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Trying to Understand Hallucinations -- Metaphysics -- When I Hallucinated (And How Logic Opposes Delusion)

Updated: Mar 16


A strange room during a hallucination.
Even I know that A.I. filters are not real photos.

Perception and the Pursuit of Truth


One of the philosopher's most crucial roles is to be a discerning eye, navigating the treacherous terrain between truth and the ever-shifting, dynamic reality. A delusional philosopher, then, becomes an oxymoron, for their very purpose hinges on understanding existence in all its complexities. However, the line between perception and reality can be surprisingly thin.


Hallucinations, for instance, are a great reminder of this. They possess a chillingly realistic quality, bombarding us with sights, sounds, and other sensations, creating an imaginary simulation so convincing that it threatens to engulf us entirely.



I speak from personal experience. There was a time, a rare one thankfully, when I succumbed to a hallucination. The vividness of it remains embedded in my memory, a reminder of how easily my minds could've been tricked if I wasn't a philosopher. Yes. Being a seasoned philosophy writer allowed me to question the reality of what I saw, which led me to the conclusion that what I saw wasn't real, although it tried to be real.


And some people claim that philosophizing isn't practical when it can help you distinguish reality from what pretends to be reality. It is also why it's hard to scam me, as I am too inquisitive to fall to deception, but I digress.


Accidently skipping medication, in my case, had consequences that attempted to blur the lines of my own reality. From that, we can learn two things:


  • The pursuit of truth often begins with a firm grasp on our own perceptions, which remain limited in the absence of doubt.

  • Without the counter-force of logc, our mind is more deceptive than otherwise.


The Deceptive Mind


In my lifelong work, I dedicate myself to unraveling the complexities of reality. Yet, one night, reality itself became disconcertingly blurred. I used to have a housemaid who cleaned my apartment weekly, and always in the mornings.


But on that particular night, a disorienting sequence of events unfolded. But only in my mind, not in the world beyond the mind.


While drifting between sleep and wakefulness, I witnessed the unsettling sight of my apartment door opening and closing repeatedly. Whispers of my housemaid's voice, claiming she was there to clean, echoed in my ears. Her face in front of me, as well.


To my further shock.... and to your amusement... I even felt myself falling out of bed, only to find myself still being on the bed which I "fell" from. That is the most mark design of my mind decieving me, had I became a more logical being!


Because logic, of course, dictated that this couldn't be real. Of course I can't fall off my bed and be in it at the same time! Either way, I had never scheduled a night cleaning, and I also had someone confirm that no one entered my apartment that night. Adding another layer of improbability to these mental shenanigans, my housemaid lacked a key.


The apartment remained untouched, devoid of any signs of intrusion. This wasn't a break-in. It was a failed scam attempt by my own mind. This, if anything, marks the following quote, by Siddhartha Guatama Buddha:

Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own unguarded thoughts.




My years-long experience in the art of philosophy article writing, has instilled within me a healthy skepticism. As such, one of the elementary functions of philosophy is to make us better judges and critics of reality and, most importantly, of ourselves. That way we can guard ourselves better from falling into delusion.


We perceive the world through a subjective lens, to the point that we won't necessarily understand why something that despises us makes another a happier being. Objective reality, on the other hand, can remain frustratingly elusive, unless we gather the courage to get lambasted by critics and doubt ourselves.


Abstract concepts, like humor, exist purely within the realm of the mind. Their "realness" hinges on our ability to perceive and interact with them, and is prone to our subjective sense of humor, and can have different effects on our mental health. Absent the ability to laugh, the concept of humor would cease to exist. It makes humor not only subjective to the individual, but also to the entire human species.


Our mental experiences highlight the unsettling capacity of our minds to deceive us, should we choose to give in to their irrational, evidence-lackluster, temptations. How then, can we claim absolute ownership of our own minds if they can exhibit such a reign over us? This, however, is a philosophical rabbit hole for another time.


Overdependence on sensory experiences can distort our perception of reality. Here's a list of examples for how our senses deceive us, outside of hallucinations



Hallucinations and delusions, both created by faulty understanding and by our senses serve the same deceptive purpose, "intended" or otherwise, to steer us away from reality.


Clonazepam, a medication with a high addiction potential, is a prime example. After all, it could lead to these two side effects of hallucinations and delusions. After successfully advocating for its removal from my prescription, I purged every trace of it from my apartment. Should I be relaxed in exchange of becoming addicted and delusional? Of course not. My aim to take medication serves solely as a tool to maintain my rationality, necessary for managing Philosocom and writing for you.


This encounter with my own deceptive mind underscored a crucial lesson: the pursuit of truth necessitates a keen awareness of the limitations of perception. We must constantly strive to see beyond the veil of our subjective experiences to grasp the true nature of reality.



Conclusion -- The Mind As the Intellect's Tool


By being rational, one increases the likelihood of recognizing their hallucinations in real-time. While the incident left a lingering dislike for my own mind, it's a tool I, as a philosopher, cannot simply discard.


For my mind's akin to a vital instrument within my toolkit. For it to function optimally, it requires maintenance and improvement of performance. After all, a clear and sound mind is essential not just for myself, but ultimately, for serving the pursuit of the truth.


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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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