Weird world

Diana Avebury (9)

“GHOST, n. The outward and visible sign of an inward fear.”
Devil’s Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce

I was looking for some information and came across a video of a paranormal investigation at a place we are very familiar with… Avebury. It centred on the old Red Lion pub, reputed to be haunted by a whole host of ghostly presences; from the shade of Florrie, thrown down the well in what is now the dining room by a jealous husband, to the bedrooms that have seen guests packing their bags in the middle of the night and vowing never to come back, right through to the spectral coach and horses that clatters into the yard. I watched out of curiosity, enjoying the glimpses behind the scenes of the 16th century inn I know so well.

A further bit of browsing took me through several other clips along the same lines, and while it may make for popular entertainment, it does little to substantiate the insubstantial, seeming instead to offer such a clichéd approach that it is more likely to cause people to be dismissive than to question whether there might actually be some truth in the phenomena.

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I am not a blind believer in much of what is purportedly paranormal activity, particularly as it is shown in popular media. I am sceptical and will always look for the logical explanation, while thoroughly enjoying the old tales. On the other hand scepticism does not discount belief and I am more than willing to admit that there are a good many ‘more things in heaven and earth, Horatio’ than we can account for with logic.

Over the years I have experienced enough subjective examples of such weirdness to be convinced that there are layers of reality not measurable by the scientific means currently at our disposal. We are, however, constantly developing new ways and technologies with which to see and understand our world. Just because we cannot prove something empirically or scientifically at this stage of our evolution does not mean we will never be able to do so and the anecdotal evidence of centuries holds some fascinating trails.

Diana Avebury (17)
We may not even be asking the right questions as we attempt to define the unexplained. Is the perception of a ghostly figure a manifestation in space or across time? And if the latter, which may not exist at all as the linear phenomenon we generally accept, how could we measure it? Or is it perhaps that the mind gives form to something less tangible, something sensed at a subliminal level?

“MIND, n. A mysterious form of matter secreted by the brain.
Devil’s Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce

The mind itself is an unexplained object in many ways. We know so very little about its workings or its capacities. We are intimately acquainted with our own mind and believe without question in the invisible but seemingly evident minds of others. Yet, let’s be fair, we’re not even sure where the mind is, although we can probably agree that the brain is its primary vehicle of expression; a junction box that brings that insubstantial and elusive quality of self-awareness into physical and measurable manifestation. Perhaps we underestimate its capabilities as well as its whereabouts?

Diana Avebury (41)

“ELECTRICITY, n. The power that causes all natural phenomena not known to be caused by something else.”
Devil’s Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce

There are, after all, a good many things we simply cannot see and do not know, yet we can deduce an explanation… a description… from the actions of their presence, absence or combination with other materials or forces. Think about electricity, for example. Without it you wouldn’t be reading this. We know how to generate, capture, direct and harness it. There are long scientific papers about electrons, particles and flow, but I’m still not sure we know what it actually is. ‘Life’ is another…some of the ‘definitions’ are wonderful examples of the way we accept description without question rather than realising we simply have no clear answer.

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“LIFE, n. : A spiritual pickle preserving the body from decay.
We live in daily apprehension of its loss; yet when lost it is not missed.”
Devil’s Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce

But then, would we really want to take all the unknowns out of life? Where would be the sense of wonder or the joy of discovery if we were omniscient? For me the mystery is half the beauty.

21 thoughts on “Weird world

  1. I love this and wholeheartedly agree. Just yesterday, I was helping a young man I mentor understand some principles of logic for a class, and this was posited: “Inability to disprove is not proof.” And I agree; yet I also find even the word “prove” to be a bit presumptuous. There are a great many things that have been “proven” according to the people of a time, which were subsequently “unproven” by those coming after. I’m convinced that the best we can do in a great many cases is to say, “According to current information, this appears to hold true.”

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I can go with that last statement, Erik. So much of what we take for granted in our daily lives would have been seen as magical or even demonic in previous ages… doubtless much of what we see as ‘weird’ will be better understood one day.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Yes! My own point of view has always been what many probably consider an odd mix of evidence-based science and metaphysical spirituality – and you explain it perfectly in this post. I have personally witnessed and experienced more than a few events that are simply NOT explainable with today’s science.

    Despite many fairly recent books taking on the topic and written by credible science-types, we are no closer to understand “how the brain makes the mind” that we were back in Shakespeare’s day. We most certainly “underestimate its capabilities as well as its whereabouts” in ways that will, no doubt, seem incredibly dense as we learn and grow. Loved this!
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve heard that said many times before – from a couple of fronts — the love of mysteries, etc. I think it’s fun to know as well, so that thought often leaves me scratching my head.

        Robbie’s comment resonated, however – not knowing fosters imagination and fiction (and super blog reflections, lol).

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I was just reading about how hard it was and how long it took for humans to accept that the earth revolved around the sun and not vice versa. I think there are many things we can’t see because we don’t know how to look for them, and our assumptions keep us looking in the wrong places. But I agree–mystery is good! (K)

    Liked by 1 person

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