At the other extreme of visionary experience is the set of experiences which are simply psychotic fantasies and hallucinations. There are people in institutions who claim to be the 'real' Queen of England or channeling a superior interstellar race (or "making bank" off the same claim or similar like J.Z. Knight of "Ramtha" fame. There is a long list of serial killers who claim to have been directed by God or a higher power. Perhaps we need to draw a line between people who have mental problems and psychotic episodes who are harmless and full-blown psychotics like Hitler, Stalin, LBJ and Richard Nixon to name a few! The psychopaths and sociopaths among us can have truly horrible effects on our lives but by far most of the people who suffer from extreme mental illness live a "pinched reality as ghosts" to paraphrase Richard Grossinger.
Cultural analysts have tried to work out the demarcation zones between visionary madness and visionary genius with equal intensity, although with less forensically certifiable results. Forteans and people who study the paranormal naturally want to observe the ambiguities and uniqueness of the latter. Forteans and paranormal researchers must always be on guard for people with malice, gullibility, chicanery, egoism-and so on and so forth in their sources hearts, whether primary or secondary. The difficulty of analyzing any one visionary experience is that literally anyone can have one. A person can be entranced by UFOs, the voice of God, glimpses of fairies or the Good Folk, and even encounters with a "Blue Lady" or Bloody Mary. This does not mean that their experiences show some great truth and it certainly doesn't mean they are "nutcases" either. However, a fundamental relationship of this maxim always follows: when reliable witnesses, upright citizens and "trained observers" testify to experiencing apparently strange, bizarre and wholly "other" phenomena, their sober, sane and valuable lives are equally no automatic indicator of the truth of what they report. But if enough people undergo sufficiently similar experiences of a strange nature, the stories, or the creatures in them, acquire a kind of objectivity through repetition.
This is how the archetypes of UFOs, pixies, fairies, the Blessed Virgin Mary encounters, Bigfoot (feet:), angels, ghosts, sea monsters, cryptids, gray aliens and so on come to be. Inevitably these stories-myths and folklore by any other name-in due course begin to mold and "speak" the unique language of the experiences themselves. A woman's "angel" could easily become Billy Meier's "Semjase" in other words one person's hallucination is another person's alien. Ghosts and hauntings may very well in some cases involve visionary type experiences but that field of study has other and enormous possibilities (one of which is the nature of the human 'soul' after death.) For the time being maybe we should keep to two aspects of visions: what appears in them, and their observable objectivity or "realness."
How can we separate the observer from the observed? Of course, modern physics tells us that YOU CAN'T-there is no conceivable way to ever separate the observer from the observed. This isn't a maybe of modern physics-it is a law. This law has limiting factors such as the wavelength of light that we will never get around. In other words the more we look at the world/universe, the more it appears to be a seamless whole. The funny thing is that materialist science chooses to ignore the deep philosophical implications of their own discoveries. Before recorded history word of mouth or storytelling was the only way to transmit a lot of information. This relied heavily on memory. If the information was forgotten or remembered wrong that was that. To be continued...