When is a hallucination not a hallucination?
Craig Russell, author of The Third Testament
01 May 2015
A hallucination is when you see something that isn’t there, right? When it’s all in your head?
But the truth is that everything you see is all in your head. None of us see with our eyes—we see with our brains. We often talk about our eyes playing tricks on us, but all our eyes do is just let patterns of light into our brains. It’s our brains that make sense—or nonsense—of them. As anyone who’s had a flu fever-induced hallucination can attest, you see things that aren’t there and you see them in as much detail and as credibly as the stuff that’s really out there.
So… the only real test of whether a something is real or a hallucination is if you’re the only one who sees it.
But what if you’re not the only one who sees it?
In The Third Testament, people all around the world start to have hallucinations. It starts off with individuals seeing things from the past: dead loved ones alive and young again, in one case a woman passing her younger self in a doorway but remembering that, when she had been that age, she had passed a woman whom she had thought looked like an older version of herself.
But that’s just the start. As the story in The Third Testament develops, groups of people start having the same hallucinations, seeing the same things. Eventually, entire cities experience the same events. Events that couldn’t possibly be happening.
It’s all there in The Third Testament - the most challenging and rewarding novel I’ve written.
Or maybe I just imagined it.
Listen to Craig Russell reading an extract from The Third Testament