Monday, April 28, 2008
But sometimes things are different.
Once in my life I could draw my own dream
Once in my life and more than 15 years ago. I managed to stay for a while perfectly in the middle of conscious and subconscious, exactly half-way between sleep and awake. I could hear the outside world, but early in the morning it was very silent. In this state I was able to create my own dream as realistic as the world is now that I am writing. But I am not going to answer the question, what came to my mind ;-) .
A loud noise my father made while working in the court then pulled me out of state and as hard as I tried I could not get back.
Levitation, why not?
When I was a kid I had several dreams in which I was levitating. I remember myself flying over houses and gardens. The special thing was that it required a certain state of mind, a special kind of focusing to levitate and a slightly different one to move same time. Over the time it became harder and harder to keep this state and after a while of undisturbed levitation I started going down, could get grip on my mind and was was going up a bit again but always I was finally back on the ground. Still wanting to fly I was making only making it a very little into the air before I was waking up.
Interestingly I was reading exact the same thing about a boy that starts levitating in the book "Mr. Vertigo" from Paul Auster.
I died 2 times in dreams
At 2 occasions I died in dreams. The first time, it was a 100% realistic real time simulation of the Eschede ICE train disaster. I could see how the waggons in front of me were disintegrating and flying into pieces, it was coming closer and closer, my last thought was "Damn, this is it".
Second time I was scuba diving and obviously the valve of my oxygen tank had not been properly opened. I first I notice that something is wrong, when I feel I getting very tired because of too high CO2 concentration. But as I am too far under water I can't just emerge so I am trying to open the valve more by trying to reach it behind my back. But it is too late, I am too tired. My last thought was something like "Crap".
Every time I woke up the second I died with my pulse quite increased. Obviously even dreams are not able to simulate death.
"Damn, it was just a dream" was always my first thought.
But it made me confident that I have no major fear of death. I am pretty sure, once my next death comes unexpected to me, my last words will be just something like "Uhoh, Shit, Crap, or this is it".
Sometimes I recognize I am dreaming.
At a few occasions I notice that I am dreaming. I notice because some dreams are like TV-Series repetitions. In these dreams I have characteristics I have not in this world. In this moments I sometimes realize "Hey, I am dreaming!".
When I told this story to a roundabout 20 year old guy from Finland in a hostel in Sofia, he was not too surprised at all but smiled at me and said: "And it even gets better. Because if you realize you are dreaming you can modify them."
So I at least twice modified my dreams
I was able to modify my dream first time already on the very same travel. While I was in Tirina, staying sharing a cheap room with a really weird guy from Japan (always be suspicious when a guy from Japan is travelling alone) I awoke early in the morning just to fell asleep once more into a very light sleep.
I woke up in the same room, but a very good friend of mine with a bunch of kids were sitting round my bed.
"?? What are you doing here" I asked.
"We came to visit you and show you something" they said. "Get up and follow us."
"Why not" I think.
As we are walking through the door we soon enter some forest with big old green oak trees. My friends and the kids vanish, when the first time I become suspicious.
"Am I dreaming?" I start question myself. Suddenly walking through a forest that suddenly appeared in front of the door of my apartment in central Tirane obviously doesn't bring enough light into the situation so I march around for while. My friend along with group of kids has long disappeared, when suddenly I come up with a bright idea.
"What do you never have in dreams?" I ask myself.
"That's easy" I think. "Pain!"
So I think, when I don't have pain, I can be pretty sure that I am dreaming.
As I just swing myself in this moment with a kind of rope or liana Tarzan like from one tree to next, I land a bit unluckily and through my right knee flashes a distinct pain.
"Damn, I was almost sure that I am dreaming."
But finally I come to the conclusion that I am dreaming.
"So" I think "when this is a dream I can change it" and snip with my right fingers.
At this moment a white board that I was standing in front disappears and becomes black for second or two before it starts getting replaced with pictures of persons.
At this moment I am standing in meadow as I start to levitate a meter high and move slowly forward. As I snap my fingers I start changing the different objects that appear on the meadow. All the time, they fade quickly out and get black before they are replaced with something random.
This is the time I wake up.
The second occasion, I just remember a few things.
Obviously I had found out that I am dreaming a longer time before and I remember that I had a hell of a fun. Unfortunately my conscious lacks the most of the dream. This time the setup was little different as with every snap of finger, not single objects but the whole picture became black before it was replaced with a new random scenery.
As my sleep obviously became lighter I just remember the last scene.
This time after short time of clear black I was standing on a beautiful day with sun and clear blue sky at the base of a Alp like mountain.
"Ok" I thought standing in front of an almost vertical stone wall "when I am dreaming I don't need to climb up this mountain."
"In this case it will be enough that I touch the rock with a finger to push myself up"
So I touched the rock with my index finger, and in fact I slowly I started moving upwards.
"Wait a second", then came in my mind "if I am dreaming I don't need to touch the rock at all!" And truly, sooner done as said, I started levitating parallel up the mountain wall.
I remember that I came towards the top of the mountain where the terrain started levelling and I was floating a little up and down looking under a big rock before I was waking up.
Dreams can be stacked
Sometimes when I notice that I am dreaming, I wake up just to find that I am still dreaming. At one occasion, when I woke up the third time and still dreaming I got little worried that I got stuck in a loop.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
This is as hilarious as trying to create clouds with metal pipes. While your car flies into 1000 pieces, you think you can save your little friend with some rubber tape? Not even if you wrap him with steal chains!
A straight 10 on the human bolloks scale.
To all wannabe Shahids in the world. If you like to use your brain for a second you will see that
Because if there is God, he is in fact so great, that there is only bitterness waiting for you for what you have done once you will recognize Gods true wisdom and benevolence.
And if there is no God, what you do is just murder.
Ask the one's preaching the advantages of Shahids (martyrs) to blow themselves up and enjoy some virgins and you will see the fear in their eyes. You will find out that all they told you is lies. Once they have used you like a tool, they secretly laugh about your stupdity.
As we talk about laugh. Have a look at "Achmed the dead Terrorist"
I consider travelling one of the best things you can do in life. It will teach you a lot about yourself, other cultures, will be a true test for spirit, character and open mindedness, and you will learn a lot from other people and fellow travellers. A nice example is the question "How to eat an orange". You think you know the answer? Leave a comment and explain. Simply as it sounds, it seems every country has its own habit to eat an orange while everyone thinks his way is the only way.
Travelling is a real character building and hence philosophic experience.
You think you can experience other countries and cultures from a resort with completely organized tours?
Well think again. You might be physically located in another country but in fact you know nothing about the place you are. Egypt is not just pyramids, Peru not just Machu Picchu, and Germany not just beer and Lederhosen.
As Backpacker you can free flow through the world, you will meet the most amazing people, you can make friends all over the world, you are in close touch with people, you experience other cultures and mentalities first hand.
I would like to travel but I don't like to do it alone!
Don't wait for anyone to travel. Once you start the first time on your own you will soon find out, that as backpacker you are never alone. There are so much other backpackers on the road, you will meet so many amazing people, you will make so many friends all over the world that you soon feel and see that you are basically part of a big family.
Just on my last travel I ended up travelling with Andrew the Kiwi for 3,5 weeks because we had the same way and got along very well with each other. This is quite common.
Travelling starts for me at a duration of 4 weeks and more. I helps a lot when you do not have to focus on your return and with it on your common life for a while.
Where Do I go?
