Sensory deprivation tanks leave the brain with less stimulation. You can’t feel your limbs, or hear, see, smell etc.
People often experience hallucinations in a sensory deprivation tank. The brain cannot cope with the silence, and so invents its own noise – phantom limb sensations, sounds, visions and more.
The brain is complex – and requires a lot of stimulation to stay busy and healthy. Rob it of this stimulation and it creates total nonsense.
This helps us understand why, as humanity grows increasingly intelligent, we are behaving in more and more stupid ways.
Along with our deeper knowledge, better tools for learning and improved brains – we have created a life of less and less stimulation. Our jobs are mostly unnecessary, and involve a numbing repetition of tedious tasks. Film and TV is increasingly meaningless and repeats the same tired story with different CGI. Music is increasingly manufactured using the same patterns, chords and subjects. Everything is predictable, bland and recycled.
News is increasingly about nothing – celebrity culture, royal relationships, the most vapid and empty political commentary. Education is nothing but the repetition of facts that mean little for our lives today. So much of life is empty, boring and meaningless.
One of the most important factors in living a fulfilled and energised life is self-determination. We need to feel we are in charge of our lives, and able to make choices which matter. It helps us feel that our lives have purpose.
Just for fun, try listing all the meaningful choices you have made lately. For most of us, there aren’t any – there are none to make. What job do you want? Doesn’t matter, there are only so many jobs (if any at all) available, and the vast majority will not fulfil you, they will just enable you to pay rent. You likely don’t live in the house you would choose, but the one you can afford. Fancy adventuring across the world? Better have enough money so you don’t need a job for a year. Of course, you could join the army and travel the world that way… But you can’t be a true war hero today, because the wars are corrupt bullshit (they always were, it just wasn’t so obvious before). You’d just be a different kind of pawn.
How about you save lives as a nurse? And enjoy the debt of education, the long hours, poverty pay and misery of a job the state refuses to value. Maybe not. A sporting hero? I do think this may be why we accept that we pay people millions of pounds a year to kick a ball… because it’s one of the last ‘meaningful’ adventures we can dream of. But it’s not really. It’s drowning in money and has lost its soul because of it. Fancy becoming a rock-star? Then you’d better play what’s commercially viable – not what your heart wants.
It is still possible to live the dream – but only for a tiny number of people – and only if they are lucky enough to dream the right dream – and bump into the right people.
Instead of true, life defining, joy and sorrow, heart shaping choice, we have consumption. You may pick which movie to watch, which soda you drink, whose child-labour shoes you wear. You may pick your unique identity from the selection on offer. Then you may take this identity and live it out in a world of anaesthetic entertainments and empty roles in our sensory deprivation society.
Almost the entirety of modern life is a hallucination. Our choices are illusory, money is not real, politicians have no actual power or authority, royal families are just ordinary people with a bit more incest, most jobs have no actual purpose – all these and more are only things we consent to – things we accept… they have no reality beyond this. Celebrities are just people, and most have less talent, not more, than the average person. Newspapers are just fiction factories telling us stories every day with little truth to them. Very little in modern life has any meaningful connection to any truth, fact or purpose.
We are living in a form of sensory deprivation, empty of true experience and empty of true choice. This helps explain our growing madness. Inside this absence of real news, information or arts, without true agency, our brain – desperate for stimulation – is willing to lock on to almost anything. We will believe in Brexit, we will declare the earth flat and vaccines as deep conspiracy, we’ll wave our flags for the queen and cheer on millionaires as they charge us a months rent to watch them play a game for an hour… because we just want something clear and obviously stimulating to excite us.
Today we live among fictions, told to us every day. Meanwhile we are robbed of true choice or experience and instead fed empty entertainments that do more to deaden the senses than stimulate them. In our sensory deprivation tank of first world capitalism, is it any wonder that we are sinking into nationalism, conspiracy theories and a blind, blissful march toward the very real excitement of species extinction.
Of course, there is one true choice that could wake us up again. It’s the reason that ‘woke culture’ was so quickly co-opted and derided, because awake people might disturb the quiet sleepy populace – and the wealthy classes need us to stay docile. But we could wake up… if we chose to do so together… and we could burn this bullshit to the ground.