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A hallucination is a sensory perception involving a disorder of the nervous system, causing a conscious, awake animal to have a false perception of external reality.
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- All at once, and without further warning, my reason forsook me altogether, and I started from Dr. Moffitt's house to go to my boarding place. The sidewalks were to me one mass of living, moving, howling, and ferocious animals. Bears, lions, tigers, wolves, jaguars, leopards, pumas—all wild beasts of all climes—were frothing at the mouth around me and striving to get to me. Recollect that while all this was hallucination it was just as real as if it had been an undeniable and awful reality. Above and all around me I heard screams and threatening voices. At every step I fell over or against some furious animal. When I finally reached the door leading to my room and just as I was about to enter, a human corpse sprang into the doorway.
- Luther Benson in Fifteen years in hell: an autobiography. Tifford and Carlson. 1877. p. 78. (hallucinations associated with delirium tremens)
- If the reverse learning mechanism we have postulated exists, one might wonder what effects its failure might have. A complete failure might lead to such grave disturbances—a state of almost perpetual obsession or spurious, hallucinatory associations—that it would probably be severely selected against. A partial failure should produce unwanted responses to random noise, perhaps as hallucinations, delusions, and obsessions, and produce a state not unlike some schizophrenias.
- For our ancestors, dreams, hallucinations, revelations, and cock-and-bull stories were inextricably mixed with facts.
- William James in The varieties of religious experience: a study in human nature. New York: Longmans, Green. 1993. p. 495.
- The simplest migraine hallucinations, as we have said, are phosphenes—simple, almost structureless, moving lights in the visual field. Phosphenes virtually identical to these are readily elicited by direct electrical stimulation of the visual cortex, either in the primary area (Brodmann area 17) or the surrounding visual association cortex.
- The prevalent sensation of oneself as a separate ego enclosed in a bag of skin is a hallucination which accords neither with Western science nor with the experimental philosophy-religions of the East — in particular the central and germinal Vedanta philosophy of Hinduism. This hallucination underlies the misuse of technology for the violent subjugation of man's natural environment and, consequently, its eventual destruction.
We are therefore in urgent need of a sense of our own existence which is in accord with the physical facts and which overcomes our feeling of alienation from the universe... Just as no thing or organism exists on its own, it does not act on its own.... Parts exist only for purposes of figuring and describing, and as we figure the world out we become confused if we do not remember this all the time.
- Alan Watts in The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are (1966)