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All metaphysical / paranormal phenomena explained


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soulman
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Re: All metaphysical / paranormal phenomena explained

Matt H., meet MS.

You guys should get along just great, reinforcing each other's doubting attitudes.

Although I'm not a great proponent of orbs, I find your comment about them illustrative of your mind-set, which reveals some very biased opinions:

"Just because there has been a rise of idots (sic) putting forward ridiculous theories about orbs and the like, it doesn't mean the task of "explaining" the paranormal has become any easier."

And it never will with that kind of attitude. Being "open-minded" means just that. Referring to those you disagree with as "idiots" with "ridiculous theories" reveals a mindset that supports only your own conclusions.

Applying Occam's Razor to this field of study provides a very good clue to explaining the paranormal -- since every instance of the "paranormal" has a spiritual component. The proposal that all paranormal/metaphysical events are spiritual in nature is worthy of serious consideration.

Except, of course, that mainstream science doesn't acknowledge the reality of spirituality, courtesy of the Church's suppression of science and scientists for the last 1,000 years.

Mysteryshopper
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Re: All metaphysical / paranormal phenomena explained

Regarding, once again, the question of open-mindedness, here is my own history. I first became interested in the paranormal as a kid, through reading books. I didn't know what to make of it because the books seemed so at odds with most other people's (negative) opinion of the paranormal. Later I became actively involved in paranormal investigation and realised the people involved were honest and sensible. I read books by other investigators, as well as doing my own cases, and started to believe in the paranormal because the evidence looked convincing.

Since then, as I've outlined before, I began to see flaws in the procedures used by paranormal investigators, including myself. And new scientific research from other fields made me realise that the vast majority of cases could now no longer be considered unexplainable. There were perfectly viable, even highly likely, alternative explanations.

I also did lab-type paranormal research where I consistently came up with zilch evidence for the paranormal. Worse, I realised the inherent flaws in almost all such work. On this basis, I decided there was not yet sufficient robust evidence to demonstrate the existence of the paranormal. However, I continue to work in the field, developing tools to address the higher level of evidence now required, and may yet change my mind again, depending on the evidence.

So, as you see, I started with insufficient evidence and was neutral. Then I gathered what I thought was good evidence and was in favour of the paranormal. Now I see the flaws in that evidence and have swung the other way. I would describe this journey as an open-minded one, always swayed by the evidence rather than any in-built bias one way or the other.

Soulman, would you agree that what I describe above shows open-mindedness? If not, could you give us YOUR definition of the term, please, as it would then clearly differ from mine? Also, any chance of those top 5 most persuasive bits of evidence in favour of the spiritual nature of humans? If you can't manage 5, how about 3?

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soulman
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Re: All metaphysical / paranormal phenomena explained

You believe you are open-minded, but to date, you have found ways to dismiss every example of reported paranormal activity you've examined.

Your requirement that each episode withstand the test of "robust evidence" is your blockage point, for you place more value on proving the evidence than you do the existence of the evidence itself.

What do you think is causing these millions of paranormal experiences, -- from seeing ghosts to having an NDE -- which are commonplace to all humanity throughout recorded history? I say it's our spiritual nature at work.

According to you, and science, it's all "misperception," delusions, and/or manufactured evidence.

To declare that the millions upon millions of people around the world who continually experience various aspects of the paranormal (spiritual) world are all delusional because science hasn't proven their experiences are real is both a self-deception and disservice to the truth. No wonder humanity is confused.

I don't have a list of the "most persuasive bits of evidence in favour of the spiritual nature of humans"

What I have accrued is more than 80+ examples of our spiritual nature at work, which are detailed in my books. Most are briefly explained, but 10 of them are explored in depth.

I have posted these elsewhere over the years, but am not inclined to do so for you. I know what you'll do with that list.

Mysteryshopper
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Re: All metaphysical / paranormal phenomena explained
soulman wrote:

You believe you are open-minded, but to date, you have found ways to dismiss every example of reported paranormal activity you've examined.

I don't make the evidence! If there are entirely plausible, even likely, alternative explanations for any particular incident that's hardly my fault, is it?

