Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Para-Christianity?

Yesterday Anny mentioned the Bible as a holy book but not an encylopedia. I agree. It's not meant to answer all your reference questions. In fact, if you take passages from the Bible and put them in a word doc, you will find that those little green underliney things pop up indicating grammatical errors. Due to translation no doubt, but not your example of grammatical usage for a college paper or thesis.

However, I do have to differ with her as ghosts (Job), Pangaea (Genesis), and Dinosaurs (BOTH water dwelling veggie-sauruses and land dwelling meata-saureses) are mentioned in the Bible. Interestingly enough, it isn't the prospect of a single landmass breaking up or dinosaurs that will create some of the biggest controversy in a religious discussion, but the open communication about the spirit world.

I find it interesting that in a faith which believes deeply in the Holy Spirit and the minions of the underworld, we are not encouraged to discuss what happens to us when we pass on. Oh, it's talked about in quiet whispers and shared experiences... even (gasp) at seminary between the wives.

It was during one such discussion that a seminary guy confessed he was a sensitive who really appreciated taking a theology class where they did a two day seminar on hauntings and possessions!! I was floored! I mean, my husband attends the same school but he is a tough ghost critic despite our numerous personal experiences (which, if you have been following along, have not continued since the move and I have yet to hear from our renter that they've been a problem).

The seminar bits he told me about were fascinating. For example, spirits seem to prefer water or areas with water as a kind of anti-baptism. They also prefer to possess something, even if it's an animal as opposed to being cast out into a bodiless existence. There were other things too, like if you are in an exorcism, you ought to have your life very much in order because the inhabiting spirit will call out your sins one by one to get you to stop. This includes forgiven sins and existing sins. That's enough to make me run, right there.

My friend Dena is married to the guy who was in that course. She's sensitive too and we had a long talk one day about personal experiences, faith, and what we believe happens to us "after". Where I believe in spirits who pretend to be the ghosts of loved ones gone (the distinction is a whole 'nuther blog folks), Dena believes that ghosts are our spirits on a parallel plane with us. That they either can or cannot reach through the veil to be heard or seen. That hell for them is being near your loved one but never able to communicate and heaven is always interacting with them. Neither one of us was sure what that meant for the dingo dipwad who messed around with my shower head while I was bathing.

Jean, another friend, doesn't believe there is anything. Mia refuses to discuss it. Linda thinks I'm crazy. Terri and Jannifer will talk aliens but not ghosts, and most of us quietly pretend that whatever we've been taught must be right therefore pressing the matter might end up in bad vibes or mean we have broken from faith.

But does it really have to mean that? I'm firm in my belief of an afterlife in heaven (or hell, you naughty, naughty things!!! I say this tongue in cheek cause thankfully, I'm not the one making the decisions or pretending to have an inside scoop on the matter). I am also confident that there are many many things we cannot understand yet. We get glimpses and form an opinion which works until the next glimpse comes along to tighten or alter the definition we've created. Are there weres? Dunno. Aliens? No idea. I have experiences but no proof. Sasquatch? Possibly. Can't rule that out. Vampires? All kinds, especially those emotional vampires who suck your positive energy every time they are around. The blood kind? Again. Dunno. I know there are those who practise vampirism but whether they are immortal, enh....

With faith (any faith), which needs gossamer trust in order to have an existence, I would say it opens the door nicely to other philosophies, including the supernatural or paranormal. After all paranormal just means, outside the norm. But faith is... well, it's a belief right?

We believe it whether there is factual evidence or not. It is faith BECAUSE it's not concrete but accepted as truth, anyway. That being the case, I have faith that there is a spirit world intimately involved with us... you can call it ghosts if you want. I have faith that there are creatures yet undiscovered on this planet and therefore the possibility of other planets is wide open... I have faith that my experiences aren't the only ones out there, nor are yours... and I have faith that one day, I'll know for sure.

