat similar theme, in fiction, I recommend Mark Salzman's Lying Awake - this novel is about a nun who learns her visions may be caused by epilepsy (and written by a student of the martial arts) and raises interesting questions about spirituality and neurology

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 01-17-2010, 12:35 AM   #20
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: I am the universe

I've also read those two books and I think we're just beginning to "sneak up" on the very edge of some major breakthroughs in understanding. If I was a youngster again, this field of interest would attract me strongly (along with what's happening in our concepts of "memory" and thinking processes. It's beginning to look very familiar to some of the "dreaming" and BSing that a bunch of us old hippies used to pass around.

Best to Stu and TLC for the cold.

Chuck Clark
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www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 01-17-2010, 04:09 AM   #21
dalen7
 
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Re: I am the universe

Intro:
There are 3 separate experiences I would like to relay concerning the mind and its mysterious connection to what may/may not exist beyond the everyday ordinary.

Death, Near Death, & O.B.E.
[First observation, the other first hand experience]

First: A little background for perspective
It must be noted, as it is quite relevant, my cultural/spiritual upbringing. [Evangelical Christian - though this label does not necessarily work for me as of recently, I could say I took the relevant teachings deeper.]

Having said that, one thing which had interested me is the fact that with N.D.E.s everyone saw something different when they were on their death bed. [i.e., Christians, Jesus, Buddhist Buddha, etc.]

Now an argument can be made that many people have reported seeing hell, but in light of the above statement with people seeing what was relevant to their milieu it must be stated that even an 'atheist' is affected largely by their cultural collective milieu, so that even if you didnt believe in heaven or hell, America - as it had been for quite some time - was largely influenced and self-labled as being a Christian nation.

So this factors into ones experience, regardless of the small circle of influence that may have spoken otherwise, unless of course they were connected through an umbilical chord, as it were, to another strong connection. [i.e., transplant from another nation with a strong religious upbringing such as Buddhism, Hinduism, or even Judaism.]

1 day is like a thousand years, etc.
DMT/Tryptamines, etc.

With the experiences I am about to relate, it has opened up a whole new door for me in regards to the question of "what is reality", etc.

In fact, I have read more material than you can imagine, [from people with first hand experience], as well as from all the leading Medical Journals. [J.A.M.A., Journals of Science/Nature, the LANCET, etc. If you havent peaked into the journals you would be surprised at what you would find regarding certain, publicly percieved, 'taboo' subjects.

Anyway the experiences I have read about and encountered personally through accidents, meditation, etc. were quite similar as to those of the psychonaughts, as you may call them, of RamDass, Terrance Mckenna, etc.]

It made me question if the brain upon death isnt giving you one last trip... the first being an good explosion of naturally occurring dmt at birth [of which we know you need a MAO inhibitor to make it active, but the fact of DMTs existence and its current nature of relatively being new to us and not understood, its worth making a comparison none the less in order to gain perspective of what may be going on.]

Death:
First, which is actually I believe the latest experience, though the O.B.E. was mighty close in time, was that of when my father-in-law passed away.

We had moved back in 2005 to Hungary, and lived with my father-in-law [and mother-in-law] for the last 3 months, approx. of his life.

In fact, I was in the room next to his, awake, as he was in the room parallel with the medics, his wife, daughter, & son... and then he passed away. [he had been very ill for some years and it progressively had gotten worse.]

Of great interest was, at the time as mentioned, I was in the room next door in the house, and I felt a big gust of cold wind, as it were, blow upon the upper half of my body - primarily my face.
[gust of wind does not adequately describe what I felt, but will have to do for now... it was brief, none-intrusive, but very much present.]

At that moment I thought... "he's dead"

Right after that, my wife came in the room and told me he had passed away.

Now people die everyday, and Im not aware of reports of gusting, etc. [no windows open, etc. and again this is not the most adequate description], however there are many factors that we do not have, as each experience is quite different as well as the persona who has the experience.

I saw him immediately after this and then later when they took him out. There was something of keen interest to me and it was at one point it was clear that the person who was there, was no longer there...

... when is 'dead' continued from above story
When the heart stops your dead... no? Or is it when the brain dies?
My theory is that when he had been announced dead and the breeze had happened his heart had died... [in this period is when we have that last DMT trip where a day is like a thousand years, etc. - also, consider the stories we have of the spirits either going to the light... wondering around as they are confused, how does this all play into the 'last trip', and I dare not go into trying to analyze this here]

Also, later as I saw him, I speculate that it is safe to say he was brain dead, and thus the 100% feeling of noone being there, as was not the case before. [Again, this is my own personal perspective, etc. based on what I saw against my other experiences as well.]