Quote:

Your requirement that each episode withstand the test of "robust evidence" is your blockage point, for you place more value on proving the evidence than you do the existence of the evidence itself. What do you think is causing these millions of paranormal experiences, -- from seeing ghosts to having an NDE -- which are commonplace to all humanity throughout recorded history? I say it's our spiritual nature at work.

If each episode, when carefully examined, fails the test of evidence then how can adding them all together make any difference? If one hundred people all fail the same exam, does that add up to one person passing it?

Quote:

According to you, and science, it's all "misperception," delusions, and/or manufactured evidence.

I never mentioned delusion, nor have I ever come across a case of it. I have come across very few cases of fraud either. I don't regard either as significant causes of paranormal reports. My list of causes, in likely order of importance, was misperception, hallucination (from various causes like hypnagogia), coincidence and various other minor things. This is based on experience of paranormal investigations.

Quote:

To declare that the millions upon millions of people around the world who continually experience various aspects of the paranormal (spiritual) world are all delusional because science hasn't proven their experiences are real is both a self-deception and disservice to the truth. No wonder humanity is confused.

Once again, I never mentioned delusion nor do I think it is a significant cause of paranormal reports. In my experience, I have found most witnesses to be perfectly credible and I believe they experienced what they report. It is the cause of those experiences which is at issue.

If someone experiences misperception but thinks they are having paranormal experiences, they will continue to do so. As you say, many people believe they experience paranormal episodes on a daily basis. It does not mean that those episodes are inexplicable to science.

Quote:

I don't have a list of the "most persuasive bits of evidence in favour of the spiritual nature of humans". What I have accrued is more than 80+ examples of our spiritual nature at work, which are detailed in my books. Most are briefly explained, but 10 of them are explored in depth.
I have posted these elsewhere over the years, but am not inclined to do so for you. I know what you'll do with that list.

That's a pity. Can you tell me this, at least? How do you differentiate between a paranormal experience and a spiritual one? For me, what someone describes as a spiritual experience, such as witnessing the Virgin Mary, say, is what I would describe as paranormal. So I'm interested to know where you draw the line.

Matt.H
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Re: All metaphysical / paranormal phenomena explained
soulman wrote:

Matt H., meet MS. You guys should get along just great, reinforcing each other's doubting attitudes. Although I'm not a great proponent of orbs, I find your comment about them illustrative of your mind-set, which reveals some very biased opinions: "Just because there has been a rise of idots (sic) putting forward ridiculous theories about orbs and the like, it doesn't mean the task of "explaining" the paranormal has become any easier." And it never will with that kind of attitude. Being "open-minded" means just that. Referring to those you disagree with as "idiots" with "ridiculous theories" reveals a mindset that supports only your own conclusions. Applying Occam's Razor to this field of study provides a very good clue to explaining the paranormal -- since every instance of the "paranormal" has a spiritual component. The proposal that all paranormal/metaphysical events are spiritual in nature is worthy of serious consideration. Except, of course, that mainstream science doesn't acknowledge the reality of spirituality, courtesy of the Church's suppression of science and scientists for the last 1,000 years.

I should first stress that Mystery Shopper and I have disagreed on more than one occasion in the past. :-)

The purpose of my post was to find some middle ground in this discussion, which is where I feel I stand. I guess it proves my point that people will read into things what they want to suit their outlook if you feel I was attacking your point of view.

For what it's worth, I think the paranormal case for orbs - as in those found on digital cameras - is completely untenable. I open-mindedly explored this matter in some detail, and found it to be nonesense - that's certainly not a close minded attitude to the subject.

I welcome a positive approach to any fringe subject, and have most certainly had experiences that I've yet to find any rational explanation for. However, that's not to say that the vast majority of reports cannot, as Mystery Shopper points out, be ascribed to very well understood and pretty prosaic causes.

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soulman
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Re: All metaphysical / paranormal phenomena explained

Granted, you didn't say "delusional." You said "misperception." Both mean perceiving things that aren't there.

