We didn’t just watch Premonition, we also watched all of the documentaries about people who actually have premonitions that they included on the disk. Bless their hearts, it made the stinking mess of the movie even more clear. If you’re not going to make a movie actually about premonitions, don’t include supplemental material that will make how short you fell so readily apparent.
Anyway, the documentaries were interesting–interviews with people who claim to have had premonitions. And they were also sad. One guy had a premonition of a terrible plane crash some decades ago and you could see that he still felt anguish over the fact that he was unable to really do anything about it. Why, he wondered, was he shown these things, if he wasn’t supposed to do anything about them?
I told the Professor that this is where I differ from folks like that. I’m willing to believe that people can have premonitions. I don’t believe the whole future is set, but I believe that events in the past and in the present make certain future events almost inevitable. And I would not be surprised to learn in the future that we’d discovered that some people really can sense some things.
Not because they’ve been touched by God necessarily, but because there is a slight evolutionary advantage (or maybe more than slight) to being able to anticipate trouble.
I don’t think these folks have a gift given to them by Anyone. But I don’t doubt that, for some of them, something real is happening.
Same thing with this show I was watching the other night on the SciFi channel about Virginia City and how haunted it’s supposed to be. There was some interesting footage of what looked very much like a somewhat, but not quite solid figure walking in front of a window. I was ready to go that far with them, that they’d found something they couldn’t explain–a figure walking. But they were convinced that it was the ghost of a departed person.
I just couldn’t go that far with them. Clearly, something was on the film. I wanted to see them do some work to try to debunk it. Could they have made something similar happen by, I don’t know, giving the dust time to resettle and then opening and closing a door in the room? Was there a curtain we didn’t see? I don’t know.
But then, let’s say that there’s nothing in the room that would explain that footage and it also isn’t the result of tampering. How can we know that it’s a ghost of a dead person? What if it’s an elf or some kind of being that never had a body? I mean, I know that’s kind of ridiculous on its surface, but once we’ve decided that something might be supernatural, why is the obvious explanation that it’s a ghost? We’re in a realm we don’t know anything about. Who knows what kinds of things live there?
On my way home from Boston I was reading Spooked, which is this one writer’s quest to explore the afterlife. She doesn’t really succeed, but it’s interesting nonetheless, and she’s talking to a guy about EVPs–when you leave a recording device in a room and listen to it later and discover voices on it–and he was some kind of radio wave expert and he was telling her how folks who work in radio have long observed a phenomenon where, if you have two equally strong signals at the same frequency, you will sometimes get neither signal but instead get, say, a Greek radio station at that frequency. They’re not sure why it happens, but it happens. He wonders if, with EVPs, folks aren’t actually inadvertently picking up with their recorders, this phenomenon.
I’ve also heard that, sometimes, when you’re walking through the stacks at the library across the street from the WSM towers, you can hear low voices like people talking, even when no one’s there. But, if you put your ear right next to the metal stacks and listen carefully, you’ll become aware that you’re hearing DJs from the radio station.
Again, just because you hear a disembodied voice on your recorder doesn’t make it a ghost, necessarily.
Which, I think, also means that just because your prayers are sometimes answered doesn’t mean there’s a god.
I just am not sure if there are gods or an afterlife of any sort. I’m not sure what kind of proof I’d have to have that would make it real and meaningful to me. I mean, I think I’ve experienced ghostly phenomena and yet, I just can’t say for certain, even if I can say that something strange happened, that it’s proof of the afterlife.
Take for instance the utiseta. I like it. I think I benefit immensely from doing it. And yet, I can’t ever be sure that I’m actually doing anything more than just tapping into some deep brain knowledge or some ancestral knowledge or whatever–that I’m just giving my subconscious time to bubble forth with useful stuff.
I can’t say that it makes me feel certain of the gods. But it makes me feel certain of my place in the world, that I am doing something similar to what my ancestors would have done when they felt discombobulated and out of sorts.
It’s like this: imagine your goal is to get wet. Do you rely on your prayers to your gods to bring about rain or do you rely on the skills of the people who came before you, and turn on the shower?
That being said, sitting out is, for now, a necessary element in my feeling right in my soul.
Part of it, to me, feels like waiting for some other reality to overlay this one and, once that happens, to either launch yourself into that one long enough to look around or to pull a bit of that world over here. In a way, it feels like tuning in a faint radio station. Sometimes, you get mostly static and other times, you hear something real and true and foreign to you just as plain as day.
Is it, though?
I don’t know.
Maybe it doesn’t matter.