Thursday, December 2, 2010

As real as real

Good morning from Adelaide, South Australia

This post picks up one of the points my co-blogger, Keith Basterfield, made in a previous post (click here to read it.)

One of the objections which some UFO researchers make about the abduction accounts of UFO experiencers, is that the experiencer describes the reality level of the abduction as "as real as real." By this they mean that their recollections of the experience did not have, say the quality of an ordinary dream, and was equal to that of any waking experience they would have.

Experiencers and some UFO researchers state that only waking reality could explain the quality of the abduction. That dreams and hallucinatory experiences do not have this level of reality to them. However, I beg to differ.

As real as real

People do report dreams which are "as real as real." I myself, have had dreams that were continuous scenes, where all my senses were active and giving me feedback, i.e. touch, smell, sight, taste and hearing. It was real to me at the time. There was no doubt about it, until I woke up and in retrospect knew that it had been a dream. However, that recognition that it was a dream in no way diminished my conviction that it had been real at the time.

Hypnagogic and hypnopompic imagery can also have this reality level on occasions. I recall reading a piece by my co-blogger Keith Basterfield, in which he described his own encounter with sleep paralysis. He awoke paralysed, in bed, with a sense that there was something "evil" behind him. He describes this experience as "totally real." So much so, that after the paralysis had gone, he had to get out of bed and search the room for the "presence" which had been there. There was no one, or no thing, physically present in the room.

I have been reading a book published in 1984 titled "Visions * Apparitions * Alien visitors" by Hilary Evans. Published by Book Club. London (I couldn't see an ISBN number in my copy.)

The book is a comparative study of "entities" described not only in UFO cases, but in hypnagogic imagery; hallucinatory states; hauntings, and in folklore. It is a very fascinating read, but the one chapter which stands out is titled "Hallucination Under Control." This clearly demonstrates that for some people, hallucinations can be "as real as real."

The story of Ruth

Ruth was a 25 year old, marries woman, who visited psychiatrist Morton Schatzman (click here for more) "... for help with personality problems, which were accompanied by...recurrent sightings of apparitions of her father..." (Evans p189.)

What was unusual about these particular hallucinatory apparitions was that:

* The hallucinated father perfectly resembled the actual still living parent (who was in the USA at the time)
* The apparition fitted the environment. It sat in a chair if there was one present. It moved around real objects in a room. It left the room by opening and closing a door.
* The apparition conducted coherent (to Ruth) conversations with Ruth
* Under the guidance of Schatzman, Ruth learnt to control the apparition. However, and this is a very important point, although she was creating the hallucination, it behaved autonomously, i.e. beyond her conscious control.

An aside

I recall reading that the writer Enid Blyton wrote some of her stories simply by watching her book's characters autonomously playing out scenes in front of her eyes. (Click here for more on this.)

Back to Ruth

Shatzman conducted scientific tests which demonstrated brain wave changes when Ruth said that the apparition was present, which seemed to correlate yo what would happen if a real person was present.

All in all, this comes as close as possible to being able to demonstrate that Ruth's mind was generating an hallucinatory apparition, and was fooled into thinking that her father was actually present (even though at the time he was physically in the USA when Ruth was in London.

So, yes, it does indeed seem that you can get "real as real" hallucinatory entities. By logical extension, it would seem possible to perceive a "real as real" alien entity in your bedroom.

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