Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Hallucinations or Hauntings?

The 1894 'International Census of Waking Hallucinations' and repeated surveys since that time have shown that between 10 and 25% of ordinary functioning people have experienced, at least once in their lifetimes, a vivid hallucination - hearing a voice or seeing a form when there is no one there.  More rarely people sense a haunting aroma, or hear music or receive a revelation that arrives independent of the senses.  In some cases these become transforming personal events or profound religious experiences.  Hallucinations may be a neglected low door in the wall to the scientific understanding of the sacred.

My source is Carl Sagan's "The Demon Haunted World", 1996,  p 104.  This book could be described as one of the 'sacred texts of skepticism'.  Read it!  It may be out of print but can be obtained easily enough second hand.

Just last weekend I personally heard a sincere testimony about haunting experiences.  My guest told me that she and her mother both sensed things that others are not aware of and described events in their former home (which is now abandoned boarded up).  I asked a few questions but, out of politeness on a first meeting, I avoided anything that might sound very skeptical.  I'm hoping that another chance will arise to discuss it further.


Sarah said...
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Anonymous said...

Extraordinary, baffling, unsusual experiences are just currently unknown, still unexplained by science, human brain features or traits of nature. No need to use the term 'supernatural' as everything is coped by natural laws. Science will get to them sooner or latter.