Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Meaning of "Paranormal"

In my writing, I use the term "paranormal" to refer to human abilities that are not ordinarily acknowledged by science -- principally psi abilities, such as telepathy, remote viewing (controlled clairvoyance), and psychokinesis, plus healing, which in my opinion is accomplished through the use of psi. The dictionary, unfortunately, equates the word to "supernatural," which is something quite different. I don't think there is anything in the least supernatural about psi; it's simply an aspect of nature that we don't yet understand.

I'm dismayed, however, to find that almost all discussion on the Web of the paranormal is centered on something other than these abilities, mainly ghosts, hauntings and various mysterious occurrences involving forces believed to be inhuman -- or on mythical beings such as vampires and werewolves. Too often, only the horrific aspects of the unknown are emphasized; the paranormal is assumed to be scary. So by using the word in publicity for my book, I may be misleading some readers. I do not believe in ghosts. I'm not interested in fiction about vampires, although I know it's very popular now. If this is what you're looking for in a novel dealing with the paranormal, you're going to be disappointed in mine. On the other hand, if you believe that the human mind has vastly greater power than is generally recognized, and that this power can be developed in positive ways in the future, you'll like it.

I am also unhappy that consideration of the paranormal is so frequently focused on spiritualism and mediums. I believe the question of survival after death, and of alleged communication with departed spirits, is an entirely separate one from the existence of psi capabilities in the living, and should not be confused with it. I have not seen any evidence for communication with the dead that cannot be explained by telepathy. One highly-regarded book on this subject claims that the evidence cited could not have been obtained via telepathy because the only person alive who had the information wasn't thinking about it, which completely ignores the fact that most telepathy occurs on an unconscious level. Be that as it may, however, I think it's a mistake to tie the two issues together because neither is dependent on the other. There is plenty of evidence for psi having nothing to do with survival after death; moreover it is quite possible that if spirits do survive death, they don't hang around long enough to communicate with anybody. The universe is vast, and personally I can't conceive of spirits no longer associated with physical bodies remaining associated with the affairs of one small planet in a particular physical location. In any case, the assumption that acceptance of psi implies belief in life after death, or vice versa, interferes with progress in the understanding of what abilities living human beings possess.

1 comment:

Contoh Ruang Tamu Warna Biru said...

You could definitely see your enthusiasm within the paintings you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. Always go after your heart.