In 1954, an eccentric neuroscientist with a penchant for psychedelia began obsessing over a question that would soon send indignant shockwaves across the scientific community:
“What happens to a person’s state of mind, when the environmental stimuli that normally keep it engaged are suddenly cut off?”
John C. Lilly’s initial experiments were controversial. He would fit test subjects in skintight face masks, and seal them up in a water-filled sensory deprivation tank just big enough to fit their bodies.
His subjects would spend hours floating in these sensory vacuums, being forced to confront, for the first time in their lives, unfiltered thoughts and undiluted subconscious impulses. The kind that under normal circumstances would be colored by the incessant sights, sounds, tastes and smells of their surroundings.
The outcomes ranged from predictable to completely unexpected. Some people reported an intense fear of drowning and loss of control. Others experienced a profound sense of detachment from their egos, and oneness with the water surrounding their bodies. Others still recounted vivid visuals and hallucinations.
But what the experimenter himself began experiencing was even stranger…
Lilly soon developed a habit of taking psychedelic drugs before immersing himself in his tanks. And before long he was reaching out to his peers and the media, swearing to them that he was:
- Breaching higher states of human consciousness during his sessions…
- Communicating with dead people…
- Connecting with an extraterrestrial network, called Earth Coincidence Control Office (ECCO)…
- And even curing himself of a lifelong migraine affliction.
Had Lilly stumbled on a hidden dimension of the human experience… or was he himself hallucinating?
Before you speculate, and before I tell you what I think, let’s consider the man’s credentials. Lilly was a respected pioneer in the field of electronic brain stimulation. And he was the first person to map the brain’s pain and pleasure pathways.
There had to be some truth to what was going on, right?
Hollywood was expectedly intrigued, and responded with a schlocky sci-fi movie inspired by Lilly’s accounts. But without the scientific community’s help, nobody could really say what was really going on in the darkness of these tanks.
Back in the late ’70s, a researcher named Peter Suedfeld was one of the few scientists who decided to investigate Lilly’s claims in the context of real-world therapeutic benefits.
(image source: shorpy.com)
What he found was that tank sessions were capable of treating autonomic nervous system problems like high blood pressure, chronic pain, and motion disorders.
When he began experimenting on athletes and artists, he noted improved performance and enhanced creativity in each.
And a more recent study involving 140 people even reveals how tank sessions can even alleviate chronic stress-related ailments.
The numbers are impressive. A majority of long-term fibromyalgia, depression and anxiety sufferers reported feeling significantly better after 12 treatments. 56 percent of pain and chronic stress sufferers experienced clear improvement in just 7 weeks. 23 percent reported the additional benefit of better sleep. And the positive effects persisted, even 4 months after the sessions ended.
How feasible would it be for you to enjoy these benefits?
More and more wellness centers today are offering floatation tank sessions. And you’ll be glad to know there is no longer a need for uncomfortable masks or eccentric scientists keeping tabs on your brainwaves. Modern-day tank operators even treat the water with Epsom salt, so you stay buoyant without worrying about sinking or drowning.
And if you can afford one, you can get a private tank installed in your home. Just like Robin Williams, Yoko Ono and Joe Rogan.
But wait a second…
Stress relief? Relaxation? Creativity? Healing? Is it just me, or do these ‘side effects’ sound identical to the benefits you get from other established mind-body practices… like meditation or brainwave entrainment?
Bear with me, because I believe there’s a fascinating reason for that. A phenomenon that empowers you to connect with your highest self… and even bend reality itself to your will. And it’s all got to do with what floatation tanks really do to your mind…
Up to this point we’ve been dealing in facts and figures. But now I invite you to indulge in some logical speculation with me.
You see, a few decades ago, Albert Einstein brought forth the idea of a ‘Unified Field Theory’ that perfectly represents every layer of reality, every force of nature and every universal law under one all-encompassing formula.
Einstein died before he could complete this theory. But since then, numerous quantum physicists and consciousness researchers have conducted studies in this field, many focusing on how the Unified Field Theory can successfully merge the rules of science… with the infinite, spiritual nature of the human experience.
One particularly renowned quantum physicist has a fascinating perspective on this ‘Unified Field’, which shows us how it connects to human consciousness… and how it may explain the truth about curiosities like floatation tanks.
Quantum physicist Dr. John Hagelin, on what really happens when you ‘dive within’…
“Physics has discovered something beyond matter, something non-material, because the material world really stops at about the atomic level… We’ve left matter behind in physics. We’re now about the study of intelligence…
Our true Self is our deep inner Self, field of consciousness, field of subjectivity… That pure consciousness within is the unified field…
In effective meditation, that takes you all the way to that level of universal consciousness, and you experience the universal, unbounded nature of consciousness, our universal Self and you experience the emergence of individual mind, individual self, individual thoughts and body from that universality.
So modern science is in a position to say, “Yes, that’s true, that’s how it works.” But long before the superstring, the ancient sciences of consciousness and the deep philosophical and spiritual traditions of the world have talked about the fundamental unity of life, and have even given specific techniques of meditation that actually take the awareness so deeply within, that our inner universal silent Self is opened to direct experience.”
Got that? Good. Now here’s my theory…
Whether you’re dunking yourself in a floatation tank, or closing your eyes and meditating, or visualizing, or listening to a brainwave entrainment audio, or doing pretty much anything that connects you to a source of power beyond your conscious mind…
Then what you’re really doing is connecting to the Unified Field.
This would explain why these tanks boost creativity and intuition. It’s because you’re tapping into an infinite source of the stuff, and taking it back into your waking life. And for that same reason, it also explains the rush of epiphanies and stillness, and even the instances of physical and mental healing.
I like to call this phenomenon ‘Reality Hacking’. I’ve spent the past two decades exploring how to do it, and let me tell you: jumping into a water-filled tank is just one of many weird and wonderful ways to venture beyond the confines of your conscious existence… and shift into the boundless space of who (and what) you really are.
Some of the other ways I’ve uncovered over the years include: staring into ancient ‘manifestation‘ symbols constructed with sacred geometry, lucid dreaming, chanting, harnessing planetary frequencies, and even channeling your sexual energy into different areas of your life.
It you’re intrigued, then I invite you to watch my free ‘Reality Hacking’ webinar. In it, I’ll share with you more of what I’ve uncovered, a unique guided meditation, and you’ll also get free emails, articles, and more to help you activate your superhuman powers.
Floatation tanks are optional 🙂
Let’s take a dive together,
I hope you enjoyed this guest message from Amish!
I personally have done floatation / sensory deprivation tanks multiple times over the last half decade and always loved it. The experience truly is unique, and I encourage you to search for a float center near you and give it a try. 🙂
On that note, I’ve kept meaning to get back to it as a regular practice. And between a recent center opening near me, a friend falling in love with floating, and Amish’s article this is one practice I’m going to start doing regularly again.
In fact, I just messaged my friend so we can get together for lunch and schedule our floats together… 🙂
Your Partner In Sensory Deprivation and Floating,
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