Alone with the I: neuroscientist John Lilly — Oleg Osoznanniy

Alone with your I:  neuroscientist John Lilly – a sensory deprivation chamber

An American doctor, psychoanalyst and neuroscientist John Lilly (1915 – 2001) is known for his daring research into the nature of consciousness. He first began to study how the human brain and mind function isolated. Lilly conducted his research in the isolation tank (of floating) – a closed capsule with salt water, which isolates the person from any feeling and psychedelics used in experiments on himself. T & P publish translated excerpts from an interview with John Lilly, in which the scientist talks about the rules of floating, objectivity and non-existent sense of fear.
When I was 16, and I was getting ready for college, I wrote an article for the school newspaper called “reality”. It was she who determined my life and the direction of thought, linking them to the study of brain activity and structure. I went to the California Institute of Technology, he began to study the biological sciences, and was first held neuroanatomy course. Then I went to the Dartmouth Medical School, and there was another such a course, and then went to the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied the brain and deeper. So I learned about it more than I can tell.nbJohn LillyAs a child I went to Catholic school and learned a lot there about the rough boys and beautiful girls. I fell in love with Margaret Vance, but she did not say anything, but it was incredible. I did not know about sex, so fantasized about how she and exchange urine. My father had a treadmill with a belt that had to be worn on the abdomen or on the soft spot, and an electric motor, which was vibrating belt. I once stood on this simulator, and my vibrations stimulate erogenous zones. Then I suddenly felt as if my body was divided into parts, and my whole being swept delight. It was superb. The next morning I told the priest about it and he said, “You’re masturbating!”. I did not know what he was saying, and then I realized and said: “No”. He called it a mortal sin. I left the church. I thought, “If they call God’s gift of mortal sin, to hell with them. It is not my God, they’re just trying to control the people. ”

Objectivity and subjectivity – it traps that people fall into. I prefer the terms “inner sanity” and “external sanity.” The internal common sense – it’s your life within you. It is very personal, and usually you do not let anyone in, because there’s going complete madness – although I often meet people with whom I can talk about it. When you get into deprivation chamber, external sanity disappears. External sanity – that is what we are doing now, during a conversation: exchange of ideas and the like. I’m not talking about their internal sanity and journalist talks about his. However, if our internal sanity partially coincide, we can make friends.

I never use the word “hallucination”, as they are strongly disorienting. It is – part of the artificial explanatory principle, and therefore useless. Richard Feynman, physicist immersed in the deprivation chamber 20 times. Every time he spent there for three hours, and then sent me by mail the new book on physics. On the title page Feynman wrote. “Thank you for hallucinations” I called him and said, “Look, Dick, you’re acting not as a scientist. You have to describe what is experienced, and do not throw it in the “Hallucinations” dustbin labeled. It is a term from the field of psychiatry, which distorts the sense; None of your experiences can not be called unreal. ”

What is this experience? Well, for example, a person may say that he felt in the chamber deprivation as the nose has moved to the navel, and then decided that he did not need either nose or navel, and flew off into space. There does not need to explain anything – you just need to describe. The explanations in this regard are meaningless.

I am 35 years old and studied eight years in psychoanalysis before going in the deprivation chamber. At that moment I was freer than if I had not done all this. Someone asks: “There’s no connection.” I can say, “Yes, but I learned that from my knowledge I do not need.” I learned all this bullshit that carry people from academia, and also began to talk nonsense. My own nonsense – the guarantee that I forget stuff professors, except for the really valuable and interesting things.

When I go in the deprivation chamber, the main principle, which I use, goes something like this: “For God’s sake, does not prejudge, do not look for the goal, just let it happen.” With ketamine and LSD, I did the same thing; I slowly let go of control over their own experiences. You know, some people are at the hour of the camera and try to experience the same as I do. I knew about it, and eventually wrote the foreword to the book «The Deep Self» and said, if you really want to know what it means to be in the deprivation chamber, do not read my books, do not listen to me, but just go and lie down in it.

© Carsten Höller

© Carsten Höller

I do not have a mission. The mission would make me ridiculous. Whenever I took acid deprivation chamber occurring was not the same as before. I guess I could not even begin to describe it. I received only a tenth of a percent of possible experience, and described it in books. The universe protects us from our tendency to prejudge. When you take out out of your body and give you complete freedom, you know that there are great minds far more than a human in the world. And then you become truly humble. Then you always have to go back, and you think: “Well, here I am, back in the damn body, and I’m not as smart as he was, when he was out there with them.”

