How do you look at the world?

A few quotes and scenarios from different movies inspire me to look at the way we ourselves perceive things. Are you a glass half full or half empty person for example? A lot of this makes a difference to the way we believe and approach the paranormal.
Sarah Chumacero
8th September 2019.
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I am a bit of a movie buff. I spend a lot of my time quoting lines from movies to get my point across as it often is quite a fitting (and often funny) way of making a statement. There have been times where I have thought about certain scenarios or quotes in a movie that have made me relfect on my research within the paranormal field. Some of these musings in a lot of ways sum up our participation the paranormal field. I know they they make me think about things, so I thought it would be fun to include some of the quotes that really speak to me to see if they make you think about things too! Ultimately we perceive things differently and believe in different things. A lot of this stems from how we look at the world. Are you a glass is half full or half empty person for example? Do you believe everything happens for a reason or that things are merely coincidence? This outlook absolutely will affect the way we view the paranormal.

(all quotes and pictures sourced from IMDB)

Contact (1997)

Panel member: Doctor Arroway, you come to us with no evidence, no record, no artifacts. Only a story that to put it mildly strains credibility. Over half a trillion dollars was spent, dozens of lives were lost. Are you really going to sit there and tell us we should just take this all... on faith?

[pause, Ellie looks at Palmer]

Michael Kitz: Please answer the question, doctor.

Ellie Arroway: Is it possible that it didn't happen? Yes. As a scientist, I must concede that, I must volunteer that.

Michael Kitz: Wait a minute, let me get this straight. You admit that you have absolutely no physical evidence to back up your story.

Ellie Arroway: Yes.

Michael Kitz: You admit that you very well may have hallucinated this whole thing.

Ellie Arroway: Yes.

Michael Kitz: You admit that if you were in our position, you would respond with exactly the same degree of incredulity and skepticism!

Ellie Arroway: Yes!

Michael Kitz: [standing, angrily] Then why don't you simply withdraw your testimony, and concede that this "journey to the center of the galaxy," in fact, never took place!

Ellie Arroway: Because I can't. I... had an experience... I can't prove it, I can't even explain it, but everything that I know as a human being, everything that I am tells me that it was real! I was given something wonderful, something that changed me forever... A vision... of the universe, that tells us, undeniably, how tiny, and insignificant and how... rare, and precious we all are! A vision that tells us that we belong to something that is greater then ourselves, that we are *not*, that none of us are alone! I wish... I... could share that... I wish, that everyone, if only for one... moment, could feel... that awe, and humility, and hope. But... That continues to be my wish.

I really love this discussion because in the movie, Ellie who is an Athiest for example, does not understand how people can have faith in something that there is no proof of such as God. She is then put in the very position where she has an experience that as a Scientist she cannot prove, yet wants people to believe her. It is almost like a 'lesson for the skeptic' in a lot of ways. How many have you heard someone say they have managed to change the mind of a skeptic on a paranormal investigation just by letting them 'experience it'? I know I have seen it many times and I know I have had my very own beliefs questioned many times by my own experiences. As a very rational person, when I have an experience that I cannot work out or rationalise, it can be exciting, confusing and terrfying. There is a mentality out there that if you were not there or it didn't happen to you then it is questionable and I know I am guilty of this too. There has been belief in the paranormal for centuries yet there still remains no proof. Much like different kinds of religion, the paranormal is sort of 'faith based' in a lot of ways. When a person says they got a message from god, in some ways it is the same as a person saying they got a message from a spirit. You can't essentially prove either, but a person knows what they felt and what they experienced, often with confidence and certainity. Just because they cannot prove that it happened, doesn't mean that it didn't happen. It is a form of a personal experience and deeply personal and special to that person. Sometimes a personal experience is all we need to keep us going and that very special feeling that Ellie mentions above - that we are not alone!

Signs (2002)

People break down into two groups. When they experience something lucky, group number one sees it as more than luck, more than coincidence. They see it as a sign, evidence, that there is someone up there, watching out for them. Group number two sees it as just pure luck. Just a happy turn of chance. I'm sure the people in group number two are looking at those fourteen lights in a very suspicious way. For them, the situation is a fifty-fifty. Could be bad, could be good. But deep down, they feel that whatever happens, they're on their own. And that fills them with fear. Yeah, there are those people. But there's a whole lot of people in group number one. When they see those fourteen lights, they're looking at a miracle. And deep down, they feel that whatever's going to happen, there will be someone there to help them. And that fills them with hope. See what you have to ask yourself is what kind of person are you? Are you the kind that sees signs, that sees miracles? Or do you believe that people just get lucky? Or, look at the question this way: Is it possible that there are no coincidences?

This is a quote spoken by Mel Gibson's character who is a former Priest who has lost his faith in God after his wife died tragically in a car accident. In a lot of ways, I feel like this really sums up the way a lot of people view the paranormal and I guess the universe in general. Some people see things as a sign or a message from beyond. Others just see it as a coincidence. How do you view the world? Do you believe we have spirit guides or even guardian angels looking out for us guiding our way or do we just get lucky? Do you believe everything happens for a reason or things just happen because you make them happen? I have used this quote many times to discuss different phenomena such as 11:11 always being on a clock for example. Our belief in these sort of things alter our perception of situations and ultimately the world. It doesn't make either person right or wrong because there is no right or wrong answer here. It all comes down to how we view the world.

Final Destination (2000)

There are No Accidents. No Coincidences. No Escapes. YOU CAN"T CHEAT DEATH.

The Final Destination series follows a group of people that manage to escape a violent death either by plane or terrfying log truck accident (I am forever traumatised by this movie sequence), only to find that their time was in fact up so death came after them anyway. It brings up the famous saying 'When your time is up, it is up!'. Do you believe that we have a non negotiable expiration date? In a lot of ways it almost fits in with the belief that either your future is a set path or things are what you make them. I guess in a lot of ways, the three quotes I have chosen all sort of tie in with one another.

The point is that we all view the world differently, and so it means we will view the paranormal differently. While I could sit here and talk about different movie quotes all day, I will leave you with just these to think about. How do you view the world? What do you believe? Do you have any movie quotes that make you 'think' about life or the paranormal? I would love to hear them!

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