Can We Simplify the Unknown?

The Supernatural Synchronicity journey has already been pretty amazing; we’ve talked philosophy, psychology, techniques and so much more. Which brings us to Sarah’s latest post; ‘What exactly are we looking for?‘ In this post Sarah has brought an old friend of mine into the mix; Ockham’s Razor.

Ockham’s Razor…

As Sarah outlines in her post Ockham’s Razor is used quite a bit in science and is all about identifying the simplest route, which is more likely to be true. This is a really important aspect to look into when approaching the paranormal in my opinion. Especially as we often seem to be making conclusions based more on belief, but interestingly those leading beliefs are not always religious in nature when it comes to aspects of paranormal investigation. As Sarah mentions, many investigators often mirror what TV’s Ghost Hunters (generalisation, not the show specifically) do and equally see that as the only path of progression within the field. Something which in my opinion is a massive shame as it means that many talented investigators in the field are missing other approaches as they fight for popularity on a YouTube circuit. Obviously that’s a real vague overview and its more complicated than that, but you get the picture.

Of course at the end of the day we must each follow the path that makes us happy and if that’s creating YouTube content or only attending Ghost Hunts for personal experience, then that’s perfectly fine in my book. Let’s just call it as it is though rather than adding a modern sensationalism to it.

Getting back to Ockham’s Razor; this was something that was on my mind when I wrote; ‘The Theory of Telepathic Interaction‘, which was an idea I had for visually documenting telepathic interaction. It could also be used to document communication of a spiritual nature too. Ockham’s Razor helped me look at cases using the Feynman inspired ideograms to reduce their source to a single point. The problem being this was often reduced to someone that was very much alive! Basically the most likely source of the communication would be telepathic interaction from one person to another. Not from a spirit that might be hanging about. That’s not to say that a spirit isn’t a possibility, but given what we already know in regards to telepathy, the simplest and more likely source would be someone local or indeed non-local to the location of communication. Another more likely source was also the individuals own mind too. I always found it fascinating that above communication from a probable spirit, it was more likely to be from other minds. This was of course supported by many articles and books in the field of parapsychology.

The problem of source…

I think the first thing to call out here is that if the source of this information is telepathic from other people, then we are looking at a probable scenario where the capabilities of our minds are quite remarkable. Perhaps our ability to use telepathy to communicate is something that’s in all our futures.

However I can not leave this without discussing why a spirit is a less likely source for the information. Now I know many Mediums and have spent a lot of time working with them, most being of the belief that the information they receive is provided by a localised spirit of some kind. Firstly, this isn’t a particular claim that I discount or argue as being incorrect. How can I, there’s quite a lot of anecdotal information that supports this as a possibility. However as a Medium believes in probable communication from spirit, I’m more convinced that we could be the source. The reason in my opinion is the simple aspect that survival remains unproven. Don’t get me wrong like anyone in this amazing field, I’m still hoping to discover something that may help us understand survival beyond death, but right now we are still waiting on that gem.

Something that often confuses people and especially more spiritual individuals is that I’ve had some personal experiences, but those experiences haven’t turned me into an instant believer. Equally why those personal experiences haven’t changed my mind in regards to the source of communication. This is also related to information, where the Medium may utter the words; ‘there’s literally no way I could have known that!’ Often the Mediums are a little taken back when I present a possible telepathic explanation. This often leads to some fantastic conversations where my theories are challenged by the Mediums beliefs and often I challenge them too. Most of the time these end in a classic ‘agree to disagree’ situation, as might be expected.

The point being…

The point I’m trying to make here and poorly perhaps, is that the simplest route defined by Ockham’s Razor could depend on the individual. In the case of the Mediums the simplest route is that the source is that of spirit, what else could it be? However I find the simplest route to be us as the source. As many things in the paranormal, there’s not a specific answer.

That said we could argue that Mediums are driven by their beliefs, hence their source is spirit. They have a bias in place which directly affects their ability to utilise Ockham’s Razor. Still it could equally be argued that my conclusions are drawn based on a desire to present a more logical explanation, bias in the other direction perhaps.

So, how can we evaluate the simplest path in order to determine that elusive source?

Firstly, discussion is key to this. Understanding the different points of view and approaches will gain us all a better comprehension beyond our own biases.

Secondly, balancing empirical facts with beliefs and information to find commonalities may lead us to a much better understanding. As in an investigation (be it criminal or paranormal) we should look at the solid facts and how they may match up with say witness statements. This is also somewhere we could utilise content analysis too. Content analysis is an important technique used by the social sciences, this allows us to view the data not just as events, but also as text, images and expressions in order to interpret their meaning. Something that can assist us greatly when analysing large amounts of information in relation to the paranormal.

Thirdly, simplify the best way we can with all the information we have available to us, but seek more information if there are gaps still.

There is certainly a lot of work for us all to do, but we can start with the first point – discussion. Please get involved and let us know your thoughts on this or any of our posts.

Over to Sarah…

Keeping things simple and not over complicating our investigations is such a great point, that Sarah has raised. Turning up with a tonne of gadgets to try and find something that in reality we still don’t have a massive handle on its source or understanding how it may manifest seems like a little overkill! Should we not be focusing on reducing the variables rather than adding more and continuing with this ‘reactive flashy light random noise’ approach to investigating? What do you think? Perhaps a good time to hand over to Sarah Chumacero. Sarah will then comment on what I’ve written and add her own thoughts too in a post on her website ‘Living Life in Full Spectrum‘, but this discussion shouldn’t end there. Please feel free to get involved and comment below.

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