WARNING: Some images in this post are graphic (I mean…obviously).
In the early 1970s, 23-year-old Amanda Feilding drilled a hole in her skull with a dentist’s electric drill, wearing a tight pair of close-fitting glasses so the blood wouldn’t get into her eyes. She then bandaged herself up and went out to a restaurant to have a steak.
It’s called trepanning — the ancient practice of drilling a hole in the skull to give the brain more oxygen. In a more metaphysical sense, advocates of trepanation see the eventual fusing of the bones at the top of the skull in adults to be a closing-off of vital energy, creativity, and spirituality—something that the boring of a new hole in the cranium might “fix.”
As such, trapanning is seen as another method of mind-expansion along the lines of LSD and so on (to be clear: I’m not endorsing this. You can try some pranayama breathing exercises instead)
One might say that Feilding, now Countess of Wemyss, was/is the Timothy Leary of trepanning. She regards her body as, in her words, “my laboratory.” She ran for British Parliament twice, on the platform “Trepanation for the National Health,” and is also the founder of the Trepanation Trust and The Beckley Foundation.
The Beckley Foundation supports research into different modalities of mind expansion, including cannibis and trepanation, as well as advocates drug legalisation. According to the Beckley Foundation website, their purpose is:
To scientifically investigate the effects of psychoactive substances on the brain and consciousness in order to harness their potential benefits and minimise their potential harms; learn more about consciousness and brain function; and discover and explore new avenues for the treatment of illnesses.
It is interesting to note the use of the all-seeing eye/Eye of Ra in an older version the foundation’s logo:
Such imagery, coupled with the mythic/masonic symbol of the double-headed eagle, suggests that the Beckley Foundation sees itself as not just crusaders in the field of mind-expansion research but as carrying on ancient mystery traditions.
Many such traditions speak of a “third eye” in the middle of our foreheads (a.k.a. the pineal gland, which is a bit further back in the brain) that, once “activated,” give us special psychic abilities and other cool X-Men stuff like that.
The theme of drilling holes in one’s head can also be found in several films, most notably Scanners…
and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (an esoteric analysis of which I’ve written here)…
Don’t try this at home, Kids.