So what have I salvaged from my eight-year dalliance with the paranormal? Strip away the frauds, deconstruct the logical fallacies, filter out the obvious perceptive errors, trash the bogus scholarship, and what remains are the fundamental unknowns that have historically engaged the great philosophers: What is the nature of consciousness? To what extent does our consciousness perceive what is "real," and what part is "hallucination" or delusion? Is there a way to reference apparent hallucinations to theoretical "other" realities? Do we perceive only what we are trained to perceive, and if so, is there another reality behind our perception? Who, indeed, is the percipient? These are the fundamental questions that I instinctive ask when confronting the paranormal, but paranormalists not only do not ask them, they seemingly do not realize that they need to be answered, or at least acknowledged.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Sabbatical from the paranormal
I've stopped listening to paranormal radio. I've wiped my iPods clean, and now I listen to music shows downloaded from dar.fm. (For those curious, I download Bob Parlocha, Jazz On The Side, Rhythm Sweet And Hot, and Bluegrass Breakdown.) The reason was very simple: what is commonly labeled as "paranormal" is not the paranormal that I grew up reading. There's something distinctively negative and "off" about it. I'm not sure why that's so--but today's paranormal is too much Alex Jones and not enough Charles Fort. I'm actually careful about what I put into my ear (and mind), and I've just decided that it's not worth my time.