Monday, March 24, 2014

Against my better judgement (Really!)

So I'm feeling better, and I decided to listen to a few paranormal podcasts.  We've all gone there and done that.  My findings thereon, to wit:

I listened to an interview (on an unnamed podcast) with Rosemary Ellen Guiley regarding her latest book, "Dream Messages From The Afterlife."  I bought the book, and Ms. Guiley's interview was good.  She is always good, though the attentive reader will remember that she did have a problem with guilt-by-association with Phil Imbrogno on their Djinn book.  I did not buy that book, because I'm not sure that I believe in the Djinn, and I'm not interested in the subject anyway.  Nonetheless, I respect Ms. Guiley, and while her podcast did not tell me anything I didn't already know (she quoted liberally from "Messages: Signs, Visits, and Premonitions from Loved Ones Lost on 9/11" by Bonnie McEnearey, which I think is one of the best books on the subject), I enjoyed it.

So Rosemary Ellen Guiley was the gateway drug back to the paranormal.

Next podcast was someone I had never heard of, an apparently well-known abductee named Derrel Sims. Mr. Sims struck me immediately as bogus.  Readers of this blog will note that while I was once a believer in "abductions," I'm now an ardent skeptic (or, more correctly, disbeliever), and I automatically reject any traditional abduction narrative--particularly contemporary ones.  (And I speak as an experiencer.)  After about thirty minutes, I terminated the podcast.  To the credit of this particular show, the consensus of this show's forum posters is that Sims is (quote) "full of it," "a clown," and "self-aggrandizing."   Which causes me to wonder why this particular show features this individual and has interviewed him several times.

Whilst browsing this same forum, I saw a mud-slinging between the show's primary host and "a former pay-per-listen podcast host and present-day blogger" who had accused the host of lying about a conversation several years ago involving employment at a radio station.  Well, intrigued at all this, and suspecting this offending blogger's identity, I went Googling to find it.  Which I did.  And while I do not agree with Jeremy Vaeni on a few things, he is capable of writing a splendid insult, so his take-down of Stan Romanek (who I'm not very familiar with anymore) as well as the podcast host was well worth the search--as well as being a timely reminder (as if we needed one) of the perils of too-close an association with the paranormal.  (I was one of those who, a while back, donated money to this podcast host.  I remember doing a Google Streetview of what he said his residential address was, in one of his then incessant pleas, and it was clearly a shot of one of those strip mall store areas.)

So, I'm not sure where I'm going to go from here.  I am at a point in life, however, where I'm happy to view the paranormal  largely as entertainment, viewed from a distance.  A safe distance.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Currently reading...

"Miraculous Journey," by Anne and Whitley Strieber. It's actually quite good, and the best I can muster right now, after enduring a polar vortex that sent snow and ice this way. Three days without electricity or heat due to trees falling on power lines. The 'net is still down but AT&T promises to repair the downed lines by Saturday ("we apologize for the delay").  My ancient iPhone (plus a grandfathered-in unlimited date plan) has been my tether to civilization. I'm re-thinking my desire to become Amish.

"Miraculous Journey" is a different kind of NDE book, and Anne Strieber has already made an observation that I consider to be quite fascinating. After her NDE, she went through an intense "psychic" phase where she became aware of all the "synchronicities" that she observed governing the world around her. I think that I have an understanding of what she's describing and what it means. Lately I've focussed on Seth's argument that we perceive only a "slice" of reality. We form our cause-and-effect formulations based on a selective interpretation of what little we perceive--with the brain as the reducer. However, per Seth, this is a "distorted" and limited interpretation of reality.  A brain injury would, theoretically, expand our perception of reality--it would remove the filters. How a brain-injured person perceives "reality" can give us important clues about its true nature.  I already know, experientially, that the current scientific model is inadequate to explain what we define as reality--but I don't know--yet--a better model to use. NDE accounts like Anne Strieber's are very important in informing our view of the "greater" reality, because they have glimpsed another model, and have come back to tell us what it might be.