Lhermitte, Professor Jean - Visual Hallucination of The Self – 02 Source of the Hallucination
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL LONDON SATURDAY MARCH 3 1951 - VISUAL HALLUCINATION OF THE SELF BY JEAN LHERMITTE, M.D. Honorary Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Paris
Source of the Hallucination
It is somewhat remarkable that, although the state of sleepiness seems to be specially favourable to the autoscopic hallucination, the state of authentic dream is only exceptionally the source of this phenomenon.
Yet some workers noted that sometimes this autoscopic image came into the moving pattern of the dream. A peculiar fact is that the dreamer's image comes to his mind with a deep feeling of sadness or with deadly anxiety. I remember reading in some old book that a man had been frightened during his sleep because he had seen near his bed the double of himself, in agony.
I recently received the confession of a man, seriously ill, who was visited during several nights by the image of his double. This offered mainly a back view, wearing black, ill-fitting clothes. This 'double’ seemed depressed and obviously under deep mental stress. And the dreamer thought: "There you are. Yes, it is you. How broken down, wretched, and miserable you are ! Death awaits you."
On another occasion our patient had the impression that his body had split in two and that this double was lying very close beside him in a state of imminent death.
Soon afterwards the dreamer had the impression that his double was dead, already in its coffin awaiting the funeral. When the undertakers came to take it away the patient screamed, " Not yet! " and woke up in a state of deep distressing fright.