New Insights into ESP, Hallucinations and ASC
Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research, April 2018
10 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2017 Last revised: 12 Aug 2019
Date Written: April 27, 2017
Altered States of Consciousness (ASC) induced by meditation, psychedelic drugs, or physiological lesion are quite an important and fascinating field in the investigation of modern psychology. However, due to the difficulty in approaching subjective experiences through positive research, ASC are still puzzling and controversial. This paper attempts to make an original interpretation of ASC.
To make a breakthrough, we first propose a novel hypothesis which is totally different from “multidimensional space-time” and “quantum entanglement” to interpret extrasensory perception (ESP): ESP occurs 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. In this situation, one would naturally treat the inconsistent and “unexplainable” external stimulation as information acquired through psychic abilities such as clairaudience, clairvoyance or telepathy since he cannot find the counterpart in the imaginary world.
To support this hypothesis, we develop a universal model of hallucinations to reveal the formation mechanism of different states 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 basic states of hallucinations (one can distinguish reality from fantasy, one cannot distinguish reality from fantasy, and reality and fantasy are totally reversed). This model can also explain the generation mechanism of out-of-body experiences, synesthesia and many other marvelous psychedelic phenomena in ASC.
After that, another two essential phenomena in ASC are discussed in depth respectively: First, the mechanism of enhanced awareness is explained and its significance is explored. Then, the essence of Samatha in which mystical experiences occur is revealed and the actual meaning of The Tibetan Book of the Dead is brought to light.
On the basis of above research, we develop an analytical framework for ASC comprising two dimensions: three mechanisms (hallucinations, enhanced awareness and Samatha) and three stages (the process of loss of the self, the obliteration of the self and the process of recovery of the self). By figuring out the complex relationship among them, we fortunately reveal the mystery between Buddhist tranquility and insight: Vipassana after Samatha is the path to attain enlightenment.
Keywords: extrasensory perception (ESP), hallucinations, altered states of consciousness (ASC), paranormal phenomena, filtering model
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