LISTENING TO THE SILENCES

Chapter 4

And
there were

G
I
A
N
T
S

in those days.

* * *

The moving finger writes ...

When I first began to describe my experiences, I had no plan to write what you have read so far. Initially I wrote in order to try to help individuals who had begun to "hear voices" and who were also experiencing some or all of the other phenomena generally associated with what is commonly called schizophrenia. As fast as I wrote, my screen was avidly read by friends who currently work in branches of psychiatry. As my account unfolded - an account of events that began in 1979 - my friends wanted to know about "before".

You have just read about "before", which ended in or about 1976. As I wrote of those times I became concerned that someone reading about the events of 1979 et sec might conclude that they arose as a result of my earlier experiences, and might write them off as the experiences of a "damaged" mind. I am as certain as I can ever be about anything that the only connection between the two parts of my history is that they occurred to and in me.

In order to try to create a break in thinking and any consequential linking, I wrote the section just ended ("When I use a word ...") [chapter-03.htm] and the following ("And there were Giants in those days"). The former enabled me to philosophise a little about my relationship with psychiatrists and psychiatry. This next section, while providing a break, will also enable me to introduce some information and speculation that are both necessary when I come to what will be the penultimate part of my work.

Because I know where the writing is taking me, I know that the information will be necessary for a full understanding. However, I know from the comments of some who have already read the following, that I might be in danger of losing you as a reader. I ask you most strongly to try to stick with it even though as you read you may wonder how any of it can possibly be of relevance in the field of mental health and the care of the disturbed.

All that I can say now is that I ask you to ponder the fact that we as humans are the product of all that has gone before in our evolution, and that every aspect of our physical, mental and spiritual life and previous development, impact upon our current state of being. Thus something as mundane as diet, or as esoteric as our interaction with our total environment - physical and electrical - can dictate how we react physically and mentally. Everything reacts with everything else - and we are piggy in the middle!

An understanding of our precarious place in evolution can help us to mould our lives in such a way that we minimise our chances of ill health, or can help us to recover from any distressful state into which we have succumbed. So as you read remember that this is my goal. If you can't cope or fail to see the relevance, just skip, although unfortunately much of what comes later when I am providing information about survival strategies might be lost on you. I'll leave it to you ...

And having writ moves on ...

 

He who is born in imagination
discovers the latent forces of NATURE.
Besides the stars that are established
there is yet another IMAGINATION
that begets a new star and a new heaven.

- Paracelsus

For as long as I can possibly remember, I have been fascinated by water. Not, in spite of my mother's exhortations, the sort that would have removed the tide-mark from around my neck, but the sort that harboured fishes; that provided a home and food supply for wildfowl; but, most of all, the sort on which boats plied, on which ships sailed. Given the chance, I would have spent my days in a boat.

I sailed and tried to build model yachts, and read about them, and drooled over catalogues of fittings - goosenecks and deadeyes and the rest - whose use on real vessels I could only guess at. I read, read, and lived it all -the voyages of Lightning, Flying Cloud, Thermopylae, Cutty Sark - The Fight of the Firecrest - the voyages of Joshua Slocum. So much did I absorb and live what I read that, when I first took the tiller of a small boat, I knew what the feel of a weather helm would be, where the wind would be on my cheek and how the luff of the sail would lightly shiver as we sailed close-hauled.

What a day of memories in the making! What a day. The Naval Division at Glasgow University had acquired sailing facilities on a loch just north of Glasgow and, as well as sailing dinghies on loan, had "won" a whaler - an open sea-boat of about 21 feet long, and built on the lines of the Viking vessels - high bow and stern and swept lines. It was a bright, scudding April day: blue sky and clouds - and the feel of a boat under sail. What can I say?

I have sailed in many small boats since, and in many places - Famagusta, Haifa, around Britain - yet nothing can override or extinguish the memories of that first time. And to cap it all, the setting. The loch was in a hollow as the land rose around it, and on the brae beside the water, the field was being worked with horses, while a man scattered seed two-handed - the Lutterell Psalter come to life. Oh, how I loved it all!

But as well as the ships and the sailing, I had an equally passionate love, and that was for navigation. From a second-hand bookstall in our local market I had bought a book on coastal navigation and, again, read and read and absorbed. When, then, the war gave me the chance to do what I had always wanted, to go to sea, and I joined the Navy, with the hope of getting a commission as I have related, I found before me another chance to bring to life my daydreams and imaginings, and to add them to the sailing, for part of the early training involved chart-work.

I revelled in the struggle with tides and currents, compass deviation and variation and the like, and in the feel of parallel rulers and dividers as the courses were laid off. As you have seen, I didn't achieve the hoped for commission but, instead, transferred to what was later to influence the course of my life and choice of career.

Radar is an important adjunct to navigation and as such has to be equally reliable, precise. Thus the coast as shown on the radar screen has to be exactly as represented - twenty miles and bearing such and such, not give or take a mile or so; or plus or minus so many degrees. In that training and work with radar was born what has become in essence a way of life, of being in touch with reality, of having to be accurate, precise and reliable - the very qualities that were essential in, and pervaded, my whole working life in measurement and safety.

From my love of navigation stemmed another and essentially parallel one - a love of maps and charts, and, by extension, a great interest in mapmakers, navigators and the early explorers. Travelling back in time for two millennia, one of the key centres for the study of all of the sciences and of astronomy and navigation, was Alexandria - centre also for exploration and trade. From the Alexandria of AD 150, came a map and a science that were to influence thought, travel and exploration for the next fifteen hundred years.

Claudius Ptolomaeus - Ptolemy [Wikipedia] - was primarily an astronomer and mathematician, but also a geographer and cartographer. "He stands a Colossus astride the ancient world and his influence is even felt today", says one modern writer. With access to the extensive libraries of Alexandria, and with contact with the mariners who traded to the east and west of this hub of human activity, Ptolemy was in a position to map the known world. Into the accumulated data he was able to introduce an order or system that has since been followed by geographers in all ages; it was he who introduced the method and names of latitude and longitude.

