Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

News from the weird

You know what’s odd?  That if a scientist can describe something in words that have Greek and Latin roots that somehow that makes it now scientific instead of paranormal.  For instance, the phenomena of having a nightmare and waking up with a specter of the nightmare over the bed then it slowly dissolves.  Well, psychologists have a special name for that (Which, pathetically, I can‘t remember even though I read it 2 days ago.  Its about 17 letters long).  They say it is a unique hallucination brought on by the mental change over from sleep to wake.  Oh, and it only happens to people under stress.  And only waking up from nightmares.  And it is one of the oldest recorded such phenomena, having a history as long as human story.  It doesn’t fit the normal profile for hallucination of any type, including Deliriums Tremens which has some unique attributes.  It is both unique (in its pathology) and universal crossing all racial, cultural, and historical backgrounds.  I’m intrigued by that.  See, hallucination, by definition an mystic experience.  A mystic experience is personal and subjective.  That doesn’t mean that it isn’t real.  If you see something, your seeing of it is fires real neurons, and creates real biochems.  Its just not verifiable because its subjective.  It occurs only between your ears.
    But the deal is, if every one is having the same hallucination under the same conditions, you really can’t call that a hallucination, or you have to so extend the meaning of hallucination as to be useless.  Under a definition broad enough to include this phenomena, you would have to include feelings as a hallucination.  Interesting no?
    Further weirdness comes from the field of aural photography.  If you take pictures through a special process people have halos around them.  “Well,” the scientist answers smugly “that’s simply the effect of high frequency light on the water vapor and heat the regularly escapes the body.  That is why the head has the brightest ‘aura’.” But then why do people who are wearing thick clothes have the same aura as ones in porous knits?
Why don’t people in a strong breeze have their aura bent by the wind.   Why don’t people touching electrostatic sources have more energetic auras?  Why do people with recent injuries have weaker auras over the injury?  
    I suppose with both of these things its important not to get drawn into “either or” arguments.  Either or arguments say that if you can’t believe one thing than you must believe another.  It’s a fallacy of argument.  The fact that I was not delivered to my parents by a stork does not prove that I was found under a cabbage leaf.   So the fact that specters of evil and aura are not yet fully understood doesn’t mean you should wrap your head in aluminum foil quite yet, but to me it says this
    The fact that something cannot be quantified does not necessarily mean that it doesn’t exist (Example: desire.)  Nor does the qualification of something prove that it does exist (Example: time.)  Reality is a rich and complicated experience.  Science a worldview which can help us quantify reality, but the ability to quantify is not interchangable with understanding.  Science is a profound tool to help us understand reality, but its just a tool, and not the only one.


December 13, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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