Jason Padgett of Tacoma, Washington was just a regular college drop out who worked at a futon store. Nothing out of the ordinary. He liked to party, work out at the gym, and hang out with his friends. One night, wearing his leather jacket out of a karaoke bar, he was attacked by a mugger who beat him repeatedly. The kicks he received to the head made Jason believe he would perish, but instead resulted in an incredible new way of seeing; which hasn’t gone away since the accident ten years ago.
Since the event, where Jason received severe head injuries, his brain has made up for the damage in a very unique way. He can now see complex, fractal-like geometric patterns everywhere he goes, all the time. There’s no stopping it. Prior to the event, he could not draw, since the accident, he cannot quit drawing the patterns he sees continuously. “I see bits and pieces of the Pythagorean theorem everywhere,” he said. “Every single little curve, every single spiral, every tree is part of that equation.”
Sometimes Jason wishes he couldn’t see the patterns, but he admits he wouldn’t give it up for anything. What an amazing gift! The doctors call his case ‘acquired savant syndrome’ where one becomes a genius in a specific area following an event or trauma. “Savant syndrome is the development of a particular skill, that can be mathematical, spatial, or autistic, that develop to an extreme degree that sort of makes a person super human,” says neuroscientist and philosophy professor Berit Brogaard, who works at the Center for Neurodynamics at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Jason takes a few minutes to describe in detail what it is he actually sees now:
That was some kick in the head! What does this say about our brain’s potential and are we all capable of seeing these sorts of things if we learn to tap into them? Or is this sort of vision only possible by accident? If a kick in the head can result in a new incredible way of seeing, what would happen if we triggered the brain in a different way? Could we access the same sorts of results? It makes you wonder. One things is sure, Jason survived a brutal attack and has an amazing talent to show for it. Is his gift a message to us all about the nature of reality? Could he be giving us all vision we don’t have – to see what is really there just beyond our normal sight?
It’s hard to really know for sure. His art work is very realistic and inspiring. It definitely causes one to perceive reality differently when shown Jason’s way of viewing. Sometimes seeming tragedies are life’s way of opening up the larger consciousness to what is really possible. In Jason’s case, we may all be reaping the benefits of his new incredible way of seeing thanks to a brutal kick in the head. Life is mysterious. What seeming mishap have you experienced that may be your “kick in the head?”
Written by: Stasia Bliss