超自然信奉者日益广泛

Superstitious Beliefs Getting More Common

超自然信奉者日益广泛

Believers range from free-spirited types to high-powered businessmen. Some were drifters; others were brain surgeons.

迷信的信徒涉及领域更加广泛,从崇尚精神自由的人到精力充沛的商人,其中有些是街头流浪者,而另一些则可能是脑外科医生。

THE GIST

摘要

Believing in the paranormal is actually more normal than you might think and may be growing more common.

那些相信存在超自然现象的人比你想象的要多,而且这种观点也正变得越来越普遍。

Contrary to common stereotypes, there is no single profile of a person who accepts the paranormal.

与一般的陈词滥调相反,接受超自然理念的人并没有一个特定的标志。

It might be in our nature to look for patterns and meaning in strange and random events.

这可能源于我们的自然天性,即对一些奇怪和随机性事件探寻其中的模式和深层含义。

It’s that time of year again. Ghosts, goblins and other spooky characters come out from the shadows and into our everyday lives.

在每年的那个时候,鬼魂、精灵以及其他一些幽灵的形象会从阴影中走出,进入到我们每天的生活中。

For most people, the thrill lasts for a few weeks each October. But for true believers, the paranormal is an everyday fact, not just a holiday joke.

对大部分人来说,那种惊恐只持续在十月里那几周的时间,但是,对于迷信的人来说,超自然现象每天都在发生,而不只是一个节日的笑话。

To understand what drives some people to truly believe, two sociologists visited psychic fairs, spent nights in haunted houses, trekked with Bigfoot hunters, sat in on support groups for people who had been abducted by aliens, and conducted two nationwide surveys.

为了弄清到底是什么驱使有些人相信超自然现象,两个社会学家参加了灵媒大会,在鬼屋中度过了几个夜晚,和大脚怪猎人一起去长途跋涉追踪,坐下来参与到专为被外星人绑架者组织的帮助会中,并进行了两次全国范围的大调查。

Contrary to common stereotypes, the research revealed no single profile of a person who accepts the paranormal. Believers ranged from free-spirited types with low incomes and little education to high-powered businessmen. Some were drifters; others were brain surgeons.

与传统的观点相反,研究显示,那些相信超自然现象的人并没有一个特定的标志,迷信者可能是一个低收入的自由主义者,可能是低学历但精力充沛的商人,还有一些是流浪者,更有一些是脑外科医生。

INVESTIGATION DISCOVERY: Play the Haunting Game

研究发现,这更像玩一场阴魂不散的游戏

Why people believed also varied, the researchers report in a new book, called “Paranormal America: Ghost Encounters, UFO Sightings, Bigfoot Hunts, and Other Curiosities in Religion and Culture.”

为什么人们相信的事情各有不同,一本名为《超自然美国》新书中的研究报告中涵盖了,遇到幽灵、外星人劫持、狩猎大脚怪,以及其他一些宗教和文化上的趣闻。

For some, the paranormal served as just another way of explaining the world. For others, extraordinary phenomena offered opportunities to chase mysteries, experience thrills and even achieve celebrity status, if they could actually find proof.

对一些人来说,超自然思想起到了用另一种方式理解世界的作用,而对另一些人来说,离奇的现象提供了探寻神秘事物的机会,经历恐惧,如果她们可以找到其中的证据,还可以获得名声和地位。

“It’s almost like an adult way to get that kidlike need for adventure and exploration,” said co-author Christopher Bader, of Baylor University in Waco, Texas. “Other people are sitting at home and renting videos, but you’re sitting in a haunted house that is infested with demons.”

“这几乎更像是一种在成人模式下,实现的孩童般的历险和探险”,贝勒大学的克里斯托弗巴德说,“其他人坐在家里,看着租来的光碟,而你则坐在一个鬼屋中,和一群魔族的魔头。

“These guys who are hunting Bigfoot are out chasing a monster,” he added. “I could see the real appeal in going out for weekend and never knowing what you might find.”

”那些大脚猎手在外狩猎怪物“,他补充道,“他们的真实诉求是周末永无止境的探险,而从来不知道你会找到什么”。

There is no hard data on how common it is to believe in the paranormal, which Bader and co-author Carson Mencken define as beliefs or experiences that are not fully accepted by science or religion.

没有一个可靠的数据可以显示,相信超自然现象的程度有多么广泛,贝德和他的合著者卡森 门肯解释为,这种信仰未被宗教和科学所接受。

But trends in television programming offer a sense that there is a widespread interest in mystical phenomena that is becoming more common. In the 1970s and 80s, Bader said, there were maybe one or two paranormal-themed shows in the TV line-up. Today, there are dozens, including programs about ghost hunters, psychic kids, haunted homes and even possessed pets.

