Ghosts are everywhere. When I was a kid, Halloween sent us out with jack-o-lanterns and bags begging to be filled with candy. We knew that ghosts were make-believe, like Casper the Friendly Ghost or the scarier concoctions of Rod Serling. Now, grown up and then some, I see we were wrong.
The irony of ghosts is that, if they are what people believed for millennia — that is, the spirits of dead people and animals — they’d be imperceptible.
Our senses can’t see, feel, hear or smell anything that isn’t physical.
Sound waves and photons flow by the billions into our brains. They’re all blended into that thing called “reality.” That means, the world is not out there; it’s in here, between your ears.
Another point of view: What happens when we die?
Our brains make order out of uncertainty. It ignores most of the deluge, making much out of little. Templates help. A suggestion mushrooms into a complete thing.
So, why are scientists afraid to acknowledge that there must be a gazillion somethings out there of which we know little? And why jump on the conservative bandwagon when anyone suggests alternatives?
You should not be able to see a ghost, and yet, like many thousands of others, I did.
A Ghost for Dinner
It was independently verified by someone who got an even better view. She saw enough, including colors to identify the visitor whizzing by.
We both looked up.
“Did you see that?”
Yes, we did.
Is there some crossover zone between physical and not physical where specters pop in and out of reality through some process we know nothing about? Why not?
You ever seen a ghost?
No, but you have heard of them…Bob Dylan, Spirit On The Water
It happens. People see ghosts all the time, and the shame of it is that ridicule forces them into self-doubt or, worse, silence.
Ghosts Anywhere or Everywhere
When you try to verify whatever information is out there about ghosts, scientists scramble to defend their beliefs.
Science is faith based. They believe everything can be observed and measured, but there’s no more reason for that to be true than for elves in trees making Keebler cookies.
I come away shaking my head at the unscientific behavior of scientists. Close-mindedness is the tool of vulnerable belief systems.
If at first it seems strange to accept that spirits live on after physical death, to some it feels even stranger to assume that they don’t.
Look at it this way: Can a life be so trivial that it’s nothing more than the body carting it around?
When that body goes, all the thought, emotion, wisdom, memory and connection to others, all the apparently nonphysical attributes, vaporizes?
It’s a stretch, and it doesn’t make sense.
Don’t we all feel that there’s more to us than arms and legs with a mindful pumpkin on top? Why do we feel that, if there is no truth or insight in it?
Are we born delusional about our basic nature?
Proof Is In the Spooky Pudding
You can’t read a mainstream article about ghosts without running into: “There is no conclusive proof.” Or something close to it. It’s true but far from a slam dunk.
If you must be able to see, feel, hear or touch anything for it to be true, there’s also no proof that love, hate or fear either. But we know them, just the same.
There’s no proof of some of our most cherished, accepted beliefs. Disbelief in ghosts — or spirits — is a strange anomaly.
What are skeptics afraid of?
Things We Accept with Less Proof
Let’s take an easy example. Nearly everyone believes in a universe “out there.” People, trees, light bulbs and Bubba Gump fill it up.
But that reality has never been proven. In fact, countless experiments say it isn’t so.
Everything we know about reality comes to us through our senses. Our brains throw away about 95%, chew up the rest and paint the picture we see.
It ain’t out there until project it out there.
You could be dreaming the whole damn thing, and we demonstrate that ability when we sleep. We make up a reality, snore by snore.
The only difference with the waking version maybe the use o inherited templates that help assemble similar realities and/or a shared consciousness that keeps us rowing this boat together.
We embrace the created reality we made. It suits us.
The Color of Ghosts All Around Us
One more example, just for fun…
Something is out there, of course, but it’s colorless, oderless and invisible. Physicists tells us “something” isn’t really the right word. More potential than true, whatever it is springs into something only when it’s observed.
For you and me, that means seeing, feeling, touching, smelling or tasting it. And, yes, your cat gets in on the act.
That blue, the scent of a rose — each is something your brain makes up to distinguish one perception from the other. Such qualities don’t belong to some external forest of things already defined and ready to label. We help them to it.
Colors are what our eyes, optic nerve and internal brain make out of billions of photons caught in our web of awareness.
And you should already know that there’s a vast range of colors, ultra violet, for example. and sounds, like those used for dog whistles, our brains can’t do anything with. Our limited processing abilities make us blind and deaf to many known segments of reality.
Actually, our senses are unable to catch most color ranges and sounds, even though they are just as much there as the ones we do see and hear.
We throw all that way, but it doesn’t lessen possible realities.
We can’t experience them directly, but they are as real as the ones we do.
Blame It On Evolution
Our senses never evolved that far because, on balance, it wasn’t worth the effort, economically speaking.
Why waste that much developmental energy for so little return? All we really need is enough awareness to keep from walking into trees while wandering around in search of nutrients.
There’s plenty we can’t prove. We can’t even prove that you and I see blue the same way in our minds’ eyes or even that music is the same for each of us.
We take it for granted. There’s no choice. Reality is intensely individual.
Like ghosts. It’s impossible that you can’t see them unless you believe in them or have some special sensory gift.
In any case, your version does not necessarily have any control over mine.
One thing that always gives me chills is the story of Michael Newton’s epiphany on his way to discovery of what he calls “life between lives” or LBLs.
Before his retirement, Newton worked as a therapist using hypnotism and past life regressions to look for the roots of his patients’ emotional troubles.
A patient came to Newton for therapy over the agony of extreme loneliness. Under hypnosis, she was regressed through several prior existences in search of the causes of her feeling so disconnected from people for whom she cared but could not identify.
Then, suddenly, still under hypnosis, she brightened.
Ghosts Are Everywhere: The Pudding
“There they are,” she told Newton, pointing to a corner of the room.
Newton saw nothing, but she described a crowd of familiar souls who came to greet her.
What past life was she in, right now? Newton asked.
But sehe wasn’t in one at all. She was in a different space, one more fundamental, it turned out, between them.
These days, there’s a worldwide network of professionals using LBL therapies. More important, they have, with their patients’ consent, shared the stories. They frame the most convincing core of explanation of why so many of us have seen or believe in ghosts.
Neither extreme nor strange, ghosts are with us all the time, the core element of who and what we are. We are all, each of us, in part, ghosts.
That’s what we get from thousands of recorded stories collected by the Newton Institute and analyzed.
Intriguing, but it doesn’t explain everything. We still don’t know why ghosts are believed to haunt specific places that have reputations generated from many reported sightings.
Life between lives does not explain why we sometimes see spectral presences when it shouldn’t be possible.
But what it does is offer convincing evidence that a belief in ghosts does not amount to the kind of mental infirmity scientists suggest.
It suggests we’ll learn more as we look further.
It may be that all the evidence collected by Newton and his followers can be debunked and discarded as some sort of mass hysteria. I’m inclined to doubt it though.
After all, I had my own, verified sighting, didn’t I?
Halloween may flourish because, somewhere inside ourselves, we know something is true about the legends.
When you look at it objectively, isn’t it just as improbable that we made it all up out of nothing?