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John C. Lilly

into the wastebasket called “hallucination.” That’s a psychiatric misnomer; none of that is unreal that you experienced.” For instance he talks: about his nose when he was in the tank. His nose migrated down to his buttonhole, and finally he decided that he didn’t need a buttonhole or a nose so he took off into outer space.

DJB: And he called that a hallucination because he couldn’t develop a model to explain it?

JOHN: But you don’t have to explain it, you see. You just describe it. Explanations are: worthless in this area.

RMN: How do you feel about the role that discipline has to play in the process of self-discovery?

JOHN: It’s absolutely essential. I had thirty-five years of school, eight years of psychoanalysis before even going into the tank. So I was freer than I would have been had I not had all that. Everybody could say, “Well, that was dissonant,” and I would say, “Yes, but I learned what I don’t have to

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