The Default Mode Network... is highly active when you are in your idle state. When your brain is in neutral, the default mode network turns on. You are thinking about the future, the past. You don’t actively, consciously switch into this. You are either engaged in doing something, or you are not doing something and your brain goes into that mode.
This was one of the first instances I came into contact with this subject. As he describes the concept of Default Mode Network (Abbreviated as DMN from here) I start to recognize the feeling of that shift. I daydream often. The level of my anxiety seems to correlate with the experiences I dream of. My default is sometimes calm meandering or sometimes worryful guilt. Dylan then shows a picture of a very famous person we would all recognize.
In our modern day we are completely disconnected with the people that we know. I think people get that there is this disconnect, that we wake up in the morning, we read the news in our hand. It’s about somebody that we completely recognize, we have passionate feelings about. Our blood pressure goes up or down, however you feel about that person. [Yet] you’ve never met that person. We are getting further and further from what it seems like we were designed for.
This is where I have to make a little bit of a leap. That DMN I talked about in the beginning, science is showing that mice have DMN’s too. ...It is not unique to humans. We have a default mode network in our modern day [brain], our brains are not very different from homosapiens. Rodents and Humans diverged 64 million years ago. I like to assume since mice have default mode networks, that we have had a default mode network for over 65 million years. So why the heck is a Default Mode Network important?
We are finding that the default mode network slows down when you float. You tend to ruminate and go to negative places when you have high anxiety in your default mode network. Your default mode network lights up when you have anxiety. I don’t know why the float tank is special, it doesn’t seem to be the same as dry-REST, it doesn’t seem to be the same as a super relaxing chair, there is something about being in [a float device] that causes the default mode network to quiet down.
In our own practices we can feel the shifts that take place during and after a session. The “how” around floating and its effectiveness is still unknown. We are becoming more aware of the “what” floating provides. The more clearly we can describe the “what” floating does, the better we can educate our communities on its benefits. Dylan then leads us through the way he views history and environment and its impact on our biology.
I feel like we are providing this key to bringing people back to their balance here. This float tank is a gateway to bringing people back to zero, back to nature. This is how we’ve been designed by nature for 65 million years. [Severe Anxiety] is the number two mental illness in the United states. In the past 20 years we are seeing this really big spike [in anxiety]
We don’t have any moment when we disconnect. When do we give ourselves just a few moments to actually have downtime. I truly believe we are doing something very special with [floating] and I think it’s a gift we need to provide people because, there is no putting the genie back in the bottle. We are not going back to foraging in the forest, we are certainly not going to be swinging through the trees. To be able to measurably bring people back to our baseline is what it’s all about.
Dylan leaves us with a quote he loves.
Time to put the silicon obsession down
Take a look around, find a way in the silence
Lie supine away with your back to the ground
Dis- and re-connect to the resonance now
You were never an island
Disillusioned by A Perfect Circle