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One major problem with the paranormal is that it can never be quite explained. Why is this? Is it because, as skeptics maintain, it isn’t there? Or could it be that its very nature disallows a total appreciation of what is going on? To the skeptic, this may seem like a cop-out, but in reality, some branches of science hold these same properties. Typical is particle theory, which includes its own uncertainty principle, giving a limit to what can be known. I’ve previously argued for ‘psychic syndrome’. Here, a paranormal event is made up of multiple causes, citing such known phenomena as cryptomnesia, multiple personality, hallucination, hysteria, split brain phenomena, etc. The process would work through ‘emergence’ – the way complex patterns can arise out of multiple simple causes. Placing a ‘holistic’ tag on such a process, the outcome is usually more than the sum of its parts. Cryptomnesia is vital to the process. When we use our senses we only ‘remember’ what we place our attention on. But the reality is, everything that can be sensed IS sensed. Arguably, this information goes straight to the unconscious. Hypnosis has shown a remarkable ability to remember these facts. Indeed, it could be argued that we have, in the unconscious, a vast memory store which can be accessed when required. But is this more than a memory store? If everything we have ever sensed is in there, perhaps we can better see this as a form of ‘cryptomnesic inner map’ of the reality outside. An actual reflection, in the mind, of the world we experience. Elsewhere I have argued that a higher universal consciousness could be explained in terms of a computer data base, where a key word brings up information relating to the word. Could a similar process occur here, with the ‘cryptomnesic inner map’ aping emergent behavour to assist in how the world you experience actually works? Recently I introduced Cosmic Synchronicity. There is a ‘law of large numbers’ that argues the probability of an event occurring increases the more the numbers involved. In effect, the law is about creating order, and when allied to the above data base, almost guarantees coincidences will occur. Can this process be attached to all paranormal activity? If so, then we could have a process whereby we have a vast inner mind capable of accessing unimaginable amounts of information about the outside world. Bearing in mind that such a mind-set would be universal to everyone, massed interlinking would exist. Bringing into the process emergent behavour, could a point arise, through processes similar to hysteria, where a systematic process exists? This would be a predisposition to creating coincidence in the outside world – and a plate flies off a shelf seemingly through a thought; or an understanding of something suggestive of telepathy is coincidentally realized. Of course, this is only a speculative philosophical model. But I think it is systematic enough to require further thought. Basically, it argues that, by its very nature, there are always alternative answers to paranormal activity. This could, of course, mean it does not exist. But it could also mean that it is so repeatable, and so fundamental, that it has its own uncertainty principle. Once upon a time, uncertainty was a reason enough to study. By Anthony North, July 2008
I've been searching for years for a black hole for my big bang, but they keep telling me I'm to white, well that's another story so for you Intelligent FU's Big Bang happened like this. Once upon a time there was a ‘singularity’ that contained everything that was. Suddenly it blew up, releasing fundamental particles that expanded to fill space. Gravity came into being and particles came together into stars and planets. More complicated particles were ‘cooked’ in the stars, and were released through supernova, to form other heavenly bodies, and from them eventually came life. The theory is neat and tidy. It came out of the realization that the universe was expanding, and when background radiation was found, identified as residue of the Big Bang, the theory gained consensus. Of course, there are massive problems with the theory. The ‘singularity’ is nothing but a mathematical point of infinity, with no physical validity, and the math of the theory means there is 90% of the matter and energy in the universe missing. Exotic theories come and go to account for this lack of universal weight. Dark matter and dark energy are among them. Then there is the search for ‘mass’ in massless particles. It doesn’t occur to science that the theory may be wrong. Previous to Big Bang was the Steady State theory. Here, matter was continually created, the universe renewing itself. But as no means was known how it did this, it was rejected for Big Bang, even though no one knows how it did this. Big Bang fits western philosophy. In the east, everything is cyclical, renewing itself, whilst in the west, we are linear. Things must move from a beginning to an end. Hence, it follows that the universe must also have history with a beginning and an end. Is this philosophical mind-set the main reason we prefer Big Bang over Steady State? After all, neither can be proved. Of course, the argument is that background radiation seals it. But in other areas of science, it is accepted that nothing can have only one answer. It seems to me that Big Bang theory has got itself in a steady state. And maybe it’s time to look again at Steady State itself. For instance, is it still true that there is no conceivable ‘mechanism’ whereby matter can be continually created? I don’t think it is. For years now I’ve been thinking about Black Holes, the supposed residue of collapsed stars, with a gravitational pull so powerful that everything that approaches them is sucked in. Where does all this matter and energy go? Science is scratching its head, trying to decide. Theories suggest that if you went through a Black Hole and survived, you’d resurface somewhere in the universe. Isn’t this a ‘recycling’ of matter back into the universe itself? It seems to me that the black hole is a perfect mechanism to give Steady State greater validity than Big Bang. Maybe physicists should be looking at a possible way the system could still provide expansion, and background radiation, within a forever reincarnating universe. By Anthony North
I’ve often said that the paranormal is usually defined by our cultural expectation. And looking back over the last 200 years or so, we can perhaps see this in action. Mass culture has placed various definitions upon us, especially through literature. When we think of the archetypal ghost, for instance, this has more to do with Gothic literature than we believe. Prior to its arrival, most ghosts formed part of a morality tale, the encounter being what you can expect if you are not moral. With the Gothic, the ghost changed. It appeared as part of a personal transition in the viewer, and, interestingly, became frightening. How much did this reclassification have to do with our increasing belief in the individual? Such a change also included a new adaptation of the vampire, best described in Dracula. And again, this was very much an individualistic interpretation, emphasizing the ability of man to be a monster. Predictably, sightings of ghosts and vampires changed in kind. And as the 19th century became more and more disturbing to live in, eventually leading to the Great War early in the 20th, our popular paranormality reflected this. We know this because of the arrival of Spiritualism, the ghost changing to the spirit guide, allowing communication between medium and the dead. With so many dying, and an increasing atheism saying there was nothing upon death, this cultural change was inevitable – a cultural expression that there was more, and it was comforting. From the mid-20th century, research became king. This allowed the rise of the parapsychologist, moving into the laboratory to understand the paranormal. The result was an outpouring of popular books seeking explanation of the unexplained, and everyone had a telepathic experience to recount. Alongside this, our interest in space led to the popular UFO, which, I’m convinced, is just another cultural expression of paranormality. A third factor here was the popular spread of New Age ideas, pushing the unexplained to new heights of popularity. This all happened as the world seemed to become affluent. People had money to spare, and could indulge their whims. One aspect of this is that the popular research book disappeared from the shelves, relegated to the enthusiast community alone. I suspect this was for a specific reason. Business had realized the importance of a new wishy-washy spirituality to make people feel better about their excess. The guardian angel was king, always absolving you of responsibility, and in such a cultural climate, the last thing people wanted was explanation. And so to today. The popular conception of the paranormal is two-fold. On the one hand, lack of popular research media allowed the skeptic to confirm the paranormal as rubbish; whilst the more spiritual-based mass media see it as a guide to life, the universe and everything – two extreme positions, with nothing popular in between. With signals in the economy that an economic down-turn is on the way, will this affect what we see as the paranormal? Certainly, when we appear affluent and comfortable, there is little desire to question. But once people’s lives are turned upside down, questions become paramount. And if so, maybe our cultural expectation of the paranormal will also change. If the down-turn comes, I, for one, will be watching our popular culture closely – and seeing what new paranormal experiences are born. BY Anthony North
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