Over the last few days or so I have been contemplating upon the theme of belief and certainty.
As a fully trained scientist I was of the opinion that being a scientist meant having a fully open and inquiring mind, together with the flexibility to change and update hypothesis as and when, and that dogmatic insistence is not scientific. Yet, question the collective wisdom and it doesn’t go down all that well.
As a thought experiment, I considered what would happen if I told various people “I can see dead people and have done so. I don’t mean corpses; I mean disembodied beings.” How would people react? There are various people who might say, “so can I”. Others might think that it is creepy. Others still might say that I am delusional. I don’t know where you are on the seeing of ghosts or phantoms. This is probably not too far-fetched. After all they have made films on this theme and belief in ghosts is not uncommon. It can be fun to scare oneself thus.
Now if I was to say that I have performed a full-blown exorcism, people would get increasingly incredulous or ask me how much it would cost to have one done. I am not a priest, catholic or voodoo.
If I was to say that I have performed quite a few shamanic cleansing rituals, this sounds more believable than the notion immediately above. People may doubt the efficacy of them, but the potential fact of the enactment is not so tricky to grasp.
If I say that I have acted in the role of a Buddhist priest holding up images of Amitabha Buddha and pure white light at the time of passing, this is possible if still unlikely for someone with my training, my propensity for white wine and previous habit of smoking.
Now if I suggest seeing the future in dreams, having telepathic mind links and observing people remotely, how might that wash? If there are mild clairvoyant tendencies, are scientists allowed to have those or are they verboten, interdit?
You can decide for yourself which of the above I have actually done.
If I refine the statement to, “I have seen dead relatives not long after their death. They have come to check up on me before leaving this plane.” Does that make it more believable?
It is funny what each of us believes and what each of us are certain about.
Is it not?