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MindfulInquirer

Why Do We Believe in ghosts ?

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MindfulInquirer

Ghosts are present in every major religion in one form or another, and have overpopulated the collective imagination for millennia.
This is a closer look into the symbolic, organic and spiritual reasons as to why we FEAR ghosts, and why we BELIEVE in them.

Hopefully, this can get some conversation started, and I hope you don't mind me posting videos as I know this forum is more oriented towards writing.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZP222SR4k4

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XenoFish

So from what I gather, ghost were born from the fear of the dark. Perhaps fear of the dead or of death. 

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Ares_Zeusson

Some of us KNOW rather than "believe".

I'm still open to such things being other than "ghosts" of deceased people but nonetheless a real phenomenon but to write the whole thing off as imaginary is idiotic & lazy.

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XenoFish
14 minutes ago, Ares_Zeusson said:

Some of us KNOW rather than "believe".

I'm still open to such things being other than "ghosts" of deceased people but nonetheless a real phenomenon but to write the whole thing off as imaginary is idiotic & lazy.

Same thing can be said for KNOWING they exist as well. 

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Ares_Zeusson
12 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

Same thing can be said for KNOWING they exist as well. 

Touche!

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MindfulInquirer
2 hours ago, Ares_Zeusson said:

Some of us KNOW rather than "believe".

I'm still open to such things being other than "ghosts" of deceased people but nonetheless a real phenomenon but to write the whole thing off as imaginary is idiotic & lazy.

I see what you're saying. But as for my part, that's not what I'm doing in the video. I do think for instance that phasmophobia as a treatable mental illness is a correct diagnosis in the cases when the individual perceives things to be ghosts, because of certain trauma, as just another form of neurosis and there are clearly tons. But I'm not giving any definitive answer, or even opinion, on people who believe in ghosts in a more nuanced way. It's like, what does the question even mean: "do you believe in ghosts ?" - what ghosts, what's a "ghost" ? The Scoobydoo ghosts, probably not. Catching ghosts on pictures, photobombing in the background ? Mmm, nah, not either. But as mentioned in the vid there are ghosts in nearly all main religions, and they aren't necessarily purely metaphorical. It isn't clear where the delineation between meaning, and physical reality, occurs.

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XenoFish

I used to believe in ghost. Until I started to really look into it. Things like hypnopompic and hypnagogic hallucinations, the effects of sleep deprivations, the belief in ghost itself. Including pareidolia as well. There are just too many rational and reasonable explanations for ghost and ghost sightings. 

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MindfulInquirer
16 hours ago, XenoFish said:

I used to believe in ghost. Until I started to really look into it. Things like hypnopompic and hypnagogic hallucinations, the effects of sleep deprivations, the belief in ghost itself. Including pareidolia as well. There are just too many rational and reasonable explanations for ghost and ghost sightings. 

I believe the very idea we have those strange encounters, and we're drawn to watching ghost films with a strong element of the supernatural, and why we get so easily scared or startled during the night are because there's an inherent infatuation with the supernatural. At very least, there's a stubborn obsession with finding rare treasures, metaphorically speaking, treasures being meta-physical in all acceptations. It's partly that our rational mind tells us it's ridiculous to believe in ghosts where we immediately think of the most far-fetched representation of a ghost; and partly because deep inside there is indeed part of the concept of the ghost that we connect with and that means something real to us, and that can be described as the 'mind-body-spirit' connection, that there's something that's really there between the objective physical world, our perception and mind, and the spiritual universe.

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Dejarma

i don't

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XenoFish
6 minutes ago, MindfulInquirer said:

I believe the very idea we have those strange encounters, and we're drawn to watching ghost films with a strong element of the supernatural, and why we get so easily scared or startled during the night are because there's an inherent infatuation with the supernatural. At very least, there's a stubborn obsession with finding rare treasures, metaphorically speaking, treasures being meta-physical in all acceptations. It's partly that our rational mind tells us it's ridiculous to believe in ghosts where we immediately think of the most far-fetched representation of a ghost; and partly because deep inside there is indeed part of the concept of the ghost that we connect with and that means something real to us, and that can be described as the 'mind-body-spirit' connection, that there's something that's really there between the objective physical world, our perception and mind, and the spiritual universe.