O.B.E.
Not long after this happened, we had stayed with my mother-in-law, same house, and to be quite frank this year has been termed the year of hell for both me and my wife.

We encountered some serious struggles which were brought on by unforeseen events. [income gone, house gone we were supposed to have had, etc.] It was a very stressful time which I believe helped both of us in our spiritual/emotional growth - though no one would wish such a hard time for anyone, typically it is through the fires that we are refined. [and of which I dropped all the extraneous labels and beliefs which no longer truly helped, though later would see from what I believed that which could be taken deeper.]

Either way, I was stressed, so I went into the room on one night and turned on Eckhart Tolle and laid down and just opened my mind and meditated.

Whether this is real or not, and many may obviously be skeptical of it being anything but something made up inside my mind... of which I may ask, "is there anything but what is made up within our minds?"

Either way I looked up at the desk as I was meditating and then I got up and started walking to the door... it was now late and I was afraid to go through the door. [mainly mother-in-law to be honest, I did not wish to hear her at the time], so I went to turn around to go back to rest... yet I was there resting and then I got up.

Confusing? [Well, I wish at the time, I had known that I was not really up and walking, and that perhaps this was some grand waking dream, as I would have tried to wake my wife to verify and ask her to see if she saw me and the me on the floor as well.]

Is this an O.B.E.? Is it a lucid dream and I just did not know I fell asleep and everything connected so nicely, except for a slight glitch of being here than there?

Again, when you look into people and medical studies who have tested the likes of DMT, etc. on people - these stories sound similar - with the exception that I was not doing anything.

N.D.E.
At around the age of 18/19 i believe it was, I was riding my bicycle home from church and a trans-am pulled in and hit me.

Of course I saw it coming, and yet I did not have time to do anything. [You know the stories of how things slow down... this is one of them... it was fast enough I could not do anything, but the amount of thoughts I had while this was taking place was amazing... and I still remember]

I thought, "this thing will hit me! Im going to go under the car and thats not good, try to roll on top of it" - and thus it hit and my body i pushed up instead of it going down.

now what happened physically after that I can tell you, though I dont remember anything. I know that I rolled on the car and my head cracked his windshield. [no bike helmet], and then I was on the ground.

space... nowhere land contin. of above story
Now while my physical body was lieing on the ground and covered in blood solely from the approx.two inch gash in the side of my head [yes head wounds are said to bleed a lot], here is what was happening in my 'new world'

Suddenly I was in the middle of blackness.
But know this, I was 100% 'awake' and aware.
Ironically I had no conception of my life whatsoever.
Parents? Who are they? Earth? What is that? [It may have been a faint thought.]

No, ironically I was in blackness looking at a different type of blackness kind of to my upper left I suppose and expecting something to come from that direction.

It felt like a room, honestly, and there was yet a deeper blackness up high to the right where I felt was a "judges table" and I was awaiting for God to swoop in from the left and deal me my judgement.

I had time to ponder this, though I did not think of any specific events of my life... none at all. I was pondering if God would send me to heaven or hell.

At that point I figured, I had not been perfect, [despite my obsessive compulsive nature brought on by my strict upbringing], yet here I was relaxed and felt that I would just go up and hug God as all was good and there was really no problem.

As I imagined this scenario of me going up and hugging an invisible God [hugging space], something interesting happened... I awoke to this reality again.

I was on the ground looking, people were around me but this reality was still not cemented yet. [like waking from a dream, where I have had it where I hear nothing, then the audio clicks in... interesting as well... ], anyway I remembered wishing that I were in Florida and not in Georgia. [Dont ask me why, its just my preference at the time for various reasons... and that was the only thought I had.]

And it turned out I was in Florida, [not saying this is a miracle], and the scene became alive and the medic was there telling me not to shut my eyes and not to sleep. [I had an IV in my arm, which I suppose is quite typical for anyone an ambulance goes out for], and then at one point I was fully aware of the waking reality around me. [Had my head MRI and docs said it was normal, all was well - they said that the head wound was just messy cause head wounds bleed alot, but I was fine.] And that is that.

