This is an interesting study done on Schizophrenia and auditory hallucinations. One can only wonder if the voices of god heard by the prophets, saints, holy men of the various religions, whose accounts of what these voices said later became revered scripture and divine directions by an imagined deity, were actually only experiencing personal auditory hallucinations. The cultural aspects of the experience might explain why some ancient tribal deities are more violent, jealous, and malevolent than others. There might be a reason why Yahweh appeared as god to only a certain tribe.
Hallucinatory 'voices' shaped by local culture, Stanford anthropologist says
Stanford anthropologist Tanya Luhrmann found that voice-hearing experiences of people with serious psychotic disorders are shaped by local culture – in the United States, the voices are harsh and threatening; in Africa and India, they are more benign and playful. This may have clinical implications for how to treat people with schizophrenia, she suggests.
People suffering from schizophrenia may hear “voices” – auditory hallucinations – differently depending on their cultural context, according to new Stanford research
In the United States, the voices are harsher, and in Africa and India, more benign, said Tanya Luhrmann
, a Stanford professor of anthropology
and first author of the article
in the British Journal of Psychiatry.
The experience of hearing voices is complex and varies from person to person, according to Luhrmann. The new research suggests that the voice-hearing experiences are influenced by one’s particular social and cultural environment – and this may have consequences for treatment.