Thursday, October 14, 2010

Questions of the Paranormal

‘People of faith and those who seek to find and follow spiritual truth should have nothing to do with the paranormal!’ This thought is generally held among many in our world, especially people of faith who believe that all aspects of the paranormal come from Satan. People say this, they believe this, but I have to ask, is this logical? I ask this from the faith perspective I am a part of because it seems as if the sources I use to find religious truth, largely the Bible, indicates to me that evil, horror in fact, the paranormal are weaved all through the Bible. From the devil, to sorcerers, witches, ghosts, flying machines that can’t be described and dancing bones, stories of the ‘paranormal’ abound. With that the case and the reality of our world and the personal experiences of many, why shouldn’t we look at, and explore the paranormal?

Now let me be clear; I used to dabble in ocult things. I wasn’t a full fledge Lavey member or anything like that, but I did dabble with his readings and others, and had a few friends where we explored these things together and acted out on some of the things we thought we knew. Some may say I did a little more than dabble, I don’t know, I do know I never experienced anything like the sensational reports of people many may be familiar with like Rebecca Brown or the Mike Warnke concepts presented in his earlier talks and books. That isn’t to say I wasn’t involved in a real search and didn’t believe in what I was doing. I have come to have a respectful belief in the paranormal but I have made sure that my faith in my God is strong. I have also learned to differentiate between the truth and false, as is the case I believe in many of the things reported by people like Brown and Warnke’s earlier writings. In the case of Mike Warnke, he has in fact, sought forgiveness for many of the things he reported and stated in the past.

A dear friend of mine recently started a web site, Paranormal Passages. Mary Diane Goin has been a friend for a number of years, and we recently got to spend some time together in Amarillo Texas. While there we explored the possibility and her desire to start something up that would look at the paranormal through the perspective of Christian teaching and understanding. We both recognized, the reality of evil, the reality of things we can’t always explain, and the reality that in all likelihood it was appropriate for people of faith, specifically in this case, Christians, or others trying to understand Christian concepts, to search for truth and understanding to these things. We felt this important for a number of reasons which Diane goes into on the web site.

One of the dangers is that far too often, people of faith don’t discuss these types of things and as a result, ideals and opinions are formed which can lead to more confusion and potential danger than it does answers. With the influx of television shows on the subject, and the focus at the time of year this is being written, (approaching Halloween) Diane recognized this was an excellent time to launch something like this. I agree.

I am a co-moderator on this forum which will allow discussion on the paranormal. We will share our stories and thoughts and to have others share their stories, photographs, video and more.

Many have come to know of my reviews of horror films. Truth is, right from the outset, I have a horse in this race to use a popular cliché. As mentioned above, I once dabbled in the occult. I appreciate the concepts of good vs. evil often portrayed in horror, and a little known area, is I have taken a few classes in parapsychology. I don’t talk about this stuff much because people think of quacks and loons, however, in a world where the majority of people believe in things like angels, and a huge part believes in ghosts, it is time Christians adequately addressed the questions instead of hiding from them.

My experiences, the experiences of friends and families have had me come across many stories. I have my perspectives and beliefs regarding the paranormal, which can mostly be supported to also coincide with my faith. The truth is there are other things I can’t explain. I suspect there are others in similar situations that can explain some of the things they have observed, yet there are other things we can’t.

My experience as a magician gives me a little different perspective on some of the observations and conclusions I have come to. Those who know me, know I am in a lot of ways a skeptic, some say more of a skeptic than I should be. I would say, I am observant and a rationalist. Some may not like that, but in my journey of experiencing faith, and the unexplained, I try to understand, and where I can, figure out my experiences.

Let’s start this journey together, because we all know, that in the scary moments, it is easier to be with people at your side than to be alone. I have been alone walking through scary places like cemeteries at night; I don’t want to go alone. Will you go with me?

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