Tuesday, January 26, 2010


2:30 in the morning. I am awake for no good reason, and now the cat is awake, too. This is bad, because it means the 2 hours of sleep I’m still entitled to will be constantly disrupted by a 15-pound feline circling my head, pulling at my hair and clothes, and knocking things off my nightstand, like my alarm clock. Cats are beyond time. They just believe that when you wake up it is obviously time to feed them, and they don’t need to know anything else.

I manage to stay in bed until 4:30, but I feel like half of me is still in bed, and half is getting ready for work. Naturally this happens on a day when I have many things to take care of before work, so I end up running late. As I drive in, I notice how bright it is outside. Tuesday is Brigid’s Day—the goddess or the saint, whichever you prefer. Aside from Brigid being my namesake, it also marks the middle of winter. I like the periods of gradual increase or decrease of light. Winter light doesn’t last long enough, and tries to convince my body that it needs to go to bed at 5:00 pm. On the other hand, summer days are so long, I find myself looking at the sun at 8:00 at night and thinking, “Isn’t it past your bedtime?”

There has been a lot of discourse on the imaginary as of late—on my blog and other blogs. But if something can be imagined, can it also be un-imagined? If imaginary things have a reality of their own, can that existence also be taken away with a thought?

A few weeks ago, there was a Paranormal State episode called “Dead Legends”. It featured a hotel that appeared to be haunted by a tragic woman in white, and a man who looked like a chef, who liked to throw knives in the kitchen. They brought in psychic Chip Coffey, who had no knowledge of the hotel, but picked up on the presence of the woman in white and the man chef—he also picked up on their temperaments. But here was the kicker—in researching the hotel’s history, the legends surrounding these 2 ghostly figures could not be proven—in fact, it was proven that they never happened. So, what was going on?

Ryan Buell came up with the theory that the legends had been re-told and believed so many times that they took on a life of their own (kind of like the thoughtform idea). The owners of the hotel liked the lady in white, but the knife-throwing chef clearly made them nervous. So, Ryan suggested that they will him out of existence—for the group of them to come together and formally state that he no longer existed. They did not do the same with the lady in white. Follow-up reports showed that the man had stopped appearing, but the lady did still appear from time to time. So, it appears they were successful.

This seems to suggest that you can stop believing in something, and it will stop existing. That may be well and good with ghosts, but what about more embedded ideas? Dan mentioned ideas like the Economy, or the Will of the People in his blog posting. And what about God? And—if existence is totally illusory—what about other solid living human beings?

I heard the sound of his voice on the phone from 300 miles away. “Do you ever think about me?” he asked. “No,” I replied. “Though I do have nightmares from time to time that you’re still here. Does that count?”

I am teetering dangerously at a philosophical precipice—to ask such questions is to ask what existence is, and if we’re still debating it after hundreds of years, it’s likely that we really haven’t pinned it down. A friend posted this great clip from Robert Anton Wilson the other day—if you can get to the end, you can hear his point clearly:

Robert Anton Wilson on “What Is Quantum Physics?”

I have forgotten people. Does that mean they don’t exist? I’m sure there are people who have forgotten me. Does that mean I don’t exist? Well, not to them perhaps, and that is the crux of the matter, I think. Immortality is predicated on being remembered. (And, “remembering” is just what it sounds like—re-membering. Putting the dismembered back together). Being forgotten is a form of death in a universe within a multiverse. Living people are dying in this way all the time.

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