As a refugee from involvement in an Eastern Mystic Guru cult, which fried my brains, and running to the Mormon church, believing the devil was chasing me, I decided I had to learn just what it was that caused my experiences.
Reality contains truth, up to the point where it features delusion. Delusion cannot sustain itself, and it will feed on the victim, until it is denied access to energy in the mind of the victim. The same thing happens with all confusion / paranoia / parasitic evil.
This is about more than just the imagination getting out of hand, and then being reigned in, as the subconscious manipulates imagination, feelings,emotions, even the body, and thereby create a reinforced perception, that the hallucination, as a part of reality, (which it is). It's just not a part of reality which is sustained by truth. There's a useful definition of truth : That which sustains reality, for longer than any parasitic untruth can. All genuine evil, is genuinely parasitic, e.g, confusion / paranoia, which gets people doing things that result in more exhaustion, fear, misdirected violence, etc.
There is mind, it consists of :
A. Consciousness. It is inner, to self. That's what makes self aware of self. It is most present, where it is most stable, that's where it is most integrated with the truth, that the individual
is most certain of. Scientologists claim the way out of confusion, involves embracing one stable datum, then building one's understanding on that. I go further, and say if the datum / fact you're focused on, is external, it will still result in a lack of stability, and therefore, more delusion or even hallucinations.
B. Subconscious. This simply reacts / conforms to patterns, of fear / hope / anticipations / established behaviours. it will shape imagination / emotions / ways of thinking and looking at things, when, the conscious self, loses stability. It seems to me, that mystics invite hallucinations, by believing they have some sort of duty to submit, to an external power, which results in the conscious self becoming deceived into believing one is finding a higher consciousness, while actually being swamped by the subconscious. This can produce dreamlike symptoms, of colours seeming brighter, and initially sharper. The sharpness, in my experience, recedes after a time, though the colours stay bright. Mental energy, while not directed by the conscious self, ( especially if deluded into believing self cannot control mind, and that one has to ask God, to come to the rescue. If there's a God, that requires self to exercise free will, or not,), such chaotic mental energy will follow the line of least resistance, and adopt the shape / appearance / behaviour, of whatever is most feared / anticipated/ hoped for at the time. Or established behaviour patterns. Or something like, (as with me, initially), a black sphere. The sphere, seemingly that shape, simply because there was nothing to give it any other shape, possibly gravity had something to do with it. The sphere evolved, (possibly, as I got bored with it), into a black halo. In such an unreasoning state of mind, and looking for something beyond myself, to tell me what it was, I accepted the first assumption that I could make, hoping to exclude interference from the conscious self. So, I interpreted the black halo, as a sign that I had been claimed as a slave of Satan. You see, how whatever interferes with one's ability, to rationalise, with the most intense stability can appear to provide answers, which reinforce delusion, which reinforces instability. ? Drugs of course, can contribute to similar symptoms, but in my experience, only exacerbate / initiate the conditions leading to them.
None of that could have happened, without my first finding something that did appear to provide beneficial answers, due to the discovery of inner calm, when discovering inner stillness. That baby was thrown out with bathwater, however, when I abandoned integration with inner truth, for some misguided trust, in something external, that was believed to have more wisdom than what was inside
The halo appeared to become the guru, himself, then demons, then Jesus, then more demons. That was 26 years ago.
This answer was much longer, until I tried to post it, and found that the fools who've designed this site, leave contributors to get carried away with presenting a case, with no clue, as to limits allowed. And then giving notice that some kind of limit has been exceeded. If anyone wants to chat more about such issues, please reach me at
First hand experience