Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thoughts on the Spiritual: A Conversation between The Phoneix and I (Part 3)

Continuing from previous post(s):

My thoughts on ghosts are interesting precisely because I am unsure about them.

Having been raised in a fundamentalist background, I was taught (and thus believed by default) to treat all paranormal activity as purely demonic, a mere method of deception to turn people from God and towards Satan.

Lately I am unsure, however, and that for two reasons.

If I've read C.S. Lewis correctly, one of the devil's favorite tactics is secrecy, not only in regards to himself but in regards to the spiritual world as a whole. He would much rather you be ignorant of a spiritual world (and subsequently spiritual beings) because such knowledge can lead to all sorts of nasty questions about the afterlife, your soul (its existence and nature), and even God and Satan. The presence of ghosts seems detrimental to such ends. If there are ghosts, then two things must necessarily be true: (1) we have a soul, and (2) that soul will live beyond the life of the body. Such acknowledgments are dangerous for the purposes of the demonic, for although they can lead one astray, they can also lead one straight into the arms of religion, specifically God's religion. So, in sum, my first reason is that the presence of ghosts seems detrimental to Satan's purposes since they give acknowledgment to the spiritual side of things and thus can lead people to start taking spiritual questions seriously.

My other reason for being unsure about a "purely demonic" understanding of the paranormal is that if it is an operation of Satan, then it is an incredibly slip-shod operation. Watch any of those "ghost shows" and you'll see what I mean: the activities of the demons (if they are demons) seem highly confused and unorganized, spending most of their time slowly opening doors, dropping things, making it suddenly cold, or muttering useless comments that vaguely identify themselves with whoever or whomever last occupied their haunting grounds. Honestly now: If I was a malevolent spiritual entity bent on deceiving humanity through paranormal activity, why would I waste my time and energy having my minions doing such asinine activities as making noises and muttering nonsensicals? Would it not make more sense to have them do something more obviously "pro-Satanic," like saying "Satan is awesome" or writing it on a wall somewhere in bright burning letters? In sum, I guess that my second reason is that I like to give my opponent (i.e., Satan) the benefit of the doubt and assume that he is indeed colossally foul but also colossally brilliant, and that his true activities are far more dreadful and effective.

I have further thoughts about ghosts, my dear Phoenix, but I shall break for now so neither you nor I grow weary with my words. Send me your thoughts and whether or not you want me to continue or if I should just shut up and go read a book or something.

-Jon Vowell

1 comment:

Jessica Laura Washington said...

What about Ghosts being a way of saying that when you die you go to neither heaven or hell? Or would this be an insane form of purgatory? If that was the case why not more ghosts?

I am frankly terrified of the things and would love it if they did not exist in any shape or form other than "bad"...