Paranormal stuff: is it a cultural thing? Rant ahead

by Whynot 43 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • humbled
    humbled
      But relating it on the forum just invites the typical
      • you're mentally imbalanced
      • on drugs
      • influenced by JW land
      • chemically altered or driven
      • hysteria has taken you away
      • and don't forget you're schizophrenic
      In the end, if a person doesn't know you, it's difficult to believe that something really happened other than the above reasons.
      • schizophrenic
      In the end, if a person doesn't know you, it's difficult to believe that something really happened other than the above reasons.

    The “two witness rule” strikes again!

  • Xanthippe
    Xanthippe

    Flipper I agree with everything you posted and I have had those same experiences too. Thanks for your thoughts, you have an open mind and a lack of fear.

  • flipper
    flipper

    XANTHIPPE- Hey thanks. Yeah, I don't know what's out there. I don't speak in absolutes on this subject. All I can share is my actual experiences I've had and those experiences were real I guarantee that. A bit unnerving, but yet calming as well - if that makes any sense. Once it happened several times , I found there's no reason to fear it. I'm glad you've had those experiences too and have an open mind to it without fear. What did Franklin Roosevelt state one time " there's nothing to fear, but fear itself " ? lol. Take care, Peace out, Mr. Flipper

  • Simon
    Simon

    All the people who "have" paranormal experience seem to want them and be proud that they have them which makes me question whether they really did. No one is ever embarrassed or ashamed of being in touch with their dead ancestors it seems.

    The people who don't want to hear voices can take drugs to help with it, seems spirits can go anywhere and do anything except get past a prescription.

    Things that make me cynical and I'm sorry but I am not the one that should have to be reticent to give my opinion on the matter, as much as some don't like it. It's the other way round - people should come up with better arguments to convince people it's valid and they never seem to be able to manage it.

    That's the beauty of "having a feeling" I guess.

  • Brokeback Watchtower
    Brokeback Watchtower

    I don't think any one posting on this thread is trying to convince anybody of anything, just talking about a subject that some have negative feelings about. But you are right about this:

    All the people who "have" paranormal experience seem to want them and be proud that they have them which makes me question whether they really did.

    I think yes wanting them can make one color what really happened. That's one reason I kind of shy away from relating much on the subject. Yes I wanted something like that to happen, and I found myself coloring the happenings and some of the things I'm still trying to find the significance. I'm trying not to paint with such a broad brush over all these reports of the supernatural, I don't think every single person is a fraud and it must be some trick.

  • OnTheWayOut
    OnTheWayOut

    I am willing to take on the thoughts on "the God of the Bible" and certainky will argue against an omnibenevolent and or all-knowing god out there.

    From research, I believe weird things exist and have existed. And we don't know all there is to know on so much. But I already butt heads with god-believers who insist the burden of proving a negative is on me. (You can't prove the invisible unicorn DOESN'T exist.)

    So I bow out of the direction this tgread is going in, but add that "oh yes, JW's freak out at anything with spiritism, magic, demons, dead people."

  • humbled
    humbled

    I’ve been thinking about this thread all day. Whynot, Xan, Flipper as well as DFP were brave indeed. While there shouldn’t be a thing wrong with saying “such and such happened , l did thus and so and this is what followed”—there is plenty of pushback to saying anything even when there is ready admission that we don’t know exactly what is going on.

    One of the problems in discussing these experiences is avoiding these old worn out triggers, these words that have been laughed in boogie man stories.


    When I got the chance this evening, I found this very useful article about ethnography that let me reconsider my own experience of usual events. Ethnographers who had to decide what to do about the “paranormal” experiences of peoples they studied and in reading this scholarly treatment of their own research l decided they provided a way for me to be more relaxed about my own strange experiences . There even is a phrase, a more helpful name they give this phenomenon: subjective anomalous experience .

    Psi and the Universe
    Writing at the dawn of the twentieth century, the philosopher and early pioneer of psychology, William James, summed up what I consider to be, potentially, the most important contribution of the anthropology of consciousness, and the anthropology of the paranormal, to our understanding of the universe as a whole, when he wrote that ‘no account of the universe in its totality can be final which leaves these other forms of consciousness quite disregarded.'
    The unusual phenomena investigated by parapsychologists, and the range of altered states of consciousness and supernatural beliefs encountered during ethnographic fieldwork, are aspects of the world in which we live and the cultures that have developed in it, and as such should not be ignored by the social sciences. Although we are a long way from the outright acceptance of paranormal phenomena as valid subjects for serious investigation by mainstream anthropology, it is promising to see that both contemporary anthropologists and parapsychologists are coming to realize the mutual benefits each discipline can receive from the type of interdisciplinary collaboration suggested by Andrew Lang at the end of the nineteenth century (Giesler 1984; Young & Goulet 1994; Goulet & Miller 2007; Bowie 2010; Luke 2010; Wilson 2011; Young 2011).
    Over the course of the discipline's development, anthropology has shifted its focus from attempting to explain away supernatural beliefs to an approach that accepts the significance of subjective anomalous experience in the development of such beliefs without applying a reductive interpretation.
    This is a positive step forward for our understanding of the ways in which consciousness and culture interact to create reality/realities, and I look forward to further research in this direction.
    Notes
    Sections of this article were first published in Edgescience: The Magazine for the Society for Scientific Exploration, Issue 10 (March 2012), pp. 14-18.
    * It was Joseph Long's unusual experience in Jamaica that ultimately led to the publication of Extrasensory Ecology in 1977. I think of this anthology as a companion to Long's groundbreaking book on the connections between anthropology and parapsychology.

    http://realitysandwich.com/162119/supernatural_natural_anthropology_paranormal/

  • wozza
    wozza

    Interesting comments on this for sure, could there be some truth in what many claimed to have experienced?

