Bland Paranormal-Blind Christians

GhostWhen I was a believer, I was shocked to slowly discover that most other believers shared none of my paranormal experiences or any even in the ballpark. The majority of Christians only had faith in a supernatural universe — yet they looked askance at those who claimed to experience it. Well, that is what drew me away from my Baptist circles and into Pentecostal circles where I found a few more like-spirited believers — folks who regularly experienced the paranormal.

Tom Rees describes another study that explores why some folks may be more inclined to these sort of experiences and some aren’t.   Interestingly, the study explores “Ghosts” a bit.

I’ve written about two ghost spottings I have had:

  1. My mother in her garden
  2. An Indonesian rapist

The first story is most likely a hyper-deployment of agent-detection after my mom’s death. And both cases happened in the dark when I had some emotional loaded situations going on. So they both fit the conditions Tom mentions. However, by the time I had these experiences, I was no longer religious. I am curious how I would have interpreted them if I had been still a believer in the supernatural.  Instead, I comfortably labeled them as ‘very odd’.

Question to readers: Do you see any personality similarities between those you have met who claim to have paranormal experiences vs those who don’t?



Filed under Philosophy & Religion

4 responses to “Bland Paranormal-Blind Christians

  1. The majority of Christians only had faith in a supernatural universe — yet they looked askance at those who claimed to experience it.

    That would have described me. And that may well be why that I was always doubting my religious beliefs, and why I eventually dumped them.

  2. TWF

    When I was a Christian, I, too, looked askance at people who claimed to experience the supernatural universe, including other Christians! It is interesting to note that non-believers are not the ones get possessed by demons…

    To answer your question, I haven’t noticed distinct differences between those who had experienced ghosts or other paranormal events and those who had not, but I do have a limited pool of samples compared to the study Tom references. I think that the state-of-mind is probably a better predictor than personality, perhaps as you suggest.

  3. @ Neil,
    Which will clearly doom me to far worse eternal damnation — after all, God’s signs were very generously given to me and yet I still rejected them. Alas !

    @ TWF,
    Well, state-of-mind is true for some experiences (like the Ghosts) but I think Tom’s review shows how that is not true for others — feeling God’s presence, speaking in tongues, feeling at one with God and others, for example.

  4. We are children of the enlightenment… I find a lot of my peeps have experiences but since they feel like they will be judged or they are uncomfortable with things they don’t understand/categorize/explain they don’t talk about them.

    And then you have those who have no experiences of these, but use “lesser” experiences to act like they have paranormal stuff… Interesting stuff

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