Science is a great tool the same way a hammer, or a radio, or a toilet plunger are all fantastic tools. We need it to explain how things work. However, when it comes to explanations deeper than the physical realm, like love, loyalty, or anything that can’t be weighed and measured, it’s not always so great.
Look at Galileo, big science hero, right? He was the great man who told the church that the earth was not at the center of the universe. The church insisted it was because according to scripture the world is, ‘…the apple of God’s eye…’ So they insisted it was the center. I don’t know why they couldn’t figure this out. It’s an example of something literally true, i.e., the earth not being the center of the universe, and something figuratively true, that we are the apple of God’s eye.
Galileo was right, but think of this:
Most of you have moms and dads who consider you the ‘apple of their eye.’ Do you have to stand in the middle of the universe for them to feel that way? No, that’s silly. But it’s still true. You ARE the very center of their world and everything they will ever be centers around you. So while Galileo was right on the button-counting end of the argument, the church was also right, but on a deeper level. They held to a truth beyond truth. Something science does not have the tools to handle.
When I see these paranormal investigators staring at their EMF meters, ears pressed to tape players, along with their requests to ‘throw something,’ I feel I’m watching people water down a subject that needs our attention. You’re dealing with a much larger reality when it comes to parapsychology, something deeper than the cry for ‘give me proof.’ This is another case where strict adherence to the accepted scientific method will only help us miss the point.
Let’s talk Electronic Voice Phenomena, or EVP’s. From television most of us know the drill: a man or woman stands in an empty room, recording device in hand and asks questions into the air. Later, we see them play back the tape and hear the sound of a voice, usually quiet, wrapped in static. It utters a word or short phrase. Then the question becomes:
What is this voice, really?
There are at least 3 possibilities:
It could be a hoax because certainly EVP’s would be simple to fake.
It could mean your device is simply picking up and recording signals from another source. The modern atmosphere is Swiss Cheesed with frequencies, wavelengths and signals stemming from cell phones to radio waves. So should you hear a small, static-drenched voices on your recorder make sure it isn’t saying something like, “…I want fries with that…” or “…get your own bag…” Obviously, those are not words from beyond the grave since those might sound more like, “…welcome to the nightly news…”
The New England Anomaly and Research group, has made several EVP recordings over the years. In their piece discussing the phenomena they rightly say that there is no hardcore scientific proof for what happens because, after all, to test your theory you’d have to die. So…sure…you can take credit for the find! I’ll just hang out here and well…live.
So here’s what we know:
Sometimes voices inexplicably speak on recording devices, and from Wikipedia, we know that a number of scientists including Thomas Edison, Tesla along with Marconi, the inventor of the radio, apparently believed this was possible and attempted to build devices that would communicate with spirits.
Part of the problem is that we make the mistake of equating consciousness with the brain. Or rather that consciousness has a biological origin. Say you had a perfectly fine brain sitting on the table in front of you, but if it’s sitting outside of someone’s skull all by its lonesome we’ll consider it not alive. The part which once animated the organ is no longer within. Any of us who have lost people know this too well.
When I looked into my brother’s coffin after he drowned, it was like looking at a mannequin. You know no one is home. His consciousness was not there. Call it consciousness or soul it is the necessary component to keeping a human body up and alive. Imagine driving a car. The car is in mint condition, but without you behind the wheel operating everything it won’t go anywhere. Consciousness is the thing running that meat-suit you’re wearing. Whatever the soul is we know that it constantly interfaces with the brain on an electrochemical basis. The sheer number of synaptic activity bears this out. Your soul is used to that type of electrochemical interface.
Suddenly, there it is; a disembodied spirit.
Say, for example, the spirit returns to the place where it died only to find people with recorders or tape players, calling its name and asking questions. The spirit can no longer answer them because it doesn’t have a mouth anymore but has had extensive experience with an electrochemical interface. The electromagnetic units they hold are primitive but similar to what the soul is used to dealing with, therefore is it out of the realm of possibility that the soul could enter and communicate with the device the way it used to communicate with its own brain? Of course, no one hears the spirit answer in the room because the response isn’t via vibration. And of course, it doesn’t record very well, because a recorder just doesn’t function at the level of the human brain. But you do manage to get out a word or two.
Could this explain EVP’s?
It does answer why the investigator’s requests to move things are not often heeded. Does a disembodied human soul have any experience at moving things without hands? Well, maybe if it was on purpose for a funny YouTube video, but generally, no. But in that vein may I suggest that in a house or at a hunting where things are violently thrown about that non-human entities are at work. Let’s face it, a demonic or some other-dimensional creature might have a better chance at doing physical acts than a human spirit by the sheer amount of practice time alone. And if you read any of the ancient texts, most religions have the human spirits moving on to someplace else anyway. The texts also tend to urge people not to hang out with the dead. Maybe it’s because there are these other spirits around who would love nothing more than to take up space in your life, and not for the better.
When consciousness is expelled from the body at the time of death, it is not out of the realm of possibility that it could enter and interact with an electromagnetic device in the same way that it used to interact with its own brain. Sound waves wouldn’t be involved so you would never hear a voice in the room. Because the equipment is fairly primitive, of course, you don’t get a great message, but you could hear something placed on that device by a spirit. If this is an accurate explanation for how an EVP functions then what are the implications?
I can think of one. Artificial Intelligence.
Science is pleased with itself over the abilities they are developing for robotics. And I must say it’s all very impressive. Science has also been on a quest to create a self-aware computer for a very long time. And that would match with our arrogance to think we can hook-up enough circuitry and one day it will be alive. But what if such man-made, self-awareness is impossible? Instead, what happens the day a highly sophisticated robot opens its eyes for the first time and an ancient, spiritual enemy decides its found a new home, taking it over like a massive EVP?
Science may be attempting to bring us I-Robot, but what if instead, we’re opening the door for Mary Shelley’s Amityville-Frankenstein? Maybe the next EVP will say,
Michele Olmsted Archer was born in Los Angeles, kid number four in a family of six. One of her favorite activities in those days included watching the sky.
Later, she studied violin, played as a symphony musician, performed at many weddings and events and taught a number of children and adults how to also play the violin. In the process of doing this, she managed to see New York City from the top of the World Trade Center, hitch-hike across the country, climbed the El Capitan mountain range in New Mexico and had a sword fight with a real witch. Archer is rarely bored.