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Flotation Tanks: Background information when reading What Becomes

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What Becomes

Stories

by A.L. Kennedy

What Becomes
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2010, 224 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2011, 224 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Marnie Colton

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Flotation Tanks

"My head will keep on racing throughout this, I have no doubt," declares the speaker at the beginning of "Saturday Teatime" as she embarks on her first experience in the device known as a flotation tank, sensory deprivation tank, or isolation tank. And as she predicts, her thoughts do indeed surge in multiple directions, dredging up painful memories as she lies in salted water within an encapsulated space that she compares to a cupboard. Sealed inside this womb-like, completely dark container, she tries to reassure herself that "this must seem only snug and homely, buoyant: no overtones of drowning, suggestions of creatures that rise from unlikely depths, hints of noise underneath the silence, eager."

The neuropsychiatrist John C. Lilly created the first flotation tank in 1954 to test the hypothesis that the brain could not only function without external stimuli but would also enter a relaxed state conducive to meditation and enhanced creativity. After using the tank himself, he ...

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