I haven't been online for a while because there hasn't been much to say. The sky is slate grey from horizon to horizon and featureless. Rain is spontaneous and unpredictable so investigation is pointless.
Instead I've been wondering about things. There are six billion people on the planet now. There are an awful lot of dead ones stretching back over the ages. Where are all the ghosts? We should see at least a dozen each by now.
Another thing I wonder is when did it start? Are there Cro-Magnon or Neanderthal ghosts? I haven't heard of any. Australopithecene hauntings are unheard of. At some point, we either changed from an animal to another type of creature or the religious are right.
Sceptics are guffawing already but last week's New Scientist insists that we are not as other animals. We are not only aware, we are aware of being aware. If we are special, then the question must be 'why?' If we are not special, then why does science regard humanity as better than dogs? If we can have a lucid dream then why cannot a cat or a pig or a duck-billed platypus? Is it because we are much more spiritual than other animals? Why? If the word 'spiritual' gets the sceptic muscles twitching, then what word would you prefer? Either we are just another mammal or we are not. Which do you want? One or the other. You can't have both and switch between them depending on the situation.
Either we contain a soul or spirit, call it what you want, that carries on existing after we die, or we don't. The evidence I have seen but cannot irrefutably prove suggests we do but then why are they not all still here? Where are they?
Most religions say that there is a heaven and/or hell where spirits go. Catholics have made up levels of hell and a new place called Limbo that isn't in any religious text, but then Catholics do tend to get carried away with this sort of thing. Those spirits who are lost remain here. I have no evidence at all for a heaven or hell but then the ghosts I've seen won't have been to either of them - because none come back. So I can't discount that.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that there are no ghosts, only demonic spirits who can pretend to be human ghosts. One I know locally, who is a self-employed painter (canvas painting, not decorator painting) will not paint any subject that includes a graveyard. It might provoke the nasties he believes hang around there. That's possible. Faced with something ethereal and human-looking, could any of us tell for certain whether it was Granny or a demon pretending to be Granny? I think the JW's are wrong on this. My grandmother called to me at the moment she died and I was hundreds of miles away. That's my feeling on the subject but I cannot absolutely rule out the possibility of an impersonating demon. I just don't see what the demon would have gained in that action.
Three more possibilities are floating around. One is that the spirit, separated from the body, has a finite lifespan. This can depend on available energy to support that spirit. It would explain why rural areas are largely ghostless. If the spirits have no energy source they will not be able to sustain any sort of manifestation and might eventually fade out of existence altogether.
The second concerns travel. Are ghosts bound to Earth? If I had the ability to visit Jupiter or Saturn, without being crushed by their atmospheres, I'd do it. Who wouldn't? If, as a spirit, we could wander the universe, why would we stay here? If ghosts are not bound by a planet then they could be off wandering and sightseeing.
Finally, what if there is a spirit predator? Every natural system we know about has predators. Could there be some kind of unknown creature that lives on ghost energy? Are those ghosts being eaten? It would explain why there are so few very old ghosts around. Roman ghosts, for example, tend to be of the 'recording' variety rather than the actual spirit.
All speculation, but being effectively house-bound can do that. There's a local ruined church I've been itching to look at but with no roof and random rain, it's out of the question for now.
Any more possibilities? Somewhere there are a lot of missing ghosts.