(1 – sorry if the formatting is fucked up. *shrugs* computers. 2 – sorry it’s so long! LOL) So, we’ve been in a scary mood lately, and watching a lot of scary movies. The other day, we decided to hit up a local movie rental place and I found a couple Unsolved Mysteries. We thought it was like, a few of the actual episodes. Turns out it’s the scariest ghost mysteries. lol
Now. While I’ve not talked much about my religion and/or spiritual beliefs, I make no bones about it. I am pagan. Thus, my beliefs can tend to run to a bit of the spiritual, mystic. So yes, I believe in spirits (read: ghosts.) I believe that you can do things to welcome more into your life, or keep them away. I believe in both good and malevolent spirits. I believe in things like astral projection, tarot cards (read: so totally *not* fortune telling ), magick, spells, faeries and dragons. All of those things I believe in, and many more.
Now, that’s not to say that my way is right. It’s right for me, but it’s not right for @the_sub_mission, @lostmaverick or D for that matter. The kitty is atheist while D is agnostic. Lostmaverick is Catholic. D is agnostic because while he believes there is something out there, he doesn’t know who/what it/they is/are. Or, for that matter, if as humans, we are even able to perceive deity. But as, in this lifetime, I’ve never died I don’t know what happens. I know what I believe happens, but I don’t know for sure. We could have the Catholics purgatory and heaven and hell, we could have absolutely nothing or maybe we are reincarnated right away.
Why am I pagan? Because it feels right to me. I find other religions to be too limiting for me. But I have no right to dictate what you believe. You are not me, and I am not you. As such, we have very different spiritual needs, wants and inclinations. We each of us, need different things from our religion. Or, lack thereof. Some find that they get nothing from religion, and there’s not a damn thing wrong with that.
So, tonight’s disk of Unsolved Mysteries included a segment on exorcisms. Being pagan, an not unwilling to identify as a witch, if the situation is appropriate, I believe in some paranormal. While sometimes things really are weather balloons, methane expulsions or houses settling, I believe that others truly are displaced spirits or energy (read: chi, qi, mana) movements. I also believed that they are used as a scapegoat way too often. You do something bad and “the devil made me do it” or “I was possessed!” That’s exactly why so often when someone does something dumb, they are asked by someone “what possessed you to do that!?” The two things are interconnected.
Anyway, back to Unsolved Mysteries. You had your 2 groups of people, the ones for exorcisms, the ones against exorcisms. Now, I find possessions and exorcisms to be absolutely fascinating, from an anthropological and spiritual point of view. I’m of mixed feelings as to whether or not I truly believe someone can be possessed by malevolent spirits. Perhaps it has to do with my views and experiences and beliefs on the steps you can take regarding these beings. I can say that I’ve never been possessed. If I randomly start yelling it’s generally due to me being surprised … or drunk. LOL So very many, if not a majority, of the symptoms of possession are also symptoms of schizophrenia.
On that same note. If a person truly, genuinely believes s/he is possessed, no amount of medical intervention will do anything. It’s like the placebo affect. If I believe that I have disease x, and if I also believe that pill xy will take care of it, even if it’s a sugar pill it will ease some, if not all of the symptoms. As such, if someone, schizophrenic nor not, truly believes they are possessed and they need an exorcism, that exorcism will indeed ease their symptoms. Perhaps they need more than one session, but all it would be is alternative treatment.
Psychologists employ many different therapies for people. They can include hypnosis, simply talking, exorcises like journaling, sometimes medication, and many other therapies. Why is exorcism shunned then? All it is is an alternative (albeit extreme) treatment. Well, it’s religious. And religion can’t be proven scientifically. Then again so many other things can’t either. Either way, if the patient experiences relief from it, what’s the harm?
The psychologist that was against exorcisms stated that they can actually harm the patient. But never said how. He did mention that it flat doesn’t work ‘cuz some people have to have more than one session, and others, after saying it’s totally worked, have a relapse or two. But I’d like to see any other condition where you don’t need ongoing treatment (read: lifetime AA meetings, lifetime pill popping, etc).
Anyway, I said all that to say that I get so irritated and dumb-founded how educated people can dismiss something out of hand, just because it’s not their cup of tea. It’s so short sided and egotistical. “If I don’t like it, no one else should either!” Really people? Grow up!
(( psst – thanks to @the_sub_mission for telling me I’d copied and pasted this twice! LOL ))