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Author Topic:   Supernatural/paranormal activity and the power of suggestion
hooah212002
Member (Idle past 462 days)
Posts: 3180
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 1 of 33 (646728)
12-31-2011 1:03 PM


I am hesitant to write this because it makes me look like a complete wuss.

Recently, I have been reading "creepy/scary" stories. I have never quite been one who is scared of the dark, even as a child. I was never one that believed in boogie-man or any of that shit. I still don't. However, since I have been reading this stuff, I am getting these.....fears, if you will. When I walk by a car at night in my parking garage, I feel as though something is in there looking at me. I get the same feeling when I walk by a dark room or dark corner. The thing is: I know full well that the shit is ALL in my head. What I think I see (the images in my head) are simply what is conjured up from the shit I read. For example: this past week at work I was the only one there, as the rest of the company was on shut down. Whenever I would walk the halls to go smoke outside, I constantly had chills run down my spine when I thought about what could be around the corner or behind that closed door. I have to repeatedly remind myself that I am being an idiot and the shit in my head is just that: my mind playing tricks on me.

So, this all has got me thinking. It seems very apparent to me, now, that all the stories of paranormal activity, all the stories of people seeing supernatural activity all must be the mind playing tricks. I have no doubt that what people claim to be seeing, they "really" see it. It is very real to them. It's just that some are more open to suggestion than others. I am apparently one of those people, at least to some extent.

We all know how powerful the mind is and there is, as of yet, no definitive proof or evidence of anything supernatural outside of the minds of those involved.

I have a few more thoughts about this but I don't yet know how to put them into words that would make sense so hopefully they will get hashed out if this thread takes off. I would like for this to go on the science side so we don't get bogged down with "faith" or "belief" as this thread is intended to target exactly that.

Edited by hooah212002, : No reason given.


“Mythology is what we call someone else’s religion.” Joseph Campbell

Replies to this message:
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hooah212002
Member (Idle past 462 days)
Posts: 3180
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 2 of 33 (646729)
01-04-2012 9:18 PM


Not a topic of interest, I presume....

“Mythology is what we call someone else’s religion.” Joseph Campbell

    
Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3827
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 3 of 33 (646730)
01-04-2012 11:14 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by hooah212002
12-31-2011 1:03 PM


A quote mine that summarizes my opinion of you
..I am being an idiot and the shit in my head is just that.

Adminnemooseus


This message is a reply to:
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AdminModulous
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Posts: 892
Joined: 03-02-2006


Message 4 of 33 (646731)
01-05-2012 11:51 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by hooah212002
12-31-2011 1:03 PM


I would like for this to go on the science side so we don't get bogged down with "faith" or "belief" as this thread is intended to target exactly that.

The science section is predominantly regarding the evolution/creation debate, and this is really only tangentially relevant to that debate I think. Faith and Belief might work on the grounds that it is about the objective/subjective divide and arguments pro and against the objective reality of God (and I suppose other things people have faith in too, if we're being loose), though you've said you want out of that.

That really only leaves Free for All and Coffee House. The latter, I think, being preferable.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by hooah212002, posted 12-31-2011 1:03 PM hooah212002 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by hooah212002, posted 01-05-2012 2:02 PM AdminModulous has responded

    
hooah212002
Member (Idle past 462 days)
Posts: 3180
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 5 of 33 (646732)
01-05-2012 2:02 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by AdminModulous
01-05-2012 11:51 AM


After looking through the sub-topics just now, you are correct in saying that it doesn't really fit anywhere "neatly". I will request, though, that we can attempt to refrain from, for lack of better terminology, "feelings". I guess the best example I can think of and exactly what I do NOT want this topic to be about is "jesus/YHWH/god/allah is factually real because I feel it/I saw it/I have a personal relationship with it". Secondly, this isn't solely about supernatural entities of a religious nature. I included that because I think the two go hand in hand. I'm hoping that is why you suggested the Coffee House and not because it's me proposing the topic.

As I said in the OP: I haven't exactly hashed this whole thing out yet because this is the only place I have brought it up. I am hoping that in engaging with people who have had somewhat similar experiences, I can begin to piece together more of my thoughts on the subject.


