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Do Paranormal Phenomena Exist?

Sucheta Pradhan
The world is filled with bizarre and inexplicable things; we term these as paranormal phenomena in common terms. Here's a bit on whether or not such phenomena actually exist.
"Reality is determined not by what scientists or anyone else says or believes, but by what the evidence reveals to us."
- Alan Hale
Human life is full of twists and turns and uncertainties. We do a lot of things each day, and a lot of things happen to us as well.
Most of them, irrespective of whether they are pleasant or unpleasant, are pretty normal. In other words, we know that such things do happen in the world, that they have also happened to others before, and we are consoled by the hope that we will be able to handle those problems one fine day.
There are also some other things that we may never experience in our lives. But, we still know of their existence, rather we believe in their existence. This is because such things are based on a precise scientific logic, proven to the people by numerous experiments.
So, scientific explanations play a very important role when it comes to accepting certain things, even if we don't know much about them.
On the flip side, there are certain inexplicable phenomena that keep on making news time and again. These seem extremely weird and abnormal, most of the time, almost impossible. Moreover, they have no solid foundation; on the contrary they are based primarily on personal experiences.
There are a lot of people across the world, claiming to have spoken to spirits, or encountered ghosts, or reborn as someone else. Despite the fact that all such claims have often been dismissed by rationalists and scientists, there is a considerable part of society, believing in the existence of things which are beyond human capacity and/or understanding.
And, numerous people also share their real-life experiences with the weird and unexplainable. These, seemingly incomprehensible phenomena, which appear extremely unearthly and supernatural and beyond the normal realm of logic, are called the paranormal phenomena.

Paranormal Phenomenon: What does it Involve?

The term paranormal phenomena encompasses a huge array of varied subjects, which do not have any kind of solid explanation or reasoning, in spite of numerous, supposed encounters, researches, and experiments.
➨ These include everything from ghosts, demons, zombies, vampires, monsters, aliens, as also gods and angels.

➨ They also include certain abstract human experiences such as the déjà vu, intuitions, and premonitions.
➨ Abstract and occult 'sciences' such as mind-reading, telekinesis, and alchemy are also included.

So, in short, anything and everything that has not been able to find any sort of basis or explanation is included under the realm of paranormal, possibly because whether or not to believe in its existence, depends completely on an individual.
Having said this, it is important to note that there were certain things, may be 100 years ago, which did not have any valid explanation at that time. Notably, we know of many such things which were dismissed as untrue and hoaxes in the past.
But today, as a result of numerous studies and experiments, some of those, seemingly unreal phenomena have found a solid ground, and all of us have accepted their existence. Owing to this, it is quite possible that 100 years down the line, the things we consider to be paranormal today, might find valid and rational reasoning.
Paranormal Experiences
People from all across the globe have been making several bizarre, but serious claims of having encountered the paranormal. Some of these encounters are known to have even changed the course of many of their lives - non-believers have become believers and vice versa.
Some of the paranormal phenomena, as the rationalists say, may be hoaxes; but there are some, supposedly real-life experiences of people, which are difficult to dismiss.
➨ There have been several instances of UFO sightings till date, coming from various parts of the world. One of the most interesting reports was published on 8th July 1947 in the Roswell Daily Record. The report was about the crashing of a mysterious flying object in the Roswell Army Air Field, which the officers claimed was a flying saucer that then went into their possession.
➨ On 9th March 1984, the Philadelphia Daily News reported the famous Tina Resch Spontaneous Telekinesis Case. One of the eye witnesses to the psychic phenomenon told the newspaper that while he was seated at the kitchen table with Tina, the subject of the case, she made the three empty chairs spread out in three different directions by just looking at them.
➨ The Daily Mail had a write-up on 6th October 2009 regarding the presence of sixth sense in humans. It said that just some days before the 9/11 attacks, number of people had different premonitions, which brought a feeling of dread and distress. While some of them succeeded in canceling their journeys, some others could not survive the attacks.
➨ On 28th February 2011, the MailOnline reported about a Cheshire couple, who had to move out of their newly rented dream home and stay in hotel rooms, after they were forced out of the flat by the poltergeists, which were haunting it.
The couple said that they witnessed strange, scary happenings in the flat including stamping noises, flying blobs, and levitating bed sheets.
They also said that they heard strange voices at night. To find out what was going on at their place, they installed a couple of CCTVs around, which recorded, "dozens of mysterious orbs gliding about the empty rooms in the dark". Reportedly, the flat's location is close to a site where two people had committed suicide.
➨ More recently, on 9th April 2013, the Daily Mail published a report on a research carried out by a team of researchers from the University of Liege, Belgium, with regards to the near-death experiences of coma patients.
The study revealed that the people, especially coma survivors, had a very vivid and fresh memory of their near-death experience. Most of them saw bright lights and a long tunnel, and sensed a feeling of leaving their own body.
Though the investigations that were carried out to check the truth of these, and thousands of other claims have, more often than not, not been able to yield anything substantial (and some of them are just known to have gone astray), such instances still continue to intrigue and grasp everybody's attention.
On the Existence of the Paranormal...
People, till now, have been very outspoken about their experiences of the paranormal. On this issue, humanity has been divided into two opposing sections of believers and non-believers. Those who believe have very strong opinions about the existence of such abstractions.
One of the most common argument put forward is, "just because we cannot see some things, does not mean that they don't exist at all", which seems to be logical enough in some cases.
However, the rationalists and the scientists would always debate against the presence of any such occurrence and attempt to dismiss it or ignore it completely.
Believing or not believing entirely depends on individual choices. But the truth is that there are numerous inexplicable and bizarre things happening around us, and some of them are simply impossible to ignore.
Science has made great advances until now, but it still has, and will continue to have, its own limitations. It cannot answer everything at every point in time. Still, we don't stop believing, and we believe in our beliefs. We don't need an evidence to prove them.
Most of us believe in God, we turn towards Him whenever we feel like. We don't need to see God in order to do so, because our belief in Him instills hope in our hearts. It comforts us in times of distress.
But, the question is that if everything in the universe bears an equal opposite, why shouldn't we believe in demons and ghosts if we believe in God? If good exists, evil is bound to accompany it. Isn't it like the two sides of our own mind? One asks us to do something and the other refuses.
Many rationalists, in fact, tend to put forward, this very point in attempts to explain the so-called paranormal experiences. They opine that all this is the product of people's minds - they see and/experience what they think.
Nevertheless, despite several claims with respect to the non-existence of paranormal phenomena, numerous people continue to believe otherwise and delve in the belief that everything need not have a valid explanation. The human mind is an absolutely unfathomable arena; we all possess certain advanced abilities, as has been proven by psychologists.
However, not all of us have a capacity to utilize it to the fullest. A handful of us, who can do it, are often ignored, with their claims termed as hoaxes or publicity stunts. Of course, many of them are indeed false claims.
Still, not agreeing with or not accepting things that we have not experienced may make a little headstrong statement, and it is quite possible that such claims may indeed have, if not much, at least some truth.