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.
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.
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.
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.
I've never had what I would call a religious experience, but I suppose that must be where faith comes in?
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.
Right, I agree, but when someone says God speaks threw them and they are a prophet it's time to get some help.
That seems perfectly reasonable to me. I'm just curious as to how most people would describe a religious experience.
Me too, but people seem reluctant to describe their experiences for some reason. Me, I'm an open (yet still anonymous) book.
I am also, though obviously less anonymous.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
Unfortunately, I can't. My mind is scattered. I've been through a lot.
Captivate your thoughts. It's doable. Start with what you KNOW and work from there.
Caution: the mind must be ruled by the spirit of God to understand him. But, if you dont buy that, firmly root where your captivated mind goes. There are many roads; only one that leads to God. So, this should be easy.
Thanks for trying to help.
My goal is to stay away from religious thought and discussion for the time being, but that obviously isn't working for me.
I am trying to focus on my life, and family. Getting a job. Things like that.
I would agree.
Jane, you seem to be a slightly different person than you were a while back, your thoughts are collected, reasonable and have continuity. Whatever it is that has changed, I like it.
Do ye not know that your life is not more than food or rainment??? Consider the sparrow; is he not fed??? Something else about the grass that grows and is tossed into the fire.
Bible paraphrase here...
If your focus is there, focus there. God prefers us hot or cold. Lukewarm tastes bad to him.
It's irresponsible to tell someone who as admitted to having delusional episodes and is on medication to listen to voices in her head. It's best that she understands that those voices or delusions are most likely not real.
Please be responsible.
Was that a reference to Dr Lamb? Haven't seen him in a while.
Please be responsible. That is a real person who is seeing professionals and seems to be on the mend.
So tell me of YOUR experiences with God... feelings and emotions are most evident within your posts, especially.
The major episode where I 'knew" it was God was a feeling I've never experienced before or since. It is unexplainable.
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.
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?
…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.
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).
To me, a "religious experience" is sitting in "church" on the Sabbath day.
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 and when it's over (though never really over) Blessed assurance... oh! And goose pimples though warm all over.
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.
Why does anything have to be unexplainable? That sounds a bit like giving up to me.
??? ask the depths of "the black hole"
Or the original point of the wind... or 1Peter1:7-9
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.
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?
If you said all that it would easily be explainable through a natural means.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Try just for a second to not think about yourself and how your brain works. For most people when they decide that Goddoneit they stop thinking. Think middle ages.
Those are your assumptions. You should stop thinking about the way your brain works...maybe?
Or, maybe your brain works as mine does. In that case, maybe you should stop assuming others aren't quite so bright.
Wondering how goddunit is not a bad thing.
Now, wondering IF he dun it...
Faith is nonexistent if it accepts that maybe God didn't dun it... then, the wolves come out to suggest away until...even the very elite are fooled.
Without God, there are a gazillion possibilities of what may have occurred to create such magnificence. And without an anchor, one is tossed to and fro by every new fangled idea.
God is the creator of the universe. It says so right...here! In the beginning...
Now if OTHER authors have spoken louder; or more convincingly then faith lies in that report. But then; someone comes along and "corrects" the "most correct" argument of the day and the waves start rolling.
I believe the bible. You and many others believe bits and pieces of all kinds of other stuff, including bits and pieces of the bible. Then they mix it all together and bake a FAKE CAKE that tastes REALLY good. But causes the worst ache because the "belly" is still empty. So, the next "cake" adds even more fillers using artificial flavorings until the cake explodes and the search for the "proper" ingredients begins again.
You feel me???
Place your faith in God or man. Is that more understandable???
God told us his plan. I mean laid it out full and complete. However, man is STILL searching.
Is faith in God; or man's ability? That is a really good question.
Got it? Or do I need to give the PREschool version? I AM prepared to do so if necessary...
I'm sure you are prepared for the preschool version, but we have advanced well beyond preschool, thanks. We are now at the point in life referred to as "adult".
That is just another way of saying "I refuse to learn anything"
No. I refuse to accept everything I "learn" if it does not align with where I have ALREADY placed my faith.
You will refuse to "learn" anything you don't already "know"?
I take it that the quest for knowledge is not one you follow?
I only know a few things. but if you want to teach me something else, it's got to align with those few. You got info I dont know that would help me "arise" to "acceptable" levels of consciousness???
Sorry, but unfortunately, to understand and grasp reality, one has to actually learn more than just a few things beyond the invisible and magical.
If "new" knowledge "aligns" with what is already known, it, too, must already be known in bulk if not detail.
It must be nice to already know everything of value, although I confess I would be bored to death if there were not always something new to learn. A difference in philosophy and values I suspect, but I'm sorry for you.
It would be boring if you knew everything. Learning isn't always fun (but most of the time, it is).
+1 If I couldn't continue to learn life would not be worth living.
Learn all you want.
Seems it gets you nowhere because you still search... but it is not my issue. You can learn many false things. Now if you are SURE that there is no God; no matter how I speak about him; you learn NOTHING of him...I guess I see what you mean.
Wilderness is agnostic, I think. He doesn't dismiss God outright, as far as I can tell.
To my knowledge not a single person has ever learned a single fact about any god. In spite of millions of people claiming otherwise, they only have opinions and beliefs.
