Monday, June 20, 2011

BREAKING TABOO - Seeing is not Believing

Guests today: ghost hunter Karen Rontowski, actor John C. McDonnel and correspondent Davad. M. Davad. Tune in to the show at 4pm PST on

Today it’s all things that go bump in the night and for once we aren’t talking about sex.
A nice big giant taboo is the paranormal. Most people get uncomfortable if asked whether they REALLY believe in ghosts or not. It’s okay to love ghost stories, and even okay to say yeah there might be something to that (as long as it’s followed with a depreciative chuckle) but tell people you’ve SEEN a ghost or that you absolutely believe in them… or reincarnation… or anything else related to the paranormal and you get that look. The one that says “you believe in santa claus too”, doncha?  In fact, we’ve been taught so well to NOT believe in anything outside the safe boundaries of this reality we stomp around in , that most people who do encounter something outside the norm tend to instantly disbelieve their own senses. Was that….? Nawwww. Did I just see….? Nawwwww.  Oh and sugah, definitely don’t run around town yelling “ghosts” with absolute conviction, because society has a nice tidy white cell with your name on it if you do. Well, unless you’re a professional ghost hunter, professional psychic, or a filmmaker (ie. entertainers.)
It is more comfortable for us to deny and discredit than to entertain an unproven possibility. That applies in most things but especially in the area of paranormal. Ironically, as a culture we LOVE to be teased and titillated with stories of ghosts and vamps and aliens and bigfoot and fairies. Horror and fantasy are huge sellers. But that’s okay because we can reassure ourselves that it isn’t real.

The need to have a nice tidy explanation for everything often compels us to either make all things possible or nothing possible. The truth usually lies somewhere in between the extremes.  The study of ghosts has taken on not only a popular mantle of entertainment, but also the trappings of very high tech science as ghost hunters track down evidence of altered existence. As with anything, you’ll have your charlatans and fame seekers that keep the doubtfires glowing, but you also have teams of people who sincerely are trying to provide that ever elusive proof that something of us exists beyond death.
A friend told me recently that all that remains are echoes of ourselves. Supernatural experiences can be explained via the science of our very complex brains where the power of suggestion and the mind’s ability to perceive illusionary images where none exist have been proven. But I don’t believe in black and white answers in a grey world. The flip side of the coin is this – while ghosts may not have been proven to exist to the skeptics’ satisfaction, neither have they been disproven to the believers’ satisfaction.
The spook factor definitely keeps life interesting. Especially when you keep company with ghosts.
(moving chair footage mentioned in the related tv station story is located near the end of their fairly long 7min video)

<---It could well be that it is no more possible to photograph ghosts than many other forms of sensory perception – sensations such as taste, smell, touch or subjective mental experiences such as dreams and visions, even thought itself. This does not mean that apparitions do not exist; rather that they may exist at a level of reality that cannot be recorded by instrumentation.


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