This week being online I have been reading so many things that just make me shake my head and wonder about people even more.
Sadly, a guy a know from high school, has a 13 year old daughter who they thought was cured of her cancer. I read yesterday it has returned. How terrible and sad. Yet EVERY person on her CaringBridge site mentioned praying for her, telling her to have faith in 'god', etc. And she has LOTS of followers. I mean thousands. Her family has quite a story and she is quite a fighter! She has raised so much money for other kids with cancer,etc. that her site has thousands of followers. I just don't understand how, when she fought SO hard, and seemed to win, when the cancer returns, the followers have MORE faith rather than less. Does Nobody think that if there was a 'god' that this is heartless and cruel? My heart breaks for her and her family, and if I thought there was a 'god' that let this happen again, I would curse he/she/it.
On another topic, I love to read forums/blogs, etc. on frugality. It's just a thing of mine, because I love having no debt and no mortgage, so that we can spend on things that are really important to us as a family (like vacations together.) Anyway, one lady mentioneed she is a cleaning-woman in an office-building at night, and she saw a dark, creepy, evil, 'ghost' scamper behind a huge plant while she was working. All of a sudden TONS of people on the site started-in with their personal ghost-sightings. Pages and pages on this thread. REALLY???????? How come I have never seen a ghost or any evidence of any 'god'? Is it that if you already believe this stuff your mind plays tricks on you and you believe it, and if you don't believe this stuff, nothing happens because you don't believe it anyway. One woman went on and on about a ghost in her sons bedroom that he talks to and is friends with, and that it was the woman that died in that bedroom and she watches over him. Someone even said too bad the woman couldn't let the 'ghost' babysit her son, because she'd get in trouble because not everyone would believe the ghost was watching over him. I just don't get it...
You are right about imagining ghosts. I think they are projections much in the same vein as UFO sightings and God forbid - alien abduction. The telling thing is no-one was reporting UFOs down through the centuries and the ancients did a lot of star-gazing seeing as they had no teloscopes. But UFOs did start being observed with the birth of machines and aeroplanes in the 20th century.All this silliness about ghosts is mostly in the surprising imaginations of otherwise normal people.
But I keep an open mind as I agree with Carl Jung. Who talks of a personal collective unconscious which is understandable. But also that we are connected to a wider collective unconscious which gets tricky because if ghosts are not literally dead people but imprints in said collective unconscious surfacing of their own accord then it is not personal projection as such. I saw such a thing one night after waking from a restless hypogogic state due to jet lag. I open my eyes and there is a guy in the the dark dimly lit by a street light complete with long black cape and hat with a wide brim walking up the room towards me in what I sensed as a corridor of sorts and oblivious to me. Was I dreaming? Yes if it was coming
from the unconscious..Do I ever dream with my eyes open aware I've woken up? No. One other time I was in a hypogogic state asleep but jilted by way too much coffee. It was pretty trippy and I understand what they might mean by " on an astral plane".But that was definetely with my eyes shut in a sub-merged state. And I hadn't gotton around to reading Jung by then either. So there is a possible explanation.
Another one in the same line of thinking is there were more true ghosts seen before electric light in those evocative. days of guttering candles. More so that if ghosts are imprints from memory in the collected unconscious it makes sense these were contained in old houses; many people never left their town or village or lived in the same house most their life. The ghosts on high-ways were surrounded by nature pretty much in an un-disturbed state. Undisturbed state is the key word here and people's mind's were not diffused by the media ( starting with radio) That is if folk were concentrated in themselves and their community it would be like a still pond on their/ the collective unconscious to throw up ghosts.
I don't get ghost stories either. I think people imagine them. The mind is a very complex thing. Science has yet to understand it fully.
Sorry to hear about your friends daughter - that's so sad.
Hi Steph! I haven't seen the guy since high school, and I've never met his daughter, but since we know some of the same people I heard her story and have been following her progress on her CaringBridge site. She was doing SO great! I've just felt really down today after reading about her relapse. How scary and sad and hard. Especially for a kid! And her poor parents and siblings. There is more treatment, and always hope. Just NO WAY could a loving 'god' actually PLAN this for her. There is NO reason for it.
I agree the mind is so complex and there is so much we don't know. My Brother-in-Law says he KNOWS there is an afterlife, because right after his Mom died, he was on a golf course and he said something to her, and he could smell her scent. I said the mind is very powerful and it brought-up how she smelled in life. He INSISTS she was there on that golf-course with him. Oh well!
A couple years ago my mother told me about an occurrence she had involving her dead father. She was home alone in the living room sitting at the piano playing his favorite hymn when she felt his presence in the room behind her and heard him singing. She was very comforted by that experience. What can you possibly say to someone, especially a family member, when they tell about an experience such as that? I just listened to what she had to say and left it at that. I would feel horribly cruel and guilty if I tried to spoil her delusion.
