There are strict boundaries of thought in our modern culture. It teaches us to ignore certain things, to make us easier to control. Anything outside their definition of normal is taboo. But is ignoring the paranormal the best option?
If you ignore or deny the existence of something, it doesn’t change reality. Pretending something doesn’t exist doesn’t make it go away. Similarly, you can’t pretend something into existence. If it’s not there, pretending is a waste of time.
It is reasonable to conclude that pretending and ignoring are not effective ways to handle reality. Ignoring the unknown is a mistake. These occurrences deserve investigation.
Paranormal and Supernatural Events
If we see something unusual, we automatically try to place it within our frame of reference. For instance, two people view the same paranormal event. And, to one person, will see it as an alien spacecraft. The other person will see it as an angel. Our dominant cultural narrative teaches us how to classify acceptable and unacceptable experiences.
When these unusual events occur, is this a breakthrough in perception? Perhaps so, but often the mind misclassifies them because of our expectations. So, we must find a way to see through our expectations because expectations distort reality.
What about when several people have similar recollections of the experience? Is this a breakthrough in perception? Perhaps those who see aliens or ghosts are glimpsing something beyond the veil of normal reality? One thing is for sure.
Many people have had supernatural and paranormal experiences, but these are only acceptable within specific social groups like religious services. People “hear” from God, Saints, or Spirits at Church. But if you tell people you hear voices when you walk in the wilderness, they send you for psychiatric evaluation. The same thing happens if you tell people at work you hear voices when you go to the lavatory. Acceptance of the supernatural experience is conditional.
There are two reasons we either ignore or misclassify the paranormal. Our culture programming is one reason. It could also trigger our fight, flight, or freeze reaction. Then again, perhaps it’s a combination of both cultural programming and our instincts?
Ignoring the paranormal and supernatural is the overarching strategy of Western culture. After all, the supernatural and paranormal do not fit neatly into the modern Western worldview. The supernatural and paranormal aren’t predictable. This is contradictory because many of the “sacred texts” like the Bible contain references to paranormal beings and supernatural events.
Therefore, to reinforce their belief system, they need to explain these occurrences. They say these supernatural events are part of the past and can no longer occur in the modern era. We know from experience this isn’t true.
Guiding Quote, Guru Tua
Ignoring the paranormal and supernatural is a mistake. Much of what we call the paranormal is a breakthrough in perception. We glimpse something that doesn’t fit our worldview. Normally, our worldview filters out much of what is actually here to perceive.Meditation and the Shamanic Journey refine and expand our awareness. So, it is not uncommon for the spiritual explorer to perceive things outside the scope of the ‘normal’ experience. Severe trauma can “shock” someone into phases of perception. But most of the time they are not ready for such experiences.There are few guides, or shamans to assist people in understanding these breakthroughs. Joseph Campbell has a quote that relates to this phenomenon, “The psychotic drowns in the same waters in which the mystic swims with delight.”Pay attention to these glimpses into the other realms. The Mystic and Shaman have long understood that there are other planes of existence ready for our exploration. As you undertake your spiritual journey, you might encounter things that don’t fit in ordinary reality like spirits or spirit guides.Here your journal is of great importance as these glimpses into non-ordinary reality can form a picture. Often these brief observations begin to form a pattern. This could be a message of great importance to the traveler. — Guru Tua
Encounters with the Unknown
When you encounter something outside the normal realm of reality, stop and ask yourself some questions:
- Why am I having this experience? Why now, at this time and place?
- Is this encounter similar to other encounters, or is it something new?
- Does this experience fit into any pattern?
- What type of emotions does this event bring up (fear, awe, curiosity)?
- Ignoring the paranormal experience isn’t an option for me? If so, why?
Another key point to remember is we are mystical beings. So, it is our nature to explore and push the boundaries of reality. These types of events are occurrences beyond the boundaries of normal reality. But what is normal? Who gets to define the boundaries of normal? Who decides that paranormal experiences need to be avoided or ignored?
These encounters can be breakthroughs in perception or signs of mental illness. It is sometimes difficult to tell them apart. In either case, we should explore them and examine their source and why we fear them. Ignoring these experiences is a mistake. They are opportunities to see what’s behind the veil.
Ignoring the Paranormal and Supernatural
Ignoring something doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. Our expectations taint our perception. So, enhancing our powers of observation is key. Another thing we need to do is remove the roadblocks of “belief” that create our expectations.
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(1) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia