Biography of C. Maxwell Cade: His Life and Work

Born on December 3, 1918 in Kensington, London, Cecil Maxwell Cade was the son of a well-known actress, Phyllis Courtenay Cade, and a British Colonial Service staff officer who designed postage stamps. He was introduced to mind-training techniques before the age of 10: his father would cover a tray of objects and ask Max to list them, or they would pass by a storefront and Max would be asked to name what he'd seen. During long walks together, Max’s father taught him yoga and breathing exercises. 


By the age of 12, Max was practicing judo, kendo, and Zen at Budokwai, a Japanese martial arts center in London introduced to him by a boy who may have been his schoolmate. At Budokwai Max studied meditation, yoga, and aikido, eventually gaining a judo Black Belt in his twenties. The moral and spiritual aspects of judo training appealed to peacemaking Max, as did his teacher’s dictum, “The sword is best used by not using it.”


Max’s judo teacher, Gunji Koizumi, wrote that, “The effect of human actions and words depends on the manner of delivery. Non-action, non-resistance, silence can be effective, indeed more so if the manner is appropriate. The indescribable subtlety and delicacy of such manners are the expression of the state of physical, mental and spiritual training and are the ultimate object of judo training.” Max's demeanor was that of a very calm and quiet, almost taciturn person. Perhaps his judo training accounts for that. The discipline undoubtedly shaped his outlook on life.


Max was always a high achiever. He became a champion swimmer and competition winner, and he kept winning even after a newcomer swam under him during a diving event and caused him to break his neck. After a year in the hospital, Max returned to competitive swimming and came very close to swimming the English Channel.


Medical Studies and the Hard Sciences


One of Max’s swim friends introduced him to Sufi teachings and the writings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. Later in life, Max said that Gurdjieff had introduced him “to the strange idea that I was not properly awake, that I suffered from selective attention.” But indeed, Max’s attention was far more sustained than that of most people, partly because he was a dedicated meditator and martials arts practitioner, but also because he was inclined toward the sciences and disciplined intellectual study.


Max became a student at Guy’s Hospital Medical School in London but because medicine dismissed all Eastern ideas and practices, he switched to clinical psychology, qualifying at Birbeck College, which was part of London University in the late 1930s. His career took a distinctly more scientific turn after he joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in 1942 during World War II. He served as an air cadet navigator, transferred to the Royal Naval Scientific Service, and worked in the new field of radar.


After the war, the mysteries of science continued to captivate Max. He wrote papers on infrared radiation physics and astronavigation, won national awards, and during the Cold War engaged in secret scientific work for the British government. In the 1960s, as senior scientist at a leading British lab, he developed a whole-body scanner able to detect inflammation in body tissues through infrared heat radiation. The device went to market, and Max co-authored a book on thermography. But before he could finish his research, a hit-and-run driver struck him in front of his office building and broke his neck for the second time.


That event ended Max’s work with thermography, but not his scientific interests and reputation in scientific circles. He published some 150 scientific papers on navigation, radiation physics, and clinical psychology in journals, and as his reputation grew, so did his affiliation with scientific societies. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and Royal Society of Health, a Member of the Institute of Biology and the Institute of Physics, Fellow of the Institute of Electrical Engineers, and an honorary member of the British Society of Medical and Dental Hypnosis, among others.


Despite his fascination with the hard sciences, Max’s interests were too varied to be confined to that single box. In the 1960s, he wrote a book on exobiology—that is, possible life on other planets—called Other Worlds Than Ours—and co-authored a book on the curious natural phenomenon of ball lightning.


In 1969, he found a subject that was to hold his interest for the rest of his life and one for which his extraordinary background had prepared him well: several years of intensive research into altered mental states in collaboration with Dr. Ann Woolley-Hart, a medical researcher at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, in London.


The Mind-Body Connection and the ESR


Max’s six-year partnership with Ann Woolley-Hart laid the foundations for his future courses on biofeedback. During this period they did the essential research that allowed him to link the training in Eastern disciplines he had received as a child and young man with the effect it had on the physical body—training which showed that the mind affects the body and the state of the body affects the mind. In the 1970s this was a very radical idea.


