Tuesday, January 27, 2009
It seems that many buildings and sites that date from around 1200 AD to the present are reportedly haunted. But what about places that are older? I wonder if there is a time limit to hauntings. Have ghosts been seen or heard in caves once occupied by Cro-Magnons or Neanderthals? I suppose my question is, if ghosts are real, how old can they get? Is there another death to look forward to? Is their energy whisked away to some other universe or plane of existence? Or are they recycled back into the world of the living -- reincarnation.
It seems odd to me that time would have anything to do with ghosts. If they are real, I just don't seem them existing in a world where time is as linear as ours. Perhaps I am way off base here, but I think exploring such questions might lead to some insight in answering the first question: are ghosts real?
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Where is the data? For over 100 years, people have investigated hauntings and in that time an enormous amount of data -- photographs, video, audio, witness interviews and investigator's notes -- have been collected. Where is this vast amount of information? Is there a ghost hunter's archive? Or is the data stored haphazardly in the attics and basements of ghost hunters all around the world? I fear the latter.
Many ghost hunters, like TAPS, honestly attempt to gather real data that can be objectively evaluated. I'm sure each ghost hunting group analyzes the data they have collected to reach conclusions, form hypotheses they can test and perhaps refine theories about life after death. But they are only looking at one tiny fraction of a fraction of all the data that has been collected. Think of it as a puzzle where the pieces are key bits of evidence spread all over the world. How can we determine what the puzzle is without having access to all the pieces?
Some will argue that much of the evidence is redundant. But I counter, how do you know? Have you seen all the evidence? One thing to keep in mind is Darwin's Theory of Evolution. He postulated that there must be some internal mechanism that propels the vast suite of diversity in biological life. Unknown at the time, Gregor Mendel, a German monk, was experimenting with diversity in sweet pea plants. His seminal work became the foundation for the field of genetics. He had one piece of the puzzle and Darwin had the other, but the pieces weren't put into place until long after their deaths.
In a perfect world, there would be some vast archive where data from all investigations of the paranormal (ghosts, cryptozoology, UFOs, etc.) would be stored and preserved. We need all the pieces before we can assemble the great puzzle of life.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
It seems there are a number of people out there who have had ghostly experiences. There are even more who believe in ghosts and perhaps more than a few who want to believe in ghosts. Of course, there are some who don't believe in ghosts at all. I think it depends on your own particular life view as to which one you agree with. Those who are very religious or spiritual tend to believe in the possibility of ghosts more than those who are not religious. But that doesn't mean that all agnostics or atheists dismiss the possibility that ghosts exist. Myself, I want to believe -- and this is from someone who has had experiences -- but I'm not yet certain that we survive death in some form.
If you are religious or spiritual, then you believe that each of us has a soul that lives on after we die. But what about those who are not spiritual? I include myself in this group because I'm not sold on the biblical definition of a soul. I do think that each of us has energy that facilitates our thinking and movements -- the tiny electrical charges in the synapses of our brains that tells us where we left the car keys, reminds us of moments from our past, and controls everything from the coordination it takes to drive a car to the rhythm of our heartbeat. The second law of thermodynamics makes it clear that energy doesn't just vanish, so what happens to it?
One possibility is that when we die, this energy escapes and for a single, bright moment, who we are is captured in a tightly bound net of electrical energy. Why just one moment? Because that's all it takes. Matter can not travel faster than the speed of light, but energy can. What happens when something travels at the speed of light? Time stops. I'm not sure what happens after that...or how this would explain intelligent hauntings -- but it is a first step for someone who was once kicked out of Sunday school for asking too many questions.
Could this net of energy be the soul? I suppose it could. And I am open to the possibility that the religious and spiritual among us are right, about everything. But I need more proof. I have several more questions to find the answers to.