That's simple. Whether you travel to Italy or Mongolia, it does not matter. Every country has something special. Either it is something famous or you be on of the few to go off the beaten track.
How do I plan a trip this long?
That's simple as well. Don't. If you try to plan 2 or 3 month of travels you just waste your time as your plan will become obsolete with 100% chance within the first 2 weeks. I never plan more than 5 days ahead. Backpacking in fact is the art of travelling without much planning. It is freedom to travel where you like and to change your plan anytime.
Like I planed my last trip was the following:
1.) I knew I wanted to go to South America so I bought a guide to the continent "South America on a Shoestring" in this case.
2.) Than I asked myself "What do you know and would you like to see in South America" "Machu Picchu" came into my mind. "This is Peru then" I found out.
3.) Looking for the capital of Peru I then booked a one-way flight to Lima in the Internet.
4.) Just because you are very tired after 24 hours on planes and buses I booked a hostel ahead on www.hostelworld.com
5.) I read the chapter about Peru and Lima on the plane to Peru to find out that I was arriving in rainy season (means it can't harm to read the chapter before you book a flight, but even then I had a great time and much free rooms in the hostels)
Where do I stay?
In hostels of course. Most of them offer a bed for a decent price. I personally prefer dormitories with 4-6 people which offer contact with interesting persons from all over the world while keeping some personal atmosphere. Also your stuff is safer once everybody knows everybody and there is not too much coming and going.
Travellers are your friends
I promise you travellers are the most open minded people you will ever find on this planet. You need help, someone to watch your stuff while going to the toilet, or you just seek some company or conversation? Simply start talking to anyone with a big backpack on his back and probably a small one on his front. The common traveller talk starts with
1. Where are you from?
2. How long are you travelling?
3. Where have you been?
4. Where are you going?
After that you will probably end up in a nice conversation and perhaps make some good friends.
Occasions where traveller steal from travellers are quite rare and usually include travellers from poorer countries that finance their travels with selling other travellers stuff or backpacks. But paranoia won't save you from this so simply trust your fate or have a luggage insurance.
The golden rules of travelling.
As a backpacker you are widely visible and most preferred target to pickpockets and many locals are already expecting you and see you just as a walking cash machine. To avoid to much struggle with fate if somethings going wrong, simply prepare you and your mind to the following.
1. Don't Panic
What I learned in more than 1 year of travels: Somehow things will always work out. No matter when and where I arrived I never found no place to sleep, got so sick I could not care for myself, got stuck for long time, or really got lost. There is always and everywhere someone you can ask and that helps you out.
2. Once you will get sick
Travelling other countries means you are getting in touch with a lot of things your body is not used to. Carry some antibiotics and have a health insurance for foreign countries.
3. Once you will be frustrated
If you are travelling longer time, you might get stuck, lost, left behind or sick and there will be the moment where you ask yourself:
"What the fuck am I doing here? I just want my a nice shower, my bed, my privacy and that's it"
Well I told you that it happens, deal with it. Consider this is the character sharpening part.
4. Every 4-6 weeks you might become tired of travelling
Whats starts exiting can become tiring every 4-6 weeks. Packing your stuff, unpacking your stuff, every 2-3 days a different bed, longs hours on the bus, the 25th church or the 30th museum... If it happens just find a nice place to hang out for a while. Travelling does not mean rushing through countries as fast as you can, it means to enjoy yourself as good as you can. And if this means to hang out in a nice place to do nothing but to sleep, read or party for while, go for it.
5. Once you will get ripped off
Ask for the proper fare and always fix the price before you take a tour or taxi.
But no matter how bright or experienced you think you are, be prepared to find your master once in while. It is a game you can't always win.
6. You will loose some gear or something will be stolen
If you are travelling for more than 6 weeks the chances are as good as 0 that you will come back with all your gear you started with. If you are travelling poorer countries you should consider some luggage insurance, that covers these possibilities.
7. While moving carry everything valuable or important on your body!
Most things get stolen from a bag or backpack while sitting in a bus or walking through a city. Or you might be left behind somewhere while your backpack starts travelling on his own.
Make you can not loose anything important with your bags. Keep your passport, papers, credit cards, most of our money either in a deposit or in special purse hidden on your body. While moving I have all valuable electronics in zipped pockets or safely attached to my belt.
Keep only little money and no documents or credit cards at all in your regular purse.
If you keep valuables in your bags while travelling it is your own fault if you loose it!
8. Keep copies of your documents in at least 2 different places!
Before you start make copies of all documents and credit cards. Keep them at at least 2 different places. I usually have a set in my big and one in my small backpack.
9. Have your money at at least 2 different places!
I have always enough emergency money in my money belt, that I can get safely to any next major city and to find a place to sleep if things go really wrong.
Additionally you might consider a purse attached to your lower leg, which seams to be found almost never.
10. Have some trekking trousers with lots of pockets and zippers
To carry all important stuff on your body while travelling a descent trouser makes this task a lot easier. All pocket should have zippers. For travellers money and purses never belong in the back pockets.
11. Do not show fear
From a pickpockets perspective... Whom would you prefer? The unconfident or the confident looking guy?
What are the most important items on travels?
1.) A pair of earplugs
2.) A guidebook to the continent
3.) A towel as it is about the most massively useful thing an traveller can have (to sleep under, use as a sail, wet it for use in hand-to- hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal or to dry yourself)
Besides from that I find the following things useful:
* A Swiss army knife sort of thing
* A small first aid kit
* Hiking socks (there is simply no end on the stink scale for cotton socks! Also the friction of drying woolen or cotton socks can become real torment and directly responsible for up numerous blisters. 11 on one day is the most I have ever seen. Fortunately it happened on the last day of a trek as the guy walked like an astronaut the next day)
* A torch
* some Antibiotics (unless you speak good Mongolian or really want to trust the local shamans)
* All country specific vaccinations (plan at least 4 weeks ahead for this)
* An eye cover. (Together with the earplugs it makes you sleep everywhere)
* Good shoes. (you will walk a lot, so better make your feet comfortable)
And now? What are you waiting for? Always safe travels.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Reality is far too complex for our conscious.
So what happens in vision?
What you see is objects. Imagine a picture of a beach with a small park in front.
What you see is: Beach, People, Water, Trees, Grass, Houses, Cars
What is coming from your eyes is a picture with:
Blue in different shades on the top, some riddled yellow part with some pink spots in it in the middle, green with vertical brown streaks and some colored bulbs in the lower part.
To be exact, the picture is not even coming in all colors but it are 3 different pictures with the color in red, blue, and green that then get translated into rest of color.
What I found out about my vision so far is the following.
In subconscious the raw pixel picture from the eyes gets
The information from the blue, red, and green receptors and both eyes is merged into a big colored image.
To reduce complexity unnecessary and redundant information is removed
Then the image is going through an association process. Based on experience, believe, expectation, probability and mental state the image is compared with our knowledge, trying to find out what the things could be. This is the point where the brain now translates meaningless pixel image into the objects.
Simplest example is that is way harder for you to find the typos in your text, than in the text you read from somebody else. As you know what words you expect in your text, your perception might fill them in correctly, even if the words contain typos of even if they are missing completely.
Edges in color are enhanced to ease the distinction of objects.
The light on the image is balanced, means the dark parts get brightened and the bright parts get darkened. How reality really looks like in terms of light can easily be recognized by taking a picture with a camera where there is much sun and shade. A camera can't balance the light for different parts of the image. The image will either be to dark in the shade or to bright in the sun.
