...despite the fact that I spend a lot of time consuming "paranormal" media and information, and opining on the same.
I am more of, maybe, a mystic--who is neither religiously inclined, and who dislikes the New Age.
I've come to the conclusion that there is no benefit to endlessly compiling "paranormal" events in an effort to discover some overarching "meaning" to them--the anti-structural nature of the paranormal, described by George Hansen is, I believe, a consequence of the observer effect; the observer, by attempting to assimilate paranormal phenomena, is forced to deconstruct consensus reality. But having done so, he is left with only the unexplained--with no coordinates to measure them with.
The paranormalist has a deconstructionist mindset.... which is why so many in the paranormal field spend so much time fighting with each other. He believes that with each straw man he destroys, he is one step closer to the "truth"--only to discover that, no, he has been fooled again, and has most of the world mad at him for his efforts.
It's no coincidence that most paranormalists are drawn to conspiracy theories. I dropped by the Paracast forums the other day and was surprised to read that many members there are disappointed because Art Bell thinks that the 9/11 attacks were actually perpetrated by Al Qaida.
I just see the world in completely different terms. I'm glad that I do. While I may enjoy the challenge of studying paranormal phenomena, I do so from a safer vantage point--though any paranormalist who might want to argue the fact, is dis-invited from doing so.