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Sensory deprivation and pain

Identifier

011891

Type of spiritual experience

Background

NOTE 1

Although this is short as an observation it is an exceptionally important finding.  Sensory deprivation improves all forms of perception, enhances it enormously so that people are able to see better and hear better.  But their sense of touch also improves, as such they experience pain when it does come to extremes.

Thus a highly 'open' person, one who has been made spiritually open by methods such as sensory deprivation, or one who is just that way inclined is likely to suffer intense pain if and when it comes along.

This has important implications in healing.  Healing according to Dr Vernon's experiments occurred during the sleep induced by sesnory deprivation.  Once that healing has taken place it appears to be imperative that sesnory deprivation is ceased very quickly.

NOTE 2

Dr Jack Vernon undertook a series of controlled experiments in a specially made ‘dark room’.  A large soft king sized bed was provided to minimise the sensation of touch.  Clearly this was one sense not eliminated, but as this sensation did not change throughout the experiment as most subjects tended to lie fairly still, there was in a sense no stimulus, as generally our nerves measure change of stimulus, rather than the continual monitoring of a uniform stimulus. 

The dark room was completely sound proofed and completely dark, however, the research subjects knew that there was a toilet they could go to in the room.  Taste sensation was not eliminated as the subjects were provided with a cold box with food [mostly sandwiches and soup].  There was also a ‘panic button’ provided, so that if they felt they could endure no more they could ask to be removed, although the door was not locked and in fact they could walk out at any time.  The research subjects were nearly all male and post graduate students at the university [Princeton].
 “Our subjects were volunteers who could leave the chamber at will.  They underwent no physical hardships, the period of confinement was short and the experience not fear arousing

In effect, the experiments measured benign partial sensory deprivation. 

A description of the experience

Inside the Black Room – Dr Jack Vernon

The conclusion is that after SD the confined subjects were considerably more sensitive to pain.

The source of the experience

Scientist other

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities