Thursday, October 21, 2010
Living with ghosts: a reply to Paul L. Martin
I have, Paul, as recently as this morning, while passing through Salem’s old downtown section on my way to the library, felt quite strongly that we are ghosts in our daily lives, and that there is no proof, nor need there be, that this world we inhabit is the real, concrete one we ascribe it to be — that in the present moment, seeking and struggling, we are already adrift in, if not an afterlife, an immense dream that has grown familiar partly because it is shared, and partly because of our frequent passage through it. How closely related are we, in this transient human form, to each other; how closely related to all else that we can, cannot, or do not yet perceive? Very closely, it seems to me. As part and parcel of this universe, we have been here before, we linger, and we return, charged particles of the whole. In my mind, this makes the existence of ghosts and spirits and much else inevitable. Things and beings are fluid; they overlap; it is thought, even, that universes do the same. These feelings we have, these visions and intimations, these dreams, these things we can see and yet put our hands through — who’s to say where and when it is all taking place? Who’s to say that our very own activities are not disturbing someone on another plane, in another time?
Thanks for your beautiful piece. Thanks, too, for your inspiration, demanding me to think and write.