Is Temporal lobe epilepsy an explanation for ghosts, aliens, god and the paranormal

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posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 01:08 PM
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The skeptics dilemma

A common problem that skeptics and debunkers face is that at some point you get down to either having to believe a persons personal experience at face value or basically call them out for lying or misinterpreting what they experienced, this is compounded by the sheer numbers of people that have such paranormal experiences, “are you calling all of these people liars?” people ask incredulously or “are you saying that they were all mistaken about what they saw?”

Now obviously some of people making such claims are simply lying to gain attention but clearly no one that can honestly claim to be skeptical can with a straight face put down all of the billions of experiences of billions of unconnected people down to lies and mistakes and maintain credibility so we have to find another way to explain these things.

Temporal lobe epilepsy is an explanation often put forward and so I wanted to spend a little time looking into it

What is the Temporal lobe?




The temporal lobes host many structures and functions including memory, orientation of self in space and time, interpretations of meaning and emotional significance, organization of audio and visual patterns, smell, and language. Local discharges can be potentiated by specific memory recall or extremely low biofrequency magnetic fields penetrating brain tissue.

Temporal Lobes

As you can see from the quote above the Temporal Lobes play a huge role in how you perceive the world around you processing your visual aural and other sensual input, relaying emotional responses, your sense of time and space and even your language skills. It is one of the core parts of your brain.

What is Temporal lobe Epilepsy?
An epileptic seizure is characterised by

abnormal excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain
or in basic terms your neurons, which usually generate impulses at about the rate of 80 a second suddenly start producing them at a much faster rate, sometimes up to 500 times a second.

Temporal lobe epilepsy as the name suggests is when one of these seizures happens in the temporal lobe portion of your brain.

This can produce a hugely varied number of symptoms but some of the most striking ones from a paranormal point of view are Visual and auditory hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren't there) and also intense smells and tastes. People having a seizure may also experience lost time, feel drops in temperature, have intense feelings of deja vu or jamais vu (a feeling the familiar things and people are somehow strange to you) and can scratch and injure themselves without realising that they have done it

What causes it?

There are a number of different conditions that can lead people to have seizure disorders, and this is what we most usually think of when we think of epilepsy, someone that regularly has seizures and has an identified medical condition that causes them.
Something that is less well know though is that literally anyone can have one of these seizures at any time, it may only happen once in your life and you may not even notice when you have one.


A person's seizure threshold is their individual level of resistance to seizures. Everyone has a seizure threshold (ST) inherited from their parents and anyone can have a seizure if the circumstances are right. If a person has an inherited low ST they are more likely to start having seizures suddenly for no obvious reason. However, an external factor could be, in a person with a low ST for example, drinking too much alcohol

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Everyone's threshold for seizures is different but a number of things can make it more likely they include exhaustion, alcohol or drug use or head injury and even low level magnetic fields

Conclusion

So in TLE we have something that can happen to anyone at any time, can cause symptoms ranging from seeing and hearing things that aren't there, to thinking that your loved ones have been replaced with strangers. We know that it can be caused by magnetic fields, something that is also common to ghost and some ufo sightings, and that people can have them who have no history of mental health problems and no identified medical conditions.

To end here is a video of one particular girls experiences with TLE and jamais vu, she is suddenly transported to an unfamiliar place for a few seconds and then finds herself knowing where she is again. Something common to people experiencing so called time slips


edit on 7-3-2011 by davespanners because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 01:19 PM
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The temporal lobe is definitely responsible for a lot of paranormal claims. The big one that is explained by this are people who claim to have spoken to a deity. Not only do they have a spiritual experience, but they occasionally develop the hypergraphia that leads to the prolific writing characteristic of prophets.



posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 01:32 PM
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reply to post by Xcalibur254
 


Certainly the thing you see most often associated with TLE is feelings of religious euphoria, but the Temporal lobe is responsible for so much of our understanding of our surroundings that I would be amazed if a much larger proportion of paranormal experiences are not down to it



posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 02:38 PM
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Temporal Lope Epilepsy certainly does explain alot of these phenomenas but what would your explanation be to those who've come forward with photo or video evidence of their experience?

