Call me crazy. Really, you can if you want, it’s okay. There are plenty of reasons why you might, one of which being the fact that I believe in a lot of things that a great many people would find fairly absurd. I’m a pagan. I rarely say that aloud because it has a certain connotation that a lot of people don’t respond well to. I believe in everything, or at least the possibility of everything. Ghosts? Yeah. Magick? Of course. Aliens? Sure. Bigfoot? Why not. The Mothman, fairies, the Loch Ness monster? I hope so.
Now, I’m not what you would call a hardcore believer. I won’t go into a rage if someone calls bullshit on something I think is real, and it wouldn’t shatter my whole worldview if it was somehow proved that everything was a hoax. If it turned out there is nothing in the world other than that which science has already confirmed to be true, that would be okay. I mean, I would be disappointed, but I wouldn’t be devastated.
The things is, it’s nearly impossible to prove definitively that something doesn’t exist. All we can really do is prove what does exist, and there have been plenty of things in human history that sounded pretty damn crazy until someone proved that it was true. Imagine going back to the middle-ages and trying to explain the concept of atoms. Even the brightest scientific minds of the time would think you were a lunatic. We like to think that we are at the height of knowledge and intelligence, but give it a couple hundred years and look back on what we knew now. I’m sure it will be quite embarrassing.
I don’t want there to be any misunderstanding here; I love science. I believe it is absolutely crucial. We need to be able to understand our world in order to make wise decisions, and science allows us to do that. I just don’t believe that science and the supernatural are mutually exclusive. I think there is a good chance that some things which seem to conflict with our current knowledge are simply things that we do not yet understand. Science, as valuable as it is, is not infallible. Plenty of times in the past, we have been certain that we understood something, only to find out later that we were wrong. Science is inherently flawed because humans are flawed. We often misinterpret the world around us, and even the wisest among us get things wrong just as often as we get them right.
Setting all of that aside, even if every single aspect of the paranormal, magical, supernatural, mythological, is utter nonsense, who cares? As far as I’m concerned, as long as you don’t use your beliefs as an excuse to hurt others, you can believe whatever you want. A lot of people seem to have this drive to prove others wrong, or convince them that their beliefs are stupid.
I agree wholeheartedly with changing people’s minds when it comes to their behaviors (assuming those behaviors are harmful). If someone if hurting others, or causing them emotional pain, or in some way contributing to their suffering, then absolutely we have the obligation to try to stop them from doing that. But if someone simply believes something that we don’t agree with, why should we feel the need to make them change?
So, I don’t write things off as ridiculous just because the general consensus is that they are not scientifically valid. Sure, some things are more likely to be true than others, but I think anything is possible, and that the world is a much more interesting place when you hold to that view. I believe there are forces in the Universe, the Earth, and the human mind, that are beyond anything we can currently comprehend, and I like it that way. I like the mystery and excitement that comes from not knowing for sure what is real and what isn’t. That’s why I write the kind of stories that I do.
I know a lot of people who write supernatural fiction probably don’t really believe in the things they write about, but that seems sad to me. You’re missing out on half the fun of writing if you don’t believe the things you’re writing about are true. Sometimes, I like to imagine that my characters are real people, that they’re out there in the world somewhere, and I’m just writing about their lives without realizing it. It gives an added meaning to the stories and makes them real to me which, I hope, makes them real to anyone reading them as well. You can’t really do that if you think everything that happens in your stories is pure silliness.
Maybe there is much more to this world than that which we can see. Maybe there are countless remarkable beings, energies, and phenomena that we may never truly understand. Maybe there is magick in the world. Maybe there are nature spirits and ancient gods moving among us everyday and we just don’t see them. Or maybe believing in these things is nothing more than a way to escape a mundane world that is full of senseless suffering and pointless boredom. I don’t really care. Believing in that which cannot be proved makes the world a more beautiful place and gives a level of meaning to life that makes it all a little easier to handle. So, why not believe in magick? Why not try seeing the world for more than just what lies on the surface?
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