The explained and the unexplained. This is an attempt to ‘get at’ metaphysical concepts by utilizing various terms. I previously discussed the use of the unknown and the unknowable. By using the explained I am essentially demonstrating how science is a powerful tool for understanding the nature of reality. What science is capable of explaining has become associated with what is real. As previously discussed the success of science in terms of technological advances and quality of life issues is indisputable.
The terms natural and supernatural are also paired as contrasting opposties. Natural refers to anything which is part of the physical, empirical world that can be understood by the methods of science. Its opposite is supernatural. Similar opposite pairs also include normal and paranormal.
As in the dualism of Descartes, naturalism / normal has become accepted as what is real and demonstrable, supernaturalism/paranormal becomes the domain of religion, spirituality and the New Age movements which are continuously rejected and dismissed as ‘woo-woo’ nonsense.
To further define these concepts as opposites, contemporary scientists will often associate natural /normal with explainable and supernatural/paranormal with unexplainable. I believe that this is only makes it easier for hard-core skeptics [as opposed to open-minded ones] to criticize the desire to discern a spiritual dimension to reality [SDR].
The truth is–the clear distinction between these ‘opposites’ is often blurred. For example–hard-core skeptics will dismiss the claims of psychics and mediums as unexplained, supernatural/paranormal nonsense. Such abilities are preposterous, ‘unscientific’ they will claim. No one can claim to have mental abilities to ‘see’ at a distance, or discern the future, or communicate with deceased entities.
On the other hand they will regard the mental achievements of autistic savants [low IQ individuals who may have extraordinary abilities to calculate immense numbers in their heads [the Rainman], draw incredible pictures, play complex musical pieces or create their own] as NOT
paranormal/supernatural but as unexplained natural phenomena. It seems as a rather arbitrary decision by such critics of the paranormal to determine why these various unexplained mental phenomena should be classified into different categories. Why not postulate that they are all unexplained functions of the human mind.
Quantum theory, relativity theory, the findings of dark matter and energy are clearly within the realm of science. Their understanding remains incomplete and potentially they may challenge our mind’s capacity to totally comprehend the metaphysical implications of their study. Yet we do not regard them as paranormal/supernatural because we predict that one day we will have a scientific ie natural explanation for them.
It is possible that ALL unexplained phenomena may have a scientific basis. Perhaps concepts such as the soul, karma, reincarnation, life after death, will be explained as another dimension or vibrational state of being. Perhaps what is considered supernatural will someday be explained and natural.
Perhaps we should adopt the concepts of explained and unexplained rather than normal/natural and paranormal/supernatural. That would encourage a more open minded search for evidence for what is real and what isn’t. It would eliminate or greatly reduce the tendency that exists by skeptics and scientists to reject the claims of spiritual experiences without truly investigating them with an open mind.