Me Vs. Carl Sagan?

Often when I post paranormal related articles or videos on Facebook the comments will undoubtedly sideline into the area of open-mindedness.
Most of the ‘debunkers’ or ‘Sceptics’ I see either commenting on my posts or being interviewed on T.V Radio etc. for their views on a particular case or experience seem to have as the foundation for their opinion; “I don’t believe it’s possible, therefore it can’t be”.
Often a debunkers explanation will be more bizarre than the testimony of the Experiencer themselves (but that’s afor another post).
After a few comments and talk of open or closed-mindedness, there will invariably follow the posting of this particular quote;
“It pays to keep an open mind – but not so open your brain falls out”.
This quote, which is attributed to to Astronomer, Carl Sagan (though it’s origins go back to the 1930’s if not before) and, though witty (be it someone else’s wit)
seems to be used as a debate stopping tool or full stop to the ‘sceptic’s’ comments.
On the internet there is a popular image depiction of this quote:


This seems to me a bizarre comment to be made by anyone who wishes to explore any subject,
be it paranormal or otherwise.
It’s intention seems to be to place a limitation on how open-minded one should be.
But who places those limitations?
Who has the right to limit the open-mindedness of anyone?
Where is the line of open-mindedness drawn and on whose say-so and based on what criteria?
This quote, which is more ridiculous the more you examine it, comes from a place of control and fear.
Genuine scepticism in conjunction with an open-mind is vital in all areas of study.
But the majority of those who claim to be sceptics seem more closed-minded and with an answer already formed before even looking at the information, evidence or testimony of someone who has had an extraordinary experience.
Very often they will not have even investigated the case or experience they are ‘debunking’.

I have had a lifetime of paranormal, unusual and just plain weird experiences in my life, so I come from a stand-point of a mind already open to such things and a knowledge that being human and living this life goes far beyond the boundaries that fundamentalist materialistic science believers would place on us and the environment in which we live.

Surely putting a limit on the openness of your mind limits your own possibilities and the potential for new scientific discoveries?
I have made my own counter ‘quote’ to that attributed to Sagan, which is:

Don’t let fear or ridicule or even science dictate to you what is possible for you to experience.
Science, though amazing in it’s discoveries, does not have all the answers, far from it.
Be brave, be open, be yourself.
There’s an amazing world out there and within us all, to be explored without limitation or boundaries put in place by others or our own fears.
As a quote attributed to George Bernard Shaw (but also a Chinese proverb) goes: 
“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”


4 thoughts on “Me Vs. Carl Sagan?

  1. Although it maybe have been bastardized an turned into a conversation stopper, as you say, isn’t the original meaning that you should be open-minded but not gullible? It’s about not being taken advantage of by con “artists.” (Is it art? I guess sometimes.) But then if the meaning has been warped into a one-size-fits-all conversation stopper by the people uttering it who won’t entertain anything but the obvious, shallow surface stuff, like the fundamentalists they claim to be the antithesis of…. yeah, that, too, is a con job.

  2. Whenever I hear about someones experience, however unusual or challenging, I always have to remind myself; Yeah, but I got rained on by hazelnuts!
    Interestingly enough my Dad told me and the rest of the family at dinner yesterday about the time when he was walking to the high street about 20-odd years ago, when suddenly he got rained on by lots of tiny frogs!
    What is going on with me and my family??!
    I think if people want to say; be open minded but not gullible they should just say that rather than playing what they perceive as the ‘scientist quote trump card’.

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