Shakti – New technology for spiritual process.

Todd Murphy Researching

Behavioral Neuroscientist Laurentian University

Behavioral neurosciences program Associate researcher.  (Part 1 of 5)


When I was a child, I had temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). TLE is a form of epilepsy that does not cause convulsions. What it does cause is altered states of consciousness. In most cases, TLE causes events that we’re really not very interested in here. It’s symptomology is dominated by things like lip-smacking, staring off into space, repeated movements, and repeated recurring memories. In some cases, TLE can cause distinctly Spiritual Experiences, and this is what it did in my case. I had strange sensations in my body, incredibly intense moments of fear, and a very, very compelling visual experience. It had two Manifestations. One of them was when my eyes were open. Then, I would see things as though they were larger than they actually were, and farther away. An object that was 1 foot from me, and 1 foot tall would seem as if it were 10 feet away and 10 feet tall. The room I was in seemed huge. This illusion is called macropsia.

Lewis Carroll, author of ” Alice in Wonderland ” may have experienced something similar. The magic mushroom of his story made Alice grow larger and smaller, and that’s almost the same as feeling the world grow smaller and larger. When I closed my eyes during this experience, my sense of the room being larger expanded so that what I saw behind my eyelids was infinite space, broken only by a single point of light. It seemed to be both infinitely bright and infinitely far away. Like most childhood TLE, mine ended as puberty began.

I stopped being concerned with experiences in consciousness, and became very interested in women. For years, I gave no thought to these experiences at all. Later, I became interested in spirituality, like most people who have childhood altered state experiences. I did meditation, some Yoga practices, and began reading spiritual teachings, mostly Eastern philosophy and a little bit of Western mysticism. I also started remembering my childhood night time TLE Seizures (also called Complex partial seizures). it was obvious to me that although the spiritual path was very pleasant, at least usually, and my seizures were unpleasant, even terrifying, they were far more powerful events than anything I was getting through spiritual practice.

As a child, I thought that I was the only one having these experiences, should and I had a feeling that something terrible would happen if I ever told the adults, so I didn’t. As an adult, I was pretty sure that I was not the only one, but as I kept reading spiritual books and scriptures, I felt sure that I had seen things that were quite beyond any guru or mystic tradition. Now let me backtrack a bit. Earlier, I’d spend some time doing more disciplined studies in a completely different area. The history of science. I was deeply influenced by T. S. Kuhn, author of ” The Structure of Scientific Revolutions ” and ” The Copernican Revolution”. One of Kuhn’s points was that scientific theories guide researchers as they choose which experiments to perform. The popular misconception is that researchers perform experiments and then build their theories out of the results. Instead, new theories come first, and the experimentalists are concerned with either validating them or falsifying them. It’s impossible to do an experiment without having a theory. Perhaps the experiment is designed to confirm the theory or perhaps to falsify it. In either case, experiment and observation, even facts, are described in the vocabulary used in a scientific theory. And so I had some experience with spirituality, TLE Seizures, and the history, methodology and philosophy of science.


End of Part 1…



Copyright: Todd Murphy, Author and AVS Journal, Michael Landgraf, Publisher (2006) Granada Hills, CA. All rights reserved.