… To hate (someone’s) guts is first attested 1918. The notion of the intestines as a seat of emotions is ancient (see bowel) and probably explains expressions such as gut reaction (1963), gut feeling (by 1970), and compare guts. Gut check attested by 1976.
Agent Feuerborn’s blue eyes shone even more so as the whites of his eyes became less so as they transitioned from light pink to very near red. Likewise, his red whites caused the relative hue of his strawberry blonde hair to appear orange. His internal discomfort, nay, the raging fire in his belly, was taking hold as planned.
I’d managed to smuggle a capsule inside my mouth. The privileged underestimated everybody, even each other, to my advantage. Throughout the early hours of the interrogation I’d learned when there’d be the maximum number of these self-styled agents in the room with me at one time, when its door would be open, when the best time would be to blow out the powder from the capsule to distribute my ventrem tractatori.
But it wouldn’t take much. My own viscera – Fuck! I still talk that way… *I* had already been viscerally talking to the agents in ways they could neither understand nor were even aware of, via intonations both basso and subsonic, for some time now. Distributing my own strain of Candida via the ventrem tractotori to the various people in this place was merely fulfilling a promise already communicated.
Agent Feuerborn could resist the voices in his head no longer. I sat perfectly still as he did my bidding. In a dysbiotic fury, this highly trained warrior rose, drew his weapon and began systematically shooting dead everyone in sight, as did every other agent present both here and throughout the facility. …everyone, that is but me, until they had all killed one another.
I walk intact from their “safe” house, stepping out into a sunny day, leaving behind bloody footprints and likewise all of the fucks I might at one time have given. I hum the relevant tune, “You can hear happiness staggering on down the street, footprints dressed in red.”
This region is called the tanden. We shall have much to say about the tanden later.
—Zen Training, by Katsuki Sekida
I’d known that yoga had been developed by the ascetics to facilitate meditation, but I only went along to please the wife: Himalia thought that yoga, more so than Pilates, would be best for my physical rehabilitation. I will remember that morning forever, the morning that it all finally came together for me.
We students were lying on our backs in the final pose of the session, the corpse pose. I wasn’t thinking of applying zen breathing techniques to yoga; it must have happened naturally. Suddenly I felt this intensely pleasurable point of energy in my frontal lobe, slightly off center on the right side of it. In that moment I understood all of my zen training – how important it was that the left and right sides of my body were mirror images of each other, that I was as close to being perfectly bilaterally symmetrical as possible. I immediately felt what was off, what was causing the energy in my frontal lobe to be off center. I corrected it, became more symmetrical; the energy moved leftward. I made another correction, another. Shift this arm, extend that finger, twist left at the waist, and so on. Slowly the energy moved toward the center line of my mind.
Then it hit me! As soon as I got the balance right, the energy exploded throughout my brain in a massive endorphin dump that even spread throughout my whole body, like an orgasm, a thousand orgasms of the mind.
Some psychoactive compounds made by gut bacteria, they believe, are detected by the enteric nervous system – a thick skein of neurons that runs the entire length of the gut. This network has more neurons than the spinal cord – hence its nickname, “the second brain” – and it connects to the big brain upstairs via the vagus nerve, a major route by which gut bacteria make their voices heard. Indeed, 90 percent of information transmitted by this cable goes from the viscera to the brain, not the other way around, as scientists for years had assumed.
—This is Your Brain on Parasites, by Kathleen McAuliffe
Looking back in this vein, I can’t help but feel blessed. Blessed to have been a slight boy, picked on, but with a mother who wouldn’t tolerate it. She made me study martial arts with a man who’d trained in a Buddhist temple. How many can be that fortunate?
Since those earliest days I’d been drawn to zen. Now, I’d say I’d been born with a proclivity for it, able to sit for hours as a child, staring at nothing, letting the world wash away to white, feeling oblivion looming, until now afraid to give in to it, always pulling back before what I felt would be the end of me. That edge was thrilling.
Now I crossed that line regularly. Experiencing what I would never tell anyone. How can one explain darkness within darkness, the unnamable, the eternally real?
