People have been fascinated by the idea of ghosts and spirits for thousands of years, and the question is just as relevant today as ever. So what’s the truth behind all of this? Should you be concerned? In this episode, I’ll speak specifically about the concept of the ghosts of dead people and the so-called evil spirits which exist as purely non-physical beings.
Let’s start with the second group, the demons, the boogeymen, the shadow people, or whatever you want to call them. These entities are always described as having purely bad intentions, as trying to scare you or sometimes even kill you. It’s evident that without fear, you wouldn’t perceive them. The question is: are they attracted by fear, or are they simply created by it?
I strongly believe the answer is the latter. You create these evil spirits by your fear, they are simply vivid hallucinations of weak and stressed out minds. Humans have been inventing all kinds of supernatural beings to explain things they don’t quite understand. The mind is always looking for cause and effect relations, because that’s how our brain is hardwired, it’s beneficial for our survival. When something unexplainable meets with the feeling of fear, the mind rationalizes the situation by inventing an evil spirit.
Once this idea enters your mind, and you accept the possibility that these spirits are in fact real, then it’s even more likely that you’ll explain more and more things with them. That’s how Christianity got to a point in the Middle Ages, when almost every time something bad happened they thought it was the work of the Devil.
When you focus on something intensively, especially on something as threatening as an evil and invisible entity that can appear anytime and anywhere, it’s no surprise that you’ll see it more and more often. The law of attraction works not only with positive, but with negative things, as well.
So next time you get afraid of a ghost, stop projecting your fear altogether, and dive deep into the emotion of fear directly, without relying on any logical explanations, without thinking and with pure feeling. Get to the bottom of your fear, and find out what you’re really afraid of. Resistance only enhances your fear, because you often fear feeling fear more than the initial fear itself. Acceptance of fear is the only thing that can transform and dissolve it.
One study showed that 45% of Americans believe in ghosts, while only 28% claim to have ever seen one. This shows the crucial factor of belief in this matter, and if you’ve been following me for a while, you know how much I’m against all kinds of beliefs. I’m not asking you either to disbelieve in ghosts, just not to believe in them without any basis. People have been investigating this matter for hundreds of years, and they’ve found no scientific evidence whatsoever for the existence of either ghosts or evil spirits.
All right, but what about those 28% who did have a direct experience, who believe they’ve seen some kind of spirit with their very own eyes? Well, there are numerous logical explanations provided by science, so chances are you didn’t go crazy, only your mind is playing tricks on you.
The first and foremost reason is the so-called sleep paralysis, a sleep anomaly in which your senses are awakened, but your body is still asleep unable to move. Most people who meet evil spirits experience it during this kind of state, and it can be indeed very frightening. You are in a limbo between waking up and dreaming, so you experience waking dreams that seem to be very real, at least in the moment.
During sleep paralysis, it feels as if something or someone was pushing on your lungs or suffocating you, and your mind tries to explain this physical sensation by creating a dream in which an evil spirit is sitting on your chest. In dreams, this is quite normal actually. For example, when your bladder is physically full, you often dream about going to the toilet. Your mind supplies a plausible explanation almost immediately.
Moreover, people often report seeing entities that look like three dimensional shadows. Scientists believe that these are simply projections of your own self-image, otherwise known as misperceived self-representation. There are many experiments available in this area, including those about sensing ghost limbs or creating out-of-body experiences in virtual reality.
There are two other logical explanations as to why you may hear, see or feel evil spirits. One is connected to infrasound, the sound in the spectrum just below what is audible for the human ears. It can be caused by certain machines like electrical fans or even severe weather conditions. Infrasound is proven to cause depression, anxiety and even a sensed presence. Moreover, as it has the same frequency as the eyes, it makes the eyeballs resonate, causing distortions in sight and making you see things that are not really there.
The other interesting, but completely scientific phenomenon is temporal lobe dysfunction. Temporal lobe epilepsy is shown to cause paranormal and mystical experiences, and these can be reproduced even in healthy individuals by stimulating the temporal lobes with weak electromagnetic signals. The main researcher in this field is Dr. Michael Persinger, the creator of the God helmet.
This helmet is designed for laboratory controlled, precise stimulation, but electromagnetic signals affect our brains all the time in everyday life. They can be induced by subtle changes in the geomagnetic activity of the Earth, or even by a simple machine such as an alarm clock. Hundreds of volunteers have participated in his experiments, and his work received wide media coverage.
Temporal lobe stimulation can cause all kinds of weird effects including out-of-body and near-death experiences, however the most common is the feeling of a sensed presence. In its simplest form, it appears as a feeling that there is someone or some conscious thing, an energy or a presence in the room with you even though you know you’re by yourself. It can also manifest as a feeling that you are not alone or just being watched. This is exactly the same kind of feeling sufferers of supposed ghost hauntings report.
So how come exorcism, or the more ancient practice of banishing evil spirits is very often effective? Isn’t this in itself proof for their existense? Actually, I see this as proof for their non-existence. You see, there are two ways to solve an illusory problem: One is to offer an illusory solution, and the other is to reveal the illusion altogether.
By fighting with demons, you are only making them stronger, by making the illusion seem even more real, and by feeding them with your fear. Once you gather the courage to face them or you believe in the magical healing power of the shaman or the exorcist, you get rid of the fear, thus get rid of the spirit. But it’s much healthier psychologically if you can become conscious enough to see that you’re creating your own demons.
So that’s my opinion about evil spirits, but what about ghosts of dead people? The reasons are similar, but there are also other factors at play, especially grief and death denial. To continue, please watch my other episode titled “Can we communicate with the dead?”.
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