“Mythology is what we call someone else’s religion.” Joseph Campbell

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 Message 6 by AdminModulous, posted 01-05-2012 7:34 PM hooah212002 has responded

    
AdminModulous
Administrator
Posts: 892
Joined: 03-02-2006


Message 6 of 33 (646733)
01-05-2012 7:34 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by hooah212002
01-05-2012 2:02 PM


I will request, though, that we can attempt to refrain from, for lack of better terminology, "feelings".

I'm confused, I thought you wanted to discuss the scientific basis for certain feelings viz 'the heeby jeebies'. Surely feelings are going to be discussed. If it is to be a debate, what position do you expect your opponents to take if not 'I had a feeling there was a spirit/deity/whatever therefore there was'? If you want to propose a debate to argue against that position, surely some people should be permitted to argue for it?

I appreciate you might not want to go down that rabbit hole, but I'm having difficulty picturing what else you are expecting. Do you just want this to be a discussion about the scientific account, rather than a debate?

I included that because I think the two go hand in hand. I'm hoping that is why you suggested the Coffee House and not because it's me proposing the topic.

I suggested Coffee House because it doesn't fit elsewhere comfortably, it was not meant as a personal slight or anything. Are you still opposed to it going there?

Since the question of fingerprint analysis made it over to it, I suppose we could squeeze into the Is It Science? forum. There we can discuss whether scientific explanations for the spooky feelings you discuss are really scientific or something.


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hooah212002
Member (Idle past 462 days)
Posts: 3180
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 7 of 33 (646734)
01-05-2012 8:16 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by AdminModulous
01-05-2012 7:34 PM


I'm confused, I thought you wanted to discuss the scientific basis for certain feelings viz 'the heeby jeebies'. Surely feelings are going to be discussed. If it is to be a debate, what position do you expect your opponents to take if not 'I had a feeling there was a spirit/deity/whatever therefore there was'? If you want to propose a debate to argue against that position, surely some people should be permitted to argue for it?

Yea, that's why I said "for lack of better terminology" because the very topic IS about feelings, but I want to examine why it is we have those feelings. I don't want it to go into "well those feelings mean it's real" if that makes any sense. yes, the sensation is real, but it says nothing about there actually being something real (i.e. physical/not a product of your imagination) causing that sensation.

Do you just want this to be a discussion about the scientific account, rather than a debate?

Either/or.

Are you still opposed to it going there?

Nope. That is fine.

Since the question of fingerprint analysis made it over to it, I suppose we could squeeze into the Is It Science? forum. There we can discuss whether scientific explanations for the spooky feelings you discuss are really scientific or something.

That would be even better. I hope I have made clear why I would prefer we stay out of the faith/belief section.....


“Mythology is what we call someone else’s religion.” Joseph Campbell

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AdminModulous
Administrator
Posts: 892
Joined: 03-02-2006


Message 8 of 33 (646736)
01-06-2012 10:41 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Supernatural/paranormal activity and the power of suggestion thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11761
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 9 of 33 (646746)
01-06-2012 10:56 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by hooah212002
12-31-2011 1:03 PM


Recently, I have been reading "creepy/scary" stories. I have never quite been one who is scared of the dark, even as a child. I was never one that believed in boogie-man or any of that shit. I still don't. However, since I have been reading this stuff, I am getting these.....fears, if you will.

This is strange: I believe that there could be ghosts, but I don't really have these irrational fears you speak of. I could walk right into a "haunted house" with no problems and I don't get that strange feeling when I walk by a dark room.

I only get scared when I actually see something, and its gotta be threatening.

When I walk by a car at night in my parking garage, I feel as though something is in there looking at me. I get the same feeling when I walk by a dark room or dark corner. The thing is: I know full well that the shit is ALL in my head.

Think of it from an evolutionary persepective:

Take a group of primitive humans, some have an irrational fear of the unknown, some don't. Put them next to a questionable bush that may or may not have a lion behind it. The one's who have the fear, will avoid the bush, regardless of the lion. But the ones without the fear, when there *is* a lion there, will be selected against. Eventually, you'll weed out the people who don't have that irrational fear and be left with a population with a lot of people who do.

So, this all has got me thinking. It seems very apparent to me, now, that all the stories of paranormal activity, all the stories of people seeing supernatural activity all must be the mind playing tricks.

