Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Roots Of The Paranormal

Emotions Versus Intellect and Liminality

On the surface of our societies organisations, laws, religions and other architectural constructions that frame human relationships there is a counterpoint of chaos, cross purposes, open ended questions and ambiguity mixed with the denial that a great deal of what constitutes order is essentially a series of control systems that are in an odd way remain ad hoc in nature in that they are necessities created by the non existence of the same in our deepest fears that recognize anything and everything can and perhaps will happen through our own psychological weaknesses. One sees this operate in the anti-structure of emotional realms as superimposed on the rational intellect

The Trickster of Structures

One could say that society is based on rituals of initiation based on structures that in of themselves creates a Trickster lodged on the deception of appearances in the laws of human structures. Robert Anton Wilson applied the term of "naive realism " to this Trickster.
Idealism as a repeatable stereotype versus the realities posed by uncertainty characterized by unpredictability. Structure versus anti-structure. Laws based on chaos. One could call this a contest between the imposition of the idealism of legislated realities versus the underpinning of unlimited possibilities that created them. Consensus reality is repeatable, the paranormal is chaotic. One hand is washing the other.
We see this reflected in the goals of science to create a unified field theory that unites the predictable structure of classical physics with the anti-structure of quantum mechanics.

One could call this situation the Tao of the paranormal. In other words, a dynamo. Both are the result of superimposition and yet the separation of one from the other is the crux of investigation. As a result of this
this attempt to separate the two ( structure and anti-structure ) leads to the formulation of camps that reflect this focus on division versus multiplication of effects that are the consequence of entanglement.The extreme partitioning of the whole creates What Gregory Bateson termed a double bind that results in a defensive formulation of erstwhile cults of extreme beliefs one way or the other as to alleviate a conflict. In metaphysics this is known under many terms that acts as a buffer that generically is termed a projected illusion that is turn has another layer which is the finite capabilities of the senses in relation to the formulation of conceptual versus certifiable concepts of reality.

"A double bind is an emotionally distressing dilemma in communication in which an individual (or group) receives two or more conflicting messages, in which one message negates the other. This creates a situation in which a successful response to one message results in a failed response to the other (and vice versa), so that the person will automatically be wrong regardless of response. The double bind occurs when the person cannot confront the inherent dilemma, and therefore can neither resolve it nor opt out of the situation."

Despite these attempts to build social moats around open ended situations, there remains the unpredictable and seemingly random extremes of behavior that surface continually that leave in their wake more questions than answers. The most open ended questions revolve around homicide that represent the genome of chaos in the origins whose effect is the murder of another being. Here we have the prosaic equivalence of what we term the anomalous  which requires a deeper look.

The Post Editorial Nature of Imposing Structure on Open Ended Questions

Nature versus nurture, lost opportunities versus fated circumstance, capital punishment versus lifelong incarceration, desire versus acceptance, outcasts versus the whole of social norms, the end game of capitalism, psychosis versus mediation, emotions versus logic. The list of choices can make for a perfect storm whose effects can last long after the bodies have long since been relegated to the ground. One could say these are a mirror image of what takes place in the anomalous cases of hauntings only it is the living that are haunted, or is it?

While the concept of purgatory as a form of fear inducing control in religious orthodoxy has been erased from the books as a form of punishment in the afterlife, the same remains in the wake of any murder. The Trickster's role in liminality is one of highlighting the limits of structure. While the superimpositions that result from the balancing and imbalance between chaos and order are evident and require nuance we find that in popular opinion, there exist two diametrically opposed camps of belief. The camp of structure versus the camp of anti-structure as a faux architecture. Angels versus Devils as a naive dualism versus the dynamo that propels and unites anomalous manifestations as a superimposition. Both camps assume a pathological desire to control that mimics the behavior of their container which are rules versus chaos, reward versus punishment as a means to make the incommensurable a domesticated and stereotyped form of predictability.

The victims of chaos are as random and as widespread as the reach of human relations bind them together. Again we have the haunting of the living by open ended questions that create an atmosphere of indelible uncertainty that is free floating as well as permanently locking them into could have, should have, would have. Within this perpetual motion of the unassigned possibilities there is an indisputable motive power that seemingly seeks the superimposition of human values onto inconclusive and irresolvable conflicts that are both intellectual and emotional.

One could say this is the axis of anomalous manifestations. The anti-structural nature underlying prosaic and fundamental concepts that are structural and more importantly....human experience as an expression of the consequences wherein these two forces act as a dynamo of life mirrored by what remains after the host has abdicated possession of it onto another medium as a imprint.