但是,有一种趋势,这在电视节目里面可以感受的到,那就是大众对超自然现象抱有很大兴趣,这已经成为一种普遍现象。贝德说,在十九世纪七十、八十年代,也就有一两个以超自然为内容的电视节目,但是今天已增长到十几个,其中包括幽灵猎人、通灵孩子、闹鬼的住宅、甚至还有着魔的宠物。

Plenty of scientists have put energy into debunking paranormal claims. Bader and Mencken wanted to look instead at what drives people to believe.

很多科学家投入大量的精力去揭穿那些超自然现象背后的主张,而贝德和门肯则想找到是什么驱使人们去相信它。

They started with two nationwide surveys that interviewed a total of more than 3,000 Americans about their beliefs, experiences and interests.

他们启动两个全国范围的大调查,会见了超过3000个美国人,讨论他们关于超自然的信仰、经历的事情和兴趣点。

When the scientists broke down the results, they found that people who are moderately religious are most likely to believe in the paranormal. This could be because they are open enough to believe in the unknown, but not so rigid in their religious beliefs to reject mysterious experiences altogether.

当科学家分析最终数据时,他们发现,对宗教持中庸态度的人最有可能成为超自然现象的信奉者。这应该由于他们对未知事物思维更加开放,而没有严格的宗教信条束缚,使他们不抗拒神秘经历。

The numbers also showed that different types of paranormal entities appeal to different demographics. Women, for instance, are most likely to believe they live in haunted houses. College graduates are most likely to have out-of-body experiences. Unmarried white men are most likely to believe in UFOs.

研究数据还显示,在人口统计数据统计中,不同类型人被不同类型的超自然现象所吸引,例如女人,总是觉得自己住的屋子是一所鬼宅,大学生最常有离魂的经历,未婚的白人更相信UFO的存在。

Bigfoot hunters were perhaps the most surprising group, Bader said. They defied all stereotypes of paranormal pursuers who wear flowing clothes and commune with spirits.

大脚猎人可能是最令人惊奇的组织,贝德说,他们违背了所有关于超自然探索者的陈词滥调,如穿着光滑的衣服,并用心灵感应沟通。

Instead, they were very serious, extremely conventional and often highly professional. In fact, their beliefs contradicted their lifestyles so much that many of them were plagued by anxiety, which drove them even further to stick to their beliefs.

取而代之的是,他们非常严肃,非常传统,甚至很专业。事实上,他们的信仰与他们的生活方式完全背离,以至于很多人被焦虑困扰,这也驱使着他们更深层的坚持他们的信仰。

“Their friends and family consider them kooky,” Bader said. “Everyone is saying they’re nuts. So, they have a real aggressive style and seriousness of purpose. They want to prove everyone wrong.”

“他们的朋友和家庭认为他们是怪人”,贝德说,“每个人都在说他们是狂人,所以他们变得真的很好斗,也更加严肃和认真,他们要证明其他人是错的。”

For one hunter, the search began one day when he was out in the woods and, he swears, he saw Bigfoot cross his path.

例如一个猎人,在一天的森林狩猎时,他发誓,他看到了大脚怪穿过那条小路。

“Imagine the stress that would put on your life,” Bader said. “You consider yourself a normal, smart guy, and you think you just saw a giant monkey walk in front of you. Now, you have to fit that into your life.”

“你认为你是一个正常、聪明的人,你只是看到了一个巨大的猴子在面前散步,现在,你不得不努力适应这一出现在你生活中的怪现象,贝德说,“想象这种压力在生活中不断上演会是怎样”。

“These are not people trying to explain a crazy world,” he added. “They are trying to prove to themselves that they aren’t crazy.”

”并不是所有的人都要去解释世界上的未知现象“,他补充说,他们只是努力去证明自己没有疯。

Regardless of the person or the phenomenon, paranormal experiences are purely quirks of the human brain, said Michael Shermer, executive director of the Skeptics Society, an educational organization, and founding publisher of Skeptic magazine.

无论这些怪人、超自然现象还是超自然经历,都是人脑的怪癖,怀疑论组织执行董事迈克尔谢默说,他同时还管理一家教育机构,并发行过关于怀疑论者的杂志。

Whether it’s hearing creaks in an old house or watching dots move randomly on a computer screen, he said, people tend to look for patterns and meanings in everything.

无论是在老房子里听到咯吱声,或者是在计算机屏幕是看到移动的点,他说,人们都倾向于把这些当成事一种模式,觉得意味着很多。

“The default condition in brain is that all patterns are real,” Shermer said. “It’s just what we do.”

在缺乏环境的条件下,大脑的默认为一切都是真实的,谢默说,这也就是我们所要揭示的。

 

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