Thursday, June 17, 2010

The dead ghosts.

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.


hangemall said...

Hi. I decided to browse your other blogs and came across this post.

I remember as far back as early secondary school that I was thinking the following about ghosts.

The follwing occurred to me. If a ghost were a regular visitor to a place then it would have to be travelling through space. The Earth is spinning on its axis, so if the ghost were stationary it would be seen at points along a line of latitude until it returned to the bottom of my bed warning me about the evil of fags and single malt whisky.

Also the Earth is rotating around the Sun and the Sun around the centre of the Galaxy and the Galaxy is gravitationally bound to the Local Cluster (centre of gravity somewhere between us and the Andromeda galaxy.)

Even asssuming that the ghost is travelling through time at the same rate as us then God would need one Hell(?) of a Spirograph to map its path.

On to your Granny, if that's not too painful a memory.

The way you wrote it brings certain questions to mind. Did you "hear" her call to you? Was it only others who saw/heard her call out to you and they told you at a later time? Did she know you were hundreds of miles away? There are probably other questions
I could think of but I'm not working tomorrow and am on the Highland Park earlier than usual.

To give something back, my Father died about three years ago. He was at home in our big-ish house with my Mother, Brother and retired Uncle.

After about a week of his illness, my Brother told me that my Father had said something really strange. According to my Brother the conver sation went something like this.

Father: I had a funny dream or vision.

Brother: What was it?

Father: This room (the dining/sitting room where my Parents used to sit) was full of people.

Brother: (Wondering when the vision took place.) When was this?

Father: Next week.

The next day (Sunday) my Father was dead. Of course, there was a family gathering in that same room within a few days.

There is a lot more I could tell about the local medical practice, (formerly called The Doctors') but that would risk one or both of being sued, and it would be going on too much of a tangent from your topic.

Sweet nightmares.

Romulus Crowe said...

Hi Hangemall.

I've wondered whether ghosts were bound to this planet. I hope not. I'd quite fancy wandering around the solar system as a ghost.

If they are bound to the planet, then what will happen if someone dies on a mission to Mars? It's likely to happen one day. Do they get sent home or are they stuck on Mars?

Granny died a long time ago. I was on a railway station and had a strong feeling I should phone home. No mobile phones in those days (aside from the expensive brick-shaped ones the trendy stockbrokers carried) - it was back when we had phoneboxes everywhere.

I didn't phone but I had a good idea what had happened. When I arrived home, the conversation went something along the lines of

'Granny has died' (rather more sympathetically put)

Me: Four o'clock.

Mother: What?

Me: The time she died.

Mother: How did you know?

Me: I don't know how. I just did.

Then it got all noisy and confused. When you aren't surprised or even too distressed by a death, people think you're weird. They're probably right.

Your father's experience sounds like he'd seen a glimpse of the future. I've never experienced that so I don't know how it works.

hangemall said...

Thanks for clearing up the story of your Granny. I can't think of any explanation from my experiences.

As far as my experiences go, I've put a comment somewhere that on occasion I have known (with a strong feeling) what was going to happen in the future. I don't put this down to anything supernatural. I think it's more due to a form of pattern recognition. I got top marks in that in one intelligence test.

I suspect it was a form of pattern recognition in my Father's case too. Some part of him was working in the backgound as he wavered between greater and lesser consciousness and the pattern "gelled" when he was in the state that we associate with dreams and visions.

Well, just a theory.

Romulus Crowe said...

It's possible that most of the predictive abilities people display are just exceptionally good pattern-recognition and logical deduction.

Some people can do this deliberately and consciously - they make the best detectives and the richest stockbrokers - but it's possible that some do it entirely subconsciously.

So it's possible that your father's subconscious considered the possibility that he was likely to die soon, extrapolated what was likely to happen next, and played out the scenario as a dream.

Or maybe he saw the future. We'll probably never know.

Southern Writer said...

I vote for his father seeing the future. If time and space don't really exist, then everything "past," "present," and "future" could actually be taking place at the same time. Help me (correct me) with this argument, Rom, because I don't really understand it.

Anyway, how do we know that ghosts aren't just here temporarily and eventually manage to move on? Or maybe they're always here, around us all the time, but we don't have the eyes to see them.

Shoot, I don't get to finish this. Gotta run. It was great to be here, though. I'm always glad I came.

Romulus Crowe said...

SW - in quantum physics/string theory, I think things like this are possible. We aren't generally able to observe these things because we don't have the senses to do it.

Which is no bad thing. If we could see all space and all time at once, we couldn't possibly function.

It is possible that, from time to time, people are born with a little more than the usual five senses. They probably won't realise it because we are all taught to be the same in modern society. If they do realise, most will keep quiet about it because people are still scared of, and tend to reject or assault, 'witches'.

Sceptics will deny the possibility because they don't like it. They prefer humans to be clones, they don't like the idea that six billion people could all be different from each other.

Really, though, if there is anything in quantum physics at all, nothing is impossible.

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