October 21, 2017

Does the Paranormal Undermine Religion?

Rendering of human brain.

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Happy Monday, dark passengers. Tonight we continue our discussion on the relationship between the paranormal and religion with a question I’ve heard more times than I can count. In fact, I’d say the chief argument I hear as to why paranormal phenomena can’t exist – besides that it’s all stupid – is that it’s a direct contradiction to one religions belief or the other.

Is that really the case? Is believing in the existence of the paranormal a solid slap in the face to your favorite religion?

As with so many things, it’s a matter perspective.

I wish that wasn’t the case, but it is. I’ve talked to Buddhists who believe departed human spirits can be left to wander the Earth in death. I’ve talked to Christians of varying denominations who believe in both psychics and ghosts. Conversely, I’ve met people of all religious faiths – and a few atheists – who believe anything paranormal is a figment of the mind; simply your imagination running amock.

I’ve gotta say, when my imagination runs wild, it usually comes up with more interesting and outlandish things than ghosts and mind-reading, but I’m a mental ninja…

I won’t lie. I can see how some believe the paranormal undermines religion. In truth, there are a number of metaphysical practitioners who actively try to subvert religions, especially Christianity.

How Does the Paranormal Undermine Religion?

Let’s face it, concepts are usually neutral. The involvement of humanity is what turns ideas into dangerous weapons. Put in the wrong hands, paranormal beliefs can and are detrimental nearly any religion.

Why do I say that? I’m so glad you asked…

As you might imagine, I keep up with paranormal news and visit a few metaphysical shops. Of the two metaphysical shops I like in my area, I can feel a very different energy about each. The content of the shops is roughly equal. The only discernable difference is the people who own and work there.

For instance, I’ve heard someone at Shop A condescend to and correct a visitor at every turn. If she said “God” the clerk said “It’s Creator.” If she called Jesus a “Savior” she was corrected by the clerk that He was a “teacher” of enlightment or something similar.

I could be way off base, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the creator of all things in the universe probably isn’t caught up on names. God, Creator, Dad or Big Guy…it’s not like an entity who  knows your mind inside and out is really going to be confused by a name.

Anyway. Shop B doesn’t correct you on terminology unless that’s what you’re asking about. The semantics of a thing hang up people, not concepts.

What is so utterly apparent about the clerk in Shop A is that ego is in the way. Whether she does it on purpose or not, she is actively seeking to undermine other religious beliefs through her paranormal knowledge. Perhaps she was hurt or ostracized by a particular group and lashes out at them all. Or maybe there’s an underlying insecurity that forces her to flaunt her superior knowledge of the paranormal to correct those who use different words. Either way, being around her negativity unshielded is a migraine and a cold just waiting to happen for me…

Underlying motive means little when the outcome is a blatant attempt at subverting other belief systems.

How Does the Paranormal NOT Undermine Religion?

You know, based on the average person’s opinion of psychics, you’d think we all ran around in gypsy frocks with dangling beads in our eyes, peered into crystal balls and talked about having a bad feeling. (In our awesome Miss Cleo accents, of course.) Yes, there are some who live out the stereotype to the letter. There are more who don’t.

For those of you who know me in the real world, you already know I don’t look psychic. If you were to run into me in public, I might have a crystal necklace on, but I’m probably not decked out from head to toe in carnival fortune teller garb unless I lost my mind or a bet. (And FYI – wearing a diamond wedding ring also carries metaphysical properties most people don’t realize.)

So, basically, unless you specifically struck up a conversation on the paranormal with me, it wouldn’t come up and you’d never realize you were talking to an empath who probably just felt every emotion you had in the span of the conversation. And, unless I slipped up and asked a question just a touch too coincidental, you’d never know it if I was unintentionally reading your thoughts. (I don’t like to or try to, it just happens sometimes.)

For every perceived lunatic shouting about auras from the rooftops, there are a few dozen paranormal believers who keep their beliefs to themselves. For every metaphysical practitioner trying to undermine religion, there are a dozen who wholly believe in the very religions their beliefs supposedly undermine. And for every person scoffing at the existence of paranormal phenomena, there’s at least one more desperate to understand what’s happening to them when all reasonable explanation fails.

No, dark passengers, the paranormal doesn’t undermine religion. The personal agendas and biases of people who believe in the paranormal can undermine religion.

Time to talk back. Have you had an experience with the paranormal or a metaphysical practitioner that left you questioning your spiritual beliefs? Do you think we’re 100% nuts to think paranormal phenomena and religion can coexist? Post a comment to let us know.

Don’t forget to check back every Monday-Friday during the month of April for more on the relationship between religion and the paranormal. We’ve got more personal experience stories from readers and side-by-side comparisons of common paranormal concepts to familiar aspects of religion on the way.

Jen

“Let your dark passenger come out to play…Be your own nemesis!”

© 2010, Jen Whitten. All rights reserved. Remember, using content from this site without prior written permission will either land you on Dexter’s table or set off the zombie apocalypse. DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU.

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About Jen Whitten

Jen Whitten is a paranormal researcher and writer, specializing in psychic development, Empaths, modern day vampirism and dealing with entities. She regularly discusses the paranormal realm, as well as the dark inner workings of the mind.