A news story caught my attention today. There’s a movement to reclassify encounters with UFOs as “normal,” in psychiatric terms. I’m not sure how serious this movement is, but it’s worth noting.
Those of us who encounter paranormal phenomenon often preface our stories by saying, “I know how crazy this sounds, but…” I do it myself, because – frankly – I wouldn’t believe half of what I talk about, except that it’s my story and I know that it’s true. (For the record: I believe in ghost phenomena, but I don’t believe all ghost stories.)
However, by including disclaimers when we report our true ghost encounters, we may be doing our community a disservice.
As recently as the late 19th century, most people took ghosts and other paranormal phenomena seriously.
During the 20th century, spirituality–including the belief in spirits–turned almost a full 360 degrees.
At first, most people believed, but then some became skeptics… sometimes very vocal skeptics. Others lost their faith in everything mystical, magical, and spiritual.
But, by the late 20th century, spirituality was on the rebound, from earth-based religions to new and mainstream beliefs, to ghost studies.
It’s important to maintain that forward-moving momentum. Let’s continue to remove lingering, 20th century stigma from the belief in paranormal phenomena.
Let’s avoid putting our encounters in a “crazy” context, and state what we experience without disclaimers.
Thanks in part to websites and TV shows, one in three people believe in ghosts, and one in every two people believe in extrasensory perception (ESP). That makes us fairly “normal” in society’s trends.
Spirituality–including a belief in spirits–is growing. Let’s be part of that by sharing our true stories without disclaimers, apologies or embarrassment.
Here’s the press release that sparked my comments:
Exoconsciousness and Psychopathology: A Psychiatric Reclassification of UFO Extraterrestrial Experiences
Phoenix, Arizona (December 12, 2007)—Rebecca Hardcastle is presenting a paper on Exoconsciousness and Psychopathology at the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division, Karl Jaspers Society of North America, on Saturday, December 29, 2007, at the Marriott Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland.
In the legacy of John Mack, Professor of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School, Hardcastle advocates for a reclassification of the UFO extraterrestrial experience from pathological to normal. She bases this reclassification on 1.) the experience of quantum consciousness and 2.) the culture of contact evident in mainstream media coverage of UFOs such as Presidential Candidate, Dennis Kucinich’s, sighting and former Governor of Arizona, Fife Symington’s, press conference calling for full disclosure of UFO related military and government information.
Hardcastle created the concept of Exoconsciousness to describe the extraterrestrial origins, dimensions, and abilities of human consciousness. She maintains, “Consciousness is our most precious natural resource.”
According to Hardcastle, “mental illnesses are a by-product of the individual’s ability to function in culture and community. As culture transforms with information, such as disclosure of extraterrestrial visitation, new communities and belief systems form. These changes in culture generate possibilities for redefining experiences, such as UFO extraterrestrial contact, as normal.
Further information is available at http://www.exoconsciousness. com