I'd like to ask why second conditional, not the third conditional, is used in the following passage:
I told this fact to several other people who also were interested in
investigating orbs. Some of them suggested that the orbs were being
attracted to us because of our focus and interest in them. While I was
ready to accept that explanation I also believed that there were more prosaic
explanations that needed to be considered as well: If I opted only for
the obvious and appealing explanation that the orbs were pleased with
our attention, I could miss some vital piece of tangible physical evidence
that might open the way to a much deeper understanding of the orbs and
how they might fit in with what we knew. Ramtha had taught us what
this phenomenon was; through my investigation, I could learn more of
its detail and its implications for our own understanding of reality.
The author is talking about past events and uses second conditional instead of third cnditional. What's the reason for this usage?
He is describing his thoughts, and apparently decided to express it this way to give an air of immediacy or intimacy to his thought processes, instead of sticking to the narrative.
For example, in a past narrative you might read this:
I was standing around doing nothing when I thought to myself: why am I standing around doing nothing?