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Spiritual concepts

Olfactory hallucinations

 

Within this category of Olfactory hallucinations, both hallucinations of taste and hallucinations of smell will be covered as the two often go together.

 Both ‘good’ smells and ‘bad’ smells and tastes are quite frequent features of spiritual experience, where the smell alone prevails. 

The association of the ‘devil’ with the smell of sulphur and rotten eggs was quite probably literally experienced by those who used exorcism to drive out ‘demons’. There are observations on this site that show that it is still a feature of present day exorcisms in other cultures.

The ‘good’ smells are called, by those who are mystically inclined, ‘perfumes’ and some perfumes have a key place again in proving – at least to those who smell them if not to the rest of the world - that sensory systems are spiritual and that a spiritual world exists.  And the reason is that some perfumes have no physical equivalent.  The smell is literally ‘out of this world’ and as one who lost their sense of smell and  taste almost entirely, but gets these smells at certain key moments – they are unbelievably uplifting and beautiful – a glimpse of a most wonderful realm. 

 

It is impossible to describe this sort of smell to anyone, because how do you describe a smell never smelt, but there is the hint of Pine and Rosemary, in particular mingled with other flowers, something that reminds me of the sea …. Oh dear, not possible you see, not possible.  It is just there when something major is about to happen to me and it gives me enormous comfort and cheer.

Olfactory hallucinations are quite common amongst those who have lost their sense of smell, as by sensorily depriving the mind of smells, the mind often conveniently fills in the gaps as best it can with smells it gets from its repertoire of past smells.  On the site you will find people comforted by the smell of coffee percolating, pipe smoke and other comforting things. 

 

But there are also smells of a most unpleasant nature that sometime emerge and this one needs to heed as a warning, as the mind is trying to tell you something is very wrong.  

The taste of metal in the mouth, smells of things rotting, or smells of excrement are not infrequent in those taking pharmaceuticals and drugs.  Interestingly they do not get reported as often to the FDA or SEDA in Adverse drug reports, because the person assumes they are real!  But a quick glance at EROWID or some of the other social media blog sites for drug users will show that they are actually quite common in drug users – and by extension pharmaceutical users.

This LINK takes you to a list of pharmaceuticals that are known to have produced olfactory hallucinations.

 

Physically, one of the things that appears to produce olfactory hallucinations is an attack to the olfactory nerves - both impairing and stimulating them.  A number of agents can do this damage besides pharmaceuticals including:


 
 

Viruses in particular can remain dormant for long periods, sequestered in nerve ganglia, and suddenly re-emerge at intervals of months or years.  Generally it appears that bad smells can indicate a possible re-emergence of the virus and be a warning of a new attack.  Herpes simplex appears to be a particular culprit in this respect, so I am afraid that olfactory hallucinations can indicate you have herpes!

But we must be careful that we start to think that olfactory hallucinations are physical - some aberration of the wiring in the brain.  The analogy needs to be born in mind.  A malfunction in the hardware will cause some odd processing to occur, but what it messes up is the software and smell, taste and the results - smell and taste are functional - software and not form based.

The very presence of perfumes in their spiritual sense is a proof of both spirit and also a proof that there are smells that have no existence in the mind - they are not there because we perceived them, they are there because our composer went off to gather them for us.

Observations

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