Is there room in the Para/Crypto/Fortean world for a gun-toting, paranoid, bipolar, opinionated bastard? A lonely romantic in search of his lost soul? A knight, Samurai, gunslinger, born in the wrong century? A self-destructive, doom-driven survivor seeking redemption? A heavy drinking gonzo outlaw cryptozoologist whose ego is exceeded only by his libido?
No, there isn't. That's why I'm here...

10 February 2010

Analyze THIS...

Consider the following fictional scenario:
A wife wants her husband dead. Maybe he's abusive, maybe he's cheating on her, maybe she's just an evil wench who wants his insurance money.
Rather than "do the deed" herself, or hiring a goon or hitman, she decides to try a little "voodoo". She fashions a doll in the likeness of her hubby, nail clippings, locks of hair, whatever. Every day she concentrates on the doll, driving in needles and pins and thinking about how badly she wants him gone.(I know this isn't how voodoo really works, but it's close enough to sympathetic magic for illustration)
After a week or two, the husband is driving home from work and is hit by a train at the railroad crossing and killed.
How would YOU explain this?
A: The magic worked.

B: The ritual and visualization with the doll served to focus the wife's mental energy, which in turn led to the desired outcome.

C: The husband began to notice (consciously or subconsciously) changes in his wife's behaviour and attitude. He was so stressed and distracted that he wasn't concentrating on his driving.

D: All of the above are irrelevant, it was just his time to go.

E: Just a complete coincidence that had nothing to do with the wife's desires.

This has always been a problem when dealing with weirdness. There are so many possible explanations to certain phenomena, so many approaches to analyzing the same set of circumstances. Different researchers may have radically differing points of view on a topic, and (while many are open-minded and willing to admit a degree of uncertainty) some dogmatically cling to one particular approach, or investigative method, or theory, while excluding the possibility that another one may be correct.
And like the husband's death in the illustration, there's no way to determine which is "true".
As much as I hate to admit it, I realize that some of the mysteries to which I and others devote so much thought, reading, research, and even sleepless nights, may very well remain forever mysterious.


Autumnforest said...

Hey Gummer;
Good point. The problem is that nothing is really cause and effect in the paranormal world. You can't say that when you see a UFO it was clearly correlated with a weather event or an air force trial run or anything else. It's as random as the husband dying. I used to play a game with my son when he was little to show him that we don't know what goes on with other people. We'd see someone do something rude and we'd list all the reason Mr. Stinkybutt was being crabby. I wanted to teach him not to explain everything within relationship to himself, such as "he doesn't like kids," or "he hated me." Paranormal is much like that. You get 5 people in a house and something knocks on the walls, you'll get 5 different explanatory styles, "it wasn't necessarily a knock," "it was clearly the heater turning on," "no doubt it's your baby brother teasing you," "something fell over in the next room," "it's a ghost trying to communicate." Who's right? That's the nasty web of reality. There is no reality--there's only our version of reality. Until we can actually test these things in a lab under controlled conditions, they're nothing more than eyewitness reports. Still, we do manage to study stars in other galaxies and make a lot of assumptions about them based on what little we know, even though we can't go there to check it out, we still can give an "educated guess." That's what we do in the field of paranormal. Great post--you are always so insightful!

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