- Staudenmaier, Ludwig
- (1865-1933)A German professor of experimental chemistry who has been credited with introducing the term * personification in or shortly before 1912. Staudenmaier used the term to denote 'outward projected' *compound hallucinations depicting human beings. After an experimental phase in occultism, Staudenmaier was diagnosed with * schizophrenia in 1918. He had himself experienced hallucinations in the form of personifications, during episodes of so-called automatic writing. As he wrote, "Single hallucinations gradually emerged more definitely and returned more often. At last they formed into personifications; for instance, the more important visual images regularly combined with the corresponding auditory images, so that the emerging figures began to speak to me, gave me advice and criticised my actions." Sometimes Stauden-maier's personifications would appear in the form of identical images of his own body, i.e. as * autoscopic hallucinations. As he wrote with reference to this latter phenomenon, "During the night while I walked up and down the garden I imagined as vividly as possible that there were three other people present besides me. Gradually the corresponding visual hallucination took shape. There appeared before me three identically clothed Staudenmaiers who walked along in step with me; they stopped when I did and stretched out their hands when I stretched out mine." Staudenmaier interpreted his personifications in Freudian fashion as "emancipated parts of his unconscious". His lectures on 'magic' centred around the notion that whatever is able to receive, must also be able to send. One of his principle aims was to provide future human beings with the necessary tools to produce 'phys-icalizations' by themselves. The import of Stau-denmaier's work for hallucinations research lies in the combination of his first-hand knowledge of hallucinatory phenomena and his exceptional talent for verbalizing and analyzing them. This combination places him in a league with other hallucinating intellectuals, such as Daniel Paul Schreber (1842-1911), Victor Kandinsky (1849-1889), Christoph Friedrich Nicolai (1733-1811), Vaslav Nijinsky (1889-1950), Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893), Fjodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881), and John Thomas Perceval (1803-1876).ReferencesStaudenmaier, L. (1912). Die Magie als experimentelle Naturwissenschaft. Leipzig: Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.