However, in certain very important elements, Ptolemy was in serious error. By his method of measurement, and choice of the Canary Islands for his prime meridian, he greatly overestimated the length of land eastward from this line, and consequently reduced the gap, presumed water, between Europe and Asia. Moreover, whereas the early Greeks had been content to leave blanks in their maps where knowledge ceased, Ptolemy filled in the blanks with theoretical concepts.

Such actions would not have mattered so much in a lesser man, but so great was the reputation of Ptolemy that his theories assumed equal validity with his undoubted facts, and were not seriously questioned for 1,500 years. His reputation allowed him to influence a debate whose outcome and repercussions were to reverberate down the centuries. Ptolemy placed the earth at the centre of the universe, and there it stayed, in spite of the arguments of great minds, until the force of observation and truth prevailed.

Will you not weep inside if not openly as Galileo must have done when he was forced to write:

"... but because I have been enjoined, by this Holy Office, altogether to abandon the false opinion which maintains that the Sun is the centre and immovable, and forbidden to hold, defend, or teach, the said false doctrine in any manner ... I abjure, curse and detest the said errors and heresies, and generally every other error and sect contrary to the said Holy Church ..."

- Galileo Galilei

 

And will you not spare a thought for the predicament of Christopher Columbus as he sailed westward in the mistaken belief that the globe was as small as Ptolemy had indicated? And after sailing as far as your calculations deemed necessary, how do you come to terms with the fact that you have not reached Japan or the Indies as planned - but where? "Dammit", "Shiver me timbers" and other such vile nautical oaths, "It must be the Indies". And so, dear children, that is how the West Indies got their name, for that, in fact, is where Columbus had arrived - blame it all on Ptolemy.


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Chapter 4 Part 2

But, is it not the same in many walks of life and in many professions, that someone who has a certain expertise in a particular field, possibly even a very narrow field, is, nevertheless, assumed to be expert in a whole range of related, or even possibly totally unrelated topics? Television and the other media constantly expose us to such "instant gurus". It seems to be a form of psychological conditioning created by the endless chat shows and interviews, where pop-stars, sportsmen and sports-women, so-called "celebrities", and a whole host of others who fall into no particular category, are treated as if they are fountains of all knowledge and experience under the sun.

Likewise the politicians, newspaper columnists and "agony aunts", who are always so readily and instantly available, and who are trotted out to comment and give an "informed" opinion on all that is passing across the face of the planet at that moment; or who are expected to be wise beyond their years, experience and knowledge; or to be ready with deep, psychological insights into all that ails the world.

I have related how I came to take charge of the Training Department at the Sellafield establishment. From Day One, I was expected to have total knowledge of the field of industrial training. I was in post. I had a title. It was as if I had been initiated, inducted, empowered by Divine touch. The mantle had descended upon me, and, like a priest at his first celebration, a doctor at his first consultation, I was deemed capable of delivering all the "magic", an informed opinion.

It requires a high degree of discernment to be able to decide, in real life, just who really know what they are talking about and just who are delivering whole loads of "flannel".

Someone who would not qualify for the epithet "instant guru" was Sigmund Freud. He emerges from the field of mind exploration, mind mapping, like a latter-day Ptolemy. From both the popular and professional perceptions of his work, and the extent to which its influences thread our lives, Freud might also be classed as a Colossus, a modern one no less, standing astride the gateway to the mind.

His thoughts and theories are all pervasive, extending into a world far beyond the confines of psychology and psychoanalysis, from the "Freudian slip" in speech to the ever-present sexual motivation, which he believed fuelled a person's thoughts, actions and relationships. From him have come concepts of the human mind and behaviour that have dominated thinking and practice in the "management" of the deviant mind and aberrant behaviour for a large part of the century that has just ended.

In as much as it is necessary to try to understand some of Freud's reasoning and conclusions in the areas of thought and action that I felt might impinge upon my life, I have read and tried to comprehend with remarkable lack of success. There are thoughts and reasonings that I find so irrelevant to my life and my relationships with others, and inferred motivations which I reject so completely, that I wonder what was awry with the life and thought processes of the one who conceived them and gave them birth.

I have a number of friends who are Buddhist and who have as their focus a centre near where I live, where their guru, a lama, resides. The lama is a prolific writer and, some would say, aims to out-rival the Dalai Lama as leader of the Tibetan Buddhists outside Tibet. I have read and tried to understand and see the relevance to my life - to anybody's life - of some of his writings. Mentally, I end up with a feeling that my brain is about to boil and that steam will come screaming out of my nostrils and ears.

In some ways this is analogous to the reaction that I get when I read even simplified versions of Freud's works. They seem to have as much relevance to my thinking and the way in which I conduct my life, as have the tantric and metaphysical convolutions that come from the mind and pen of the lama.

I reflect to myself that, having significantly passed my seventieth birthday, I have, somehow, managed to live a life that, while it has been eventful, and while it has contained episodes and moments that I would dearly like to go back and wipe out or change, has nevertheless been one in which I have experienced much happiness and achieved such a lot that I consider to have been worthwhile - but from which I shall have no problems about departing in due course. I further reflect that, somehow, I have managed this life without it being necessary to come to terms with the mysteries of the Tantra, or the equally deep and devious mysteries of the mind of the psychoanalyst and his interpretations of one's motives.

Can it be that Freud's world, like that of Ptolemy, had a limited horizon? Ptolemy knew that his world was round, but he obviously did not know how big it was. He was certainly a brilliant thinker and innovator, but with such a lot of knowledge not available to him, he assumed too much and interpolated too much - with what disastrous results to those who came after him we cannot know.