Ann Woolley-Hart, when Max met her, was a biofeedback researcher working in the medical electronics department of St Bartholomew’s, London’s oldest teaching hospital. They met at a talk Max gave to the Society of Psychical Research entitled “Preservation of Health.” During the talk, he referred to a palmar electrical skin resistance (ESR) meter made by Dr. Morton Whitby in the hope that a subject’s skin could be used to diagnose susceptibility to cancer.  At this time Max was interested in hypnotic states and psychological profiles and had developed a Cade Personality Development Inventory and Cade Hypnotic Susceptibility Inventory, which attempted to categorize different types of personalities. 


Max had also used word-association tests originated by the psychiatrist Carl Jung. We can assume he knew Jung had used an ESR meter in about one-fifth of his studies of the functioning of the unconscious mind. On the death of Morton Whitby, his ESR machine came into the possession of Woolley-Hart. In using the machine, she frequently called on Max for help and this developed into a close cooperation.


Trained as a physiotherapist and radiation biologist, Woolley-Hart was interested in medical intervention in the treatment of cancer patients and had headed the government-run Radiation Research Institute in Germany for three years. When she met Max, she was working in the medical electronics department at St. Bartholomew’s and was helping patients learn to relax with biofeedback and a self-help method. She was searching for holistic treatments that went beyond the capabilities of modern medicine.


Along these lines, she and Max collaborated on a series of published papers covering studies of hypnotic and psychic phenomena. For two years, beginning in 1969, they studied the potential of ESR to diagnose disease before symptoms manifested. But they soon realized that this ultra-sensitive instrument measured temporary emotional disturbances with a larger effect than underlying pathology. They published further studies in the 1970s on several subjects, including Transcendental Meditation practitioners who proudly claimed that they lost all touch with the physical world, but were actually catnapping.


Hypnosis, the Lesh Scale, and Max’s First Meditation Classes


It was probably during these studies that Max realized the ESR readings could be an invaluable aid in another field of interest: his experimental hypnosis studies. He showed that there is a considerable difference between authoritarian hypnosis and gently guided hypnosis. Subjects could not use authoritarian hypnosis on themselves, but gentle suggestions to relax allowed the subject to retain control and was barely distinguishable from meditation; it provided a method that people could use for themselves.


Their joint research led to an enduring measurement on what was then the ESR and is now  the Vilistus Mind Mirror 6 Galvanic Skin Response sensor. Their last study together showed how changes in the subject’s ESR readings could be linked to different depths of relaxation. The scale was based on Terry Lesh’s paper, “Zen Meditation and the Development of Empathy in Counsellors.”


Lesh, a student counselor working at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, collected many subjective reports of experiences during meditation. Max and Woolley-Hart were able to relate these descriptions given by Lesh to changes of ESR readings and thus present subjects with an objective description of their relaxation depth which the people could verify for themselves internally by examining what was happening in their mind, then externally by checking the Lesh scale marked on the meter.


Based on these studies, they claimed that a 50 percent relative change of the ESR meter reading was needed before the subject’s description of the effect of relaxation showed that he or she had experienced a first “taste” of a different experience of consciousness. They claimed this degree of change was necessary before the effect of mental stress on our immune system could begin to be minimized.


Proof of Ann Woolley-Hart’s belief in the methods they were exploring in their research came in 1973 when she was diagnosed as having cancer. Her consultant advised her to have radiotherapy (radiation treatment) but she refused. Instead, she asked Max to hypnotize her. By then he was working on a one-to-one basis with clients to induce very deep relaxation and at that level would make suggestions of empowerment that could activate a person’s ability to heal self. He used this technique with Woolley-Hart, and she reported eventually that the cancer had disappeared. She died 20 years later, but not of cancer.


Max and Isabel married in 1972, and as his research with Woolley-Hart and their ESR studies on hypnosis progressed, they began to use friends as relaxation subjects during trials carried out at Hampton, on the western outskirts of London, where Max and Isabel lived. Among the friends who joined in was a neighbor, Marianne Cartwright, who recalls that though the research was in earnest, the trials themselves generated a lot of hilarity among the participants because of the effects of the relaxation exercises. 


