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In The Center of the Cyclone, Chapter 18, John and Toni meet. In The Dyadic Cyclone, we continue this history of our joint efforts.

We officially met on 21 February 1971; each of us has adapted (within certain limits) to the other. The scope of shared experience since then has certainly been as powerful for each of us as it had been at any time in our individual past lives, before we met. We have led such an active life together that Toni, in response to an interviewer's question recently: "Do you ever get angry with John?," answered, "I really never get angry with him, but I do find myself yearning for trivia occasionally."

Since the meeting described in The Center of the Cyclone, we have moved from Toni's Los Angeles home to another one in Malibu, in Decker Canyon, where we have organized workshops. At the beginning, they were for anyone who applied. Later, we tended to gravitate toward a group of young doctors. As our relationship matured, we found that we wanted to work with those who were trained in more advanced matters dealing with life on this planet and how to successfully carry it out.

At Decker we also have a separate building that contains two of the isolation tanks for use by ourselves and our visitors. The isolation tank, which I developed, is a method developed in 1954 for solitude, isolation and confinement studies at the National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland. At that time I was asking the question: What happens to the central nervous system and the mind of a man isolated in the absence of all stimulation? I was an eager young scientist pushing forward into regions of the unknown: the nervous system (working with animals) and the mind (working on myself and a few other subjects). I spent ten years working with the tank without any aids (such as LSD), and found many new spaces for myself.

Later, from 1964 through 1966, as was told in my books Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer and in The Center of the Cyclone, I took LSD in the tank at Saint Thomas and found many new spaces, unexperienced before. The mask that was used in the early work in fresh water was eliminated: in Saint Thomas I used flotation in shallow salt water.

At Decker the tank technique has been simplified still further, and is now easier and safer to use. An Epsom salts (MgS04. 7HoO) solution of 53 percent by weight in water gives us a density of a solution to float in of 1.30 gms/cc. The Epsom salts solution is ten inches deep; if necessary, one can quickly sit up: one's seat lands on the bottom of the tank; as the upper portion of the body comes out of the solution, the lower portions sink. Lying supine with arms extended at one's sides, one can comfortably float; one's feet, one's hands and one's head all float at the surface of the solution. The air above the solution is kept at about 93 as is the water. There is complete darkness and complete silence.

In spite of the bad reputation of the so-called "sensory deprivation" experiments, this tank method has rarely led to panic, fear or intense pain. By means of the technique that we now have, practically everyone can safely float in the tank. (We do not allow certain kinds of medical cases to use the tank. For example, if there is danger of seizures we do not encourage use of the tank except under careful chemical control of the seizures. The tank is contraindicated for certain kinds of mental cases.)

Toni and I have each spent a good deal of time in the tank and have had many basic experiences. Somewhat over 200 subjects have used our tanks.

From October 1973 to November 9, 1974, I did a long series of experiments on states of being, in and out of the tank. I spent a large fraction of that year in "Samadhi."2 This series was abruptly terminated by an accident on a bicycle going down the mountain road at Decker Canyon. The chain came off the sprocket and jammed the rear wheel, throwing me onto the road. I ended up in the hospital for nine days and in a hospital bed in our home for a period of twelve weeks. Some of our experiences of that year and their sequelae are recounted in this book.

Though our life is somewhat orientated to tanks, far-out explorations and a search for the outer limits of the mind, we do many of the ordinary things that other people do. Toni does her gardening. She makes hooked rugs while she is standing by on some of my inner explorations.

We love high altitudes. We find that at high altitudes we stay in high spirits a lot more easily, even as the Tibetans have found in the past. When we found Dr. Franklin Merrell-Wolff living at 6,000 feet on the side of Mount Whitney, he confirmed this experience in his own case. Many years ago when he made his breakthrough into an enlightened state, he found that living at high altitude aided him in staying in those states. I refer you to his book Pathways Through to Space.

Both Toni and I love to ski, especially in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California and the Rockies of Colorado. One year I taught Toni to ski at 9,000 feet at Mammoth, on the last snow of the season. After that we went to northern California in early summer and skied Mount Lassen and on the mountains beside Crater Lake in Oregon. The next winter we went to Sun Valley with a good friend of ours and skied Dollar Mountain together. Each of us took lessons and perfected our techniques further.

I feel that Toni is a unique, strong human being. She is probably the most tolerant and developed woman that I have met in my life. She has a maturity of viewpoint, a finish and 'elan, a joie de vivre, a steadfastness and a groundedness that I have seen in no other woman. She is very capable in human relationship. Male or female, businessmen, politicians, scientists, doctors, actors, mystics, childrenall enjoy her warmth and enthusiasm. During the year of experiments with the Samadhi domain, when I pushed most others beyond their limits, Toni stood by and kept our planetside trip together.


"John is about as unique and creative a person as I have ever met in my four decades of living. He meets every condition of living, loving and working in a way I usually cannot foresee very rarely predictable. His breadth of scope is immense and eternal; some of the time he becomes childlike and completely uncool; at other times, he can become precise and gemlike with an intellect that is probably unmatched in our generation. As we used to say about intellectuals in high school, John has a combination of the kid on the block with the biggest chemistry set, an Irish dramatist and F. Scott Fitzgerald with the sea flowing through his veins. When he is inspired there are very few men or women who can match his agile intellectual gymnastics. His access to vast fields of knowledge is matched by his capability to make connections among them all. His originality is a joy and his humor a delight. To me he is more fun than anybody.

'T find that he is one of the very few philosophical scientists. It is a rare combination, but one that seems so complete and natural. When philosophy is combined with science and topped with humor, I am interested. When most of the other possi-bilities, all of the mysterious intangibles, are recognized in some form, I am completely involved. These characteristics along with his willingness to be vulnerable are truly unique.

"Our souls touched when we met and these last five years have been very full ones for me. In this book I give you my impressions of what some of that has been like, here in this garden of earthly delights."

Chapter Zero

Preface | The dyadic cyclone the autobiography of a couple | Coincidence Control Develops the Dyad