We shall never know, for instance, how many people disappeared off the edge of the known world simply because they had assumed that Ptolemy's configurations and distances were correct. If, for instance, you provision for a voyage according to Ptolemy's stated distances, and find that in reality you are travelling half as far again, the chances are that food will become short and you just might not return. Or you may simply disappear into the "terrae incognito", the "aut- or aust-landes", - the unknown, out- or east-lands, beloved of early mapmakers. (Who knows but that the autlandes may in fact be the origins of Atlantis - say it quickly out loud and see what I mean!)

I wonder how many human minds have just disappeared off the edge of the unknown "world of the mind" since Freud tried to map it and set its limits? He obviously knew the extent of the physical world, for it had undoubtedly been well mapped before his life-time, but his intellectual world was very restricted, its bounds being the hospitals and consulting rooms, and the mainly Central European capitals.

The conflicts of his world derived from artificial "territories" and potentially opposing loyalties. Thus were his theories accepted by some or rejected by others because he was an Austrian; because he was Jewish; because he was or was not a Freemason; because he had served under this professor, or was a product of that school of thinking; because he espoused and then rejected mesmerism? Who knows?

But as he worked developing his early career, there were becoming known aspects of knowledge of the real world around him, realities which, did he but know of them, had always had the ability to influence the minds and physical health and behaviour of people. Disturbed behaviour in individuals had long been observed and, depending upon the culture prevailing, had been ascribed to a wide variety of causes. However, these external influences that were now beginning to be revealed, have only been seen in comparatively recent years as having this potential to upset people and influence their behaviour.

Even if he had been aware of what was being unfolded, I wonder how much relevance Freud would have given to it within the context of his own work and research, for it would require an element of scientific and technical understanding that many, even to this day, do not bother to acquire.


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Chapter 4 Part 3

About to step centre stage is a man who did much to provide the means and methods by which knowledge of the realities of this all pervading, all surrounding world could be exposed and defined. And what a man!

One of my heroes: at whose funeral three Nobel Laureates would address their tributes to "one of the outstanding intellects of the world, who paved the way for many of the technological developments of modern times": whose notebooks are still being studied by engineers who are looking to see if there are, even now, brainchildren of his inventive mind waiting to have life breathed into them: whose name you should bless each time you switch on a light, a television or radio, or, additionally, any electrical appliance that has a motor in it: a man who discovered much about the electrical nature of the air around us and the earth on which we live, and who, even, has a unit for the measurement of magnetism named after him: one who in a colourful life experimented with techniques that were the forerunners of today's Star Wars techniques, aimed at disabling enemy aircraft before they could drop their bombs.

Born in Croatia not many miles south of Freud's birthplace; born in the same year as the Austrian, and surviving him by just four years, Nikola Tesla produced much of note, both in Europe and in the United States of America, where he eventually settled. It was Tesla who devised the concept of alternating current, which is now universal in the generation and supply of electricity, and who invented the induction motor, a type that powers just about everything that rotates by electrical means today. The scope of his work and his many patents are widely described in numerous books, but I intend to confine myself only to two areas of influence in our lives that are of relevance to my story.

The first branch of knowledge that Tesla uncovered, and which is relevant to my tale, relates to various aspects of the electrical nature of the air around us and of the earth upon which we live. It was knowledge that allowed others to make further discoveries, and to open wide the doors that he had unlocked.

For example, from an understanding of the behaviour of air in certain naturally occurring electrical situations, it can be derived that molecules of the air divide into two parts called ions, one positive and one negative. This can happen during thunderstorms and heavy rainstorms; through exposure to ultra-violet light and cosmic rays; beside waterfalls, or on a surf-washed shore, and in other locations and situations.

In our original evolutionary state, there were very many more ions created in those earlier times than now, because of the naturally occurring radioactivity, which has subsequently been decreasing with time. We need a natural balance, with preferably an excess of negative over positive ions. Much research has been, and continues to be done into this topic, particularly, for example, when designing the living environment of astronauts or nuclear sub-mariners, but also where it impinges upon the wider field of human, animal and plant health.

The relevance of this knowledge to the topics of which I am writing can be seen when one considers the consequences to humans and other forms of life of a gross imbalance between the types of ions. From the human point of view, a significant excess of positive ions can have a calamitous effect. (I should point out that individual people vary greatly in their response to the conditions that I shall outline - about forty percent are particularly sensitive.)

The specific relevance to the "world" that Freud was in the process of analysing and mapping, the human mind and human behaviour, can be seen in the fact that the region of Europe in which he lived is in the path of the Föhn wind[Wikipedia] (as also is the region where Jung lived in Switzerland). It is now fully appreciated and understood that this wind, together with a number of other well known ones world wide - the Sharav, Chinook, Santa Anna, Sirocco for example - produces a severe excess of positive ions, a fact that now gives an actual explanation for effects which have long since been recognised and have passed into folklore.

There is well researched and documented evidence that says that sensitive people, and other people whose response is perhaps less obvious, can be severely influenced, to the extent that sleeplessness, depression, suicide, aggravations of unknown origin, can all increase dramatically when these winds blow - or even in many cases, as the weather system is approaching and is yet some way off.

In Switzerland and Southern Germany, people blame almost everything unusual on the Föhn wind - fights at home, suicides, murders, traffic accidents, depressive states. One can read that in Munich and many other parts of Central Europe north of the Alps, surgeons actually postpone major operations if a Föhn is forecast, because of problems with blood clotting.

An American, Fred Soyka, experienced at first hand the effects of the Föhn wind, and wrote about them in his book The Ion Effect, which begins ...