“Max took the whole thing very seriously," Cartwright recalled, "but some of us found the sessions an occasion for levity which he endured with great good humor.” This was a constant theme in the courses during the following years: Max’s unconditional ways of promoting relaxation left his subjects feeling very liberated.


While the trials continued, Max decided to become a teacher—as his judo teacher had predicted decades before—so he and Isabel began to make their own ESRs at their kitchen table. And indeed, as their classes proved, meditation and spiritual training were enhanced by the use of ESR biomonitoring, distinguished from biofeedback because their students checked ESR readings before and after meditations and exercises.


Self-control was quickly established with the ESR and even faster when combined with temperature sensors, ideally kept above 30 degrees Centigrade, which is 86 degrees Fahrenheit. High GSR and warm temperature meant that students were relaxed and alert (and not asleep) and that the mind and body were aligned enough not to be a handicap in the quest for self-knowledge and an awakened mind.


Toward the end of 1973, Max acquired a simple, single-channel EEG machine that could be switched in turn to the alpha, beta, or theta bands. He noted that the alpha wave appeared during meditation, and he gradually uncovered its significance in relation to mental techniques which he knew so well. He recognized that, although alpha appears in meditation, it does not alone constitute meditation, as so many researchers thought at the time. He recognized that alpha alone is daydreaming, and in some cases can be a form of detachment from reality.


Brainwave Patterns and the Mind Mirror I


Soon after Max acquired his single-channel EEG, a healer named Jose Pogson joined the meditation classes. Jose surprised Max by producing beta, alpha, and theta simultaneously. This accidental observation in the early 1970s was the beginning of many years of studying the relationship of the different brain rhythms, and also between healers and their patients. Then Max noted that certain other people showed a multiplicity of brain rhythms.


Geoffrey Blundell, the late electronics engineer whose detailed stories of Max’s life and work are the basis of this biography, joined Max and Isabel’s classes in the early 1970s and participated in these EEG studies. When an integrated electronic circuit appeared on the market, which could drive a row of 16 light-emitting diodes, Geoff and Max co-invented the first Mind Mirror. The prototype machine showed an EEG response from both the left and right hemispheres, each analyzed simultaneously into different channels.


Geoff tells the story of the first Mind Mirror’s first hookup on the website. 

“It was an exciting moment when we connected the leads from the Mind Mirror to our first subject, during one of Max’s groups, on June 1, 1976,” he wrote. “We switched the machine on and waited for the rhythms to show.  As Max had noted before with his single-channel EEG, there was indeed a response in all the bands—alpha, beta and theta.  


(left) Max teaching a meditation class with ESRs and Mind Mirrors.


"Watching the moving points of light winking along the rows of diodes and forming patterns, indicating the dynamic interplay of the different bands, was magical. It was one of those moments when you expect to be impressed intellectually but what actually happened was an experience, as though outside of time, which foreshadowed the many thousands of patterns we would see in the future.”


Most exciting to all present on that day was the combination of brain rhythms. As they observed, true meditation is the combination of alpha and theta. “From this,” wrote Geoff, “Max made a pivotal deduction: the alpha wave appears to be a gateway that opens to our everyday awareness levels that are normally unconscious.”


Over time, Max, Isabel and Geoff correlated Mind Mirror patterns with meditative states, ESR readings, and temperature measurements. A map of consciousness emerged, and it is still the foundation of Awakened Mind principles and practices today. 


Max called the combination of alpha, beta and theta the State 5 pattern (at right) and claimed it was the pattern of the awakened mind. He designed a chart shown in his book, where the traditional Sanskrit name for lucid awareness is Sabikalpa Samahdi (State 5a) when it is a temporary first experience of the road towards enlightenment; and Nirbikalpa Samadhi (State 5b) when it is permanent and unshakeable in everyday life. 

Max and Geoff rarely saw State 6, which was Creativity or the Evolved Mind, although it is commonly seen today in psychics, healers, yoga practitioners, and others in touch with the unity consciousness of this pattern. They predicted that newer machines would identify State 7, God Consciousness or Illumination, and State 8, Cosmic Consciousness or the union with Ultimate Reality. The table began with 0 deep sleep, 1 dreaming sleep, 2 hypnagogic imagery, 3 waking sleep and 4 meditation. Thus the Awakened Mind pattern was literally an awakening of awareness from the sleep of ignorance to unity with self, others, and one's spirit.


