Remembering the X-Files office…
Anyone that is a fan of the paranormal TV series X-Files will know of the poster in Mulder and Scully’s office in the basement of the FBI, which has the phrase ‘I Want To Believe’ on it. This became a huge part of the iconic cult series helping to define Mulder’s character and later to an extent Scully’s too.
As I grew up watching the X-Files the TV series held a special place in my heart and certainly resonated with my own thirst to understand more about the paranormal world. I obviously knew that the X-Files was fiction, but as I began to read more on the paranormal I soon realised the cross over that the shows writers had obviously hoped for; that many of their episodes had their beginnings in many of the unexplained stories out there.
However it was the words written on that poster that would always cause me a slight issue. You I wanted to believe, but in order to do so I needed more in order to place these things in reality for me. At that time my sources were a fictional TV series, a couple of unexplained type TV series and a world of books telling me these things were real. This placed me on the fence I guess; I want to believe, but I am not quite ready! These days I seek data to support such interesting experiences.
Beginning with debunking…
When I began to investigate over night my approach was based on the approaches of those I knew and the TV shows of the time; Ghost Hunters, Paranormal State and a little Most Haunted the early series. After all if you’re interested in the paranormal, why not watch some TV on it, even if it is ‘for entertainment purposes’.
However it was these influences that started me off as more of a debunker or skeptic ghost hunter, before allowing myself to believe first. I was Scully, well not exactly, but you catch my drift.
Over the years I would investigate various locations in this manner implementing what I thought was a very Sherlock Holmes approach by eliminating the obvious to leave the unexplained, but often there would be explanations to be found. Sometimes there wasn’t and I was still open minded enough to consider the possibility of paranormal activity. Still on that fence though.
Sometimes we just need to experience it…
This all changed though once I realised that perspective is extremely important within the field of the paranormal. So, during one investigation or two I decided not to gather data or work using a pr-determined plan. I decided to just experience the phenomena myself as anyone else would. This opened up a new perspective for me to look into, one which may have helped to develop the psi theory blogs.
The point of all this is that belief is actually very important within the paranormal, it helps us to interpret what has occurred or at least provides us with a possible understanding of the activity. If whilst a communication with spirit is occurring or even just a walk around a supposedly haunted location we receive various information then our minds may interpret that information differently. Someone who believes that there is spirits in the room with them, may comprehend the information as an apparition in front of them, possibly communicating with them. Whereas someone else may just comprehend the information as a slight difference in the localised atmosphere. Some may even obtain vast amounts of detail from this information describing our spirit and their life precisely. However its their belief system in my opinion that likely allows this to occur.
The question then becomes, as I have said before, what is the source of this information and how is it communicated.
Ian Stevenson’s reincarnation research…
I recently read some of the cases that Ian Stevenson put together in support of reincarnation in various locations around the world. He studied a great number of cases where young children were detailing the lives of others that had died, but had never had contact with he children. These remarkable cases were made equally interesting by the fact that Stevenson suggested some had birth marks where the persons they were supposed to be reincarnated from may have had injuries. These are certainly great possibilities for reincarnation, but we equally have a possibility for telepathic interaction. Which could have even started before the children were born, but had become conscious within their mothers. Hence physical attributes like birth marks forming due to the telepathic interaction.
Now this raises an interesting question, was the information communicated after the individual had died from the individual, proving survival; or was the connection with the family still mourning their members death. Perhaps as a part of the complex grieving process they were going through. However this still raises the question to why this particular child would pick up on this and be so sure of the information too.
An interesting understanding regarding young children, more specifically under the age of six, is that they may have more psychical connections because prior to the age of six they’ve not received education to a level that set’s certain expectations regarding their personal beliefs. Something I like to call; ‘the Disney factor’. As most parents are aware, children will believe in the magic of Disney, as well as fairy’s and Santa, but only up to a certain age. This magic is often lost a lot younger depending on the parents and involvement of elder siblings. However the individual child themselves play a part in this as they can choose to believe if they really want to. This is often where questions around make-believe friends and play come into the discussion, are the children happily playing with ‘Frank’ who is completely from their imagination or ‘Frank’ who used to live in the house. These situations are often realised in the paranormal when our children tell us something about their imaginary playmate that relates to a relative that has passed. When that happens, it certainly throws you! Now imagine your child telling you detailed facts about a World War Two pilot, that’s happened too.
How belief fits in…
So, you see belief works in two ways; 1) it could take belief to enable the connection to be more effective, whether its telepathic to the living or to spirits of those that have passed; 2) unestablished belief or belief that doesn’t dismiss the possibility of spiritual connections like that of a child before the age of six perhaps could equally make them more open to spirit communication too. Belief seems to be definitive ingredient in the possibility of survival communication.
Returning to Mulder’s poster, ‘I Want To Believe’, it may be the case that although many of us want to believe, we just are unable to do so as our minds have been trained through education and socialising to approach certain subjects in a particular manner. I’ve often asked those that I meet that subscribe to a particular religion and understanding of one god, if they really do believe or simply hope that the god is watching over them. Given our modern day understanding of the universe around us, does our religious comprehension evolve with that or simple become less connected? Do we favour science over religion these day? Those are philosophical question that might just be above my pay grade right now, so I leave you with a simple last question.