The comic panel is to the scientific fig what subjective experience is to objective brain science: sloppy expressionist truant vs anal materialist authority. My book, The Head Trip was an attempt to bridge these two worlds.
The hypnagogic state is perfect for problem solving. The question is: how do you retrieve solutions when you are charging into sleep, the notorious memory-obliterator? Thomas Edison and Salvador Dali each had one answer
Where exactly do these hypnagogic images come from, and is there any logic to their appearance? Are they a species of dream, and if so, do they appear suddenly, as fully developed dramas, or do they evolve more gradually, as part of some furtive and mysterious psychic progression? The dramatic tension is almost unbearable.
The mysterious psychologist Andreas Mavromatis – another obsessive classifier – spent a lot of time trying to work out the exact progression of hypnagogic experiences. Hypnagogia: the Everyman’s Psychedelic Trip.
In the interests of readability and accessible, and due to my near-uncontrollable ADD, I have injected Head Trip with every imaginable graphical teaching device. Foremost among these are the “passport stamps,” which end every chapter, and summarize where – in the wide wide mind – the reader-voyager has just been.
I love this drawing, with its explicit message that eight hours of "monophasic" or consolidated sleep - what we call a “good night’s sleep” in the West and consider a universal norm – is in fact only one option among many in the human kingdom. Like the brain, real sleep is plastic – you can stretch it out, chop it up –... more
READ THIS POST. Arguably one of the greatest scientific figs ever assembled by Man, this post contains an impassioned rant about the importance of lucid dreaming and how it should kick off a new era of investigation into the mind.
Use this chart to hypnotize your friends. Actually it won’t help with that at all. But it will help with figuring out which of your friends can be easily hypnotized should you wish to bring the fuckers once and for all under your total beneficent control.
It’s fascinating to think about how the various mystical states all relate to one another. Former religious studies professor Robert Forman sees it as a progression outward. I tried to capture this in my comic panel.
“We will all be neurobiologists to some degree in the new millennium"”James Austin. For people of a particular disposition (nerds), mapping consciousness is a popular pastime; lots of psychologists and at least one neurologist have tried it out. It’s sort of the ultimate reduction, an attempt to jam that great, unquantifiable... more
I wanted Head Trip to feel accessible right from the start, hence this little comic, which touches on some of the book's mysteries and revelations. My female protagonist appears one more time at the back of the book, post-superpower expression.
A summary of much of what I learned while writing and researching The Head Trip. Via expectations, suggestion and possibly even intention, we can learn to remix consciousness. We live in special-effects studios of the mind
The core metaphor of my book. The brain is a wheel, and consciousness is a pliant membrane pressed into the rim. Consciousness is always there - it never moves. But the wheel moves, spun by our biological clocks