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Religious experience or delusion

  1. janesix profile image60
    janesixposted 2 years ago

    How do you tell if you are having a religious experience or a delusion/hallucination?

    From my personal experience, it is impossible to tell.

    But I have had concrete evidence that tells me that I've at least had some hallucinations. So how much is hallucination? All of it?

    In order to live a normal life, I have to suspect that all of it is probably delusion.

    I'm not saying there is no God, etc. Just that my own brain can not interpret the world around me correctly, so it tries to fill in the blanks. I think there is some truth behind the delusion, but that I personally can't know what it is.

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      Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      If someone claims that they experience God, but can't supply any evidence they probably are either hallucinations or delusions or outright lies or an overactive imagination.

      I'd tell them to go to a doctor but they might just say they have phobias that prevent them from doing so.

    2. calculus-geometry profile image85
      calculus-geometryposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Accepting that they are delusions, as you are doing now in a clearer state of mind, is the safest option.Trying to justify that they might be religious experiences could lead you to some harm.  Have a nice lunch with your family. smile

      1. janesix profile image60
        janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        We had a great time, thanks:)

  2. janesix profile image60
    janesixposted 2 years ago

    For now, I'm going to take a break from religion, go have a nice lunch with my mom,and spend some time with my boyfriend on his day off.

    I plan to have a great day, and a mushroom swiss burger and tater tots.

  3. psycheskinner profile image80
    psycheskinnerposted 2 years ago

    I've never had what I would call a religious experience, but I suppose that must be where faith comes in?

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    Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago

    Is a religious experience solely defined by whether one sees or hears God?  Why is it something that leads so easily to assumptions of delusion or hallucination?  IMO, people have religious experiences all the time that don't involve hallucinations of any kind.

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      Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Right, I agree, but when someone says God speaks threw them and they are a prophet it's time to get some help.

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        Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        That seems perfectly reasonable to me.  I'm just curious as to how most people would describe a religious experience.

        1. janesix profile image60
          janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Me too, but people seem reluctant to describe their experiences for some reason. Me, I'm an open (yet still anonymous) book.

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            Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            I am also, though obviously less anonymous. smile

            For me an actual religious experience has never included any sort of hallucinations.  More than anything, I walk away with a sense of clarity, peace, and the feeling of having been in the presence of a power and love greater than anything I've ever known in human interaction.  I've never had visions or heard voices, but have had many religious experiences.

            I think, given our respective histories, that to seriously be concerned about any type of hallucination is very wise.

            smile

            1. janesix profile image60
              janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              I've had a couple experiences where the "feeling" of God was deep in my soul, without any physical or even really mental feeling (although, of course, it was emotional). Is that the type of thing you are talking about?

              1. wilderness profile image97
                wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                What made you attribute the feeling to a god?  The overall emotional feeling before it came?  The circumstances?  The state of emotions AFTER it came/left?  That it was a different feeling that experienced before?

                1. janesix profile image60
                  janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  I just "knew" it was God. However, I'm at the point where everything is suspect. It doesn't have to be all or nothing, I suppose. But there is very little that I can say I absolutely know is real. I can't even say God is real at this point, although it pains me to say that. I just don't know anymore.

                  1. A Troubled Man profile image60
                    A Troubled Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Yes, the vast majority of believers explain their alleged religious experiences as feelings and emotions. But, we all have feelings and emotions, yet Christians have religious experiences of Jesus, Muslims have them with Allah, and so forth..., so it would appear the religious experiences are just something believers want to believe, but are nothing more than what everyone shares, feelings and emotions.

                2. janesix profile image60
                  janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  The major episode where I 'knew" it was God was a feeling I've never experienced before or since. It is unexplainable.

                  1. wilderness profile image97
                    wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    I don't know that I can empathize (sympathize) as I've never had a feeling that I ascribed to a god.

                    But I cannot imagine any emotional feeling at all that would ever convince me that a god was there.  Feelings come, feelings go, and they change in very mysterious ways.  "Feelings", as far as I'm concerned are not proof of anything except that my mind does things that do not connect to reality.