~Kelly~

18 comments:

  1. That is a wonderful essay Kelly!

    Indeed! there may be different forms of life..or death...

    In India, they say, Ghosts are the spirit of the people who have neither attained Moksha( salvation) nor another birth. This is mostly for the people who have ( as they put it) died an untimely death ( either by an accident or, by being killed or via, suicide) Some say, that ghosts are the spirits that have some unfulfilled task to commence upon this earth & so they use human bodies as the medium to get the task done! :)

    Whatever...I have not seen one yet...neither do I have the wish to see :D

    So please don't bother me Mr/Mrs. Ghost even if you are watching me say this ( shudder)!

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  2. Good blog. I believe that there is room for all sides in the debate.

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  3. Absolutely. Our experiences are all we can go on, after all. It's ridiculous to claim we know the absolutes about any of the faith items. How can we? It's based on belief and what I believe is different from what you believe. Even those within the same faith, the same denomination of faith, will differ on these subjects. So who's right? I don't think we'll know while we are still living and it doesn't make sense to go around making everyone near you miserable as you insist you know fact in the midst of your faith.

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  4. I was raised in a situation where our church said ghosts were just demons trying to fool us, but my family background (the Roma and the Irish) firmly believed in the idea of ghosts.

    I wonder sometimes if actual "I see a ghost" hauntings aren't related to what our scientists have guessed about the nature of time. That it is a wave and not a straight-line continuum. Often people report the ghost seems disturbed to see them as well. Perhaps it is a point at which the waves of time come close and touch and we are given a glimpse of the past or future. Maybe that explains alien encounters too.

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  5. Maybe it's a little bit of everything. There are "intelligent hauntings" and "residual hauntings". There are noises, scents and images. Sometimes there are just "feelings". I agree that there are many things we don't understand just waiting to be discovered or explained. I find it makes the world a little more interesting.
    Teri

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  6. Very interesting post, Kelly. Faith is what we believe to be true and we believe with no proof...just what our hearts tell us. The same could be said for the "spirit world". I believe it exists.

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  7. Wow, you guys are deep. Teri, I'm kind of in the same mindset as you with a little bit of demonology thrown in about the whole situation.

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  8. Our daughter, Lesley, left us on January 5, 2001 and my brother, July 21, 2007. I know they are both with me, especially Lesley. Spirits of those we have loved and lost do not abandon us. Not as ghosts. For me it's more like a feeling or receiving a message. Did I ever tell you how Lesley helped me find a ring I had lost? To me it was truly amazing what happened.

    Your essay was well done with a nice inspirational touch.

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  9. Belief cannot create truth; truth is already the case. Truth IS . You need not believe in it for it to be. Your belief or disbelief is not going to make any difference to the truth.
    But if you believe in something it starts appearing as true, to you at least. That is what the meaning of belief is. It means to believe something as true. You know that you don't know, but in your ignorance you start believing, because believing is cheap. To discover the truth is arduous, it needs a long pilgrimage , emptying of mind & cleansing of heart. It needs a sort of rebirth.

    There is danger in belief, it makes you feel that you know the truth, and for that very reason, it becomes the greatest barrier in your search. Believe or disbelieve, you are blocked ( because disbelief is also nothing but belief in a negative form) . the Christians believe in God, the communists believe in no- god. Both are believers.Go to Kabba, Comintern, Kailasha or Kremlin, it is all the same.
    And because we have all settled down without taking the trouble to go and discover it, the deeper is our belief, and the greater the barrier.
    We live surrounded by our own illusion, self created, self sustained; it may be consoling, but never liberating.

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  10. Mona, I'm guessing you're not big into post-modernism. ;-) I disagree with your last sentence: belief can indeed be liberating. If I believe that God is waiting to welcome me for eternity in the after life, then I am liberated from the concerns and fears of this one. I am free to buck convention, ignore what society says is truth, and follow the way that I believe is right.

