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Are hallucinations visions from the Subtle World?

According to one version, hallucinations are not the product of a sick imagination. Perhaps, in a certain state of consciousness, we see what a normal person should not see at all.

Researchers from Yale University, Albert Powers and Philip Corlett, decided to test whether there were any differences between hallucinations of mentally ill people and those considered mentally healthy. Scientists managed to gather a group of volunteers, including people who called themselves psychics. They were all selected according to one criterion: the subjects claimed that they received auditory messages from their interlocutors from the Subtle World daily. All selected participants passed the testing, which showed that none of them were lying or suffering from a mental disorder.

Then the testimonies of the psychics were compared with the information obtained from people suffering from schizophrenia or manic-depressive psychosis, as well as mentally healthy members of the control group. It turned out that psychics more often perceive voices positively and believe that they help them in life. But mentally ill people are afraid of voices (or their supposed carriers) and believe that these entities are going to harm them.

A characteristic example: a psychic hears voices telling them some reliable information about a person or event, suggesting how to act in a certain situation. However, a schizophrenic may be “advised” by a voice to harm themselves or even commit suicide, attack someone, scare or mock them.

In addition, a sick person usually cannot “turn off” the hallucination at will. But a healthy individual with extrasensory abilities is quite capable of controlling their voices and using them to their advantage.

“These people have a high degree of control over their inner voices,” comments Corlett, one of the authors of the study. “They are also much more willing to interact with them and consider them as positive or neutral forces in their lives.”

We believe that people with such psychological characteristics can provide us with new knowledge in neurobiology, cognitive psychology, and consequently in the treatment of such a symptom.

Seeing one’s double and dying

Separate attention should be paid to stories about people who have seen their own doubles. In psychiatry, such cases are well known as autoscopic hallucinations, which can be observed both in mental illnesses and in those who are mentally perfectly healthy.

Experts identify common features of the appearance of doubles. Typically, they appear unexpectedly. Most often, the double faces the original, and it cannot be reached. Although the size of the phantom usually matches the size of the original, often only individual parts of the body are visible, such as the head or torso. At the same time, the details may be well visible, but either the colors are dull, or the double is colorless altogether. It is transparent and looks like it is made of a jelly-like substance or like a reflection in glass.

Very often, the double repeats all the movements of the original, copying the expression on their face. Mentally ill people often complain that their double is mocking them.

The phenomenon of doubles has been repeatedly described in literature. In Heinrich Heine’s poem “The Double,” a typical description of one’s own “copy” is given to a healthy person. And Dostoevsky’s novella of the same name tells about the hallucinations of a mentally ill character.

In the old days, there was a belief that a person destined to see their own double would soon die. However, in the textbook “General Psychopathology” for medical students, it is stated that autoscopic hallucinations are often associated with severe forms of brain disorders. Indeed, in many cases, doubles are observed in severely ill people.

A clinical case is the story that happened to the famous French writer Guy de Maupassant. In 1887, Maupassant was working on the story “The Horla,” which spoke of an invisible creature that settled in the hero’s house. Suddenly, a man entered the room where the writer was, sat opposite him, and began to dictate the continuation of the work. It took Maupassant a while to realize that his own “reflection” was before him!

The double indeed disappeared quickly. Shortly after, the writer fell ill with a mental disorder, which ultimately led to his death.

A classic example of autoscopic hallucination is the case of Dr. Berkovich, which was detailed by the prominent Russian poet Vasily Zhukovsky in the article “Something About Ghosts”. Zhukovsky, in turn, heard about it from his friend A.M. Druzhinin, who held the position of chief director of a school in Moscow.

According to Druzhinin, he was briefly acquainted with Dr. Berkovich and once went to visit him with a certain Mrs. Peretz. They were all cheerful and engaged in pleasant conversation. At 10 o’clock in the evening, Berkovich’s wife asked him to go and check if the table was set for dinner. Dr. Berkovich went into the dining room, which was directly connected to the living room. He returned a minute later, pale as a sheet, and hardly spoke for the rest of the evening. All his previous cheerfulness disappeared as if by magic.

After dinner, Berkovich accompanied Mrs. Peretz, and apparently caught a cold. The next day, Druzhinin received news that the doctor had fallen ill and asked him to come.

When he arrived, Berkovich said to him:

“I am soon to die; I saw my death with my own eyes. When I went from the living room to the dining room yesterday to check if dinner was being served, I saw that the table was set, that there was a coffin on the table surrounded by candles, and that I myself lay in the coffin. Be sure that you will soon bury me.”

Indeed, some time later, the doctor passed away.

Zhukovsky himself gives this explanation: “It is quite likely that there was already a germ of illness in him, the cold developed into a disease, and the disease, with the help of imagination frightened by the ghost, brought about death.”

In 1907, in St. Petersburg, the book “Into the Realm of Mystery” was published by the writer and journalist V.V. Bitner. In it, he examines the phenomenon of doubles.

“Of course, this phenomenon is abnormal,” the author writes, “and indicates a serious illness of the whole organism, pointing to a profound disturbance of the nervous system. Therefore, if it happens to someone, it usually occurs shortly before their death or even at the very moment of transition to another world. Thus, the phenomenon of doubles can only serve, so to speak, as a sinister diagnostic sign, but there is certainly nothing prophetic about it.”

Sick or hypersensitive?

Meanwhile, parapsychologists are not quick to attribute various voices and other hallucinations to the realm of the nonexistent. They hypothesize that there are indeed certain astral entities present around us, but in our ordinary state, we are unable to interact with them.

If there is a malfunction in a person’s psyche – due to illness, head injury, or, for example, fever – then they start perceiving the subtle world, usually in its darkest aspect. As for extrasensory individuals, their name “supersensitive” is not without reason.

Apparently, there are people who have a higher sensitivity than others; they can enter altered states of consciousness and perceive otherworldly realities, but they are able to filter their perception and filter out destructive entities.

It is not excluded that such “hallucinations” may simply be a property of the psyche. That is, a psychic communicates not with a supernatural entity, but with themselves, tapping into the informational field of the Universe. By the way, this hypothesis fits well with the phenomenon of doubles. But the information comes to the clairvoyant in the form of phantoms or voices.

Let’s remember the well-known holy fools and blessed ones, who indeed often spoke sensible things, predicted the future, but since their psyche was disturbed, the information often came to them in a chaotic manner. If all of this were purely pathological, the information obtained in this way from clairvoyants would hardly be reliable.

In short, there is much to think about. And it is not worth labeling a person who sees or hears something unusual as crazy. Perhaps they simply have access to things that most of us are unable to perceive.

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