"This is the story of how I came to drill a hole in my skull...
...to get permanently high."

There's enough elsewhere in this database about the practice of trepanation (or trephanation); if you don't want to hit the links, just know that it's the practice of drilling holes in someone's skull. Not out of anger, or the wish to do harm, mind you; but for the greater spiritual good. Seriously. I'm not kidding. No, I didn't make this up while watching Ghostbusters, or even Pi. Some people do, in fact, try this.

Self-trepanation is, obviously, taking the drill bit to thine own.

The mechanics of this are a bit funky. You do NOT want to hold up the drill yourself. Those who want to generally use a homemade mechanism of some sort, a head-holding vice grip married to a dentist's drill angled just at the peak of the hairline, usually, with some mechanism to sink the bit just enough to penetrate the skull, but not harm the brain.

The man who wrote the line at the top of the node, well, he tried it himself. And somehow lived, after a few aborted events. He and his wife, loyal subjects of the British Empire, are the most famous cases of self-trepanners. Their names are Joey Mellen and Amanda Fielding.

Mellen had somehow heard of the teachings of one Bart Hughes, a Dutchman with interesting theories about how you could return your cranium to the state of infancy (and thus begin taking in information at the pace an infant does, which Hughes claimed was hundreds of times faster than an adult) by cracking it open carefully, like an egg you want to suck the juices from. Mellen became the only disciple of Hughes, and set about drilling in his head, which he chronicled in the book Bore Hole.

I'm not going to go into the various mishaps that came to pass; use your imagination. Bear in mind that he only used a drill, a local anesthetic, and a few hits of LSD to get himself through.

After the final (and blessedly successful) procedure (with which his future wife, Amanda, helped), he wrote that he "...felt brilliant, god-like, able to understand everything... I could hear all the sounds of the town outside the house as well as those inside... Now I know what eternity meant. Time seemed to stop, and still everything was moving. I was estatic."

I'll stop here; I've lost my lunch twice in the writing of this node. To end, I just want to say that Amanda Fielding, the aforementioned wife, performed the same operation on herself two years later, and filmed it; look for a film entitled Heartbeat In The Brain; stills are currently available at http://www.noah.org/trepan/photos/, or try http://www.fortunecity.com/roswell/leehigh/199/trapanazione.html. Both are living happily with a daughter, and Amanda is running (again) for Parliament. Here's to hoping she gets more than 150 votes this next time.

Visit http://www.teleport.com/~dkossy/, home of the old Kooks museum. At one time, you could order a documentary on trepanation there, featuring footage from Heartbeat.

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