Autoscope or vision itself

Automaticengine in psychiatry are referred to as visual hallucinations in which a person sees himself or herself. Most often, the double appears without warning. It looks like a mirror reflection of the original, located out of reach of his arms and facing him. The size of double is the same as the original, but very often shows only the face or head and torso.

Usually well visible details, colors differ bad: they are either dull or absent. Figure, as a rule, transparent. In other cases, it looks jelly-like or as if reflected in the glass. Often the DoppelgangeR imitates the movements of the original, the expression on his face — like the original looks in the mirror.

In psychiatry also described cases vision doubles, which I repeat all the movements of the patient. By the way, the poem by H. Heine “the Double” is a poetic depiction of experiences of this kind of healthy people. In “the Double” Dostoevsky displayed hallucinatory experiences mentally ill.

In the book “General psychopathology”, a textbook for medical students, written by a team of authors headed by the famous psychiatrist V. M. by Bendikovym, contains one very important note: autoscopia hallucinations often accompany severe forms of cerebral pathology.

The authors note further — does not this circumstance is due the belief that a man who saw his double’s dying? Indeed, in several stories with doppelgangers of the originals before you see them was seriously ill.

A classic example of the latter is the story with Maupassant. This is purely a clinical case. In 1885 the writer worked on the manuscript of the story “Orla”. Orla — a kind of invisible creature, who settled the hero of the story, brought a lot of trouble, something like a poltergeist. Quite suddenly in the doorway appeared a figure, walked across the room and sat down opposite. And then began to dictate the continuation of the story!

The writer was surprised to the extreme. How this man was able to penetrate to him? How he knows the very words that the writer only wanted to write? Who is this man? But soon Maupassant realized that the one who sits in front, not a stranger, and his own DoppelgangeR. The figure quickly disappeared, but the incident deeply shocked the writer. The double was the first notice of the disease, which caught him by surprise, led to madness and death.

Apparently, in most cases, when the original sees his ghostly double of yourself, that is, in the absence of witnesses (and sometimes the witnesses don’t notice anything), we are dealing with the most banal automatically hallucination. Close to this explanation in the mid-nineteenth century approached V. A. Zhukovsky in connection with the analysis of the case of Berkovich”.

This case is repeatedly cited as an example that the great poet wrote about the twins, but the explanation given to them, fell as contrary to such an assertion. Will meet S. “the case of Berkowitz” uncut. Here’s what he wrote about him in connection with the poet in the article “Something about ghosts”:

“If dreams were not so common, if they could have a very few, and those very rarely, and dreams it would seem to us improbable because there is something in them that is contrary to the natural order. There are waking dreams, which are very close to what we call a Ghost.

Sometimes his eyes closed, yet all the surrounding objects visible to us, and already the sleep seized us and already in the dream in which we moved insensitive, is before us is something quite different from the state in which we were for a minute, something strange is always more or less horrific and if we Wake up, not noticing the quick of our transition from vigil to sleep, and Vice versa, you can easily stay with the idea that we were something unnatural.

Here’s an example: the late A. M. Druzhinin, the former seems, in Moscow the chief Director of schools, told me the following remarkable case.

I was, as he said, shortly before become acquainted with Dr. Berkowitz. Once, it was winter, he invited me, together with Mrs. Pepper to herself for the evening and we spent the evening very fun, and especially hilarious was the owner.

Struck ten o’clock wife Berkowitz said to him, “Go see whether the cover on the table? It’s time for dinner”. The door from the living room led straight into the dining room. Berkovich went out and came back in a minute. “How soon?” — asked his wife. He silently nodded.

I looked at him and saw that he was pale as a sheet, his gaiety was gone, all the rest of the evening he hardly said a word. Sat at the table, dinner. Ms. Pepper was going to go to him, and Berkowitz went to see off his guest from the porch. Planting her into the carriage, he fell down in the snow, which lay in drifts around the entrance (in the whole day was a brutal Blizzard) it is highly likely that at this moment he caught a cold.

The next day came to tell me that Berkowitz in bed and that he calls me to him I wanted to see him, because I was disturbed by a sad gloom, I noticed it the day before.

And here’s what he answered me when I asked him about her reason: “I’m about to die, I saw with my own eyes my death. Yesterday when I walked out of the living room into the dining room to see how soon dinner I saw the table laid on the table a coffin surrounded by candles, and in coffin I lie myself. Be sure that you will soon bury me”.

Indeed, Berkowitz after a short time died.

But the explanation of the case given by Zhukovsky:

“It is very likely that his body really was the germ of the disease, the cold developed the disease, and the illness, using imagination, frightened Ghost, produced death. But what was this Ghost? A dream, a vision of the immaterial image this is what happens when a dream is expressed, or the alarming state of our soul, or painful disorder of our body.

There was no other but the dreaming in the waking state, descended from the same causes, which mostly makes everything else a dream here the vision is not separate from the seer, a vision without an object, there is no Ghost in the sense in which we defined it, although there are in the event something extraordinary, the natural order does not belong”.

Later V. A. Zhukovsky writer and journalist V. V. Bitner in the book “In the realm of mysterious” (St. Petersburg, 1907) made in relation to the phenomenon of twins is even more certain conclusion:

“Bringing described three cases (the phenomenon of twins), we again have to repeat that their only misunderstanding can be attributed to the field of prophetic visions, as a similar phenomenon sometimes, though rarely, with people happily living after decades, and sometimes such a split of our bodily image again with the same person several times.

Of course, this phenomenon, which we here will not be considered, abnormal and indicative of serious disease of the whole organism, indicating a profound disorder of the nervous system so, if anyone happens to be in most cases, shortly before his death, or even in the moment of transition to another world.

Thus, the phenomenon of the DoppelgangeR can only serve, so to speak, an ominous diagnostic sign of the prophetic in it, of course, there is nothing, as we cannot assume the prophetic appearance of white patches on the tongue in most diseases, various skin rashes, fever, etc.”

And yet, and yet… it is no wonder that V. A. Zhukovsky remarked: “…in the event something extraordinary, the natural order does not belong”.

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