Scanned for moving items and threats.
Moving objects are always highlighted as they are always much easier for you to recognize. But furthermore moving objects are investigated for their trajectory and potential threat. If your brain recognizes for example a car in the outer angle of your view that is likely to hit you while your conscious is focused on the center, your attention will probably drawn to the car.
This I find the most interesting characteristic. Especially for unclear, dusky or remote objects, where there is not enough visible information from the raw image, the brain, once sure about what the object is, replaces missing information.
So sometimes the image gets patched with images from our subconscious to make things more aware.
As this a rather delicate part of perception, it is usually incredibly reliable. But under certain circumstances e.g. lack of oxygen and exhaustion it can go wrong.
But apart of visually modifying the image also meta information is added.
One meta information is depth information. For objects near us this is done by comparing the image of our left and right eye. But for distant objects the angle is just to small to come up with usable information. But by comparing the size of the distant recognized object with the size of what it would have if you are standing in front of it, the brain now can make an assumption of how far the object is away.
Good example is the moon, that is larger when it is just over the horizon. Where there are more objects of known size, the brain estimates the size of the moon larger as when it is high in the sky. Another example is, that is way easier for us to measure distances when we for example look onto a forest from a high point, than when we are are in a plain desert.
A good part of our vision is dedicated to recognize people. To make things easier, instead of remembering all their body characteristics in the same detail, we mostly recognize people their faces. To do so an incredible number of faces is stored in our subconscious.
What happens in hearing?
What you hear is: Voices, Dogs, Planes, Cars
What is coming from your ears is a sensational mixture of all these sounds together. It is just loud noise.
The process for hearing is basically the same as in visual perception.
But as vision is our main sense in hearing much filtering takes place. I believe that 95% of what we hear never reaches our conscious.
Apart from filtering the most important process about hearing is recognizing and extracting voices, translating it into words and give the words meaning.
An amazing example of our capabilities is when you are standing in the middle in a big group talking to the person in front of you, while a person behind you mentions your name. Now your brain does consider background talks no longer irrelevant and brings it into your conscious. You will turn around. That even works if your name is only whispered.
What does it mean?
It means while filtering the the sound of the person in front of you out of most complex noise, translating it into words, giving it meaning and bringing it into your conscious it is following all other conversations!
So your reality is in fact the final result of impressive filtering, scan for threat, enhancing, categorizing, and association process based on believes and expectation.
Although we like to believe in objective reality
Well, if reality is subjective, why does it work?
A subjective reality works as humans have mostly similar experience about the reality they live in. We all experienced that fire is hot, water wet, that we can not fly and falling hurts. Hence in a society we reach a consensus about what is real or not.
shared human conscious.
Also we mock everyone to hell or send him to the nuthouse who dares to not agree with this consensus. By doing so we keep our image of reality unspoiled and we are tempted to think of an objective reality.
But by believe that has an immediate effect on our expectations we are able to extend our reality.
Gods are the best example. I am sure as hell ;-))) that there is nothing like the Christian, Muslim or Jewish god (yes, its a paradoxon but you know what I mean). But I doubt I would be rather be dead than successful when I tried to convince 2.2 billion Christians and Jews. For them God is as real as for me water and air. And although I can not see the last one, I share common believe that air exists.
By proclaiming god non existent I would violate the common consensus about their reality.
Trying to get treatment in a reputable German clinic (Glottertalklinik, or Black Forest Clinic), she got drugged with psychotropics , treated with deprivation of sleep and other amenities. Unfortunately they missed out to educate her what the side effects can be. So after while she developed strong hallucinations, started talking to physically not existing people on her balcony and haunted by faces she spent the night clenched on chairs. She even had started to sculpture the faces she experienced during that time in clay.
In short she was scared to death by what was going on in her world.
On day my mom told me with sad voice, that she believed that her best friend was about to go mad. She had visited her and what she found was more of a human robot, but no longer her beloved friend.
But when she described me what was going on, I gasped in horror. Trusting the doctors around her she did not suspect anything when suddenly her reality start to change and her personality to fade. Once she started to hallucinate she was not knowing where she was, what was going on, why it happened, when it was going to leave or whether it was ever going to leave. Being thrown into this world it cost her a lot of mental energy trying to maintain her conscious. In the consequence her mental strength diminished, and her resistance and connection to the physical world got weaker by the day.
It is nothing less than the true definition of "alone"
Can you imagine how it feels when you have to observe your reality to collapse, your personality to diminish, and not being able to express yourself or to communicate in any way? To get an impression you might find this link very interesting.
The mental strength of every one of us is limited. Everyone has the point where your conscious simply snaps. And a dead serious mile-stone on this road is the point where you start to question your sanity.
When I heard her story, she was on the the edge of giving up on her. When I called her I had a most alienated person on the phone. Considering herself on the edge of madness, she was quite reluctant to share her world with me. But by not asking question, just by describing and explaining her world I was able to lure her out of her shell. Minute by minute her self-confidence started to grow when I finally was able to assure her that neither sanity nor reality was to be worried about once she would just stop her "therapy".
Thursday, April 17, 2008
It was a symposium around Wilhhelm Reich, a psychoanalyst and a scholar of Freud. Especially the last lecture "orgonic clima manipulation with the Cloud Buster" was promising an interesting day. Always looking for thoughts worth thinking I once more followed my passion.
When I got there the room was filled with a 100-150 people and that amount was kept during the day. The symposium had been organized by the study group "Wilhelm Reich", a bunch of young guys and girls.
First one to jump into the vat was
Prof. Dr. Senf.
He gave an excellent introduction about Reich, psychoanalysis by Freud, and how Reich had developed and improved his techniques.
Freud had come up first with free association. It's a technique where the patient freely says the whatever thoughts crosses his mind, regardless of how superficially unimportant or potentially embarrassing the memory is. The psychoanalyst then writes down the terms, trying to sort or group them subsequently, trying to see the picture and hence getting to source of problem. It is based on the assumption that in the associative process each thought triggers other thoughts to come up, hence to uncover bit by bit the problem that might be e.g. a traumatic experience inaccessible to the patients conscious.
Until Reich, the rules in psychoanalysis were, that the patient was visually and physically separated from the analyst.
But sometimes during the treatment the free association process cuts off, before a clear picture can be drawn. Reich now had noticed that once this happened, this was sometimes accompanied with a certain body gesture e.g. crossed arms, or a grim facial expression.
He developed the term of "Body Armour" to describe this symptom. In order to break the body armour he, once the association had ceased, for example massaged the patients eyebrows or forehead in case the body armour was a facial expression or simply relaxed the patients arms.
In some cases now he experienced strong emotional reactions once the blockage was lifted or the free association process started to flow again.
What sounds like a wise improvement of conventional psychoanalysis to me, was considered sacrilege by his colleagues and consequently he got kicked out the society of psychoanalysts.
Fleeing the war he emigrated to the US, where among the further development of his theories, he started experiments which were aimed to find out the origin of life.
He experimented with hay extract. Once you put hay into a bucket of water, you notice that after a few days, numerous protozoa, single-celled creatures inhabit your bucket. During his examinations he noticed that under certain conditions the protozoa where surrounded by blue pulsating light or energy. This he contemplated the energy of life and named it "Orgone".
Further more he discovered that this energy could be added or subtracted from people. Imagine 2 people are to perform a certain simple repetitive task. Before they start the first person receives motivation and support and the other is insulted and humiliated.
