Oh boy, another post by David! 🙂 (For those of you who are only here for Jerry’s posts, she’ll be back tomorrow, I promise…)
So, today’s post has to do with spirituality, the paranormal, and other things that we lack the ability to experience with our physical senses.
I am very much of two minds when it comes to such things. On the one hand, I am fairly certain that the vast majority of “supernatural” experiences, if not all, can be explained in completely natural terms. The human brain is an incredibly complicated piece of kit, and we are only beginning to comprehend all the things it can do, and how it is affected by its environment. And given that all of our perceptions of the world and its workings (natural and otherwise) are dependent upon the processes that take place entirely in this poorly understood lump of tissue we all carry around on our shoulders, it is absolutely conceivable to me that the things that go “bump in the night” are, in the end, simply glitches in our internal software.
On the other hand, there is nothing that I would love more than concrete evidence that such experiences are real. The thought that the universe is “not only stranger than we imagine, but stranger than we can imagine” gives me great hope. The desire to push back the veil of reality and discover that it is just the barest of veneers covering what’s really going on holds an amazing appeal for me.
My friend Tayo asked me a very difficult question one day. He said, “David, what do you want?” (Actually I believe that is probably one of the most difficult questions you can ask anyone.) I thought about it for several weeks (truly!), and finally came back that what I wanted was for people to like me. Or, more to the point, I wanted people to not dislike me. (I never had a problem with people remaining neutral about me… 🙂 )
But I was never really satisfied with that answer. And so, I have continued to cogitate on the question, some decades after it was originally asked. And though my answers continue to change as both I and my circumstances do, one aspect of my internal response has become fairly fixed: I want to experience transcendence.
If you look up “transcendence” in the dictionary (or, more likely in this day of Wikipedia and blogs, on dictionary.com…) you will find the definition is “the quality or state of being above and independent of the material universe”. Sounds positively supernatural! 🙂
And I suppose that is why I have such a fascination with such potentially idiotic things as UFOs, Bigfoot, and life after death. Because if any of those things actually exist, then they do “transcend” what we understand as making up our material world. And experiencing them, or even learning about their factual existence, would definitely be a transcendent moment.
However, there is an exquisite zen-like twist to this line of thinking. If any of those things were proved to actually exist, then they would instantly become part of our material universe, and so lose their transcendent quality! Reality is an elastic concept, and once something is “proven”, reality adjusts itself quite comfortably to include the newborn “fact”.
So maybe that is why I continue to enjoy the edges of the supernatural, without wanting to seek out the heart of any mysteries. Once the mystery is solved, it’s no fun anymore. 🙂