(I wrote this article for the New Worker Nrewspaper, which appeared in issue No. 1762, 14.2.14, Page 7) The Western media is currently awash with so-called paranormal television programmes that cost hundreds of thousands, if not millions of pounds to make, that run for endless series. Sophistication can vary from high calibre productions such as Lost or Fringe, to bargain basement ghost hunting, and medium – the latter often involving Derek Acorah (and similar presenters) rolling around on the floor apparently ‘communicating’ with the spirit world. Episode after episode of ghost hunting specials features groups of men and women running around in the dark, scaring one another as they go, wearing special contact lenses that shine whilst exposed to infra-red light. Despite the thousands of hours of footage taken during filming, absolutely no evidence is ever caught of an actual paranormal event. What is happening here? How can so much valuable financial and material resources be wasted in such a manner, with little or no criticism from the general public?
The general public, of course, are the consumers of this bourgeois nonsense. The paranormal industry is fuelled by the very essence of the Marxist definition of a false consciousness; in fact, paranormal events are nothing more than the continuation of the Judeo-Christian tradition manifest in the secular age. Logic dictates that if only one truly paranormal event was recorded, it would change the definition of science, but as there is so much research into its possibility, and given that no evidence has emerged, it is reasonable to assume that there are no paranormal events. A paranormal event is an event that occurs outside of the laws of science. Many, if not all so-called paranormal events are explainable by science, particularly in relation to mental illness and diseases of the brain. Events in the environment that appear unusual to the experiencer, only appear so because the experiencer does not have the awareness or knowledge to see at that exact moment, a trail of logical events unfolding. When a chain of logical events is either misread, or is not perceived, then religious imagination steps in and fills the gap in awareness.
Applying Marx’s critique of idealism as conveyed in The German Ideology, religious perception of the world is the wrong way around. God did not create the world in a mysterious manner, but rather it is the mind of humanity that has created (or imagined) god and his heaven. Secularism in the West is often a manifestation of the Judeo-Christian tradition stripped of its surface religiosity, but which still functions in the mind of humanity in a religious fashion. Ghosts, or disembodied spirits, are directly taken from Christian tradition, but are in reality made in the mind only, or an actual person with a real body mistaken as a ‘ghost’. Demonic possession is not an evil spirit that has entered a person’s mind and body from an external source, i.e. god or heaven, but is rather generated entirely and solely within the mind of the experiencer. The Christian church, with its rituals and spells, only serves to perpetuate the ignorance that this mental illness is something other than a dysfunctioning human mind.
Groups of people reporting strange and bizarre happenings appear to be collectively affirming a real experience until the facts are closely scrutinised. Chains of events appear illogical (and strange) when they are interpreted in an illogical (or inverted) manner. Some one being pulled around the floor by their hair – with no one doing the pulling – is actually being pulled around the floor by some one pulling their hair. Objects flying around the room with no one making them move – are actually being moved by some one making them move. Individuals, for whatever reason, be it mental illness, misunderstanding, past conditioning, or ignorance, interpret events in the wrong order and assume the interpretation to be correct. Despite the intense scrutiny of the modern media, nothing has been discovered to be unusual or out of place. As paranormal phenomena are a set of inverted recordings of reality, all that has to happen to make the situation logically understandable, is the reversing of the chain as mistakenly described. Feuerbach inverted the ideal that god created humanity, with the reality that it was human imagination that created god – Marx took this insight and developed it far beyond Feuerbach and applied it ruthlessly to everything in existence. As the paranormal is essentially religious in nature, Marx’s critique can be easily applied to its jumbled manifestation, and out of the confusion, logic appears.