Friday, September 23, 2011


I’m not looking to get into the habit of blogging individual episodes of Paranormal Witness. However, I’m going to make an exception for last night’s episode, for two reasons. One is that it disturbed me; while I know this kind of thing happens, I don’t like the “malevolent entity in the house ends up killing the pets and new baby kittens” thread. I can’t abide stories about pets getting killed, namely because they’re so innocent. I have less trouble with stories about humans being killed, because humans often do dumb things that lead to their deaths—not always, but humans are not particularly innocent, not even children. Humans also have more wits at their disposal to survive. Pets are often dragged into such situations, and are the most vulnerable. And I get annoyed when people are in a house with negative activity and don’t move all vulnerable parties from the premises.

The second reason this is on my mind is that the first story provides an example of something that we call a “constellated archetype” in depth psychology jargon. It sounds very innocent, but it’s actually something quite frightening and potentially dangerous. The practice of psychology today is largely behavioristic—it reduces the human psyche to chemical reactions in the brain, and putting band-aids on life crises. To be fair, this is largely the fault of health insurance—they won’t pay for therapy that’s actually beneficial long-term to the person, unless they’re diagnosed with a mental illness.

But back to constellated archetypes. “Constellation” simply means “coming to the surface” in this case. Archetypes are the contents of the collective unconscious. There are LOTS and LOTS of them, though there are some fundamental ones. They are neither good or bad in and of themselves, but we shouldn’t think that their abstract description on paper minimizes them. They’re important for us to grapple with, because they influence everything we do.

So, the episode—Paranormal Witness shows two stories in each episode, and this refers to the first. It is about a poltergeist . What starts out as a jar of melted peanut butter found on its side, open and dripping escalates to items being found stacked in various places, then doors banging by themselves all night, then writing on the walls. This later escalated for a variety of reasons to all the animals dying in the house, then one of the girls in the house being attacked by flying furniture (and the doors locking so no one could get in to help her), and finally with the other girl’s door being hammered on with sharp objects, and then being locked in while a fire started in the house.

The players—there was a mother, her boyfriend, and two teenage daughters, one belonging to the mother, the other to her boyfriend. The girls were friendly with each other, and everyone got on well. When the incidents started happening, the boyfriend tried to blame the mother’s daughter. They blamed the girls in general for playing pranks and looking for attention. When it became clear this wasn’t the case, the boyfriend called a priest to come in, who walked around, said he couldn’t help, and left. In the end, the mother and boyfriend split up when they moved out of the house. The girls still remain friends.

Several incidents were of interest during the episode, at least to me. The first attempt of this “spirit” to write on the walls consisted of arrows drawn everywhere pointing to the vents and to the attic. An examination of the attic space yielded nothing, though the air was tense. Fire seemed to be a theme in this haunting—first the melted peanut butter (obviously heated up), and then trying to set fire to the house. Initially the mother tried to make a peace offering to whatever it was by lighting candles, and offering a ceramic cat (because she loved cats) to it as an offering. Her boyfriend saw what was going on, got angry, and threw the cat outside, only to turn around seconds later and find it back on the shelf with the candles. He then smashed it, which unleashed a hellish fury on the house. The next day the word “cat” was scrawled on the walls everywhere. And eventually—the cats in the house died.

So, what does all this have to do with anything, least of all constellated archetypes? Carl Jung believed that poltergeist (noisy ghost) phenomena were the result of a constellation of the Trickster archetype. Even writing and hearing voices are part of it. If you recall the old Bell Witch case in the 19th century, this is similar. Where do they come from? From the teenage girls. Why? Because they are throwing off electromagnetism that is manifesting externally a battle that is raging internally. Poltergeist phenomena are usually connected with girls around the age of puberty, when there is a hormonal shift that affects the pituitary gland (and also at menopause, though that’s less well known). What battle? It’s hard to know exactly. My guess is that there’s more to the family story. Both the mother and the boyfriend were divorced, and we don’t know how that affected the girls. There was clearly some hostility towards the boyfriend, and perhaps there was an undercurrent of resentment or rage among the girls and the parental figures. We don’t know anything about that, but I’d bet money that something wasn’t right.

Now, once they moved out, they never experienced activity again. Usually poltergeist activity follows you. But—the mother and boyfriend broke up, and the girls were no longer together to act as a beacon for the archetype. So, its settling down is not out of the question. I think the arrows on the walls were significant—they pointed to a need to “vent”, and also to the attic, which is a symbol of the unconscious. The archetype identified itself.

There are some things that may still leave you with questions. For instance—they saw something that looked like huge, demonic footprints in the house after the cat incident. The neighbors on that block also put their houses up for sale, and within a short time there were 5 vacant houses on that street. We don’t know why, but it suggests an external entity rather than a psychological phenomena. Again, I can’t prove anything in this case, but my suspicion is that it has to do with something attracted by the constellated archetype. There are other manifestations of consciousness, and I think this one was a belligerent fire elemental—namely because fire was a running theme through the poltergeist pranks. I recall another case mentioned by Jason and Grant of Ghost Hunters in one of their books, where a similar stacking of objects in the kitchen and various places turned out to be a haunting by an elemental attached to the property (they actually caught it on tape—not seen on any episodes though, as it was not part of a GH investigation). The scientific minded may think that’s a stretch, but coming from a Jungian perspective, there are things that are both part of us and external to us—apparently. We are not separate from Nature, so “elementals” are not separate from us—they are manifestations of aspects of Nature.

So, that’s my interpretation of what went on, right or wrong, for better or for worse. While these kinds of things are fairly rare, they are an object lesson in why you should “know thyself”. Psychologists who want patients to simply “forget their past” and move forward without examination (a new trend, especially in Christian counseling) should think twice. Under the right conditions, these things DO happen—and they demonstrate the incredible power of the collective human psyche.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Chicken and Egg

This past week I read an article on reading and personality. The article mentioned a study involving young adults reading passages from either the Harry Potter or Twilight series, and then giving them a certain number of social associative tests. The gist of their findings was that reading is not “escapist” as previously thought, but is able to provide a sense of social identification with the characters in the story, which translates to their social identity. It’s sort of a jumping off point for one’s own thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Reading increased the empathy of readers.

My first reaction to such a study is a chicken-and-egg sort of thing. What comes first? Does the book foster a new interest? Or is the person drawn to the book because they already had an interest?

If I take myself as an example—from the time I was able to read (I got past Dr. Seuss at about 4 years old) I have gravitated towards books about witches, magic, ghosts, haunted houses and world religions. It’s not difficult to see that I’ve retained this interest throughout my life. In fact—a lot of my career, research, and personal life is tied in with these subjects. By the time I’m old, I’ll be a real life Mrs. Zimmerman, complete with purple murals on the walls, and doctoral degree relating to magic. (If you don’t know who she is, refer to John Bellairs’s book “The House With a Clock in its Walls”). But did the books influence me, or did I just gravitate towards them because it was about a subject I was interested in?

The answer is likely a mixture of both. I had a heavy duty imagination as a kid, and when I had an idea or story in my head about something, I would go cruising the library shelves for something that matched the image in my head. Sometimes I would get new ideas or gravitate towards new kinds of stories if I read something that didn’t quite match, but still held my attention. Additionally—whenever I read something fantastical and magical, I wanted it to be real, and I set about finding a method for making it real. I am reminded of Aleister Crowley’s comment on Cardinal Newman:

“In the Apologia pro Vita Sua, Cardinal Newman tells us, I suspect truthfully, that as a child he wished that The Arabian Nights were true. As we all know, he gratified his ambitions by accepting for reality the Freudian phantasm of hashed-up paganism with Semitic sauce which led him to the hat. But I went further. My senses and my rational judgment created a subconscious feeling of uneasiness that supernaturalism might not be true. This insulted my inmost consciousness of myself. But the reply was not to accept the false for the true, but to determine to make it true.” (Confessions, Ch. 5)

Returning to the study—it was a controlled experiment, where kids were given passages to read in one of the Harry Potter or Twilight books. They were then tested on their associations. What I would like to know is how many of those kids were already interested in the subject beforehand—and I’d like to see the final result numbers in light of that variable. Nonetheless, what’s rather interesting about the results is that the psychologists found that kids could be very healthy mentally while being lost in reading. There is a perception that reading too much makes a child a loner and unsocial. The study seems to demonstrate the opposite. The characters in the stories seem to provide some kind of mythical identity foundation. This may be the key even more than the particular subject matter.

Mythical identity is something easily lost in a secular world that scorns anything smacking of religiosity—or is so rigid in dogma that there is no room for anything but fear. That identity is a critical part of being human. The identity may be illusory, but so are all identities. The banker going to a Wall Street job every day isn’t doing anything less hallucinatory than the child who sees fairies in the woods. They are equally illusory; the only difference is whether or not society approves of the illusion.

I have heard that we are living under a corporate oligarchy that spurns imagination and education, because people are less likely to settle for being mindless, underpaid drones if they possess either. I’m sure that’s at least a little bit true, even if it’s overstated. Real freedom is being able to choose the life you want, not being forced to choose a life of endless work hours at a job you hate. If you have some imagination, you can avoid the latter situation, though it gets harder and harder in this economy.

To tie all this up with reading—I do agree that the more one reads, the more imagination develops, but I don’t think reading “influences” you unless something in what you’re reading resonates with you. The same is true of music, and probably art as well. Something that doesn’t resonate with you may serve to challenge your point of view, but that doesn’t happen often. If it does enough to disturb you or change you, then it is highly successful, and will likely become a classic over time.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Anniversary (Sept. 11)

Today is the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers in New York City. Outside, it is a day nothing like that day--it is overcast and cold. September 11, 2001 was a perfect Fall-like day--the sky couldn't have been bluer, the sun was shining, the temperature was comfortable. I couldn't make up my mind this morning whether to even comment on the anniversary. But it's collectively there, so here's my recollection.

On that day I was working in Whippany, New Jersey, which is about 25 to 30 miles from New York City. I was working in the County Library as a cataloger. My hair was ginger red, I was wearing a burgundy sweater that I'd had for years and jeans. I left the Technical Services department to go upstairs and get some volumes that needed reclassification. I got off the elevator, and passed the Reference desk. I said good morning to my colleagues. One of them, James, was looking at

"Did you see this? An airplane has crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers."

"No, I didn't." I went over to look.

"Oh, it's probably some idiot in a Cessna," said Jane, another librarian at the desk. "Some of these people shouldn't be flying planes."

"I don't know," said Marie, our NJ Librarian. She looked at me almost knowingly, and said, "I think it's terrrorism."

Jane brushed it off. "Oh, that's ridiculous."

I got what needed from the stacks and returned to my department. Within 5 minutes everyone was watching the break room TV across the hall in silence. One of my colleagues grabbed me by the arm. "Come in here and see this."

A second plane had struck the tower. And it was not a Cessna, it was a 747. As was the first plane. As we watched the Towers burn on the television, it didn't seem real. It felt like we were watching a disaster movie. The reporters on the scene were genuinely hysterical. At one point I remember one reporter and her entire crew suddenly fleeing towards the camera as the second Tower fell suddenly.

No one did any work that day. We milled around, talking to each other, watching coverage on our computers. Many of my co-workers had family in the city, and were frantically trying to call them. All cell phone contact was cut off, and no one could get a hold of anyone. One of our part-timers sat sobbing, as her daughter worked nearby and she couldn't get a hold of her. (Later, she did get a hold of her daughter, who was fine, thankfully). My boss also started to become panicked, as her husband had gone into the city for work right about that time. While she was out of the room, I heard her phone ring. I grabbed it. It was her husband--he had made it home. He heard what was happening in Penn Station, and immediately dove onto what was the last Midtown Direct train back. He said people around him were dazed, covered in dust, some of them bleeding. He wanted his wife to know he'd made it home. When I told her, she grabbed me and kissed me. Relief flooded her face.

I somehow remember being at Liz's house that day. Maybe I was dropping by for lunch, maybe it was after work. What I particularly remember was how quiet it was. Whippany is in line with Newark Airport, and Morristown Airport is not far away, so there is always the sound of planes. You could hear a pin drop outside. When one or two military planes flew over, it was actually scary. She and I had been in the city with some friends just the day before. Her birthday was that week, and we'd gone to see Stiff Little Finger at the Village Underground. A world of difference between the day before and today.

At one point in the afternoon, I stepped outside with our cataloging assistant, Kim. She and I were talking--I no longer remember what we said. We looked up and could see smoke floating in over the sky. We walked across the street to the Arboretum, and climbed the hill. There is a point where you can see the New York skyline. From there, we could see smoke billowing out of the Twin Towers.

I had been in the Twin Towers only once. My brother took me to the city for my 13th birthday, and we took the PATH to the World Trade Center. I found it to be a scary building, as I have always been afraid of heights. The escalators into the building were daunting. My brother had to tell me the story of a woman who got her high-heeled shoe caught in the escalator stairs and fell down. "There was nothing left to her by the time she hit bottom." I could always count on him for that sort of thing. My brother has been long dead--he didn't live to see this.

I got home from work. I was in the process of splitting up with my husband. We already had settled everything, and he was moving out in about 12 days. I was going to be moving shortly thereafter. I reflected on the fact that the divorce decision had started with an inferno (a huge oil tanker fire on Route 80 near our house the day I told him), and the official split was also preceded by an inferno. Not that this has anything to do with the event, but the association did strike me. He came home from his job, and said, "You've seen the news, huh?"

"Yep. Scary as shit."

"You know--I'm not usually scared by things I see on the news. But I don't think I'm going to sleep tonight."

"I know what you mean. I probably won't either."

Mike did move out 12 days later, when his sister and brother-in-law came to pack his things and drive South with him. I remember thinking, "Wow, I'm heading out into the world completely alone for the first time, at a time when everything is so uncertain." I wasn't necessarily scared, but it was surreal. The strangeness did not last long, as I realized I was well-equipped to face the unknown by myself. Ultimately, you face the unknown by yourself whether you like it or not. It's called "death".

I did not personally know anyone who died on September 11, except for a high school classmate, and I didn't hear about that until years later. I did not venture downtown after the attacks. The air was really bad, still thick with smoke, soot, and who knows what else. A former colleague did go into the city a week later to see a show. She said New York was eerily quiet. People were staying away. But that didn't last long. In fact, I started going to the city weekly within the year. For years I avoided the city, as my rather provincial family was discouraging--New York was too "dangerous". After September 11, I no longer gave a rat's ass. Everything is dangerous. And you walk into it with your eyes open, you don't run away from it. Running away would have been a win for the terrorists.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Paranormal Witness

Syfy has been touting a new reality show in its ghostly genre called “Paranormal Witness”. The concept is not really new—it presents the true stories of everyday people who have paranormal encounters. Even so, I’m a sucker for shows like this, and the idea of stories newer than the ones I’d seen and heard over and over put this on my list.

The iO9 blog had a post reviewing the premier episode, saying that Syfy “finally” had a paranormal show that was actually scary. Ghost Hunters and its related franchises have always been the big ratings grabbers, but it really hasn’t been scary in years. They’ll have to forgive me for this—but honestly, most people I know put the show on in the background while they’re doing something else. It’s become very formulaic. They always go to a high-profile place (you don’t see them going to Joe Blow’s house anymore), and the team falls into their roles in the same way, like a band that has rehearsed and is “tight” but has no spontaneity. It doesn’t have to be bad, but it does lack something. In every GH episode I’ve seen in the last 2 years, not much happens. They claim to hear sounds and see things, but the evidence review is not very impressive. And as my sister pointed out, it doesn’t seem like they really “help” people too much—they collect their evidence, give their opinion, and that’s it. It rarely solves anything for the people involved. Nothing really beat Season 2 and 3 of that show, in my opinion.

As I no longer have anything but basic cable in my house, I no longer get Syfy, so I’m pretty reliant on their streaming full episodes online. Naturally they’ve removed all Ghost Hunters episodes, and charge $40.00 for a season pass on iTunes. The first Paranormal Witness episode was posted, and the season pass was only $16.00, so I went for it. Maybe it’s not a huge bargain—there may not be as many episodes. But I can tell you it’s money better spent, after seeing the first episode.

First, I should mention that I am one of those who puts on the new GH episode and ends up wandering away to do something else. It just doesn’t hold my attention. If I hear something that sounds moderately exciting, I’ll pay attention again, and I usually like to watch the evidence review, but otherwise it’s pretty dull. Not so with Paranormal Witness. I think I sat on the edge of my chair for the entire episode. It did not disappoint—it was creepy and scary.

The episodes are said to be true accounts of paranormal experiences. I have to take that with a grain of salt. I don’t doubt that these things really happened to these people; I’m just not sure how the production crew has spun the story. Nonetheless, good storytelling has its value, and these are very well told.