I don't agree. I think seeing ghost is the results of our instincts trying to make sense of a potential threat. Back when that shadow in the dark might have been a deadly animal or someone who might kill us. Then you have the effect of know psychological phenomenon and in the worse case mental illness. As for their being a spiritual universe I doubt that. There is the objective world around us and our perception of it that's filtered through our beliefs. 

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MindfulInquirer
1 hour ago, XenoFish said:

I don't agree. I think seeing ghost is the results of our instincts trying to make sense of a potential threat. Back when that shadow in the dark might have been a deadly animal or someone who might kill us. Then you have the effect of know psychological phenomenon and in the worse case mental illness. As for their being a spiritual universe I doubt that. There is the objective world around us and our perception of it that's filtered through our beliefs. 

don't think we disagree. That part is covered very early in the video. The 'organic reasons' part.

I'm just saying very broadly there's a definite attraction towards the supernatural universally, and it's laden with beliefs and a need to connect with the meta-physical universe: in the primary Aristotelian sense (anything beyond the physical) or religious sense ('God', spirits) or whichever. It's like we can't help but reach out for the metaphysical, and it's everywhere around the globe, Europe, Asia, Africa... it's a universal phenomenon. It of course doesn't mean every single individual literally believes in ghosts, but there's a very strong and overt proclivity in the human species to reach out for the 'great beyond'.

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XenoFish
1 minute ago, MindfulInquirer said:

It's like we can't help but reach out for the metaphysical, and it's everywhere around the globe, Europe, Asia, Africa... it's a universal phenomenon.

It's a meme. An idea shared through humanity. I found the search within the metaphysical and supernatural to be rather fruitless. It also comes down to genetics as some people are more or less hardwired to believe in the supernatural and paranormal.

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MindfulInquirer
1 hour ago, XenoFish said:

It's a meme. An idea shared through humanity. I found the search within the metaphysical and supernatural to be rather fruitless. It also comes down to genetics as some people are more or less hardwired to believe in the supernatural and paranormal.

Yeah, like how some people are predisposed to be more instinctual than "rational". It's indeed a chemical predisposition from what I understand, but it's also very much cultural. What I'd say about that is, one could just brush it off claiming it's purely fictitious and those individuals are really just misinterpreting their surroundings and whatever occurrences; but there's also the probability it translates a certain reality, again however metaphorical/however tangible is the entire debate. Why do people believe in ghosts ? There are genetic and cultural predispositions for that. OK. But what are they picking up on though ? Could it be entirely made up, or isn't it plausible it's based on something (an actual truth) ? I'm just looking into that side of the debate, rather.

Edited by MindfulInquirer

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Tatetopa

It is quite a good video, thanks.  The organic reasons were well covered.  I think that would be universal wiring in the human brain.  Culture and personality overlay that with  a plethora of different experiences and beliefs.  In my youth, I sought out those links between the physical and the metaphysical, first with methods of Western traditional  foundation then with more counter-cultural means.  Partly because I wanted to gather knowledge and power and partly just because I wanted to share in the experiences some of my circle of friends had.

I had some of those experiences in the course of my life, seeming to stand between worlds or ask for an opening to communicate.  I do fondly remember a couple  that induced personal growth and increased my understanding of the world.  When I think about those "encounters"  they don't fit into the everyday world where our conscious mind is focused, But, they can all be based on internally generated stimuli.

I have come to believe that the human body is a fantastic sensor array and the conscious brain is a device that filters out all of the data that is not needed for immediate decision making.  If we are open to it, other parts of the brain seem to contribute sensory data that the conscious brain usually ignores. It becomes not messages from a metaphysical world but messages from our own brains that we usually don't incorporate into awareness.

