Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Hidden in plain sight - the meaning of meaninglessness

Hidden in plain sight - the meaning of meaninglessness

One of the big differences between fictional anomalous experiences and real life ones is that the latter seem overwhelmingly meaningless compared to the former. A real life UFO experience is generally just an unidentified light in the sky. A real life haunting may simply consist of a few unexplained sounds and a feeling of an unseen presence. Neither would make much of a movie plot!

It is one of those odd facts, hidden in plain sight, that most paranormal researchers implicitly know without ever discussing (like haunting hot spots). Look at a typical haunting case and you will usually see a collection of events which appear to have no obvious 'purpose' or point. Usually certain events (maybe a noise with no obvious cause) are repeatedly reported from particular locations (those haunting hot spots) at unpredictable intervals. Taken together, the events comprising any particular haunting usually lack any obvious focus or meaning. Unlike the events portrayed in fictional representations of hauntings which are usually highly meaningful and often relevant to the plot.

So, what does the general 'meaningless' of events reported in anomaly cases tell us, if anything? Well, it doesn't fit at all well with the commonly-held idea that ghosts are spirits and that they carry out hauntings (neither of which is supported by compelling evidence). It fits much better with the idea that most haunting phenomena have natural causes. If there is a weird noise with purely natural causes within a building then, clearly, it has no 'meaning' and so is likely to appear random and meaningless. This fits with the fact that many haunting phenomena in cases prove, on careful investigation, to have natural causes.

So, maybe the apparent meaninglessness of the events in many ghost (and other anomaly) cases is trying to tell us something! It points in the same direction as haunting hot spots - towards the idea that most such cases have a variety of different natural causes. There may well be truly paranormal cases out there but the high level of 'meaninglessness' would tend to point to them being rare! Of course, it could be that real paranormal cases appear meaningless, too! Even if that is the case, it still doesn't support the idea of ghosts being spirits with purpose and motivation. However, it does not rule out such possibilities as 'recording ghosts' or similar ideas.

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