I can't agree to that strong of a claim and I don't think it follows that every single story must be the mind playing tricks.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by hooah212002, posted 12-31-2011 1:03 PM hooah212002 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by hooah212002, posted 01-06-2012 11:06 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
hooah212002
Member (Idle past 462 days)
Posts: 3180
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 10 of 33 (646749)
01-06-2012 11:06 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by New Cat's Eye
01-06-2012 10:56 AM


This is strange: I believe that there could be ghosts, but I don't really have these irrational fears you speak of. I could walk right into a "haunted house" with no problems and I don't get that strange feeling when I walk by a dark room.

Same here. It's only been the past few weeks that I have felt this way.

I only get scared when I actually see something, and its gotta be threatening.

I think I am less scared when I see something because that way, I know what I am dealing with. However, I've never actually "seen something" that was terror inducing. At least not in this context.

Take a group of primitive humans, some have an irrational fear of the unknown, some don't. Put them next to a questionable bush that may or may not have a lion behind it. The one's who have the fear, will avoid the bush, regardless of the lion. But the ones without the fear, when there *is* a lion there, will be selected against. Eventually, you'll weed out the people who don't have that irrational fear and be left with a population with a lot of people who do.

Yes, I know full well about this perspective. It actually explains quite a bit.

I don't think it follows that every single story must be the mind playing tricks.

Well, if you've some evidence to say otherwise, not only is here the perfect place for it, I think JREF has some money for you.


“Mythology is what we call someone else’s religion.” Joseph Campbell

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mike the wiz
Member (Idle past 11 days)
Posts: 4600
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 11 of 33 (646750)
01-06-2012 11:09 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by hooah212002
12-31-2011 1:03 PM


You haven't been messing with ouji boards have you - or farting around with anything occultist? It seems strange that so quickly you would pick up an anxiety. I have read many testimonials that people started messing around with those boards, and the occult only to get anxieties or sickness. I am not making any claims of truth regarding that, here as you have stated you believe it is all poppycock, I am just asking.

I would say that most of the time, the mind, as you say, can play tricks. I have something called involuntary thoughts. Random swear words etc....might come into my head and at times, I can't stop thinking about it. When I pray, I might say something vulgar about God - or atleast my mind does. It is completely random, I just hear the words.

I would say you have picked up an anxiety. I am afraid of the dark simply because I can't see what is in it. Like you say, 99.9% of the time there is an explanation.

It's refreshing that you at least concede that people are telling the truth. I know there are a lot of idiot-hoaxers and liars out there of course, but even if it is all natural, it seems unfair to dismiss somebody's account.

I have a few more thoughts about this but I don't yet know how to put them into words that would make sense so hopefully they will get hashed out if this thread takes off.

I think the best thing to do is not place too much emphasis on this fear, remind yourself of the rational thoughts.

When I watch these silly ghost programs on TV, they will hear a little noise in the night and believe it is something supernatural when if you are in a peaceful state, you would usually attribute it to something normal such as a bit of expansion in material.

I'm glad someone struggles to put things into words, most of my thoughts I can't communicate.


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New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11761
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 12 of 33 (646762)
01-06-2012 11:45 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by hooah212002
01-06-2012 11:06 AM


Same here. It's only been the past few weeks that I have felt this way.

What's changed? Just you starting to read the scary stories?

I think I am less scared when I see something because that way, I know what I am dealing with.

Unless you see something and you still don't know what your dealing with...

However, I've never actually "seen something" that was terror inducing. At least not in this context.

I've seen too much, I don't know what's real anymore.

Yes, I know full well about this perspective. It actually explains quite a bit.

Indeed.

I don't think it follows that every single story must be the mind playing tricks.

Well, if you've some evidence to say otherwise, not only is here the perfect place for it, I think JREF has some money for you.

Huh? I'm not claiming that the paranormal does exist... read that again.


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 Message 10 by hooah212002, posted 01-06-2012 11:06 AM hooah212002 has responded

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Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 525 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


(1)
Message 13 of 33 (646767)
01-06-2012 11:53 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by hooah212002
12-31-2011 1:03 PM


Too damn quiet...
I think CS is on the right track with his evolutionary analysis.

I spend a lot of time alone in Adirondack forests, sometimes in deep wilderness. Officially, the only predator that need concern me is the black bear which is generally shy of humans unless desensitized to human presence by careless garbage disposal and generally only dangerous when startled or reacting to a perceived threat to cubs.

