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The Spirit World As Dealt With By Science And Law

By James Donahue

Because my family is deep into esoteric interests and we lived among the spirits that roamed various older dwellings in past years, we find it laughable when we occasionally read about the way science and the courts struggle to deal with matters of ghosts, goblins and other elements of the invisible world.

About a year or two ago, we noticed a news story involving Filipino Judge Floro Florentino who was dismissed from the bench because of his ongoing relationship with three invisible dwarve “spirit guides.” The judge lost an appeal to keep his job. The Supreme Court’s ruling stated that Florentino’s insistence that the dwarve guides, Luis, Armand and Angel, proved that he has a “medically disabling condition of the mind” that renders him “unfit to discharge the functions of his office.”

Judge Florentino countered by filing a disbarment case against members of that high court. In this case, filed in a country where a widespread belief in spiritual forces exists, the judge apparently attempted to try to prove the existence of the spirit world and accuse the tribunal of slandering his good name. The case was dismissed, and efforts to bring it to a Court of Appeals also failed.

In its ruling the high court stated that “neither the etiology of Judge Floro’s belief in ‘dwendes’ nor the validity of such belief is being passed upon. Judge Floro’s claim of dalliance with dwendes poses a serious challenge to such required judicial detachment and impartiality and would eventually erode the public’s acceptance of the judiciary as the rational guardian of the law, if not make it an object of ridicule.”

In a strange way we find ourselves supporting Judge Floro’s claims that a spirit world exists around us. We also agree that these entities have more of an influence on our daily thoughts and actions than most folks would like to admit. And we perceive the high court ruling in this case to be based on the judge’s religious, or spiritual conviction, rather than on his ability to rule effectively in judicial matters.

There is irony, we suppose, in the fact that Judge Floro was unable to convince any court that things invisible to us in our dark three-dimensional world really exist. Yet we suspect that most, if not all of the members of the high court are Christians, who themselves put their faith in an invisible god that can neither be photographed nor scientifically proven. The only difference is that religious belief is supported by a majority of the community, while the existence of dwendes, or spiritual angelic entities, as described by Floro, are not.

In yet another odd story, researchers from University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland, have published a study in the journal, Nature, that attempts to explain the phenomenon of “shadow people.” These oddities have long been part of folk lore around the world.

Shadow people, for those who may not understand the term, are exactly what the name implies. People tell of capturing glimpses out of the corner of the eye of some large dark shadow, often human in shape, moving across the room or behind the bushes on a dark night. The figures move quickly and are known to move through walls. Some people write the shadow people off as ghosts, but others say they may be something else. All have generally agreed that they belong in the realm of the supernatural.

The Switzerland team, in using electric stimulation of the brain of a 22-year-old woman in testing for epilepsy, discovered that when a certain junction of the brain was stimulated, she described encounters with a shadow person. Because the shadow person mimicked the woman’s own body movements, the team concluded that she was looking at herself in shadow form. In a sense, the electric shocks were giving the woman an out-of-body experience..

So have the scientists explained away the shadow people phenomenon? We think not.

What we find interesting about both of these stories is that in their own peculiar way, both the scientists in Switzerland and that court in the Philippines, are taking a closer look at the spiritual world that surrounds us. Because of long-standing religious traditions, this is something that has been lacking for far too long.

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