Nothing, it’s quite hard to get excited about. Nevertheless I can’t help but feel after my recent experience in a sensory deprivation tank that it’s pretty damn interesting and in moderate doses quite exhilarating. Sensory deprivation tanks are designed to shut you off from the real world. Basically you lay inside them unable to see or hear anything, floating on a thin layer of salty water that matches your body temperature. I’d wanted to try one of these things for ages. Several friends had tried sensory deprivation and they had all reported startlingly different experiences. One friend said they had communed with the universe; another informed me that it had driven them into a fit of uncontrollable laughter, and last but by no means least was the statement that it was the most boring experience, ever, ever, ever. Last week I went along to Floatwork’s, which is located in Vauxhall to try it out myself. After filling out some paper work I was directed to a room with a shower and a giant pod that wouldn’t look out of place in the film ‘Alien’. I opened the pod and got in quite excitedly for my inaugural blog adventure!
At first I lay there, listening to some relaxing music that wouldn’t be out of place in a lift, thankfully it soon stopped and after experiencing a brief sense of relief, I soon found myself alone with my thoughts. It’s amazing how many pointless thoughts that are neither silly nor interesting cross one’s mind over the course of the day. It is even more remarkable how when cut off from the outside world, such thoughts come flooding in, as if to create some sort of S.O.S to reality. My S.O.S ran as follows ‘is this salty water going to bring me out in a rash, it’s too late to worry about it now, WHY are you worrying about it, for goodness sake don’t rub your eye’s, I didn’t want to until you mentioned it’. The message repeated several times and then it suddenly stopped, that’s when things got really interesting.
I had expected my mind to move on to silly and amusing thoughts next, but instead I suddenly began to feel like I was gently turning in a whirlpool, even though this was quite impossible. It’s a strange thing to say, but I sort of realized that for a while my mind had maintained the model of me located in a pod, even though I couldn’t see or feel it. However with nothing to maintain this model, it suddenly let go of it and I now felt like I was in the middle of an ocean. My mind started to become incredibly focused on the whirlpool movement that I was experiencing and quite by accident the incessant chatter of my mind fell completely silent. I wasn’t thinking anything, not even ‘holy cow I’m not thinking anything’. Then the whirlpool movement stopped and I was just aware of an emptiness. My awareness shifted in intensity as my mind struggled to find something, anything that it could latch on to. Finally it just accepted the emptiness and I just sat there. A good while passed, the lift music returned and the real world beckoned. For the rest of the day I felt really good, in the zone, like Bill Bailey after he swallows the little book of calm in Black Books.
In short I can highly recommend this experience, and if you’ve already tried sensory deprivation it would be great to hear of your experiences in the comment section below.