I’ve been strange encounter free for some time now. I used to have such a great desire to believe in things that go bump in the night, things unknown and unexplained. The unidentified, and creatures of the outer edge. Sorry, Loren, had to borrow that one, it’s a nice title, and it sums up a lot of what we seek.
What we are really drawn to, in so many ways, is the outer edge. The places we can’t see into. The dark, the hidden. We love to imagine things greater than ourselves, mysterious, monstrous, or powerful. We can venture down any number of, what may seem logical, passages to come to conclusions that suit us. Often, the passage we choose is the one that supports what we believe. After all, why would we venture down passages that contradict what we hope is true?
Human’s often pick and choose data to support their beliefs, ignoring contradictory data. We jump to conclusions, make assumptions, and ignore the obvious if it goes against what we hold dear. Like a child, apprehensive, afraid to grow up and shed childish ways, many of us hold on to our beliefs, and remain conveniently ignorant so we can avoid hard truths.
I used to believe in a god, ghosts, UFO’s, Bigfoot, and other supernatural, paranormal or cryptozoological mysteries. A strong imagination loves to find adventure, wander, and wonder about strange, and amazing things. What if Bigfoot is real? What if aliens, or time travelers are visiting our planet in amazing spaceships? What if ghosts of the long dead can interact with us?
A common denominator, for me, is the sense of mystery and excitement I get from reading scary stories, or watching shows about UFOs or mysterious monsters. I love that stuff, always have. But I’ve come to recognize it as an entertaining sidetrack for my imagination, not evidence of a paranormal reality lurking behind some wispy, magical veil.
I’ve had strange experiences, heard noises, voices, seen strange lights, but I always looked for a logical explanation. I always knew their was some rational explanation for what I experienced, and I didn’t make the jump to supernatural, or unexplainable. Sure, the events were scary, and uncanny, but in that respect I consider myself lucky to have experienced them. Because they were neat, and entertaining.
I’m still entertained by ghost stories, the notion of extraterrestrials soaring overhead in UFOs, and by tales of mystery creatures like Sasquatch, Mothman, or Nessie. I still love it all, but I don’t believe it all. Could Bigfoot exist? Sure, it’s possible, thought not probable. Nessie? Less so. Mothman? I’d consider that an incredible stretch of the imagination inspired by sightings of known, but misidentified, creatures. It’s all still fun nonetheless.
There is nothing wrong with imagination, and being entertained by these things, but if one doesn’t admit they could be wrong in considering these things part of reality, they are not fully evolving as individuals. There are many reasons we believe, and not all of them can be turned off like a switch. Maybe people believe in such things because it makes them feel good, or because they are unwilling to admit that our world could be so mundane compared to imaginative fantasy.
Whatever the reason, when our world is explored through science, you find that it really is very far from mundane.