Excerpt from “Radical Transformations: Examining the Before and After of Eruption” by Dr. Bruce Liddell, published in Psychology Today.

Especially in the self-erupted community, it’s accepted that the quantum “powers” gained during an eruption are directly tied to the circumstances which caused the eruption. This study deals instead with the results of eruption that do not seem linked to the stimuli that triggers the eruption, but the underlying desires of the individual erupting. This becomes important when examining the eruptions of those individuals who were born with some kind of affliction or birth defect.

All evidence gathered thus far indicates that in the split second between the moment an individual begins to erupt and the moment he or she is actually erupting, or more specifically the moment before M-R Node tissue exists and the moment it manifests due to the precise stressor needed to cause the eruption, the resulting changes are influenced by the circumstances that lead to the eruption itself. A man about to be shot at gunpoint will normally develop either a power that protects him from harm, such as an energy field, or one that provides him a means of escape, such as teleportation. A woman being attacked by an abusive lover might develop superhuman metabolism that results in almost instantaneous regeneration of damaged tissue, or physical strength sufficient to ward off her attacker.

Though the example of a life-threatening situation is by far the most common, it is by no means the only one. Documented eruptions have occurred during moments of reflection or during altered states of consciousness, such as both Rachel Alinksy, the prized mind of DeVries, and Kathleen Miller of the Teragen. In Alinsky's case, she apparently developed increased endurance and stamina, allowing her to work longer hours; this seems to be a case of the mind subconsciously guiding the eruption to adapt to the current situation. In Miller's case, it appears more along the lines of the subconscious guiding the eruption towards what Miller wanted to do or become. In both cases, neither death nor injury was an immediate concern but yet an eruption occurred. The desire to transform one’s self was surely evident on a subconscious level.

Certainly, those examples pale when one considers the astounding beauty of the nova men and women out there. Surely some subconscious desire, or possibly even conscious desire, to become attractive guided the eruption to that end. Alejandra and Raoul Orzaiz all stand out in my mind as examples of novas who must have desired to be better looking and well-liked beyond their pre-erupted situations. What if the subconscious desire to become transformed was so strong, so overwhelming in the subconscious that it overrides or merges with the eruption stimuli to grant those, at the time, seemingly important wishes?

Just how far can the mind go in shaping the results of one's eruption? Can eruption correct the mistakes of nature and give someone the chance to be normal? In some cases, yes. Lucious "Metropolis" Clay was born with the condition osteogenesis imperfecta, which left him with a brittle skeleton until the time of his eruption when he developed better than human physical characteristics in addition to the ability to increase his body size and mass. No signs of osteogenesis imperfecta remained after his eruption. The signs of Clay’s desire to overcome his current physical form are obvious in the results of his eruption.

Perhaps the most radical transformation by eruption, however, is that of James Meehan III, also known as “The Prodigy” by his tenure with Project Utopia. Prior to eruption, James (known as Jimmy then) Meehan III lived with Down Syndrome. Individuals with Down Syndrome usually require physical, speech, and environmental therapy from a young age depending on the severity of the condition. Jimmy, no different, was also under supervised care until the time of his eruption.

It’s up for debate whether or not Jimmy Meehan and the man known as The Prodigy can even been considered the same individual any longer. Prior to eruption, Jimmy Meehan had a IQ of approximately 80 by known tests, and immediately after eruption it rested firmly in the superhuman range. His physical body, afflicted by Down Syndrome throughout his life, reformed its musculature even to the degree of facial reconstruction (individuals with Down Syndrome typically have a flattened profile and upward slanted eyes). Prodigy claims that in his moment of eruption, he was given the life experiences of scores worth of people, and understood those points of view intimately.

The nova that emerged spoke, look, thought, moved, and related to the world differently than Jimmy Meehan ever did.

How much of this transformation was conscious desire, and how much of it was subconscious, is certainly intriguing. James Meehan leaves the world of supervised care behind and becomes one of the most brilliant nova scientists currently alive. His short stint with Project Utopia produced some important research into natal treatments for Down Syndrome. He became an artist and a composer, producing some highly regarded symphonies which are currently heard around the world. His projects often exist on several levels, such that only another superhumanly intelligent nova can decipher them. DeVries consultant Terrance Garza discovered that the words in one of James Meehan’s short stories in fact made a palindrome (something that is identical when viewed forwards or backwards), and that one of his novels actually contained three stories of various lengths: the novel itself, a novella that could only be discovered by taking the first letter of each word to form new words, and a short story in turn made by taking the first letter of the novella’s words and doing the same.

This transformation had to occur at the subconscious level. One must be skeptical to believe that Jimmy Meehan, the Down Syndrome child, conceived of a metamorphosis so radical that nearly every facet of his life would be altered to an unrecognizable degree. But, when looking at circumstances of his eruption (believed to have been triggered by exposure to the quantum of a nova team his inheritance was supporting), is another explanation more feasible? Certainly, the apparent stimuli that triggered the manifestation of Farahcytes was not directly related.

Did Jimmy Meehan desire to do all of this? We might never know. James Meehan has by all indications divorced himself entirely of the human race, becoming a self-proclaimed member of the Teragen, stating on more than one occasion that the presence of novas in today’s world is more harmful to humanity than helpful. A sociologist might find the extremity of his existence ironic: going from dependant upon others to survive in society to the point where eschewing society altogether was preferable to living in it.

Obviously, not all eruptions deliver this degree of transformation. Regan McLachlan, currently of Project Utopia, was born with Asperger’s Syndrome (a form of autism) and retained it after her eruption. Did that remain because of a subconscious or perhaps a conscious desire on McLachlan’s part to remain as untransformed as possible? It’s definitely an avenue to be researched when investigated the results of other individuals with what the medical community labels a birth defect becomes a nova.

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