"The search for information that led to this book actually began in 1970 as an attempt to prove to myself that I was neither a manic-depressive nor a hypochondriac. For ten years I had lived and worked in Geneva, and almost from the moment I moved there from New York I suffered totally inexplicable fits of anxiety, depression, physical illness, and the kind of bottomless despair that at times even led me to flirt with the idea of suicide. Neither doctors nor a psychiatrist could explain what was happening to me, but when one said vaguely that it might be 'something electrical' in the air of Geneva I seized upon it as a possible explanation and spent five years travelling through Europe, the Middle East, and North America meeting scientists and amassing an awesome pile of scientific literature.

"I made three discoveries. The first was that in certain places at certain times - in Geneva, in a large part of Central Europe, in southern California, alongside the Rocky Mountains and in at least a dozen other parts of the world - the air becomes sick not because of the pollution we all know about, but because of imbalances in the natural electrical charge of the air."

What, then, I am suggesting is that many of the patients who were being seen by Freud and his Central European contemporaries were, in fact, suffering from conditions whose cause originated outside themselves. Unable to explain these "neuroses", it was perhaps logical that subjective causes should be examined, or that analysts should look for explanations within the often limited or circumscribed experiences of their own lives - possibly imbuing their patients with their own personal deficiencies and quirks.

It must also be borne in mind that analysts and associates of patients could also be sensitive and react to the influences of the air imbalance, or that staff in hospitals for the disturbed could become aggravated and provocative, sparking off confrontations that would be laid, naturally, at the doors of the inmates, who, after all, were the ones assumed to be need in need of treatment.

I shall write more about these and other relevant matters in later sections, relevant to us in Britain for, although we do not have named winds to blame, nevertheless we have identifiable patterns of air flow which, by their electrical nature, produce effects comparable to those of the Föhn and similar winds.

In the meantime, I shall lightly skim over those of Tesla's discoveries that are relevant to my theme. He discovered, and demonstrated, that electricity can be transmitted through the air, and that the earth itself is an electrical conductor; and he had wonderful ideas for using the earth to distribute electrical energy without the need for cables. To digress briefly, I never fail to laugh when I read of the consequences of one phase of his experiments, written by English engineer J.H. Hamil:

"Tesla's Colorado Springs tests were well remembered by local residents. With a 200-foot pole topped by a large copper sphere rising above his laboratory, he generated electrical potentials that discharged lightning bolts up to 135 feet long. Thunder from the released energy could be heard 15 miles away in Cripple Creek. People walking along the street were amazed to see sparks jumping between their feet and the ground, and flames of electricity would spring from the taps when anyone turned them on for a drink of water. Light bulbs within 100 feet of the tower glowed when they were turned off. Horses at the livery stable received shocks through their metal shoes and bolted from the stalls. Even insects were affected: butterflies became electrified and helplessly swirled in circles, their wings sprouting blue halos of St. Elmo's Fire."

To cap it all, during one high-powered test, he completely destroyed the generator at the local power station. Not such a good day!


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Chapter 4 Part 4

The concept of the earth as a conductor of electricity may seem to be a long way from human mental health problems: not so. Many people are aware of the state of unease that can be produced by an approaching electrical storm. Part of the cause of the unease will undoubtedly be the increasing concentration of positive ions - a concentration released when lightning flashes. (Recollect the calming internal feelings that one experiences when a much-heralded storm has discharged its "wrath" and one is now surrounded by negative ions).

Another component may be due to what are called "standing waves" that Tesla identified; these are peaks and troughs of energy propagated in circles like ripples on a pond when a pebble is dropped in. The waves centre on the storm and move with it, and can be measured at distances in excess of 300 miles. They can be shown to produce unease in people who would themselves be totally unaware of a cause that was so far away. (The disturbance in the behaviour of animals while a storm is yet far off is often noticed and demonstrates that they are reacting to something that is real and not subjective.)

Internal disturbance produced by an event as obvious as a thunderstorm can be understood and accepted; similar effects resulting from something unseen such as a distant storm may induce significant unease in a sensitive person sufficiently to affect temporarily their mental balance.

Staying with the natural world, and also with the earth as a conductor, we return to central Europe - Bavaria perhaps, and to the work of a number of people, of whom the one who has described it in an available book is Count Gustav von Pohl. Von Pohl's book, Earth Currents: Causative Factor of Cancer and Other Diseases, makes interesting reading, particularly in the context of my writing, because some of the "other diseases" may be classed as "nervous", psychiatric.

Earth currents are a reality, as are the ley-lines of Alfred Watkins to which I referred earlier. It is an immensely great pity that the two have become merged into one concept. The amalgamation is now what many people refer to as ley-lines. It is a pity because the "Watkins" lines, as he himself described them, should be of value to anyone interested in the movement and communication of people in times as far past as pre-Roman, whereas knowledge and understanding of earth currents and their potential to influence adversely people's health, should be at the disposal of, and accepted by everyone concerned with human and animal well being.

It is unfortunate that a significant number of people have little or no scientific and technological knowledge, and are "switched off" at the prospect of having to try to understand anything electrical. This is doubly unfortunate because every living thing is a construct of electro-chemical and bio-electronic processes. Furthermore, the planet on which these life processes take place is itself a gigantic electrical machine. The molten iron core behaves like a huge self-exciting dynamo that effectively creates a bar-magnet whose poles produce the earth's north and south magnetic poles. Consequent upon this are the lines of magnetic force associated with all magnets. The lines are conventionally accepted as flowing from the north to the south poles, and have an average strength of 50 micro-teslas.

At the latitude of the British Isles, they emerge from the ground at an angle of about eighty degrees to the horizontal, then pass the equator parallel to the surface, re-entering the ground at a similar angle at the latitude of Patagonia, with varying angles of emergence or descent at other latitudes. The presence of a constant and homogeneous magnetic field is necessary for healthy life, for this is one of the background conditions of evolution. When I discuss this concept in more detail in later sections, I shall draw attention to experiments and speculations concerned with the effect on life forms of an absent or modified field.