Unofficially, both large bucks, moose and wolves (occasionally down from Canada) can be threats.

I treasure the peaceful quiet there. But when I realize the surrounding forest has gone dead silent--no bird movements or twitters, no scurrying ground squirrels, when even the wind seems to be holding its breath--my hackles rise. I pause, sniff the air, study the woods around me, and only move on when some intuitive, instinctual part of me is satisfied. Reason is of little use here.

When and where we evolved, we were prey. For a hominid in East Africa, or even an early modern human, that deep alarm system was invaluable. Finding myself alone in a sudden hush still triggers a hyper-alert state, one that served me well in the jungles of East Asia and in large cities around the world: that state can still make me stand silently for 15 minutes in the forest or cross the street to avoid the mouth of a dark alley in New York.

As for the associations you recently make between that trigger and what you've been reading--sure, that sounds like suggestibility, but even suggestibility can be useful if, say, you've heard reports of tigers in the area and then hear a rustling nearby followed by a sudden hush.

That alert/alarm systen is ancient and bypasses the reasoning mind for good reasons. It's not so much irrational as arational, and faster than logic.

If an empty car in the night-time parking garage gave me the creeps, I'd give it a wide berth. The cost of precaution is low, and the penalty for ignoring your own hackles rising can be fatal. One of the first things taught in urban self-defense courses is don't ignore your instincts. Many millennia and hominid deaths went into arming you with them--ridiculing our own instinctive alarms and laughing our way into the maw of death is the premise of a thousand horror flick scenes.

When you find yourself alone, and it suddenly gets quiet--too damn quiet--honor your ancestors and stay alive.

Edited by Omnivorous, : No reason given.


"If you can keep your head while those around you are losing theirs, you can collect a lot of heads."

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hooah212002
Member (Idle past 462 days)
Posts: 3180
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 14 of 33 (646771)
01-06-2012 12:11 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by New Cat's Eye
01-06-2012 11:45 AM


What's changed? Just you starting to read the scary stories?

Yes, I guess. I mean, I've never been averse to horror movies or scary stories, but it's not exactly a staple of my entertainment. However, ever since I found reddit/r/nosleep, and been reading those and other creepy shit linked from there, I have felt an unease like never before. For example: when I get up early in the morning, I have to flip the lights on in the kitchen and the switch is behind the coffee pot. I get this feeling like there is a hand back there as well. Like I'm going to feel something else back there....

Unless you see something and you still don't know what your dealing with...

True. However, I think I would prefer to actually see something tangible so I can justify the shit in my head. Me telling myself "moron, it's all in your head" just isn't cutting it.

Huh? I'm not claiming that the paranormal does exist... read that again.

Ok. I think I see what you mean. However, all I have ever heard about anything paranormal is hearsay. Nothing physical has ever been produced.


“Mythology is what we call someone else’s religion.” Joseph Campbell

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New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11761
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 15 of 33 (646773)
01-06-2012 12:19 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by hooah212002
01-06-2012 12:11 PM


Yes, I guess. I mean, I've never been averse to horror movies or scary stories, but it's not exactly a staple of my entertainment. However, ever since I found reddit/r/nosleep, and been reading those and other creepy shit linked from there, I have felt an unease like never before.

I didn't consider it before I just read Omni's post, but like he says, that susceptibility to suggestibility is an evolved trait as well. So basically, everything that is supposed to be happening is happening.

For example: when I get up early in the morning, I have to flip the lights on in the kitchen and the switch is behind the coffee pot. I get this feeling like there is a hand back there as well. Like I'm going to feel something else back there....

Okay, now you're starting to sound like a wuss

That is a little strange to be that concerned about so litte. Maybe there's other stuff going on in your life that's affecting this besides some scary stories on reddit.(?)

True. However, I think I would prefer to actually see something tangible so I can justify the shit in my head. Me telling myself "moron, it's all in your head" just isn't cutting it.

I'd bet that just telling yourself that its all in your head would not get rid of it, but I don't really know what you can do to reduce these fears. If its bothersome enough, maybe you should go see somebody.

or maybe someone more knowledgable will chime in here.


This message is a reply to:
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