28 June 2008

Float Tank #2, Sensory Deprivation

I did my second hour in a sensory deprivation tank today.

This time I had no preconceptions, and no novel experiences to pull me apart from the true meat of the total relaxation awaiting me in the tub. I took off my clothes, took a quick shower and stepped into the bath, turned off the lights, closed the door and was in no-space. Getting over having a body and the twitching and itches and relaxing happened much faster this time. I got into it really fast. The body disappeared. You don't have any track of time there but I guessed it took 10 minutes.

The swirls that happen before your eyes, and in the tank even with eyes open, changed abruptly to a more liquid hi-rez form. Hypnogogic images start to take shape. I started jumping in and out of realities:

Forest fly-throughs:
I was small, maybe a foot from the ground zooming and pausing through a rainy wet forest. At times I stopped and would look at my arm which had wet bits of bark and dirt on it. I recall the bright young green color of ferns and new plants against a fertile forest floor.

Arabesque design:
Sudden, awe inspiring sights of huge walls made of golden arabesque geometric interwoven designs appeared. I didn't zoom into these, I just flew over them like a landscape.

Ivory City:
I saw a city made of an organic, white bone-like material. Most buildings were cylindrical towers, but the joints of the white material were decorated with incredibly ornate gold rings reminding me of some kind of indian white elephant gold ring ornament place on their tusks.

Artificial metallic ocean reef:
I swam like a sea diver over an incredibly detailed reef. Every barnacle, every anemone, every crustacean was fashioned of metal. The long arms of the anenome's were segmented tubes of silver, polyps where little flowers of tin-foil thin petals opening and closing. Waving hairs of metal strings pulsed with the current.

Alien me?
A figure appeared before me. An alien I somehow knew very well. Maybe 6.5ft tall. No nose, enlarged eyes but not bubbles like the traditional alien 'grey.' The eyes were pretty much the size and shape of a human skulls' empty eye sockets. Small, fish-like mouth. The skin was dull gray with a pattern on the face like freckles and lichen at the same time. The alien wore a jumpsuit of a curious white suede criss-crossed by a rubbery seam system. The feet were like shortened black rubber flippers.

I observed the being with some awe. I sensed a foreign grace and intelligence. Then I was it. I was wearing the jumpsuit. I was the alien.

I don't consider anything I do in the tank real. These are very special dream visions. Please don't talk to me about your 'spirit' ideas. I'm still working this one out. And I love the side-effects.


julie said...

spirit ideas, eh? weird.
sensory deprivation/brain saturation indeed! love the descriptions. great that you're going every week. you are an alien, tom. you are.

- julie

Tom Baumgartner said...

Spirit ideas as far as: "you are obviously transcending the third shakra of the next level of obtainment in the rising house of Nye."

You don't know, I don't know. But I do find it a wee bit weird that we both exist separately. And what am I? Cut off my leg, cut off my arms... am I brain? If so, what makes me a singular thing? What is consciousness? What is mind? I'm not certain we are spirit or biology. We'll all find out...

julie said...

we're heads, tom. floating heads. i could have told you that before you started floating around in salt water. heads with no body. justheads.

Tom Baumgartner said...

Yes, heads! I should reference my own blog entry:

EarthIsland Painting: Am I Brain Me?

floatbuoy said...


floatbuoy said...

16 years of floating and still going strong - no music in the tank, much deeper much quicker