As we’ve seen, arriving at an exhaustive definition of ‘supernatural’ is in itself a microcosm of the controversy of the subject at large.
A wide definition may include myth and folklore, religion and spirituality, unexplained events and paranormal human abilities. Everything from cryptozoology to the occult falls under the larger net, which makes it a subject far too large to handle with anything but the most extreme imprecision.
A more narrow definition, hinted at from our first-page intro, classifies anything supernatural as having some real existence, but one which has thus far escaped scientific proof. Already our more narrow definition includes an unwieldy assortment of topics!
The paranormal, and parapsychology in particular, is also often concerned with what may exist or occur after death. Mediums and ghosts are the most obvious subjects of the field, but it also touches upon things like reincarnation, astral bodies, and the larger topic of religion (which in itself is largely a supernatural topic). One may extend the classification to include ‘disturbances’ (i.e., poltergeist activity, demonic possession, et cetera) though to be related to ‘post-life’ or possibly even ‘parallel-life’ beings (such as angels, demons, or other ‘visitors’ who exist not entirely in the same sphere of existence as we).
A third major area of the supernatural is concerned with what may exist but has not been observed or investigated with enough depth or validity to determine even the fact of its existence. This somewhat recursive definition includes extraterrestrial life (UFOs and other manifestations from ‘somewhere else’) and cryptids (animals that may or may not exist, from the Loch Ness Monster to more prosaic species), and possible offshoots of humanity that dwell apart (lost tribes, vanished civilizations, alternate histories). This is the subject that lends itself most aptly to scientific study, yet ironically offers a paucity of scientific evidence.
In a nutshell, there are supernatural instances occurring around the world all of the time. These are many and varied. They have been partially studied or dismissed as rubbish all together in some instances but given enough time and study some have to much supporting evidence to be dismissed all together. This does not mean that they necessarily a generally accepted part of society as a whole. It means that the average person has seen to much evidence pointing in the direction of the existence of some things to just ignore it.
For those of us who are curious there is still much work to be done. I will continue my journey until I am able to bring to light some of the subjects that are generalized as crack pot ideas or conspiracy theory. I am certain that given time and effort many of these ideals will be brought into the mainstream right where they belong…