A Navy SEAL, broad-chested and strongly built, floats peacefully on the water, as his recent deployment to a war-torn country becomes a distant memory.
Sealed inside a pitch-black sensory deprivation tank in the Mind Gym at Navy SEALs headquarters in Norfolk, Va., electrodes attached to his head, he has reached an altered state of consciousness referred to as “ecstasis” or “stepping outside oneself.”
It’s a state achieved by many others throughout time. High-performance athletes are in ecstasis when they ski down huge mountains or surf giant waves. Monks attain it after years of meditation. Mystics feel it when they have visions. And the US government uses it to try to reset their most elite warriors after brutal battles abroad.