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Are Ghosts Really Hallucinations?

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posted on Dec, 3 2016 @ 05:21 PM
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a reply to: Droogie



I think it's a way of the creative part of the mind to make it's own narrative in an ordinary, but perhaps special, sequence of ordinary events.

Like the back of your mind is telling itself a story based on the parts of your surroundings that your conscious self is unaware of.


Narrative.


Folklore in action




posted on Dec, 3 2016 @ 05:36 PM
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hallucination həˌluːsɪˈneɪʃ(ə)n/ noun noun: hallucination; plural noun: hallucinations an experience involving the apparent perception of something not present.


With entangled particles in the brain it is theoretically possible to induce a perception of something that might not be recorded by machines. Some people get visual information that others do not get. Some get auditory information that others do not get. Some get logical information from their unconscious. Some people are empaths and connect to other people bodies feeling what they are experiencing.


edit on 3-12-2016 by LittleByLittle because: spell checked



posted on Dec, 3 2016 @ 07:12 PM
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a reply to: Kandinsky
This is fascinating because my best friend spoke of a near identical type experience. He was reluctant to speak of it because it was "too mundane to be special, too special to be mundane".

We have discussed conspiracy and "paranormal" type events plenty of times. He is of the opinion that most "ghost" cases are electromagnetism effecting the human mind, with perhaps a few being "time slips". I rather like the latter, and that is not just bias as a historian!

Many people witness historical happenstances (i.e. "civil war ghosts") and rather than seeing independent, curious ghosts, they claim to see figures acting as though they were still performing the events from their lives. One would suspect this to be more indicative of a time slip than simply "leftover spirits", as it were.

Said friend explained that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, and time is merely a human perception; therefore particles exist simultaneously in the past, present, and future, and can perhaps leave an "electromagnetic imprint" that the mind can pick up. I have no idea as to the veracity of this idea, but the big words sound plausible to me!



posted on Dec, 3 2016 @ 07:32 PM
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Great thread, thanks. I don't firmly believe all ghosts are hallucinations. Some very well may be due to mental health. There are cases where some see shadows/ ghosts but it's said to be a mental condition.

With sightings of them being non hallucinations, been in a case where not just one person seen the shadow person/ ghost when it was traveling through a residence. As far as I know there was nothing to cause such a hallucination and it was otherwise not able to be de bunked.



posted on Dec, 3 2016 @ 10:02 PM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

First of all, I do believe that you observed everything as you have written it down.

I studied psychology before going into computers - I am a 110% firm believer in ghosts, but I also believe that not everything is a ghost.

For example, only a couple weeks ago I went out and did a ghost hunt with some "professional" ghost hunters (they would walk us through an investigation with them, and then they would go on their own investigation, and let us do ours). I purposely did not do any research on the building or what others experienced there, because once you put an idea into someone's head, it will ferment and increase the chances of a false spotting. In fact, that was something I didn't like: I love the guided tour we got at the beginning of the event, but I wish that they would have let us do our investigation first before telling us about the spirits in there.

In my case, I had four total experiences that I recorded - The first was that there was a dark hallway we didn't go down as part of the tour, but I sensed someone staring back at us from the end of it (pitch black, no windows). Second, I went into a room and immediately felt like I needed to leave; I wasn't wanted in there (so I did - other people saw me exit quickly and went in there with their cameras). Third was in the attic - I tagged along with a smaller group, and one of the guys told us all to go into the corner he was in: Every hair on the 4 of us was standing straight up. Finally - we were given EMF readers (and yes, we tested them against electronics to make sure they wouldn't randomly spark). We were in an interesting spot, and found that one of the meters was spiking with activity, but returning to the spot a couple minutes later resulted in no spikes.

Those were not hallucinations - but the there was a bit of mass hysteria going on when we were up in the attic doing a ghost box session (25 people up there in a circle). It was dark, cold and the wind was pretty strong. At first, one person claimed that something touched them, which started a chain reaction that ultimately led to someone claiming that they were hit with an object. I was on the edge of the circle, and felt/sensed nothing (believe me when I say this: I'd know if something was there) - if anything, I did get a sense that there was something in the next room over.

Oh, and seeing the road distort and ripple on me as I left the next morning was a hallucination: I drove through 3 states at high speeds on 20 minutes of sleep, 6-8 hours total driving. At that rate, I was surprised I wasn't seeing shadow people in the car with me!


-fossilera



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 01:28 AM
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originally posted by: Kandinsky
All I can say for sure is I absolutely 'saw' the door closing...

All you can say for sure is that you absolutely 'think' that you 'remember' seeing the door closing...


Are Ghosts Really Hallucinations?

