Start your review of Megabrain Write a review Jan 28, Iona Stewart rated it really liked it This is a well-written, informative book about one of my favourite subjects, the brain. However, the version I read was from , and I kept feeling that the book was somewhat out-of-date. I now see that the latest version is from , so others can read that one. I am myself using Bill Harriss brain synchronization programme, Holosync, with some success, but there was no information on that, obviously, the edition being so old.
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But a couple of years ago he stopped writing. We would like to thank Michael for sharing his experiences with us, letting us all know what happened, and what he will be doing in the near future. We believe you will be amazed at what Michael has gone through, and is continuing to go through. Q: What have you been up to? A: Well, up until about three years ago, things were going great. Just like real life, or so I thought at the time.
I had returned from giving a series of workshops in Europe and Japan. I was totally in love with my nine-year-old son, Galen, who lived with me half-time and half-time with his mother, and I was spending as much time as I could with him.
I was about pages into a new book that I was extremely optimistic about, because I thought it was original and unique, and offered new insights into the nature of peak states and how to obtain them, using reliable techniques, derived from new discoveries in the science of complexity and the mathematics of chaos.
Then I got hit by a quadruple whammy, along with a string of mind-boggling coincidences. One February night I woke up, and the house was filled with black smoke. Fortunately, Galen was not at home that night. I ran out of my bedroom and saw my office was on fire. It was at the other end of the house, and I went running up there to put out the fire, but when I opened the door, I got hit by a dense wall of black smoke.
My computer and EEG machine and a lot of the electronic equipment and mind machines I had there were on fire, spewing out incredibly toxic smoke. Before I knew what happened, the smoke had suffocated me and knocked me out.
The only thing that saved me from burning up was that the firemen came with some sort of infrared imaging device, which they had just acquired, that allowed them to see through this dense black smoke. They discovered my body laying on the floor there, and they pulled me out of the fire. It was just amazing luck that a neighbor had been awake at 2 AM, seen flames leaping out of the roof, and called the fire department.
It was also amazing luck that they came quickly enough to keep me from being toasted. Those were big coincidences. Anyway, I woke up in the intensive care unit with thick tubes down my esophagus breathing for me, an intensely sore throat, and a big pain in my chest. The worst thing was that almost everything I owned burned up. That included the new book I was working on, all my notes, all my research, everything.
That also included all my past writings, which had been stored on my hard drive, on diskettes, and in manuscripts. Items from the past fifteen years or so, including some novels I had been waiting for a rainy day to publish, my journals for the last twenty years, my books, articles, family photographs, all my poems and short stories and a lot more, everything, they all went up in smoke.
And not only did the manuscript versions and the hard drive go up, but my back-up diskettes were burnt too, because I kept them in the same room.
It was a big blow. After I got out of the hospital, I was staying with a friend, and I went for a run. I was heading for home, crossing a foot bridge across the Santa Fe River, and I slipped on an ice patch and fell head over heels a long distance down into the rocky river bed.
My neck and the back of my head smashed into the rocks. I broke my spine. I was laying there in the icy waters, paralyzed from the neck down with only my face out of the water.
And the frustrating thing was, I knew I was freezing to death, because I could feel the icy water just sucking the heat out of me. Over a period of time I just felt myself dying. In fact I did die, as far as I know. It was an interesting experience. Then I felt like I just floated away down the river, and I let go. It was very peaceful. I woke up in the operating room, having neurosurgery done on my spinal cord.
I had smashed five cervical vertebrae. They told me that my core temperature was so cold, they had to continuously pump my blood out of me into a special warming unit and then back into me, because I had such severe hypothermia.
Apparently, someone had been passing by this vacant section of city park in the early night in the snowstorm near this deserted foot bridge, and had seen my body in the river. Another big coincidence-- funny how they keep piling up. Anyway, I almost died of head trauma from the fall, hypothermia, and again from my spinal cord injury.
