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This book, which covers Visions and hallucinations, explains what causes them and summarises how many hallucinations have been caused by each event or activity. It also provides specific help with questions people have asked us, such as ‘Is my medication giving me hallucinations?’.

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Observations placeholder

Hawthorne, Nathaniel - The House of the Seven Gables - On adversity



Type of Spiritual Experience


I have actually provided three observations in one under this heading because of their close association.  Each writer is exploring the question 'why is there pain?' and of all of them Nathaniel Hawthorne was possibly the greatest sufferer and thus speaking fom experience


A description of the experience

L Edel – The madness of Art
Out of world sadness, out of tristimania, immortal and durable things are brought into being

Nathaniel Hawthorne – The House of the Seven Gables
The world owes all its onward impulses to men ill at ease. The happy man inevitably confines himself within ancient limits

John Berryman – Writers at work: The Paris Review Interviews

I do strongly feel that among the greatest pieces of luck for high achievement is ordeal. Certain great artists can make out without it, Titian and others, but mostly you need ordeal. My idea is this; The artist is extremely lucky who is presented with the worst possible ordeal which will not actually kill him. At that point, he’s in business. Beethoven’s deafness, Goya’s deafness, Milton’s blindness, that kind of thing. And I think what happens in my poetic work in the future will largely depend not on my sitting calmly on my ass as I think ‘Hmmm, hmm, a long poem again? Hmm’ but on being knocked in the face and thrown flat and given cancer and all kinds of other things short of senile dementia. At that point, I’m out, but short of that, I don’t know. I hope to be nearly crucified

The source of the experience

Hawthorne, Nathaniel

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps