If synchronicities and spirit guides float your boat upon the river in the chapel perilous, please try not to sink the boats of others sailing by.
Most philosophers have known, at least since around 500 B.C., that the world perceived by our senses is not “the real world” but a construct we create — our own private work of art.
~Cosmic Trigger, Robert Anton Wilson
Lately I’ve been thinking about the reasons some of us believe in the paranormal and some of us don’t. What I found is the scientific community, and the academic community, think believers need to be studied in more detail, because there is seemingly something wrong with them.
So this is definitely one of those “Don’t shoot the messenger” kind of posts. I didn’t come up with this stuff, I’m just writing about it, because I believe it to be interesting. In believing it to be interesting, it could be a sign there is something wrong with me too.
I’ve developed this type of curiosity before on the subject of conspiracy theories, and it led to the writing of a post about the role a part of the brain called the amygdala plays in tendencies to buy into conspiracy theories. Whether or not one believes in the paranormal, however, isn’t nearly as clearly theorized as the root of conspiracy theories.
A belief in the paranormal, or not, is something deeply rooted in our psyche, and like belief in religion, it helps us cope with things in life we cannot control and helps us make sense of things we do not understand.
There are also those who attribute cognitive abilities as being a determining factor whether a person becomes a believer in the paranormal or not. In other words, paranormal believers are not as analytical as non-believers and are prone to flawed logic because they don’t dig deep enough when solving problems.
That’s what some researchers are saying anyway.
Again, I didn’t say it, and it’s not necessarily my opinion on the subject.
I’m just reporting it.
Believers in the Paranormal Just Want to Cope With Life
I made it a point to repeat the fact that I am just the messenger here, because some theorize when believers in religion or the paranormal have their beliefs threatened, they tend to react negatively and often with anger.
Going back to the early days of civilization man has wondered whether the mind and body are separate entities, or all rolled up into one neat, disposable package. The one part of this that cannot be argued is the disposable aspect of the body. We’re in the jungle, baby, and we’re all gonna die.
This is the point where philosophies diverge.
Is the mind a separate entity that continues on once its container is shed, or does the mind die when the body does?
Even the opinions of the best philosophers and scientists are little more than just poetry when it comes to this matter. Some views undoubtedly move us emotionally, and touch our sensibilities in such a way that we buy into what’s being said. Others… not so much.
None of it can be proven, but like poetry, it can have a deep effect on us if we’re open to hearing the message being delivered.
By definition, the same is true of the paranormal. Some of the stories and theories surrounding topics lumped under the paranormal heading touch our sensibilities and lure us into a particular belief system.