What Psychedelic Tech Works Best with a Float Tank?
“Dear Future” is a monthly column that explores the rise of transformative entertainment and how it can be a foundational pillar, alongside psychedelics, in the field of mental health and wellness.
Nick Janicki is the Founder of True REST float spas. True REST offers floatation therapy in luxury private suites, and has helped thousands of clients with chronic pain, stress, sleep disorders, anxiety and depression. Navy seals and elite athletes are using float pods for super-learning and recovery. Janicki is now the Co-founder of GeniusX, an interactive virtual reality education platform focused on creating a Hero’s Journey learning experience.
Janicki has a passion for fostering holistic, body-centered transformational experiences that are enhanced by technology. In this interview, he discusses combining psychedelic tech with float tanks, the problem with transhumanism, and the role of technology in physical modalities.
What was the mission behind building True Rest and floating 1 million souls to date?
The fundamental mission of True Rest was to create something that masses can start utilizing in order to facilitate a meditative state. It’s about giving people an environment where they can learn to meditate. The flotation environment essentially meditates you, and within three to six hours people typically have what I call the magical float, which is this fundamental realization, as Adam Trombley calls it, that it’s through letting go that you become conjoined to the Divine, rather than actively pursuing some state. Floating is this perfect environment where if you’re able to let go, you sort of start realizing your full divine mission. That was the impetus behind it.
My first float experience was very interesting. In 2009, there were only 14 floatation therapy spas in North America – 13 in the United States, and one in Canada. It took my wife Holly and me six months to find a location. We found a location in Sedona and tried it out. For me, there was just this very deep, tranquil meditation. My senses were revived afterwards, my mood was escalated. And I thought, holy cow, if this was brought to the world as a Massage Envy-type franchise, it could really help a ton of people.
What is your take on John C. Lilly and the work he did around bringing float tanks to the mainstream, and their association with ketamine?
In the 1950s, initial research into isolation tanks started being done. There was a theory that if you removed sensory input from the brain, be it sound, light, gravity – the things that the brain processes – that the human being would go unconscious. And what they discovered is when you remove sound and gravity from the human body, you don’t necessarily go unconscious. You enter into these transcendental states. This can be very similar to a Buddhist monk or Taoist getting into a deep meditation. Lilly kind of stumbled upon this cosmic wormhole that brought your consciousness into other dimensions. For him, ketamine was the perfect dissociative that will allow the human consciousness to fully experience these other interdimensional realms.
You have openly discussed your critical perspective on transhumanism and the Singularity Movement, aka uploading your consciousness into a computer. Why do you feel like this is not a helpful path forward, and what should we be focusing on instead?
It’s my personal belief that humanity has undergone numerous cycles. Being rebooted from a technological perspective. There’s many artifacts around the planet that don’t carbon date to a realistic timeframe of only one cycle of human civilization that started roughly 10,000 years ago. There’s a lot of evidence pointing to numerous civilizations – perhaps interdimensional, some interplanetary – that represent the essence of what humanity is.
Humanity is a lot more complex than we see it. And the singularity and transhumanist agenda believes that we are the highest intelligence, progressing towards a greater consciousness through any technological innovation. I believe that interdimensional realms do exist and it’s not about technology being that beacon that will open up interdimensional realms and give us godlike powers, but rather our innate human body, which already I believe is the most advanced technology in the cosmos, given to us by the Lord creator to advance, with or without the need for technological enhancement.
I believe technology could have an extraordinarily damaging impact on humanity. But if used for good purposes, benevolent technology, as you call it, we can use it for planetary ascension and consciousness expansion. Though I don’t believe that’s necessary. I think the focus is a little wrong, and we’re trying to progress for the sake of progression without really looking at the impact it has on consciousness and benevolent human outcomes as a whole.
How does wellness technology move from these location-based experiences, like spas and biohacking centers, into the metaverse and virtual worlds? What does or doesn’t translate well, and what may be even more enhanced in a digital world than the physical?
I am biased in that I love floatation therapy and physical modalities. I think it’s very hard to replace physical modalities that work on a muscular and skeletal structure with things that are purely digital. I do believe we can have a greater impact with technology for the mental and potentially spiritual aspect. One of the things I always wanted to do with floatation was to technologically enhance the pod in a way that sort of allows you to choose your psychedelic journey. The idea is you press one button, and now you’re having an LSD experience. You press another button, and DMT is now naturally released in the brain, and you have a different experience. I think we can do that with technology. Similar to the Terence McKenna quote, “The drugs of the future will be computers. The computers of the future will be drugs.” I think we’re at that point, right now. That’s not a future vision. That’s the present day.
It’s how we use these things, right? How do we integrate technology in such a way that it’s actually benevolent for us and accelerates our development, education, emotional relationships – the things we need as human beings? Can we be responsible for it?
I haven’t yet found the technology that works the same way cold plunging, infrared saunas, or floatation do. These are very unique and holistic. I think it’s hard to create holistic tools with technology. They typically affect one or two things specifically related to the brain, but not necessarily in the physical body.
What do you see as the Holy Grail project when looking at technology, consciousness and altered states?
The Holy Grail project is definitely benevolently integrating technology with current holistic modalities. Having the flow pod be the vanilla mechanism where it could then be enhanced with technology, be it red laser therapy for healing, or binaural beats for psychedelic states.
I think that’s the Holy Grail. Creating a physical design space that is enhanced by technology.
This reminds me of this quote that I recently read by Buckminster Fuller: “Whether it is to be a Utopia or Oblivion will be a touch-and-go-relay race right up to the final moment.”
That pretty much sums up this whole conversation.
What’s Happening in TransTech Now
Each month in this column I’ll highlight noteworthy developments in the transformational technology space.
Assisted Reality – AR glasses with built-in EEG and neural interfacing allow people of physical and mental disabilities to control smart appliances and technology without movement or speech – simply through the power of intention.
Seniors supported through VR – From dementia and end of life care to companionship and traveling to faraway places they can no longer visit, VR has the power to transform seniors’ quality of life. Now, with headsets a quarter of the price of the latest iPhone, there are new promising apps paving the way.
Meta goes all in on Neural Interfaces – Late in 2019, Meta acquired Control Labs, a non-invasive neural interface device that allows you to control your technology with your mind. The applications for the device have yet to be seen, but being able to text on your phone without looking at it while driving could, by itself, save many human lives. Check out the video towards the end of the article to have your mind blown.
Image: True REST