Probably my own beliefs have always tended toward dead is dead, consciousness and personality like software cease to exist when the computer is turned off.   That would imply no ghosts of humans, likely no spirit world or supernatural beings. 

Of course now we have the metaphor of cloud computing and data storage.  Will I have to modify my views to incorporate a consciousness" cloud"?   So far, no.

 

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XenoFish
1 minute ago, MindfulInquirer said:

Why do people believe in ghosts ? There are genetic and cultural predispositions for that. OK. But what are they picking up on though ? Could it be entirely made up, or isn't it plausible it's based on something ? I'm just looking into that side of the debate, rather.

Best answer I got is fear of death and of the unknown. 

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little_dreamer

if I see a ghost, it's going on YouTube with a monetized video.  Maybe I would start a haunted Bed and Breakfast inn too.  I would call every TV show to come to my house to start filming.

No freeloaders in my home. I'll make those ghosts WORK.;)

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MindfulInquirer
20 hours ago, little_dreamer said:

if I see a ghost, it's going on YouTube with a monetized video.  Maybe I would start a haunted Bed and Breakfast inn too.  I would call every TV show to come to my house to start filming.

No freeloaders in my home. I'll make those ghosts WORK.;)

Not sure they'll let you :P

One of the quotes from the video goes: "no ghost was ever seen by two pairs of eyes". I think a lot is understood and said in that one simple phrase. It isn't static though, it's a dynamic phrase, there's more to it than just saying a ghost is a personal/individual hallucination.

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MindfulInquirer
1 hour ago, MindfulInquirer said:

Not sure they'll let you :P

One of the quotes from the video goes: "no ghost was ever seen by two pairs of eyes". I think a lot is understood and said in that one simple phrase. It isn't static though, it's a dynamic phrase, there's more to it than just saying a ghost is a personal/individual hallucination.

* sorry forgot to say, **quote from Thomas Carlyle Scottish philosopher.

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papageorge1
On 12/22/2018 at 1:16 PM, MindfulInquirer said:

Ghosts are present in every major religion in one form or another, and have overpopulated the collective imagination for millennia.
This is a closer look into the symbolic, organic and spiritual reasons as to why we FEAR ghosts, and why we BELIEVE in them.

Hopefully, this can get some conversation started, and I hope you don't mind me posting videos as I know this forum is more oriented towards writing.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZP222SR4k4

I have never seen a ghost but I can see how an unexpected sighting can invoke great fear.

I do believe in ghosts but not for any psychological reason but from an objective consideration of the quantity, quality and consistency of the reports.

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papageorge1
4 hours ago, MindfulInquirer said:

Not sure they'll let you :P

One of the quotes from the video goes: "no ghost was ever seen by two pairs of eyes". I think a lot is understood and said in that one simple phrase. It isn't static though, it's a dynamic phrase, there's more to it than just saying a ghost is a personal/individual hallucination.

I wonder about that quote as I have heard a number of stories with multiple witnesses (but maybe the quote is saying something deeper?).

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XenoFish
19 minutes ago, papageorge1 said:

I have never seen a ghost but I can see how an unexpected sighting can invoke great fear.

I do believe in ghosts but not for any psychological reason but from an objective consideration of the quantity, quality and consistency of the reports.

Okay I get you now. No personal experience at all, only a wish that you would. 

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MindfulInquirer
19 hours ago, papageorge1 said:

I wonder about that quote as I have heard a number of stories with multiple witnesses (but maybe the quote is saying something deeper?).

I'm usually very wary of such stories and as far as myself would just put those on the account of various natural phenomena that were misinterpreted and immediately linked with ghosts and paranormal. Human imagination, cultural bias, etc.