From a yoga instructor I learned what chakras are when she brought a singing bowl specifically tuned to the 3rd eye to a class one night. I was intrigued and began researching chakras, discovering that they were linked to specific organs, glands, locations in the body. They each had colors, sonic frequencies and symbols associated with them. My bullshit meter pegged with all that, but where there’s smoke there’s fire.
The crown chakra itself, so I read, is specifically associated with zen. It became clear that its location in my brain is the same one with which I was creating a feedback loop with my tanden when meditating. Could I stimulate the others similarly?
With some time and effort I found that I was able to stoke – as I called it – each of the seven chakras, or more specifically, my prostate, adrenal gland, pancreas, thymus, thyroid, pituitary and pineal glands. Beyond that, I found I could move this feedback loop anywhere in my body I chose, found that I could use it even to manage joint pain, of which a combat vet has a lot.
It was in one of these exploratory meditation sessions that I stumbled upon a most significant discovery. While moving my focus from the thyroid to the thymus, I felt a certain stimulation along the distance between these two glands. After some experimentation, I found that it was only while I *moved* the energy in this area that the excitation occurred, unlike with the chakras, for which I had to *park* the focus in a very specific location in order to stoke the feedback loop with the tanden via zen breathing. It took some time to cultivate this new technique of simultaneously doing my zen stoking and moving the energy up and down.
With some research I learned that I was stimulating the vagus nerve, or nerves rather. And that, too, was a new technique to master – that of splitting the energy in two and moving both streams simultaneously up and down along separate vertical lines. So much for the technique… What did all this do for me?
“My caution stemmed from several sources. From my gut I respond positively to the phenomenon of emergent structures from complex systems – it has the right ‘feel’ to it somehow. Nevertheless, I’m nervous when I can’t see exactly how the order is assembled.”
—Complexity – Life at the Edge of Chaos, by Roger Lewin
Principally, this new meditation method brought to me a heightened consciousness, a greater awareness of my sensory input, a better understanding of and a more rapid attunement to my surroundings. A deeper sense of reality. A deeper presence in this world.
But also I began to discern a pattern, an internally audible pattern, like when one talks to oneself and can “hear” the words. But these weren’t words. I mean, they were words, or meanings, but at the time I didn’t know what they were. I only knew that they were coming from my gut.
My civilian job was in electronics manufacturing, specifically in car stereo audio. So I had the usual equipment at work: digital oscilloscopes, frequency generators, AFC microphones, noise meters, multimeters… After hours I began recording my abdomen while I meditated, crudely, merely taping a mic near my solar plexus. But it was good enough. And it rapidly became clear that I was onto something, so much so that I reached out to a linguist at Cal State Fullerton and emailed him some recordings.
His excitement was immediate. My abdomen was speaking to me, and we both agreed that this might very well be that “little voice inside my head.” His deciphering of the grumbly tummy lead him to the subsonic realm, to the VLF and LF frequency bands used to communicate with submarines, to finding that there were naturally, organically, generated frequency and phase shifting, even multiplexing with various signals originating from different structures within the abdomen simultaneously to form more complex “words.” Somehow, he was able to reference research conducted in these ranges from work done by the military at HAARP and Kings Bay.
It was at this time that I was involved in a near-fatal incident. I’d unwittingly become involved in a love triangle. Long story short, my girlfriend’s lover shot me multiple times when I caught them in the act. I was shot both in the head and abdomen, a fortuitous occurrence that would profoundly change my relationship with that “little voice.”
He’s been recording all of this, you know, and communicating our findings with the NSF. They know that we know what they already knew about me, about all of you and of us.
I watched over the good doctor’s shoulder as he fascinated over the live o’scope display while I chatted with my gut, with myself, with my second conscious, my true conscience.
They’ll come for us soon, yet we’ve more to do, and we don’t need him.
Suddenly I felt an intense hunger. My gut – *I* was making myself hungry; I wanted to eat, to eat meat, raw, and so drooled over the backstrap of Dr. Yost as his clammy weak fingers tapped on computer keys as if any of that fucking mattered!
At long last the enthusiastic bespectacled little dipshit translated his fate from my ramblings and turned to face me, wide eyed, his fear enraging me, justifying the murder of species across millennia of erroneous selection.
Yes, good, but do please start on his small intestines.