I can remember way back in my late teens and possibly through to my mid 20s staying awake throughout the night reading stories about ghostly encounters in Britain’s very colourful past. I enjoyed it, to be honest. Some of the stories were very atmospheric, whilst others were quite scary and yet others were more like local legends, many quite interesting. I filled my head with a lot of these stories, fairly harmless as they went. But with this, I kind of developed a superficial interest in demonology too, and tarot cards and really was not living as a Christian at all. I wasn’t practising anything too weird, just reading stuff and messing about with the tarot cards without really knowing anything about them. Perhaps I let something in I didn’t want, but who can really say? I have suffered depression, mood swings, social awkwardness, bizarre dreams, chronic fatigue, bad relationships, bad friendships, heavy drinking and the pursuit of a futile lifestyle that brought me nothing but pain, emptiness and ephemeral friendships and relationships. I had turned my back on God, quite simply. The journey back to God is and has been slow and painful, but slow progress is better than no progress. I am progressing. That is something. As far as East is from West God puts our sins. I see sin as going in one direction, and heading towards God going in the other. If we put God first in our lives, we have less and less time for sin and even the contemplation of sin. I wish to explore the mystery and wonder of God and not the dubious mysteries and wanderings of the paranormal.
There is in all people, or most people, a sense of dissatisfaction in their lives. It may not be overwhelming, but it is there. It can come out in many ways I suppose. Boredom, a search for adventure, drinking alcohol, taking illegal drugs of some kind, wanting to do something exciting. It can sometimes be a negative quest or sometimes even a positive quest. But many of us embark on some search for something more, or something that will make our lives make more sense. We read books, we might search through religions, we might ask clever or learned people deep questions, but even then something might gnaw away at us. This is how I was during my early and later teens. For other people it may start later, for some much later. We experience things we can’t comprehend, we may ask why this person died and why someone else lived, we may just start to want to make sense of it all, because quite frankly a lot in the world just doesn’t seem to make sense and on top of all this, when we start to look back at our own lives, we try to make sense of it, and wonder if there was any sense to it or whether it was just a collection of random events. Looking back on our own history we might then start looking back on history in general. Maybe even the origins of humankind and the universe and everything. I am very interested in the study of human origins, and although of course I read the Bible to try and glean history from Genesis, I also like to read (hopefully) unbiased scientific accounts of the first civilisations and how those first cities and urban centres started to develop, and how and why they developed.
The paranormal can seem to fulfil our desire to look into what appear to be fathomless things, and to interest ourselves not only in understanding who we are and where we come from, but also spiritual mysteries, and mysteries of all kinds that seem lost in the mists of time. Some of those mysteries are ones that have been mulled over for centuries like Atlantis, and the mystery of the Sphinx and many other things that may be more local or even more universal. But we want answers, and we go looking for them.
My interests encompassed particularly ghosts, UFOs, strange tales from England’s and Britain’s past, mysterious occurrences of all kinds and many other things that could be said to be filed under mysterious or unexplained and then I suppose the paranormal. I would also say that the terms occult and paranormal are synonymous and actually mean the same thing. I think occult sounds vaguely sinister, whereas paranormal almost sounds respectable. But I actually wish to debunk that. It isn’t even that we shouldn’t speculate on mysteries and things we can’t really understand or comprehend, it’s that we shouldn’t seek out the wrong sources to find answers. That’s the crux of the matter for me. If you were thirsty, would you rather drink from a fresh clear running stream from the mountains, or a stagnant dirty little pool that looked, and smelt, like something had died in it? To me, that’s the difference between looking for answers from God, and trying to find answers in the paranormal, which often doesn’t make sense when looked at straight on. I’m someone, who at least in this case, knows what I am talking about.
The more I sought answers in the paranormal, or the more interested I became in the whole shebang, the more it confused me. It seemed contradictory, and a lot of it, particularly the very deep, philosophical and intellectual stuff that seemed to answer something deep within me, at the same time made me feel empty or even more confused than I was before.‘19 Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.’ (Romans 16:19)