Who is going to perform seems common sense to me. So the conclusion was that there is positive and negative energy. The antagonist to the positive "Orgone" energy then was called "Dor".
At this point Ms. Fuckert took over.
Ms. Dr. Med. Fuckert
was working a psychoanalyst following the approach of Reich. She talked about her experiences she had made during her work. What I remember is that she mentioned that she had some patients that got mentally devastated by common psychotherapy, whom she could help.
I once made a similar experience, when a very good friend of mother nearly got tortured into insanity.
So, to be honest. I had some idea, what she was talking about.
What startled me about the person of Ms. Fuckert was my impression, that she had some mental problems as well. I had the impression of a person that would easily start to cry once you put her under little pressure. Well, but I am really not sure about that. I unfortunately had no occasion to talk to her personally.
Dr. med. Jorgos Kavouras
Things were about to get interesting when Mr. Kavouras was about to lecture "How to heal with Orgone energy"
He built several healing machines by himself, all based on the Orgone Accumulator with which he was treating his patients.
The Orgone Accumulator
was first invented by Reich and is basically a wooden box coated with layer of organic material and metal. This things now start to suck in Orgone energy. The common prove for his theory was that the temperature in the Orgone Accumulator was higher than the surrounding temperature.
He found this so amazing that the could convince even Einstein to conduct some experiments with and to prove his findings.
As taken from Wikipedia
"On December 30, 1940, Reich wrote to Albert Einstein saying he had a scientific discovery he wanted to discuss, and on January 13, 1941 went to visit Einstein in Princeton. They talked for five hours, and Einstein agreed to test an orgone accumulator, which Reich had constructed out of a Faraday cage made of galvanized steel and insulated by wood and paper on the outside. Einstein agreed that if, as Reich suggested, an object's temperature could be raised without an apparent heating source, it would be “a bomb” in physics. This heating effect would be an amazing result since it would allow the construction of a perpetual motion machine, which would violate the laws of thermodynamics.
Reich supplied Einstein with a small accumulator during their second meeting, and Einstein performed the experiment in his basement, which involved taking the temperature atop, inside, and near the device. He also stripped the device down to its Faraday cage to compare temperatures. In his attempt to replicate Reich's findings, Einstein observed a rise in temperature, which according to Reich was the result of a novel form of energy—orgone energy—that had accumulated inside the Faraday cage. However, one of Einstein's assistants pointed out that the temperature was lower at the floor than that on the ceiling. Following that remark, Einstein modified the experiment and, as a result, concluded that the effect was simply due to the temperature gradient inside the room. He then wrote back to Reich, describing his experiments and expressing the hope that Reich would develop a more skeptical approach.
Reich responded with a 25-page letter to Einstein, expressing concern that “convection from the ceiling” would join “air germs” and “Brownian movement” to explain away new findings, according to Reich's biographer, Myron Sharaf. Sharaf writes that Einstein conducted some more experiments, but then regarded the matter as “completely solved”.The Dr. showed some photos of his machines. There was basically a box with hoses attached that ended in a funnel. The patient sits between those funnel and gets his daily dosage of "Orgone Energy". He also used the "Dor Buster" in the treatment of his patients. A Dor Buster is basically a metal pipe with an hose attached that ends in a water tank.
So we learn.
Dor Energy is water soluble and likes to crawl through hoses and pipes.
"Puuh", I thought "what a blessing. Better than to take a bath in turpentine twice day."
So Dor Energy flies looking for a metal pipe and some water attached to it. When it found it, it thinks "This looks great, lets crawl in there". But How does Dor energy recognize a pipe? Round or also square shaped? Up to which diameter? Also plastic pipes? Why does Dor Energy not dissolve freely in the water? Means the oceans should be a hell of a Dor sucker then. When it is flying around, why does it need to crawl through a pipe first?
Questions over questions that remained unfortunately unanswered.
With dor buster he then sucks out the bad energy. He warned about the usage of the Dor Buster, as it can accumulate high if not deadly doses of Dor Energy. Some friend of him got a stroke when touching a Dor Buster at the wrong end and is half side paralyzed since then.
At this point a guy in the audience came up.
"Yeah!" he said. "Here at the university I once touched a steel pipe, when I got struck by an intense pain". "I later found out, that the room was used by wireless operators before. I had problems with my small intestine for month, as it was my the small intestine meridian that got hit during the discharge"
"Oh boy....". Up to this point I thought the audience was normal, and the stranger in front of us, when I now slowly realized the fact, that everybody considered himself normal and me being the stranger here.
"Yes" the Dr. said. For the same reason he can only treat 2 or 3 persons a day as his patients bring so much Dor into his rooms, that everything else could be hazardous.
"??? Then a hospital would be one of the most deadly places to go to."
He talked about his experiences when he treated cancer patients with his machines, but apart from decongestant effects he himself could not attest any improvements. His greatest success was, when he once over weeks healed a sort of hemorrhoids.
Considering his rejection of antibiotics and vaccinations, while in the same time favoring sitting in front machines having as much healing power as my vacuum cleaner, I was not puzzled anymore that the health of his patients had continuously degraded over the last years....
When he finished I found my worries about the relation between me and the rest of the audience confirmed, as he got standing ovations.
Then it was to
Dr. Phi. Andreas Heilmann
who at first did not fail to remember us that he made his dissertation about the Orgone Energy.
"Wow, must be a pro then"
His lecture was about
"The orgonic resonance as origin of a new perception and as extension of the scientific view of the world"
Yep, and the same amount I understood about his lecture. I suspected a high number on the bollocks scale, but with all this verbal smoke grenades this was impossible to tell. Less than 50% of his words made any sense to me, and not more than 10% of what he said was understood. Trying to understand or to find a meaning in his gibberish took just too long related to his amount of information he cramed up your ear. Over the time this caused permanent mental overflows, resets, loss of information and an increasing headache.
In short: To me this was more juggling with technical and philosophical terms, a verbal battle of Verdun, while making an earnest face rather than a lecture.
What I understood was that he demanded some change in the paradigms in physical science. In other words, they believe that the mind creates nature. If just enough people believe in Orgone Energy, there will Orgone Energy all around us and we all life in eternal happiness.
By the end of his torture first drops of blood were running out of my ear, when finally
Dr. Manfred Fuckert
hopped on the stage. After nearly being babbled to death his lecture "Orgonic clima manipulation with the Cloud Buster" promised some fun again.
He started low with when he explained the audience he spent a lot of time with conducting the experiments Reich had used to prove and examine the Orgone energy.
In short he told us that every single of his experiments to prove Orgone Energy
Also he was not able to reproduce most of the Reichs findings. The only similar result he could come up with, that the temperature inside an "Orgone Accumulator" was *most of the time* higher but *sometimes* lower than the outside temperature. This he found was mostly related to weather. If the weather was about to rain, the temperature inside the accumulator could be lower.
"That's the proof!!" I thought.
Then he showed his "Dor Buster" for home usage to the audience. This was basically a plastic tupper box with for small metal pipes sticking vertical in the cover and a small water pump in the inside. Filled with water, this thing was supposed to free the room of bad energy. He warned though, to not use the water for human consumption as it is charged with bad energy.
But then he finally came to his main topic. And guess what. It started with a meteorological map from Europe from 26th of April 1986. At this day he said, he had woken up feeling very weak, he was in a bad mood, and could not enjoy himself at all. So he looked in the sky and noticed a huge amount of Dor energy in the atmosphere. "Lets better bust this" he thought and went in his garden to get his "Cloud Buster" armed and ready.
