On the Nature of Delusions
“Ethan [present day] was convinced that a vast game was in play, one involving bets placed on his daily activities, but he was perplexed by the fact that he could not fathom its rules.
“Tilly Mathews, 1796, was convinced that the newly discovered force of animal magnetism was being used to control minds and the British Government had been betrayed by French spies using mesmeric techniques to ‘pull the strings’ of authorities…Teams of spies, he said, had come to England with machines called “Air Looms” that could manipulate waves of animal magnetism to take control at a distance of the minds of British officials[…]”
“Louis [present day] started to think he was subject of an artificial intelligence experiment and that his team of coprogrammers at work was using his brain as a network on which to run software programs. Louis imaged that everyday terminology his team used (e.g “processors” and “Servers”) was actually code for different parts of his brain
[…] Louis found it ‘meta’ that he was working on a project whose subject matter was his own brain”
Quoting: Suspicious Minds
Now of these overtly persecutory delusions I could produce endless case studies and examples, and the thematic nature of the delusion will remain oddly consistent, almost as if the delusion itself is manifesting according to an ‘archetype’. but indeed, I would be hard pressed to produce an anecdotal example predating the eighteenth century, although I could provide endless accounts from this century onwards….
now why would that be? perhaps it is something related to this ‘magnetism’ theorem that has entered the human knowledge doemyn….
If the operative DELUSION THEORY of psychiatry is correct, that is: that delusion is a manifestation of dysfunctional cognitive processes, then we should see AS MUCH VARIETY IN DELUSION AS THERE IS IN ANY OTHER CREATIVE ENDEAVOR.
And yet, the truth is just the opposite. When people are committed to asylums for delusional beliefs, studies have shown 1) they are almost always PERSECUTORY beliefs and 2) PERSECUTORY beliefs display a very archetypal structure which implicates an impersonal and powerful INTELLIGENCE ORGANIZATION.
If the person having the delusion lives in Russia, they would use the Russsian intelligence organization , whereas if the person having the delusion lives in America, they might implicate the CIA.
Surely anybody who would postulate such patterns are merely anomalies of negligible theoretical concern, would themselves be delusional…?
(If delusion is indeed the tendency to ignore evidence that contradicts one’s own beliefs.)
What is the reason for this constancy? Yes, partly, it is culture. Movies and stories which frame our architecture of understanding, for example “The Truman Show” might frame a “Truman Experience”.
But there is something missing, and that is what accounts for the anecdotal consistency in these persecutory delusions.
If psychology’s own framework of understanding is contradicting the observable evidence and simultaneously failing to explain the phenomena it seeks to treat, clearly we have a very big problem as a culture differentiating what is real from what is not
and if ‘scientists’ have that problem, what of the rest of us….?
Quoting: Caylus Ark
Schreber’s ideas are complex, but the basic views are clear enough. Schreber believes that he is being persecuted by Flechsig, who has committed ‘Soul Murder’, an act that has torn the fabric of the universe and created a channel between God and man […] God’s nerves, or ‘rays’, are now in contact with human nerves – particularly, Schreber’s – and this contact has destroyed all life on earth […] Although Schreber seems to see people, they are only “fleetingly improvised” souls “temporarily given human shape by divine miracle” . At times Schreber thinks that even he no longer exists….
Quoting: One Hundred Years of Delusion, Suspicious Minds
A delusion is when you believe something despite being presented evidence to the contrary. Yet what we accept as delusion in psychiatric terms is generally a certain kind of misplaced belief. For example, it is not [pathologically] delusional to believe a flying bearded man is known as God, but it IS [pathologically] delusional to believe all human behavior is overseen by tyrannical reptilian overlords.
What is the difference, really? Nothing, except for what we have come to classically associate with crazy people. People doing strange or erratic things tend to tell similar stories. So the stories are associated with the insanity, though contextually speaking they are not vastly different from the innumerable multitude of false paradigms that the average human holds onto to give his life meaning or entertain his theatrical inclinatons….
but what if the correlations between erratic action and strange story was just completely misinterpreted? like men before edison trying to explain a lightbulb?
“Anything projected onto a screen […] over a sustained period of time […] can create an artificial reality and thus have an extreme impact on society’s ability to objectively rationalize”