Sunday, December 10, 2023

When your gut gives you a feeling, do you believe it?

So a friend who's an indie author posted a little story on his Facebook business page this week that gave me a *headdesk* moment. It was about a weird thing that actually happened to him several decades ago. The incident could have been a disaster, potentially with lives lost, except for some quick action on his part.

The *headdesk* moment? Here it is, with some edits: "Those of you who know me, know I am a cynic to all things supernatural. But, that day ... I heard a very calm voice say, "[Friend], get in the truck and drive it away ..." When I looked around, I was alone. To this day, I have no idea where that voice came from, but I heard it." Bottom line: He got in the truck and drove it away, a safe distance from a crowd of people. Shortly thereafter, the truck went up in flames.

Well, it's his page and he's trying to sell his books, so I restrained myself in my response. Basically I said I was glad he'd listened to the voice.

But this is my blog, and I don't have to restrain myself here. So here's what I wanted to say: "My gods, man! Even after that, you're still cynical about the 'supernatural'? How much of a sign do you need???"

The whole thing reminded me of an article in a women's magazine I read a few years ago -- I wish I could find it now -- in which the author was determined to discredit anything occult-related as airy-fairy twaddle. As part of her research, she received a Tarot reading that mentioned some things in her life that she wasn't happy about and even made suggestions for making them better ... and she blew it off. As a coincidence or something. (I really wish I could find that article.) The cards gave her useful advice, but she could not heed it because she could not break out of her preconceived idea that all of it was bullshit.

Christianity has a lot of answer for, in terms of how it has warped Western thinking. But one thing that really frustrates me is how it insists that there's only one real god, and anything weird is either a miracle or evil. That dichotomous model has so permeated Western culture that even people who aren't Christian, or who used to be but aren't anymore, employ it -- except for them, anything weird can be explained away by either science or psychology: Either the thing has a rational explanation, or your brain is playing tricks on you.

Apparently my friend has never rationalized away this incident, but also, apparently, he's not comfortable with saying he hallucinated that voice, either. So maybe those aren't the only two possible explanations.

Just as a thought experiment, let's consider what a third possibility could be. Now, alert hearth/myth readers know that I don't believe in the Good vs. Evil dichotomy; I've written about it at least three times. Y'all also know that I'm not Christian (I hope that's not a spoiler for anybody), and it follows that I don't believe in the Christian concept of the devil. So the third possibility I'm proposing has nothing to do with Satan or demons or Hell or any of that stuff.

Here's my third possibility: What if other entities exist in our reality? (This is a thought experiment, remember -- you're not allowed to laugh it off.) What if other beings exist here, or have access to our reality occasionally? What form might they take? 

How about a gut feeling? Or a Tarot reading? Or a calm, disembodied voice that gives us really good advice?

Did the thought of that give you the shivers? I would suggest it's because you've been conditioned to believe, by religion or society or both, that such an entity can mean you nothing but harm. But that can't be right. Modern Christianity actually has a name for a helpful entity: a guardian angel. 

Now, I don't believe in guardian angels any more than I believe in the Christian devil. I don't think any of us is important enough to merit individual attention from a supernatural being on a regular basis. But I do believe that gods and spirits step into human affairs when it suits their purposes, and I think our ancestors sometimes pass along their wisdom to us. And I don't think there's anything weird or scary about it. I think it's as real as biology or physics. It's just the way things work. 


Here's a further thought experiment: Why would someone want to convince you that messages "from beyond" are either scary or impossible? What would they get out of controlling your beliefs in this way? 

My answer to that, my friends, forms a big part of why I quit Christianity. Maybe I'll write about it sometime. 


These moments of supernatural blogginess have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell. Stay safe! And listen to your gut!


sflorio said...

I don't think anything is impossible. I think the wisest course of action is to keep an open mind.

Lynne Cantwell said...

Obviously, I agree.