Hallucinations in Adults

In his theory, Julian Jaynes describes the role hallucinations played in an earlier mentality, prior to the development of subjective consciousness. He predicted that hallucinations were more common in the normal population than was known at the time, and this has been confirmed in literally hundreds of studies over the past three decades. Below is a small sample of research supporting this aspect of Jaynes’s theory.

Articles

Books

Hearing Voices, Living Fully

Hearing Voices, Living Fully
Claire Bien (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2016)
When Claire Bien first began hearing voices, they were infrequent, benign and seemingly just curious about her life and the world around her. But the more attention Claire paid, the more frequently they began to speak, and the darker their intentions became. Despite escalating paranoia, an initial diagnosis of schizophrenia form disorder and taking medication with debilitating side effects, Claire learned to face her demons and manage her condition without the need for long-term medication. In this gripping memoir, Claire recounts with eloquence her most troubled times. She explains how she managed to regain control over her mind and her life even while intermittently hearing voices, through self-guided and professional therapy and with the support of family and friends. Challenging a purely medical understanding of hearing voices, Claire advocates for an end to the stigma of those who experience auditory verbal hallucinations, and a change of thinking from the professionals who treat the condition.

Hallucinations: The Rational History of Apparitions, Visions, Dreams, Ecstasy, Magnetism, and Somnambulism

Hallucinations: The Rational History of Apparitions, Visions, Dreams, Ecstasy, Magnetism, and Somnambulism
Brierre de Boismont, Alexandre-Jacques-Francois (1853)

The Origin and Mechanisms of Hallucinations

The Origin and Mechanisms of Hallucinations
Keup, Wolfram (ed.) (New York: Plenum Press, 1970)
Hallucinations, a natural phenomenon as old as mankind, have a surprisingly wide range. They appear under the most diversified conditions, in the “normal” psyche as well as in severe chronic mental derangement. As a symptom, hallucinations are a potential part of a variety of pathological conditions in almost all kinds of psychotic behavior. In addition, lately, various psychological and sociological circumstances seem to favor widespread use and abuse of hallucinogens, substances able to produce hallucinations in the normal brain. … However, investigators of hallucinations now seem to enter common ground on which meaningful discussions and joint approaches become feasible and more promising. We have come a long way from the Latin term “hallucinari”, meaning to talk nonsense, to be absent-minded, to the modern con­cept of “hallucinations”. While the Latin word was descriptive of what may be due to hallucinations, the modern concept defines hallucinations as subjective experiences that are consequences of men­tal processes, sometimes fulfilling a purpose in the individual’s mental life.

Making Sense of Voices: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals Working with Voice-Hearers

Making Sense of Voices: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals Working with Voice-Hearers
Romme, Marius & Sandra Escher (Mind Publications, 2000)

Living with Voices: 50 Stories of Recovery

Living with Voices: 50 Stories of Recovery
Romme, Marius, Sandra Escher, Jacqui Dillon, Dirk Corstens, Mervyn Morris (PCCS Books, 2013)
This book is a groundbreaking development in modern mental health because it recognises the importance of the first hand experience and argues that hearing voices is not a sign of madness but a reaction to serious problems in life. Must-read book for all concerned with mental health issues.

Sensory Deception: A Scientific Analysis of Hallucination
Slade, P.D. and R.P. Bentall (Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 1988)

Hallucinations

Hallucinations
Sacks, Oliver (Vintage, 2013)
To many people, hallucinations imply madness, but in fact they are a common part of the human experience. These sensory distortions range from the shimmering zigzags of a visual migraine to powerful visions brought on by fever, injuries, drugs, sensory deprivation, exhaustion, or even grief. Hallucinations doubtless lie behind many mythological traditions, literary inventions, and religious epiphanies. Drawing on his own experiences, a wealth of clinical cases from among his patients, and famous historical examples ranging from Dostoevsky to Lewis Carroll, the legendary neurologist Oliver Sacks investigates the mystery of these sensory deceptions: what they say about the working of our brains, how they have influenced our folklore and culture, and why the potential for hallucination is present in us all.

Muses, Madmen, and Prophets: Rethinking the History, Science, and Meaning of Auditory Hallucination

Muses, Madmen, and Prophets: Rethinking the History, Science, and Meaning of Auditory Hallucination
Smith, Daniel B. (Penguin Press, 2007)
Auditory hallucination is one of the most awe-inspiring, terrifying, and ill- understood tricks of which the human psyche is capable. In the age of modern medical science, we have relegated this experience to nothing more than a biological glitch. Yet as Daniel B. Smith puts forth in Muses, Madmen, and Prophets, some of the greatest thinkers, leaders, and prophets in history heard, listened to, and had dialogues with voices inside their heads. In a fascinating quest for understanding, Smith examines the history of this powerful phenomenon, and delivers a ringing defense of the validity of unusual human experiences.

When Self-Consciousness Breaks: Alien Voices and Inserted Thoughts

When Self-Consciousness Breaks: Alien Voices and Inserted Thoughts
Stephens, G. Lynn and George Graham (The MIT Press, 2000)
Auditory hallucination is one of the most awe-inspiring, terrifying, and ill- understood tricks of which the human psyche is capable. In the age of modern medical science, we have relegated this experience to nothing more than a biological glitch. Yet as Daniel B. Smith puts forth in Muses, Madmen, and Prophets, some of the greatest thinkers, leaders, and prophets in history heard, listened to, and had dialogues with voices inside their heads. In a fascinating quest for understanding, Smith examines the history of this powerful phenomenon, and delivers a ringing defense of the validity of unusual human experiences.

Hearing Voices: A Common Human Experience

Hearing Voices: A Common Human Experience
Watkins, John (Michelle Anderson Publishing, 2008)
This book contains a wealth of information of great practical value to people who hear voices as well as to those who wish to broaden their understanding of this fascinating phenomenon. It includes a detailed description of a wide variety of voice experiences, an overview of theories which attempt to explain why they occur and a comprehensive set of practical strategies for dealing with unwanted or disturbing voices.

Of Two Minds: Poets Who Hear Voices

Of Two Minds: Poets Who Hear Voices
Weissman, Judith (Wesleyan University Press, 1993)
Contains a lengthy discussion of the Iliad and the Odyssey with regard to Julian Jaynes’s theory of the origin of consciousness and the bicameral mind, as well as discussion and analysis of hallucinations and poetic inspiration in a variety of poets.

Hallucinations
West, L. J. (eds.) (New York: Grune and Stratton, 1962)