The first part of episode 1 deals with a family that moves into a haunted house. Their daughter begins to communicate with “Emily” a little girl who they believe is just an imaginary friend. Ensuing events show them that not only is “Emily” not particularly nice (and she hates the parents), Emily may not be Emily at all. When a medium visits the house, it seems clear it is a male spirit. But from what I could see early on, the “Emily” haunting had all the hallmarks of a demonic case. I understand that these things are overwhelming, and that people go into denial. But when a spirit tries to make your daughter jump out the window, I don’t think I’d worry about the mortgage and the bills—I’d pack up and move right then, and call somebody to figure out what’s going on—either a spiritual person (an exorcist of some variety) or a paranormal investigator. Calling in a medium did not seem very sensible, nor did it appear that this medium helped them at all. They also succumbed very quickly to fear; an investigator, religious or not, would tell them that this is the worst thing to do, even understanding how scary it is. Nothing feeds a negative energy more than your fear of it. After all, in some respect, it IS you, even though it’s also external to you.

The second part was about an episode in Florida, where a mother drove to church with her daughter and their Pakistani exchange student. The teenage daughter refused to go into the church, staying outside with the music blaring and the windows down. When the mother came out and they were driving home, the daughter saw a young girl at the side of the otherwise desolate road. It seemed to be getting dark, which I thought was weird—how could you have gone to a church service—which is usually held in the morning—and have it be getting dark already by the time you’re going home? Minor detail, really. But the daughter convinces the mother to turn around and look for the girl—they see her again, but then she disappears. They start driving home again, but then the girl reappears on the road two miles ahead. At this point the daughter (the real daughter, as they were being interviewed, and it alternated between this and a re-enactment) starting freaking out a bit, and she realized there was something unnatural about this girl. I don’t want to say any more about the story—you should watch it if you’re able. You can watch it here for now.

So, my review—this show lives up to the hype so far. Hope it continues to be as good throughout the season.

Friday, September 09, 2011


One of the reasons I meditate is to be able to block out sound. This may seem strange at first glance, but one benefit of meditation is focus. You need to be able to move through your day with awareness, but not restless distraction. Aleister Crowley once vented his frustration at trying to meditate in a London apartment, with much noise outside. He then realized that it was the perfect training ground. If he could meditate there, he could meditate anywhere.

I still meditate daily, but I’m not doing such a good job at blocking. And it’s causing me a lot of stress. Not while I meditate—usually while I’m trying to sleep. Under normal circumstances, I can sleep through anything. However, as of late, I find myself waking up between midnight and 2 am, unable to fall back to sleep right away.

This is because Mother Nature is trying to destroy the United States. Or something. In any event, we’ve had even more rain this week, and the sound of rain on skylights is not relaxing. It sounds like someone shelling the house with M16 rounds. Knowing that my cats are learning how to sail in my basement does not do anything to help the “not relaxing” part. Nor does knowing that I’ll have to go outside and deal with it.

Even when the rain subsides, I have more sounds to deal with. If a single bedspring creaks, if I get up to use the bathroom, a chorus begins in the basement of yowling cats. This has nothing to do with the rain; they do this in all weather. My one indoor cat will then assume I am awake and ready to play, and when he sees that I’m not so playful, he will curl up next to me and start cleaning himself. Because he has a perpetual case of sniffles, this is a very noisy proposition. So—for the next hour I hear “YOWL slurp slurp sluuurp YOWL YOWL slurpslurpslurp YOWL MEOWMEOWMEOWMEOW honk slurp sluuurp” (repeat until my nerves feel like they’ve been attacked with a cheese grater). When this is combined with the rain, it is a true symphony of chaos. I imagine it’s similar to what Lewis Black describes as “the sound of pigs being slaughtered, of men and women gnashing their teeth”. If I made a recording and posted it, you would never read this blog again if you decided to listen to it.

Recent weeks have made me more convinced than ever that Chaos is the ruling principle of the universe. When my mother was visiting my house during her own power outage, we watched one of Joseph Campbell’s “Power of Myth” episodes. In this episode, Campbell talked about the Trickster archetype. Bill Moyers asked him about its significance; Campbell replied, “Well, you think you’ve got it all figured out and BAM!” The Trickster shows you that you know nothing at all.

I’ve been reading a lot on something called TMT (Terror Management Theory) as of late. TMT suggests that religion has its origins in the management of death anxiety. The studies in support of this theory are fascinating. Some of the most interesting involve motivations to violence or compassion depending on the response to death anxiety. Fundamentalists react violently to things that challenge their world view, as it gives them greater death awareness. In one study, Christians were exposed to Bible verses that condone or glorify violence, and their behavior became more aggressive (and more prejudiced). On the other hand, when exposed to verses that encouraged compassion and respect, the violent tendencies decreased significantly.