Taking the reality of the earth as a gigantic rotating electrical machine a step further, one is faced with the fact that all such machines produce attendant lines of electro-magnetic force. In general, these lines form regular matrixes over the surface of the globe, and have been classified as "Hartmann" and "Curry" grids respectively.

Where one grid interacts with the other, local "electro"-stresses are produced that can have the effect in life forms of producing what has come to be known as "geopathic stress". Many people are sensitive to these locations and cannot bear to remain in them; others are unaware, but nevertheless react internally, and in time may become ill. If, as might easily happen, it is suggested that such illnesses are of psychosomatic origin, it is well to remember that animals and plants also react and may suffer.

If the earth were completely homogeneous, that might be the end of the story as far as the currents that originate locally are concerned, but as it is not, other processes prevail. As an example, consider the situation in which of two different types of rock abut against each other - possibly granite against limestone. In the presence of water, the effect of an electrical battery would be created, and, if a suitable conductor existed, a current would flow. Such a conductor could be an underground aquifer, which, when a current flowed, would be capable of producing its own local "stream" of geopathic forces.

Any forces produced would add to the effects of the previously mentioned Curry and Hartmann grids that might cross its path. In a similar manner, underground fault lines and ore deposits provide conducting paths that, again, would create variations in the grid-induced stresses.

However, the earth is not alone; our parent sun exerts a wide range of electrical effects upon us, apart from giving us light and heat. The sun generates ultraviolet rays that have the effect of ionising the gases in our attendant space. The ions so created are whisked along at colossal speed in the jet streams of the upper atmosphere. Where there exists a flow of charged particles, there exists an electrical current. Essentially, the jet streams create very large currents (at times, as much as 500,000 amperes at local noon) flowing at high speed parallel to the surface of the earth, and which, in turn, have a number of significant consequences.

The first and most influential result is the creation of currents within the ground by a process known as "induction", and which, in a similar manner to the "battery" currents, seek the path of least resistance. (The path of least resistance was dramatically demonstrated in 1989, when a huge burst of solar electrical energy hit Canada in a region where there are vast tracts of granite, itself a very poor conductor of electricity. Taking the line of least resistance, the solar electricity burst down the main electrical distribution system and blew all the protection equipment, depriving eight million homes of their power supply for up to a week.)

The charged particles created by ultraviolet rays in our stratosphere recombine when the sun goes down and the currents from this source cease. The jet streams themselves are also a variable phenomenon, and move back and forth across the latitudes with the seasons, producing passing reactions at ground level that may be a component in the ailments that affect many people at different seasons of the year.

In the latitudes of the British Isles, the jet streams flow roughly from southwest to northeast, which is also the direction of flow of many of our weather systems and winds. The parallel flowing of the two masses of air, one high and, effectively, an electrical current, the other low and near the surface, causes the latter to adopt particular electrical characteristics derived from the former, reminiscent of, but not the same as, the Föhn wind. The surface air movement from the southwest forms one of the winds that I mentioned earlier, within which people who are sensitive experience specific reactions that I shall describe in detail in the appropriate later section.

As I write, and then review what I have written, I am consciously aware that many who will read my words will find themselves in strange territory. Many will query the relevance of what I am writing to mental health, and ultimately, to the understanding of voice hearing and allied phenomena. Perhaps some may feel that they are in danger of becoming lost in an intellectual maze. I am aware also that I have studied and discussed these topics for over twenty years, and live in daily familiarity with my studies and observations. To you who find yourselves in a mental maze, let me say that, just as Theseus was able to move through the maze of Minos by following the thread provided by Ariadne, so also is there a thread running through all that I am writing in this particular section.

The thread is this: many individuals who are deemed to be mentally ill are not intrinsically ill, but are reacting with a greater or lesser sensitivity to external phenomena.

I can only really hint in this part of my narrative at the extent and all-pervasiveness of these various phenomena, and as I read and study even more deeply myself, I realise that there is so much yet to comprehend. I shall try to present a more detailed analysis in later sections, but hope that I am succeeding now in showing that, outside ourselves, and totally outside our control, there are major sources of influence upon our physical and mental well-being and behaviour.

I have been asked many times by individuals to whom I have introduced this topic, "What is the point of even considering, let alone trying to understand these phenomena when they are effectively outside one's control?" The answer is given by those who suffer acutely from the induced effects, and who then realise that they themselves are not intrinsically ill, but are reacting to external stimuli that have a limited duration.

There is no longer the recourse to the bottle, whether of tranquillisers or alcohol, but, instead, the realisation and acceptance that in a few hours, or a day or so, depending upon the particular phenomenon, the symptoms will pass and normality will return. Seeing a life re-emerge after being in a state of inexplicable suppression, makes worthwhile for me the many hours spent in observation and study.


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Chapter 4 Part 5

While the one giant was defining human mental aberrations, and arriving at conclusions that I speculate are flawed because he was not in possession of all the facts, my other giant, Tesla, together with other of his well-known contemporaries, was causing great benefits to be introduced into our lives, together with a then unforeseen, and now continually expanding, range of problems.

The great benefits are those resulting from the "domestication" of electricity. The problems result from the adverse effects upon human physical and mental health of all the means of distribution of electricity and all the appliances and processes that we gladly embrace - and which add to the "pollution" of our homes, workplaces and general environment.

Just as life without motor vehicles would now be unthinkable so likewise would be life without electricity. However, whereas the majority of life- and limb-threatening problems associated with the former have been identified and tackled, many of the problems that derive from the latter are ignored or frankly denied.

Just as the tobacco manufacturers and their apologists go through a weird process of truth manipulation in the casuistry of denial of health risks, so equally do the spokes-people for the electrical utilities and their retained researchers. However, you have a personal computer, you have access to the Internet; there are hosts of entries under such topics as "electro-magnetic fields", "electricity and health" - use your ingenuity - go surf!

