Neil Slade:
The Timothy Leary of the new millennium.

by Earl Paboda
In the 60's, LSD pioneer, Timothy Leary, shocked and amazed with his magic potion of chemicals that brought insight and spiritualism to thousands of experimental mind-trippers. It was a dangerous ride and some explorers never returned, or at least were never the same. It sometimes seems that nature gives a gift but then extracts a stiff price.

And so, being a decorated explorer in my youth, I was skeptical about this discovery that allows a person -- virtually anyone -- to have a state of mind that is what the esoterics call "ecstasy." Nope -- no drugs involved in this trip. It is done by stimulating part of your brain, called the amygdala and it's the latest in a series of recent revelations about how our little, cerebral, chemical factory works. This one, though, may just be the most useful discovery of the bunch.

I can remember watching the Maharishi (" seen on Merv Griffin.") and taking those long and tedious yoga classes. I know I never reached that "special state of mind" when I meditated, sitting cross-legged and breathing slow. Some people told me that they felt "something" once or twice, but I suspect they lied.

Neil Slade was the student of a genuine genius, who had many of the stereotypical eccentricities. T.D. Lingo, now deceased, lived like a recluse atop his very own mountain in Colorado. He spent his time thinking about human brains and how they evolved and function. His peculiar and non-traditional methods led to his breakthrough discovery and, after that, T. D. Lingo spent the rest of his life sharing this discovery with friends. All this time he was getting a curious, but hesitant eye from mainstream neurology. Lingo held "seminars" where he would teach willing students how to first become aware of their amygdala and then to actually stimulate these walnut sized organs (there are two). Lingo's students had success and reported a "wonderful state of mind," heightened awareness and increased creativity. Neil Slade was originally one Lingo's students, but he later became his assistant and had the benefit of Lingo's joyfully shared knowledge for over a decade.

Unlike drugs, amygdala stimulation, once learned, produces better and stronger results over time. The complete story is on Neil's website and is worth reading about. We also have the complete story in our Viewzone Archives.The method and practice of this "amygdala stimulation" is documented and enhanced in a number of books and tapes, some of Neil's own music, that Neil has been asked to distribute to potential "explorers of the unknown." But before you get your instructions from the "Main Brain" himself, we think you should hear his answers to our questions.


ViewZone: You have had many students of amygdala "clicking" over the years, and you have undoubtedly kept up this practice. Is there such a thing as too much pleasure seeking? Can this practice be habitual or addictive?

Neil Slade: Deliberate pleasure seeking can be a tricky business, especially when one does not understand the mechanisms that lead to pleasure. Purely self-centered gratification that does not involve "CICIL" (cooperation-imagination-creativity-intuition-logic) frontal lobes behaviors inevitably leads to a short circuiting of the pleasure responses in the brain and amygdala, in the exact same way that addictive narcotics fail to cause the desired effects, i.e. greater amounts must be consumed to get high, tolerance builds up, detrimental affects accumulate over time.

Clicking the amygdala is similar to the ignition switch on your car, you have to turn it to get things running. But if you don't leave the driveway, you won't get anywhere. Eventually you are going to run out of gas, and I don't think they deliver.

As far as addictive amygdala clicking, it is a "positive" addiction, like exercise, meditation, or running. You certainly don't want to stop once you get the hang of it, and it promotes health rather than depletes it. The trick in proper and continuing amygdala positive response is to keep GROWING, rather than re-running the same old programs. Nature rewards new life sustaining thought and behavior with amygdala pleasure response.

Viewzone: How does this method influence other modes of "altered states" such as drinking or smoking (including marijuana) and drugs (both prescribed and illegal)?

Slade:Brain self-control produces similar effects to drugs since one is using many of the same synaptic systems. However, there are differences between internally self activated neurotransmitter changes and those effected by use of external drugs. It is impossible to generalize, since drugs themselves vary widely in their effects and after effects. In the same way that one can combine different drugs for different effects, one can combine self brain stimulation with the infinite other external and internal controls.

Viewzone: Do the effects diminish with time if the method is not practiced?

Slade: Absolutely. What one is after is automatic and habitual positive brain self-control. Once you've learned how to ride a bike, you don't forget. Once you learn how to click forward, you don't forget this either. Culturally we are not encouraged to click forward, so that is why many people stop, or forget. If one is very committed to learning about the brain, and helps others to learn (cooperative intelligence), it sticks. If one is in it for instant self-centered gratification only, this is pre-school behavior, and positive effects will slip away rapidly.

Viewzone: Exactly how do you believe music and the amygdala interact?

Slade: Music is a highly advanced primate brain and frontal lobes process which demands circuiting of brain electrochemical processes from lower brain functions into higher brain functions. Forward amygdala clicking and the PRODUCTION of music cannot be separated. One can, however, add negative thought processes while creating music, and the sum total effect can be zilch. (Nazi's forcing concentration camp inmates to play music.) In general, however, music processing has been proven to improve intelligence, learning and creativity. The degree to which this happens depends on several factors, including type of music, and culturally learned response and understanding of styles.

It should be noted that experienced musicians process music very differently than non-musicians, and that the effect of music on performing musicians can be much greater. Musicians process music as a language, and it becomes a whole brain activity, rather than limited to primarily right hemisphere regions as in lay persons.

Viewzone: Why is it that T.D.Lingo is not referenced in the numerous on-line resources of amygdala info? How is he regarded by the medical and scientific community?

Slade: Lingo was an independent behaviorist and researcher. He functioned outside bow-tied academia and conservatism. In the exact same way that the classical musical world largely ignores or rejects outsiders, so goes the world of institutionalized brain research. Never the less, they eventually catch up, decades later. Lingo did work up to his PH.D. at the University of Chicago, but reported that his own professors encouraged him to strike out on his own research, and set up his own program, which he did in Colorado in 1957.

In the years that followed, Lingo's writings on his work have been embraced by both academics and professionals in the field. Unfortunately, during his life, his independent work was not published by any of the medical journals. Now that he is dead and not actively promoting his ideas and research, there is no one but me putting out the word. And frankly, I couldn't care less who publishes or recognizes the work. I'm busy doing what I enjoy, teaching, and playing music.

It should be emphasized that all of the data on brain self-control published by either myself, or Lingo's previously, can easily be confirmed by a little bit of library research. It is surprising how few of my written claims are that far out or not confirmed by numerous other foundation findings. It's just that most people know almost nothing about how the brain works, so at first, these claims may seem outrageous or overly optimistic to some. Results of improved intelligence, creativity, pleasure, and even incidental paranormal activity from brain self-control become overwhelmingly convincing if not totally and ridiculously obvious after just a little bit of research on the subject.

Viewzone: And the last question... what keeps you, Neil Slade, involved in this?

Slade: The rewards of helping others learn about what is possible with a bit of forward thinking amygdala clicking translates directly into many things for me- all positively motivating for me to continue. Positive results from others is instant pleasure feedback re-circuiting into my brain, so I keep it up. Why stop a good thing.

Neil's latest work is another instructive book. "Brain Magic," which renews and refines this easy to learn technique. Amygdala stimulation is still very much a personal experiment. Each person gets to "explore" their own minds in a safe and constructive way.

I tried this myself and have been able to "switch on," with a little practice, during tedious moments at my real job. It's a lot better than a cup of coffee but it renews mental and physical vitality and... well, just makes me feed damned good! Once you learn how it works, it's like clicking your mouse. Throw away your zoloft -- amygdala clicking is where it's happening!

Note: Viewzone will have an exclusive article
by Neil Slade in the second half of June.

Neil Slade's Web Site
"click!: Viewzone's Story on the Amygdala