There are several critiques of this theory, which is behavioristic in nature, though the authors of the theory make no claim to “explain away” religious belief with this theory. I feel they shouldn’t focus exclusively on death anxiety, even though that is a good example of a chaotic unknown. Religious belief serves as a tool for coping with the unknown, for dealing with the wonder and mystery of things beyond the mind that we know exist but can’t express. We don’t know anything about it except that we don’t know—and that it is chaotic in nature.

H.P. Lovecraft had a “chaotic blind idiot god” called Azathoth. As I’ve mentioned before, Lovecraft’s monsters and other beings were not waging a good vs. evil battle. They were representations of these impersonal, chaotic forces in the universe. Lovecraft was neither a religious man nor an occultist—he was a materialist in the extreme. The horror of his work is the horror of knowing that there’s not a personal god or devil interested in your actions. These forces move with indifference, and all you can do is struggle to adapt. It is interesting that the key to happiness has little to do with how many “good” things happen to you that give you pleasant feelings. It has more to do with one’s ability to detach from expectations of outcome, and to live purely for the experience of living, regardless of what that involves. Eastern religions would call it a “true present”, not lamenting the past or worrying about the future. In short, it is how well you live with chaos. This is achieved through meditation.

And so, we come full circle from the beginning of this post.

Monday, September 05, 2011


First, a piece of writing news: The last of the stories that I've sent out for publication, "Umbra", is in the September 2011 issue of Death Head Grin Magazine. I'm not sending out the rest of the stories in the archetype set to magazines--I'm going to see if I can publish the set of ten as an anthology (with six already published). Stay tuned on that front.

Life has been an obstacle course lately. I have been dealing with flooding, then dealing with a smashed up right leg (not broken, fortunately)--then Hurricane Irene (more flooding and debris), which necessitated bailing 100 gallons of water by hand from my basement (and leaving me unable to climb stairs for two days). On the whole, I did quite well--I only lost electric for two minutes, and by the following afternoon, my flooding was gone and I'd cleaned up all the debris from the storm. My parents did not fare so well--they lost electric for an entire week, as well as their phone. So, I spent a week trying to help them out. Now that they're back in business, another tropical storm threatens to drop another 2 to 6 inches of rain.

So, needless to say, life has been smashing, in the sense of trying to flatten me into the ground. I've been trying to look at it as a character-building experience, but I would be lying if I say I'm not cranky. I don't have a lot of patience for other people's problems at the moment. My neighbor came by the other day to vent bitterly about how much our taxes have gone up, and what little we're getting for it. Normally I don't mind venting, but I really wanted to say, "I don't give a flying f**k right now, and I don't want to think about it."

On the plus side, besides all this character I'm building, I'm clearly losing weight. I call it the "stress" diet. It may just be that I'm all toned from hauling huge buckets of water up stairs for two hours at a time. Not an exercise routine that I want to maintain, honestly. I don't think I was "fat" before, but there were a lot of areas that could use toning. I should be careful what I wish for.

I’m realizing that I’m a bit burnt out, and not at a good time. I’m in desperate need of my October vacation, but that’s not going to be much of a vacation. Dragging my luggage to 9 cities throughout the UK on little sleep is not going to make me return home feeling refreshed, even if I feel the effort is worth it. I’m hoping to recharge my batteries during 5 days in Devon, but I have business there as well.

As they say, this too shall pass. I read something the other day about time on the Cosmic Variance blog. First, they say time exists. Whether it is fundamental to the universe is unknown—apparently we need to understand more about quantum gravity to know that. Then, they say there is a past, present and future. However, these are often experienced at the same time. The article also suggests that we spend most of our time living in the past. I find myself thinking about Jung’s definition of the collective unconscious. One of its attributes is the mixing up of past, present, and future—there is no linearity. In what sense these are all “real”, I don’t know. Time is not something you can touch; a clock is not time. As Mike said on the Young Ones to the question, “Gosh, is that the time?” ... “No, time is an abstract concept. That’s a wristwatch.”

Time is likely to be as real as every other concept we use to interpret reality. It’s more of a convenience than a thing in its own right. It’s like saying there’s such a thing as an inch or a centimeter. They don’t exist independently in nature; they are concepts to help us interpret the world.

That’s about as much depth as I can handle for today; I’m tired, and not in great shape for plumbing the depths of the universe. Instead, I’ll share a video of a kitten having a nightmare and being hugged by its mother. Have a pleasant Labor Day.