My Only Encounter With The Supernatural

Why give this the title of “supernatural” when it’s something that I don’t believe in? Well essentially, at the time of being Christian, I thought it might have been. Though later I would come to dismiss my previous experiences and encounters with the supernatural, in rather easy ways, this one sort of just got forgotten about, or dismissed. So maybe it would be interesting to bring this up, and talk about experiences such as these.

I was 14 at the time, and in a tent on my own, late at night, having just gone back to fetch something that I left there. We were at a Christian campsite and I was far from home, and having a great time with friends.

But when I was in my tent something strange happened. The wind became very intense, and it felt like something was whispering into my head. It was the constant repetition of the two words “Hear me” and it lasted for maybe ten seconds.

During that time I was confused, yet not panicked, because I quickly knew (in my mind) that God would sort it out. After praying it shortly went away.

After I didn’t know what it was. I wasn’t sure if it was God, a demon or the wind.

Naturally you can guess what my explanation is now, however there’s more to it than that.

We were at a Christian campsite where every day for many hours we would worship and have talks about God. During prayer one time, while the speaker was talking, with the music from the previous worship having just ended, a person started screaming and shouting, she was shouting things against God. The speaker simply asked a person to take them out.

I actually was able to see them, and she didn’t look right, she seemed crazy, like something was wrong, she seemed like she was suffering.

When we got back people obviously started talking about what this was. And eventually I ended up in a long several hour long conversation about demons and how they worked. During this time I felt quite uneasy, not scared, but since I wasn’t pressed against the wall it felt like there may have been something behind me. The huge tent door was also open, where we could look into the darkness and imagine what’s out there.

What I’m getting at is that only people who believe in ghosts think they are experiencing ghosts. This is similar.

The day that this happened on was windy, and can easily blow the tent. However surely that’s not enough right? Well theirs two things.

The first is pattern matching. Have you tried that experiment where you listen to audio play back, and it sounds like a jumbled mess, however when you play with a pattern in front of you and subtitles you can recognise speech and words? Try it, it’s so interesting how such a jumbled mess can become dialog in your mind. This could have easily happened with wind.

The second is the placebo effect. Before you so easily dismiss it, remember that people die just because of it. It’s powerful.

When your in that state of thinking about demons, that combined with the placebo effect, and strong wind can easily create an experience such as this.

At any rate, this is one supernatural experience against many natural ones, and against many supernatural experiences that I tried to get which didn’t happen, such as prayer.

Considering all of the factors above, I cannot conclude for 100% that this wasn’t supernatural, however considering the circumstances, I feel more than happy to rule it out.

As a Christian I prayed constantly, and wanted more than anything for God to speak to me. This is the only example of anything like that happening at all, in contrast to the massive amount of times when I wanted to be spoken too and nothing happened.

I’m quite proud of the way that I handled the personal experience. I didn’t accept it outright, even as a believer. I asked questions to other people who I was with, to which I got the response “Because I wasn’t there I don’t know” – which I’m also thankful for, as that statement is definitely true. For a long time I would always look back at it thinking “What was that? I don’t know, but it was strange” – most often leaning slightly towards demon.

Essentially personal experiences are unreliable and hard to make certain of what actually happened. This story mirrors a lot of other people’s personal experiences, and since mine sounds more convincing, and I still think it’s wrong, how can I trust theirs?

I could have easily told this experience in another way. I could have said “A demon literally spoke to me” – and it wouldn’t be far from what I felt at the time of the actual experience.

But there are often other factors involved, and good reason not to trust testimony outright. You surely wouldn’t take medicine based off of a handful of testimonies? You would take if from serious scientific research proving without a shadow of a doubt that it worked.

This is simply what I’m asking you to do when you hear these personal experience stories as well. Don’t doubt their sincerity, but doubt their situation.

What did you think of my experience? Do you have any experiences of your own like this? I’d love to hear them, whether you think they’re genuine and real or used to think they were. Both would be so interesting to me!

6 thoughts on “My Only Encounter With The Supernatural

  1. “I’m interested what you mean by “I’ve taken to saying that there are times when science can’t explain something — yet.” – I too potentially hypocritically have faith in science.”

    I think we’re close to the same position on this. What I mean is that if science can’t explain something, there’s a high probability with enough new discoveries, we will be able to explain it.

    I like your awareness that having faith in science while at the same time taking a dim view of unproven faith might be hypocritical. I see it a little differently. I have zero faith in science. I use science because I see that it works.

    “Maybe it’s based on the fact that every single other time science has found an answer, and is also very willing to change it’s mind under evidence, eventually becoming the research of the divine if such a thing is discovered to be real.”

    So far, there’s no recognized empirical evidence for the existence of the divine. There’s also no evidence against it, because, well, I’m pretty sure we can’t prove a negative.

    “When I see non-religious people like Derren Brown, who can replicate healing like this naturally, and can even teach normal people people to do it. ”

    I’ve seen some evidence that this works — actually, I think all of us have. The placebo affect is just this: sometimes, people believing they will see a benefit do so it, despite there not being a physical reason why. So if modern medicine could harness that, plus our techniques and chemicals, who knows what else we might be able to do?

    That makes the charlatans even more reprehensible. They give the techniques a bad name among people who could normalize them, while at the same time taking advantage of those who can least afford it. Plus, if there is a divine, they risk the displeasure of such a being.

    All in all, not a career choice I’d recommend.

