Looking at Hallucinations


Looking is simply noticing what the perceptions provide in terms of sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, thought, feeling, etc. To learn to look is to learn to differentiate one thing from another. Looking is followed by a recognition of what is there.

It seems that the first level of differentiation would be in terms of senses. What is being perceived? Is it a sight, a sound, a smell, a taste, a touch, a thought or a feeling. However, a level before that might be, ‘Is it out there, or is it in the mind?’

Sometimes it is hard to make the differentiation, ‘Is it out there, or is it in the mind?’ This is especially so when nobody is around to confirm or deny it. Doubt may still persist even when somebody is around agreeing or disagreeing. Lately there have been many movies on this subject.

There is hallucination. Dictionary tells us that it is a sensory experience of something that does not exist outside the mind. The root meaning of the word ‘hallucination’ is ‘a wandering of the mind’.

Let me put this question out there,

“When the technique of ‘looking’ is applied to spot inconsistencies what happens to hallucinations?”

Or, maybe someone could provide an alternate question.


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  • vinaire  On June 10, 2012 at 7:14 AM

    It seems that a hallucination can be very mild and may simply serve to alter reality.

    Can religious ideas and imagery, such as that of The Last Judgement, result from hallucinations?

    Can expectations, such as those on the OT levels of Scientology, result in hallucinations of OT abilities?


    • vinaire  On June 10, 2012 at 1:56 PM

      OT Levels in Scientology is an interesting subject in itself. I am addressing it separately here.

      My thoughts on OT Levels

      This study of OT Levels may clarify how hallucinations come about on OT Levels. This may also shed light on how hallucinations, in general, could get associated with religious ideas, even when those ideas are seen as sensible.


  • fredwx  On June 10, 2012 at 7:59 AM

    I guess the question first becomes is anything out there really out there? We say that we observe something external to our body with our senses but these data must be interpreted by our brain. An hallucination would be something that starts within the brain based on the total of are past experiences. I would guess that the stronger those experiences, the stronger the potential hallucination. What is the brains mechanism to sort this all out? 

    • vinaire  On June 10, 2012 at 10:22 AM

      We may say that reality is a response to stimulus that lies outside the body; hallucination is a response to “stimulus” that lies within the body.


    • vinaire  On June 10, 2012 at 10:25 AM

      You mention “past experiences.” How does an experience come about in the first place?


      • fredwx  On June 11, 2012 at 6:41 AM

        Experience would come from memory of all the external stimuli. When we dream I suspect those memories are being processed in some way to help us cope with whatever the next day brings us. Perhaps, a similar process occurs when certain conditions arise to have that dreaming process operate while we are awake.

      • vinaire  On June 11, 2012 at 7:40 AM

        Fred, I agree that a reasonable assumption would be to postulate something that impacts our senses. This impact then gets interpreted by our mind as perception. This perception then gets processed almost immediately into experience. I looked at this phenomenon here.


        The question then arises, “Is this impact coming from within ourselves or from outside?” This then requires us to identify the boundary, which separates the “within” from “without.” Is this boundary the surface of our body. Here we are looking at the mind as a sense organ which also gets impacted. That impact then gets interpreted as “visualization.”

        All that we perceive, whether physical objects or mental visualization, is then part of our mental interpretation of what is impacting our senses. The inherent nature of that impact would be unknowable. What is knowable would be the interpretation of that impact by our senses. Thus, we only know our own interpretation of some unknowable stimulus. There is no other knowledge.

        A hallucination would also be an interpretation of some unknowable impact to our senses. Of course, it will be shaped by our past experiences, which are basically our interpretation of past unknowable impacts.

        How is this hallucination different from normal visualization? How is the awake state different from the dream state?

        I guess I am asking the same question that you are asking.


