14 October 2009

I'm with stupid

There was a book that came out in the 70's called "The Natural Depth in Man" written by a man named Wilson Van Dusen. The author was an American Psychiatrist who worked with mental patients at Mendocino State Hospital in northern California and his experiences while there. It got lost among the glut of metaphysical books that where popular at the time and forgotten if it was ever read at all.

One chapter was on a study of a group who suffered from hallucinations that would talk. He decided to do an experiment where we would talk to the patient's hallucination with the patient repeating what the hallucination would say back. What he found disturbed him, the hallucinations were either sicker, dumber, or more sinister than the patient or were more well mentally, smarter, or more talented than the patient, even displaying knowledge the patients couldn't possably know. That should be impossible because the hallucination was suppose to be within the mind of the patient and not something outside.

Van Dusen would spend hours talking to these hallucinations with the patients sometimes not even paying attention to the conversation going on. He writes how one man came back later to ask him to explain the conversation Van Dusen just had with his hallucination because he couldn't understand what was said between them. Some patients would avert their eyes to a corner as if the hallucination was interrupting Van Dusen to say something. Many remember meeting their hallucination and only finding out later that no one else could see them (one woman said she met her hallucination when he wondered into her garden).

The book ends with Van Dusen saying he believes these hallucinations were somehow real and not just something coming out of a broken mind.

4 comments:

  1. the photo is so creepy = i fucking love it

    ReplyDelete
  2. My hallucination says you should send me money, small bills.

    ReplyDelete
  3. hallucinations are but manifestastions of the demons we keep silent in our every day lives.

    My Question is, Van Duesen: what if it was he, in fact, who was really doing the hallucinating?

    -.- What if I'M hallucinating... this cookie isn't REAL!?

    ReplyDelete
  4. If that's true, we should all be having hallucinations instead of just the handfull in crazy houses (I use the term "crazy houses" in the technical term).

    What impressed Van Dusen is the knowledge and insights displayed by hallucination (one plumber who had little education had a hallucination that could speak perfect Greek and had extensive knowledge of symbolisms that there was no way this simple plumber could know and even Van Dusen didn't know, Van Dusen had to look up what the hallucination would say to see if it was true, sure enough it was.

    If someone else sees your cookie without you telling them you have a cookie you want to dunk in milk, chances are it is.

    ReplyDelete

I eat your comments with jam and butter.