Visions For All: People who Report Vivid Religious Experiences May Hold Clues to Nonpsychotic Hallucinations

Bower, Science News, April 2012, 181, 7, 22–25.

Excerpt: Meeting the Almighty takes hallucinatory talent and training. And Hannah, a member of the Vineyard Christian Fellowship, has got it down.

She talks with God every day. Sometimes she imagines that God is walking beside her, although no vision of the Almighty appears. On other occasions, Hannah goes on what she calls “date nights” with God. She buys a sandwich, finds a secluded bench and imagines that the big guy is sitting next to her. In both cases, imagination occasionally gives way to a sense of truly hearing God speak.

During divine experiences, Hannah gets in touch with her unconscious mind, an undercurrent of thoughts and feelings she regards not as her own but as those of the Holy Spirit. …