A Cloud Buster works basically the same like a Dor Buster, so a steal pipe on a stand, with some hoses that convey the Dor Energy into water where it is dissolved. See this link to get a picture and to see what is necessary to build a Cloud Buster yourself.
It must have been a good bust, because showing the meteorological map of the next day, he pointed out how his Cloud Buster had taken effect on the weather.
"And then 3 days later", he presented proudly, "Tschernobyl was in the press as it had been covered-up by the Russian government for the first days". "Now I knew what had made me feel bad all these days"
At this point a striking pain was flashing through my head.
An overdose of Dor Energy?
No, just a massive bullshit beam with an intensity of 10 on the bullocks scale. Obviously the concentration of bullshit in the room had added up to critical voltage and had discharged taking the line of least resistance. I was still struggling with keeping consciousness when he stated that
immediately after the news was out, he knew what to do. He called some of his orgonic friends, that had some Cloudbusters of their own. With combined forces now he and his friends fought a fierce battle against the nuclear clouds that tried to swash into Europe. More meteorological maps followed documenting the success of combined busting. He came to the conclusion that it was subsequently proofed that no increase in radiation was measured left of the river Rhine where he and his friends had positioned themselves with their busters. Or in other words he had saved half of Europe from the Tschernobyl radiation.
"What a hero!!!!" came into my battered mind. Meanwhile most of the audience was paralyzed in awe, when a guy made a request to speak.
"I made an experiment early this year" he started. "I took 20 big pipes, drove them into the Pyrenees and installed them there in a swimming pool"
"NOOOO, what an act of madness!!!" flashed through my mind.
"Wait a second", Mr. Fuckert said, "When did we have this abnormal hot and dry period this year". "Must have been April"
"Oh my god" the guy said, "I had them installed in mid March"
Regaining consciousness I was filled with awe. So here they were! I did not know they existed before, but I am sure my subconscious looked for them since 1986, and all of sudden they were standing in front of me. The hero that had saved me from Tschernobyl and the weather frog that had provided me with one month of free sun in April.
When I almost started to cry the inevitable question that now came up, considering the easiness of building a Cloud Buster: "How can busting be controlled?
Several approaches were discussed, creating a central web site among them. In the end they came up with some cowardish excuse rendered as fate, that Cloud Busting furthermore can not be controlled.
I was different opinion. For me it was a clear task for legislation to come up with a law regarding the regulation of "Cloud Busters". There should definitely be some Ministry of "Cloud Busting and Dor Energy Control" with Dr. Fuckert as first minister. Maybe we need some Cloud Busting Swat Team in the police being able to fight cloud busting maniacs?. How about Cloud Busting Special forces in the military, that simply bust the enemy to hell? Maybe we would need some kind of "Cloud Buster Drivers Licence" to make sure everybody with a Cloud Buster in his hands is not accidentally busting the big farting neighbors ass.... Also I am worried Cloud Busters in the hands of globalized terror. Think about Al Qaeda setting up a thousand!! massive steal pipes in a river and busting our world to hell!
A lot of question must be asked!
By now I would not have been surprised a split second about a guy in a Klingon costume coming up to the stage as what had started as a serious Wilhelm Reich symposium now definitely felt more like a star trek convention of "Energy-Esotherics".
"Scotty, transfer more Orgone Energy to the front shields!"
"Sorry captain, we got a direct hit from a Dor Torpedo and the our damn core Orgone Accumulator got busted to bits!!"
"Damn! Lets give those bastards a full broadside with our Cloud Busters Gatling gun!!"
Also I remembered that I was worried about a potential mental problem about his wife, who had held the second lecture of the day. Being married to such a nerd I now saw chances vastly increased for this assumption to be true.
When Mr. Fuckert finished under applause the last word was upon one of the young students that had organized the whole thing. He explicitly once more warned about the dangers of "Cloud Busting" before the whole event ended in a general huggy-feely session.
The last thing I could get was the hand out Dr. Fuckert had prepared. It is a simple manual how to determine the current Dor-Index. So it gives you good help to detect the next nuclear meltdown way ahead.
As critical I see the whole Orgone thing, interesting thing is, that I had read about a similar energy in the the book "The celistine prophecy". I first read read it, when I got the recommendation through 2 independent sources. My mother had told me about it, she found it quite interesting. I was quite not convinced but when a paper from my 2004 Southern Europe travel fell into my hand, there was a remark by Kelly, an american girl I met in Olympia. "The celistine prophecy" was scribbled on it.
So I got the book and what I read could be perfectly desribed as Orgone Energy. All the book is about recognizing and absorbing the energy, trying to reach the highest stage where you get invisible. Even the blue color is the same. But in the book was no direct reference to Reich or the name Orgone itself.
Curious whether these 2 descriptions are related somehow I asked around whether they know the book. Only Prof. Dr. Senf had heard about it. Questioned how he thinks this is possible, he replied, that there are probable many way to find to the Orgone Energy.
Also, I googled the web and found no evidence of any relation between the 2 corresponding descriptions of energy.
Also lets try do explain little of what going on here.
What we see here is a classic of a non consensus reality
Although we like to think of an objective reality, reality in fact is based on our mental state, experience, believes and with them our expectations. So reality by definition is subjective, and as such only works as humans have similar experience and hence reach a consensus about what is real or not. Also we mock everyone to hell or send him to the nuthouse who dares to not agree with this consensus. By doing so we keep our image of reality clean and we are tempted to think of an objective reality.
Based on believe this group has now developed a slightly different image of reality. The non consenus part is usually kept out of public sight to avoid irritations and hassles and the same time, they need those kind of symposiums, to meet with people that share their believes. As their reality is a minority compared to general reality it needs to be reassured once in a while.
As they truly believe in Dor and Orgone Energy around them, this energy is as real for them as for me water and air. Last one we also can not see, but we still widely believe it's there. Its part of the big consenus, while Orgone Energy is not.
Basically it is the same as with religion. With religion we also extend our reality through believe. Even there is less proof for god than for Orgone Energy most religous people would highly object, if you tell them that god is not part of reality. "Can't be, he talks to me and I feel him every day" you would hear.
What also became clear to me. Einstein was right.
There is no point on the endless bullshit scale, where the last man turns on you. Just make in convincing and believable. Just make an earnest face. Best is to believe it yourself.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
There is finite time.
* This means time has a start and an end.
* This means what might have started with the big bang, ends at a certain point.
In this case there must be a some kind of reason, why things started.
If we call the reason god.
* This means god exist
"Great" I thought, so in case there just finite time there is god, what means I will be him with him after death.
So nothing to worry about.
There is infinite time
* This means there is no start and no end.
* This means god must not necessarily exist
* This means the big bang was just another state of transition beyond we just can't see.
* This means the universe breathes in some form, means it expands and contracts frequently.
This thinking the infinite time thing further has an interesting consequences.
What is the probabilty of life at an arbitrary point in the universe?
Well, as I exist I can say that the probabilty of life at a given coordinate X,Y,Z and t(ime) is little more than 0. Not much, but yeah.
So what is the probabilty of life at an arbitrary point in the universe at an arbitrary time?
