Telepathic Hallucinations

Telepathic Hallucinations
Telepathic Hallucinations

How may the theory be said to work? How can a telepathic impulse from a distant mind cause a picture to appear in space, as it were, before the recipient? Here is the last word of modern science in this direction; here is the theory which has been advanced to explain puzzling cases of this character. When we look at and see an object, the sight-centers of the brain are roused into activity; unless they are so aroused, we see nothing, and whenever they are so aroused, no matter from what cause, we have the sensation of sight. We see. But we get no further than this; we do not reason about the thing seen, analyze; or think to ourselves, “this is a red apple; I like red apples,” etc. No, we only see or perceive the object. All the reasoning about the object takes place in the higher thought centers of the brain. A diagram will, perhaps, help to make all this clear


When light waves coming from the eye, A, travel along the optic nerves and excite into activity the sight-centers—at B—we have the sensation of sight, as before said. Nerve currents then travel up the nerves, going from B to C, and in these higher centers, they are associated and analyzed, and we then “reflect” upon the thing seen, etc. This is the normal process of sight. Now, if the eye, or the optic nerves, or the sight-centers themselves become diseased, we still have the sensation of seeing, though there is no material object there; we have ordinary hallucinations of all kinds—delirium tremens, etc. If the sight centers are stimulated as much as they would be by the incoming nerve stimuli from the eye, we have “full-blown hallucinations.” 

What Is A Ghost?


Now, it is obvious that one method of stimulating the sight centers into activity is for a nervous current to come downwards, along the nerves running from C to B. It is probable that something of this sort takes place when we experience “memory pictures.” If you shut your eyes and picture the face of some dear friend, you will be able to see it before you more or less clearly. The higher psychical centers of the brain have excited the sight-centers into a certain activity; and these have given us the sensation of dim, inward sight. If the stimulus were stronger, we should have cases of intense “visualization”; such as the figures which occur in the crystal ball, etc.—they being doubtless produced in this manner.

Although the “sluice gates,” so to speak, running from C to B are, therefore, always open slightly; they are never open wide; it is not natural for them to be so. But if, under any great stress, thought or emotion, the downward nervous current was as strong as that ordinarily running from A to B; then we should appear to see as clearly; the object would appear just as solid and real and outstanding to us as any other entity. We should experience a “full-blown hallucination.”


All this being so, it is almost natural to suppose that one method by which these psychical sluice gates could be more widely opened would be under the impact of a telepathic impulse. If we assume that this in some manner arouses into instantaneous and great activity the higher psychical centers (C), these would very probably communicate this impulse to B—downwards, along the nerve tracts connecting the two (or to the hearing centers, when we should experience an auditory hallucination, and hear our name spoken, etc.). In this way we could account for a telepathic hallucination, originating in this manner; and it is sure to be supposed that, at the moment of death, some peculiar quickening of the mental and spiritual life takes place—the peculiar flashes of memory by those drowning, etc., seeming to show this.

How A Ghost Warned The King


So, then, we arrive at a sort of explanation of many of these cases of apparitions, occurring at the moment of death; for we have shown them to be “telepathic hallucinations.” This is also the correct explanation, doubtless, for many cases in which apparitions of the living have been seen—in which a phantasm of a living person has appeared to another, during sleep, or in a hypnotic trance, etc. But how about those ghosts which appear sometime after death? They, at least, cannot be explained by any such theory. What has been said by way of explanation of these cases? It will be remembered that telepathy is the basis of the explanation thus far. Let us extend this. We have only to suppose that the spirit of man survives the shock of death and that it can continue to exert its powers and capacities also. For, if a living mind can influence the living by telepathy; why not a “dead” one? Why should not the surviving spirit of man continue to influence us, by telepathy? If they could, we should still have cases of telepathic hallucinations—induced from the mind of a discarnate, not an incarnate, spirit. The “ghost” might still be a telepathic hallucination. And if several persons saw the figure at once, we should, on this theory, have a case of collective hallucination—in which one mind affected all the rest equally and simultaneously

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