The most frequently asked question from my website this past fall has been –
“Were you ever skeptical about the experiences you were having?”
– My answer – Of course.
I would like to think that anyone who chooses to walk along the borders of a mystical or paranormal event would view their experience with healthy skepticism. As a matter of fact, my open-ended battle with skepticism can be felt throughout my ongoing unconventional memoir dialogues.
In the beginning of my journey, multiple people offered personal points of caution about meeting with mediums, psychics, etcetera. I received guidance on everything from remaining completely silent during my encounters to privately sweeping the physical area for suspicious individuals or activity. One well intended individual actually sent me a book on the philosophy of skepticism with a highlighted section insuring me that any mystical knowledge that was shared with me would be impossible to realistically validate and therefore I should be prepared to negate any findings.
In the end, once I coupled my personal learned opinions with the well-intended advice of my friends and family, I was left with one specific dilemma – do I focus on the process of receiving information or the information itself. This may be surprising to some, but over time I found comfort in concluding that what I was learning was cautiously relatable, extraordinarily positive and definitely unique.
As a backdrop to all of this, historically, I have studied Plato, Aristotle, Copernicus and Galileo – all who were panned during their time for the unconventional manner in which they approached life. Clearly, my experience in not exactly comparable. What is interesting, however, is how eventually skepticism turned the corner on the information those ancients shared – and the governing variable in this turn around was – time.
There are two variables that appeared to soften my skepticism – first, there is the turning over of time. Essentially, the longer I progressed through the unconventional memoir series, the more relaxed and consequently the more responsive I became to what I was learning. Second, and perhaps more importantly, was the deciphering or questioning of the impact my human ego was having on what I was learning. Let me explain what I mean –
As an example, I approached my latest memoir – “Soul Afterlife” – with a wonderment regarding the continuation of what I believe to be Bud Megargee – the essence of who I am. Throughout this odd voyage I was encouraged to seek an open-minded view to what was obviously radically different and distinctly unusual. To understand the differences, I sought insight from unusual thinkers and at the top of my list was Michael Pollan – the author of “Cooked” and “Omnivores Dilemma” to name two. Along with his contributions to the writing community he is also considered one of the top one hundred influential people in the world today.
In his most recent publication – “How to Change Your Mind” – Pollan explores the history, research and his personal experiences in psilocybin (magic mushrooms) experimentation. During his discussions, the repetitive theme that he encounters is the loss or removal of the human ego resulting in alternative views of the world – something that replicated what I was being asked to do (minus the mushrooms). I recommend anyone willing to explore adjusted human ego outcomes as a result of chemically produced alternative realities to pick up this book.
As for my continuing skepticism there seems to be an unaccustomed sincerity to new information if I am successful in setting aside my personality (ego) – if only momentarily. The net result – an eagerness to silence my skepticism and examine an alternate understanding to newly formed information.
One final thought on this manner –
I am not sure that I have adequately answered the readers’ questions fully regarding the continuing levels of doubt that remain. I do believe, however, that it is not just mystical experiences that I should question. Perhaps open-mindedness and freshly formed awareness should become a “best practice” for how I view everything in life.
More on this topic later…….