Sure tle is the cause for some if not most of these experiences but you always get the odd balls that just can't be explained by anything rational.



posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 04:42 PM
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reply to post by SlovenlyGhost
 


There are definitely a good few things that it doesn't explain, events or phenomena with multiple witnesses for example ( I might provide some psychological background for that too at some point ) and as you said events that are caught on film or photographed.
Although the number of photographs that prove to be not faked and not misinterpretations is small I couldn't say with confidence that it was zero



posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 05:01 PM
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reply to post by davespanners
 


I assume what you're referring to here is folie a deux. Now there's a disorder that also deserves a thread devoted to it.



posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 05:29 PM
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Originally posted by davespanners
The skeptics dilemma

A common problem that skeptics and debunkers face is that at some point you get down to either having to believe a persons personal experience at face value or basically call them out for lying or misinterpreting what they experienced

That may be what "debunkers" might do, but a skeptic would suspend judgment in such matters. They wouldn't believe, but they also wouldn't disbelieve in the paranormal experience. They'd simply admit that they don't know; they'd admit their ignorance.

I have no problem accepting that it's an explanation, but I don't think it's sufficient enough to explain every paranormal experience. As you pointed out: how does this explain multiple witnesses experiencing the same thing, at the same time? What are the chances that they all hallucinate the same thing? How does it explain experiences that can later be verified, such as an OBE-er witnessing something during an OBE that actually happened? How does it explain NDEs in the congenitally blind? Also, how do you "know" for certain that their temporal lobe was responsible? I mean, unless there's a way to know for sure, simply saying that it's what's happening (for whatever reason) doesn't make it any more reality than a person simply saying it was a legit paranormal experience.

Edit - Here's a link if you want to read more about what skepticism actually is:
www.earlham.edu...



edit on 7-3-2011 by cLOUDDEAD because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 07:34 PM
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reply to post by cLOUDDEAD
 


Thank you for that interesting post.

I agree to a point, however at some point, for example you want to take part in a discussion on an internet forum, then an opinion must be formed and a judgement made, and an answer of I dont know for certain therefore it has an equal chance of being true or not is a futile and incorrect answer.

There are few certainties in anything that is for sure but there definitely is such a thing as statistical likely hood based upon testable evidence, for example, I see a cloud in the sky, one person tells me that this cloud is unlike all the other in that it is made of cotton candy, a second person tells me it is made of water vapour, the fact that we do not know for certain which explaintaion is true does not mean that they are both equally valid and that I should say "I dont know which is right"



posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 07:59 PM
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I'm pretty certain the 'third eye' or pineal gland is responsible for communication with higher beings, rather than it being a delusion caused by 'temporal lobe epilepsy'...

I've personally encountered & communicated with spirits, but not within the bounds of everyday reality; only when i've ascended past them with the help of meditation or certain entheogens.

Also i've communicated with other people on the same vibration as me in these states non-verbally, & they have recalled the exact same thoughts... I think spiritual experiences run alot deeper than a misfunction in the brain, moreso an extra function that we are not completely aware of.



posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 08:38 PM
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reply to post by y0uneedmt
 


I have seen no scientific evidence that would suggest it is responsible for more than aiding in the sleep/wake cycle as well as longer term seasonal cycles. The belief that the pineal gland is a doorway to higher dimensions stems from a number of ancient cultures, but the most influential supporter of this belief in the West was Descartes. The driving force of this belief is due to the fact that people used to believe that the pineal gland was the only structure in the brain that was not present in both hemispheres, making it unique. However, as technology progressed it was shown that the pineal gland was present in both hemispheres. We have also determined many other claims made about the pineal gland to be false.

On the other hand, using devices such as Michael Persinger's "God Helmet" and transcranial magnetic stimulation, which can artificially activate parts of the brain, that overstimulation of the temporal lobe can lead to "spiritual experiences" and hypergraphia. These findings are supported by EEG studies that look at people who suffer from epilepsy and claim to have had "spiritual experiences." The science connecting epilepsy to "paranormal encounters" is clear, whereas the science connecting the pineal gland to higher planes of existence is greatly lacking.



posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 08:44 PM
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If you only know of the pineal glands function in regards to sleep, then you only looking at one chemical that it produces 'melatonin'. I'm speaking of Dimethyl Tryptamine, known to many as 'The Spirit Molecule'. Have a look at the book written by Rick Strassman of that name, it's a bit of an eye opener.