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                Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                It is.  smile

    2. janesix profile image60
      janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I've had experiences that go beyond seeing and hearing. But if I can't trust the auditory/visual and known delusional experiences, than what can I trust?

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
        Kathryn L Hillposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        …It is possible to see the spiritual eye (a blue light) in the center of your forehead between the eyebrows and hear a flute like sound in your right ear. If you have heard or seen these you are not hallucinating.

        1. janesix profile image60
          janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I've seen all kinds of things. I've had concrete evidence that at least some of it isn't real. That's why I suspect the rest isn't real either.

          I can even possibly ascribe some of it to maybe a natural DMT experience. We do have it naturally in our brains. It's like free LSD, or ayahuasca. (Not that that's a good thing, by the way. Euphoria is great, but it's certainly not always euphoric).

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          Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I certainly KNOW who I CAN'T trust.

  5. Cgenaea profile image60
    Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago

    To me, a "religious experience" is sitting in "church" on the Sabbath day. smile
    However, an experience of God which is a totally different thing in my opinion, is a deeply-seated soul/heart/open experience that completely encompasses the total being and brings with it an unexplainable feeling of love; peace; and joy. It seals the feeling of doubt outside and confirms that that has been at one time or another, obscure. Yes smile and when it's over (though never really over) Blessed assurance... oh! And goose pimples though warm all over. wink

  6. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 2 years ago

    ...love or delusion?


    love, of course!

    1. janesix profile image60
      janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I don't know what you mean.

  7. 0
    Emile Rposted 2 years ago

    I consider it delusional to ascribe all experiences all people have had throughout the history of humanity, which they have determined to be of a religious nature, to delusion or hallucination.

    I think it is more than reasonable to assume that some of said experiences have been misinterpreted, on some (or all) levels. I think it is also reasonable to assume that some people do lie about things that never happened.

    If you have had an experience that cannot be explained through natural causes it is just as pointless to chalk it up to delusion as to religion. Both explanations are simply attempts to find an answer where none may currently exist. You don't have to explain the unexplainable.

    1. janesix profile image60
      janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Why does anything have to be unexplainable? That sounds a bit like giving up to me.

      1. Cgenaea profile image60
        Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        ??? ask the depths of "the black hole"
        Or the original point of the wind... or 1Peter1:7-9

        1. janesix profile image60
          janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I think it's the rabbit hole:)

          I've been down this one one too many times I think anyway. Time for me to go outside an take a walk and enjoy the sunshine, maybe.

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            Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            I hope your weather is as lovely as ours today!  Enjoy the walk.  smile

          2. Cgenaea profile image60
            Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Cool! 8) see you when you get back...

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        Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        If you can't give an honest reply, why attempt to make things up? Chalking something up as unexplainable doesn't mean you give up attempting to find the answers. It means you understand that attributing meaning without being able to back it up with facts is dishonest.

        Think of it this way. If I claim to have seen a unicorn and insist that the unicorn sighting proved that there was a third moon of Saturn that contained a herd of unicorns. That the one I saw definitely suffered from a problem of wanderlust; because most unicorns prefer to move in herds. That this unicorn suffering from wanderlust was the harbinger of disaster; in that his inability to stay in the herd meant that other unicorns would soon wander and when they wandered the orbit of that moon of Saturn would be effected by the fact that so much weight had been removed from it. That moon would, eventually, fall out of orbit and crash into Saturn. That one disaster would cause all of the planets in our solar system to fall out of orbit and all humanity would die. ....... Would you say I was reading a little too much into a sighting of something that I couldn't explain through natural means?

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          Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          If you said all that it would easily be explainable through a natural means.

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            Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            lol 

            I saw a unicorn. Don't mock me.

            But, seriously. All I am saying is that unexplainable things do happen. It doesn't prove God. It doesn't prove anything. All it means is that something unexplainable happened. People don't need to read more into it than the information attained through the experience.

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              Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              There are only things that are unexplainable now. If we label them unexplainable then we stop looking for an explanation.