So, chalk up three more near-death experiences. The next time I woke up, I was the intensive care unit again, dying from pneumonia. After I recovered from that, I promptly got it again, and again almost died. So, what I was dealing with were five or six near-death experiences in a short period of time. It knocked the spiritual wind out of me.
I was feeling very low and very tired. Of course I was paralyzed from the neck down and, to make it worse, I had to wear this whole body brace that kept me totally stiff, clear up to the back of my head, with the tip of my chin pointed way up in the air, to keep me from moving my neck, so that the vertebrae, which had been fused in the operation, could heal.
Aside from the pain of the injuries, being unable to move was true misery-- trapped in a painful position, without being able to move at all. To make it even worse, the doctors told me I could expect to be a quadriplegic for the rest of my life.
I thought, "To hell with that," and spent hours and hours for months, trying to get movement in my arms and legs. Like a lot of freelance writers, I lived from one book advance check to the next. I had been counting on the advance money from my new book to live off of, but of course that was the book that burned up.
My money had run out, and I did not have any medical insurance. So the time came when I had to leave the hospital, and there was no place for me to go. I was still pretty much paralyzed, although I was getting some movement back in my arms and legs. My only course of action was to get admitted to a very grim nursing home.
It was basically a warehouse for old people, waiting to die. The screaming never let up. Amazingly, many people screamed right up to the moment they died. The inmates would wander into my room and lay down in bed with me or take my clothes and books.
I was too paralyzed. Just a few days ago, my doctor was talking to me about when he visited me in the place, and he used the word, "Hellish. During the first year I was there, I truly bottomed out. I was in constant pain.
I came to a place where I thought my life was over. This was real life. The book I was working on had disappeared, and would never reappear. I was totally alone, and thought I would never have a relationship again. What woman would want to get involved with a quadriplegic? My young son, whom I loved with all my heart, and was the most important person in my life, and with whom I had been so very close, was not able to come and see me. I missed him terribly.
Things seemed pretty bleak. I went through this really painful period, when I thought my life was over. At some point it began to become clear to me-- the way muddy water gets clear if you let it sit still for a while-- that I was facing a big decision. And then it really hit me that I had to do in a serious way what I had been writing about in the new book.
I had to truly live some of the spiritual processes that I had been exploring before the accident. This was no intellectual exercise, no book-- this was real life. Before the accident, I had been fascinated with the idea of spiritual awakening. Now, I realized I had to go beyond the idea. I saw clearly that truly awakening was my only way out.
The only way out was in. I decided that I would look on being confined to this nursing home as the equivalent to undergoing an intensive retreat in a Zen monastery. I should point out here that I had always been a spiritual seeker, and a seeker of peak experiences. I had had intense experiences of heightened awareness as a child, such as dissolving into total light and oneness with being, that came and went at unpredictable times, like when I was riding my bike or diving off a bridge.
He made me aware of those energies and ecstasies in myself. From then on, my drive was always for more-- more experiences, more adventures, more risks, more thrills, more ecstasy. In those years I was deeply involved as a radical antiwar activist.
Much of my life, I spent living on the edge and, like Kerouac, often went to extremes. I guess I was driven by an unconscious intuitive need for living on the edge. Living on the edge and risk taking have the effect of heightening your awareness and making life more intense, more real.
He spoke beautifully from direct experience about living constantly in pure enlightenment and "going beyond the beyond," all the while downing glass after glass of hard liquor.
His followers said he was "a master of crazy wisdom," and I thought, "Yes-- this is the stuff for me. Also, at that time, I had begun experimenting with psychedelic drugs-- mainly LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin-- and had some exceptional experiences of awakening, such as seeing that every particle and dust mote of infinite, ordinary, reality was all the same thing.
Psychedelics took you to the top of the mountain and showed you the other side, but the only problem was, you had to come back down the mountain.
MegaBrain Report - Volume 1, Issue 2
Mega Brain World