October 5, 2014
Before I make any claims about the brain function of other people, let me say that I know what I am talking about from experience.
Your brain can play tricks on you.
According to Sean Carroll, a Cal Tech physicist states in the Oct issue of Psychology Today “Our brains fool us all the time”.
My brain foolery happened when I was under stress after being divorced. I also was having an anxiety attack from too much caffeine, and fainted in public. In the ambulance on the way to the Psych unit at the local hospital I laughed like a loon.
I did not hear voices or see visions, but read signs wrong. Every street sign seemed to mean something personally, and I took it to mean that I was going to enter into a new relationship with a certain person. That person had no idea of my “meanings”.
In the book Living with a Wild God, Barbara Ehrenreich mistook the meaning of her teen aged vision. She thought it was a message from the universe or God. It was a hallucination and totally inside her own mind.
The actual circumstance was the result of sleep deprivation, low blood sugar, sunburn from skiing the previous day, and high altitude resulting in a mild hypoxia.
She was confronted with a landscape that seemed to be burning, with dark outlines around landscape features. She confused this with an outside force entering her being.
In the immortal words of Professor Dumbledore from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?”
This happening in the young Barbara’s life later produced a terrific biographical book, and her vision of reality shows how tricky the brain can be.
Of course we humans like to make order out of new and scary circumstances, as it leads to our survival if we can order and understand these happenings. The concept of an over seer albeit invisible to us seemed to have comforted billions of people and has been solidified in all cultures.
In the case of the invention of gods and religions, it is inside our heads but that is all it has ever been. While we make it real and act all our lives as if it were real, none of it is.
Some of us weak little humans have to have that “banky” to get to sleep at night.