Conclusion:
These stories may not be a 'wow' factor for anyone... and that is quite fine. But what is important is the imprint that it left on me as well as the assistance in self-discovery that these experiences acted as a catalyst for.

Many times we keep tight to that which conventional wisdom, of our milieu, teaches us, and we loose site of all the true meaning of the allegories and to what they point to.

"Row, row, row your boat - gently down the stream, merrily, merrily, merrily - life is but a mmmm"

I had a 3rd grade music teacher from an asian country who made us say, "mmm..." and was quite upset with the term 'dream', as life "is not a dream" [in effect it is a pagan teaching was her point, and quite satanic]. - I was in a Christian academy/school at the time, and people who switch from one religion to another tend to be all the more a zealot than one who grew up in a given religion. [hence Jesus term, "twice the son of hell", and the philosophy behind this makes perfect sense once you get it.]

The point is, people, with no where else to turn... their story is already been destroyed once, and with no other polar opposite to turn to - they will cling all the more to this polar opposite, instead of "floating above the abyss" and seeing it was all part of the same 'story'

Either way, I would say, perhaps there is something to the song, maybe indeed it is true the conclusion to that song we were not allowed to finish singing, which simply is, "row your boat... life is but a dream!"

Peace

dAlen

p.s.
Hopefully this is somewhat coherent, as it is long.
My tendency is to type and post - correct as I go along. [I do the same with my blogs]
Anyway, maybe there was some points that are worth reflecting - as I believe I have nothing new to add, as each person has to discover on their own what is necessary for their journey. [though they do not necessarily have to experience everything, it is obvious that the only truth for any given individual is the truth they make for themselves.]

Last edited by dalen7 : 01-17-2010 at 04:13 AM. Reason: add "p.s."

dAlen [day•lynn]
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Old 01-17-2010, 04:20 AM   #22
dalen7
 
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Re: "I Am the Universe"

Im having extreme deja-vu, as I just posted a life biography in another persons post with same topic here at Aikiweb!

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...580#post250580

peace,

dAlen

dAlen [day•lynn]
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Old 01-17-2010, 07:52 AM   #23
Abasan
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Re: "I Am the Universe"

I don't think its the same really. Genius and eccentricity and even borderline schizomania probably share similar facets with one another, but so does the human DNA share over 90% similarity with pigs.

I interpret his statement that he is the universe not in so much that he believes he's the center of everything or an all encompassing power. More that he has accepted his place in the universe and that he is merely a vessel to which good work must be done and ki, Universal energy, karma or whatever you want to call it, directs him as he wills.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 01-17-2010, 01:38 PM   #24
dalen7
 
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Re: "I Am the Universe"

Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
Im having extreme deja-vu, as I just posted a life biography in another persons post with same topic here at Aikiweb!

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...580#post250580

peace,

dAlen
How did this post end up in this thread? [Quantum jump!]
Either way, the comment above is irrelevant now it seems.

- dAlen

dAlen [day•lynn]
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Old 01-17-2010, 02:11 PM   #25
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Re: I am the universe

Our DNA is 99.7% identical to that of chimps. It sounded way too similar to me as my biopsychology professor said it, but I often find percentages to be deceptive in general. We seem to have a fascination with them, and I remember a high school teacher drawing a pie chart on the board. He said, "You recognize this type of graph? Garbage!"

The word schizomania is not used in modern psychiatry, and just going by the two roots of the word, it might mean schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, dissociative identity disorder, or some of the Axis II personality disorders. What I do know for sure about this word is that it certainly means mental ailment(s) of some type(s). The saying or quote, "[No genius exists without madness]" pertains to Hesse's passage. However, it is clear to me that Hesse is communicating here that mental disorder is disorderly because by choice, most people will not dare fathom themselves even part wolf, part man, let alone accept the truth that we are all naturally "infinacohedrons." I just made up that word (a polyhedron of infinite sides). The vast, terrified majority makes the ones who have discovered the truth seem like the eccentric weirdos. It's a simple matter of "majority must be right," a delusion of the "sane" majority's own. I hope Mr. Hesse is in Heaven right now, watching and loving "The Matrix" for the tenth time.

Ten years ago I had a moment of my whole body shaking out of control, and my mind awakening. Drugs with the ability to cause this were not in my body It was probably rather similar to one of the times it happened to O'Sensei. This may have happened to millions of people throughout history for all I know.

Drew
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