John C Lilly On Consciousness and Satori

Dr John Cunningham Lilly (January 6, 1915 – September 30, 2001) was an American physician, neuroscientist, psychoanalyst, psychonaut, philosopher, writer and inventor. He was a researcher of the nature of consciousness using mainly isolation tanks, dolphin communication, and psychedelic drugs, sometimes in combination. Lilly was a physician and psychoanalyst. He made contributions in the fields of biophysics, neurophysiology, electronics, computer science, and neuroanatomy. He invented and promoted the use of an isolation tank as a means of sensory deprivation. He also attempted communication between humans and dolphins. His work helped the creation of the United States Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. Lilly’s eclectic career began as a conventional scientist doing research for universities and government. Gradually, however, he began researching unconventional topics. He published several books and had two Hollywood movies based partly on his work. He also developed theories for flotation. Lilly published 19 books, including The Center of the Cyclone, which describes his own LSD experiences, and Man and Dolphin and The Mind of the Dolphin, which describe his work with dolphins. In the 1980s Lilly directed a project that attempted to teach dolphins a computer-synthesised language. Lilly designed a future “communications laboratory” that would be a floating living room where humans and dolphins could chat as equals and develop a common language. Lilly envisioned a time when all killing of whales and dolphins would cease, “not from a law being passed, but from each human understanding innately that these are ancient, sentient earth residents, with tremendous intelligence and enormous life force. Not someone to kill, but someone to learn from.” In the 1990s Lilly moved to Maui, Hawaii, where he lived most of the remainder of his life. Lilly’s literary rights and scientific discoveries were owned by Human Software, Inc., while his philanthropic endeavors were owned by the Human Dolphin Foundation. The John C. Lilly Research Institute, Inc. continues to research topics of interest to Lilly and carry on his legacy.