Monday, October 3, 2011

Tuesday Imagines You Could've Guessed This

I do not believe in ghosts. I'm pretty firmly placed in the sceptical side of things, and it takes a great deal of mystery for me to even begin to conjure up possibilities. I don't believe in a soul, I don't believe in God, and I don't believe there is anything supernatural or metaphysical to be found on Earth, or as far as Earth can perceive it (that includes astrology, which happens to be my sceptical area of expertise - my username, Ophiucha, comes from one of my favourite inconsistencies in astrology).

To give me something to say, though, I will say that I accept the possibility of alien lifeforms. No, I don't think crop circles are the work of aliens, and anyone who has a cow and probing story to tell is a lunatic (a fitting word indeed; lunatic). But I know that the universe is vast and that the conditions for life are not exclusive to Earth. Though we have not found life, we've barely had a chance to leave our solar system. I don't know if, or even think that, there is a species out there which is sapient. We may well find life in the form of amoeba or plants or some bloody awesome terrifying dinosaur planet. Perhaps that barely even counts as 'aliens' to many people, we think of little grey men and two-mouthed, acid-for-blood killers, but in the strictest 'living thing of another earth' definition, I don't think it'd be absurd to find a flower out there, light years away.

I don't think I'll ever know of it, of course. I imagine I'll be dead long before  the technology to explore the depths of space are perfected. I wouldn't be surprised if we all, all of humankind, are dead before that technology is with us. It's a far more daunting task than I think most people realize, and I wouldn't think it odd if it took us less time to blow ourselves up in a nuclear war or drown the planet with melted, glacial ice than it took us to truly explore the Milky Way. Still years and years out, after I'm dead. But still, I don't know if we'll ever know.

Anyway, I maintain scepticism in regards to any matter bound to Earth, and even a bit beyond. Particularly if they've been proven wrong. I will never understand how homoeopathy is still around. Or astrology, as I said. There are so very many things that prove astrology wrong that it's invasiveness is all the more frustrating. Can't pick up a newspaper or magazine without being told my horoscope. Which is, without a doubt, completely different from my horoscope in the next one I pick up. Truly outstanding how these things manage to persist.

I suppose it is part of our culture, in a way. Not in the same way religion is, but these superstitions and attachments to the paranormal and the otherworldly. I think it's engrained in us. Maybe it's just a desire for something less mundane, maybe it's a desire for their to be an unknown (as every day, another mystery is solved, or at least proved not very mysterious at all). I don't understand it, but I was raised away from it. I've had spiritual beliefs before, and even those were so far away that I could justify them. Matters of the soul, mostly. I've lost that belief as I grew older and felt how the world changed, and could put these things into words. That might be it, really. All flights of fancy I have are put into writing fantasy. And I like it that way.

Oh, and as a kid, I was only ever told one ghost story. You probably know it. Amityville Horror. I grew up not a twenty minute drive from Amityville, so it was really the only one that was ever talked about in my part of Long Island. As it is, though, I'd already seen the movie by the time I heard the story, so I could never quite get into it. I'd probably have to say my favourite 'ghost story' was The Ring. I loved that movie when it came out; bought the manga and the Japanese DVD and everything.

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