Are You Digital?

I’m interested in nothing – and everything. One’s and zero’s. Neurons either fire or don’t. On or off. Computers are programmed in 1’s or 0’s. Those seeking enlightenment shoot for ‘bliss’ or ‘emptiness’. Completely still, ever present ‘witness’ consciousness, or ‘we are one’ – unity with all, the recognition that all is consciousness. Light and dark. Like the empty screen, always still, also known as Shiva, God – the space of our consciousness, and the projected energy, Shakti, the Goddess, the holy spirit – the stuff of life. The E=MC2 of Einstein. If neurons either fire or don’t does that make us digital?

My friend Professor Michael Crawford, who worked out how a tiny organism, probably the dynoflagelate, billions of years ago incorporated omega-3 DHA into itself to convert solar photons into the first nerve twitch. Light into movement. The origin of the nervous system and brain. He’s made another breakthrough, at least theoretically, working out how photons hitting the retina turn into the images we perceive of as the world. It’s all to do with DHA, the type of omega-3 that is super loaded in the photoreceptors of all eyes – and brains. No DHA, no vision. He’s worked out a way in which the transfer of energy that happens in a DHA molecule gets passed into an exact pattern in the brain.

I also find it amazing that tiny changes in chemistry, my adding a ‘methyl’ group onto a tryptamine produces Di-Methyl-Tryptamine, a substance produced by our brains which, when injected (or inhaled) into the blood stream project one, for about 7 minutes, into an entirely different world that makes Avatar seem like child’s play. It’s very digital and not for the faint-hearted. LSD is chemically close but not made in the brain. There’s a whole book on the research called ‘DMT – the Spirit Molecule’ by Dr Richard Strassman. The Amazonian psychedelic concoction Ayahuasca, is DMT. Serotonin, a tryptamine, is stimulated by light. Without enough one feels ‘dark’ and depressed. Melatonin, another tryptamine, keeps you in sync with the day/night, light/dark cycle. How a tiny change in brain chemistry can totally alter one’s perception is a fascinating area of investigation explored in the Netflix series ‘ You Can Change Your Mind’. My nutritional formulae for the mind are based on supporting the brain’s ability to make its own feel good chemicals, be it chill, awake, stimulate the brain or improve mood. They really work. I explored this area in my book Natural Highs, co-authored with psychiatrist Dr Hyla Cass.

In the winter, the darker months, especially with the amount of bullshit and state control ever rising, some, including me, get depressed. Some have a ‘dark night of the soul’. Everything seems meaningless. Everything is nothing. Nothing is everything. Back to 1’s and zeros. Both are enigmatic. There’s a book called The Trouble with Zero and a Netflix documentary called a Trip to Infinity []. What’s infinity plus 1? There’s all sorts of problems with 1s and 0s. The religious say God create everything out of nothing. The atheists say first there was nothing, then a big bang, and then there was everything. (At least they agree on something.)

Tibetan Buddism trains people to be established in ‘absolute mind’ of pure consciousness while observing the ‘relative mind’ of ever-changing phenomena. I enjoyed the film on Hannah (Amazon Prime), a Danish girl who helped bring Buddhism to the West.

If you’re new to all this you might enjoy my book The Chemistry of Connection and Natural Highs.