Hi people. 🙂
I’m so sorry I haven’t posted for a week but this week has been rather nasty for me.
Do you believe in ghosts, spirits or paranormal occurences? If so, have you had an experience yourself?
In a way I do, in a way I don’t. I don’t believe in ghosts that haunt the attics or show up to innocent people at nights just to make them jump out of their skin. What I do believe in, as a Christian and Catholic, is that there is purgatory and that the souls of dead people can visit us on Earth if need be – that is if they need us to pray for them, or perhaps to help, especially if a person has helped them in the past to get out of purgatory or something or if they’re family. – I guess technically you could call them ghosts but this term sounds firstly rather superficial to me, and secondly, kind of offensive. I would never call someone I liked or loved who had died a ghost. If they visited me I’d rather refer to them by their name or said they visited me in spirit or that their soul came to me or something, not a ghost! Also, purgatory souls do not want to do us any harm, not even creep us out, so, even if someone does experience such a grace and extreme privilege that they can talk to or see a person who has died, it’s usually in dreams or such unless you’re a mystic or something. They don’t want to scare people or haunt their houses or blackmail them or possess them or whatever else stupid things people can come up with. I don’t believe that what people do at spiritual seances is calling the real souls of their loved ones and the people who died. Or rather, okay, they may want to evoke those people but it’s not them who they see, rather those are demons and evil spirits pretending to be who the person wanted it to be. Souls of people in purgatory or heaven don’t come to you at your whim, not even at their own, but when God wants it, He is smarter than we and them together and, seriously, He knows what to do and when, without us telling Him. And the consequences of such evoking spirits can be nasty. As for other paranormal stuff, it’s hard to say, I have an impression different people classify different things as paranormal and also have different terms for what’s considered paranormal. Since there can be so many such phenomena I guess I won’t be writing about those things in detail but I’ll just say a lot of paranormal phenomena feel like absolute bullshit to me, while there are some that I definitely do believe in and that they exist and can happen, and what I think of them can really vary haha.
As for my own experiences, don’t know if that fully counts as paranormal, I guess more esoteric, but back in the day I used to have a lot of OOBEs (out of body experiences) and LDs (lucid dreams). And lucid dreams still happen to me but these days they’re unintended and not even half as frequent as they used to be. I have witnessed and experienced some things that perhaps may feel on the edge of paranormal for some but overall I don’t think I am the kind of person who is susceptible for such things to occur to me. I know from my Mum and grandma that my great grandmother – my maternal grandma’s mother – was very devoted to praying for purgatory souls. She was a Franciscan tertiary and was said to be able to see purgatory souls on quite several occasions (or experience their presence in any other way and communicate with them, I’m not sure about the details). I think it’s so fascinating and I’m so happy and proud to have had someone like this in my family, I regret that she died before I was born and I’d really like to know what she’s like more than just what I’ve heard. But she was very humble about it so didn’t even talk much about it to people from what I know. I think this is largely why my grandma, my Mum and me and Zofijka feel a close connection to purgatory souls and praying for them is a huge part of each of us’ individual spirituality. I have several people that have died and that I feel a close connection to that I pray for every day and ask them for intercession so that we can help each other, I think it’s so fun that it works like this that we can actually take care of each other, be thankful to each other, count on each other’s help and try our best to return the favours, haha. I have not had such spectacular experiences like my great grandmother did, but while I often find it hard to pray, to feel God’s presence in my life, I guess everyone who has some spiritual life has such difficulties at times, my purgatory souls help me with that, and there have been many occasions in my life, especially in recent six or so years, that I have felt their presence very deeply, not in any metaphysical level or anything like that, but I knew they were there praying for me and helping me. Especially at the beginning of my journey with praying for them, straight after I sort of re-converted, there have been SO many absolutely strange, wonderful and unbelievable, seemingly purely coincidental but on the other hand very unlikely to happen otherwise situations in my life, it was mind-blowing! And not only was it simply mind-blowing to observe but I also believe that their intercession has helped me, more or less directly, hard to say, to get to the point where I’m in my life right now. One of the souls I’m putting a lot of effort in helping is one of my music crushes Cornelis Vreeswijk who died 32 years ago and I’m sure needs a whole lot of help, and, of course it’s just my belief or an assumption and maybe it wasn’t anything to do with him, just how I want to see it, but always when I think about how I got out of my boarding school (which was just a couple months after I got my crush on Cornelis and quite soon after I started praying for him) and how absolutely weirdly, miraculously and fabulously all my problems with further schooling were solved, and the following school year was my best and strangest school year ever, when I think of that I always think of him, and am grateful for his intercession (as strange as it sounds that Vreeswijk would pray for anyone but I believe his spiritual views may be different now) because I was praying a lot for his soul and I often just talked to him casually and was asking him that if I’d helped his situation at all, I would very much appreciate him helping me as well, as I was struggling a whole lot mentally and with life in general. Since then, there have also been many small, often humourous coincidences in my daily life that I strongly suspect may have something to do with my relationship with the purgatory souls. Also, another way of helping the souls out of purgatory is to offer your sufferings for them or make any sort of sacrifices for them. That sounds so pathetic when you think of it especially if you’re not religious and have no experience yourself, but since I’ve been praying for those purgatory souls I feel close with, I am really happy that I can offer up all my daily life struggles whether big or small to help them, and I started to enjoy fasting and like seriously fasting, not just not eating meat on Fridays but having one day once in a while when I wouldn’t eat anything whatsoever. I used to think it’s a huge deal but really, when you have a reasonable motive and are supported by Holy Spirit and the soul you’re praying for it doesn’t have to be like this, although I did have to switch to intermittent fasting when I want to fast because otherwise my blood pressure drops like crazy. That’s by no means paranormal, but it definitely is a wee bit otherworldly.
