Sensory Deprivation Tanks, Talking Dolphins, and Aliens: Remembrances of reading John C. Lilly

The Scientists: A Novel Autobiography

Simulations of God: Science of Belief

Programming and Metaprogramming of the Human Biocomputer

John C. Lilly

Lilly was a well know and respected scientist who, like many in the late sixties, kinda start going off the rails. Did young Sean read the works of science Lilly produced early in his career? No, he did not. Young Sean read the woo-woo stuff. Like lots of other people, I because interested in Lilly because of the film Altered States, which is (very, very) loosely based on Lilly’s works with sensory deprivation tanks. That deprivation tank work is what interested me in him, and when I moved in California, his books were all over the used bookstores. The books never did anything for me, but his work did inspire to give a tank a try. An experience much more worth while than the books.

I wrote about my experience in a sensory deprivation tank here. 

With the sensory deprivation tanks of course also comes communications with dolphins, new agey self-help, and a lot of other twaddle much of it dressed up as science when it really wasn’t. Unlike Robert Anton Wilson, I never really like Lilly’s books. I just kept picking them up thinking there’s eventually be something worth read in them. For me, at least, there wasn’t.

Not recommended.


Ginsberg, Leary, and Lilly — trifecta of drugged up post hippie culture


About seanv2

Scholar, gentleman, jock. I run the website Milo and the Calf. There you will find the Boston Qualifier Questionnaire where runners share their stories of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. You'll also find my thoughts on endurance sports, ancient history, Judaism, and hundreds of book reviews.
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One Response to Sensory Deprivation Tanks, Talking Dolphins, and Aliens: Remembrances of reading John C. Lilly

  1. Pingback: A small memory of floating in a sensory deprivation tank. | Milo and the Calf

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