Dr. John C. Lilly "The Deep Self"
An Overview to Brain Waves
History of Floating
Dr. Lilly discovered that flotation has benefits for those exploring meditation and mindfulness practices:
For those who do meditation, it is also a definite aid. It turns out that the tank and its isolated environment do for one what one must do within one's own mind-body when meditating in the usual environment. While meditating, sitting cross-legged or on a chair, or lying in a bed, one examines the environment. Slowly but surely during the meditation, one can inhibit the responses of these patterns of stimulation and get deeper down inside one's own mind.
The tank eliminates the presence of these shifting physical input patterns and their changes and reduces the intensity of stimulation down to the most minimum level possible; this "reduced" environment allows one to start the meditation at the point only achievable outside the tank after some inhibitory work and some time spent doing that work. In the tank one need not do that work.
This video provides an introduction to some of the physical aspects of floating in the tank. It features interviews with researchers at Penn State.
There are four different brainwaves in the brain and each one seems to have a distinct function and to be associated with different parts of our thinking machinery. When the mind and body are free from physical and external distractions, there is increased activity in the slower brain waves, which helps to quiet the inner dialogue. It appears that certain brainwaves take precedence under certain circumstances and, apparently, at certain ages. As children grow up, it appears they learn distinct types of programming (patterns of thinking) as each of the brainwaves becomes more active in the mind of a growing child. The Physical Isolation Tank allows floaters greater access to the slower brainwaves and, with extra circuitry available due to the lack of stimuli, an opportunity to examine and adjust programming and other information stored in and directed from each distinct brainwave.
Early childhood is a time when delta brain waves are dominant. A child under age 4 is learning what he or she will believe as real for the remainder of his or her life. Such concepts as hot, cold, wet, safe, unsafe, comfort, need, right , wrong, and a host of other ideas and abstractions are learned at this time of life. Most of these beliefs have experiences connected with them that give credence to the idea that they are "real" events. But very few children ever experience firsthand all that "hot" means, for instance. Moms and dads instill in the children that hot is dangerous and the children, lacking physical burns, believe in the danger. It is this very characteristic of Delta brainwaves - that they are where beliefs in what is real are formed - which may have guaranteed the survival of the species because young children did not have to experience dangers themselves in order to treat them as real.
Lilly called these beliefs about what is "real" self meta programs. He discovered that they work directly only on meta programs (which include emotions). Meta programs, in turn, work directly only on programs. Therefore, a belief formed in early childhood is transferred and translated automatically to the emotions which are formed subsequent to and based upon the belief. This means that a person's emotions and reactions are "run" by a life long perception about what's real that may or may not be accurate.
Very few modalities for self-development take into account - let alone address - the structure and function of programming in the brain. An unrecognized childhood belief about what is "real" becomes an unrecognized set of instructions upon on which adult thoughts and feelings are based. Childhood misperceptions remain unrecognized for years because is so difficult for anyone to see the filters through which they view the world. For each person who is looking at the world, what they are perceiving is simply what is "real".
This is one reason that the isolation tank is considered to be such an important tool in self-exploration. For example, in order to change any emotional responses or recurring habits that have been problematic, the first order of business would be to identify a belief about what is real that was formed before age 4 and which is still running the current emotions and actions. The tank is a tool for accessing delta brain waves where such beliefs are written and and adjusted.
When, as little children, each of us decided what is "real", we simply did not have the experience to know or the language to find out that we were causing conflict for ourselves which would affect us throughout our life. How could any child possibly have known how much of his or her adult life could be affected by just a few minutes of misunderstanding about a childhood event - even a routine event - when we were only two years old?
Fortunately, thanks to our modern understanding of computers and brain science, there is now a method for accessing early memories, identifying the programming that was written based on those experiences, and changing it so it works to our advantage. The vast majority of the memories and beliefs that are formed as little children already work to our great advantage. For those few which pose problems, there is now a way for each person to recognize and change those specific facets without interference from anyone else. The flotation tank is a tool that can be used to observe and adjust one's own patterns of thinking in the course of this work.
For more information about programming in the human brain and to learn about classes and services that will help you recognize and change any aspects of your own early childhood programming so it works better for your current adult life, see our companion website at Mind 2.0.
We offer weekend-long introduction to rewriting programming classes on site and through interactive webinars. Individual rewrite classes are available after the introductory class. Contact Terri Stangl for more information about the classes and to be notified about upcoming onsite or online class dates.