    Those that have never experienced anything like this would be naturally skeptical in my view, but I don't agree with just sweeping things people have said happened with a big broom.

    I also don't agree with Simon who says "All the people who "have" paranormal experience seem to want them and be proud that they have them " ALL - really?

    On this site recently I posted some of my life history and went into what was one of the things that left me open and vulnerable to the Watchtower when I accepted studying with them . That was that I was brought up by my mother to believe and practice divination ,but there were many other things that I did as well for she had many varied friends like a Yogi ,a friend in Canada who she claimed to do telepathy with and others I would be in the company with as a child . So i saw a lot of this stuff going on in the home and other places .I was cynical because my mother was nuts and I thought it was just to bring attention to herself, and it was.

    But I could not argue against the things I saw people do ,so I tested my mothers telepathy by writing down one of her sessions with the friend in Canada ,what my mother said and what the person in Canada said. My mothers friend wrote down her version at her end and airmailed to us - word for word it was.I had nowhere to go .

    Never did I want to believe this stuff even though from an early age I had visions of future events ,it scared me and worried me what was the point of this. As the years went by I used my "gifts" (which I saw as a curse) to forecast the deaths and bad events of people in their near futures . I did'nt want to tell them what was to happen as I was scared of being different and ridiculed for it .But eventually I did ,and all things happened exactly as I told them down to the smallest detail.

    As I have said by about age 20 I was sick with worry about this stuff and forced myself to leave the company of the people I knew then and tried to distract my mind with more ordinary things like work and new friends .By the time I was dating a girl with paranormal powers I was moving objects ,turning on lights, projecting music onto records that was not on there it was time to change my life .I admit though all this scared me still, I started to see these powers almost as party tricks and a certain feeling of being special because of them ,but it all stopped and I was left with the fear and puzzelled mind of the source of this stuff.

    So I guess I can understand why some who have never experienced these things might look on ones that have, as kooks and attention seeking nutters. Some will read my story I posted and say I'm nuts because I got brain and nerve damage from TB treatment that I had in the early 50's ,I thought about that myself believe me ,when I was growing up. I was an aware and intelligent kid and had to have answers ,but I also am aware that there was alot of independant witnesses to the things I experienced and predicted.

    These are only words on a page that can open me to ridicule ,but I never invited or wanted the paranormal in my life and I have seen how others are seeking glory from it but definitely NOT ME !

    The world is full of different cultures and beliefs and the paranormal seems to flavor itself where the different culture is, and is interpreted and influenced by the culture but to say it is all bullshit without ever experiencing it is stupid. I am not promoting the paranormal here but to sweep away peoples cultural heritage can't be good in my view.

    My experiences have been put away along time ago ,I still don't know what source they are from and what good they could have been ,because everyone, for instance ,that I forewarned died as I said so what was the point in me having the visions.

    But the legacy of my childhood left me with questions, and being vulnerable to the WTS ,who I thought were giving me the correct understanding of scriptures ,now I know they were full of shit and full of superstition based on an old book and their arrogance.

    Sweep me aside if you will as a fruit loop but I know what life I had and critically tried to get the answers to one of lifes mysteries ,and I still don't know what the story is but if there were no mysteries to life we would'nt be building space ships I guess.

  • Dunedain
    Dunedain

    I put certain paranormal abilities, telepathy, telekinisis, esp, and other abilities, in the same vein as those that have other naturally extraordinary gifts. There are some who are born with incredible mathematic skills, or can just play a musical instrument without ever having a single lesson.

    There are savants who may be socially or emotionally restricted, yet their minds can do somewhat unimaginable things. Our brains are capable of far more than they typically used for. Some humans have certain mental abilities greater than others. Its as if certain "doors" in the brains are opened, where most "normal" people have these same "doors" closed.

    Thats why certain abilities can happen AFTER a brain injury, or even a traumatic event. Sometimes certain doors are closed, and people lose abilities, or shut down, while others may open up.

    There is variety, and much uniqueness within the billions of human brains around planet earth. Maybe some people have certain seemed "powers" because they have simply tapped into areas of the brain that others havent.

  • Simon
    Simon

    To be clear, I'm sure the people who have experienced these things have experienced them. The difference is that I believe the experience was entirely mental, in their head of the own making. In many ways it's like a placebo effect which is also real in that people experience it, it's just not based on any outside factors (except a belief in something or a planted idea).

    There is simply an astounding lack of evidence around any form of psychic ability but a hilarious amount of debunking of it by the likes of James Randi. It's a fascinating documentary how they fooled the people "studying" it into believing it was real even though it was not (they were magicians / con-men showing it was all trickery). Even after they expose themselves as frauds, the people who have been convinced are still convinced it's authentic which really speaks to the power of belief and self delusion.

    My personal experience based on people I know who claim to have seen ghosts is that they are unstable attention seeking nuts. The same people would develop whatever ailment was featured on a TV programme and need medicine for it. It's a form of hypochondriasis.

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