But there is a whole universe out there to learn about - actual, verifiable knowledge that we can use to improve our lives or just enjoy the learning process.
Well, whoever "they" are, I'm happy as long as "they" keep feeding me new knowledge and understanding. It's fun, and so much better than making up my own stories that I know have no connection to reality.
They are those forces I spoke of earlier. They convince people that they are learning new information when there IS nothing new. They just recycle and refeed and their gobblers come in droves...
Have you ever seen Richard Pryor in The Wiz??? During the dance scene of the subjects in Oz; the Wiz changed the color every chorus. And the subjects changed colors and danced to his music just as quickly. This movie was made when I was very young and I had NO idea that it was prophetic of our current times. I wonder what color they will think of next...
God never changes. I kinda like stability. I dont have that many outfits. Lol
Learning is not about getting nowhere and searching, that couldn't be further from the truth. We search for more things to learn because there are a lot of things to learn. Of course, it gets us somewhere, you wouldn't have a computer or internet connection if it didn't get us anywhere. We'd all still be living in caves.
Let's talk about what we're talking about. I can probably out-read or out-think anyone in the room. But I have boundaries on that learning. If it crosses God's territory, and does not agree; it is tossed. But I got lots of filtered knowledge on other stuff.
The sq root of 4 is 2. The Statue of Liberty is tall. Cats have 4 legs; 2 eyes. A ton is 2000 pounds. There are 26 letters in the English alphabet (unless Prince already added his letter). See. Im just BURSTIN'
"If it crosses God's territory, and does not agree; it is tossed."
Then you are not interested in learning or in gaining knowledge. Because a great deal of "God's territory" is simply false, or untrue yet you will retain it, calling it truth in spite of knowing better. Certainly your choice, but it cannot be called "learning" to invent new scenarios to "God's territory" based on nothing but imagination.
Being intelligent has nothing to do with being open minded. I am dumb as a nail, you could probably dance around me four or five times in the intelligence department.
But my mind is about as open as you can get. (Maybe too much)
But learning is fabulous, nothing wrong with it at all.
Openmindedness can be dangerous. Did you google the scripture?
No, I didn't Google it. I know I am open-minded. I don't think it is dangerous at all.
I think it is a benefit for me. I am perhaps TOO open minded, and lack stability because of it. But I am also working on finding that stability for myself. I work at it continuously. I pick apart everything about myself to find out who I am, and where I stand on what issues. I want to be the best person I can be. That is one of my goals in life. Perhaps God is helping me with this, behind the scenes. I don't know. But if I keep working on myself, someday I will understand myself,and what makes me tick.
There is only ONE thing I know in the entire Universe. That I will choose good over bad. I may occasionally waver, but never for long, and I always right myself when I find myself tipping. If there is one benefit to my mental illness, it is that of self-improvement. I might not even always be able to figure out what is right or wrong in a given situation, but I will keep trying to figure these things out.
The bible knew you'd say that. Look at this:
King James Version (KJV)14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Who would you say the deceiver is? God???
There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING anyone could say to make me doubt God. I've been the recipient of so much of him throughout my life.
I don't believe I am being deceived by anyone.
But you already know I don't believe in the guy from Down Under.
You don't believe in Crocodile Dundee? are you afraid to speak the name of the nonexistent?
You do not believe the bible. So I would expect that you do not accept a LOT that it says. No issue between us.
I don't believe in Satan. I am not afraid to say that.
Crocodile Dundee is a different story though, he's kind of cute in a rough kind of way.
Yes! He's cute.
I really didn't think you were afraid to say it. Lol...
I think men in their forties are the best looking. I know he's a bit older than that, but still. A great looking man.
I actually was a bit afraid to say it. I had to make myself say it out loud. It was unpleasant, but I did it. It was a bit refreshing.
Lol!!! So the imaginary frightens...
I'm glad you faced your fear. Lol
No way to know everything...yet the search is on.
When you know that you know that two plus two is four; you may only build upon that knowledge. Not learn it over and over again.
When you learn that Christ is the way; you no longer need to search for the way, you build upon and find out all there is to know about THAT. You no longer need a "leader" you have one. And you go where he sends you. Not keep searching for a truer truth. Aint one...yet...
Kiss my Atlas, Wilderness. to me, all valuable info is in the bible. I hate that not everyone here feels that way. But we've got pride in self, faith in mere mortals SUCH AS the self, and skepticism of truth to contend with. Save your pity. You may need it...
This is really important.
http://www.upworthy.com/a-science-icon- … s-5?c=ufb2
That is basically saying the same thing, you refuse to learn anything. We all know that.
I'd ask if ANY other person may concur with you. If you had millions...I may just look for one horned horses...
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.
"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.
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???
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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. Others are still searching.
No way to suck blood from a turnip. 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...
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?
Cuz we KEEP getting the questions. and you know what the bible says. We need to give an answer. Someone who is open to God will "hear".
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.
Bingo!!! 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. 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...
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.
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.
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... ) 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... we've been WAITING for someone so apt.
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.
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...
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.
Book aware? Or personally aware from inside? You know, there is a difference...
List of Gods I've thought I was at some time or other:
Jesus (or avatar of Buddha/Jesus etc)
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