              I'm glad you caught the humour. wink

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                Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Seriously? I find unexplainable the most interesting things to think about and attempt to explain. So, what? Does your brain stop working when you are stumped by a question? I've never experienced that problem, myself.

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                  Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  It was Newton who said it was impossible to find the math that would explain the universe because it was done by God so he didn't bother trying. Someone else did a few years later.

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                    Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    I suppose, being compared to Newton isn't necessarily a bad thing.....however, I obviously am not Newton. Why would you arbitrarily assume something he said applied to me?

        2. Cgenaea profile image60
          Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I'd ask if ANY other person may concur with you. If you had millions...I may just look for one horned horses... wink

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            Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Well....maybe if millions could concur the third moon of Saturn would have already fallen out of orbit. Let's hope, for the sake of humanity, we have no more sightings. tongue

            1. Cgenaea profile image60
              Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Your scenario... shrugs. Ok, no more sightings! I will concur with you on that!!! wink
              Too bad you spent all that time putting together your lesson plan...

    2. janesix profile image60
      janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      "I consider it delusional to ascribe all experiences all people have had throughout the history of humanity, which they have determined to be of a religious nature, to delusion or hallucination.

      I don't think I said anything like that. In fact, I was obviously describing personal experience. I think it's reasonable that since SOME of my episodes were proven to be delusional, that they all were. Why would God play games? Doesn't make much sense to me.

      1. Cgenaea profile image60
        Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        It is "delusional" Dear Sirs, to consider thyselves capable of understanding all that there is...
        Can YOU draw out the construction processes of those very big, very evident tombs in Egypt??? Can you figure the way for me to flap my legs and arms in such a way as to give me flight like the bald eagle (I'll even take chicken flight. The streets are hard to cross in Chicago.)??? The recipe for my grandmother's 7up cake with that clear tart frosting???

        1. janesix profile image60
          janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Is there something wrong with trying to understand things? I would be satisfied with just a general answer on some things. Like if God cam down to me and said, "yes, I exist, and this is why you're here" I would probably stop asking the question.

          1. Cgenaea profile image60
            Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Not if you consider the circumstances of that visit a really delusional day for you... the "proof" comes from the heart/spirit. Not visions. ATM can ALWAYS explain visions. wink

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        Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        You are the one who has inserted the word God into the equation. But, anyway. Only you can determine if your experiences can be attributed to delusion, or not. I have no idea what your experiences are.

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          Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          No, that's not true. Professionals can determine if someone's experiences can be attributed to delusions or psychosis. The patient can't because the delusions and hallucinations seem real to them.

          If you say a unicorn with your description and relayed that to a professional they would determine that that hallucinations was not real.

          1. 0
            Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            That is patently untrue. Yes. Hallucinations do happen. However, just because someone else attributes an experience to hallucination doesn't necessarily mean someone experienced an hallucination. Everybody laughed at me once because I went out for a smoke break and saw a bob cat. It was kind of stupid, really. It isn't like they are extinct. They simply didn't think a bobcat would have been in that particular area at that time. I didn't hallucinate. It was that no one believed me. It didn't matter whether they believed me, or not. I know what a bob cat looks like and I know what I saw.

            As in other situations. The individual involved is the one most able to determine if what they experienced was real, or not. If you discuss it with a professional they can assist in helping you to determine if it was imagined, or not. They can help you understand why you might have thought you saw something you didn't. But, if you actually saw something it wouldn't matter whether anyone believed you or not. What is important is if you trust yourself enough to know what you saw was real.

            1. janesix profile image60
              janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              .

              "As in other situations. The individual involved is the one most able to determine if what they experienced was real, or not. If you discuss it with a professional they can assist in helping you to determine if it was imagined, or not. They can help you understand why you might have thought you saw something you didn't. But, if you actually saw something it wouldn't matter whether anyone believed you or not. What is important is if you trust yourself enough to know what you saw was real."