    Regarding spirits, ghosts, etc., I have seen so many charlatans using people's sorrow for lost loved ones to enrich themselves that it will take more than a spooky story, or even experience, to make me believe that ghosts and spirits exist. I am more inclined toward Jacqueline's idea of spiraling time, "place memory" and other relativistic and quantum mechanics type ideas than conscious, active ghosts.

    Yep--I'm a skeptic. So sue me.

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  11. Great blog post Kelly!

    I wanted to add my two cents to elissa's post: "I have seen so many charlatans using people's sorrow for lost loved ones to enrich themselves that it will take more than a spooky story, or even experience, to make me believe that ghosts and spirits exist."

    I've seen this too and it's just out and out wrong. I'm clairvoyant and nothing makes me madder than charlatans who take advantage of people this way. I'm a big believer in what comes around goes around so I try to help people through whatever fear the fraud has instilled in them or help them overcome their grief and I do it for free.

    Being a skeptic myself but also being clairvoyant and a medium - I understand both sides of this issue. I had a hard time believing in what was happening to me but it did so there it is. I live with it and have finally gotten to a point (after many many years of fighting it) where I accept the ghosts, guides, angels and spirit that visit me with messages. It's a tough road that I believe has to be traveled with responsibility.

    Smiles,

    Melissa Alvarez
    http://melissaa.com

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  12. I believe that there are spirits and creatures on this world we may not know about yet. I believe there are aliens but that we'll never likely meet them.

    One woman at work will get up and walk off if we even discuss "Charmed".

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  13. Good blog, Kel. I tend to lean toward the thought that we make our own afterlife, create what would be our own personal heaven or hell or even a holding tank(where ghosts reside) if you will.

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  14. Great points, Kelly and an excellent post as usual. :D

    If I believe that God is waiting to welcome me for eternity in the after life, then I am liberated from the concerns and fears of this one. I am free to buck convention, ignore what society says is truth, and follow the way that I believe is right.

    So, is God's law above man's law?

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  15. Elissa. I request you to go & read what I have said again.

    You are not "liberated" from your concerns, You are "consoled".

    Because you you can never be sure if God is really waiting there with his 'arms' open for you.You have not seen it.

    I think there is a superior power out there balancing things.

    If what you mean by God is God of Humanity, There could be truth in it.

    But if you 'slice' up God as Muslim God, or Christian God or Jew God etc. then I am afraid there is no truth in it.

    Belief is theoretical.One can change one's belief without any trouble. It is just like changing your clothes. You can jump from organized faith to another organized faith. There is no problem, because belief is if the mind. If anything is more convincing, more logical, you can change it. It has no roots in your heart.
    Belief is like plastic flowers, that look real from afar, but have no roots. They are permanent and can remain with you throughout your life, without watering or nurturing.But the fact remains. That they are unreal, without any life, without any fragrance...

    Human mind is so stuck in belief that they want even the Truth to conform to their belief!Even if Truth stares them in their face and their heart sees it, they would no accept it.

    When you can KNOW , when knowing is possible, why settle for believing the ready made knowledge that has been supplied to you? But again, society would like you to believe, because believers are good people, obedient, law abiding. they follow formalities and etiquette, they are never trouble makers.They simply should follow the crowd, whichever crowd they happen to be in.

    They are not real men, they are sheep. Humanity has not yet arrived.

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  16. They are not real men, they are sheep. Humanity has not yet arrived.

    Nor do I think it is possible for us to arrive at a unified state of belief or even consensus, when there is no One religion that carries the beliefs and hearts of all people. It is our differences that make us who we are, but these same differences are what prevent us from unilaterally sharing a common vision. One person's idea of heaven (or whatever the ultimate goal of the afterlife is) would be another’s hell and vice versa.

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  17. PS> And I am not into ANY kind of ism. I remain a maverick, not aligned to any group whatsoever. Nor do I profess any philosophy. Philosophy is like a prostitute, it can go with anybody. For every philosophy, there is an equal & opposite philosophy.

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