TagJohn C. Lilly

Mad Science: Nine of the oddest experiments ever

I’m sure we can all think of some far madder experiments than these:

1. Dogbot meets real Dog
2. The psychonaut
3. Psychology’s atom bomb
4. Holidaying in a draught
5. Remote control bullfight
6. The 28-hour day
7. A year in bed
8. The Doctor Fox Effect
9. Urine in the web

Full Story: New Scientist

(via Disinfo)

Here’s the “Psychonaut” one:

To find out what would happen if the brain was cut off from all external stimuli, scientist John Lilly built the first sensory deprivation tank in 1954. Floating in warm water for hours in complete darkness and silence, Lilly began to experience vivid fantasies.

“These are too personal to relate publicly,” he reported later. The hallucinations of his test subjects were similarly difficult to categorize scientifically. This was one reason why his research did not take off.

Lilly later gave up scientific research and founded the firm Samadhi Tanks, which manufactured tanks for domestic use. Having became something of a New Age guru, he died in 2001.

One of the few scientific experiments honoured by Hollywood, Lilly’s work was the model for the 1980 film Altered States. To no one’s surprise, the real experiments were done with much less flashy equipment than that shown in the film. Lilly sometimes had to switch off the light himself and then climb, in complete darkness, into a tank, which was little more than an outsize bathtub.

Hatch 23: references to Theosophy and John C. Lilly on Lost

There wasn’t a whole lot of new occult stuff to chew on in the season premiere. But the last ‘Missing Pieces’ clip reminds of me of an interesting occult reference Trevor Blake pointed out:

In 1875 Madame Blavatsky founded the Theosophical Society, a proto-New Age occult organization that would have been quite an influence on The DHARMA Initiative. The ‘New Age’ movement that the DHARMA Initiative invokes has its origins in Theosophy.

Full Story: Hatch 23.

Mavricks of the Mind interviews

Collection of interviews with Timothy Leary, Robert Anton Wilson, Terrence McKenna, John Lily, Alex Grey and many more.

Mavericks of the Mind

(via LVX23).

Also of note: New York Times article on Alexander Shulgin.

Dolphin communication and isolation tank pioneer passed away

John C. Lilly passed away on Sunday. He was well known for his pioneering work in neuroscience and interspecies communication.

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