New Insights into ESP, Hallucinations and ASC
Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research, April 2018
10 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2017 Last revised: 30 Apr 2018
Date Written: April 27, 2017
Altered states of consciousness (ASC) induced by meditation, mind-altering drugs, hypnosis, or physiological lesion are quite an important, fascinating yet very sensitive field in the study of human consciousness. This paper attempts to make an interpretation of ASC from a unique perspective. On the basis of empirical materials, we summarize four essential phenomena (hallucinations, paranormal phenomena, more sensitive awareness and mystical experiences) in ASC after an initial clarification. However, the existence of paranormal phenomena, especially extrasensory perception (ESP), has been disputed for more than a century. Therefore, taking ESP as a breakthrough, we first propose a novel hypothesis that ESP happens because there are two pathways to affect perception, and the essence of ESP is that internal false stimulations are mistaken as external objective stimulations which enter through various senses, while real external objective stimulations are mistaken as perceptions which do not result from various senses when one is in deep hallucinations. To support this hypothesis, which is totally different from "quantum entanglement" and "multidimensional space-time", we then develop an original model of hallucinations: When internal false stimulations and external objective stimulations affect perception together, the changes in the relationship of their strength will result in the consistence, breakdown and re-consistence of the five senses, leading to three states of hallucinations (one can distinguish reality from fantasy, one cannot distinguish reality from fantasy, and reality and fantasy are totally reversed). Furthermore, the inconsistence of the five senses can also explain the generation mechanism of out-of-body experiences, synesthesia and many other marvelous psychedelic phenomena in ASC. Subsequently, a new filtering model is presented to explain the more sensitive awareness and its potential value is explored. On this basis, a unified analytical framework will be made to reveal the essence of ASC: The loss of the self results in three mechanisms (more sensitive awareness, hallucinations and jhana samadhi) and the relationship between them is figured out. Finally, this paper also reveals the essence of the Buddhist deep insight and the mystery of cessation and insight.
Keywords: extrasensory perception (ESP), hallucinations, altered states of consciousness (ASC), paranormal phenomena, filtering model
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