I don't differentiate between paranormal experiences and spiritual experiences. I consider them one and the same, just different nomenclature.

There are eight different types of apparitional appearances (that I have catalogued). Seeing the VM would be only one kind of apparition

Apparitional types include (as excerpted from "Awakening The Soul"):

"There are several kinds of ghosts and apparitions:

* the scary kind that haunt old houses (and almost anywhere else, actually),

* the apparitions which numerous explorers and adventurers have reported accompanying them during their exploits,

* the ghostly images of persons who suddenly become visible to others, apparently at the moment of their death,

* the images of living individuals – the doppleganger – as detailed above,

* the apparition of spiritual beings, often those of “deceased” relatives, which frequently appear at the bedside of the dying,

* the apparition of high spiritual beings, such as the appearances of Christ, the Virgin Mary, angels and saints,

* the apparition viewed when an individual “bilocates,” a spiritual trait, exhibited by a number of saints and holy men and women, and

* the image of the spiritual body, as perceived during out-of-body experiences" (c) Awakening The Soul

I consider all of these types of apparitions as events stemming from our spiritual nature.

Mysteryshopper
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Re: All metaphysical / paranormal phenomena explained
soulman wrote:

Granted, you didn't say "delusional." You said "misperception." Both mean perceiving things that aren't there.

I never said delusional because that would be incorrect. Misperception is part of the normal perception process. A delusion, by contrast, is a fixed belief which is incorrect - it is a fixed state of mind NOT a perception. As Wikipedia puts it "As a pathology, it [a delusion] is distinct from a belief based on false or incomplete information, "incorrect" dogma, stupidity, apperception, illusion, or other effects of perception." (see top of article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delusion). We ALL misperceive all the time but we only notice it very occasionally (and some people never at all) By contrast, only certain people have delusions and they don't require ANY kind of perception to have them. Delusions are often taken as an indicator of mental disorders whereas misperception is part of ordinary perception, common to everyone.

It is very important to make this distinction because having a misperception does NOT make anyone delusional. Telling someone they are delusional is likely to be upsetting and if all they have had is a misperception then it is entirely incorrect too!

Quote:

I don't differentiate between paranormal experiences and spiritual experiences. I consider them one and the same, just different nomenclature.

So what evidence do have for this? On the face of it you've simply redefined paranormal as spiritual.

Quote:

"There are several kinds of ghosts and apparitions:

* the scary kind that haunt old houses (and almost anywhere else, actually),

Given that apparitions only appear in a minority of haunting cases, how do you know hauntings are actually caused by ghosts? Could they not be just one symptom of the haunting phenomenon?

And how do you interpret the fact that apparitions usually always appear in exactly the same place and show no sign to acknowledge the presence of the witness?

Quote:

* the apparitions which numerous explorers and adventurers have reported accompanying them during their exploits,

What distinguishes these from other apparitions apart from where and when they appear?

Quote:

* the ghostly images of persons who suddenly become visible to others, apparently at the moment of their death,

What every one else calls a crisis apparition?

Quote:

* the apparition of spiritual beings, often those of “deceased” relatives, which frequently appear at the bedside of the dying,

Do you have any examples of these? You describe them as frequent and yet I've never come across a single case.

Quote:

* the apparition of high spiritual beings, such as the appearances of Christ, the Virgin Mary, angels and saints,

In such cases there is often no objective identification of the apparitions involved. It is simply the witness who is convinced of who they are. So, if I, for instance, saw one of these apparitions, how could I tell it was different to any other ghost?

Quote:

* the apparition viewed when an individual “bilocates,” a spiritual trait, exhibited by a number of saints and holy men and women, and

How does this differ from a doppelganger?

Quote:

* the image of the spiritual body, as perceived during out-of-body experiences" (c) Awakening The Soul

Why should such a figure be considered a ghost or apparition? What evidence is there that they have any existence outside the OOBE?

Quote:

I consider all of these types of apparitions as events stemming from our spiritual nature.

To me, these are all paranormal experiences. What evidence is there that they are spiritual in nature?

