by Karen Frazier, Managing Editor
Paranormal Underground Magazine
I’ve been thinking about my genesis from skeptic to believer. Just a few months ago, my answer to everything – from ghosts to God was a resounding, “I don’t know.” If you go back and read old blogs, you will see that this is so.
Here’s the thing. I think I’ve always been a believer; however, I have been hesitant to step away from my neutral position because I don’t want to tell others what to think or influence their belief system. Much as my beliefs and lack of beliefs is unique to my thought processes, experience and gut instinct, so are yours. It’s never been my goal to move anyone away from what they believe. Instead, my goal has always been to get people to think about their own beliefs. I guess you could say I am a big believer in examined beliefs.
One of the things that I’ve noticed about myself is that I am very much a believer in the moment. If I am having an experience that my gut tells me is confirming something – the existence of ghosts, the existence of God, the existence of the human soul – then in that very moment I know down to the very core of my being my experience and whatever belief it speaks to is true. It is only in the aftermath when my brain gets involved and starts managing that experience – through objective analysis and critical thinking just to name a few – that the belief I knew to be real in the moment begins to slide back towards agnosticism once again.
Cheryl has seen me do this a number of times. I will tell her of an experience that in the moment was the only reality that existed for me. In that moment the experience is visceral. I can feel it and know it everywhere in my body and in my being. But by the time I tell her of the experience, it is already in my rearview mirror, and I will wind up my telling of what happened with – “or I may be crazy.”
I usually finish such conversations by saying something like, “If it was real, then that is cool. If it wasn’t, I’m sure it can be managed with meds.” Already in the telling I am hedging my bets and using humor to protect myself just in case what I experienced was merely my imagination run wild.
For me, I believe it is a matter of trust. I’ve had so many paranormal and spiritual experiences. As they occur I trust them absolutely. How could I not? It’s happening and I am feeling it. There is no labeling while the experience occurs. There is no thinking. There is only the objective reality that is RIGHT NOW. My rearview mirror, however, comes laden with subjectivity. It is in my rearview mirror that I lose trust and begin labeling and shuffling things around to fit a world view that I believe I should have.
In any given moment, I am split in two and I become two things. I become the thinking observer who sits back and watches myself have the experience so that I can begin to sift through it later. I also become the instinctual, emotional, feeling being who is fully immersed in the experience with no expectation of how what I am currently experiencing relates to logic, science, mathematics or my carefully crafted world-view.
I am almost certain that I can’t be the only person in the world who recognizes this dichotomy. I believe that we all have such duality inside of us. The one who experiences. The one who thinks about the experience. And somewhere in the netherworld between these two beings, we begin to formulate this singular focus that we label as “I”.
Who am “I” really? Am I the experiencer? Am I the thinker/observer? Am I both? Am I neither?
These are the questions I play with in my mind. Not in any stressed out kind of way, but in a fascinated me under the microscope fashion. The observer and thinker in me loves to try to figure this stuff out. It is almost a game that I play when I examine my beliefs. The experiencer in me, however, knows another story and another reality. She who has the experience knows beyond a shadow of a doubt what is real, and I have a hunch it is nothing like the one who thinks labels it into becoming.
I don’t know much – but here’s what I do know. For me, it’s real in the moment. In the end, maybe that’s all I need to know. Or, maybe there’s a medication for that.