Whats up Hethens,
I recently have been writing for a philosophy class Im taking in college. I focused on belief, perspective, and how we can know what is real. I chose to talk about some ideas that I think might interest some of the people in this community so I decided to throw it up here. If you have some time and wouldn’t mind reading it I would love to hear what you think.
Remember though, don’t take what I say too seriously, or what anyone says for that matter. Even yourself. Thank you!
My Seven Year Old Mind and the Door that
Chapter 1: Of Cartoons, Jedi, and Demons
As a kid growing
up I decided after going to Catholic School up until 5th grade that
I was no longer religious and did not understand nor follow the Catholic faith.
As a seven year old my thought process went something like this, if there are
multiple religions claiming a different God then there’s no way each could be
true. Thus I decided they were all false and used by adults and society to tell
us what to do and give a moral basis for personal conduct. Maybe a bit of a
rebellious mindset, but it made perfect sense to me.
this made me throw out many other ideas that I group with religion and a
bearded god in the sky watching me everyday. I decided that ghosts and demons
couldn’t exist, and paranormal things were all in people’s heads. I guessed I
made this judgment ultimately because I had never seen anything of the sort and
thus considered these ideas as impossible. Although around this same time I
also thought it might be possible to
get invited to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry just like in Harry
Potter. Still haven’t received that letter.
being said I was a very open minded kid and of course very into video games and
cartoons. During this time I loved things like Dragon Ball Z (cartoon), ninjas,
samurai, Star Wars, Egyptians, and as I mentioned Harry Potter. (It may be
funny but bad to state I apparently haven’t changed much from seven year old
me). If you aren’t familiar with Dragon Ball Z it was essentially a cartoon
about supernaturally strong martial artists who could use energy blasts
generated from their body to fight opponents. This also went along with being a
Jedi, although it was a slightly different approach. These space monk/samurai
could take control of “the force” and use it to move objects. As you might of
guessed I thought I could do these things too if I trained hard enough and
learned to use my energy.
find this interesting that I could have these ideas of the force and
disintegrating playground bullies with a light cannon out of my hands but other
supernatural ideas like God and ghosts weren’t possible. A good example being I
highly enjoyed reading every book I could find on Ancient Egyptians. All of their
gods, mummies, and metaphysical beliefs fascinated me. The Egyptians, as you
might know, believed in the afterlife and energies that made up the soul. Their
knowledge was also so advanced in what would be seen as such a primitive time,
I never truly understood it but this captivated me.
this time I saw my first haunting horror film, The Grudge. This features a demon like woman who died from being
drowned. Her skin was pale with a bluish tint, long stringy jet-black hair, and
she made this gurgling sound like someone might make while gasping for air but
can’t get any. She would stalk people who lived in her house and eventually
kill them, holding her grudge against anyone. As you might expect I had quite a
few nightmares involving a very similar horrifying girl with the same hair,
face, and mind numbing sound. For a while I was genuinely scared these things could
hurt me, or that they were some how real. Maybe I was wrong and ghosts do
exist! What if demons are going to come get me in my dreams!? Ok….so now I
apparently found myself in a mindset that ghosts, demons, and a pissed off
drown victim demon girl might be real
along with Hogwarts and energy blasts and the force.
enough I never saw a ghost or demon outside of my cartoons, movies and
videogames. Not so fortunately I never did master the force or energy blasts or
magic. Never the less I lived as a little kid with a big imagination.
Chapter 2: “Man…Ghosts are definitely real”
When I was about seven
years old I lived in Grove City, Ohio in a small 2-story house. As you walked
in the front door of the house you come into a main living room on your right
and two flights of stairs further back and to the left, one going up and the
other to the basement. In our basement we had our TV and video games and such
and there was also a laundry room door on the wall viewable from the top of the
stairs. The house was very compact and if you stood in front of the downward
stairs you could essentially get a whole look at the interior of the house from
front door to a look at the upstairs and downstairs.
day after coming home from school I was sitting on the top of the stairs going
into my basement daydreaming about the latest things I watched from Dragon Ball
Z to the Return of the Jedi. I imagined flying around fighting aliens and controlling
things with my brain and what not. Typical activities for me as we know.
My mother was in
the kitchen cooking some macaroni for me. She was basically within five feet of
me but she was on the other side of a wall which separated the stair well and
the kitchen. Blankly staring into my basement I was in the line of sight of the
back wall, which holds the door to the laundry room. In my steady glare I
observe the laundry room doorknob twist and the door begins to drift open. I
couldn’t remember anyone going past me into the basement and I wondered who was
about to walk out of the laundry room.
“Maybe my stepdad”
The door swings
completely open until I can see clearly both handles and the inside of the
doorframe. It stops. No one walks out.
“Wait…” I think to
myself as I casually crane my head to the side in wonder.
The door then
proceeds to slowly and smoothly, as if guided by a hand, close and latches
back. It appeared exactly as if someone opened the door and then closed it
behind them. My eyes nearly pop out of my head.
I can’t exactly explain
the thought process of this moment, but I feel like that’s because there wasn’t
much clicking at this point. My brain was completely unable to process what it
just took in. No fear came over me, as I was not immediately jumping to the conclusion
that it was a ghost or something like that. All I knew was that it couldn’t
have not happened…right? It was so clear but I didn’t see anything
physically act on the door. I couldn’t just completely fabricate an experience
in front of my very eyes could I? Being seven I can affirm I was sober except
for maybe an overactive imagination. But even then that’s not enough to make a
door open by itself. There was only one way I could think to figure this out.
“Mom….how can the
laundry door open and close by itself” I asked my mother in a confused tone.
“……So now I know
that I’m not completely crazy…I’ve seen that happen too. But I don’t know why,
maybe the wind” She replied.
The exchanging of
words ended there as we dismissed it. I kept thinking to myself about how it
was possible, and even worse how does my mother not know? If she doesn’t know,
does anyone? At this moment I felt an incredible feeling of stepping into a
world much more vast than I was previously aware of. Whether or not that’s the best
description of the feeling it seems right because for the first time I
understood that there were things that escaped even my all-knowing mother. She
was no longer the solidified go-to for my understanding of the world and I had
to accept that as it was there plainly in front of my face. This was a big deal
for me. How could I know what was real
and what wasn’t? In a one to three second period of time many of my large
beliefs about what was possible came
into question. I then decided that I had to figure out for myself what was real
and what isn’t.
definitely real” thought seven year old me.
Chapter 3: So
Wait…What DID Happen?
It has been 14
years since my encounter with that weird door and reflecting back on it I cant
say I’ve ever really figured out what happened that day. As I write this I
still wonder what the unseen mover could have been. My 21 year old adult mind,
despite its apparent tripled amount of life experience, cannot discern what
happened here anymore than my 7 year old childish one. The only difference is my slightly wider base
of explanations I can pull from to try to figure it out. My thoughts spiral
into the abyss completely unhindered by what
is real and what isn’t, as I
can’t seem to put one hundred percent certainty on either of those anymore.
“So wait….what did happen” I ask myself
“The wind….” I
turn over in my head.
door was in the basement though. There were no windows in the basement or in
the laundry room. So how could that have been it? The wind would have to have
blown the door outwards from inside the laundry room and then from outside back
to the closed position. Not to mention the door knob must have been twisted to
get the door to open in the first place” I rationalize.
then wonder if there was a way the doorknob could’ve slipped out of the closed
considering a house is a huge interconnected structure of materials, it may be
possible to conceive that maybe something like wind on the outside of the house
has just enough effect to slightly warp the door frame and cause the door to
swing open” Says the optimistic realist in me.
swing open. And then magically close like it did” My skeptical side retorts.
the way it moved… was too controlled
for wind.” I admit.
then become stumped. It would seem even my best attempts to rationalize the
experience fall short. I can’t conceive of any other ideas that wouldn’t be far
out to someone who did not witness the door move as it did. Could there be
something more going on? Maybe. But first I must consider my own error in the
“Although I would
not go down without a fight about whether or not I imagined the whole thing, I
have to consider that seconds before I was just mentally flying through space,
blasting Empire space fighters out of existence, who’s to say I couldn’t
imagine a door opening and closing by itself.” I think to myself.
“I guess I am just
a 21 year old kid with an overactive imagination” I painfully yet acceptingly
“But wait! Mom saw
it too remember” I suddenly recall
So maybe not.
Unless my mother also imagined it too that is. Guess it’s in the genes. This
would then bewilder me because it was so vivid, the memory is burned into my
psyche. If that’s not real I
apparently have a lot to reevaluate.
“So I can’t trust
my own opinions or my moms” I brutally breakdown in my head. Which is, you
know…kind of a hindrance since two people in the world watched the door move
and it was her and I.
I have recently
learned a little bit about quantum mechanics and other scientific matters that
would seem much too complicated for my artistic background. I then decide if I
can’t solve this through basic thinking maybe if I break it down using the
widely accepted medium of truth, science.
“Science is all
verifiable facts right” I question myself
subatomic things (electrons and things that make up protons and neutrons in an
atom) do a bunch of interesting stuff that seem counter intuitive” I recall
from some of the quantum physics literature I’ve absorbed from reading.
“They even tried
to figure out these things existed as waves or particles…it came out as both
depending on whether it was being observed during the experiment” I follow up
What the hell. So
even this science contains uncertainty? What does this mean? That nothing is
certain and it only comes down to your perspective and chance? Apparently. How
else would something be able to exist as two different states of being
depending on if you observed it?
“Or maybe there
are just more variables that haven’t been realized yet. We’ve claimed many
theories over time and constantly revise and even throw some ideas out as
technology and understanding improves” I think to offer a counter argument.