Matt.H
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Re: All metaphysical / paranormal phenomena explained

I would really hesitate to use apparitions as the body of evidence for existence of the paranormal. As MS states, they're relatively rare and the majority of accounts are sketchy (or clearly false) to the point where misperception or delusion becomes the most likely explanation.

Further, I would argue that many of the type of apparitional cases you claim would involve the witness being in a heightened or altered mindset -  grief, fear, religion etc. Are these not some of the most likely circumstances under which the human mind may err and "think" it has seen something? How can we rule this out and put our trust in a spiritual hypothesis?

Of course, well recorded, detailed and/or multiple witness apparitions are much more difficult to explain and are what maintains my interest in the subject. However, as a proportion of allegedly paranormal reports these are like the proverbial rocking horse manure.

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soulman
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Re: All metaphysical / paranormal phenomena explained

MS:

This is what I mean about this taking up too much of my time, while trying to convince a very skeptical individual, rather than inform a learner.

I don't mind taking the time to inform someone who is learning, but trying to convince you of anything is a waste of my time.

Matt, apparitions are not as rare as you think, and both you and MS show a lack of being informed if you think so.

Here's another excerpt from "Awakening The Soul" which proves my point:

A joint 15-year study conducted simultaneously in India and the United States revealed that 591 of 877 dying patients claimed to see the apparitions of spiritual beings coming to accompany them at the time of their death. About half these apparitions vanished in less than five minutes, but about 15 percent lasted up to an hour. Furthermore, 75 percent of all patients died within 10 minutes of seeing the visions.25 The study also showed that fully 72 percent of those who saw these visiting apparitions no longer feared their death.26 A 1956 study by American sociologist Hornell Hart concluded there is no basic difference between apparitions of the living or the dead. But studies also showed that 82 percent of the apparitions had a purpose, as in “announcing” a death.27

Dr. Therese A. Rando, author of Parental Loss of a Child, says that about 75 percent of parents who lose a child have after-death visions of the child.28 A study detailed in Prof. Erlendur Haraldsson’s 1989 book, Encounters with the Dead, analyzed the cases of 450 ghosts and apparitions reported in Iceland. The study revealed that 80 percent of the viewers knew the person whose apparition appeared, and also said they had no sense the individual appearing to them was dying. More than fifty percent of the sightings occurred in fully lighted conditions and only 10 percent in full darkness, countering the concept that ghosts are generally seen in dimly-lighted conditions.29

A number of adventurers and explorers have reported seeing spiritual beings who accompanied them on their exploits. American adventurer Joshua Slocum, the first man to sail around the world alone in 1898; aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh, who flew the Atlantic Ocean solo in 1927; explorer Ernest Shackleton, who trekked to the South Pole in 1916; and British mountaineer Doug Scott, who climbed Mount Everest in 1975, all reported having encounters with ghostly spiritual beings who guided and aided them during their ordeals.30

Ghosts and apparitions appear very similar to an artificial holographic image. A ghost may be a holographic image of the individual generated by the immense cosmic energy of the Soul, projecting its image to the receiver at a special moment in space and time. A hologram is created by the intersection of two laser beams projecting an image into the same space. A ghost image may be our personal hologram projected by the light and energy of our Soul. The image is projected to intersect in the desired reality it seeks, such as in the presence of a loved one or a friend at a special moment.

Almost everyone knows someone who has encountered a ghost, and a surprising number of people claim to have done so. Ghosts and apparitions are among the most common of mystical experiences. A poll in 1986 by the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Council revealed 42 percent of the adult American population – some 50 million persons – reported contact with a ghost or apparition. Among widows, this figure soared to 67 percent, mostly contact with former spouses. Of the 42 percent who said they had contact with a ghost, 50 percent said they heard noises or voices, 21 percent said they were touched by an apparition, 32 percent said they felt the presence of a ghost, and 18 percent said they had communicated with the ghost.

