The Hole Story on Trepanation
That thing is a trephination drill from the 1800s.
Now I have to say, I’m iffy on this whole consciousness thing. I’m inclined to think that life itself is the process of raising consciousness and attempts to change awareness in order to be more effective at living life are only workable within the consciousness-raising paradigm, but don’t really affect the container-consciousness (life) in long-lasting ways. Sure, I experimented with some “consciousness-raising” substances as a kid but at the end of the day, nothing in my life ever changed and I gave it up. Like Aristotle and William Carlos Williams, I subscribe to “No ideas but in things” — every life experience, from sugar frosted flakes to near-death experiences, change consciousness. So here, I will stay with thinking inside the
But trepanation, especially the self-trepanation, well… there’s no scarcity of arguments against it.
Essentialist: A person is a spiritual being who has a body but is not a body. A mind is not a brain.
Neuro-existential (I made that up!): Physical modifications do not affect neural-synaptic firing, therefore this is no more than [self-]mutilation.
and yet there are takers:
from the page
Hippocrates endorsed its use and it’s the world’s second oldest surgical procedure following circumcision. It’s called trepanation and it literally means drilling a hole in your head….
The practice of making a hole in the skull has been around since the Stone Age — archaeologists have found trepanned skulls dating back to 3000 B.C. Hippocrates, in his classic medical text “On Injuries of the Head,” endorsed trepanation for the treatment of head wounds. During the middle ages it was thought the procedure was able to liberate demons from the possessed and, later on, Europeans did it to cure maladies ranging from meningitis to epilepsy.
An trepan is used to make the hole, cutting deep into the skull and a chunk of skull is extracted. Eventually the skin heals over the hole and you’re left with a small bump. Trepans have evolved from crude sharpened stones in the Neolithic age to hand cranked augers in the dark ages to electric drills used today….
Trepanation doctors perform trepanation and will perform one on anyone 18 years or older who consents. The International Trepanation Advocacy Group, complete with web site offers following explanation comes from ITAC’s site and explains the trepanation’s rationale.
Read the rationale
In 1962, the founder of modern trepanation, Dutchman Dr. Bart Hughes, became convinced that the volume of blood in the brain controls the degree and state of consciousness. He believed humans have been robbed of a high range of consciousness when we began to walk upright, putting the heart below the brain. This state of affairs could be corrected by standing on ones head, jumping from hot water into cold water, or taking various drugs. He noted that when we are born, our heads are unsealed (the “soft spot” on top of a baby’s head). Huges became convinced that the way to gain back the state of imagination and perception that one experiences as a child was to open a hole in the now-sealed adult skull.
In 1965, after years of experimentation, Dr. Hughes bored a hole in his skull using an electric drill, a scalpel, and a hypodermic needle….
the whole article
more exciting medical instruments from the 1800s