If you are unwilling or unable to read and explore yourself, just observe. Does an overhead fluorescent tube give you a headache or make you feel confused? How do you feel in bed with an electric under- or over-blanket switched on? If you stand close to your microwave oven when it is running, do you get an odd feeling in your head or central chest?

I am not writing this to alarm you, but to alert you. If you understand a little about the potential hazards, and learn how to use the benefits and minimise the risks, all will be well. Can you do without your bedside radio-alarm? That unexplained early morning headache or depression might vanish. Have you developed night-time breathing problems, asthma even? Consider removing that television and/or computer from the bedroom. If you are pregnant, whatever you do, do not use an electric blanket through the night; use it to warm the bed then remove it totally.

Every effort is made to deny that there are problems with overhead cables and distribution in general, but the electrical fields generated can be measured or computed, and certainly cannot be wished away nor denied.

Rationality and reason should take over, particularly amongst those who study mental health and when considering, for instance, the inexplicable decline of certain people. Take the case of someone living on the ground floor of a tower block in a flat adjacent to where the main electrical feed enters. The field generated by the current supplying all of the flats can be huge, and is known to affect individuals and cause conditions such as depression, or others resembling M.E.

If the flats, for example, have under floor electric heating, this is switched on and off, on and off, on and off... through the night as thermostats and demand dictate, and a switched field is often worse than one in a steady state. I keep referring to the fact that I am very sensitive to my electrical environment, and I know from experience that I would find such a location intolerable.

It was my own acute sensitivity that alerted me to consider a possible cause of the death from motor neurone disease (mnd) of my friend and former G.P., Sandy. My visits to my local health centre are infrequent, but each time that I went I became aware of internal feelings that, over time, I have come to associate with electricity or geopathic stressors. The feelings are such that I prefer not to use the patients' waiting room and remain in my car or sit on a bench near by.

It was while I was using the bench that my eyes were opened to the source of my disquiet. An electricity distribution pole stands near the corner of the building. One cable runs down the pole, under the consulting room and eventually feeds a small housing estate. Another feeder passes overhead parallel with the roof of the building and supplies more local houses. The voltage presents no problem, being simply that of normal domestic supply. It is the current that is carried by a cable that creates the harmful electromagnetic (em) field.

Where Sandy sat, he had an electrical feeder approximately two metres to one side, which then turned and went below him at a distance of about one metre. The overhead line ran at a distance of about two metres from his head. I have an instrument that detects em fields and it shows that where he sat was in a centre of high intensity. Sandy was very generous with his time in the consulting room - time that would inevitably be extended during winter months, when the electrical demand would be greatest and the current (and hence the em field) strongest.

I have subsequently learned anecdotally of three others who had died from mnd and who worked or slept in locations where the em field would have been high. Two had operated electrical woodworking machines, and had stood close to powerful motors, while the third had lived in a bungalow that had under floor electrical heating.

I wrote to the MND Foundation with my observations and received a polite reply, but was told that they were following entirely different lines of research, and did not have the resources to investigate mine. If my analysis is correct and the electrical field did serious and ultimately fatal damage via the nerves of the physical body, is it not reasonable to deduce that such a field would have a strongly adverse effect upon the brain and mental processes of an individual who spent time in it?


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Chapter 4 Part 6

What I am trying to do, and hope that I am succeeding in my attempts, is to demonstrate that there have always been natural phenomena external to humans which, when they have operated, have caused unquantifiable disturbances in human behaviour. The existence of an external cause being unknown, people have been treated as if they were inherently out of control or even mad.

From the mid-nineteenth century onwards, other developments have caused to be introduced into industrialised human life, artificial, man-made additions to the natural phenomena, introductions that have resulted in much more serious disturbance, and a vast increase in apparent mental illness.

It is so very unfortunate that the serious analysis of the aberrant human mind, that also began roughly in the mid-nineteenth century, has developed and has continued without a knowledge of, or subsequent recognition of, the contribution to mental disruption of many of the adverse external influences.

I have noted above, and will describe more fully later, some of the direct results and possible harmful effects of the introduction of electricity into our lives and homes. My intention now is to illustrate some of the indirect consequences of the wide availability and greater use of electricity in all sorts of situations and processes, with a potential to cause harm that I am certain that Tesla and his contemporaries could never have envisaged.

The development of steam-powered pumps had already begun the process of bringing piped water into towns and homes. The increasing availability of electrically operated pumps did much to speed up the spread of such a desirable innovation.

Unfortunately, every benevolent advance seems to have a downside, and one of the negatives of this progressive leap was the introduction of lead into people's lives via the domestic water pipe. Brought into use in the latter half of the nineteenth century and only, in Britain, phased out in the equivalent half of the twentieth century, lead pipes created an unwelcome and potentially harmful addition to the "diet". The effect of gross lead poisoning was already well known, but what the civic engineers and medical watchdogs were unaware of were the harmful effects of chronic low-level exposure; i.e., at a level insufficient to produce "classical" lead poisoning.

There are a number of medical problems, such as stillbirths and heart disease that have been shown to be caused by low-level lead poisoning. In the context in which I am writing, the interaction of lead within the nervous system is very significant, creating, as it does, learning and behavioural deficits, as, also, is its implication in the generation of delinquent and criminal behaviour - themselves often the result of poor mental development.

"General malaise" - a portmanteau and convenient term standing for the vague symptoms of depression, muscle aches and pains, lethargy and frequent infections - together with immune dysfunction, can all be laid at the door of low-level lead poisoning. When one considers that acid rain, increasing in volume over the century, has leached increasing amounts of lead out of domestic pipes, is it any wonder that more and more people have consulted their doctors with such a catalogue of vague symptoms as those listed, and, there being no obvious cause, have then gone away with a so called "happy pill"?

