The Greek prefix “to” means next to or near. This prefix allows you to form compound words like paralympic, paramilitary, paramedic or paranormal. These examples have something in common: the prefix to indicates that the compound word does not express the authenticity of something. A paramedic is not a doctor, but he has a certain relationship with medicine and a paramilitary is not exactly a military man.
The initial clarification of the prefix “para” allows us to introduce the term paranormal. Something is considered paranormal when it has a similarity to normal, but actually it is not. In this sense, paranormal phenomena are all those events that are far from the usual and common. Thus, a bright dawn is a normal phenomenon, whereas a bright green dawn would be a paranormal phenomenon.
Essential aspects of paranormal phenomena
The first particularity is its exceptionality, for example, an image that intends to represent a group of spacecraft flying through space.
In the second place , paranormal phenomena are presented as something inexplicable from the point of view of science. For example, the presence of a spirit in a guija session.
In most cases these phenomena are disturbing, for example, knowledge of other people’s thoughts through telepathy.
These characteristics make the paranormal phenomena to be valued within the scope of pseudoscience. While the scientific approach seeks to explain reality through laws and theories that can be experimentally demonstrated, the pseudoscience approach is based on other parameters: mysterious forces, hidden secrets or supposed enigmas.
The paranormal concept has changed over time
In ancient times certain mental illnesses were considered phenomena of demonic possession and thanks to scientific knowledge the same illnesses are valued as pathologies. This example highlights a general idea: anything that does not have a rational and scientific explanation is evaluated as paranormal.
If we place ourselves in Greece in the time before philosophy, knowledge of reality was based on mythological explanations. The Greek myths allowed us to explain the phenomena of nature and this view of the world was really magical and unfounded. In other words, what was once a normal explanation is now considered a paranormal account.