P(livexyz) = x (1> x >0)
so according to Kolmogorov formulation
P(nolivexyz) = 1 - x
=> (1> P(nolivexyz) >0)
P(livexyz)(t) = 1 - P(nolivexyz)^t
if t->infinite and (1> P(nolivexyz) >0)
P(nolivexyz)^t = 0
This means, if there is infinite time, there will be life at any place in the universe at a certain time.
Further more it means that the matter or the energy (what we know since e=mc^2 is equivalent) you consist of, will be part with life infinite times.
This means you are born infinite times again. This means the Buddhists are right! Except for the the exit, no Nirvana, no matter how much you realize the true nature of reality.
To be honest. As I currently estimate the probability of infinite time way higher than the probability of a god that started the whole caboodle I am still not sure whether I like this thought.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
During my own philosophical development one of the things worth thinking about, was to find out what a caring god could be like.
If you assume, that god created the universe.
then if he cares about his creation, we can sure make some assumptions about his philosophical values.
If he cares it imperatively means he must have underwent some philosophical development. If not, he would not care.
In every philosophical process you must come by certain milestones.
A a creator of the universe would never support injustice, pain or agony as it makes simply no sense to him. When he asks himself the question: "Why?" he finds out that there is no answer for him. He would always see a way that could avoid it.
All what he created is perfect in itself. Or do you think someone beeing able to create a universe makes mistakes? So all what he created would have exactly the same value for him and never he would harm or kill anything he created.
Before my spiritual quest I was raised as protestant christian. When the quest started god had been with all my life. It first started when I noticed the contradictory sides of god in the bible. I asked the first questions, and the answers started to change the picture I had of god bit by bit. Not that I was ever religious, but yet he was an integral part of my spiritual life. So first I modified my image of god. Lets say I tried to repair him, by replacing his non god-like attributes with other believes and philosophy.
But the process of questioning is irreversible, if you dare to question every dogma, it is mercyless, it is a one way street, and once started you can not stop somewhere in between. The further I went the more of my god was falling off, without me beeing able to cram up the holes.
The apple thing
One of the first things I really doubted, was a god that sends humans into enternal comdemnation over eating a apple. Would a god, the creator of the universe, care about a fucking apple?
No. Of course not. A god would never be materialistic as he created matter. If he would like to have an apple, he would just create one.
But a real god would say: "Guys here is paradise, enjoy everthing to to the last bit"
Is god a schizophrenic maniac?
The images of god in the bible are quite contradictory.
The old man in the sky that loves and forgives every sin imaginable or sends you to hell for all eternity. From the guy that heals you through a miracle to a racist and cruel bastard, that demands human sacrifice or that kills first-borns kids for blackmail.
If so god violated his own commandments and commited the first recorded genocide.
Could this be a god?
This would be another human idiot in the sky, that failed to notice gravity.
Gods don't blackmail, do not demand sacrifice, god's don't kill kids for any reason.
God made man after himself?
If you reverse this sentence it means, "man are like god". But then look around at all this brain cancer causing stupidity humans commit every day. So only the mere thought humans could be any godlike is just shocking.
Look what god could look like then!
What took god so long?
If you think that the old testament of the bible is 3000 years old, but early finding of Homo Sapiens, or modern humans are as old as a 160.000 years old. I mean all those poor bastards that died without his blessing, because he did not manage to turn up in time.
Crucifixion and Love
Would the almighty god, the creator of life and the universe, let his son beeing nailed to a cross, to demonstrate aehm love?
No. Again. Gods don't kill kids and nail for sure nodody on a cross.
Arrogance of Christanity
If you look around in this world you see that almost every human society on this planet has developed some form of religion, some form of god.
Do you see the arrogance in saying:
"Sorry pal, you are believing in the wrong god! "
"Damn..., I almost went to hell without having a clue. Thanks you told me."
Can you see any god around?
When you look around in this world you see an incredible amount of injustice, agony, despair and pain. For many people life is a just an endless struggle to survive from day to day which they are going to loose. Some lives are just endless misery.
The common excuse we now come up with, is that humans are just not capable to see the higher meaning in this.
But if it are kids that suffer, I can tell you
there is no higher meaning.
There simply is no justification, no reason, no excuse imaginable, that could ever justify what is going on.
Gods do not let innocent suffer. I would mean god is sadist.
Who created who?
God received his final blow, when my mind came up with the following thesis.
"If tommorow there are just 2 humans left that have never heard anything of god, I am sure in their society would appear some kind of god sooner or later."
But this means: Humans created god.
`Oh dear,' says God, `I hadn't thought of that,' and promptly vanished in a puff of logic.
and the bible not worth more than grimms fairy tales.
In the world of Atheits
No more wories about injustice, why the old pal would or would not do the on thing or the other. At this point I started to view with different eyes. And I tried to understand my new world.
It took me a while, until one day that I found out that my admission to the world of atheists had not been for free. I had payed a toll.
One day I came by a friend, that lived and grew up in very traditional katholic country and family. We even visited the church on Sunday together for her to make some short prayer and get some blessing. After a while we talked about god. She was puzzled to hear he was not with me.
She said "For me god is with me. I am never alone"
"Ok", I said "But for me the advantage is, that if I run into problems I do not sit down, pray, and wait until god feels in favor to help me out. I just start and try to change things by myself."
Not relying on god, makes you probably faster actively handle your problems. You are not waiting for somebody to help you as there is no one to come.
But then I saw....
If you really run into a deep depression that drains all your mental energy, then you are really alone. The thing called hope, which gives us infinite energy when things go really bad, could be dreadfully missed.
To be honest, this is a point I am worried about. So far life was fairly easy for me. Blessed with beeing born in one the richest and most civilized countries in the world, fairly succesfull and lucky in business, sometimes more or less lucky in privat affairs so far. Of course I had my challenges, problems with families and friends, but this is not what I am thinking about. I mean if you really struggle for your mental or physical existance. The point where hope is your last asset. What's hope worth there, can't probably be estimated.
A story from my grandpa came into my mind. My grandpa was in the second world war from the first to the last day. To be precise, if you consider that went in polish cocentration camp after the war, the war wasn't over for him until years after 45.
I am lucky that my grandpa, unlike so many others, never tried to lock out his experiences he made during the war. Allthough he got wounded 3 times, he talks a lot about this time. The stories he tells is not just blood, loss, betrayal and sadness, he also had periods of good times in war, stories about friendship, love and yes, funny stories too.
He was in campaign about France, where he had a fairly good time, but when he got orders to russia, good time was over.
By the time my grandpa entered the war as Atheist and he left it believing in god. What changed his mind was not a rather thoughtful or philosophical process.
For him it was simply observation.
He noticed that a deadly wounded soldier always starts praying and talking to god, no matter how much of an Atheist he was before. No exceptions on this.
And although my atheist world now seemed to work out better than the old world with my christian god before, it was not without doubts and cracks. Something still felt not right.
During the exploration of myself I experienced, that our subconcious is much more than the just the sum of of experience. Our subconcious is the world of dreams in which I had seen the most incredible forms, colors, physics and worlds unknown to life on earth.
Reptiles never get teached anything about life, yet by the second they are born they now to go for prey instead of trying to chew on grass. So it is possible to transport an incredible amount of knowledge about life in our genes. Good example is our fear about spiders or snakes. Why most of us fear spiders that today for most of us are as harmful as our Teddybears? How many people that fear spiders made ever a harmful experience with them?
So we simply inherited this information through our genes.
This could mean than in our subconscious we could have the knowledge of this world since the first bacteria evolved.
This would explain a lot, but yet it is not the end.
