You tell someone that there are 4,500 stars visible on a clear night and they usually look up and then nod in agreement, not thinking twice about it. I don’t really know how many stars there are, up in the sky. I was just guessing. And unless I had accidentally started a conversation with someone skilled in astronomy, my guess would be as good as theirs. Now try telling them that ghosts exist. After taking two steps back and looking around to see who might have heard you, they tend to smile nervously, wondering if you are just joking or maybe, just maybe, you are one of “those” types of people.
My friend Dave and I were fishing off the Ocean View pier yesterday when I told him I had actually seen an apparition once. He scoffed, uttering what could only be described as a chirtle. “If I can’t see it, it isn’t real” he said as he put down his beer. I retorted with a short, logic busting question concerning Dave’s belief in gravity. Undeterred, Dave wanted to pursue argument for argument’s sake, so I offered the “Jedi” proof. It went something like this….
First, I established that we both agreed on a few things. A human body, along with everything else on Earth, was made up, at the base level, of atoms and those atoms were charged either positively or negatively. Basic science, really. And as those atoms moved about, they created energy in the form of heat. “Dave, you see this every time you go to the doc-in-the-box. What’s one of the first things they do? They take your temperature!” Now interestingly enough, our atoms are also held together by energy. Just think of the resultant mess if our atoms just started floating away from each other. Ugh. I shudder to think about it. I didn’t mention this to Dave. There wasn’t enough beer.
At this point, my opponent mentioned the soul. “The soul isn’t made of atoms. How do you explain that, huh?”
I loved that one. Quite expected, really. “The soul…hmmm. You can’t see someone’s soul, can you? And…didn’t you say that if you couldn’t see it, it didn’t exist?” Too easy. I helped Dave out by saying I never subscribed to souls being a subcomponent of ghosts. “Different debate,” I said. I asked Dave if he had ever seen a basketball, knowing the answer would be yes. I had him rub his hands together very quickly, as if he was trying to get warm. After a few seconds, Dave was holding an imaginary basketball. I asked him to close his eyes, and then start slowly moving his hands together. By the time Dave was holding an imaginary cantaloupe, he reported feeling a sphere of energy resting in his hands. Success!
“You see, my friend, when someone dies, two things happen. First, the soul goes on its’ way. Where? Again, a subject for a different debate. Second, and more germane to our conversation here, the body’s energy dissipates. Normally. And that’s the rub. No pun intended.”
Dave slowly nodded his head. He wasn’t quite on board yet, but I think he did want to give me the benefit of the doubt. Good friends will do that for each other. I explained how, on the rare occasion where the passing of a soul left a “sphere” of energy behind, a ghost was “born.” Perhaps there were environmental factors keeping that energy field together, floating around visibly when the conditions were just right. Who knew? Like the number of stars in the sky, I really didn’t know.
What I did know…was that we had run out of beer and that was not up for debate…
©D.J. Lutz –April 2011