NOTE THE SPECIFICITY OF THE title — I didn’t say I don’t like ghosts, or that I shun their company or “disbelieve” in their “existence.” But they’re no big thing to me, any more so than the other amazing things about which I can do nothing but appreciate.
Like most people, I stand at the rim and center of diverse circles of friends: the local Jewish community, the local media community, my pirate buddies, college fiends, pagans, ol’ hippies and any number of peace officers, firefighters and clergyfolk, each of exceptional intelligence and veracity, all of whom trust their eyes and ears despite preconceptions, and whose only motivation in retelling some awfully weird goings-on was to understand their UFO sighting, religious vision, haunting, reincarnation evidence, Ouija session, telekinesis, missing time, seance, monster encounter or near-death experience. (Like I would know.)
Most of those friends who’ve experienced anomalous whoopdedoofery (including the author) seem to develop an essential reality-agnosticism and open-face-value acceptance of things beyond one’s personal ken. (To be honest, I also know a few people whose pre-existing dogmas were reinforced by experiential weirdness, so you never can tell …) Perhaps, as researcher Jacques Vallee suggests, these misty goings-on have been kicking us in the collective head for millenia to expand our notions and horizons. (Even vampires, the most pretentious of the undead, may have merit when seen in this light.) If so, then challenge your next Weird Encounter with the old wizards’ adage: “Come on in and set a spell*.”
* Labored pun explicable on request, or, better yet, not.
You’re SUCH a good writer. Dang.
PS – Author and talk-show host Brian Copeland is soliciting ghost stories. Here’s what I shared: “I’m not the ‘ghost believer’ type, but many years ago I bravely slept in the spare bedroom of my friend’s house; no one else would sleep there because her grandmother had died in that room. I thought their fear was hogwash. Sometime in th…e middle of the night I awakened to hear an old woman’s voice say very clearly — and not menacingly, just matter-of-factly — “Get out.” I did. No one was pulling a trick on me, I wasn’t dreaming. That incident led me to keep an open mind about contact with spirits. Who knows what’s possible?”
Grew up in a house where my mom and younger brother kept seeing a soldier. Then one day we noticed a man outside staring at our house for a very long time. When we finally went outside to ask politely why he was there, he explained he’d once lived in our house, it had been his own family’s house–but then his son died in Viet Nam…
I don’t really even know what I believe, but I’m cautiously optimistic that there’s an afterlife. It would be sad to me, that souls would be stuck out of time in an endless loop. So I hope it’s not the case.
There’s an acronym in the Talmud — “teiqu” — that means “Elijah the Tishbite will reveal it to us,” meaning that the rabbis reached an argumentative dead-end that they couldn’t resolve. So they left it for when Elijah the Prophet comes to announce the coming of Messiah.
I’m not really sure I believe that either. But I’d like to.