Max and Geoff said that the Awakened Mind pattern is the hallmark of anyone who is particularly competent in what they do: they found it in artists and creative people like the producers of radio and television programs who interviewed them. But then, as now, State 5b—a stable Awakened Mind pattern with the eyes open in everyday life—is uncommon.


Nevertheless, they were able to train it in students, using meditation and Mind Mirror monitoring. Studies using two Mind Mirrors consistently showed this pattern transferred from healers to recipients.


An Era of Studies on Healers


Jose Pogson’s presence in Max’s courses triggered an entirely new area of research. Jose introduced them to other healers, and soon, healers were coming to them to be monitored. The hands-on and distance healers studied by Max, Isabel, and Geoff were invariably compassionate people who wanted to help others, but naturally enough, they had ordinary human failings, including uncertainty about their abilities. Max and Geoff showed them that they needed to be in at least a State 5 during healings in order to be effective, and this pattern could be and was trained in the healers they worked with. If the pattern was not consistent, they found, the healing energy did not transfer from the healer to the recipient. 


This was breakthrough research on energy healing, claimed Nona Coxhead, co-author of Max’s book and others on the mind and consciousness. Wiring up the healer to one Mind Mirror and the recipient to another, both in studies and in demonstrations on conference stages, consistently proved that healers could power up their abilities and better control them with Mind Mirror feedback. This drew hundreds of healers to Max, who began to write and lecture about his discoveries. Healers needed to be quiet, calm, and intentional. When they were temporarily depleted of energy, the act of healing someone else would recharge them. If they were severely fatigued, according to the Mind Mirror, only a period of prolonged rest or vacation could restore their abilities.  


The dual-hemisphere Mind Mirror I stood up in its gleaming wooden case during sessions. The rows of light diodes lit up in a play of dancing brainwave patterns which Max was able to associate with different states of consciousness.


The ESR and temperature sensors measured physical relaxation and arousal. Correlating mind-body activities to states of consciousness was a milestone in research then and now. 

On this webpage Geoff Blundell recounts stories about the famous healers they worked with. Healers showed the most advanced Awakened Mind patterns seen thus far. During a two-part radio program, Max was asked what made healing work. He replied,



“I think the personality of the healer is enormously important. 

All the effective healers have a great air of stillness and calmness about them . . .

It is the relaxation response which enables you to heal yourself;

this is a form of being very, very still, both mentally and physically." 



Then Max, the cautious scientist, qualified his claim. “I would never like to say there is a simple, complete explanation for anything relating to the human being—body or mind.” Could spontaneous remission be responsible for apparent successes by healers? Max was asked. “Certainly,” he agreed, adding dryly that, “it could also be responsible for apparent successes by doctors.”


Max, Isabel and Geoff led weekend courses for the National Federation of Spiritual Healers at venues around Britain. With one healer, Edgar Chase, they tried an experiment with distant healing, the healer in one room, the recipient in another. The recipient’s brainwaves patterns changed in response to the healer’s patterns.


In another healer, Sir George Trevelyan, they saw on the Mind Mirror an egg shape in which there was little beta and delta, and alpha and theta were joined across the hemispheres. Max called this level “Creativity” (the Evolved Mind pattern) and considered it to be a progression of the State 5 pattern, after State 5 had been integrated into daily life.  

The Indian swamis and teachers who were monitored on the Mind Mirror consistently showed State 5, which was unsurprising because of their meditation mastery. Nevertheless, their brainwaves confirmed many times over the emerging Mind Mirror science and gave Max and Geoff more confidence in it.


Not everyone was confident in the Mind Mirror. Ann Woolley-Hart, still doing research at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, wanted to wire up their cancer patients to see if it was possible to predict which ones might have a spontaneous cure. In other words, was there a state of mind that might be more helpful to the outcome of the disease? No doubt, Woolley-Hart was thinking about how own cure of cancer through hypnosis sessions with Max.   


