Friday, December 12, 2008

Thar She Blows...

In the past few months, I have been bombarded with conflicting views and beliefs ranging from pure science to total mysticism. People bring up interesting points about the supernatural, some strong in their convictions and crusading for a new path in either extreme. Coupled with the experience of watching countless organizations spring up and start at the same square all others have before, it makes you think. And it makes me remember my own journey at a younger age.

Watching everyone paving trails and bolstering their "new" views reminds me of a quote I stumbled across several months ago. If anything, it sums up my stance better than anything else.

"I used to want to change the world. Now I just want to leave the room with a little dignity."

The paranormal realm is comparable to the Greek king Sisyphus repeatedly pushing a massive boulder uphill only to watch it roll back to the bottom. Each new investigator enters the scene with delusions of grandeur, only to end up in the same rut pushing another rock. It wears you down until many people either give up or lose ambition. Most never achieve pop star status. Irrefutable evidence becomes the elusive great white whale. Ghost hunters turn into bearded Ishmaels with EMF detectors.

The sad truth is we may never find Moby Dick. No amount of believing or disbelieving will change that. It becomes a bitter curse. The cold, calculable world of science takes a toll on our beliefs.

Yet I like to picture life with some magic and mystery left in it. Many people hold some religious principles to be true without hard science. Are they wrong for doing so? Hardly. It is a human condition to have some form of faith. Faith holds society together. It gives reason to hope and avoids complete chaos. Just imaging a world absent of beliefs and faith. No consequences in the hereafter. No morals. No good triumphing over evil. Every man and woman for himself in a blind, unscrupulous fight for survival. It would mean a real Armageddon with disastrous results.

The existence of ghosts may rely on faith, but that doesn't make it a sect, necessarily. Spirituality deals with the intangible. Ideas, thoughts, and principles. The pursuit of spirits is about perceivable phenomena: touch, smell, sight, and sound. While belief in ghosts may be a form of religion, the pursuit is perceptibly different.

Should everyone believe in ghosts? Not at all. It is not my life's ambition to play Jesus and attempt to convert masses of people to some new religion. I lay my views and opinions out on the table allowing anyone who wants to look and gather from it what they wish. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. If you want to know the answer to the existence of ghosts, find out for yourself. That has been my stance for many years and will not change. I'm not a prophet. If anything, I'm a tour guide.

At least by directing supernatural tourists, my dignity remains relatively unscathed.


Cullan Hudson said...

You're absolutely right. And I think that is the very question anyone entering this realm must ask himself or herself: am I of a scientific mind or do I have faith? If the latter largely applies to you, then you are free to explore the mysteries of the universe unencumbered by the shackles of Science. You can seek out the exceptions to the rule, finding within them strange and mysterious worlds. While Science is a great tool for understanding the physical realm, it often negates the existence of the metaphysical realms.

Judy AKA "Spookannie" said...

Good post. We each have to find way to balance the science with our unproven and possibly unprovable spiritual beliefs. It's important not to throw out any babies with the bath water. I liked your Sisyphus and Moby Dick metaphors (great illustration), too!

artsyguy said...

Well rendered, Ken. And yr intelligence & humility about the whole paranormal realm radiates throughout this piece. I do see you as an Ishmael figure who records & narrates the follies of others in the field, sympathetic yet sadly shaking yr head at the same time...