Friday, February 25, 2011

Would Visual Hallucinations Explain Ghostly Apparitions

How can you explain hallucinations to somebody who has never before seen them? Are ghosts hallucinations?

Some people think they are, but if hallucinations distort your vision and your other senses, what explains the fact that no distortion takes place when people who purport to see ghosts make no mention of the fact that everything else around them remains the same?

Hallucinations involve the apparent perception of something that is not present, while apparitions mark the appearance of something remarkable or unexpected. Apparitions, in this context, are not hallucinations.

Everybody who knows me knows I believe in ghosts. Like the cowardly lion in the movie version of The Wizard of Oz, I can't help but remember the mantra – I do believe in ghosts – I do believe in ghosts – I do – I do.

Though I have never seen a ghost, I have heard one and I have felt his presence. I have also felt the presence of another spirit. My mind is open to the possibility that other people experience phenomena I have never come close to experiencing.

A woman I once knew, for example, claimed that fairies lived in her garden. This woman was not crazy and, in fact, was one of the most loving and most sane women I had ever met. Though I had never seen fairies myself, I believed her.

I don't think people who see ghosts are hallucinating. If I can hear them, but not see them, what's to say that somebody else can see them, but not hear them – or see them and hear them. The visitations occurred only twice to me. The experience was so frightening, I never wanted to be in the company of ghosts again, but I don't dismiss others who believe they have felt the presence of a ghost.

If you have ever wondered what it feels like to experience hallucinations without the use of drugs, I invite you to read Hallucination – The Ability To See What Isn't There. And if you see any ghosts during the hallucination, I want to hear about it.

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