    As always, an interesting conversation!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah I know what you mean, we have trust in it based on its continued reliability to produce effective results.

      Yeah thats why theism probably won’t ever be able to be disproved.

      Yeah faith healers not only abuse false hope and do trickery, but they also cause deaths by making people continue their life as if they’re well. Faith healers are most certainly a crime against the church.

      Definitely, because you have to be a fraud to be good at it

      Yeah I agree ☺

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think your rational analysis is the right way to approach the question. I’m saying that as some with a degree in theology.

    “Considering all of the factors above, I cannot conclude for 100% that this wasn’t supernatural, however considering the circumstances, I feel more than happy to rule it out.”

    I think this is sound logic. I’d add that extraordinary explanations require extraordinary proofs. None were present in the experience you described.

    About the girl you described. I come into contact with a lot of folks with a variety of mental illness. I’ve never witnessed, nor have I read credible accounts, of any “possession” that could not more easily be explained by the symptoms of mental illness.

    I’m not exactly denying the existence of demons or other supernatural beings. I am saying that in a universe where a gamma-ray burst could theoretically extinguish all life on Earth, I can’t get too scared over beings who have to whisper in the wind.

    That, and I’m a human. I’m way more scared of humans than I am of any supernatural being. And I suspect, in all honestly, that they’re more scared of us than they let on (if they exist).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe, I don’t think we could actually hurt them though. Honestly I don’t see how it would be possible for them to interact. But by that extension they shouldn’t be able to interact with us, so we shouldn’t be able to notice them. Meaning they may as well not exist. So I don’t know.

      I hear that argument about there being things that science can not know about yet or cannot find yet. However until there is evidence for them in the first place, I see no good reason to believe it. Occam’s razor, extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence, that kind of thing. Claiming science can’t explain it yet doesn’t make it real.

      Yeah I see that about the girl. I’ll also add that there could be any reasons why she did that. Normal people can also freak out under high pressure circumstances, like those possible to be present in the place where I was.

      The way miracles work through the festival I was at is by putting people into highly vulnerable and emotional states, and its easy to see how that could backfire.

      Yeah I don’t think I can deny their existence either, only I can’t deny them in the exact same way I can’t deny leprechauns exist.

      This kind of thing is fun to think about haha.

      Liked by 1 person

      • “Honestly I don’t see how it would be possible for them to interact. But by that extension they shouldn’t be able to interact with us, so we shouldn’t be able to notice them.”

        You know, I’ve studied theology since the late 1970s, and until this moment, I didn’t even think about this perspective! That shows that a given perspective can impose blinders that even someone like me who (supposedly!) values freedom of thought isn’t aware of.

        But that means if they can feed on us, we can feed on them. Because if they were that much stronger than us, they wouldn’t need to waste energy with indirect tempting. They’d just nom.

        “Claiming science can’t explain it yet doesn’t make it real.”

        Excellent point! I’ve taken to saying that there are times when science can’t explain something — yet.

        “Normal people can also freak out under high pressure circumstances, like those possible to be present in the place where I was.”

        Also a good point. Looks like I made an assumption based on my own experience. Putting people into an emotional suggestion state can have less than predicable results, that’s for sure!

        “Yeah I don’t think I can deny their existence either, only I can’t deny them in the exact same way I can’t deny leprechauns exist.”

        Also a good point. I notice that you don’t necessarily deny the existence of leprechauns. I don’t, either. I figure if they exist, I’ll find out if they’re relevant to me. If not, well, according to lore, I’m better off not knowing.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Really I didn’t know that about Leprechauns, I only heard the pot of gold thing!

          Wow! You’re way older than I thought you were, no disrespect intended. It’s a good thing we can still have the conversation!

          I notice as I read that quote back that I made a mistake and actually meant “I don’t see how it would be possible for us to interact with them” – but I think you got my meaning. Happy to give you new ideas, maybe seeing things in different situations can make you view the questions differently.

          It’s true, if the supernatural does exist, the fact that there is no noming or anything like that shows we should not be afraid.

          To the extension of imposing your ideas with no basis, just because science can’t explain it yet, I disagree that that should be done. However there are things such as new discoveries that have happened that science can’t explain yet.

          I’m interested what you mean by “I’ve taken to saying that there are times when science can’t explain something — yet.” – I too potentially hypocritically have faith in science.

          Maybe it’s based on the fact that every single other time science has found an answer, and is also very willing to change it’s mind under evidence, eventually becoming the research of the divine if such a thing is discovered to be real.

          However if there is something out there, surely the only way to find out is through science, and science being able to explain it? Until that happens the best we have is I don’t know.

          The God hypothesis arguably should be treated just like any other. It’s potentially intolerant, and incorrect to throw it out, yet also unfair to give it higher priority than any other.

          When I talk about the miracles and things like that at these healing events and such, I always worry about coming across as sounding like a conspiracy theorist, whose ideas are incorrect.

          When I see non-religious people like Derren Brown, who can replicate healing like this naturally, and can even teach normal people people to do it. As well as known frauds like Benny Hinn and Peter Popov replicating these things too, despite being known for just stealing money and trickery. It makes me think that this kind of thing can not only be common but also expected. Like the alternative would contradict what we know about how the mind reacts in situations like this.

          Essentially, I am very grateful at the least that you see my point about normal people in emotional states. I don’t really feel like a lot of people would consider it in this way.

          Like

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