It’s a fine line
There are many times, throughout our lives, we encounter strange, unusual or seemingly unexplainable events. Most of the time we manage to consider it as just a coincidence, and under general examination it quells our mind as an acceptable answer.
I’ve often been asked by close friends, who have known me for many years and know that I am a logical, fact-based person, who is not prone to flights of fancy, “why do you believe in the paranormal?” My answer has been and remains; there have been events in my life, that I either experienced firsthand or witnessed, which defy the rules of physics as we know them. It is not that I disallow myself to be considered an unreliable witness, in fact I accept it as a real possibility, but nor do I disallow any other possibility that cannot be disproven. The absence of proof simply documents that we have a void in our knowledge and tools of measurement.
The accounts I’m going to provide have happened to me over the course of my life. I’ve struggled to find a term which suits what I’m going to describe, as it does not truly fit the description of paranormal.
This happen in the mid 1980’s. I was working in Manhattan, in New York City. This was in the days before smartphones, but that didn’t mean we were any less distracted while walking in the city, being distracted is just a human condition. I can’t tell you what I was thinking or what I was looking at, but I was standing at a corner waiting to cross the street and for some reason, I thought the light had changed, a bus was approaching, and I thought the bus was going to stop at the crosswalk. I started to step into the street when a hand pulled me back onto the sidewalk. I was pulled back so quickly that the briefcase I was carrying got smacked by the front of the bus. I spontaneously turned around, but there was nobody near me, no typical New Yorker, providing that sardonic grin that all but said, “Yeah, I saved your life, get over it and get out of my way.”
My conclusion at the time – Manhattan’s a busy place, I just didn’t see the person who pulled me back.
It was January of 1982, I was heading off to work and the night before it had snowed. It wasn’t long before I had the car dug out and was driving to work. I stopped at a major intersection waiting for a green signal light. When the light changed, I stepped on the gas, the car sputtered, choked and stalled. As I cranked the engine, a car behind me blew its horn. I glanced in the rearview mirror, provided the proper salute and resumed trying to start the vehicle. Finally, the car started. I put it in gear and just as it lurched forward, a large tractor trailer truck slid through the intersection sideways. The delay saved me and my fellow horn honking companion.
My conclusion at the time – A lucky coincidence.
NYC Subway trip
I was seventeen years old, riding on the IRT number 5 train, going uptown to the Bronx. The train car wasn’t packed, but it wasn’t empty either, as there were no seats available. I was leaning against a door in the middle part of the train, when what I assume to be a homeless man wondered into the train car. He walked midway down the train and stood with his back to me, holding a pole, swaying back and forth with the motion of the train car, when suddenly the train broke hard, causing him to lose his grip, sailing into me, and then pulling me with him to the side, away from the door and into another passenger. Just as all this happen the door I was leaning against slid open. I and another passenger stood there for a moment, watching the walls of the subway tunnel whiz by. In New York fashion, we nonchalantly grabbed the edge of the door and pulled it shut, as if it was just something you did while taking a subway ride. The homeless guy must have continued-on to the next train car, because he was gone.
My conclusion at the time – That was a very odd fluke.
The Elevator that wasn’t
This happen in the early 1990s. I was at work on a field trip and had just wrapped up a visit at a client’s business and was waiting for the elevator. While I was waiting, I pulled out my notepad for the address of my next stop. The elevator dinged, without looking up, while still reading my notepad, I headed toward the elevator doors. Just then the office manager called out to me, someone from my office was on the phone. I turned and walked back as the elevator doors opened. Once inside the office, they handed me the phone, but nobody was on the other end. I remember being annoyed, because after calling my office back, no body admitted to making the calling. I believed someone at my company was playing games. I returned to the hallway and saw the elevator doors were open. I thought, great timing, the elevator is here. I trotted to the elevator, only to find there was no elevator, just a dark empty shaft in place of the elevator car.
My conclusion at the time – I was more concerned with who was playing games back at My office.
A midsummer hike
I was hiking alone in upstate New York. The person I had planned to go hiking with couldn’t make it. I was looking forward to the hike and decided to go anyway on my own. It’s not something you’re supposed to do, I can’t count how many times I’ve told others you shouldn’t hike alone, but there I was, it was a beautiful day and I was going. I was several hours into the hike. It was a weekday and I had not passed another hiker that morning, but I had hardly noticed. I was having an exceptional hike, moving at a brisk pace and when I had reached the turnaround point, decided to extend my journey by a few more miles.
On my way back, I made a wrong turn and had to start backtracking. Already tired, I needed to start rationing the little water I had left. I made yet another mistake and took a different trail, while backtracking, taking me further from my return path. I found myself going in circles. By this point I must admit, my anxiety was growing into panic, as it became clear to me that I was not thinking clearly. I was out of food and water; the heat of the day had taken its toll.
I sat down on a large rock, resting my head in my hands, trying to collect my thoughts, when suddenly I heard a noise. I looked up, and there was a man about my age, with a walking stick and wearing a backpack. He smiled and nodded as he approached. What I did next was out of character for me, I asked, “Do you know the way back to Parking Lot B?” He gestured with his hand and said, “Follow me.” We walked for a few miles, until we were at the trailhead to the parking lot. I could see my car, it was the only vehicle in the lot. I thanked him, he smiled again and nodded as he gestured for me to lead. I walked ahead a few feet and began to banter about how embarrassed I was, getting lost and running out of water. I expected him to say, “it happens to the best of us” or “next time be careful” or something, but I heard nothing, I looked back, he was gone.
My conclusion at the time – I was dehydrated and not thinking clearly. I even questioned if he was really there at all.
In truth, it is likely there have been many more events, but I find I tend to filter them out or not notice them until much later. My experiences are not unique, I believe we all are experiencing these odd occurrences, but for me the question is what is guiding the events. If you are of a religious bent, then you’ll conclude that the answer is obvious, it’s God’s hand guiding and protecting, but I have an issue with that approach and it’s not the idea that God or some other force is at play effecting change. My issue with this view is the who, what and why. Using this process; clearly some people parish, without any rhyme or reason, and others are seemingly saved. Often when I present this argument, I’m told it’s not for me to question, I should have faith.
I do have faith that the truth of reality, is not what is being presented to us. It would appear we live in a veiled reality; whose sole purpose is to hide the true dimensions and construct of the universe. This veil is imperfect, it can be pierced, sometimes by accident and sometimes by intent.
All that I offer is, “Don’t be afraid to pull back the curtain and look for the wizard, just be mindful, it may be a mirror.”