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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

Nay and reed flute



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Joscelyn Godwin

In the public worship of Islam, music has no place beyond the simple chanting of the Qu'ran.  As if in compensation, the Sufis … have made music one of the strongest features of their religious practises.  The general term sama stresses the passive nature of this musical way.  Whereas the Hasidim are transported by their own song, the Sufis is the more inward path of the concentrated listener.

At first the sama referred simply to the hearing of the Qu'ran being recited or sung.  Devout listeners would be transported into ecstasy by certain passages, some would pass into unconsciousness, or even [if we believe the many reports] die!  Others would moan, move about, wave their arms, arise and begin dancing.  From these spontaneous beginnings grew an institutionalised sama … with devotional songs and instrumental pieces …..

The Whirling Dervishes …. still practise a sama of whirling dance accompanied by the music of the 'nay' or reed flute …..Their hats are said to be tilted at the same angle as the Earth's axis and their dance symbolises the movements of planetary spheres as they circle in perfect order and love for their Lord.

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps