The Guardian, the U.K.'s guardian of leftist ideology, ran a story headlined "Do ghosts exist? Four theories on our fascination with apparitions."
The interviewees -- a priest, an Oxford lecturer, a Guardian writer, and a university psychologist -- say no, no, no, and no. Perish the thought that a genuine psychical researcher or two might have been consulted to liven up the discussion. The Left is gung-ho on diversity in everything except opinion.
Samples from each person quoted:
... In all cultures and times there is something here that won't go away; some fear that is legitimately being expressed – the continual return of the repressed. And the simple point that ghosts don't exist (obviously they don't, by the way) doesn't cut it.It is obvious that these deep thinkers are unfamiliar with the scientific -- scientific -- literature of more than a century of research on the subject. They may be distinguished in their respective fields (what is the field of a Guardian writer? Queer theory?), but this story is equivalent to asking football coaches their views on nuclear power generation.
While they may be linked to the past, ghosts endure in and are renovated by the cultural imagination of the present.
Who knows what accounts for these apparitions; are they an emanation of longing, love, hope, need? ... Perhaps we see ghosts because they help us to adjust, a hand reaching out to administer to the sudden, appalling wrench.
Not surprisingly perhaps, fantasy-prone personalities are much more likely to report having encountered a ghost. Our fear of our own mortality plays an important role in belief in ghosts. Most of us desperately want to believe in life after death – and the idea of ghosts, however scary, seems to offer support for such a notion.
Hauntings are not the same as spirit return. The former, which generally consist of continual appearances of a figure at the same place, seem as best we can determine non-physical evidence left in a certain environment, often as the result of a traumatic incident there. These "ghosts" are not conscious (in our normal sense) persons or spirits.
Actual spirits do represent conscious entities on the Other Side who can sometimes communicate, directly or via noncorporeal beings called "controls," with psychically sensitive living individuals (mediums). No medium I have ever heard of calls them or thinks or them as "ghosts."
The reader comments are even more revealing of the current state of life in neo-Marxist cultures like Britain. Item:
What you have to realise is that ghosts are actually feminists fundamentally opposed to the rigid patriarchical boundaries created by men. Only in death do they see the light, and only in women do they seek solace and an escape from their past.Item:
Either that, or all ghosts are the spirits of male university students still trying to inappropriately grope unavailable women, before returning to their spectral frat-house to chug ghost beer and sing ghost songs.
Of course ghosts exist. The Easter Bunny told me so himself.And that's not all. Many of the comments take their erasers not only to "ghosts," but to God.
The evidence for the existence of ghosts is slim, however, the evidence of the existence of god is even slimmer.
The psychological explanation for why people believe in ghosts is no different from religion: some people are not prepared to accept that this life is all there is. That warrants compassion but not congratulations on their "wisdom".
The exciting news is that wilfully embracing a life free from the oppressive shadow of God the Father is wonderfully liberating.
My impression is that the U.K., living under CultMarx, is only the most obvious example of European countries where the majority of people have no spiritual beliefs. Centuries-old churches are converted into dance clubs or mosques. I still find it a little shocking. There has been nothing like this before in all history that I know of.
Sure, you can point to batty "religions" among primitive tribes (although I'll concede that shamans and such have sometimes been in touch with higher realms). The first two great Western civilizations, Greece and Rome, had a cast of Gods that may seem to us today like a cross between creative fantasy and soap opera. (Individual skeptics like Lucretius, Seneca, and Cicero were outliers). Christianity has been perverted at times into persecution of dissenters and sickening religious wars.
But a whole culture based purely on materialism and things that can be measured in the physical world?
That cannot prevail, leaving out as it does the dimensions of Truth that lie behind our limited and relative truths. What it will do to people's minds in the meantime, though, sends a chill wind through this world.