Monday, August 29, 2011

Continue to get hits to this blog on 'Phil Imbrogno' searches

Apparently my deleted posts are still appearing in search engines. If indeed Imbrogno fabricated his academic background--and all evidence points to this--he has done some damage to the paranormal "field." As it is confined to the field, the damage is limited, but I do regret the harm caused to his publisher, Llewellyn. I consider Llewellyn to be good guys in an area that has some dodgy operators. Llewellyn approaches the subject with the right mix of fun, curiosity, non-didacticism and open-mindedness. They were at one time publishers of 'Fate' magazine, which I've read for forty years and which influenced my present attitude toward the subject: curiosity, open-minded skepticism, and a willingness to consider anomalous personal experiences as credible, without enshrining them as mystical truths or otherwise trying to shoehorn them into a New Age belief.

In other words, anomalous experiences are simply that--anomalous. I find them fascinating, informative concerning realities presently invisible, and suggestive of other species of consciousness, but I've learned to be cautious of imposing any meaning on them (though it's fun to try). My personal opinion is that paranormal, mystical, or anomalous events fall into two broad categories: projections of our own consciousness; and genuine intrusions into our reality from "elsewhere." If they originate from "elsewhere," it is impossible to know what they "mean." We can try to impose a human meaning upon them, and some of the meanings might fit, for a while. But ultimately, any imposed meaning will fail, and we will be left with what we started with--an enigma.

I think that it's for this reason that two of the more enduring paranormalists are Charles Fort and John Keel. Both writers presented the phenomenon "as-is" without subjecting their readers lengthy sermons about the phenomena's true meaning. Ironically, Imbrogno's work fits nicely into the Fortean school of paranormal observation. He simply presented his observations; and if he had just kept his mouth shut about his academic background, no one would be questioning his work today. Neither Fort nor Keel had advanced degrees, and they didn't need them--it doesn't take a rocket scientist to observe that something strange is out there; and there is no PhD that can prepare the observer of something truly anomalous to understand what it means.

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