I think that the entire notion of 'hallucinations' as seeing/perceiving 'something that is not Real/doesn't exist' needs to be reexamined in light of modern experience.
In a Reality/Universe/Truth that is ALL INCLUSIVE, what, exactly, is an 'hallucination'?
What is there, ever, to perceive that is not Real?
Not a thing, ever!

But then, understanding this, how can we torment those who do not see things the way the consensus sees them? *__-



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 01:45 AM
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a reply to: fossilera

Thanks for the post; it sounds like you had an interesting night. A couple of friends go on similar nights and haven't been impressed by any so far. They have a drink and a smoke and enjoy that part of it. I used to be dismissive of 'ghost hunts' until someone I respect had a couple of fascinating episodes.


You reminded me of a great Radiolab episode.


Dennis Conrow was stuck. After a brief stint at college, he’d passed most of his 20’s back home with his parents, sleeping in his childhood room. And just when he finally struck out on his own, fate intervened. He lost both his parents to cancer. So Dennis was left, back in the house, alone. Until one night when a group of paranormal investigators showed up at his door and made him realize what it really means for a house, or a man, to be haunted
Radiolab 'Haunted.'

Real, reality, perception, subjectivity, confirmation, liminality etc. All are features of the show as the group use a flashlight to 'communicate' with the man's late parents - the humanity in this show is multi-faceted and very moving.



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 01:59 AM
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originally posted by: namelesss

originally posted by: Kandinsky
All I can say for sure is I absolutely 'saw' the door closing...

All you can say for sure is that you absolutely 'think' that you 'remember' seeing the door closing...


Hence the 'saw,' it's one of those things where certainty will be tantalisingly out of reach. Isn't it also the case that such experiences can put us on the outer extremes of vocabulary itself? We have these concepts and constructs that are looking for better terminology to express themselves to others.

It's similar to the way memory has been described over the centuries. It was once a library when books were the signifiers of information and became a computer-model in the 1960s that simply wrote and stored data; nowadays people are apt to compare memory to the internet and the brain as hardware and component parts.

'Cognitive dissonance' is something most of us can comprehend and yet it's only been around a few decades. What it seeks to define has been around forever. Maybe we're waiting for more words



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 02:23 AM
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originally posted by: Kandinsky

originally posted by: namelesss
All you can say for sure is that you absolutely 'think' that you 'remember' seeing the door closing...


Hence the 'saw,' it's one of those things where certainty will be tantalisingly out of reach. Isn't it also the case that such experiences can put us on the outer extremes of vocabulary itself? We have these concepts and constructs that are looking for better terminology to express themselves to others

Very true!
Many words that I use have 'semi-quotes' indicating an 'other than common' definition.

"A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged; it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and time in which it is used." -Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.


It's similar to the way memory has been described over the centuries. It was once a library when books were the signifiers of information and became a computer-model in the 1960s that simply wrote and stored data; nowadays people are apt to compare memory to the internet and the brain as hardware and component parts.

And, yet, the brain has never been proven/evidenced that it can 'store thoughts'.
I think that 'memory' is another term that needs to be redefined.
We now know that the Universe/Reality is, literally 'timeless'!
If every moment of Universal existence exists Here! Now! as 'this' moment' does, then what can 'memory' actually be?
It is not as it is perceived.


'Cognitive dissonance' is something most of us can comprehend and yet it's only been around a few decades. What it seeks to define has been around forever. Maybe we're waiting for more words

It seems to me that we spend much more energy proclaiming why someone is 'wrong', then the healthier and more intellectually honest path of finding why they are 'right'!
It's easy to say that people who see 'ghosts' or Martians... are delusional/hallucinating, if you have no such experience, and dismiss them.
It takes 'newthink' to realize that the Reality/Truth of any Perspective can be found/experienced by one who knows how to look...



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 02:37 AM
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a reply to: namelesss



"A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged; it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and time in which it is used." -Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.


I love that quote - a smart man. Here's another you might like from Joseph Conrad as it relates to the subject of anomalous experiences and perception :

[...] the meaning of an episode was not inside like a kernel but outside, enveloping the tale which brought it out only as a glow brings out a haze, in the likeness of one of these misty halos that sometimes are made visible by the spectral illumination of moonshine.
Heart of Darkness p6.




It seems to me that we spend much more energy proclaiming why someone is 'wrong', then the healthier and more intellectually honest path of finding why they are 'right'!
It's easy to say that people who see 'ghosts' or Martians... are delusional/hallucinating, if you have no such experience, and dismiss them.
It takes 'newthink' to realize that the Reality/Truth of any Perspective can be found/experienced by one who knows how to look...