Because that would mean, that the first bacteria came up having absolutelty no information about this world.
But what if information was already contained in the matter from what life evolved?
Then we have all the information of the universe in our subconcious
we can know about every form that ever was and ever will be.
But this has another interesting consequence.
I had to notice that my prior thesis about
"If tommorow there are just 2 humans left that have never heard anything of god, I am sure in their society would appear some kind of god sooner or later."
=> Therefore man creates god
If the knowledge about god, like the information how to breath or to fear spiders, is passed through our genes, this could mean we have the knowledge about him from our subconscious.
In other words it could mean that God left his foot-print in all matter.
But what unsettled my atheistic world more, was what you can see in life itself.
For life to emerge, an vast number of variables must yield exactly a distinct value. Change one variable and life could not exist in this universe.
Good example is the density anomaly of water, what we currently consider the main prerequisite for life. If, like for most other elements, compact or frozen water would be more dense than its fluid state, ice would sink. This would make the emerge of life by far less probable.
Did you ever try to solve a matrix equation in linear algebra? It can describe systems, where every factor of a the system has an effect on the other factors.
If it are only 5 factors, trying to solve a 5 by 5 matrix can be a challenging tasks. I never tried to solve a 6 by 6 factors matrix, be prepared to spend hours with this. And better focus. Doing one mistake, messing up one creepy sign, and you never get anywhere close to a solution.
It is used to calculate simulations of all kinds and most of the worlds supercomputers spend most their time chewing on this equations.
For life to emerge lets assume the solution to the equation must coercively be 42.
If you look at the universe, what do you think how many factors are involved?
Too many for a human to just understand the number, rather than to calculate the equation.
What is the probability that this equation by coincidence resulted in 42? Again, if you just try to imagine the number of factors involved, the probability is as good as 0.
If the probability is 0 that means someone or something must have solved this equation.....
There he was again. But this time he appeared different. He was no longer the caring god, the old man listen to prayers, trying to educate his people with love or terror.
He was the faint creator of the universe, the creator of life, but that was about it. No more.
Quite disappointed about god let go on me so easily before, I was reluctant to let god back into life when one day all my observations, loose thoughts and assumptions, that did not make up a clear picture at this time, sublimated in words. Not in mine though....
It happened when I one day was strolling over a Goa-Party, a friend of mine had organized. I rarely made these kind of visits, but once in while it is interesting to see. Have you ever been to a Goa-Party? It's like going into the Zoo. The Goa-Scene is a true remain of the Hippie-Culture. The people share mostly leftish thoughts with all their lovely naive ideals about society. As they can not live their ideals in real life, they live them in their parties. And so always these parties are always lovely decorated, mostly with volunteer work. As tolerance not style is the maxim of these folks they warmly welcome everyone.
You will probably never see a higher concentration of bizarre and mystic people anywhere outside these parties. Sometimes these people, by their dress, their look, their gaze, their dance, act upon you so strangely, that you don't want to trust your eyes. But then this is exactly what is intended. Not trusting your eyes, opening your mind to overcome everyday reality by substitution with an extraordinary much richer reality is a key part of the game.
Even before my friend and I had some interesting talks about spiritual questions and while it got evening again, he gave me little book.
I gave it a try and became soon truly fascinated.
As taken from Wikipedia "For Epicurus, the purpose of philosophy was to attain the happy, tranquil life, characterized by aponia, the absence of pain and fear, and by living a self-sufficient life surrounded by friends. He taught that pleasure and pain are the measures of what is good and bad, that death is the end of the body and the soul and should therefore not be feared, that the gods do not reward or punish humans, that the universe is infinite and eternal, and that events in the world are ultimately based on the motions and interactions of atoms moving in empty space."
"The gods are immortal and blessed and men who ascribe any additional qualities that are alien to immortality and blessedness are, according to Epicurus, impious. The gods do not punish the bad and reward the good as the common man believes. The opinion of the crowd is, Epicurus claims, that the gods "send great evils to the wicked and great blessings to the righteous who model themselves after the gods," when in reality the gods do not concern themselves at all with human beings.
Epicurus' philosophy is based on the theory that all good and bad derive from the sensations of pleasure and pain. What is good is what is pleasurable, and what is bad is what is painful. Pleasure and pain were ultimately, for Epicurus, the basis for the moral distinction between good and bad. If pain is chosen over pleasure in some cases it is only because it leads to a greater pleasure. Moral reasoning is a matter of calculating the benefits and costs in terms of pleasure and pain. Although Epicurus has been commonly misunderstood to advocate the rampant pursuit of pleasure, (primarily through the influence of Christian polemics) what he was really after was the absence of pain (both physical and mental, i.e., suffering) - a state of satiation and tranquility that was free of the fear of death and the retribution of the gods. When we do not suffer pain, we are no longer in need of pleasure, and we enter a state of 'perfect mental peace' (ataraxia).
Epicurus also believed (contra Aristotle) that death was not to be feared. When a man dies, he does not feel the pain of death because he no longer is and he therefore feels nothing. Therefore, as Epicurus famously said,
"death is nothing to us."
When we exist death is not, and when death exists we are not.
All sensation and consciousness ends with death and therefore in death there is neither pleasure nor pain. The fear of death arises from the false belief that in death there is awareness."
Please the the full article here on Wikipedia
At one point Epicurus claims: "Even if gods exist, they do not care about us".
I simply do not have any better word for to describe, where I am today im my spiritual development. A world, where god likely but not necessarily exists, but where god is definately not the caring god, fits my impressions my thoughts best.
Focus on happieness, avoid pain, live a happy life, don't worry about death.
As questioning God is a process that goes on for life, I am curious to see whats next.
Trying to go onto the 6075m Chachani we got picked up at our hostels at 8 in the morning in a jeep. After leaving the city we soon left the road and went over dirt roads to the Chachani Base Camp at 4855m. Our group was in this case 3 white South Africans Dave, Nick and Christine and Sandra a German girl. The South Africans where not acclimatized, Sandra had spent quite some time at altitudes above 3000. For me it was semi-optimal, as due a week long sickness I spent one week at just 2300.
As the equipment (headlamp, ice Axe and crampons) is shared between the groups going and coming back from the trek, we had to wait. It got pretty late (between 3 and 4pm). Too late to do the one hour hike to the high camp at 5300m. So what we did was to hike a little up the mountain, to get a little impression of what to expect the next day.
But even that got interesting. The guide started on the trail amazingly slow, little less than a second per step. I felt pretty good, I started finding my pace which brought me soon quite in front. Sandra and Dave were in the middle, but very far behind the Nick and Christine. What happened was that soon after hitting the trail Nick, Dave and Christine had developed serious headaches. We walked for about an hour to about 5300m.
I noticed that the brain activity is definitely slowed, but apart from that I felt fine. When we came back from the trail, Christine started vomiting and at dinner I was the only person eating more than a few bites.
Soon after the dinner, we went to sleep as we had to start on the trail at 1 in the morning, therefore wake up time was at midnight. I think I was the only person sleeping for at least 3 hours. If you are about to fall asleep, your breath lowers. What happens if you are not acclimatized, is that every time you fall asleep your breath is lowered too much for the altitude, so you automatically start gasping for air and waking up again.
