109. Brain Washing!


Human brain is a sensation addict. It demands a continuous stream of information from the sensory organs. When faced with a sensory vacuum, the brain may turn to invention with hallucination and delusion, substituting for the real experiences.

Extreme cases of sensory deprivations will lead to a major crisis and a painful one too. Sensory deprivation in the form of solitary confinement had been used as a form of punishment and torture for a very long time. Its dangerous psychological impacts have been recognized now.

Brain washing is an attempt to change the thoughts and beliefs of a person, against his will. It tries to control the mind of a person and manipulate his actions without his consent.

Brain washing techniques are found highly successful after the person “has been softened up” by solitary confinement for long periods.

In a study in Canada, volunteers were placed in a dark and sound-proof room with no objects to touch. Within 36 hours 25 out of 29 persons started to hallucinate. Some of them saw dots and flickering lights while some others lost their self identity.

After 48 hours, most people opted out of the experiment. At the same time, just after 2 days of solitary confinement most of them found it difficult to return to the outside world again.

However, voluntary sensory deprivation for a short period is found to have many beneficial effects. It promotes a person’s creativity, makes him more relaxed, provides opportunity for greater insight, and modifies his habits and behaviour to become a better person.

The much sought after meditation is nothing but voluntary sensory deprivation for short periods, with profound beneficial effects on the body, mind and emotions of the person who meditates.

Visalakshi Ramani

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