John C. Lilly

John C. Lilly
Sensory Deprivation

September 15 2013

Two days ago I spent my first hour inside a floatation tank. If you never heard of it I recommend this article for a start: Sensory Deprivation Tanks. I just started to read a book by John C. Lilly the inventor of the tank. He also combined the lack of external stimuli with large doses of LSD. These session lasted for more than ten hours.

My own experience after this first session is quite humble. But even plain relaxation needs practice, not to mention the deeper journeys. First it took me some time to find my position. The tank is like a scanner to point you at the areas of your body which are tense and can’t relax. Eventually I manage to be at peace with this new surrounding. But every time I make the step into this unfamiliar state of really letting go of my body I get so excited that I snap back. I didn’t manage to stay there for a longer period. After leaving the tank and stepping outside the effects were much more obvious. The light was very intense and feeling the sun warming your skin was so much more enjoyable than an hour before. I felt similarly after my first sensory deprivation experience 6 years ago when I spent ten days in the desert to practice Vipassana meditation. Afterwards the return to a big city with this heightened sensory awareness was the most important lesson I got out of it.

I probably need a few more session to get to the point of really getting the big benefits out of this method.

In the province of the mind, what I believe to be true is true or becomes true, within certain limits to be found experientially and experimentally. These limits are further beliefs to be transcended. This is the major thing to be said about all inner trips, by LSD, by meditation, by hypnosis, by Gestalt therapy, by encounter group work, by dreaming, by isolation-solitude-confinement. This is what this book is about.
The Center of the Cyclone, John C. Lilly