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Sacks, Oliver - Assailed by colorful, sometimes violent, involuntary visual imagery

Identifier

014730

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

Proof of spirit - inspiration feeds to the imagination function

"when you hallucinate a color, there’s demonstrable visual cortex activity. But when you imagine a color, there isn’t".

Spiritual experience has nothing to do with the brain or the 5 senses, the brain is just a processor of sensory information

and

"a teeming world for which I’m not responsible."

A description of the experience

The Big Idea #5: Oliver Sacks

By Suzanne Koven

July 9th, 2013

nervous system.

the man who mistook his wife for a hat

Rumpus: I’m fascinated by the relationship between hallucinations and the brain. At one point you say that when you hallucinate a color, there’s demonstrable visual cortex activity. But when you imagine a color, there isn’t.

Sacks: Yes. I mean, it may be a matter of degree. There may be much less. But there is activity of perceptual or “super-perceptual” force in various areas when one hallucinates. There may be a sort of fainter, echo-like color, with imagination. I have very poor voluntary visual imagery, although I’m assailed by colorful, sometimes violent, involuntary visual imagery.

Rumpus: Like PTSD? Or nightmares?

Sacks: Usually lying in bed. I think especially since losing my sight in one eye and having poor vision in the other, the moment I close my eyes there is a teeming world for which I’m not responsible.

The source of the experience

Sacks, Oliver

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Inspiration

Symbols

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

References