Posted by: Harold Knight | 10/11/2009

Autobiography, resurrection, Hagerty, Persinger, too much information, hypergraphia not under control (1200 wild and fascinating words)

Writing. Don’t remember what. Writing. Hungry. Had dinner awhile ago. Two uncooked turkey hotdogs. A huge beautiful Bartlett pear. Yellow, soft, sweet, juicy, squishy. Cold from the fridge. Three tostada tortillas. Norteñas Amarillas. Plain because Guacamole is gone, no cheese for a month. Writing. A banana.

Bellini, "Resurrection"

Bellini, "Resurrection"

Write for my blog. Thinking about how to get started writing.  Necessary. No choice. Wonder about rage. Rage. Logged on to EBSCO at SMU libraries and found three articles with search words “temporal lobe epilepsy” “rage” “depression.” It’s freezing here because it’s only 50 outside and they haven’t turned on the heat.  Articles are incomprehensible. Sample:

**Given the PFC’s [prefrontal cortex] historical and theoretical relevance to adaptive social behaviour, it is not surprising this region was among the first to be examined in anti-social and violent populations. Raine and colleagues used noninvasive structural brain imaging to show an 11% reduction in PFC grey matter in patients with anti-social personality disorder (APD). These decreases in grey matter were also associated with decreased autonomic arousal to a social stressor (i.e., videotaped speech about an individual’s faults). Similar reductions have been observed in a study of aggressive patients [8] and of pathological liars.

 [8] Woermann FG, et al. (2000) Reduction of frontal neocortical grey matter associated with affective aggression in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy: An objective voxel by voxel analysis of automatically segmented MRI. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 68: 162-169.

Shouldn’t read this stuff. Puts ideas in my head. I wish I’d never heard the words Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. Did I make the disease up in my mind to have something to complain about? What is that crap anyway? I didn’t make it up. The psychiatrist in Beverly, MA, heard the symptoms and sent me to Dr. Schomer. I never –ever –make up how I felt from Mrs. Hall’s class on (Chaplain Graham at the U of R told me dissociation would stop if I figured out my sex life) and seizure things still happen. One’s going on right now, if you must know, not that it’s any of your business. I feel like shit—dissociated—and write in order not to cry.

Cosimo Cavallaro, "Chocolate Jesus"

Cosimo Cavallaro, "Chocolate Jesus"

I read medical articles skipping over what I can’t make sense of syntactically whether or not I understand the substance. I realize one of the articles is by that Canadian quack Persinger. It’s his scientific account how Jesus was really a Temporal Lobe Epileptic and the Resurrection is explainable through neurology. More about his idiocy later. Do people believe such crap? The same people who think the government planned 9/11 and seventeen people killed JFK.

I’ve eaten my pathetic little dinner. I know there’s a pint of Buttered Pecan ice cream in the freezer, so I get it out and leave it to thaw a little so I can get the top off the container. I go back to the computer. Remember I was doing the EBSCO search on my laptop standing up because I just couldn’t sit in this damned chair one more minute.

I woke up this morning in the condition halfway between here and not here, and I felt like crying before I even got out of the house early even though it’s Saturday because the church’s yard sale was today. Didn’t want to go, but did, and I got to the intersection of Harry Hines and something on Morning Edition made me cry. Again. I cry sob weep over stuff totally unrelated to me. I was ready to eat ice cream, and I went to watch TV. KERA was having an all evening show, Brit Coms one after the other. And it was the middle of a story about Monty Python on tour the US and bombing the year before their show came on. Sitting there eating my ice cream and watching Monty Python stuff, I was crying again. Scared poor Groucho half to death with my sobbing.

I can’t control it and it happens more and more these days. Maybe because my body and my mind know winter’s coming. Darkness. I don’t know. Ever. Dr. Spelman told me when friend of his who gave a concert at the good ole U of R committed suicide, “He was just too sensitive to live in the world.” I am no where near his sensitivity. Why all of this uncontrollable crying? I called my therapist driving on Inwood. Told his answering machine I was not in crisis, but for once I wanted someone to know when this ridiculous crying was happening.

I am home alone and trying to finish supper (ice cream) watching KERA, and I begin sobbing. And I’m tired of it. I wanted to be writing something formal—academic—about the articles I read and especially about that phony neuro-scientist Persinger and how crazy his ideas are:

***My hypothesis is that when Jesus, a male with extremely labile and sensitive temporal lobes, was physically restrained by crucifixion, and the levels of the stress hormone corticotrophin release factor (CBF) and ACTH (adrenocorticotrophic hormone) were markedly elevated by the tissue damage from skin lesions around the skull, nails (or restricted blood flow) through the distal appendages, and a penetrating thoracic wound, the overdosed consumption of the material on the sponge (if it were reserpine) would have produced severe hypothermia that could have been interpreted as death. Interestingly, electrical seizures could have been provoked by the elevated levels of CRF as well.

Aha! Trying to prove the resurrection (hence, all Christianity) is ridiculous, so he concocts a “scientific” explanation out of nothing that the resurrection was this epileptic Jesus dude wandering around with elevated stress hormone corticotrophin release factor (CBF) and ACTH (adrenocorticotrophic hormone), (gospel hymn: “Earthly pleasures vainly call me, I would be like Jesus”) and got himself down from the cross and hid away and then he came back from the dead, except all he did was wake up from his drug-induced hypothermia. This unscientific absurdity is supposed to show us how ridiculous people are for believing fabricated lies about the resurrection of Jesus—or any religion. Pot calling kettle….

William Hobman Hunt, "Resurrection"

William Hobman Hunt, "Resurrection"

Again I say to him (and to Barbara Bradley Hagerty), “You don’t have a clue about either Temporal Lobe Epilepsy or religious experience.” Rage. Rage. Rage. I feel it if I let my mind go there. Some one get Barbara Bradley Hagerty off the air! Banish her books! Rage and crying again. Right now.

Can I know if Temporal Lobe Epilepsy, Bipolar Disorder, or my own willful and sinful behavior brings this stuff up in my mind? Am I weird or crazy or evil? None? Perfectly normal? Everyone thinks like this. Making this up for attention? I’m a brain hypochondriac: from Gk. hypochondria (neut. pl.) from hypo “under” + chondros “cartilage” (of the breastbone); (from 1668 –”depression or melancholy without real cause,” or, in modern times, “…an excessive preoccupation with one’s health, usually focusing on some particular symptom, as cardiac or gastric problems.” No gastric problems. My shortness of breath caused by the weight I’ve gained sitting at this damned computer for hours every day not working—grading papers and writing academic articles. 

El Greco, "Resurrection"

El Greco, "Resurrection"

Obviously mine is hypochondria of the brain. Sum non rabidus. Or levels of the stress hormone corticotrophin release factor (CBF) and ACTH (adrenocorticotrophic hormone) markedly elevated. Everyone thinks this way. Did you know that if you have an odd number of ( ) you have an editing error somewhere?


  1. Your comments on science trouncing around in belief reminds me of Dawkins. I don’t understand why these people get so exacerbated about our belief systems. It has become a religion of its own. As a dedicated viewer of Bill Maher, when he gets on one of his anti-religion rants, I often turn off the show. Why does my belief threaten these people so much? We don’t let students use God as a source when they write their argument papers, so why do they want to “demystify” Jesus while having their say about politics. I do understand and concur with the C Street hypocrisy and the rest of the Right’s Wrongheadedness based in a faith that no true believer can understand. I think we all have the right, nay the responsibility to point to hypocrisy (I cannot understand why it isn’t one of the Seven Deadly Sins).

    But I want to believe; at this point with all that has gone on in my life, I have to believe. Even my oncologist sees a miracle here. However, she is very disappointed that my latest drug is proving not-so-miraculous. It’s not bothering me, but she had convinced herself that I was a miracle which meant that revlimid would repair the final hinky chromosome. I’m not disappointed. I’m teaching; I’m living with leukemia. My kids are working abroad and not worrying about me. Why can’t Dr. V be happy for me and keep prescribing the drug?

    I’m beginning to see the emptiness in science and having some understanding of why so few who are committed to its study can take a leap of faith. It’s very disheartening. Leaps of faith are not part of the Scientific Method, but serendipity is?

    If you’ve never read it, you should look up Holy Anorexia from the late-ish 80’s. It’s more about anorexia than holy, but Bell makes the point that most of the Italian female saints of the 12 through the 17th centuries achieved ecstasy through anorexic denial. Sort of goes along with chocolate Jesus earlier…



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