Monday, September 26, 2005

The Astral Zoo

The Louisville, Kentucky, Courier-Journal carried a piece about a ghost hunters' and curiosity-seekers' convention in a haunted building that had been a TB hospital back when there was no reliable treatment for the illness. Many spent their last days and minutes on the physical plane there, and perhaps the spirits of some of them have not, in the current vogue phrase, "moved on."

It's unclear what the, uh, spirit of the event actually was like. Newspapers tend to play stories like this for a hoot; the Courier-Journal's reporter, although she writes as though her mind was open a notch or two, obviously had some fun with it. And that's not an altogether bad thing. I'd rather the mainstream media take the mickey out of the paranormal than treat it as what makes your flesh creep. At least it's not likely to add revulsion to the popular idea of hauntings.

Anyway, I hardly expect a newspaper to carry an in-depth report on the (no doubt highly various) motives that brought people to such a strange convention. Still, on the basis of what's described, I have mixed feelings about this sort of thing. Did it occur to any of the organizers that if there were any actual apparitions on site (most psychics would say that "spirits" are something quite different from the energy traces known as hauntings), they might belong to that hapless crew known as earthbound spirits? These are people on the other side who do not realize they're dead, or are so obsessed or traumatized that they hang about the scene of their passing, in extreme cases for centuries.

Their condition seems not to be a happy one.

Did it flicker through the brain pans of any of these "ghost hunters" that their prey, so to speak, might be beings in trouble? That these connoisseurs of the paranormal might have had the kindness to invite to the convention a few soul rescuers?

From the newspaper story, it appears not. If there were actually any spirits present, they seem to have been treated like specimens in an astral zoo.

I salute almost anyone who can entertain the idea that there is more to reality than the world of the senses.

But when it comes our turn to pass over -- and it will come soon, even if you and I live to five score -- I don't think we will find that the curiosity we displayed in our earthly life will be of much account. Rather, it will be mostly our kindness to others, in the body or out, that will determine our state in the world to come, or the next, or then.

1 comment:

FreeThinker said...

Beautiful post -- especially the final paragraph!