Wednesday, December 21, 2005


The nature of reality?

People afflicted with Charles Bonnet Syndrome see beings from another world. Many scientists would call these beings hallucinations. Others call this syndrome a portal to a parallel reality.

People with Charles Bonnet Syndrome (or "Bonnet-people") are otherwise mentally sound. The beings appear when the Bonnet-people's vision deteriorates as a result of eye diseases Bonnet-people report that they see apparitions resembling distorted faces, costumed figures, ghosts, and little people. What does this tell us about the nature of reality?A web page on Charles Bonnet Syndrome is here.

I'm not sure what it tells us of the nature of reality other than it could be subjective at best and tenuous at worse (or tenuous at best and subjective at worse depending on your attitude).

I suppose that if you looked at these instances with a "brain as reality filter" or "brain as transceiver" then perhaps the lack of the, arguably, primary sensory input for humans could cause sections of the brain to become more attuned to the galactic carrier wave.

On the other hand, though, the same deprivation could cause a bit of neurological malaise. Sight(not necessarily vision, semantically speaking) is based, largely, on one's brain filling in the blanks.
You need to see an ophthamologist?
Weren't most of the patients already blind or diagnosed with some profound vision impediment, bigbody?

But that was a pretty snappy answer. Well played.
Wouldn't this more likely tell us something about human neurology, rather than reality herself?
I agree with polygonwrangler that it doesn't tell us anything about the nature of reality.
When I was a teenager, a friend & I were driving back home at night from partying in Mexico. I was rudely awakened by him slamming on the brakes & skidding to a stop in the middle of the highway. Upon asking what was wrong, he told me there was a yacht laying across the hi-way. At which point I drove the rest of the way home.
The moral to the story is things you put in your body, even alchohol, can make a person see alternate realities. The yacht wasn't a reality, but it was to him. Phisical & mental diseases can do the same thing.
I love to think about alternate realities & other dimensions, but when it comes to drugs & diseases I tend to think the duck is a duck.
How can you make the statement the people with this affliction "see beings from another world?"

How many diseases & chemicals do we have access to that cause hallucinations, not to mention the ones people have without the benefit of these two items?

I'm open to a vague possibility that it is possible to experience a being from a parallel reality, but how to assign the situation in which it happens is difficult in the least even with personal opinion certainty.

When simple things like thin air can make you think you are with a group of people, with no one within a hundred miles, arguments like the one proposed aren't very convincing.

I'm definitely not a closed minded sceptic, but beings from a parallel reality-this begs for more than "a syndrome where they see things".
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