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I bought the Lore of the Land book yesterday (in Australia mind you). Nice coincidence I think.
On the topic of mass hallucinations. I myself,do not believe in them. I understood hallucinations to be from the depths of you own mind,that has been manipulated by drugs/illness etc. Therefore mass hallucinations are not possible and I think someone already quoted them to be a "personal" thing/image.
If telepathy is a possible explanation,then I would find it quite frightening. The fact that I could have my thoughts or perceptions manipulated by another is a bit creepy.
You are actually back on topic, and we have been straying although telepathy is another can of worms, personally I don't believe in it, but the I don't know much about it.
Most of the witch trials involved mass hallucinations which proved to be suggestions taken up by one and all in a state of hysteria.
I can think of one form of mass hallucination and that is during the process of so called 'transfiguration'.
Many times I have stood amongst a group of people who have all been asked to look at a person stood in front of them, usually in a half light and observe how that persons face transforms.
I have heard murmers ranging from, he has grown a beard, he's turned into a ape, he's become Chinese!!! It's amazing that it only takes one person to make a comment about a facial change and suddenly the whole group can see it.
Personally I feel it's down to making 'sense out of chaos'. It's like when you are shown a photograph and told that there is a face on it that shouldn't be there. Quite often there is a natural reason for this, such as stains on a wall or reflections of light or an object photographed at an unusual angle.
A weight of awe, not easy to be bourne,
Fell suddenly upon my spirit - cast
From the dread bosom of the unknown past
When first I saw that family forlorn.. Read More »