Her colleagues at the hospital declined on the basis that the Mind Mirror needed to be “thoroughly evaluated” before such a study could be undertaken. A computer program was written to simulate the Mind Mirror on one of the hospital’s larger EEG machines. A year and great expense later, tests showed that there was no difference between the Mind Mirror and the hospital’s EEG. Unfortunately, by then Ann Woolley-Hart was no longer at the hospital.



Max's imagination had a whimsical twist to it, as seen in this cartoon of his alter ego, Mr. Toad. Perhaps Max gave Mr. Toad a voice for the fun of it, perhaps as a way to cope with classism, superiority...or even St. Bartholomew's reluctance to investigate the mind-body connection. See three more Mr. Toad cartoons. 


We can only wonder: what would have happened if Woolley-Hart had conducted her Mind Mirror study on cancer patients and found inner calm to be a predictor of healing, as was the case in America and other countries embracing the new mind-body field of psychoneuroimmunology? Or, if their collaboration had continued, would the ESR had proved to be a reliable predictor of ill health?


Max found that the key to health is flexibility: quick rebound from effort, exertion, or upset.






Recognition Comes to the Mind Mirror: Max's Book, the BBC, Megabrain and More


During the last 15 years of his life, Max spent several hours a day at his typewriter writing papers to use in his courses. He produced more than 250 papers on a wide range of subjects from Zen, yoga, and mystical states, to aspects of consciousness and healing. (See the IAM website to read 13 of his papers.)  Some of Max's papers were the basis of talks he gave to various societies and groups, but mostly they were written for his Thursday evening advanced biofeedback group, which continued for about a decade.

One of the students in the Thursday group facilitated the writing and publication of Max’s classic book, The Awakened Mind: Biofeedback and the Development of Higher States of Awareness, co-authored by the well-known author Nona Coxhead, and published in 1979 by an imprint of Delacorte Press in New York. 


Delta Books reprinted it as a paperback then the book went through a number of reprints in England, first at Wildwood House and then Element Books. It has also been translated into Dutch and Spanish.


The Awakened Mind has stayed continuously in print, and the message remains not only relevant but foundational to meditation and consciousness training. Max’s book and his valuable research influenced trusts and healing centers in England and garnered

the attention of the BBC, which filmed Max teaching with people hooked up to the Mind Mirror and later on followed up with a program featuring Max and Ann Woolley-Hart.


Quite a few of the self-actualized television producers and on-air talent who reported on Max’s work proved to have the Awakened Mind pattern. “It was through this ‘experiment’ that we first learned,” wrote Geoff Blundell, “that the State 5 pattern could be the hallmark of inner security not only in healers but in anyone who was very competent and interested in their job.” Sometimes, reporters were further awakened in their concourse with Max and Geoff, as was the case with a BBC researcher when Scottish healer Bruce MacManaway dowsed her from a distance and reported that she had cracked shoulder blade. She was so rattled by this correct diagnosis from so far away that she could barely conduct the interview with Geoff and Max.


The 1986 publication of Michael Hutchinson’s blockbuster book, Megabrain, with a full chapter devoted to "the legendary Mind Mirror," drew international attention to Max’s work. But nothing carried it farther than the work of his faithful student and friend, Anna Wise.


Anna Wise Awakens America…and the World


Anna Wise, an American who was studying with Max and observing the Mind Mirror research, became the director of the Franklin School and was instrumental in expanding Max’s classes there. When the school closed, she returned to teaching dance as therapy then began teaching biofeedback meditation classes with Elizabeth St. John, her friend and another student of Max’s.


Then in 1981, after an 11-year stay in Britain, Anna returned to Boulder, Colorado, with her husband Jim MacRitchie, a fellow dancer and qi gong master. She carried with her a dozen ESR meters and a Mind Mirror, arriving in Boulder only to find that “no one had any knowledge of biofeedback and consciousness training,” she told Max. Her work was an immediate success: “a testimony not only to Max’s ideas, but also to his training and nurturing of me as a teacher,” she acknowledged.


Anna offered one basic course in biofeedback meditation, but there was such high demand that over the next eight years she developed a series of courses called The Awakened Mind Program, with a certification training program for people who wanted to use her methods and teach. She developed a private practice, gained an M.A. degree in humanistic psychology, produced relaxation and guided-imagery tapes, and led weekend workshops throughout America. 


