Reports of encounters with spirits, angels, demons, and fairies are recorded throughout history. We will never know if such encounters made people believe in an afterlife, or was it their belief in an afterlife that caused people to think they encountered spirits? In many ways, Religion itself is a reaction to mankind’s hope and fear of a spirit world. The spiritualist envisions a world that exists in a mysterious dimension where our souls survive after death; where evil demons fight an eternal battle with good angels. A world ruled by God, but not quite controlled by Him. The reason this dimension was first imagined tens of thousands of years ago is the same reason people today still believe in a spirit world. There are a number of explanations as to why people think they have “seen a ghost”. We have already discussed false memories and hallucinations, and most sightings probably fall into these categories. But there are also other reasons people overreact to things that go bump in the dark. Psychologists think we have an inherited propensity to assume there are living things all around us—an artifact of days when people lived in the wild and a hypersensitivity to danger, sounds, rustling leaves, and lurking animals meant life or death. We should also not dismiss the fact that there are millions of seriously schizophrenic people in this world. Millions of people who daily see things and hear things that just are not there. There are so many different ways people experience unusual, almost “haunting” events; it is easy to understand how legends of spirits, angels, demons, and fairies came about. And likewise, it is understandable why people today are not overly skeptical when they hear others tell about their encounters with spirits, angels, demons, and fairies.
Jan.20, 2012 in Chapter Synopsis