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Ghosts seem to appear in all the circumstances in which our minds are at their least logical, least clear, and least sensible. This is not the hallmark of a murky spiritual world 'just beyond reach' - it is the hallmark of a phenomenon that comes from the quirky psychological of the living rather than the strange attempts of the recently dead to somehow appear - complete with clothes - and to try most ineffectually to tell us things.
Every scientific investigation has found the idea of ghosts to be impossible, and every solved case has turned out to have utterly mundane origins, mostly in Human confusion, hallucination and other thinking errorsbut unfortunately many so-called ghost photos and stories have turned out to be simple exaggerations, pranks and frauds.
All it takes is suggestion, and a ghost story can become real: The occurrence of ghosts in hallucinations can give believers the most convincing experiencesand, other coincidences such as dreaming of someone and finding out that they're dead are only akin with the laws of chance.
Try to think of how many more times we dream of those we know and they turn out not to have recently died! The problem is, these more mundane experiences are easily forgotten, where the occasional coincidence is so dramatic we remember it, and build false theories upon them.
There is no afterlife, there is no soulthere are no spirits wandering around occasionally making themselves visible: A series of wonderful investigations documented in " The Supernatural?
Weatherley 32 provide some timeless notes on hallucinations and ghosts: A mental apparition would not be effected by this test. However she was too stressed during the episodes to carry out this test. Weatherley 32 Another case dated 26th Dec was about a wife who repeatedly hears her husband calling for her later on, impatiently so but she can't find him in the house.
When they meet later, she is surprised to know that he was quite well, but nowhere near the house, and not calling for her.
Weatherly describes this as a simple aural hallucination. She had many hallucinations during a period of general ill health, but, being seen by doctors and a sound person, didn't suspect any supernatural cause.
No doubt such things are the sources of many so-called supernatural experiences. Surely, she could have been easily pushed by friends or relatives into thinking her illusions were true, or, that they were meaningful.
Imagine just for a moment if after telling someone about one of these hallucinations, she soon discovered that her husband had died in an accident. Such an amazing story would spread like wildfire, and 'believers' would be aghast how anyone, after hearing the story, could continue to not believe in souls and ghosts.
But luckily in this case, as supernatural beliefs were not promoted to her, the illness passed into history much more rapidly whereas a superstitious or gullible person could have ended up spending decades telling stories about ghosts.
In many folk tales, Westerners tell of seeing the ghosts of the recently departed. Scientific investigation has always found that such cases are either explainable in terms of the subject actually knowing more than they knew they knew or let onor are mistaken.
Experiments where people write down such predictions before finding out confirming evidence such as receiving a phone call informing them a relative is deadresults in a very poor record of accuracy, with the only slight success rate attributable to the fact that people tend to predict the deaths of the elderly or unwell.
The investigative psychologist Stan Gooch, who does believe that the human brain is capable of supernatural intelligence, argues that all such encounters with the dead are actually subjective methods of interpreting information, but which do not actually have a basis in physical reality: It is totally irrelevant.
Is it not enough to say that in all cases of death that having received kind of telepathic impulse if events, the unconscious mind then generates some kind of symbolic fantasy - a vision, a dream, a premonition - by which means it presents the received information to consciousness?
That view gains enormously also from the fact that Australian aborigines are very good at sensing the death of a distant companion. But they do not see a ghostly vision of that person, as westerners often do. Instead they see a vision of that person's totem animal running about the camp.
Once again, 'we see what we expect to see' in terms of our cultural and in this case religious upbringing.
The totem animal is the best choice, and the obvious choice, for the Aborigine unconscious mind to make in presenting its information to consciousness. His face was so identical, his cap, his light-grey coat, his peculiar collar [ I called him by name.
Again I hailed him. Here, then, was a striking example of mistaken identity. Weatherley 34 I am sure most of us recognize that this type of event is not unusual. In this case, the man was with friends but it is easy to imagine that many times such awkward moments occur when we are on our own.During the formative years of contemporary psychiatry much attention was paid to the continuing role of past traumatic experiences on the current lives of people.
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