In 1991 Anna was invited to lead her first workshop at Esalen Institute, at Big Sur, California. This renowned personal growth center, with its resident community of 100 people, had existed for 30 years. It extends for half a mile on remote, spectacular cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Hot springs flow from the cliff face and fall into the sea. When Geoff had last been there, he had discussed with people the implications of training using the stroboscope, while lying in the hot pool under the light of the full moon at 2 a.m. 


Geoff and Max were impressed by Anna’s thrice-yearly seminars at Esalen, as all the best-known leaders of the personal growth movement had taught or were teaching there, including Fritz Perls, Will Schutz, Roger Woolger, Raymond Moody, Candace Pert, and Stanislav Grof. Teachers teach there by invitation only. “I accepted with excitement,” Anna told them. “Having the continuity and seclusion that Esalen offers is a dream come true.” Her seminars took Max’s techniques to the heart of the personal growth movement.


Anna’s best-selling book, The High Performance Mind: Mastering Your Brainwaves for Insight, Creative and Healing, appearing in January of 1996 and in paperback a year later, fueled international interest in the Mind Mirror and Awakened Mind training and continues to do so today.  


“Max must be very proud of us,” Anna told Geoff. Her teacher had left this life 11 years earlier.  


The Master Changes State


Max and Isabel lived a busy, contented life writing and conducting research, presenting workshops, giving media interviews, and working with Geoff to build ESRs and Mind Mirrors through his company, Audio, Ltd. But their lives were not carefree, due to Max’s deteriorating health. His twice-broken neck and exposure to high-power radar beams during his work with the Royal Navy caused his sight to fail, and he had been diagnosed as a diabetic at age 38. By age 50, his health was of increasing concern. Max proclaimed that “function is everything” and kept going.


In the early 1970s he suffered a stroke but insisted on teaching his Monday night class. Halfway through it, he realized that the class was not following him, and he had to accept that he was incoherent. Fortunately, the healer Addie Raeburn visited him at home the next morning to discuss healing research and laid hands on him. Later on Max said the experience was “like being in an express lift going down very fast.” 


He woke up the next day, 18 hours later, and Isabel cautiously asked how he was. To her surprise he answered lucidly: “I am very well indeed; thank you very much for asking.” Max spent the rest of the day at his desk typing. The stroke was still in effect: he had to correct almost every letter on one sheet of paper. But he succeeded in regaining his typing skills. The next day, his Thursday evening group was delighted to see him back.  


In 1980, the Thursday night group saved Max from having surgery on his diabetic toe, which turned black during a long car trip to Florence, Italy, where he, Isabel and Geoff drove to give a seminar for Bruce MacManaway and his group based there. The hospital in Florence wanted to amputate his toe, but Max and Isabel flew home and Max got busy concentrating his mind on his body's circulation.


Students in the Thursday class rallied to help. One of the students, Sidney Crawford, remembers: “Our group of 12 to 15 people would sit in a circle holding hands. Max’s foot would be on a chair, and we hoped we were sending powerful waves of healing to the dark toe now visible. Over the months the dark wine colour of the toe began to fade and became a normal pink.” The medical specialist was astonished. Day by day, the colour came back and finally an operation was not necessary. As Isabel said much later, “He died with his big toe on.”


Max was fighting a losing battle, nonetheless. Isabel, who had been the helpful hostess and equipment guide in the workshops, began to develop as a teacher herself. Max walked with a stick to his chair in the classroom and spoke faintly at first, but soon his voice would grow in power. Geoff recalls: “By the time the group reached the 8.30 p.m. break, Max would be in full flood, inspirational and compelling as in earlier days. Body highly energised, he appeared to have risen above his earthly woes.” To his students, this was a supreme example of how mind could rise above matter.


Geoff took over Max’s courses in Psychocybernetics and Hypnopsychedelics in March of 1985 when Max was taken ill and went into the hospital for a routine prostate operation. The operation was successful, but Max died of shock a few hours afterwards, on March 28, despite efforts to save him. Isabel, Geoff, and his wife Helen stood around his body chanting AUM and HUM. To Geoff, Max’s expression was anguished with pain. But two days later, at his funeral, there was an ecstatic smile on his face. The woman undertaker said she felt a presence in Max and asked if he was some kind of master. Her two Siamese cats loved to be with him and insisted on using him as a bed.


