A Brilliant Life

Word has just arrived of the death of Jean Millay, a splendid pioneer who worked with states of consciousness, healing, and subtle energies. Jean died in August at the age of 88.

Her cousin Edna St. Vincent Millay’s lines can be used to describe Jean’s energetic brilliance,
“My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends –
It gives a lovely light!”

But her bright life was long and filled with decades of adventures and accomplishments. More about that lovely light can be found in the obituary written by her nephew, Scotty Millay King: https://obittree.com/obituary/us/hawaii/Kahului/ballard-family-mortuary/jeanmillay/3073485/

Here, though, I’d like to include a story from her handbook, USING BIOFEEDBACK AND ELECTROMAGNETISM TO TEACH A SCIENCE OF CONSCIOUSNESS: Suggested Lesson Plans for Grades Five Through Twelve. With R. Timothy Scully, Jean built the first Stereo Brainwave Biofeedback Light Sculpture that allows us to see the four main brainwave frequencies (beta, alpha, theta, and delta) as colored patterns. They later added sound to provide additional information (feedback) about the workings of the brain.

Jean wrote,
“We found that fifth grade students responded very enthusiastically to the brainwave light sculpture as well as to other types of biofeedback machines. (Seventh and eighth graders, however, seemed to resist getting electrode paste in their hairdos.)”

Jean described an experience with “Gary”(as she called him), a hyperactive fifth-grader who was able to read only at the third grade level and who filled the role of class prankster. Once, after he was given a reading assignment, she went with him to the library to choose a book,
“…(T)he only book Gary would consider choosing would be a story about a sports hero in large type. When I suggested another sort of story, he refused, saying ‘No! Sports have to be my life. If I’m not picked up by the majors by the time I’m out of school, I’m gonna commit suicide.’ It was clear that he felt already branded as dumb, and his only chance of ‘success’ in life would be as an athlete.”

Later, “… it was Gary’s turn to see his brainwaves in the sculpture. I sat beside him and softly suggested this to him, ’If you could learn to focus your attention, you could become a genius. Do you believe that?’ He shook his head for ‘No.’ So I pointed to one of the dials on the brainwave analyzer (which was continuously fluctuating widely as one might expect of the EEG of a hyperactive child). I tuned the machine to provide a feedback tone in the faster beta rhythm…. The percentage of beta rhythms showing was about 30%. I said to him, ‘See if you can raise the number on this dial by focusing a lot of attention on it.’ After that I had to turn my attention back to the rest of the class.”

“When his turn was over, Gary returned to his seat and began his reading assignment. Eventually, one of the children spoke up and asked, ‘What happened to Gary? Ever since he was on the brain machine, he’s been quiet all afternoon.’”

Gary had raised the percent time of his beta rhythms (that reflect focused thinking) to 60%. The next day, with great excitement and pride, Gary reported finishing a book in only two hours. Jean wrote,
“For the first time in his life he discovered that he could gain voluntary control over his mind. No one could convince him again that he was just born dumb and he couldn’t do anything about it. He was still hyperactive, but he was developing an inner strength to expand his ability to focus attention.”

Jean Millay was an artist and a scientist, a lively rebel, and a warm, enterprising, generous person who was a great delight to know.
She lived a brilliant life.

*     *     *     *     *
Jean Millay was the author/editor of three books:
MULTIDIMENSIONAL MIND: Remote Viewing in Hyperspace (1999)
RADIANT MINDS: Scientists Explore the Dimensions of Consciousness (1993)
and, with co-editors Beverly Kane and Dean Brown, SILVER THREADS: 25 Years of Parapsychology Research (1993)
(I do not know where you can find the Handbook – my copy was a gift from Jean.)

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Jean Matlack says:

    What a fascinating story about hyperactivity. Every school should have a Millay machine!

  2. Jack Stucki says:

    What a beautiful tribute to a loving, lovely soul – Bless you, Judy

  3. Lisbeth Bagnold says:

    A story like this one not only supports the need for exploration, but provides the incentive for working towards positive change. One child given understanding and hope.

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