As far as scientific evidence goes, Strassman classes himself as a '___' Scientist and i'd say he's the most informed source on the matter. His book contains the many experiments his patients undergoed & the experiences that resulted. His conclusion was open ended, but he was quite sure that these experiences were not from the confounds of our mind..



posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 09:00 PM
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reply to post by y0uneedmt
 


Strassman is one of the first to hypothesize that '___' is produced in the pineal gland and currently no studies have been performed that corroborate his claim. Little is known in regards to its function in mammals and even where it is produced is a complete unknown.



posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 09:03 PM
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reply to post by Xcalibur254
 


Ahh, but you see we know for certain that it is produced within plants such as acacias, mimosas and grasses. And we know that it can be extracted & smoked to provide a portal directly into another dimension....



posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 09:08 PM
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Oh and '___' may not have been proven to come from the pineal gland, but trace amounts of it have been found in the brain, lungs & blood as a result of normal metabolizm. The reason Strassman suggests that it is created within the pineal gland is because the necessary enzymes to do so (methyltransferases) are located in the highest concentrations there..



posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 09:10 PM
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Originally posted by davespanners
So in TLE we have something that can happen to anyone at any time, can cause symptoms ranging from seeing and hearing things that aren't there, to thinking that your loved ones have been replaced with strangers. We know that it can be caused by magnetic fields, something that is also common to ghost and some ufo sightings, and that people can have them who have no history of mental health problems and no identified medical conditions.

I don't think so, having dealt with TLE in a friend. I've said before, I think the 'paranormal'...ghosts, UFOs...such things that we can't explain, yet can't dismiss...will eventually be sorted out as an element of quantum mechanics. I call it my "Unified Weirdness Theory". You can quote me!



posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 09:18 PM
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reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
 


Interesting, do you have any stories you could share about that experience, how it effected them etc?



posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 09:39 PM
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Originally posted by davespanners
reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
 

Interesting, do you have any stories you could share about that experience, how it effected them etc?

Ok, here's the most interesting connection that I can relate. When she had a seizure, she would sort of look around with a sense of wonder...kinda detached and distracted. But...I knew it was TLE because she would make a certain series of hand motions. What makes it interesting is that I also had occasion to accompany a well known 'intuitive archaeologist', the late George McMullen on a couple of site visits. When he communed with 'those who had gone before', he basically went into a trance...and did the same hand motions.
Take from that what you will.



posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 09:52 PM
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Well, as I said before in the op the temporal lobe controls so much of our perception a seizure in that part of the brain can produce a million and one different effects, some more common then others.
Thanks for sharing the info with me though, much appreciated!



posted on Mar, 8 2011 @ 09:35 AM
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Nice thread OP. I've been waiting for a thread like this to come along, and have thought of making one myself. I would like to clear up a couple things, mostly from what I have read in response posts to the thread.

BTW...I was diagnosed with TLE associated with a tumor in my left temporal lobe a little over a year ago. I am also a highly trained medical provider...and leave it at that..although until I was actually diagnosed, neurology was never interesting to me.

There is actually a difference in seizures associated with the right and left hemispheres of the temporal lobe as well as whether the seizure comes from the lateral(outside) or medial(inside) of the lobe.

The religious phenomenon associated with TLE comes from seizures originating in the right hemisphere. It has been speculated that the Saul in the Bible who became Paul had right side TLE. The flash of light. Falling to the ground. The religious euphoria he felt after the fact, and continued to experience the rest of his life. Usually, spacial reference is also affected by right TLE. It is the right TLE that is suspected mostly in the paranormal aspect, however, a sudden intense fear for no apparent reason can be associated with either side...

more in next post



posted on Mar, 8 2011 @ 09:41 AM
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reply to post by webpirate
 


Wow thank you for your input!
The subject of TLE is so huge that I could never do it justice with just one post and your personal knowledge of it would be a great addition to the thread.
I did find some info on the left / right side differences but a lot of the information on the net is anything but clear and concise and I didn't want to write anything that I was unsure about!

Star for you, wish I could give you more then one





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