Others felt his spiritual presence, and none believed that he was actually gone, Geoff recalls. They knew, as the inscription on his gravestone read, that he had entered the oneness: “A source of inspiration to many/The dew drop slips into the shining sea.”


The First Electronic Guru


After Max’s death, Isabel continued his courses with a long-time student, Sandra Stein, for two years. Max’s Thursday evening group took turns teaching themselves. The “Awakened Mind Mobile Unit,” driven by Isabel and her life partner, Peter Staples, transported crates of instruments to biofeedback courses in North Wales, Northumbria, and Devon in the U.K. and to other countries including Holland and Spain.  


Max’s book had been translated into Dutch and Spanish by then, and there was a high demand for Mind Mirror training in both countries. Isabel and Peter, a long-term student of theirs and an electronics engineer who made ESRs and other physiology meters for many years, presented programs with Geoff at venues including the National Federation of Spiritual Healers and the Institute of Complementary Medicine. 


(Peter and Isabel shown in the photo at left, taken by Judith Pennington near Bath Cathedral in 2014, a year before Isabel's passing.) 



Soon two students set up a charitable trust called The Maxwell Cade Foundation to support the continuity and development of Max’s ideals, ideas and work. The trust’s first newsletter appeared in 1990 and published some of his papers. Geoff writes on that “the essence of Max’s work can be captured in the ancient dictum ‘Know Thyself’:



"He was the first “electronic guru” – someone using machines

in the service of self-knowledge with the potential of leading to the state

he called the Awakened Mind. He was the first to have sufficient experience

of traditional teaching to be able to confidently use a machine

to check whether his subject had actually experienced the altered state

of consciousness that he was trying to impart.”



Isabel Cade told this writer that Max’s only regret was not having been able to convince the general public that brainwave changes represent changes in consciousness. Max was ahead of his time, but decades later other researchers caught on, in great part because of his book and research. Today, the neuro-tech industry is exploding as the inventors of body-mind optimization devices get the word out: If you want to change your mind and life, change your brain.


Max Cade, mind researcher and pioneer in this field and others, understood the ability of EEG-led meditation to awaken and evolve the human brain and mind, and he plumbed those depths before anyone else did. In the decades and centuries to come, Max will continue to be recognized as the father of instrument-assisted meditation and consciousness development.  

Special thanks to Neil Hancock for maintaining the highly informative website, This tribute to Max is derived from a much lengthier and more detailed biography written by Neil’s uncle, Geoffrey Blundell (at left), who lovingly preserved for posterity this story of Max and their work.


Geoff and Neil formed a company, Biomonitors Ltd., which manufactured the Mind Mirror III innovated by Neil, a young electronics engineer, in the 1980s. Neil’s modernized Mind Mirror hardware and software interfaced with computers and made Anna Wise’s group trainings at Esalen Institute possible.


Through his company, Audio Ltd., Geoff Blundell (1923-2003) invented radio microphones that are used worldwide in filmmaking and broadcasting, including in the film “Titanic.” His co-invention of the Mind Mirror with Max Cade was a collaboration that changed his life. Fascinated by the dance of brainwaves across his EEG device, he contributed greatly to the research and wrote an important book, The Meaning of EEGthat is still read today.


Geoff joined Britain’s Tibetan Buddhist DzogChen community in 1975 and continued to develop microphones and Mind Mirrors until his retirement in the year 2000. Enjoy his brilliant guided journey in The Meditation Center, “The Pyramid,” featured in the Far Journeys album under Higher States of Awareness & Energy Mastery.


Electronics engineer Neil Hancock, a resident of California working today in the field of water reclamation, continued to build the Mind Mirror III for practitioners until Anna Wise’s death in 2010. He consulted with Vilistus on software development for the Mind Mirror 6 and has appeared on webinar programs to talk about the uniqueness of the Mind Mirror and share his memories of Max, Anna and his uncle Geoff. Visit the Video Gallery of IAM's webinar website to learn more about Max and Geoff, and to meet Neil. 


--Written by Judith Pennington, May 2020