Saturday, November 9, 2013

Believe, not beLIEve

While conversating with some friends, it was brought to my attention that I had became a skeptic.  My writing was cited as Exhibit A.  “You used to be a believer like me man, but you aren’t now.”  Without thinking I backed up my position, pointing out the countless charlatans who fabricate the paranormal to make a buck (I hope they are tormented by relentless poltergeists for eternity).  But the longer I sat there, the longer it kept simmering.  Had I became a total skeptic?  I would rip apart almost any proposed reality, questioning every detail until there was nothing left of it.  I was jaded.

I’ve spent years looking for proof of the supernatural.  I’ve absorbed all the most obscure knowledge I could come across.  I’ve came away from some places with what I feel is proof of something ELSE.  But I realized I had come to analyzed such events from so many different angles that eventually I would find something that couldn’t be 100% ruled out and begin to doubt the things I saw for myself.  “I really am a skeptic aint I?”

The room was in agreement.  It was a sad realization for me.  It took the possibility of some magic being left in the world away.  There’s that hint of something Else often enough to keep hoping for it.  I wondered if it was that I had quit Looking for the spooky.  The Skeptic dismissed away any possibility.  That’s not what the spooky is about.  Somewhere in the patterns, hoaxes, and prophecies there’s that thing…you can’t quite put your finger on it, but it’s there.  

My grandmother sent me to a friends house to get her some fresh apples a few days ago.  She peeled them and put them in the freezer for fried apples during the winter.  Sitting at the kitchen table I mentioned remembering her telling me as a child that if you peeled the whole apple without breaking it and threw it over your shoulder, the peel would land on the floor in the shape of the initial of the person you would marry.  A devout Christian woman all her life, she smiled and said “Do you know what I always got when I did it?”  I knew the answer by her smile.  “S for Short.”  When I tried it then the peel landed in what could only be interpreted as a question mark.  I have a picture to Prove it.  

Was my mamaw saying that apple peels are a surefire way to divine your future?  Nope.  She was just acknowledging those funny things that happen.  Can’t quite put your finger on it, but there could be a little magic in the world.  Magic could mean many things, and all those things could be the same one thing.  That’s the question isn’t it? 

Magic.  Spooky.  SuperNatural.  God.  Allah.  Great Cosmic Joker.  Déjà vu curtsey of a divine trickster.  Every culture has their own way of explaining away those things that they can’t put their finger on and can’t explain.  When you try to explain it some kind of mental aphasia keeps you from proving it. Those mystery things.  They come up with mythologies and religions to explain them.  Certain patterns repeat and make them that much more mysterious.  But the key is that they acknowledge something that is beyond their ability to explain.  

The pursuit of That unknown is what the Medicine Show’s all about.  Digging and searching for that which cannot be explained.  There should be a balanced duality between the Believer and the Skeptic.  There’s no point in searching for the Truth is we won’t believe we’ll ever find it.  A healthy dose of skepticism helps rule out the obvious but believing in Something is what fuels the universe.  My name is Mandy and I’m a recovering Skeptic.  Believe, not beLIEve. 

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