I *think* I agree with your general gist here and I consider myself to be a sceptical person. It's easier for some to start at "wrong" and proceed to 'prove' their case regardless of what the witnesses, percipients or claimants say. It's less rewarding to take them at face value because it's to open oneself up to a state of never knowing - certainty is deferred and liminality is assured. Far better to disbelieve or to 'explain' everything and never be in doubt.



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 02:44 AM
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originally posted by: dreamingawake
Great thread, thanks. I don't firmly believe all ghosts are hallucinations. Some very well may be due to mental health. There are cases where some see shadows/ ghosts but it's said to be a mental condition.

With sightings of them being non hallucinations, been in a case where not just one person seen the shadow person/ ghost when it was traveling through a residence. As far as I know there was nothing to cause such a hallucination and it was otherwise not able to be de bunked.


^^^ Good points. Hallucinations are a feature of a variety of mental health conditions and can be caused by damage to the brain too. People can also be 'primed' to see and experience extraordinary things by the powers of charisma and suggestion. These are established facts and will be the root explanation of probably thousands and thousands of claims across centuries.

At the same time, we seem to have healthy, stable people who also report seeing and experiencing strangeness. Therein lies an aspect of the extraordinary, right?



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 03:20 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

I've never actually seen a ghost, but I've had 3 experiences in my lifetime that made me a believer in "something" (not sure what to call this stuff) that I would otherwise be highly skeptical of.

The first one had to do with the death of my brother, the second one was a very scary experience that had me up for the entire night practically traumatized by what I was encountering, and the third one was actually quite comical and entertaining (no creep factor whatsoever).

All three of these experiences can not in any way be explained (and believe me, I've tried).

One aspect of the comical experience involved the couch I was sitting on to lift up off the floor and vibrate immensely... there were no gadgets under the couch or any such silliness. And then the shaking and rattling of my beer bottle on the coffee table (it was actually swaying back and forth more than it was rattling) with no other beer bottles rattling or moving on the table. For the first couple of seconds with the couch lifting it did kind of scare me, but my neighbour reassured me that this "ghost" that lives in their home has never been violent or scary. They named him (or her) Charlie.

Crazy stuff, but there's no doubt in my mind that these experiences were the real deal.

Do hallucinations and mind tricks happen ? Absolutely they do. I've had many experiences that I could easily explain away, but those three particular instances cannot be.

And believe me when I say that I'm a very scientifically-minded type of person that's extremely skeptical about all this stuff, it's always been my default position first and foremost.



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 03:29 AM
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a reply to: CranialSponge

Very interesting post. I'm making a late breakfast and will edit in a proper reply in a few minutes.

Scrambled eggs and parsley needs attending too lol

Thanks



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 04:17 AM
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a reply to: CranialSponge

Reading your couch experience put me in mind of Elwood’s rumbling room in The Blues Brothers. Do find yourself having any doubts about how real it was since? The balanced mind tries to rewrite these experiences in order to fit them back into reality - equilibrium. I also have a working idea that, despite our perceptions, bystanders wouldn't see what the percipients are seeing or experiencing.

I’m curious about the one that kept you up all night. Not asking for more details because you’d have written more if you wanted to say more. fair enough. I had a literally chilling experience a few years ago that was viscerally disturbing and I haven’t said (or written) a word about what happened. It was weird, yes, but to this day I can’t quite accept it and embarrassment is mixed in there as well.

I guess the beauty of ‘anomalous experiences’ is we can rewrite them, dispute them or forget about them. Knowing exactly why they are experienced is something many will never know. I’m still very much on the fence with the OP and trying to suspend judgement.



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 04:45 AM
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I have had a couple of experiances decades ago which have left me wondering about things , I would have put it down to madness rather than ghosts back then BUT my dog and cat reacted to said events and i saw and heard things in this property the usual doors banging and footsteps on the stairs stuff , but why did my pets react if this was something in my brain ?

uk.businessinsider.com...

I was just discussing that link above with someone yesterday , A/ how can he see/ or talk if what science tells us about the brain is right never mind
anything else

Ps what ever i saw lived on fear i think as everyone before me fled that house shortly after moving in



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 04:52 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky



Do find yourself having any doubts about how real it was since?


Oh hell yeah.

After 30+ years, I still question the realism of that one (actually two of them), the one involving my brother is an absolute for sure thing though, I don't even question that one.

The scary one I'd much rather not talk about, it took me years to get over it and I'd rather not dredge up the minute by minute playback on that one (and I do still remember it, every godforsaken second of that night).



But the couch incident was a crazy one.

Basically, my neighbours confessed to me that they had a ghost living in their house... right from the first day they moved in. It took them months to believe it themselves and didn't want to tell anyone of course because of crazy kook factor.

They spent half the day telling me all about their experiences and of course I just sat there not believing a word of it. Eventually, my neighbour called for "Charlie" to do something to prove to me that they were telling the truth... and thus, the couch and beer incident kicked in.

