Kirsty Allan on Flotation as a Psychic Phenomenon
Psi Saturday guest speaker, Kirsty Allan, has written a guest blog for us on her work exploring the link between physical tools and Psi Phenomenon: specifically Floatation Tanks and their ability to potentially unlock Spiritual Experiences.
Click below to join Kirsty and hear more from her on this fascinating subject at Psi Saturday (1st July). Please remember that places at this event are highly limited and book in advance to avoid disappoinment.
Making Waves: Could floatation be a powerful psychic practice?
There are numerous practices associated with psi phenomena (aka ‘psychic experiences and abilities’). Ancient practices flow into modern methods and often include fasting, chanting, ingestion of entheogenic substances, dancing, drumming, dreaming, a cornucopia of meditation practices and more. Sometimes physical tools are used to focus attention and intuition such as pendulums, black mirrors, crystals, cards and many more. Such lists could be as lengthy as time itself, in the ever expanding human quest for transpersonal knowing.
So, what of the act of floating, in a purpose-built float tank?
Float tanks are mostly known for their many wellbeing and clinical benefits and are great for sportspeople recovering from arduous feats and creatives needing to unwind their minds. Yet there is a little explored spiritual application and growing research suggests that this curious method may propel us into an altered state of consciousness where not only healing occurs (and who couldn’t use some of this?) – but psychic events become more readily available too. Such exceptional experiences include reports of out of body experiences, encounters with Others, precognition, telepathy, journeying to different dimensions… and more. With the tanks gaining pet names such as ‘Private Sea’ and ‘Time Machine’, it’s clear that floating psychonauts view their tanks as tools for mystical exploration.
As a research team, we are asking, ‘could floating unlock secrets of psychic phenomena?’.
We believe so.
You may be wondering… how so?
The beauty of floating is in its effortlessness. Floatation is natural and easy – anyone can do it and with no skill required. A person simply floats effortlessly in a supine position upon a shallow body of warm buoyant water, in a sensory-restricted (dark and quiet) environment. Because the water is a salt-water solution, it is buoyant. Floaters rest on the surface of a magnesium sulphate, MgSO4 (Epsom Salt) solution, like a rubber duckie. The key additional factor is the temperature of that salt-water: it is the same temperature as the human body. This means, the floater experiences no sight, no sound, no sense of gravity (weightlessness) and no way to determine where the body’s surface ends and the water begins. In essence, the floater becomes ‘at one’ with the stillness and loses their sense of Self – they become unbounded.
As all sensory input from the outer-world environment has gone from experience, it leaves the floater with only the experience of their inner-world (or ‘inperience’ as float-pioneer John Lilly would say). It is here in this state of liminality, that the floater is, in a manner of speaking, suspended from the physical world and focused on the psychical. Floatation is (forgive the pun) potentially a perfect solution for the parapsychologist.
Perhaps here, in the float tank, we call upon ancient metaphysical, shamanic-like practices of being between states – in both consciousness and in body. As we lay on a threshold of air and water, with all the elements present: earth (salt), water, air, fire (heat), we dissolve into it and become all and neither at the same time. Here in the float tank, perhaps we set our minds free to explore the awareness of what is subtle, unfixed, and unknown.
Curious? Come along to Psi Saturday to explore this concept with me.
Hutchinson, M. (1984, 2003). The Book of Floating: Exploring the private sea. Gateway Books and Tapes.
Lilly, J. C. and Lilly, P. H. B. (2003). The Quiet Centre. Ronin Publishing.
Lilly, J. C., and Gold, E. J. (1995). Tanks for the Memories: Floatation Tank Talks. Gateways.