So there's plenty of things that can potentially go bump in the night. A hot water tank, your cat knocking over his scratching tower (this one gets me every time), a restless ghost that has followed you home after a visit to the hospital....yeah, creep. Unfortunately the last thing can often conjure up fear and confusion. For some, ghosts, spirits and other "paranormal" entities are superstition and bunk. For others, who have firsthand experienced they are quite real but something to be avoided at all costs. I for one am not a huge fan of having things in my space I cannot see, particularly if they can move stuff or appear behind me in a steamy bathroom mirror.
However, because of my fear around the subject matter I also developed an equally compelling fascination and made it my business to learn the truth (or as close to it as I could get) about various paranormal entities. However the word "paranormal" has always bothered me because in my mind these things aren't paranormal, they're perfectly normal, science just hasn't discovered the best way to measure or predict the behavior of some of these things, thus the term paranormal. They used to consider the rotation of the earth paranormal....if that puts it into perspective for you.
There's plenty of good scientific research out there on these topics for those who care to delve further, but for now I thought it'd be helpful just to define and explain exactly what some of these things are. These definitions were born out of both me and Aaron's extensive research and personal experience with some of these things. There are distinctions between a ghost and a spirit, a poltergeist and an astral entity that are important to note (just in case you encounter one and need to know how to deal with it).
In this post we will cover ghosts, spirits, and poltergeists. In part two we will cover astral entities, angels and guides. They all have a distinct purpose and behavior and in my experience knowledge dispels fear. Also, we'd love to hear your experiences with these phenomena so feel free to comment and share. Because this is a lengthy post we'll be breaking it into two parts so stay tuned for part two next week.
This usually this refers to a discarnate human being. Every culture in the world has some belief about discarnate human beings. Ghosts in most traditions are thought to be people who, for whatever reason, cannot release their attachment to the physical world. Sometimes the person is attached to a place, a person or has unfinished business (unprocessed karma) due to an untimely death (meaning they, for various reasons, were unable to fulfill a karmic contract before dying). Some souls may linger for a short period after their death due to confusion about the "death protocol". Typically a guide will find them after some time, or a living human being with mediumistic abilities will consciously or unconsciously release the earthbound soul and lead them to the next phase. Ghosts retain the personality traits of their human life, so if they were kind as human beings, they'll be kind as ghosts, etc., Some have greater flexibility in what they can do as a ghost depending on how adept they are at manipulating energy and their own astral bodies. This typically varies depending on the souls plane of consciousness. Some ghosts can will themselves to be seen by others, those who are particularly clairvoyant or psychic may see them quite easily. There are rules that govern ghost-hood (yeah, I made that a word) so there are limitations on what they can and can't do. Ghosts can "haunt" an area in a residual way (meaning they re-live certain experiences of their lives over and over) or can be "intelligently" haunting, meaning they act with volition and conscious (or semi-conscious) thought. This is different than a residual time slip in an area where a person may be perceiving goings on in a historical site due to a time slip (we won't go there now, that's another topic).
A spirit is the essence of a deceased person, and thus is not the soul itself but rather an imprint of a soul (like an afterglow). More experienced souls typically do not linger because upon leaving the body they easily remember the death protocol and thus move on with ease more quickly (typically within 5-7 days). More experienced souls may know how to manipulate an aspect of their spirit to communicate with the living to help put them at ease or deliver a message. Spirits are often what most mediums are communicating with when they deliver a message. The medium can contact the spirit of someone who as dropped their body and thus gather information about their life or communicate important messages to those still on earth if necessary. Sometimes mediums will communicate with ghosts and allow the ghost to "ride" their physical body, but this is more an act of channeling. More frequently an experienced soul will appear to loved ones in dreams or in subtle ways, such as sending a smell, memory or emotion to those they wish to contact. Additionally experienced souls can orchestrate minor incidences of synchronicity or "coincidence" that remind you of them (such as making sure a certain song plays on the radio that reminds you of them at just the right time). Spirits are more subtle and because time is non-existent on "the other side" the soul aspect itself may have already moved on to its next lifetime, or be resting in the higher planes, while still sending out a pulse of its spirit to those still incarnated.
No I'm not talking about the "go into the light Carolann" type although they can get pretty umm...nasty. A poltergeist is not actually a ghost in the proper sense. It is emotional energy that is displaced into the atmosphere that takes on certain psychokinetic characteristics. Poltergeists form out of a person's (usually unconsciously psychic or mediumistic) unexpressed or unacknowledged emotion. These emotions gather kinetic energy in the environment and, because the person has unacknowledged psychokinetic capabilities, those emotions take on a life of their own. If left unchecked for long enough this runaway emotional (or astral) energy can begin to develop a sort of pseudo-consciousness that seems independent of the original host. If the energy is angry or violent it may start behaving as such and terrorizing others as a way to express that emotion. Teenagers can often be hosts of poltergeist activity due to their difficulty in regulating emotional energy. Poltergeist hauntings can be remedied through the potential host recognizing a.) the emotions that they have displaced and b.) their psychic or mediumistic ability. Usually emotional work, therapy and healthy channeling of built up psychic energy will relieve poltergeist activity in a home.
Check back on Wednesday when we discuss Astral Entities, Angels and Spirit Guides...
Leave us a comment to share your ghost, spirit or poltergeist stories. We'd love to hear them