I get a little cranky some days. It’s tough to be in the middle. People thinking fence sitting is easy, but I’m here to tell you different. It’s not. Having those fence posts poking you in the rump can be a real pain.
What on earth am I talking about, you ask? I try to withhold judgment. I try to evaluate each and every thing that comes my way on its own merits – free from any belief or lack of belief that I have in certain phenomena. I’ve made it very clear that I’m a never say never kind of a gal. We live in a huge universe where all sorts of things are possible. Certainly some are more unlikely than others, but let’s face it, unlikely does not mean impossible.
One of the problems with being a fence sitter is that I’ve never really fit into one crowd or another. I am widely panned by both “sides” of issues. The bottom line is this: I have come to believe in the existence of ghosts. 100% I believe that ghosts are not only possible, but that they exist and certain phenomena that I’ve experienced are indicative of this existence. Just because I believe that what we’ve labeled as ghosts exist, however, doesn’t mean I have a darn clue what they truly are. Interdimensional travelers? An imprint? An active soul from the past that exists in disembodied form? Who knows? Certainly not me.
And just because my personal experiences have led me to believe that ghosts do, indeed, exist doesn’t mean that every experience I have, every odd photo anomaly and ever odd blip on a digital recorder is evidence of a ghost. I apply critical thinking to each and every situation. When my critical thinking allows me to reach the conclusion that what I experienced had a natural, logical, non paranormal explanation, then I am accused of being the biggest cynic out there and refusing to see what is right before my eyes. I get lots of lectures that go something like this: “You need to keep an open mind. You just don’t know because you’ve never encountered a ghost. If you HAD, then you would realize that this is paranormal.”
Then there are the opposite times when I comb through everything, look at all of the circumstances and I arrive at an explanation that seems paranormal to me. Now I’m not a cynic. Instead, I’m an idiot for arriving at a paranormal explanation. Surely I’ve discounted science! In order to have reached the conclusion, “paranormal,” I would have no other choice but to do so. Yep – that’s me, the silly believer who follows the pack and believes anything and everything that goes bump in the night is paranormal.
Oh wait. No I don’t.
I’m a reasonably intelligent person. I read both paranormal stuff and scientific stuff. We have subscriptions to Scientific American and Discover magazines. I read them cover to cover every month. I get Google alerts for the paranormal every day. I read paranormal magazines and paranormal websites. I am well aware of the full spectrum of what is out there – both paranormally and scientifically. And just because I sometimes reach opposing conclusions for different situations doesn’t mean I am eschewing one in favor of the other.
That’s because I believe that it is possible for both to exist side by side. I’ll pause a moment to let that sink right in. Maybe, just maybe, the paranormal can be real and science can be valid. Perhaps God could exist and science wouldn’t have to overturn hundreds of years of research. Maybe even though I believe I’ve experienced ghosts, I still have a healthy respect for science.
Here’s the thing. In some cases, we have to just follow where the preponderance of evidence is pointing us, because the answers are almost never absolute. It’s relatively easy to compile the evidence and see in which direction it weighs more heavily. Juries in civil cases do it all of the time.
We don’t know everything. We’re still learning all sorts of sciency new things on a regular basis. And if that’s true, then it just seems to me that there are pockets of this universe that science has yet to catch up to.
I know there are people out there just like me. The non-extremists who realize that the world is nuanced and that new and unusual experiences need to be evaluated one at a time on their own merits. I’m not on a “side,” but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a point of view. I do and here it is. I respect science. I adore science. But I also respect the broad range of experiences we have. When science can explain those experiences, I’m all for it. But when it can’t, that doesn’t mean I have to toss it all out the window. I’m quite content to leave some experiences in my life in the realm of the unexplained.