When I was 10 and recovering from the Achilles tendons surgery, with my legs in plasters from thighs to toes and unable to move them for six weeks, I was super neurotic and feeling very lonely and anxious and just all things awful, and this was a time in my life when my relationship with my faith and with God and all that was incredibly neurotic too. One of the many nights when I couldn’t sleep and felt very lonely and desperate, I had a feeling that someone came into my room, or rather sort of floated in, and I could sense someone standing by my bed. I reached my hand out and felt some silky fabric, as if I was touching someone’s dress or something. Knowing me, I would normally be creeped out in such a situation, at least a bit, even these days, let alone in the state of mind I was then. Yet I wasn’t creeped out, I immediately had a feeling that I was experiencing something quite unusual. I suddenly felt soothed by this presence at my bedside even though everything was back to normal in a second and I didn’t feel anyone there with me anymore. And for whatever reason, whether rightly or not, I was strongly convinced it was Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn who visited me. It was her holiday that day and I knew about it. I was convinced about it for many years, though considering how generally messed up I was at that time and how surreal and vague the incident was and feels I’m no longer so sure of it, I’m actually very skeptical. I wasn’t psychotic or anything like that at all, and it’s not completely unlikely of course that it did happen, but I just think my sensory deprivation and mental state could make me think and perceive things in really strange ways, especially that my imagination is overactive even when my brain is doing much better, and it’s more likely that it was the effect of my brain feeling completely disoriented and more that I just really needed to feel soothed and less lonely. But it was interesting.
Also that’s not my own experience but I’ve bee on several pilgrimages to a sanctuary where a lot of people experience a very fascinating thing that is called sleeping in the Spirit, or something similar. It is when the priest prays over a person and they fall asleep in the Spirit. It’s just like people lose control and fall to the floor and just fall asleep for a couple minutes. When there is prayer over people, some men have to stand behind a person just in case to hold them if they fall so that they won’t hurt themselves or fall hard unexpectedly and there can be quite a few people falling asleep during such services. I used to be sceptical about that and so was my Mum because, well, there are mostly older women going for those pilgrimages, you could very easily think it’s hysteria or something. But it’s really all kinds of people who fall asleep, often such that you really wouldn’t suspect of being histrionic or attention-seeking or overzealous or anything like that. It once happened to my gran who said she didn’t feel nothing while asleep but when she woke up she was feeling calm and rested as if she was sleeping for a long time. Still, I am a control freak and I can’t help but feel a bit creeped out when that happens, even though I rationally know there’s no need to feel this way. But I think you need to feel open for such a thing to happen, and really trust in God and let Him control things. It’s never happened to me, but that priest was praying over me for the first time last year and I felt a strange sensation like I was very firmly pushed backwards. I was absolutely convinced that, for whatever reason, it was that priest doing so and at the beginning I was like huh, anyone can make people fall asleep in the Spirit if it’s like this, 😀 and my Mum and Zofijka who also experienced this type of prayer for the first time were convinced about it too, but my gran, who’s going there every year and has loads of experience in that sanctuary told us that she could see those people falling asleep many times and that they are not pushed, they’re just sort of bending backwards. Weird. Apart from that I didn’t feel anything, certainly not that I was going to fall asleep. I was only a little bit nervous about what if I will, and a tiny bit frustrated because I came to the sanctuary to ask God to help me with my sleep paralysis, and I expected I’d be able to tell the priest about that during that prayer, yet the priest knew from my gran that her granddaughter is blind and readily assumed I must have come there to pray to be able to see, but in the end I guess it didn’t matter what he was thinking right? Again, would I call that falling asleep in Spirit paranormal? Not really. Supernatural and extraordinary? Yes. I think there is a difference. But people perceive different things differently so I’m mentioning it.
How about your views and experiences with all sorts of paranormal/supernatural/spiritual phenomena? 🙂