Lead levels in people have increased and continue to increase, for, additionally, lead has been well and truly introduced into the atmosphere, and atmospheric lead knows no boundaries. Does it surprise you that, in industrial nations, our body lead levels have increased to between 500 and 1000 times those of our ancestors? Does it surprise you that so many people, exhibiting all of these vague symptoms that could be laid at the door of lead, end up being treated for that catch-all condition "depression"? Does it surprise you that so many people become addicted to their resultant anti-depressants and never dare to relinquish them?


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Chapter 4 Part 7

Lead ingestion is not the only downside of municipal water. In earlier days, water was obtained from springs and wells - from deep in the ground, where it had had a chance to capture some of the minerals that are so necessary for a healthy life.

Gradually the wells and springs were abandoned in favour of the piped water, and, in many ways, health improved with the eradication of waterborne disease. Unfortunately, in many new catchment areas the water was unable to acquire the desirable minerals, resulting in depletion that may have contributed insidiously to deterioration in health in other ways, and in mental health in particular.

I have drawn attention to Seascale, the village in which I lived for a time. Until 1976, it, and the surrounding area, derived a water supply from Wastwater, the not far distant lake. In the period when Calder Hall Nuclear Power Station was being designed, I had access to an analysis of this water, for it was to be used as the boiler feed-water in the process of steam generation.

To my astonishment, I found that it was almost totally devoid of minerals. The rain ran quickly over insoluble rock, and stayed locked in a deep and unmixing basin. One can only guess at the adverse effect upon health that this may have had, particularly in respect of people who had moved to the area from, for example, a limestone or chalk water-catchment.

Past glaciations had already depleted the soil of vital but soluble nutrients, and minerals that one would normally expect to get from one's water supply were doubly absent. (Local farmers give a wide range of mineral supplements to their stock - magnesium, selenium, copper, cobalt, for example. But humans? Perhaps if humans had a marketable value someone might ensure a truly balanced diet; but humans are meant to be responsible, intelligent beings with sufficient free will to take responsibility for their own diets, aren't they? Oh dear!).

I am trying not to get too involved with aspects of diet and mental health at this stage, but plan to visit the subject in more detail where it becomes relevant to my own experience and observation, particularly in respect to my determination to take responsibility for my own health and well being. However, where the mushrooming technology of living has introduced an alien input into one of the sources of good mental health, our food, my object is to bring it into view and return in more detail at a later stage.


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Chapter 4 Part 8

Another alien intrusion into healthy life that arrived courtesy of freely available electricity is aluminium. In its naturally occurring form in soil, aluminium is very widely present and humanity must have evolved being tolerant of this substance, or even using it metabolically in its natural evolution.

Even if this is so, I have been unable to find any reference to the beneficent use of aluminium in the body's metabolism. The greater availability of electricity allowed the large-scale extraction of metallic aluminium from its ore, bauxite, and its widespread dispersion in the forms of cooking-ware, cans and containers.

In terms of human health, I can find nothing to be said in its favour, the reverse in fact, for everything points to it being inimical to life. Much has been written about the possible contribution of aluminium to, for example, Alzheimer's disease.

A more overt and practical demonstration of the adverse effects of the metal came from a friend who built yachts with hulls made of the metal. If he ever cut himself on it, the wound took an unconscionable time to heal, with the aluminium seemingly acting as an inhibitor of the natural life processes.

Here is a little conundrum for you to puzzle over while you nibble your after-dinner mint. Sodium and potassium are very close to each other chemically and functionally, and if one ingests too much sodium, then potassium cannot be retained in correct balance (classic heart and stroke advice).

Aluminium and magnesium are also very close to each other on the Periodic Table of the Elements, and exhibit many properties in common. In the processes of human metabolism, if there is insufficient magnesium present to fulfil the body's requirements, and if there is available aluminium, does the latter mimic the former and find its way into the cellular and other activity of the body, and if so, with what consequences?

Many people when the question is put say that it seems a reasonable supposition, but no one has yet been able to say whether I am correct or not. (A report that I read recently described the results of the examination of the brains of people who had died from Alzheimer's disease. Where aluminium was present in the tissues, there was an equivalent depletion in magnesium).

Every modern source that I read describing various approaches and analyses of dietary needs, stresses that in Britain, mainly because of past glaciations, magnesium is poorly available, and that unless one has a good intake of organically grown leafy, green vegetables, or takes supplements, one is unlikely to have a sufficient intake for good health.

Many things follow, but in terms of mental health, listed consequences of insufficient magnesium are poor memory, inertia, depression, anorexia to name but four. Obviously there is much to consider, and I am no dietary expert - a constant source book for me is Nutritional Medicine by Drs. Stephen Davies and Alan Stewart, which is very "accessible" to the layperson.

So if aluminium is replacing magnesium, what then? The thought often crosses my mind as I see someone slurping on a soft drinks can. Such intimate contact with the metal of a can that contains phosphoric acid - what then? Yes it does. After carbonated water and sugar, phosphoric acid is the next major ingredient in many popular soft drinks.

So, does the acid leach more aluminium? I don't know, but it is well recorded that the phosphorus is needed in exquisite balance with calcium and magnesium for correct cellular function and if one gets too much of it - and if the aluminium is buggering up the magnesium ...

I'm just glad that it is not my problem. But at another level it is, for since some of the drinks contain caffeine in quantities that can cause hyperactivity in young children, it becomes a social problem for everyone as we see a developing generation of hyperactive near-cretins. And since many drinks contain caramel (E150) as a colouring agent, and since many people are sensitive to aspirin, and since E150 belongs to that group which, in aspirin sensitive people, can provoke an asthma attack, or even induce asthma ...

Some of the same products are passed off as so-called "diet" drinks i.e. having reduced or no sugar. In very many cases, the sugar substitute is Aspartame. If you have access to the Web, simply type in that name in your search facility. The Web is full of reports and articles from many sources, the majority listing the ninety-plus serious medical conditions that can be induced by consumption of the substance. In the context of my writing, just one will suffice, namely "depression".


