sábado, julio 14, 2007

How to differentiate unusual real experiences from hallucination?

Dear Mr. Psychiatrist:

my name is Miguel Jordan, an electrical engineer very interested in the hallucination phenomenon.

I write you shortly to ask you some issues related to this topic where you are an expert.

Let me start with a little introduction to make you clear what are my intentions and interests in this area unless beeing an engineer, this means, someone with supposed interest in areas not neccesarily related to your area.

Iam also a researcher in the parapsychology area, only because I had have myself unusual experiences (let me say you I have seen "unknown beeings", so named "paranormal phenomena" and "rare objects" (for example UFO´s, true devices, clearly not human made)). I can explain you later a lot about this but I think maybe it is now unneccesary for the purpose of my letter.

Returning to the time when I began to experience such unusual episodes, after those "perceptive facts" I tried to understand this experiences and supposed that the best way was to ask my friends and parents and other known people but much of them answered me that this what I was talking about did not exist (or it is better to consider it not as something true or real but only in mind) while other state that unless these experiencies are true and real (including unknown people presence or manifestation (close encounters)) the essence or nature of this phenomenology is not the best for beeing tested through the scientific method.

Of course with the time I discover that there are a lot of things that are not well suited for the scientific methodology but this does not mean that they are not of interest and also that the study of such topics are of real importance, not for all but as less for the perceivers (maybe some of them people actually diagnosed as hallucination sufferers or also suffering schizophrenia).

Of course in the beginning it was a big surprise for me because unconsciously I knew that there is something rare with this kind of experiences but they are in apparently true or clearly real for me as the perceiver but not neccesary for the other witnesses or actual perceivers. Some other unusual phenomenon were also experienced with other witnesses at the same moment. For example, UFO phenomenon is something true in some places in southamerica and you can be approached by UFO phenomenon-related intelligent lights that are clearly something not manufactured by any known technologically-developed country.

When you are a witness of such phenomena we could propose to consider that the subject technically enters in an altered state of perception and of cognition because his/her body and mind do not have any direct knowledge about the way to behave and react to this manifestation and also try to get a way of escape to a possible danger. I mean danger or fear is something we feel when we experiencied such episodes, including tachycardia and some accelerated breathing and a lot of concentrated attention to each of the unknown intelligent objects and phenomena surrounding us.

If you do not believe in such unknown nature (lets say a true paranormal explanation) as less you can also consider that the witnesses are experiencing something trully outside themselves. I also believe that they are some cases (files, experiences of witnesses) where people are unconscioussly autosuggested or collectively suggested, or they are not aware of the presence of natural or artificial hallucination agents (pollen, or experiencing the effect of some eaten alcaloids) or beeing unconsciouslly used as guinea piggs. Much of these explanation alternatives are often not considered by scientific researchers or therapists when treating some people who mention some episodes medically classified as "hallucination" because unless sometimes probable it would be not a good idea to accept that some experiencies are more likely to be related with people who are beeing used as guinea piggs.

Let me now ask you something:

-What is really an hallucination? When are we in front of an hallucination (hallucinating) and when are we not?

-Is it neccesary that others tell you that they are not seeing (or perceiving) the same as you to suppose that we are hallucinating?

-What is the problem with hallucinating?

Maybe the fact that the content of the hallucination (the episode perceived and/or assimilated) is something that:

a) could not be true or real (as less not true for all when users of the scientific method verifies it)?;

b) it is politically incorrect to be told because it is a tabbu and when you continue talking about this you will experience a non benevolent reaction and behaviour of some society groups and members which start treating you as someone with a disorder or telling unconvenient stories?;

c) because it is not logic or there is no coherence?;

d) others and mix of this others?

What is the real problem with hallucination?

The problem is related to "hallucinating" or it is the unconfortable reaction of the society to topics that are better to hide or to consider as mythology or unsense?

What may an "hallucinator" (a special "perceiver" or witness) do? Is it scientific to treat some unusual episodes as simple hallucinations or illusions or whatelse?

Let us suppose that other intelligent beeings really exist considering all the unknown reality and physical phenomena related to their existence and manifestation in the perceiver´s surrounds. Let us suppose also that some people could effectively perceive them and sometimes interact with those beeings (material or energetical or what else) unless other present subjects can not perceive them or do not realize that one subject is perceiving this presence or that an inusual experience is happening. In that case, it is correct to use the concept "hallucination"? Which is the correct use of the word "hallucination"? How may be treat of classify those experience that seems like an hallucination but are not exactly this?

In the terminology related to the hallucination studies, what is reality and what is truth?

When could we use the concept "hallucination" and when not? How to difference something that is trully in our mind and something that is in part beeing evoked in our mind but actually present in the perception interface of the witnesses?

If this "unknown beeings" really exist but decide to manifest only to some people and not to all of us (i.e. they have their own "logic", purposes and intentions), how could be determine this fact? How can we determine if a person (a sane subject or inclusively someone suffering a disease like schizophrenia) is really perceiving the presence of these beeings or is really suffering something related to an mind or brain disorder? And what happens with patients experience real paranormal phenomena? How can we separate a paranormal experience from a real hallucination? Or there is no other way than treating it all as a "hallucination"?

In this case, what means perceiving and what reality? How to find a true limit between hallucination, illusion and reality? What could we rescue from parapsychology? May everything be observable in order to be real?

May we put all this "odd" stories (told by witnesses) only as something ocurring inside the subject´s mind and spreading around his/her perception system? Are we not enough intelligent in order to find some differences between the possible "real" facts of these unusual but externally real episodes unless socially unconvenient?

If we accept that much of these experiences are difficult to be completely treated through the scientific methodology what would you suggest to be done, lets say what may be realized using the scientific method and what without the complete use of the scientific method?

I apologize if I write to much but I tried to make a minimal approach to the point of interest and the conflictive situation that some perceivers may encounter when they want to tell their experiences but previously think if it is a good idea to tell it openly?

I know that many people have a lot of experiences to share but they behave very silently in order to avoid to be bad comprehended, and also be socially isolated and possible considered as insane. Have someone asked himself if this witnesses are initialy completely sane but became insane only because of the fact that they feel not beeing able to share their experiencies in a world and society that tells and educate you to grow through collective experiences.

I also apologize if my english is not the best.

Thank you for reading and for any answer you could share with me.
Best regards,
Miguel A. Jordan
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