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Each one of
us is far greater,
John C. Lilly, M.D.
Philip Hansen Bailey Lilly
John Lilly was fascinated by human consciousness and sought to answer the question: "What is real? In pursuit of this quest he created the "isolation tank" or flotation tank to enable him to examine his own brain activity and consciousness in the absence of all external stimulation. THE QUIET CENTER tells what Lilly found in his exploraiton of the outer reaches of consciousness. The movie Altered States was based on this daring research. (The move, Day of the Dolphin , was based upon Lilly's break-trhough dolphin research.)
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Lilly made contributions to biophysics, neurophysiology, neuroanatomy and psychlogy. So he naturally employed the rigors of science to guide his exploration into consciousness and the quest to know who we really are. In THE QUIET CENTER Lilly asks, "Can we use the mind to ponder the mind?" as he guides the reader through the many dilemmas science encounters in attempting to study consciousness. He tells of experiencing indescribable alternative realities and coming to the awareness that he is something or someone far greater than he had ever imaged. He describes how to proceed to explore the deep self, least one get lost and not be able to find the way back to orginary "consensus reality."
I discovered a hole in the universe thorugh which I gradually learned to see.
Lilly's laboratory was the "void"—a place devoid of all external stimulation. In the void he discovered he could explore the workings of his own mind. In the process, he discovered that the void is a portal—a hole in the universe—through which he could pass into alternative realities. He found he could be the whole universe or he could be nothing. He also found that a short time in the void space is rejuvenating—even invigorating. Lilly gives guidelines you can use to create your own void space.
THE QUIET CENTER is a fascinating discourse and of interest to those who seek to explore who they really are, those looking for a way to shed the pressure of daily living to return to balance, and those who wonder how to apply science to a subject so murky and elusive as consciousness.
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