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AUSTIN PARA TIMES

Issue One

Within & Without the Paranormal - Charles Edwards

 

Paranormal: Beyond the range of scientifically known or recognizable phenomena. Some people shudder at the word science, while others embrace it. Science and the paranormal are not at odds; one merely begins where the other leaves off. Science implies process, method and repeatability; these are things embraced even in non-scientific areas, like getting a hair cut or sending a birthday greeting. One function of science provides certain knowledge, another function makes guesses about what exists and how. Science has a word for things neither certain nor within the realm of methodical guessing: Paranormal. Some minds, pretending to be engaged in science, secretly harbor a brand of arrogant superstition; they believe that science must fail, or that science embraces all. Because we are able to say the word "paranormal" doesn't mean we actually understand anything. A problem with encountering phenomena unexplained by known repeatable methods is that not only is the phenomena mysterious, and well, unexplained, it is also unrecognizable. We just don't know what we are experiencing. By definition, it's new. An additional problem exists. The paranormal parallels the well known, yet largely ignored affects of imagination. Our experience of either the paranormal or imagination is replete with errors in observation and reason; we just don't know the methods. No methods have been made. Yet for some reason, experience in these realms remains coherent, believable and even desirable. The desirable aspect unwittingly encourages us to merge imaginative beliefs with discovered experiences. Lack of method serves to prevent us from separating them. Science's job is to advance method that eliminates errors in observation and thinking, and introduce new accurate procedures that can accommodate new experience. We try to understand mystery, but mystery can't be recognized until it is first cognized. That first cognition of new experience is always paranormal. Unless we are to really believe we know all, paranormal is our future. Science fumbles when trying to explain things like why a child can believe in Santa Clause. The problem is grossly compounded if the child is also the scientist. Santa Claus is not paranormal. A child's belief in him however is. Life is faced, or immersed in one gigantic paranormal experience. It remains beyond current methods of observation and reason (yet, of course, we can know things). Our faith claims there are things we don't know. It is paranormal that we hold faith in infinite space, infinite mind and infinite time, while ignoring that quite possibly cognition and validation of this belief will require infinite observation and method. If infinite mind is creative as well, then we are never going to be entirely normal. So prevalent is the paranormal in our daily experience that many minds have become habituated to ignore just how far away we are from explaining even small parts of our lives. Just to keep from being swept away into utter confusion, we cling to what little we know, and we also bolster our courage by pretending to know. This is not to indicate a need to escape into mysticism, where we declare knowledge isn't possible. Clearly knowledge is possible, especially to the unprejudiced mind. We cling to what we know, our foundation of sanity, and the grasp makes us prejudiced to a degree. We can substitute the feel of knowing for things we missed. We secretly acknowledge we miss things; that is why we go searching and become excited by something new. By pretending we already know, we merely view the tiny pin prick we believe. Current methods cover and ignore the large unexplained, vast, tear that surrounds us. We rise on a pinnacle and ignore the valley and sky, and even our own feet. We pretend that since we have formulated a question and accepted an answer, all mystery is satisfied. We hold this, even while embracing the concept of infinity and eternal creativity. We shove that new thing aside because it harbors what we don't know; it offends our sense of being adequate survivors. We push it aside under the rubric of procrastination, like the dust under the stove or the tear in a tablecloth; its something we know should be addressed, only not now. It is as if we hide unexamined insecurity in a proud posture that our current understanding will prevail in all conditions. Yet, against this arrogance, a secret hope nags. Beneath the comfortable cant of known explanations, another hidden faith directs us in the search for where the mysterious new is revealed. The old laughs at the na•ve folly of the new, even while being replaced by it. In its turn, the new becomes old. We search for the new at the edge of science and paranormal. It arrives like gifts under the tree, or ability appearing from patience and expectation. We find it because of a hope that we really can have more of whatever this is we call life. How come we can accept the fantastic as true? How come we can claim experience of things that don't exist, like dreams, hallucinations, or mistakes in perception? How come some people say the mind doesn't control the body, yet believe in the placebo effect? Why can we casually accept death (oh, he died) and then bury the wonder and dread of the experience in quiet obedience to a trained propriety? How can we believe that space is nothing and that time exists, when space can be observed and time can't? Where is the edge between that which we know, and that which we can't even recognize? The allure to have something new keeps us in touch with the paranormal. Our being increases through experience of the unknown. However, the unknown can remain unrecognized or ignored because of a superstitious faith that can prejudice scientific method with an arrogant, defeating dogma - that we already know; that we are complete; that we see what we miss. If we succumb, our very feeling of knowing prevents us from knowing. If we only touch what we know, there is no gain. Another belief holds that the paranormal abounds in our daily experience. Desire, vigilance and patient waiting help reveal it.

Austin Para Times - Not Your Normal News

From The ParaNormal to the ParaPolitical

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