        • fredwx  On June 12, 2012 at 6:42 PM

          I saw this article about the work of Dean Radin and Dick Bierman whose research that the brain is reacting to stimuli before it is experienced. If true, this is down the rabbit hole stuff


        • fredwx  On June 12, 2012 at 6:44 PM

          Here is another ref from Dr. Fred Wolf http://cognet.mit.edu/posters/TUCSON3/Wolf.html

        • vinaire  On June 13, 2012 at 5:39 AM

          These articles are basically looking at the phenomenon of consciousness appearing before the actual perception. It is to be understood that consciousness and perception are two different activities. Please see,

          THE STRUCTURE OF “I”

          Consciousness is of a general form, whereas the perception is more specific. Of course, these activities needs to be understood better. The basic understanding, however, is that these phenomenon are all relative to each other. They arise because of each other, and none of them can be understood completely in isolation.

          Maybe, this all is just one phenomenon.


    • vinaire  On June 10, 2012 at 10:30 AM

      “What is the brains mechanism to sort this all out?”

      That is a good question. I don’t know if there is any brain mechanism to outright differentiate hallucination from reality. Maybe, reality and hallucination are simply part of the same spectrum… just different wave-lengths.

      The only solution seems to be to keep spotting inconsistencies and looking at them more and more closely until they resolve. Then look at what we get left with.


  • vinaire  On June 10, 2012 at 8:39 AM

    To me it seems that if a perception is repeatedly there in a very consistent fashion (consistent with all other perceptions) then it is considered to be real instead of a hallucination.

    A hallucination seems to be a perception that is fleeting and out of sync with other perceptions.

    What do you think?


    • fredwx  On June 11, 2012 at 6:44 AM

      Perhaps also it may be us interfacing in some way with a parallel universe or perhaps we get out of sync somehow with time.

      • vinaire  On June 11, 2012 at 9:26 AM

        The idea of ‘parallel universe’ would be the result of the interpretation of some impact on our senses.

        The problem is that everything that we know, or we are aware of, is the outcome of our interpretation or speculation, the ultimate basis of which will forever be unknowable. We cannot know the absolute basis in terms of some knowledge.

        The only option then is to look for inconsistency in what we are aware of and look for the missing element, which would make it all consistent.


  • vinaire  On June 10, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    If one sees an angel, or hears the voice of an angel, reciting some biblical verses to him, will that be hallucination?


    • fredwx  On June 11, 2012 at 6:48 AM

      Seeing an angel would suggest somehow we are percieving something outside of space-time or this angel somehow is communicating to us directly by some stimulation of the brain (telepathy?)

    • vinaire  On June 11, 2012 at 9:31 AM

      Well, that perception of the angel would be the result of some impact on our senses. We can only speculate about the nature of that impact besides interpreting it as this “angel” phenomenon.

      It basically comes down to the question, “Are we aware that it is a hallucination when we are hallucinating? When do we become aware that what we are perceiving is a hallucination?”


  • Chris Thompson  On June 11, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    Really good topic. A long time coming – I hope more people will participate in this.

    Regarding Vinaire’s comment above: “Thus, we only know our own interpretation of some unknowable stimulus. There is no other knowledge.” You will have no better way of verifying this statement than the following question that you asked, “If one sees an angel, or hears the voice of an angel, reciting some biblical verses to him, will that be hallucination?” Or I could ask, how would we verify something existing outside the mind?

    • vinaire  On June 11, 2012 at 10:15 AM

      There is no way of verifying, “We only know our own interpretation of some unknowable stimulus. There is no other knowledge.” This is so because it is simply a conclusion derived from the constraints that the consideration of consistency imposes on us. I invite others to falsify this conclusion.

      One may say that source of the impact on our senses may exist outside the mind. But does it? Can we know it?

      So if one hears the angels reciting biblical verses to one, I can interpret it only as a phenomenon of the mind. But can we call this phenonenon a hallucination?


      • Chris Thompson  On June 11, 2012 at 5:41 PM

        Vinaire: “We only know our own interpretation of some unknowable stimulus. There is no other knowledge.”

        This is only your interpretation. To quote your past questions, why must there be a cause? (stimulus) And your persistent use of the word unknowable to fill a gap that you can’t explain is inconsistent. , well, er, uh, I should write that your inconsistency is consistent.

