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The Paranormal: An Introduction

The subject of the paranormal is enormous and it would be impossible to write anything that is in depth for this web site. However, electronic communication, haunting, poltergeists, crop circles, ley lines and other related subjects are discussed in this section. Although we may refer to them, the subject of un-identified flying objects and alien abduction will not be examined. As so much is available to the reader upon this subject online and in many books nothing is to be gained in expanding upon it here. 

So are any of these things linked? Ignoring the concept that “all things are connected” for a moment and examining at the subject with a clinical eye that is based upon the current evidence available the answer would certainly appear to be, yes.

Taking peoples reported experiences in such areas as alleged alien abduction and extremes of apparent paranormal activity, both of which are almost always beyond the understanding of the experiencer, we find many common threads.

The late John Mack crystallises this concept in his book ‘Passport to the Cosmos’ when relating it to alien abduction, although the same concept can be applied equally well to other paranormal phenomena:

“We must ask what kind of matter is the so called alien abduction phenomena, and what is the appropriate method of studying it? To begin with it seems to belong to that particular class of phenomena, not even generally accepted as existing by mainstream Western science, that seem not to be of the visible, known material universe and yet appear to manifest in it. These are phenomena like mysterious crop formations, unexplained animal mutilations and apparitions of the Virgin Mary, that seem to cross over or to violate the radical separation of the spirit or unseen realms from the material world that is the centre of the scientific materialist world.”

– John Mack, Passport to the Cosmos

What we when can say is that during those times that people experience something that is unusual in a paranormal sense, it is often accompanied by extremes of emotion. This can manifest as an extreme fear or trepidation within an environment for reasons that are not always clear and a feeling of being detached from reality. It would be appropriate to term this as “High Strangeness”.

During the break in a crop circle meeting that I attended a few years ago, I struck up a conversation with a lady who provided a good example of this phenomena, her experience took place one evening at around eleven pm in central Brighton. The lady in question noticed a light in the sky and felt sufficiently afraid of it that she hid herself in a telephone box until the fear had subsided. Now, this is only a very small, even slight experience. But it is interesting none the less. Why would anybody be afraid of an apparently distant light? This is a completely irrational fear given that the City of Brighton and Hove is always a very busy place. Further questions revealed that, although she could not recall anything happening to her in the phone box, she had never thought about why there did not seem to be anybody about during the experience. This is the aspect of strangeness common in such incidents. In some ways this example is very like one of Marlene’s experiences described in the ‘About Marlene’ section, where she became aware of the three abnormally tall men when walking home from a local disco. It takes very little research to provide further examples of these feelings of strangeness that fit John Mack’s criteria in stories of apparitions at haunted locations and those very odd cases of time slip and others that have been provided by the most rational of people, often as multiple witnesses.

Hopefully that quantifies what is the paranormal experience, but what about the experiencer? Can we find appropriate words to describe what they feel after the event? When you take time to consider what a person may go through during an experience, what ever that might be, it can be impossible to put that into any meaningful description. The closest I have been able to equate to appropriate words come from Josef Johann Wittgenstein Ludwig, an Austrian, who is widely regarded as one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century when, during a lecture, in the 1930’s he said; experiences themselves “seem to those who have them, for instance me, to have some sense of intrinsic, absolute value” and “cannot be captured by factual language because their value lies beyond the world of facts.” 

This statement does seem to get to the very heart of the matter, in that what is experienced reaches deep within and interacts with those deep recesses of our mind, possibly forming a contact with whatever resides in our subconscious. On a lighter level it also describes why a message delivered at a demonstration of clairvoyance, or during a personal sitting, only has meaning for the intended person in the audience.

This article is part of our Paranormal series.






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