Kant, Immanuel - Dreams of a Spirit Seer - How are hallucinations & visions constructed?
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Dreams of a Spirit Seer - Chapter Three
The spirit-seers ... are entirely different from waking dreamers not only in degree, but in kind. For while they are waking, and often while they are experiencing other sensations with great vividness, the spirit-seers place some [images] among the external objects which they really perceive. The only question is, how it is possible that they place the phantoms of their imagination outside of themselves, and even put them in relation to their body, which they sense through their external senses.
The great clearness of the fantasy cannot be the cause, for the point at issue is, the place where an object is put; and, therefore, I demand that it be shown how the soul places such an image as it should perceive to be contained in itself, into an entirely different relation, namely, into a place outside of itself and among those objects which are offered to its real perception.
I shall not be satisfied with the quotation of other cases which bear some resemblance with this deception, such as perhaps occur in the state of fever; for be the deceived well or sick, we do not want to know if such a thing happens also elsewhere, but how this deception is possible.
We find, however, in using our external senses, that besides the clearness with which the objects are seen, we perceive at the same time their location, perhaps not always with the same accuracy, still as a necessary condition of sensation, without which it would be impossible to perceive things as being outside of ourselves.
Here it becomes quite probable that our soul locates the perceived object at that point where the different lines, indicating the direction of the impression, meet.
That is why we see a radiating point at the meeting-place of those lines which we draw from the eye back in the direction of the rays. This point, which we call the point of vision, is, in its effect, the scattering point, but, in the way it is perceived, it is the point which collects the lines of direction determining the sensation (focus imaginarius).
Thus we locate a visible object even with one eye alone; in the same way as, by means of a concave mirror, the image of an object is seen in the air just in that spot where the rays radiating from one point of the object meet before entering the eye.
The same theory, perhaps, can be applied to the impressions of sound, because its shocks, too, are transmitted in straight lines.
Then we should say that the sensation of sound is accompanied by the perception of a focus imaginarius, and that this is placed in that point where the straight lines meet which are drawn to the outside from the vibrating nerve-structure inside of the brain.
For the place and distance of a sounding object is perceived to some extent, even if the sound is low and comes from the back, and although the lines drawn from such a position do not strike the opening of the ear, but other places of the head. This makes one believe that the soul continues the lines of vibration externally in imagination, and places the sounding object in their meeting -point.
The same can, in my opinion, be predicated of the other three senses, differing from sight and hearing in this respect that the object of sensation is in immediate contact with the organs of these other senses, and the lines indicating the place of the organic stimulus find in the organs themselves their meeting-point..............
.....it will be easily recognized that the unfortunate subject cannot remove the delusion by any reasoning; for a true or apparent impression of the senses precedes all the judgments of the reason, and carries with it immediate evidence, far excelling all other persuasion.
The source of the experienceKant, Immanuel
Concepts, symbols and science items
ConceptsFive senses system
Spiritual input [experience]