Believing

Dear Internet,

It is a beautiful Tuesday Mid Day. I am on my way to teach a private lesson in card magic. I am having one of those days where everything is beautiful. I always strive to feel this connection to the universe every day. I think today's euphoria is connected to the anticipation of Christine arriving tomorrow. Love does fuel the flame of happiness. Although I could go on and on about that I won't, I don't want to risk driving off the more sarcastic and apathetic in nature with the syrup of my affections for my fiancé.

Instead, I would prefer to drive them off my talking about Gods. I was recently watching a new television program hosted by Morgan Freeman (who should be cast as god in films more, only, better films), which contemplated the existance of a creator from the perspective of science. I love these contemplations, and I have been personally involved with them since my childhood.  This questioning about death and existance goes back as far as I can remember, perhaps to a toddler aged image I have of a car screeching to a halt as my mother ran across the street to assure I was not obliterated.  I don't think I began to come to any conclusions until I decided not to go through Christian Confirmation at my parents church at the realization that I was not Christian. I believed in god, or some kind of higher power, but Star Wars seemed to be more believable than what the Methodists were delivering.

The show gave many perspectives and displayed both sides of the coin. It was refreshing. The most intriguing part for me was an interview with a man named Michael Persinger who was testing

his "God Helmet".

The god helmet is a motorcycle helmet wired up to focus electromagnetic activity into one particular area of the brain. The result was that the test subjects would experience the presence of others in an empty room. He called this a classic god experience. And went on to say that the belief in another presense out there comes from within and not from outside. His thesis as I understood it was that the human propensity to not only believe in but also experience God or a higher power or even aliens and ghosts came from a reaction in the brain.

 

 

The next day I watched a TED talk* from Michael Shermer of the Skeptic society which was very well delivered and touched on this very idea as well. He mentioned in his talk that he had experienced the "God helmet", first hand. I would love to try this device out. But I have a different hypothosis as to what is happening. I don't think that the experience is a fabrication, I believe it to be the opening of a door way. The funny part is that I know any devout skeptic who just read that sentence just either became angry or decided I was an idiot, and any religious person would be nodding their heads in agreement...but then there is a third group who would be undecided. The true skeptics.

In the end any argument or discussion that involves the mysterious and undefinable, be it god or ghosts or anti-matter, comes down to belief or faith. And these things, as frightening as it may seem to some, are up to individual interpretation.

Best, Stuart

 

*http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/michael_shermer_the_pattern_behind_self_deception.html