At wake up time, we got served a breakfast which consisted of untoasted toast and some strange marmalade. I ended up chewing some raw slices of toast. As Nick and Christine had not slept at all and still had serious headaches they decided not to go. Dave decided to go despite his serious headache and Sandra had started developing a cold (I assume the same crap as I had before) but also decided to give a try. So not having done a single step on the trail we had lost almost 50% of our group and the rest besides me was in bad shape.
The temperature at the start was at about -5 Celsius. We put on our headlamps and started slowly on the trail. We made it to the high camp as group, but then we already had to split the group as Sandra preferred a slower pace so she was walking with the second guide.
Everything went fine, after the high camp we soon came to the first traverse of a snowfield. We put on crampons and ice axe and maybe it was not that bad that we could not see the area where we were walking. Being at 5500m now the temperature had dropped significantly. I assume it had less then -10 degrees. Breathing heavily the air was definitely too cold to swallow so I had to put a scarf before my face.
In the crystal clear night we could see Arequipa sparkling yellow from above and many stars from below. Even the milky way was clearly visible.
Soon after the traverse the first light of the day showed up. Our guide now told us that the heavy part was just ahead. The heavy part was a steep ascend along the flank of one of the lower summits of the Chachani. And heavy it got. Dave still looking miserably started to get worried about our way back.
Until this point I felt lightheaded, noticed slow thinking and a minor impact on speaking as I spoke little blurred. I was not able to pronounce the words clearly. But still I felt fine.
Doing now the ascend from 5500 to 5800m the altitude sickness now hit me severely. First thing you noticed was that you get out of breath after a few steps. The step frequency was dropping but apart from that it started affecting significantly all my senses. Worst of all was the effect on my sense of balance but also vision and hearing.
In vision I started developing tunnel vision and the picture starts getting noisy. Blue and black sparks are coming up that can turn into patterns. Your eyes start fail focusing or watching on the same spot. The ability to measure distances was significantly impaired.
In hearing I started to hear the same way as if you have a pressure difference between your ear and the environment or you hear high pitched tones.
And speaking of speaking, this was most embarrassing. Unable to pronounce the words with breaks in between them, I more babbled than anything else. I definitely avoided speaking as it was so embarrassing to hear myself. When I later asked Sandra on the summit and after some minutes of rest for taking a picture of me on the summit, I spent all my mental energy on speaking yet what was coming out of my mouth did not sound much better.
This combined with headache, highly impaired ability to think, being very dizzy, your stomach feeling bad and being absolutely breathless it was now going to the lower summit. During the ascend the sun was raising making at least the temperature a little more enjoyable.
Coming to the top of the lower summit we had to cross a second snowfield before we did the final ascend. Something interesting now happened. Dave being struck by altitude severely until here suddenly started to feel better and started the final ascend on his own.
For me it was doing 10 steps and then stop for taking breath. Usually I can find the appropriate pace easily but no more. For Sandra it was like 2 seconds for a small step. Knowing the people of my group from the talks we had at the base camp, seeing the whole scenery was now becoming quite surreal. I started going into auto-mode which means I spent all mental energy on simply breathing, looking in front of me, keeping balance and doing one step after the next. I stopped thinking. It took me a long while to get to the summit. I can not even say how long as the sense for time was long lost.
But now the view from the top was amazing. On 6075m you definitely feel like standing on one of the rooftops of this world. It is a view I only knew from a plane. The clouds are 2000m below, looking up the sky you look into very dark blue giving you a sense of space.
We did not spent much time on the summit, before we started going back. The guides had noticed that I had started developing serious problems, so the second guide now got followed on my step. Going down we were talking shortcuts which was a serious problem with my impaired sense of balance. I more stumbled and fell my way down. Getting back to the traverse he would even put on my crampons. I would have managed on my own, but yet I was too devastated to resist his help.
The situation got little better when we came down from the smaller summit to about 5500m. But walking for 10hours in altitudes of more than 5500 now claimed his prize. You simply go to auto-mode.
Breath, Walk, Breath, Walk, Breath, Walk.
To think about how far you still have to go is not good for your morale. So don't.
When we came back to the high camp I noticed another side affect of altitude sickness.
Have you ever thought what you see or hear is reality? OK, then sorry to disappoint you. Reality is far too complex for our conscious. As migraine is the result of our perception filters failing, everyone who has ever enjoyed a migraine can tell you a story about this. So your reality is in fact the final result of impressive filtering, scan for threat, enhancing, categorizing, and association process. It has also a lot do with expectation. So for a human reality is always subjective. How do I know? Well, combine lack of oxygen and exhaustion and you might find out.
What happened was that the association process your brain uses to enhance vision of unclear, dusky or remote objects was going wrong. From The high camp I could *clearly* see a couple of tents between some rocks in several hundred meter distance. "Strange place to camp" I though before I continuing my way to the base camp. Coming by the "campsite" the tents were no longer tents but only big rocks.
There is basically no technical difficulty on the trial, I have not even sore legs today.
But going onto the summit of the Chachani was a true a mental challenge.
As a follow up of this post in my travel blog a friend wrote me the following message
Great that you got back OK - it would be a disaster if the Guides had got into trouble too!
Check out the following talk from TED called "Stroke of Insight":
It relates an experience where the logical side of a scientists brain stops working, but the creative side keeps going (a friend of mine who is a Buddhist, said that this is similar to the stat that he tries to achieve via meditation).
Presumably both parts of a person's brain are affected by altitude, and stop working properly. Do you think that they 'degrade' differently (in terms of how each side of the brain copes)?
I could imagine that some functions just become less effective (e.g. your speech), while others reach a 'cut-off' and stop completely, or they act incorrectly (e.g. seeing tents instead of rocks)."
Here is my answer
"thanks for the very interesting link! Some things I definitely can confirm.
For me it definitely looked like that certain functions degrade differently. In this case it seems that energy or oxygen is diverted to the vital functions (in this case everything it takes to get you out of situation you are currently in) like breathing, walking, keeping balance, finding the way.
A first indication might be that one of the first things you loose the sense of time.You start being in the very moment only, you stop thinking about yesterday, tomorrow, why you are there (I did not take too many pictures for example, or spent much time on enjoying the view). This might indicate, that what she refers as the "right side", might be more supplied with oxygen than left side.
As thinking was slowed down but definitely working I for example was very amazed by what was coming out of my mouth. As you hear yourself speak you think "??? What the hell was that?", then you try again, putting more focus on speaking but still it does not improve much. Compared to the degradation of thinking, speaking had degraded disproportionately high. If we assume that degradation takes place differently, this would indicate that the area in my brain responsible for speaking is in my left half. And I just googled for "speech area and brain" and this comes up:
"For nearly all right handed persons the speech area in the left half of the brain. For left handed persons this association can not be done."
This would also explain the effect that I saw rocks as tents. The image that finally comes to our mind consists of objects not pixels. According to the film association with our knowledge or past is done in left half. Like described in vision there is definitely a process which takes the raw pixel image, tries to associate it with things we know, and when it is quite sure it found the right thing it converts the pixels into an object. As the failure occurred in this left side association process this is the another indication that the left side might be more affected.
Also you can clearly see how perception is clearly connected with our expectation. I saw the rocks as tents between the high camp and the base camp. So the likelihood of of someone camping there is actually not too low. From the raw image the distant rock could probably equally probable be a Rhino, but a rhino in the mountains seems far less likely.
Meditation in the sense of trying to leave the conscious and to enter the subconscious is probably one of the most interesting things to do. I would like to learn more about it. But I think it is quite a hard thing to do, that requires quite a lot of training an incredible mental discipline."