Altered states

It has only taken me 38 years, but I finally made it into a flotation tank. Why 38? Well 38 years ago (damn!I know..) I saw the movie Altered States starring William Hurt, Blair Brown and Bob Balaban. If you haven’t seen it, it’s about a Harvard scientist who conducts experiments on himself with a hallucinatory drug and an isolation chamber. The movie was very trippy and for a 12 year old boy with an over active imagination it was fascinating.

Eddie Jessup : “I was *in* that ultimate moment of terror that is the beginning of life. It is nothing. Simple, hideous nothing. The final truth of all things is that there is no final Truth. Truth is what’s transitory. It’s human life that is real. I don’t want to frighten you, Emily, but what I’m trying to tell you is that moment of terror is a real and living horror, living and growing within me now, and the only thing that keeps it from devouring me is you.”

This is what I wanted to achieve in the tank:

I tried to achieve the same results in the bathtub when i was 12, but no dice! And ever since then I’ve wanted to get in a floatation tank and alter my state to the same standard as Eddie Jessup.

So it was with much excited that I headed up to Nottingham to visit Calm Waters and have a go in their flotation tank (it was more like a space pod though):

The experience was much as they describe on their website:

Floating weightlessly your body is perfectly supported by a cushion of silky, skin-temperature Epsom Salt solution. Freed from all sensation of gravity, temperature, touch, sight and sound you conserve and redirect vast amounts of natural physical and mental energy, and with little to do, the brain begins to slow down and relax….Every single muscle in the body is allowed to totally relax, with ear plugs in and, if you wish, the tank’s interior lights off, the quietness and the darkness allow the mind to drift into the deepest state of relaxation possible.

And while it was deeply relaxing, I didn’t go as deep as Eddie Jessup, so slightly disappointed. But, as I was writing this up, I realised I missed out a key ingredient – hallucinogenics. Will have to try that next time.

Anyway, from my Facebook post, it appears a number of people have been meaning to try floatation.  Maybe not for the same reasons as me, but for the relaxation, and for that I can highly recommend the experience.


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