Even greater numbers believe in spiritual life after physical death – 71 percent of Americans according to a 1980 Gallup Poll – and a full 30 percent of those who said they didn’t hold such beliefs claimed contact with someone who had died.31 A similar Australian study in 1989 revealed that 36 percent of the respondents said they had felt the presence of a spiritual being.32 (c) "Awakening The Soul"

Mysteryshopper
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Re: All metaphysical / paranormal phenomena explained
soulman wrote:

Matt, apparitions are not as rare as you think, and both you and MS show a lack of being informed if you think so.

I base my data on apparitions from experience of investigating cases as well as that of other paranormal investigators who have reported a marked drop in apparition sightings in the last 10 years.

I do not regard a dying person seeing apparitions as a 'case' and have never been asked to 'investigate' such an event. It is unlikely that anyone would report such a thing as a case as they would appreciate that people who are dying are clearly in the process of losing their brain function and subject to hallucinations. I would not regard these kind of apparitions as any kind of external entity.

I must admit, I thought you meant the death-bed apparitions were being seen by people OTHER than just by the person dying. That would indeed have been very interesting and unusual.

Quote:

Dr. Therese A. Rando, author of Parental Loss of a Child, says that about 75 percent of parents who lose a child have after-death visions of the child.

Again, people having hallucinations of recently dead relatives is also well-known and normal (ask any doctor) while not providing evidence of apparitions as separate entities. The death of a relative is extremely stressful and likely to produce hallucinations in some people.

Quote:

A number of adventurers and explorers have reported seeing spiritual beings who accompanied them on their exploits. American adventurer Joshua Slocum, the first man to sail around the world alone in 1898; aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh, who flew the Atlantic Ocean solo in 1927; explorer Ernest Shackleton, who trekked to the South Pole in 1916; and British mountaineer Doug Scott, who climbed Mount Everest in 1975, all reported having encounters with ghostly spiritual beings who guided and aided them during their ordeals.

Again, also well-known and again involving a highly stressful situation likely to lead to hallucination. I see no reason to count any of these three categories as in any way equivalent to seeing a ghost of an unknown person in a haunted house, for instance.

Quote:

Ghosts and apparitions appear very similar to an artificial holographic image. A ghost may be a holographic image of the individual generated by the immense cosmic energy of the Soul, projecting its image to the receiver at a special moment in space and time. A hologram is created by the intersection of two laser beams projecting an image into the same space. A ghost image may be our personal hologram projected by the light and energy of our Soul. The image is projected to intersect in the desired reality it seeks, such as in the presence of a loved one or a friend at a special moment.

And what evidence do you have for this hologram idea, please? Incidentally, a laser is not required to produce a hologram. The important point is that the image should contain phase, as well as amplitude, information which is normally lost in everyday incoherent light.

Quote:

Almost everyone knows someone who has encountered a ghost, and a surprising number of people claim to have done so. Ghosts and apparitions are among the most common of mystical experiences. A poll in 1986 by the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Council revealed 42 percent of the adult American population – some 50 million persons – reported contact with a ghost or apparition. Among widows, this figure soared to 67 percent, mostly contact with former spouses. Of the 42 percent who said they had contact with a ghost, 50 percent said they heard noises or voices, 21 percent said they were touched by an apparition, 32 percent said they felt the presence of a ghost, and 18 percent said they had communicated with the ghost.

This touches on the distinction I made earlier between SEEING an apparition and EXPERIENCING a haunting. In many hauntings there is no apparition seen and claiming that a ghost produced strange noises is pure assumption.

Quote:

Even greater numbers believe in spiritual life after physical death – 71 percent of Americans according to a 1980 Gallup Poll – and a full 30 percent of those who said they didn’t hold such beliefs claimed contact with someone who had died.31 A similar Australian study in 1989 revealed that 36 percent of the respondents said they had felt the presence of a spiritual being.32 (c) "Awakening The Soul"

This touches on the reason why, when people misperceive, they are more likely to see a ghost than an elephant or a telephonoe box. The widespread belief in ghosts biases their brain to interpret unknown objects as paranormal.

If you will answer no other question, at least tell me this: what evidence do you have that persuades you that paranormal phenomena are spiritual in nature? It is your central claim, so I assume there must be evidence.



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