        So did you decide whether hearing angels is a hallucination?

        • fredwx  On June 12, 2012 at 7:00 PM

          We may not know now what that stimulus is, however, that doesn’t mean it is unknowable in the future. In the article I posted above shows that the brain can react to real stimuli before it occurs so should we think that all stimuli originate within the mind? Would this be considered an inconsistency?

        • Chris Thompson  On June 12, 2012 at 9:45 PM

          Yes. For the purpose of what we are discussing. Yes.

        • vinaire  On June 13, 2012 at 7:56 AM

          The problem is not of knowing something in future. The problem is that of knowing something in an absolute sense, whether it is now or in future,


          The stimulus can only be known in a relative sense, and not in an absolute sense. Relative stimuli would be part of the mind. That is not an inconsistency.


        • Chris Thompson  On June 14, 2012 at 12:04 AM

          You are defining unknown and not unknowable.

        • vinaire  On June 14, 2012 at 5:22 AM

          Unknown could be said to be unknowable in a relative sense. Unknown is relative. Unknowable is absolute.


        • Chris Thompson  On June 14, 2012 at 7:24 AM

          No, unknown is not the relative sense of unknowable. The first is a statement of a fact and the second is a faith based religious belief.

        • vinaire  On June 14, 2012 at 8:36 AM

          Well, the idea of unknowable is supported by science (Uncertainty principle) and mathematics (Gödel’s incompleteness theorems). I would not call UNKNOWABLE a faith based on religious belief.

          I support it only because of the consistency it provides among data I know. I find it to be a very valuable premise to start from.


      • vinaire  On June 11, 2012 at 6:07 PM

        Of course, it is how I see things, and it is consistent with what I know.

        In the ultimate sense I don’t think there is a cause or stimulus. If there is such a thing then it would be a part of one’s interpretation of the unknowable impact on senses. But I can’t even say for sure if there is such an impact.

        The idea of unknowable is not inconsistent. Actually, it is the consistency itself that leads to the idea of unknowable. This idea was first expressed here.

        The Creation Hymn of Rig Veda

        It is also the key concept underlying agnosticism. Please look at this Wikipedia article.


        Check out more details here.

        Google: Unknowable in Philosophy

        By the way, you don’t have to worry about unknowable at all if you are not making any claims of absolute nature. Just focus on sorting out inconsistencies and you would do fine.

        That is what I am doing. 🙂


        • Chris Thompson  On June 11, 2012 at 8:18 PM

          Vinaire: “Of course, it is how I see things, and it is consistent with what I know.”

          Chris: Yes, agreed. And I think equally true is the statement “that is how anyone ever sees things at any time.” Agreed? And if so, then “consistency” is an agreed upon reference? Like this moment. And the BTs and the Clusters? And Jesus and Xenu and Buddha and Vishnu and Satan?

        • vinaire  On June 12, 2012 at 5:25 AM

          Consistency is a function of a person’s existing state. It is the looking and spotting of inconsistencies, which provides the challenge to improve upon that state.

          What inconsistency do you see in the concept of unknowable? Please see


          It simply means that you know that you can never know everything. I see nothing inconsistent in that.


  • Chris Thompson  On June 11, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    So would you say that “hallucination” is a category? And if so, of what set?
    Do you see reality as a subset of hallucination or vice versa?

    • vinaire  On June 12, 2012 at 5:28 AM

      I see hallucination and reality as different wave-lengths on the spectrum of perception, just like blue and red are different wave-lengths on the spectrum of light.


  • Chris Thompson  On June 11, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    By simple definitions, we mean hallucination to be within the mind and illusion to be without the mind. What is left?

    • vinaire  On June 12, 2012 at 5:29 AM

      I think illusion to be still another wave-length on the spectrum of perception.


    • fredwx  On June 12, 2012 at 7:47 PM

      I see illusion as a miss interpretation of external stimulus by the brain.

