Evidence of Spirits

Ever since I got back from Ethiopia where I recorded stories in which spirits were rampant, I’ve been wondering why we totally don’t believe in those things over here.

I mean, our society has faith in anything science can prove, though not much more than that. And we have nailed a lot of mysterious things down which past generations called spirits. Gratefully, now we know that a lot of those things were simply imbalanced psychology, sociology, and meteorology.

But that doesn’t mean everything is. I don’t think I’ve heard any science that can explain the stories I heard in Ethiopia. Here is one of the like fifty examples: this farmer dude’s ox gets stuck in the mud while plowing and dies. He cuts its neck so it can bleed out as part of the slaughtering process because of course it can never plow again, he calls his brother who happens to be a pastor to help him pull it out, the pastor prays for it and the ox gets up, alive. Call me crazy, but I believe this guy, partly because I recorded around 90 pages of stories like this, some of them so obscure, it would be hard make them up. And I interviewed five different pastors who each had ten or twenty stories like this. Could all of them be false?

Here’s another story, but on the other side of the spiritual spectrum. I sat next to a girl on a plane who said she and a couple friends were messing with a Ouija board one time. She said some spirit came to them and went into her. She said it felt like her chest was going to explode and she couldn’t control her emotions. Laughing, yelling, crying. It jumped from one girl to the next until finally her friend, who was Wiccan, called the spirit into herself. They had to do exorcisms and stuff on that girl’s house for the next week to finally get it to go away. And when I did a quick google search I found these crazy scary stories aren’t so rare. You’ll freak: http://ouijaboardtales.blogspot.com/

I think most of us at least know someone that has had an extra-scientific experience in their lives. And every generation in the world has had people who have based their careers around spiritual things. Whole cultures have been based around spiritual interaction. And yet why does science not acknowledge anything is there?

I think I might have a hypothesis. Science doesn’t think spirits are real because the results are not perfectly reproducible. That’s what science does, right? It breaks things down into natural laws. And as soon as you can prove a hypothesis, science considers them real.

And why wouldn’t these spiritual experiences be able to be reproducible? Maybe because they are the effects of beings that have intelligence, feel emotions, and can react different every time.

But just because science can’t step on the tail of something and then dissect it, it doesn’t mean it’s not there. It just means they have tails that can’t be pinned down by the end of a microscope or a scalpel.

And don’t get me wrong. I LOVE science. I especially love how it opens the hood of the world so we can see how this magnificent machine hums. I’m just saying that even though it hasn’t been able to prove that spirits are there, it has never proven they aren’t.

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