But afterwards, I got off the couch, got down on the floor, lifted the couch, looked underneath it, behind it, around it, etc... I refused to believe that it was real. But the beer bottle thing is what slammed it home for me. No magic trick or gimmick could sway my half full beer bottle from side to side without tipping it over and without the other three empty bottles on the table shaking around too (like a train or a big truck driving by shaking the house or something).

And no, I wasn't drunk either. I was only half way through my second bubbly when Mr. Ghosty-poo started his act.

That one I get a good laugh from and even after all these years, I still find myself replaying that one in my head trying to come up with a way as to how the hell it could have happened.

But I never tell people in real life about these experiences due to the embarrassment factor and I'd rather not confirm what people already suspect of me.... that I'm as kookoo as the day is long.




posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 05:19 AM
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a reply to: CranialSponge

The couch business does sound funny and suburban 'normal.


I've another good one for you that sounds as cheeky and mischievous as your 'Charlie.' Years and years ago, I was going to 'borrow' my dad's car when they were on holiday. The keys were all on a bunch. I unlocked the garage, climbed in the car and ran the engine for a few minutes. I left and showered before coming back to missing keys and a locked garage.

The garage lock was one of those where you have to turn the key and hold the handle to lock. They've still got the same lock and the door can't be locked without a key.

The keys were found by my dad in the ignition of the car almost two weeks later. Yes, I had some explaining to do


That's mischief, right?!



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 05:30 AM
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a reply to: stonerwilliam



I have had a couple of experiances decades ago which have left me wondering about things , I would have put it down to madness rather than ghosts back then BUT my dog and cat reacted to said events and i saw and heard things in this property the usual doors banging and footsteps on the stairs stuff , but why did my pets react if this was something in my brain ?


We should never underestimate the role of madness in the history of strange and anomalous experiences. Neither should animal reactions be overlooked in some cases. I'll take your word for it


I have an idea many of these incidents really do happen in the mind. It's just not clear what the stimulus is. If it was something external, it might also unsettle animals in the area. Part of the reasoning there is based on experiences and reading and also the notable absence of video footage.

UFOs and so forth I can understand; lights in the sky etc. With reported hauntings, they occur in buildings where CCTV is often recording 24/7. We should expect to see numerous quality recordings of doors opening and closing and objects being moved. Yes, there are some interesting ones but not many considering half the world is now under the gaze of cameras. The implication then is people are a necessary part of the formula for strange encounters and apparitions.



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 05:49 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

Ha ! That's hilarious !

Sounds to me like great-great-grandma or grandpa didn't want you to do something 'stupid' but also wanted to make sure you got in trouble to teach you a lesson.

(pictures great-great granny waving her finger at naughty Kandinsky)

*snicker snicker*

Priceless.




posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 05:58 AM
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originally posted by: Kandinsky
a reply to: namelesssI love that quote - a smart man. Here's another you might like from Joseph Conrad as it relates to the subject of anomalous experiences and perception :

[...] the meaning of an episode was not inside like a kernel but outside, enveloping the tale which brought it out only as a glow brings out a haze, in the likeness of one of these misty halos that sometimes are made visible by the spectral illumination of moonshine.
Heart of Darkness p6.

I loved that book, and the movie; 'Apocalypse Now'!
I 'think' that what he's trying to say, in his poetic vagaries, is that "all 'meaning' exists in the thoughts of the beholder"!
We perceive something, and perceive 'thoughts' about it/meaning.



"It seems to me that we spend much more energy proclaiming why someone is 'wrong', then the healthier and more intellectually honest path of finding why they are 'right'!
It's easy to say that people who see 'ghosts' or Martians... are delusional/hallucinating, if you have no such experience, and dismiss them.
It takes 'newthink' to realize that the Reality/Truth of any Perspective can be found/experienced by one who knows how to look... "

I *think* I agree with your general gist here and I consider myself to be a sceptical person. It's easier for some to start at "wrong" and proceed to 'prove' their case regardless of what the witnesses, percipients or claimants say. It's less rewarding to take them at face value because it's to open oneself up to a state of never knowing - certainty is deferred and liminality is assured.

I, too am skeptical, but the new heuristic that everything exists/is Reality prevents one from constantly reinventing the wheel.
We accept the reality and can now begin our search for Perspective where the reality becomes rational and obvious.


Far better to disbelieve or to 'explain' everything and never be in doubt.

Wasn't it Jefferson who said that it's better to 'not know' than to be wrong?
Doubting everything is the intellectually honest beginning of Knowledge!
All 'theories' are tentative! *__-

The feeble minded are people who know the truth, but only affirm it as consistent with their own interests. Apart from that, they denounce it. Pascal




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