      • Chris Thompson  On June 12, 2012 at 7:59 PM

        Fred, you mean the “shine” on the asphalt when looking far ahead is misinterpreted as “water” when it is really a reflection of the sky?

        • fredwx  On June 13, 2012 at 7:34 AM

          Yes, that would be an example.

      • vinaire  On June 13, 2012 at 7:59 AM

        But you do not know the “illusion” to be an illusion until you spot some inconsistency with respect to your background reality.

        But then the background reality comes under question too.


  • Brian  On June 12, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    I think the difference between hallucination and reality is whether others can also perceive the things you are perceiving. If you see an elephant sitting at the dinner table and no one else sees this elephant than I think that’s what is considered to be an hallucination. Now as to memories of past existences, this is entirely within the mind – are they memories or are they hallucinations? Some say they have access to the Akashic records – what is this? I know that when I remember something that happened in my current life, there also goes along with that a certainty that that memory is not delusional – I know I did that in my past. How do I know? I’m not sure what you’d call it but I know that process it is different than memory.

    • vinaire  On June 13, 2012 at 8:49 AM

      You cannot say that for sure because “others” could be part of hallucination. Agreement with others can also reinforce a hallucination, such as, “The earth is flat.” So, I would count “others” and “agreement” out from the consideration of hallucination. It all boils down to what one is perceiving versus what that person’s background reality is.

      You say that memories of past existences is entirely within the mind. Please tell me what is not within the mind? All perception is interpretation of something that is impacting the senses. That interpretation would be within the mind. So, I would say that any and all perception is within the mind. Hallucination and Reality are simply two different categories of that percepton based on whether that perception is inconsistent or consistent with some background reality.

      Certainty is based on consistency among that which one is aware of. Additional awareness of infornmation not known before may raise questions that may shake that certainty. people can be very certain about their memory. This certainty may come under question when evidence to the contrary is found.


      • Chris Thompson  On June 13, 2012 at 2:04 PM

        Vinaire: “This certainty may come under question when evidence to the contrary is found. .”

        Chris: If I am not seeking to smooth my understanding of things, “evidence” is not going to bend my certainty nor sway me to look. If I am already seeking to smooth my understanding than then I won’t be wasting my energy on being certain.

        • vinaire  On June 13, 2012 at 2:23 PM

          Certainty is always relative. To assume absolute certainty, as in Scientology, is inconsistent.


        • Chris Thompson  On June 13, 2012 at 3:18 PM

          I do not understand your fixation on Scientology. But if that is your example, then no it is not inconsistent except to you. The overriding inconsistency in your point of view is that you assert that your point of view is most consistent, and it is — to you. Likewise, everyone else’s opinions are most consistent to them. This is kind of basic, but consistency has a double edge in that it is cutting equally as well for anyone. Your grabbing onto ideas like “unknowable” and “consistency” and then repeating them as a kind of mantra is an inconsistency to me but for sure it is unproductive, or is it productive to you and that is just my inconsistency that I think it is unproductive?

        • vinaire  On June 13, 2012 at 3:32 PM

          Consistency is also relative. I try not to criticize when I disagree with what other people consider consistent. It is for them to work through their inconsistencies.

          I go after my own inconsistencies.


        • Chris Thompson  On June 13, 2012 at 11:33 PM

          Yes, sometimes you do, but this time you went off on the Scientology again. It is fruitless.

        • vinaire  On June 14, 2012 at 5:08 AM

          Somehow the subject of hallucinations remind me of OT levels of Scientology. I do not find these OT levels leading a person to Freedom like Buddhism does. There is a big difference. I am simply interested in this inconsistency for myself since I have been involved with both Scientology and Buddhism. Writing about it is my way of sorting it out in my mind.

          Other peoples’s experiences are their experiences. If they are happy or unhappy with them then I take it for what it is.You may certainly share your ideas about OT levels if you wish to. I won’t be making you wrong for your ideas.

          I discuss ideas. I try not to discuss the people who hold those ideas.


  • vinaire  On June 13, 2012 at 7:48 AM

    Perception is the interpretation of some impact on the senses. This perception could be termed REALITY, or ILLUSION, or HALLUCINATION.

