Monday, 8 April 2013

Clear your mind and see a ghost?

ShadowA hint. A clue. Another way to encourage see ghosts? I saw the 'door ghost' again recently, which is hardly news ('what is the door ghost?'). However, this time I was able to get it to appear by a new method - by 'clearing my mind' - trying to think of nothing! I have tried this before, without success. On previous occasions I found it too hard. I've never been good at 'clearing my mind'. Whenever I try to think of nothing, 'something' always pops into my head, unbidden. I don't know if this is a common problem but it certainly affects me. Anyway, this time my mind 'cleared' easily for once and the ghost duly appeared!

So what does this observation suggest? Well, the most obvious conclusion is that I don't notice many misperceptions, which take place all the time, because my mind is just too busy! So how might this process work?

When I see an object poorly, my brain makes a guess at what it might be and passes that image, taken from my visual memory, to what I am consciously seeing. If the object is subsequently better seen, the image will be 'updated' to become more accurate. From my experience, this process of correcting what I see happens rapidly, usually within seconds. So, if my mind is tied up with some important (to me!) thought or other, I'm unlikely to notice the first guess (which might be a ghost). This would tie up with my observation that I am often day dreaming when I see a ghost. In both cases I am not actively turning something over in my mind. It is that 'active' consideration that seems to be what stops me noticing ghosts much of the time.

Of course, I didn't see ANY ghosts, even when day dreaming, before I accepted the idea that what we see is just the brain's edited highlights of what is visually present. Without this prerequisite, it is unlikely that simply 'clearing my mind' or day dreaming would ever be enough to allow me to see a ghost.

This latest observation does suggest an interesting new possibility. The next time I see a ghost spontaneously (ie. NOT the door ghost but something completely unexpected) I might be able to 'bring it back', to view it again, after it has vanished. I already have the method of visualizing what it looked like to try (see here) but if that doesn't work I can also have a go at 'clearing my mind' as well. Bringing back a spontaneously seen ghost would be fantastic! It would give me a chance to more clearly fix in my mind the details of the image. The trouble with spontaneous sightings is that you aren't expecting them and they're over in seconds giving little time to note much other than 'old woman' or 'fair hair' and other such generalizations! Unfortunately, though I can bring the door ghost back, it never has more details than a shadow with legs and feet! It would be more interesting to 'bring back' one of the more 'substantial' ghosts I've seen. I'm particularly interested to see what facial features and clothes they may have.

Unfortunately, I can foresee a problem! If I need to be day dreaming or thinking of nothing to see a ghost, I may not be in very good brain state to observe detail! And once I start to concentrate, the ghost may vanish! It might explain why many descriptions of ghosts from cases are vague!

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