Almost cut my hair today


Centre Hall

Sometimes on stretches through the splendid Pennsylvania woods I start thinking of imaginative and improbable things. On a recent barefoot stroll my intuition started niggling about ticks and I worried about my long hair. Soon several found my skin and as I flicked them off, my arm hair rose in tingling dismay; remembering how insidious a hurt an untreated tick-bite can become.

This reminded me of a passage in The Spiritual Nature of Hair by Deva Kaur Khalsa: “Hairs are the antennas that gather and channel the sun energy or prana to the frontal lobes, the part of the brain you use for meditation and visualization. These antennas act as conduits to bring you greater quantities of subtle, cosmic energy.”

Indeed, hair works as sensory antennae, feeling and rigorously feeding dimensions of our sixth sense or minds eye. During the Vietnam War a secret psychological institute recruited long-haired Native American trackers and tested them on multiple field and perimeter-intrusion tasks. Then the psychologists paired two men together at a time who had received similar test scores, letting one keep his long hair, while administrating a crew-cut to the other. In each case, the evenly skilled trackers retook the tests and invariably the long haired men earned high scores, while the short haired men now failed the same tests in which they had previously scored high.

Much later, an unnamed psychologist involved in the tests revealed a government document which recommended that “all Indian trackers be exempt from military haircuts.” In fact, it required that “trackers keep their hair long.”

Suddenly the thought of my needing to pay for a shortwave crew-cut vanished. Instead, like an attuned 60’s hippy (yes, I’m about sixty!) I believe I’ll rely on my long-hair augmented ultra-sensitive tingling Spidey-sense to track, trap and tweeze these treacherous ticks for the rest of their season.


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