Friday, February 13, 2009

But I'm Wearing a Freudian Slip...

Friday the 13th is upon us once more. Another jinxed day which, for those of us who are single and/or unfortunate in love, quite fittingly is a precursor to Valentine's Day. But perhaps black cats, dead people, and lunatics deserve just as much love...

I have had a very productive week with writing and after today's frantic typing, I should be on track for an early deadline. It's a relief to know that in a few short weeks, this book should be complete. While it won't be completely written to my own satisfaction, gathering all the required information and history would require another year and a small fortune in travel, inquiries, and hands-on investigation. So, I'll settle for being more thorough than others in the past and giving as full a story as I can in the alloted time.

My thoughts this week have drifted to psychology, perhaps in part from reading William March's The Bad Seed. That, combined with past experience and discussions in psychology, made me realize what a pseudoscience the field really is. I know some people may disagree, but the truth is we still know little about the mind, its functions, and human behavior. For every shrink who states emphatically the causes of one human thought process, another declares the exact opposite as truth. People are categorized into boxes as they best fit for diagnosis. Dreams are interpreted by some as subliminal messages, and to others as the mind discarding useless crud. When some personality traits and outside that "type", they are discarded and dismissed... it is "close enough", they say.

What's scientific about being "close enough"? Should a panther be lumped into the canine family simply because it shares many characteristics? Hardly. And when it comes to the paranormal, we often make the same hasty assumptions. An orb is paranormal because it's semi-transparent and odd. Sometimes, it coincides with other experiences. We assume so much is paranormal because it's "close enough". Therefore, if psychology is viewed as legitimate science, shouldn't parapsychology be just as accepted?

I'm not saying any one is true and the other false. It's just a random thought. I've always been an odd thinker. I remember back in my early school years being taught in basic science about light and color. Teachers told me that objects appear as a certain color because they reflect that shade of the light spectrum. Leaves are green because they reflect green light, etc. My initial thought (which has never been answered sufficiently) was this: if that's true, then what color are things really? Is the world composed merely of black, white, and all shades between? Color is merely an illusion, is it not? Things have certain properties which cause them to reflect colors, so they aren't really those colors, right?

Yes. I think far too much.

Reality is very subjective. The world around us is entirely open to interpretation. Like psychology and the paranormal. And the insane. What if insanity is really sanity? What if being sane is, in fact, being delusional? Who can say for sure? Is a black-and-white photograph a true representation of our world? Is someone who talks to "invisible people" simply seeing and hearing what we cannot? Is life one prolonged dream from which we only awake at our death to realize our life has only begun? These are all strange and frightening ideas. But what if they're true?

The more we try to unravel the mysteries of the universe, the more puzzling everything becomes. If religion is nonsense, paranormal is bunk, and magic doesn't exist, is life the biggest delusional sham? Isn't everything we do beyond basic survival and propagation of the species one big lie to fool ourselves into believing we have meaning? Remember, we're just animals in the grand scheme of things. Is love just an accidental chemical reaction?

The real question is, do we want to know the answers? Human beings dislike reality. Illusion is safer. Fiction more tantalizing. Reality is a sleeping pitbull in the corner of the room. Better not wake it up...

"...and how does that make you feel?"

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