“I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.”
We are all prone to The Tolstoy Effect. We expect to see things work a certain way, therefore we do see things work a certain way. The most intellectually dishonest skeptic and the most rigorously scientific astrologer have that in common. This doesn’t just apply to what we call “the paranormal” either.
Consider the phenomenon of “spontaneous remission.” Almost no research has been done into it. Logically, it’s easiest to assume that if a diagnosed incurable illness goes away on its own, the diagnosis is wrong. So perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised if (as one study discovered) only about one in ten cases of spontaneous remission are even reported in the first place. After all, if you were a doctor, would you want to report you may have given a patient a death sentence by accident?
And yet, damned near every doctor out there has seen it happen. “The other doctors may have bungled their diagnoses, but not me. I went over the test results repeatedly, and yet…”
In my case, I’ve spent most of my life expecting electronics to fail at a higher rate than they appear to for the average person. Clocks, microwaves, computers, telephones… they all have an unfortunate tendency to not merely break down, but screw up around me spontaneously. They do so more than they should… and when I am under stress, the phenomenon (string of coincidences?) is dramatically amplified.
As a long-term chronic insomniac, I’ve had the opportunity to have more than one CAT scan and EEG done on myself. If you’ve never had either, let me tell you: they are more uncomfortable than they look on TV. And every time I’ve had one of those tests done, I’ve gotten stressed out. And every time, I get to hear some variation on those magic words: “Um, sorry, we’re having some trouble with the equipment….”
If I was going to blame this on something in my birth chart, I’d blame it on my strongly aspected natal Uranus-Pluto conjunction. All I can tell you for sure is that the ongoing Saturn-Uranus opposition has been twanging on my Uranus-Pluto conjunction (and squaring my natal Sun) for months now, and the problem has been more pronounced the whole time. And yesterday, as the transiting Moon squared the conjunction, this blog vanished for a while. And both my computers developed debilitating issues. And my internet connection slowed to a crawl. And my cordless phone setup stopped working properly.
And (coincidentally, I’m sure) my records have vanished from the Government’s systems.
This is by no means a new thing with me. Inconvenient electromagnetic phenomena have been following me most of my life. It’s only now that I am reluctantly coming to terms with it.
So remember: the next time you think you see a ghost, or a UFO, or have a sudden precognitive flash that something is going to happen (and then it does)… remember: the simplest solution to any given situation is usually the best.
The problem with that, of course, is that sometimes the simplest explanation is just plain crazy.
That, and if there really is such a thing as “mutant super-powers”… why the hell couldn’t I have at least gotten a useful one?