I understand why people who are involved with the paranormal do not view the subject casually. That’s me. It holds great meaning for me and challenges my convictions in an intensely philosophical way. And occasionally, it strengthens my religious beliefs and redefines my understanding of our true relation to the universe.
I used to cringe every time I heard myself attempting to convince others of how dispassionately objective I was about the subject, because I’d hoped to remain the eternal skeptic. And I really tried, but wearing a mask of total impartiality never worked – you could always see the real me underneath. Eventually, I felt so hypocritical that the better part of valor was just to own it, so I confess – I believe there are events for which there are no plausible explanations. Therefore, even if only by definition, paranormal anomalies must exist.
That doesn’t mean I think every stray noise is demon clatter, or every mist, mass and vapor a ghost. It doesn’t mean that the continuance of the human soul can be proved or that God is behind a lick of it, but being a true paranormal disciple means anything is possible. That includes Heaven and Hell, possession, the transcendence of the soul, little green men, and water nymphs named Bob. I’m not saying I’m down with everything – just that I’m seriously not ruling anything out.
“But I thought you were a modern man,” you may ask. I am! But I refuse to be blinded by that modernity; I cannot accept the foolish notion that there must be limitations to existence. Science doesn’t limit possibilities, so why should we? Art doesn’t feel obliged to inhibit either it’s form or expression. What are mathematicians if not the architects of an unknown future? Why should we place the things we’ve witnessed into a little box labeled “nonsense” and store it on the top shelf with the rusty garden tools?
Being objective isn’t so difficult if the intention is for truth. You just tell it like you see it, and let the chips fall where they may. There’s no vested interest in anything paranormal being truth or illusion – it is what it is, and if it’s the truth we’re looking for, then I don’t see how we can arbitrarily decide that something can not be possible. Don’t believe in spirit communication? Unwilling to accept alien visitation? Demonic possession, climate change and evolution all sound like a bunch of hogwash? Fine, but you’ll have to prove it.
I mean, that’s how it goes, right? For years it’s been acceptable to assume the burden of proof belongs solely to the paranormalist* – it’s up to us to provide the world with iron clad, irrefutable proof backed by solid, unquestionable evidence. And if that’s not possible, every piece of our premise tends to be negated. But I think it’s time we share the burden for a change. It’s not good enough to dismiss paranormal explanations with a chuckle and a knowing look toward the local mental institution. Claiming an idea to be preposterous must be accompanied by facts, reason, logic, and a willingness to explain why. If you’re going to aggressively nullify things paranormal, then you’ve invited yourself into a conversation that carries with it some responsibility.
There’s just as much reasonability in the concept of life after death as there is in additional dimensions at the quantum level. Both ideas must bear the strain of reason – both concepts require some original thinking. Neither one merits anything less than our best consideration. Ultimately, no one cares what we believe – only what is factual. If we don’t know what that is yet, we must not be looking everywhere.
The word “paranormalist” borrowed from Renae Rude.
Voices From Forever by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/ZBBmj Available on Amazon
There Is No Silence by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/U6KY7 Available on Amazon.