              Have you ever experienced hallucinations or delusions? I have. I didn't know they weren't real, at the time. I had to be shown evidence that they weren't real, later, after med changes. I saw how what I thought was real at the time was only in my mind. It's actually pretty scary. Luckily, I have certain "feelings" that tend to go along with delusions or hallucinations, so I can better determine whether or not something's real or not. Still, I have to ask people whether certain things are there or not.

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                Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                As I said. If you discuss it with a professional, they can help you determine if it was real, or not. Sounds like you got help and were able to determine that you were hallucinating. I'm afraid everyone doesn't hallucinate. We can't make general assumptions about the experiences of others from the experiences of one individual.

                Your story about the writing in the bathroom was interesting. It must have freaked you out to think someone wrote something directed at you on a bathroom wall at a random rest stop.

                1. janesix profile image60
                  janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  It did freak me out. But that was par for the course by then. I was getting those (delusions of reference) almost constantly by then. Movies, the Internet, anywhere.

                  Now, if I think anything is directed towards me, I just make a note of it for my log, and ignore it the best I can.

    3. Cgenaea profile image60
      Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      So why all the questions? If you know that the unexplainable need not be explained; what in your opinion, drives the carnal to consistently question spiritual things??? It is mind boggling that someone who has ALREADY been told that there is no adequate explanation to describe spiritual things to consistently question the unexplainable phenomenon.
      Seems kinda like a set-up to me. But I guess there arent many OTHER ways to despute the indesputable than to run it around the mulberry a few times... lol

      1. janesix profile image60
        janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Nothing's indisputable.

        1. Cgenaea profile image60
          Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Oops... I KEPT looking at that word, thanks...
          Indisputable is the spirit of God. No one has a clue...but those with faith that grows.

          1. janesix profile image60
            janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Even the existence of God is disputable for me.

            1. Cgenaea profile image60
              Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              I know. You seem to be a turnip phlebotomist... aint no blood in there... smile

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        Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        On one hand, I see your point.  Especially after we feel like we've answered all the questions reasonably and like the ones that keep coming aren't really any different than the ones before. 

        But human beings are absolutely, insatiably curious.  We will likely question until we shuffle off this mortal coil. 

        Questioning doesn't seem so awful to me, as long as I'm going to the right place for answers.  You and I have found our right place.  smile Others are still searching.

        1. Cgenaea profile image60
          Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          No way to suck blood from a turnip. smile no matter HOW curious about the color you are...
          Spirit and flesh are worlds apart and never the two shall meet. You can never explain the fullness of something so intangible. Yet...

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            Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Then we have to turn that logic back on us as believers.  Why try?  When a wall is up that neither party can (or is willing to) take down, why do we all stand and beat our heads against it rather than just living and praying happily on our own side until it comes down over time?

            1. Cgenaea profile image60
              Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Cuz we KEEP getting the questions. smile and you know what the bible says. We need to give an answer. Someone who is open to God will "hear".

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                Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                An answer. One. I know it seems that we're often at odds, Genaea, when it comes to spiritual matters.  I just think that, for us, there is one answer.  It doesn't satisfy.  Simply saying to others that you don't have an answer that will work for them acknowledges no deficiency in faith, just an unwillingness to fight.  I admit that no amount of logic or rational discussion can or will convince anyone of the truths that I claim.  But I have a reason for it.  They can take or leave those reasons, but it doesn't change them for me.  Or make me less willing to talk to them.  A point always comes where I can say that I have nothing more to offer that will further the conversation, but that doesn't mean that it ends, so much as it changes, and new avenues open up for growth and understanding.  Like knowing that some people are audio v. visual learners.  Others need hands on stuff.  If I can only present in one methodology, maybe it takes a new type of direction.  Make sense?  Like I LOVE my GPS.  Spoken turn by turn works for me.  I'm absolutely going to get lost if I'm expected to read a map.