The Balancing of Forces

In all of this there is a larger question, the elusiveness of justice in both a concrete and existential sense or if we carry this into a literal church of orthodoxies, we have a deep seated sense of contradictions both obvious and subtle. Open ended questions in the Janus face of what is called morality as an abstracted case of rules that seem to not apply as much as they do both personally and in societal terms despite the architectures created since the time of Moses.

Another factor of haunting shared between both life and death.

The study of the paranormal is the study of what is disconcerting as well as illusive. In my research, the normal and the para-normal are joined at the hip. One could say the former has these questions buried below the surface of the taskng we are assigned to by the necessities of everyday life, but they are none the less present. In the latter they are more the surface itself as chaotic, persistent and as anti-structural.

The intellect is structural whereas emotions are not.

We attempt to apply rationality to the paranormal and come up empty handed. In some sense you have to have a strong stomach to delve into these matters having what is called a strong native psychological constitution. Emotions, I have found, are the basis for the creation of the probability of an anomalous manifestation to occur whether it is a UFO or a ghost as emotional fields of this expression of energy are a carrier wave as well as having a atmosphere conducive to anti-structural expressions.

In carrying this sense that the normal and paranormal are joined at the hip, I have seen one transfer to the other that raises a great deal of issues that are tied to human experience as a causal framework of open ended questions, one that persists beyond the physical death of the subject, which then has it’s own series of questions attached to them much as Shakespeare portrayed similar themes in Hamlet as a causal chain of consequences that play out as an analogy to Newton’s observation of classical physics.

One could say both normal consensus reality and it’s paranormal events of anomalous experiential manifestations pose what could be labelled unanswerable situations and yet perhaps our venturing into taboo areas of human nature serve a nobler cause yet to be determined. Motive, means and opportunity belong to us as an inheritance in the quest for freedom from within.

It is safe to say that the Anomalist, the Fortean, the  Paranormalist do indeed serve a nobler cause that provides no immediate answers yet remains a worthwhile journey regardless of the provocations that suggest otherwise. We press on...on a perhaps a fool's errand while others fall by the wayside and find more practical occupations and yet our quest is far from impractical.


  1. Bruce,

    The problem as I see it is we don't have enough knowledge [either intellectual or emotional] to understand what we are [or are not] seeing when we observe the world and its various phenomena.

    Much like the two dimensional flatlander trying to understand what a three dimensional object or person might look like or how they might interact with [or in!] our world we do not understand because the notional frame works we build so the world seems comprehensible. Skeptics have a strong "notion" that the world is what it looks like and that shapes not only their intellect but their emotional response to the world.

    Our emotions are inseparable from our intellect... The Skeptic might say that the chemicals state in our brains causes both our emotional state but also effects mentation. What if it's the other way around that the thoughts and feelings generate the chemical states?

    The Skeptic assumes that since their notion of "physical reality" being the source of all things that everything is a by-product of the physical world... and yet the underlying science says the physical world is an illusion and that we have no scientific basis to concluded that consciousness is the result of chemical states and electric discharges in the brain.

    My personal opinion is we don't know enough to actually say what actually causes "paranormal" events. Usually when the subject comes up we think "it's something magic" or "it's something supernatural". What if it is natural?

    I read somewhere that at the Planck length [the smallest quanta {unit of measure} that any thing can be and be said to exist] that particles are popping in an out of existence. That is real science and so far as I know no skeptic has dared to deny that it is. So what makes the paranormal "popping in and out" so scary to them? Every time I hear a Skeptical rant is is not based on reality or on Science... it is based on a "notion" that the world is a machine and not a scary place at all... [bet they've never been exposed to a hurricane or a tornado or an earthquake either]

    What if these "unusual things" we see are similar kinds of things like particles popping popping in and out of existence at "our scale" of understanding.

    I've often wondered if the "mythologies of the world" are each "real" somewhere in the multi-verse and that through some kind of dimensional congruence the myth was passed into this world. Thinking in those terms makes "reality" a very strange place because some of those mythologies are mutually exclusive.

    Somehow I don't think we'll ever be able to define the "paranormal" until we can define what is "normal". For if the various phenomena is observed then isn't it's very existence make it a "normal" tho' rare event?


  2. Joel
    That is a interesting comment and essentially we share the same point of view. This post perhaps is more psychological in nature when it comes to reactive stances to anomalous events, which, as you rightfully point as yours truly, that the prosaic has it's roots buried in the same soil. Jumping to conclusions on either side of the fence as to what this or that represents has always plagued any attempt at a nuanced approach. Vested polarization of opinions as a knee jerk defense against uncertainty is also a political game.