Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My First Floatation Tank Experience

In researching my Atlantean Conspiracy book I learned about the entheogenic origins of world religions and how natural psychedelics such as magic mushrooms were used as religious sacraments in ancient traditions.  For example, in the pre-Christian Mithraic religion, initiates ate mushroom sacraments as part of their worship.  Just as Christians take communion and line up in church to receive "the body and blood" of Christ, so did initiates in the Mithraeum line up to receive the body and blood of Mithra.  In the Mithraeum, however, instead of pews there were a series of inter-connected stone tubs where initiates would lay after taking the sacrament.  The tubs were filled with super-saline water at body temperature, and mass was at midnight so it became completely dark and silent in the Mithraeum, creating complete sensory deprivation and inducing a collective out-of-body experience.

“Mithra initiates would partake of a Sacred Meal in their ceremonies, invoking The Out Of Body experience. A ritually designed sacramental, Shamanistic, and communal Gnosis. The Mithraic temples of worship, known as Mithraeum, are designed like few other temples on earth. Typically inside the place of worship would be rows of bathtubs (tubs) along the two side walls, or lined in two parallel rows from the rear wall to the front of the main room. Providing places where many initiates could lie down during ceremonies. The tubs were tools in the mechanics of producing a communal experience. The purpose being, the joining together of the minds of the participants with the universal mind. The next phase being, to exit the planet (physical realm) in a spiritual flight to the heavens (stars). This is a bold expectation to perceive, let alone one you can convince someone they have had, especially if after the ceremony they have not. Filled with salt water these tubs would become instant sensory-deprivation-tanks. Much like those depicted in the movie ‘Altered States’ … The religion of Mithra centered around the initiate's ability to communally, astral-travel. Of course the out-of-body experience was facilitated through the eating of the sacred meal. After consumption, the initiates could traverse the galaxies, witnessing, as the ancient Egyptians, first hand, the reality that the spirit of the human being is not restricted to the physical universe, or the physical body for that matter. This is the true revelation of the immortality of the soul, or at least the realization of such. This concept is so similar to the Egyptian initiatory rites that it is solid evidence some of the hidden traditions of the ancients did migrate into later incarnations of various religious orders.” -James Arthur, “Mushrooms and Mankind” (56-58)

Nowadays these religious rituals have been all but forgotten, but among a growing small group of conscious individuals, the practice of utilizing sensory-deprivation isolation chambers (with or without entheogenic sacraments) is making a come-back.  Comedian and podcaster, Joe Rogan owns more than one floatation tank and constantly espouses the myriad of positive benefits gleaned from spending time in weightless isolation.  I had been wanting to try for years and searching unsuccessfully to find a place where I could try it out, when a reader from Bangkok messaged me saying he and his friends had just opened a new float center right here on Sukhumvit 24!  Theta State Float Center is a peaceful oasis of solitude right in the middle of busy Bangkok, providing a beacon for conscious tourists, expats and Thais to meet and float.

"The more I float the healthier and more balanced my perspective is.  If you've never done it, find a float place near you and book an appointment.  There are a lot of answers locked away deep in your mind, and the tank is one of the best ways to reach them.  I've been an advocate of these things for years, and I've had my own tank since 2003.  The most surprising thing about these tanks is how amazing and powerful the experience is, but yet how few people know about it!"  -Joe Rogan

My first experience in the floatation tank was incredible and I will certainly be going back.  Since the water is exactly the same temperature as your body and very saline, you float effortlessly and quickly lose the sensation of being stuck in a flesh suit.  You become one with the water, all stress and muscle tension relaxes itself away, your mind calms and drifts into the slower, longer subconscious brain waves, and the tank facilitates states of deep meditation only available in such a relaxed state.  Afterwards, the feeling is like you've just received the best massage, gotten the best night's sleep, and completed the deepest meditation all at once.  I haven't yet stayed in long enough or ingested entheogens to experience any sort of out-of-body or psychedelic effects, but I am positive this would be a powerful tool for experimenting with these altered states of consciousness. Whether you're looking to expand your mind, relax your body, or rejuvenate your spirit, I highly recommend people try this out and book an appointment at your local float center today!