I think what the quote is saying is beyond the purely pragmatic mindset it employs, is that ghosts are in effect a personal affair. We go through life individually, we suffer and think and are subjected to the wide array of human emotions individually, I get to fall in love, to feel regret, remorse, admiration for someone... not a group or pairing of people, but the individual. And ghosts are I think a subjective representation of our preoccupations and deep fears, and those are individually assigned emotions. I think ghosts are part of our personal Hell, more than they are a part of the objective world. That quote at minimum translates the personal/individual relationship between ghost and man.

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papageorge1
1 hour ago, MindfulInquirer said:

I'm usually very wary of such stories and as far as myself would just put those on the account of various natural phenomena that were misinterpreted and immediately linked with ghosts and paranormal. Human imagination, cultural bias, etc.

I more disagree with that from the quantity, quality and consistency of the multiple witness evidence. I have been interested in this stuff for decades and believe paranormal phenomena is real. Now I believe there are psychological factors to always consider but I think you may be carrying that too far and possibly all the way to saying it’s a psychological phenomenon.

1 hour ago, MindfulInquirer said:

 

I think what the quote is saying is beyond the purely pragmatic mindset it employs, is that ghosts are in effect a personal affair. We go through life individually, we suffer and think and are subjected to the wide array of human emotions individually, I get to fall in love, to feel regret, remorse, admiration for someone... not a group or pairing of people, but the individual. And ghosts are I think a subjective representation of our preoccupations and deep fears, and those are individually assigned emotions. I think ghosts are part of our personal Hell, more than they are a part of the objective world. That quote at minimum translates the personal/individual relationship between ghost and man.

As I said above I understand psychological factors always need to be considered but I have also come to believe in the existence of an extra-dimensional spirit realm/plane also.

in my judgment the body of stronger cases does not support a psychological-only interpretation based on multiple witness accounts and undeniable physical events.

I’ll end by adding that I believe from analysis that eastern (Vedic) and western esoteric wisdom traditions have a model of reality in which things like ghosts are part and parcel of an expanded understanding of the universe.

Edited by papageorge1

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MindfulInquirer
21 minutes ago, papageorge1 said:

I more disagree with that from the quantity, quality and consistency of the multiple witness evidence. I have been interested in this stuff for decades and believe paranormal phenomena is real. Now I believe there are psychological factors to always consider but I think you may be carrying that too far and possibly all the way to saying it’s a psychological phenomenon.

As I said above I understand psychological factors always need to be considered but I have also come to believe in the existence of an extra-dimensional spirit realm/plane also.

in my judgment the body of stronger cases does not support a psychological-only interpretation based on multiple witness accounts and undeniable physical events.

I’ll end by adding that I believe from analysis that eastern (Vedic) and western esoteric wisdom traditions have a model of reality in which things like ghosts are part and parcel of an expanded understanding of the universe.

Well it's my leaning. I lean towards looking into the personal struggle between the individual and his ghost. I look into psychology rather, but also, the symbolic perceptions (symbolic therefore of something real). And this is where you and I meet, maybe not agree but at least meet: the spiritual domain (incl. metaphysical). The urge for man to reach out and grab something, anything, from outside the physical realm. The spiritual yearning in the human experience that, by the very fact it exists, must translate into something being really out there.

Edited by MindfulInquirer

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papageorge1
30 minutes ago, MindfulInquirer said:

Well it's my leaning. I lean towards looking into the personal struggle between the individual and his ghost. I look into psychology rather, but also, the symbolic perceptions (symbolic therefore of something real). And this is where you and I meet, maybe not agree but at least meet: the spiritual domain (incl. metaphysical). The urge for man to reach out and grab something, anything, from outside the physical realm. 

The psychological side can be interesting but I also think a ghost can just be experienced by someone like a wild animal can startle someone without the need for a psychological or deeper meaning.

30 minutes ago, MindfulInquirer said:

 The spiritual yearning in the human experience that, by the very fact it exists, must translate into something being really out there.

I don’t know about that. We can yearn for an objective spiritual reality but I don’t see why that must translate into the existence of the spiritual reality.

Edited by papageorge1

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