The thought surprised him. Bering was a confirmed atheist. He did not believe in any kind of supernatural anything. He prided himself on being a scientist, a psychologist who believed only in the measurable material world. But, he says, he simply couldn’t help himself.
“My mind went there. It leapt there,” Bering says. “And from a psychological perspective, this was really interesting to me. Because I didn’t believe it on the one hand, but on the other hand I experienced it.”
Why is it, Bering wondered, that even a determined skeptic could not stop himself from perceiving the supernatural? It really bothered him.
It was a very good question, he decided, to take up in his lab.