Have you read the work of Katherine Perth? It has opened 42 of the peptide, which allows the brain to create the mood. Perth said: “Once we understand the brain chemistry, psychoanalysis will not need.” She believed that the brain – this is a huge multi-dimensional chemical plant. We do, of course, there’s nothing we can not generalize, but we know that in the case of some substances overdose leads to depression, in the case of the other – to the euphoria, and so on. It turns out that life is constantly modulated by brain chemistry. Personally, I long ago gave up and stopped trying to calculate how the brain works – because he is so complex and immense. But how difficult, we still unknown.

The main task of science – to understand who the person is and how it works in terms of biochemistry. We will never fully understand how the brain works. I always say that my brain – this is a big palace, and I’m just a small rodent, which it prowling. It is the brain holds me, and I did not – the brain. Large computer can fully simulate small, but can not imitate himself – because it does not remain nothing but imitation. There is no awareness then will be gone.

I do not think that a person can create a supercomputer that will simulate the brain. Many of our discoveries were completely random. If we first discovered the brain math, now would be able to move much further.

God knows what language to use the brain. You can show digital operation of the brain, analyze, nerve impulses descend and ascend along the axons – but what nerve impulses? I understand that this is just a way to recover the state of the system, which is located in the middle of the axon. The nerve impulses that go down the axons, just purified its central point, to prepare them for the next exposure, constantly. It’s like a dream. Sleep – a condition in which the human bio-computer integrates and analyzes what happened outside, throwing useless memories and useful sorts. It seems to work great computer that just before the start of each gets an empty memory. We do it all the time.

A person may say that he felt in the chamber deprivation as the nose has moved to the navel, and then decided that he did not need either nose or navel, and flew into space

We are looking at all the meaning and explanation. It is naive. Explanatory principle prevents us from fear of the unknown; but I prefer the unknown, I am a disciple of surprises. Margaret Howe (assistant Lilly in Scientific Communication issledovatelskominstitute St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands) to something taught me. One day I came to the university, and she said, “Dr. Lilly, you are constantly trying to make something happen. At this time you can not do that: you just sit and watch. ” You know what I mean? If all the time I created an event, I eventually get bored. But if I can just relax and let something happen just like that, boredom will not and I’ll give a chance to others. Now I can afford it, because I do not need to earn their bread. However, some people are able to earn and at the same time behave damn passive.

You can become a manager who does not know anything, then people will have all the time to explain to you. My father was the head of a large banking network, and it is something taught me in terms of passivity. He said, “You’ve got to learn to behave like you’re mad – and find yourself in front of those who are really mad.” I said, “What about love?”. He repeated what was said. All these powerful feelings … You can act like you feel them, but remain silent – and you do not lose your ability to think clearly.

© Carsten Höller

© Carsten Höller

I learned that lesson. One day, I was very angry with his older brother and threw him in the calcium carbide bank, and it exploded, – simply because it is so hard to tease me. He teased me horribly. I threw it in the bank, and she flew past, inches from his head. I froze and thought: “My God, I could have killed him! I’ll never get angry. ”

I once wrote a chapter called “How the army are taken?”. Do you know where they come from? From traditions. Children are taught the history of the war, so that they are all programmed in advance. If you read the books on the history, you will realize that they are all about the war, it’s just incredible! In class, I studied Latin Caesar’s war, then was engaged in the French and began to study Napoleon’s wars, and so on and so forth. What have we learned about Caesar? What it is not necessary to divide Gaul into three parts. What do we know about Cleopatra? What can you kill yourself snakebites. But if you begin to study the history of Italy, across from the Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo, it all fall apart. They lived by themselves and doing their job, and it’s great. This is the only part of the story, which can be interesting.

The purpose of fear – is moving from ortonoyi to metanoia through paranoia. Ortonoyya – that’s how most people think; they create a simulation options, all of which are take. Metanoia – is when you leave it all behind and find yourself able to assess what is a high level of mental development. But when you do it the first time, you scared to death.

When I first got into the camera after taking acid deprivation, I panicked. I suddenly saw a line from the memorandum of the National Institute of Mental Health: “Never take acid alone.” One researcher disregarded this rule, and devoured by his own tape recorder. I could no longer think about anything. A great happiness that I so badly frightened. What I had no idea what might happen. It is a real rocket fuel! I advanced in the universe more than ever. So paranoia – a propellant metanoia. Before I began to sink into the deprivation chamber, I was afraid of the water. I’ve sailed in the ocean, and was terrified of sharks. It was a long phobia. In the end, I went into the chamber and passed through this horrible experience, just scared to death. Now I’m not afraid of the water any more.

I’ll never tell, than busy. My psychoanalyst is well described. Once I went to him, he sat down in a chair and said, “I’ve just had a new idea, but I’m not going to talk about it.” He said, “Oh, you knew then that the new idea is similar to the embryo. It can kill needle, but if the embryo has already become an embryo or an infant, he will feel only a slight tingling sensation. ” It is necessary to give the idea to grow up before you start to talk about it.



23 December 2016

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