posted on May, 1 2007 @ 12:24 AM
HI Polomontana !
I can understand your frustration. Your post is similar to many I've written in forums and echoes my point of view during many discussions.
Like you, I compared witness statements re: paranormal experiences to witness-testimony in court and/or jury decisions.
In the end, you sort of burn out. Repeating the same thing tends to dull it. It's been happening to people for centuries. Some of them bequeath
their experiences and research to future generations in the form of books. Most depart this planet still wondering what, if anything, lies ahead,
despite their numerous paranormal experiences and belief in an afterlife.
The Randis of the world don't bother me, never did. There's a place and need for scepticism, as you've no doubt discovered as the result of
reading forums. A lot of people lie about their alleged paranormal experiences. Who knows why: maybe they seek attention or maybe they really want
to believe something so desperately that they invent it in the hope this will encourage the real thing.
The danger is that someone will read those imaginary experiences and believe them and repeat them as 'true'. I'm sure you'll agree that lies can
only detract from genuine experiences. So it's good there are those who question sceptically and debunk. It helps keep the pool clean.
Many paranormal experiences beggar belief: they sound crazy, impossible, invented, illogical, nonsensical. I've had some of those myself. And to be
honest, I doubt I'd believe them if someone else reported them. I don't expect others to believe them. Only those who've had a similar or
identical experience could believe them -- or those who know me well enough and who realise that I'm too lazy and proud to sink to lies (and
there are very few people in life who know us that well).
So, when I recount an experience, it's similar to setting a balloon free. I'm aware when I post such experiences that there will be many who think
I'm a raving, attention-seeking, possibly psychotic loony and who, ever after, will grant absolutely NO credibility to anything I post afterwards,
regardless of topic.
It's a decision we all have to make, being aware beforehand of the consequences. I'm prepared to do so, because I remember the years when I had
no-one in whom to confide, re: my 'unusual' experiences. There was no internet, few books I could afford dedicated to the paranormal and most
people simply didn't accept or were unwilling to accept that ordinary people could have such experiences. Those who did have paranormal experiences
were widely regarded as 'weird' and 'freaky' and were avoided or made the butt of jokes and sarcasm. Even my spouse spat at me scathingly on more
than one occasion: 'Anyway, everyone knows you're a freak. People think you're crazy -- did you know that? You just make a fool of yourself
when you talk about things like that. Why don't you just shut-up. '
So, on the occasions I post my experiences, they're intended for those who are now as I was then: for those who seek confirmation of their own
experience/s; who'll be comforted and reassured to learn that out there somewhere, someone else has experienced the same or similar thing. That's
all it takes, sometimes, to restore equilibrium and confidence.
Those who've already endured a spontaneous, often frightening paranormal experience (usually when they're alone and vulnerable) really need and
appreciate confirmation and reassurance, despite that it's provided by a complete stranger online in a forum somewhere.
If they'd been subjected to such emotional, spiritual and mental stress in the workplace, they'd receive sympathy, counselling, hugs and lots of
tender care. When their trauma is inflicted via paranormal means however, they're ridiculed, ostracised, treated with contempt and often revulsion.
And that's if they're brave or naive enough to tell anyone about it.
Yes, those who've had a paranormal experience are certainly entitled to whatever confidence boost and restoration of their equilibrium as we're able
to provide. Which is why, I suspect, many (including myself) make the effort to do so, regardless of cost to our own credibility.
But sceptics are necessary too and are to be appreciated. They serve a valuable purpose, even if at times those who falsely pose as genuine-sceptics
stoop to sarcasm, ridicule and accusations of 'lies' and/or 'imagination'.
To be acknowledged also is that *IF* paranormal phenomena were *SO* indisputable and proven, then there'd be no debate, would there? I mean there's
no dispute about the fact the sky and sea appear blue, is there? That's because EVERYone has experience of blue skies and seas. Everyone knows what
bread is. No dispute. No ridiculing those taken for granted 'facts'.
So clearly, not everyone experiences paranormal phenomena and as such, there is no onus upon them to accept as true the paranormal claims of others.
And those of us who *have* experienced the paranormal are compelled to accept that.
In time, it may come about that the paranormal is as taken for granted as the sky and sea. At which point, no doubt, it will cease to be of
At the moment, we're all mostly prepared to accept that humans 'die'. Not much dispute about that. Who knows if sometime in the future, most will
be prepared to accept that after physical-death, we experience an after-life. The debate and dispute then may well focus on the 'types' of
after-life and what steps people can take to ensure they 'go somewhere nice'.
Hope this doesn't sound unsympathetic, because it's not intended to be. At the moment, re: the paranormal, it's basically a case of being able to
lead the horse to water but being unable to force it to drink.
There are those who are certain of the reality of the paranormal (ghosts, entities, etc) and those who are not ---- with a large number remaining
undecided but nevertheless interested. Which is a fairly healthy state of affairs as I'm sure you'll agree. And it's as much as anyone could hope
for, really, considering that neither you nor I can 'prove' the reality of many paranormal phenomena, just as Randi is unable to 'disprove'
It'll all work out in the end --- if it's intended to.