Visions and Voices Overview

A simple overview of visions and voices with some examples and AO2 points. 

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Visions
Corporeal Visions are classed as visions in which a physical object or figure is present and some
knowledge is gained. Examples of this type of vison are Muhammad's vision of the Angel Jibril and
Bernadette's vision of Mary at Lourdes, both of which involved a physical presence and gained
knowledge.
Imaginative Visions often happen in dreams and also communicate some knowledge. Examples of
imaginative visions include the Maggi's dream in which he learned not to revisit King Herod and
Joseph's dream telling him to marry Mary and about her pregnancy.
Intellectual Visions are classed as an experience rather than an observation as the vision is more
internal as nothing is physically seen. An example of this is St Theresa of Avila's vision of Christ,
`Christ was at my side, or to put it better, I was aware of him for neither with the eyes of the body
or the soul did I see anything'.
Voices
A key aspect to reports of voices is the idea that knowledge, or a message, is often communicated
and it is thought that the notion comes from God.
Features of voices:
Revelatory ­ the voice reveals something about God
Authoritative ­ to those who have the experience, the message communicated has God's
authority
Disembodied ­the voice appears to have come from no particular body
AO2 ­ Visions and Voices
How can we establish that the voice or vision was from God?
There are psychological explanations such as hallucinations and schizophrenia which could
account for these occurences.
Scientists have suggested that severe vitamin deficiencies can cause visions and voices.

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