Hallucinations and perceptual disturbances

Examine altered states of consciousness and their causes. What are the cultural influences of hallucinogens?

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...d the brain is not dramatically affected by sugar levels in the blood.

There are two main ways of experiencing hallucinations amongst 'normal' people.

1). Take hallucinogenic drugs - hallucinogens
2). Take the body and brain to extremes - through deprivation or pain

A third idea is that of sleep mediation or dreaming. Similarly the area between sleep and dreams (hypnagogic & hypnopomic imagery).

Aldous Huxley in, 'the doors of perception and heaven and hell', gave an outline of some of the ways people have explored altered states of consciousness through the ages.

Hallucinogenic techniques;
- Stain glass windows carefully positioned to catch the sun (evensong) in medieval England by Christians (like laser shows).

- Chanting of meditation used in a lot of cultures and religions.

- Alcohol has also been used (although the true hallucinogen is withdrawal from chronic addiction - this is known as the 'delirium tremens').

- Sleep deprivation & extreme fatigue. Recent study as 'Explore', 'touching the truck', yielded several reports such as seeing a double decker bus and being on an ocean liner when touching the truck. A Kosovan refugee has also reported seeing a field of chocolate butterflies after he ...