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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ghosties and Ghoulies and Magic, Oh Yes!


All Hallows Eve is right around the corner. In Celtic tradition, that’s the date that separates the dark half of the year from the light. It’s a time for staying home with family. For introspection and regrouping. It’s also when the veils between the worlds thin, allowing spirits freer access to the living.
One of my problems with our modern, scientifically-based lives is all the traditions that have been tossed out as meaningless. I’m not religious in a traditional sense, but I am spiritual. So what does that mean? The least complicated definition I can come up with is I believe in something larger than my body and my mind. Something that ties them together. Whether you call it spirit, or the Collective Unconscious doesn’t much matter.

A working definition of gestalt, is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I think living creatures are like that. We are way more than neurons firing in certain patterns. It’s why no one has ever made a truly successful robot outside of Hollywood.

Our ancestors, superstitious as they were, had a much better understanding of the mystical quality of life than we do. Where we go racing to the Internet to look up explanations for things, they were content to accept the esoteric nature of certain events.

I’ve had enough odd experiences myself that I believe in the supernatural. Plus, I’ve had friends and patients relate hundreds of parapsychological events. Things that couldn’t possibly be explained away by science. Were we all victims of hysteria? I don’t think so.

On a deeply personal level, I don’t want a world where every single thing can be validated, explained or replicated using the scientific method. I like mysteries. It’s what drew me to depth psychology. Otherwise I would have stuck with cognitive behavioral interventions where you have patients journal and count things.

Not that writing things down doesn’t have a place in psychotherapy. It does because it’s a great tool to raise people’s awareness. But it doesn’t address the root cause of a problem. My observation is that problems have a way of cropping up with different names if we can’t figure out their origins.

Children are experts in the mysteries. But we drum the miraculous out of them pretty fast. Usually, by the time they’re around five, their wonderfully fluid imaginations have started to reflect cultural norms. Schools are just as guilty as parents. No kid wants to be different and they figure out pretty fast that talking about things that aren’t “real” is the kiss of death socially.

How about all of you? Have you had paranormal experiences? What did you do about them? Run like hell, embrace them, or some path in between.

17 comments:

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    1. Thanks so much, Stephanie. Your kind words are much appreciated.

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  2. I've had plenty of experiences that couldn't be explained by anything other than something paranormal. I've just learned to accept it and move on. If I share my home or space with a ghost I'm fine as long as it doesn't materialize in front of me and scare the hell out of me LOL.

    I firmly believe there's more to this world than meets the eye, more than can be explained away by science and rational thought. I embrace the magic and love the "what ifs"

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Roxanne. It would be a pretty dry world without all those "what ifs", wouldn't it?
      And I love the proliferation of the paranormal and fantasy genres. It's a lot of fun to write when there truly are no limits.

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  3. Even if the supernatural is really only the "natural" we have yet to explain, Mother Nature is a wondrous and mysterious force. Look at our oceans alone, and you can tell we've barely scratched the surface of what's here in our world. As an SFR and paranormal romance writer, I love the elements of magic and fantasy, and like they say, sometimes fact is stranger than fiction.

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    1. Hi Allie,
      Thanks so much for stopping by, reading and commenting. Funny you should bring up the oceans. I wrote a short story once about whales who shape-shifted into human form to try to find a way to save the oceans from heavy metal contamination. It made me think about a lot of things. On the one hand there's a lot we don't know. On the other, we're destroying the planet at an exponential rate. But everybody wants their cars. And their Chilean grapes in January flown in by jet. I don't buy them. My husband tells me I'm being silly since they're already at the market. If no one bought them, though, Safeway would stop importing them. Sigh . . . Wishful thinking on my part. Or magical thinking as the case may be.
      It's one of the reasons I write: to raise awareness.

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  4. I've had experiences that frankly couldn't be explained away by cold logic, sometimes not so easily or readily accepted but that's all part of living.
    I believe I have a guardian angel - and sometimes she/he helps me when i need it the most.

    This is a great post...thanks for sharing and I am definitely going to start following your blog.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Patricia. And for your kind and encouraging words. I definitely believe each of has a still, small voice within that guides us. The trick is learning to listen to it.
      It saved my husband once. He heard a voice in his head telling him to stop the car and pop the hood. Even though he felt like a fool, he did it. The carburetor (yes, it was a while ago) was pumping gasoline all over the hot engine. If he'd waited, the car would probably have blown up. At the very least, he would have had an engine fire.
      I'd love it if you wanted to follow my blog. If you shoot me a URL, I'd be glad to follow you right back.

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  5. Have I had unique experiences. Yes. I have and I have used them in stories that I've spun. I do embrace the odd and unusual being at times involved in spuchic healing and other such events. Nice article and I'll pass it along in my 3 Blog Visit Sunday. Also happy to see the final book is not available. When I finish my current WIP that I'm cleaning up, I'll putchase it. Then like my grandson. I'll read the first two before I read the last. That's what he's done with my YA series.

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    1. Hi JL,
      Thanks for your insightful comment. I think authors who embrace the unusual write way more interesting stories. I'll have to take a look at yours.
      I do hope you enjoy the Transformation Series. I was sad to finish it because I loved Lara and Trevor (and Raven and Lillian and Elidora and Brad), but it truly is done. I have some fun paranormal novellas coming out soon. And I even sold a hard scifi short here recently. I'm having a lot of fun experimenting with different genres. It's nice to not be tied to just one.

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    2. As an eclectic writer I quite understand the fooling around in different genres,

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  6. Great post! I agree wholeheartedly that a world without mystery would be unbearable. I think Americans are more limited in their world view than Europeans. When I lived in Germany, visiting a "Wahrsagerin" (psychic) was considered as reasonable as seeing any other type of specialist. Every book store I went into was filled with volumes on psychic phenomena, ghosts, tarot cards, etc. Discussions with co-workers, relatives, and acquaintances reinforced this cultural acceptance.

    I started on the road myself as a child (though I did learn early on to be keep my experiences mostly to myself).

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  7. Hi Rhea,
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I've found that most other cultures are far more accepting of paranormal phenomena. Not sure how the U.S. got so enmeshed in a "science-before-self" mindset.
    I had to unweave a lot of early programming to open my mind to the mysteries. Glad I took the time and trouble. It's made my life ever so much richer. Sounds like you feel similarly.

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    1. Thanks, Martin. Hope your day (which is well underway, being 8 hours ahead of mine) is going decently.

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  9. Science in school taught me nobody knows it all, and scientists keep looking for more. It seems sad to see so many teaching now that you can know it, and it's refreshing to be reminded we're more--more than neurons, more than experiments, more than the some of our parts. Nice post. Thank you.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, Sheila. Yes, the whole is definitely more than the sum of its parts. More appreciation of the mysteries would enrich us all!

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