    These different flavors of perception are all in the mind.


    • Chris Thompson  On June 13, 2012 at 1:46 PM

      There may be a syllogism in this to prove or disprove the domain of the mind.

    • vinaire  On June 13, 2012 at 2:15 PM

      Probably, that syllogism is the degree of consistency or inconsistency observed.


  • Brian  On June 13, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    As the universe is within the One and as the Many we have taken viewpoints inside then we are just having a nice chat with Ourself about our wonderful illusion. It’s something we do to while away the passing moments. 🙂

    • vinaire  On June 13, 2012 at 3:54 PM

      “Universe is within the One” seems to be an arbitrary assumption.

      One what?

  • vinaire  On June 13, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    Here is another interesting side discussion this time on ESMB.

    My thoughts on OT Levels



    • Chris Thompson  On June 14, 2012 at 12:20 AM

      Your thoughts on the OT levels are non sequitur seeing as how you have no particular basis or experience auditing. And you’re off topic with this post – again with the Scientology fixation. Aren’t we discussing hallucinations? Or what? Or is this your point? That your Scientology/unknowable/consistency/Veda hallucination is still present, live, and active? Where you going with this discussion?

    • vinaire  On June 14, 2012 at 5:29 AM

      Who knows what is hallucination and what is not hallucination. That is hard to pinpoint in an absolute sense. But I can recognize inconsistency and follow up on it.

      What is auditing but looking? Do you have some other definition?


  • Chris Thompson  On June 14, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    Consistency is not a panacea for logic. Consistency can be manipulated and “manipulation of consistency” is the epitome of religion. The purpose of religion is to provide a backdrop of consistency for man to understand his existence. Your arguments are sometimes brilliant and sometimes falling into this category of manipulation of consistency. This is how I see your current arguments using chaff to explain rather than piercing these husks with focused looking. This statement right here is closer to Godel’s intent. Your invocation of Godel is classic Godel and makes your unknowable consistent by being inconsistent.

    • vinaire  On June 14, 2012 at 10:54 AM

      I believe consistency to be senior to logic. There is no manipulation possible. Either something is consistent or it is not. It is part of looking and not thinking.

      • Chris Thompson  On June 14, 2012 at 11:51 AM

        So then you have arrived at filter-less looking?

      • vinaire  On June 14, 2012 at 1:37 PM

        You can’t say that.

        The premise of unknowable is simply the proper place to start because it helps you discover any filter that is there. This is because one is not taking anything for granted.

        With the premise of unknowable one can start cutting down the filter layer by layer.


        • Chris Thompson  On June 14, 2012 at 1:56 PM

          All looking is filtered. To be effective, the looking must get outside any layer of filter to perceive that filter. The previous filter becomes the present inconsistency.

        • Chris Thompson  On June 14, 2012 at 2:05 PM

          I will perceive any filter as consistent while I look through it. Only when I step to the side and see the filter as a filter will it become inconsistent, allowing me to level it.

        • vinaire  On June 14, 2012 at 4:06 PM

          Looking is simply looking. Until it recognizes the filter it cannot be outside the filter. And to do that all it can do is to simply examine all inconsistencies that it comes across. Sooner or later it may recognize the filter. It is the recognition of many inconsistencies that may provide the inkling of a filter.


        • Chris Thompson  On June 14, 2012 at 2:01 PM

          Or to say another way, your looking requires a looker which is inconsistent with your assertion that there be no beingness on the part of the looker, only looking. Yet to make this looking complete requires a looker and something to look at.

          Good meditation, this.

        • vinaire  On June 14, 2012 at 4:12 PM

          As long as there is existence there is also beingness. However that beingness is made up of ever-changing physical and mental forces or energies.

          THE STRUCTURE OF “I”

          And as long as there is looking, there is something to look at.


  • Brian  On June 14, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Vinaire: “There is no unmoving mover behind the movement.”

    Many sages would disagree with you. What is your reference for this statement?

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