I also then recall
a quote I’ve seen a bunch while browsing the Internet by Albert Einstein. (At
least maybe, I did copy this quote from the Internet) “….What we have
called matter is energy, whose vibration has been lowered as to be perceptible
to the senses.”
As far as I can understand
this basically says that matter isn’t “matter” on a small enough scale but
rather a bunch of energies or forces or something interacting on a microscopic
scale and then builds up to appear physical to our eye because the energy is
vibrating at a proper frequency to be picked up.
thing I’ve been learning about is the brain and the nervous system. The signals
that run through our nervous system are electrical impulses that jump from the
nervous system through our body controlling its movements. Sort of like a
battery or a computer or like a bunch of circuits.
“Electricity is an
energy, maybe not unlike those same ones that make up subatomic not-matter or everything else according
to Einstein” I try to piece together.
“No way! Does this
mean I could’ve Jedi force moved the door with my brain” My seven year old self
more like I saw that happening in my head so vividly that it appeared real
through my senses” My 21 year old self dismisses.
So if my childhood
dreams of being a Jedi aren’t the answer then what other options to be explored
could be left?
my seven year old self.
“Why would there
be a ghost in my relatively new house and why would it be doing laundry” I
But wait, maybe I
even got ahead of myself there.
“What is a ghost”
I ask myself.
supposedly a dead persons soul that is wandering without a body.
How is that possible though? Do I
even believe in the afterlife and ghosts? I can’t even be sure. But at this
point why not go there” I speculate.
“From all the
energy talk it would seem that it isn’t such a big deal for energy to not have
a “body” because it is just energy vibrating at a level not perceptible to our
senses” I think.
“Who is to say
that a consciousness or memories or something else entirely that I can’t name can’t
exist external to a body? Technically something like radio waves or the signal
for your cellphone are energies that fly all around us and we can’t detect them”
I speculate without judgment.
that according to that Einstein quote all of existence is just a giant ocean of
energy vibrating at different frequencies it seems much more possible now that
my ghost could just be some mass of energy floating in said ocean” I offer up.
“The waters get
murky here because if you break down the words in this way there could be so many
different things happening” I conclude.
“I know that it is possible for there to be
forces or energies that are invisible to my eyes because a body is just a dense
mass of energy with a low enough vibration. I know my senses are all based on
energetic signals my body takes in and interprets” I confidently assure myself
that science doesn’t have all the answers yet just like everything else. I
can’t say I can completely understand or trust the relationship my senses,
mind, imagination, and the outside world have because I know that I’m only shown
a limited perspective” I purpose as I destroy all of previously mentioned
“The invisible mass of energy could also
technically be the wind” I regress.
So of course then
I cannot claim to have taken all variables into account and not still be
overlooking something. I would simply not have realized it. Maybe there is a
flaw in my perspective on the situation and it was something very simple and my
plunge into the depths of quantum mechanics was that of a fool. Maybe it
wasn’t. I don’t know I’m not a quantum physicist. However I would say that it
is interesting to note what happens when the mind cannot wrap itself around a
concept. I can only speculate and try to use the “knowledge” I have acquired
through my life to try to deduce what is going on around me. Not the most
foolproof tactic I might add.
Chapter 4: …or something
This all makes me
wonder what we can really know outside of what Mom and Dad and school teach us.
More importantly if they really knew anything in the first place. Considering
the vague idea I have of the vastness of existence and even if said idea is
wrong, it would just solidify the point that as a single human being I could
never really comprehend much. Socrates was right when he said he knew nothing
and I don’t think it needs to be said he was probably much more intelligent
than me, but I guess I said it anyway. Then not to mention even if you soak up
information like sponge how can you know that this information is correct? Hard
So basically I
have the mind set that I never really know what is going on in terms of a big
picture view. I can never really put my finger on what exactly is possible
because I don’t have supreme knowledge of everything. Then I simultaneously
have to remain critical of my own skepticism in order to function. Kind of like
a game of back and forth depending on if I have the time and place to think
about it long enough.
If nothing else I can say that this experience caused me
to try to think for myself for a moment or two. For what that is worth is yet
to be seen I guess. But it made me really try to take the broadest view on
everything I could because I know that people all have different perspectives
and limits to what they know including my mother and myself. A person’s belief
of what is real heavily defines their
outlook whether it is about a weird self-opening door or anything you do or
experience in daily life. So what happens when something challenges those
beliefs? You either solve and combine knowledge to try and create a new
understanding or reject it all together as nonsense. Either way it is easy to
see how this could impose limits upon how we perceive things and that’s not
even getting into the ideas that everything we look at is actually millions of
swirling atoms, or vibrating energy depending on which scientific model you
use. No wonder people kill each other
over racial and religious ideas, we’re all blind claiming not to be. The only
way to truly understand something is to objectify your own beliefs and try to
see from all different perspectives and even then can you really be sure? You
could always just be missing something in your thought process and make false
presumptions. You can’t judge a door by how it opens…or something like
Also…my formatting got all screwy posting this here so sorry about that.