I've been reading a lot about no limits freediving (ever see the Big Blue?) — this is where people dive down with no gear (just holding their breath) to depths well below five hundred feet. At this point their heart slows to a standstill, blood directs only to their brain, and their lungs fill with plasma to compensate for the pressure. Just to make it clear how deep this is, scuba divers don't generally go below 130 feet for safety reasons… and they have gear!

Anyway, I was reading Francisco Ferreras's, Umberto Pelizzari's, and Kristijan Curovic's homepages, and it struck me that there are profound similarities between the experience of deep diving, and the experience of suspension. I found the following quote on Umerto's page:

"From the depth of 0 to 100 metres and even deeper, headlong into the abyss the heart beat gets slower, the body disappears, and all the feelings take a new form. The only thing that remains is the soul. A long jump into the soul, which seams to absorb in the universe. Every time I re-ascend is making a choice: it's me who re-finds myself in my human dimension, metre by metre, to come up then to see the light again. It often happens that I am asked what is there to see deep down in the sea. Maybe the only possible answer is that one does not descend in apnoea to look around but to look into oneself. In the abyss I look for myself. This is a mystical experience bordering the divine. I am immensely alone but it feels as if inside of me there were all humanity with me. It is my being a human-being that surpasses the limits that are looked for becoming absorbed in the sea, which melts into itself and re-finds itself."

I'm doing my best to try and really understand these experiences; free diving, suspension, psychedelic journeys, body modification, and even things like extreme endurance sports — these things are doorways and I can't think of anything more essential than really understanding what's on the other side.

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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