                1. Cgenaea profile image60
                  Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Bingo!!! smile so you say that some require a good talking through it to make it to their intended destination??? God knew that. I hear your one. But does your GPS stop after one direction??? Or does the lovely time saver keep talking until you find the way to your destination??? One answer is not sufficient. It takes many turns. The road is narrow and specific. All other roads eventually come to a dead end. Jesus is the GPS. smile he leads the way to the father by himself. He wrote out the map; and told us to follow it precisely (I mean he said "obey my commands") one being "preach"...
                  If you believe as WE believe... wink

                  1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
                    Kathryn L Hillposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    How easy and very very sad to deny the validity of the NT! How do you confront those naysayers, Cgenaea?

          2. A Troubled Man profile image60
            A Troubled Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            This is obviously something believers have just made up out of thin air, just like they made up "spirit" out of thin air so that they might believe they are special, "tuned in" to another invisible realm the rest of us can only dream about.

            The only difference is that we're awake. smile

            1. Cgenaea profile image60
              Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              I didn't make this up... lol
              It is written!!! For all to see. Do YOU see it??? You don't have to answer; I know... THAT is written too.

      3. A Troubled Man profile image60
        A Troubled Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        The thinking, inquisitive mind is not satisfied with unexplainable phenomenon and wishes to seek answers. Not magical answers, of course, but real answers, the kind that make sense and follow reality. Magical answers are not answers at all, they are just made up nonsensical excuses that mask real answers, the kind that believers don't want to hear. And, that is what it all boils down, what believers want and don't want to hear about reality.

        1. Cgenaea profile image60
          Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Yes! The thinking inqiusitive questioning and ever unsure mind is seeking. However, the spiritual mind that carries the spirit of God knows already. Get it yet??? Unexplainable is just that. You gotta feeeeel (in my best Bruce Lee... smile ) you cannot feeeeel if you think too much. You miss reality when you rely on your own understanding. Would you tell the world the answers to ITS unexplainables already... smile we've been WAITING for someone so apt.

          1. A Troubled Man profile image60
            A Troubled Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Yes, I get it. The "spiritual mind" believes they are special and know things that others don't through their alleged magical means. It's really quite simple to understand.



            That is a direct contradiction to what we observe about reality and understanding.

            1. Cgenaea profile image60
              Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Speak for yourself...
              We got some big triangles in Egypt that no one can explain...but no doubt they were built...no doubt; still standing... and that is just ONE reality that you can see big as day and yet, your explanation is absent. Will you realize already that this battle already has a winner; and it aint your mind??? Lol...

              1. A Troubled Man profile image60
                A Troubled Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                That is what is referred to as a Strawman argument.

  8. janesix profile image60
    janesixposted 2 years ago

    One way I determined I was hallucinating was this. On the way to the hospital (while actively psychotic), I stopped at a rest area. There were words written on a wall that I thought were written for me personally.

    On the way back a week later (after a med change, and not actively psychotic), I stopped at the same rest area. I checked the wall specifically to see if the writing was there. It was, but it wasn't the way I saw it the first time. The letters were different. So, not only was it a visual hallucination, but it was also a delusion of reference, as well as paranoia.

    The mind plays games, to go along with your preferred delusion. It's scary how it works.

    It was a relief to see that I was only hallucinating the first time.

  9. aware profile image71
    awareposted 2 years ago

    goosebumps  .that's how u tell.

    1. janesix profile image60
      janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      ?

      That's how you tell what? That something isn't real? Or that something is a religious experience?

    2. Cgenaea profile image60
      Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      No, faith. Seems you are not aware of that fact... smile

  10. aware profile image71
    awareposted 2 years ago

    the latter

    1. janesix profile image60
      janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Maybe you just need to put a sweater on.

  11. aware profile image71
    awareposted 2 years ago

    sperio in dio . hope in god. I am aware.

  12. Cgenaea profile image60
    Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago

    Book aware? Or personally aware from inside? You know, there is a difference...

  13. janesix profile image60
    janesixposted 2 years ago

    List of Gods I've thought I was at some time or other:

    Athena
    Nepthys
    Nepthys/Set
    Ma'at (Justice)
    Sopia (Wisdom)
    A Nephilim
    Jesus (or avatar of Buddha/Jesus etc)
    God
    Persephone (Kore)

 
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