By Scott Carney
While thirty-eight-year-old Ian Thorson died from dehydration and dysentery on a distant Arizona mountaintop in 2012, the hot York occasions pronounced the tale less than the headline: "Mysterious Buddhist Retreat within the desolate tract results in a Grisly Death." Scott Carney, a journalist and anthropologist who lived in India for 6 years, used to be struck by way of how Thorson’s dying echoed different incidents that mirrored the little-talked-about connection among extensive meditation and psychological instability.
Using those tragedies as a springboard, Carney explores how those that visit extremes to accomplish divine revelations—and adopt it in illusory ways—can tangle with insanity. He additionally delves into the unorthodox interpretation of Tibetan Buddhism that attracted Thorson and the weird teachings of its leader evangelists: Thorson’s spouse, Lama Christie McNally, and her earlier husband, Geshe Michael Roach, the excellent religious chief of Diamond Mountain collage, the place Thorson died.
Carney unravels how the cultlike practices of McNally and Roach and the questionable situations surrounding Thorson’s demise light up a uniquely American tendency to mix 'n match japanese non secular traditions like LEGO items in a quest to arrive an enlightened, perfected nation, irrespective of the cost.
Aided by way of Thorson’s deepest papers, in addition to state of the art neurological study that finds the profound effect of in depth meditation at the mind and tales of miracles and black magic, sexualized rituals, and tantric rites from former Diamond Mountain acolytes, A demise on Diamond Mountain is a gripping paintings of investigative journalism that finds how the trail to enlightenment should be riddled with threat.
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Extra info for A Death on Diamond Mountain: A True Story of Obsession, Madness, and the Path to Enlightenment
There was no warmth. Pulsation had ceased. —Edgar Allan Poe, “The Premature Burial” IN MAY 1999, a twenty-nine-year-old medical resident, Anna Bagenholm, was skiing with two friends near Narvik in northern Norway. They were colleagues as well as friends. All three were training at nearby Narvik Hospital, a small community hospital. Torvind Næsheim was working toward becoming an anesthesiologist, who handles the duties of an emergency physician in Norway. Marie Falkenberg hoped to be a pediatric surgeon.
They would withhold saline and any other medication unless the patient’s clinical condition began to sharply deteriorate. ” It was a gamble, but Gilbert was philosophical, saying, “We generate new knowledge and new medical practice in several ways. One is the perspective of controlled clinical trials. ” But it was only the third way that could potentially help Anna Bagenholm. That is to generate new knowledge through clinical practice. After landing, Bagenholm was wheeled through the swinging doors of the emergency department and onto an elevator straight to the operating room, where cardiac surgeons ran tubes into Bagenholm’s femoral artery and vein and attached her to a heart-lung machine.
What does seem clear is that as a medical therapy, hypothermia buys time. I explain it this way: Chest compressions and artificial respiration provide oxygen that the body needs, but hypothermia slows the body down. That in turn reduces the need for oxygen, so the body can last longer on what’s already there. Studies show that every 1 degree (Celsius) drop in body temperature will lower cellular metabolism by roughly 5 to 7 percent. 4 Becker’s best guess is that this reduced metabolism also slows the chemical reactions that are triggered by oxygen deprivation and which prove so damaging to cells.
A Death on Diamond Mountain: A True Story of Obsession, Madness, and the Path to Enlightenment by Scott Carney