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Chapter 4 Part 9

I have carried out a further review of what I have written so far in this section and I have realised that my own enthusiasm is in danger of carrying me away from you. Reflecting that I had observed and experimented and amassed information during more than twenty years, I found that I was opening the floodgates of my knowledge and risked overwhelming you.

Consequently, I have removed and sidelined several pages of discussion and, if they are still relevant, will develop the contents in appendices. I had written about the problems that can result from the presence of mercury and nickel in the mouth whether incorporated in dental amalgam or certain types of tooth crown - problems that can be of a general nervous and psychiatric nature. I had also drawn attention to the effects created by the presence of iron in our lives where it occurs in building construction and central heating radiators.

Although it may not be obvious now, nevertheless I shall justify my inclusion of these topics and others that I have removed when later I include and explore them. They were all part of the thread of continuity, which was in danger of becoming tangled!

For now, I wonder whether I have succeeded in my proposition that much of modern psychiatry has stayed in a channel of thought created by the unintentional ignorance and unawareness of the early progenitors. With a mind-set having been created, how difficult it is to broaden the channel to accommodate new knowledge - just as in religion, believers in Creation refuse to accept the concept of evolution in spite of the evidence of fossils and the logic that supports the evidence.

All that I have written or will write is based upon personal experiences, logic and reason and I write it to try release anyone whom I can reach through my words who is chained in the "creation myths" of psychiatry.

While I hope that what I write will eventually be read by professionals, my principal purpose in writing is to reach you who are suffering or you who are trying to support and inspire someone whom you love and care for. Do not believe that your case is hopeless; do not, you carer, believe that you cannot help and motivate.

If nothing from the field of mental health inspires you, look elsewhere. Here, try this - Self Healing: My Life and Vision by Meir Schneider - "The remarkable account of the author who cured himself of congenital blindness by discovering the body's own inner resources, and who taught thousands of others, some with "incurable" diseases to heal themselves".

Meir's problem was very apparent from the time of his birth in Russia. A botched operation provided no improvement, and, following emigration to Israel, he was to be registered blind and trained as such. However, he had just a glimmer of light in his vision, and that glimmer gave him hope, and he seized it.

If the book doesn't inspire you as you read of what can be achieved by sheer dogged insight, persistence, courage, and an innate belief in the self-healing powers of the human mind and body, achieved in Meir's case in the face of active opposition from family and authority - if this doesn't inspire you to set to work on your self or the one in your care, whatever will?

I know from long hard experience that it is difficult, nigh impossible, to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, but Meir shared his struggle with other allegedly incurable comrades, and all in their own ways achieved progress. He eventually moved to California and has generated a whole new movement aimed at promoting the self-healing potential within anyone who is motivated to try the techniques that practical experience and experiment have been shown to work so effectively.

Meir runs courses worldwide to train teachers, and holds workshops to help individuals, but in addition he has produced a work manual, The Handbook of Self-Healing, that can be used by individuals themselves or by health teachers and practitioners.

If you say "This is not for me, my problem is in my mind", just remember the often quoted saying "A healthy mind in a healthy body" [Mens sana in corpore sano] [Wikipedia] and try it, acknowledging also that the book does not aim solely at physical defects, for there is a section on creating and maintaining a healthy nervous system.

In the part aimed at helping brain-injured children, the book quotes the work and practice of a renowned therapist Glenn Doman. Doman works with great success from his belief that progress and recovery must follow the original development pattern of initial arm and leg movement without body action, followed by creeping and crawling in sequence and finally walking, proceeding ostensibly through the initial embryo stages of fish, reptiles and mammals, and only achieving results if the sequential stages are followed in that order.

I am personally very interested in Doman's concept, for I have developed a similar belief concerning the extent to which our evolution is still within us in totality.

You may never think about it, but without exception, you are mammals: if you disagree, just look at your chest and see the externals of the mammary glands there. Albeit a mammal with intellect - and that is the root of the problem.

The core of your behaviour and reaction is the result of millions of years of evolution culminating in Homo erectus, habilis, neanderthalensis and sapiens, and it all continues to reside in you, that incredible journey. There is still within you all of the essence and potential reaction to circumstances that have always dictated the behaviour of the component parts of the body and their response to external stimuli and challenges.

The problem for us humans is that, having intellect, we create far more situations and problems than the evolving "us" had to contend with at any stage in our evolution, and that is at the heart of our nervous and mental problems, excluding those resulting from actual physical and chemical damage. Even some of the facial asymmetries that I shall consider later in my work may be the result of conflict between intellect and "inheritance". This then is the dichotomy of evolution and intellect to which I plan to return in due course as I attempt to unravel its influence upon our mental health.

In the meantime, and all the while as I go about my daily chores, I wonder and speculate, as one does, whether the mammoths suffered from migraine; whether orang-utans in the wild have incurable personality problems; whether homo neanderthalensis was ever depressed or anxious and how he coped - perhaps he became extinct because he didn't have tranquillisers to help him come to terms with the fact that it was getting warmer and the sea level was rising, or maybe he received modified shock treatment in the form of a sharp blow to the head with a stick or club; whether any of our distant forebears were conscious of the concept of "spirit"; whether any or all had the experience of intruding voices in the mind, and what was the response of homo habilis - whether he made an improved stone axe following instructions from the "divine".

Of course, I will never know, but I do know something about "voices" and "divine and malign intrusions", all of which appear in the next twist of this devious maze through which I am trying to lead you.

At the outset, Paracelsus called us to view the bright new star of imagination: however, from here onwards I have to ask you to accept actual evidence, the evidence of personal experience, the experience that says that voices in the mind are not the product of imagination, but of a reality. This reality belongs to the people who actually have these experiences, and these are the people to whom you in turn must listen ...

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