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About illusion

Dr Bernard Auriol
translated by Janick Sorreau



Illusion is at every turning point when one makes the effort to understand things. It can undermine perception, blend with fancy, get in collusion with feelings, arouse doubt
and strenghten all dogmatisms.

That shows how much illusion can be of some interest not only to the philosopher, the epistemologist or the historian but also to the sociologist, psychologist or psychiatrist.

Etymology of the word "illusion"

"Illusion" comes from "illusio", "illusorius", which are latin terms from the "basse époque" (7th-6th century before J.C. in Egypt).

Those words came from another latin term "illudere", that can be translated as "to deceive".

"Illudere" is a word coming from "ludere" and "ludus" which means "to play in actuality", as opposed to "iocus" which refers to "play on words" or "jokes".
"Ludi", as the plural, is used to designate "the games" which had a religious or official signification, particularly games that were given in honnor of the dead. (Etruscan origins). The meaning of "ludi" has then oddly enough changed into "academic" so that "ludi magister", which can be translated word for word as "master of games", finally refered to school master!

Other significations have cropped up in connection with the primary meaning of "ludere" which is "to play", such as "to mimic" or "to imitate for fun". From those terms come "to scoff at, to make light work" which produced "ludibrium" meaning mockery, derision.

The derivatives of "ludere" are "alludere", that is "to make allusions to, to hint at" and "eludere" which means "to exclude from a game".

Illusions in psycho-physiology

Everything that we first perceive is submitted to several kinds of illusion: "sensorial" illusions or illusions produced by chemical matters or coming through electromagnetic actions, etc.

The act of hypnosis permits a wound to show up or enables the modification of immunological reaction (as far as tuberculin is concerned). those rather confidential researches are of great interest to the "hagiographes" (authors who deal with the life of Saints) who write on people who received the stigmata. The researches led on to the idea and to the universal resort of double blind in pharmacology. This has been done to prevent some placebo and nocebo effects from being wrongly attributed to some tested substances.

Jean-Jacques AULAS is a psycho-pharmacologist clinician and is the author of "Aternative medecine. Illusions that can cure." (Odile Jacob, 1993) and "Placebo. A chronicle about marketing." (Science infuse, 2003). He has developed a reflection about the placebo effect that led him to the point where he thinks this effect could be but the unique explanation to the results of homeopathy, acupuncture, osteopathy, hypnotic techniques. He describes them as quack techniques without contesting their efficiency.

The placebo effect underscores the subconscious capacity of the brain that hits physiology through which it also reaches pathology. The effect is all the more active since it brings our subconscious into play.

A prosthetic illusion

He thinks he might turn right and his wheelchair does so; he wants to turn left and his chair turns left.

Would it be telepathy ? Or psychokinesis effect between the brain and the wheelchair? How can this ability of a person affected by tetraplegia be explained?

The answer is that person benefits from a connection between his electroencephalogram, a computer and the engine of his wheelchair!

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Psychosonique Yogathérapie Psychanalyse & Psychothérapie Dynamique des groupes Eléments Personnels

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22 March 2007