My aunt (my mother's sister) also had a story to relate involving their dead father. Her experience included "smelling" him and then having a piece of jewelry show up that was missing. She was quite distressed about the missing item because she surmised that she accidentally threw it away with some newspapers in the outdoor recycling bin that had already been collected. She later found the lost jewelry piece wrapped up in a cloth in her dresser drawer with bits and pieces of broken leaves. My aunt is convinced that her dead father intervened and reunited her with the missing item. I know our minds play outlandish tricks on us, but the manner in which the lost jewelry piece reappeared, I admit, is strange. Of course, I wasn't there, so I may not have all the "facts" of the event.
I can understand you not wanting to spoil your Mom's delusion Flying Atheist. I know a few people who really have to believe their loved-ones are 'up in heaven' waiting for them, or they'd just lose their minds I think. I wouldn't ever be cruel to someone like that by arguing with them that they are wrong. It really would be cruel.
I was working with a friend, and may still, on a quantum electrodynamic theory of ghosts. Lots of fun, though making a truly working theory is very challenging.
Luara, how interesting!!!
I work for a team of oncologists and have also had many family members die from different cancers. I've seen so much horrible suffering! Science is making progress, but apparently the christian god still sits on his duff and doesn't just end the misery as should be quick and easy for the so-called creator of an entire universe. How many deaths does he/she/it need to enjoy anyway? How many centuries does this need to go on?
Really, for me, cancer as well as all the suffering related to it, is just proof positive that there is no such thing as an "all-loving god" or an "all-powerful god." I don't know a single human being who would inflict cancer on anyone else, especially a small child, watch them suffer despite being able to just stop the disease entirely, and then witness the acute grief experienced by family members upon the death of the child. Those are NOT loving actions, but the "faithful" always make excuses for the obvious failings of their god. In fact, it makes me sick to my stomach when I listen to their baloney as they give praise to their god if the cancer goes into remission... They can't explain why it happened in the first place, why it goes on and on and on, and why their god apparently toyed with them and allowed the disease to recur. They only have sickening excuses.
Deb, on the 13-year old little girls Caring Bridge site that I follow, her Mom said they are just asking 'god' to put her into a 2nd remission. Why aren't they asking 'him' WTF and why did she get cancer again?! Also, it's so sad, on her page, one of the boys who died, his Mom is praying for him to intervene on this little girls behalf. What? I guess that is the only way she can cope. This 'god' of theirs is certainly one SOB.
As far as ghost sightings, I think that the human brain does amazing things, especially when a person is tired. I noted that I'll "see" something out of the corner of my eye if I've worked too many hours and it's very late, but truly nothing is there. It sure seems real though. I also think there is probably a gray area between being asleep and awake and sometimes an overlap occurs. My mom seems to see ghosts regularly at night and will literally be screaming on the top of her lungs. She says these ghost sightings happen immediately before someone she loves dies, but this isn't actually the case at all as many have died and she never had the sighting beforehand. She also never seems to see ghosts at any other time of the day, only at night while trying to sleep or waking from sleep. I think she's dreaming, but she's, of course, adamant that they're ghosts. I don't discuss it with her at all, or religion either, as she gets shockingly emotional (even hostile).
Hostility when one's viewpoint is challenged is a way of safeguarding one's opinion from challenges, and people do it not only with religion but other kinds of opinions too.
I live in a little lefty town, and when I first moved here I thought "alternative" was unqualified great - as in, justified variance from societal norms.
But I've found a great deal of it is pretty loony. And guarded by hostility, and when you meet anger from men in response to disagreement, it can feel physically threatening.
The internet is possibly helpful this way, since people who might violently disagree in person can encounter each other where they won't be physically hurt. Although online people make up for the lack of physical threat with astonishing emotional virulence sometimes, that has sometimes really upset me and left me reeling.
I was recently in a nursing home to visit a relative. Walking by a prayer room, I peeked in a listened a while. Around a dozen old timers, most octogenarian, were saying the rosary. What struck me is the sincerity and fervor with which they muttered their aves.
I would have liked (though it wouldn’t have been cool) to make some noise to knock them out of their collective trance, and yell, “Hey, you’re wasting your time. Did you ever in your whole life witness any miracle, much less any supernatural event? Try to spend your remaining time enjoying life and having fun. Most of us have only a few decades left; we’re all in the same boat. So stop feeling sorry for yourself; if it weren’t for death, you never would have been born. It’s a trade-off. I believe we're all going back to the same place we were before we were born. What’s the matter with that? Back to zero, in other words.”