Saturday, January 26, 2008

Separating Fact From Fiction

Most of us think we do a pretty good job of separating fact from fiction. After all, we are mature adults who have been around a bit and know the world. We accept irrefutably what our senses tell us, right?

Not so fast. Experiments have shown that we generally only sense what we expect to see, hear, taste, feel or touch. Whats more, our brain has already decided what it will take in nanoseconds before we SENSE a thing consciously. This mental hiccup goes unnoticed, but it probably is the reason most of us stay sane, accepting a view of the world to which our friends and neighbors agree. It's part of the glue that holds societies together and keeps life pretty sanitized.

There ARE those events that stretch our minds beyond the limits of the five senses. Everyone has had one or two of these, I know. Like little blips, they are compartmentalized into a small corner of the brain, not to be discussed or otherwise tampered with excessively. If these unusual events began occurring with more frequency, how would we respond?

Texans, including a relative who emailed, got a chance to experience this themselves with the UFO sitings as reported on the news this month. Lighted discs were seen hovering and then moving off rapidly in a horizontal direction--many lighted discs, seen by dozens of people. Also making front page news recently was Representative and former presidential candidate David Kucinich explaining that he saw lighted discs several years ago while staying at the home of Shirley MacLaine.

There are so many such reports, could all these folks be making it up? No, they could not. Could there be alternative explanations? Yes, there could--particularly from the military who most likely conduct secret operations daily. Could these UFOs be from outer space? Yes, why not. Do we have the information to make a solid judgment? No. Will we ever? Maybe, maybe not. But there is no harm in accepting the unknown as a possibility. If nothing else, it is a way to stretch the mind beyond its usual bounds into the extraordinary.

If all the authors writing these days about armageddon are correct, we are in for quite a ride in the next 20 years or so. Maybe Others hovering in UFOs have come to watch the show. Maybe humanity holds an unprecedented place in the universe in this time sector. Maybe, just maybe all future life depends on man's ability to express right human relations. While one does have to carry on with day-to-day activities, it does not hurt to think broadly about the possibility that man's destiny might be that of a collective savior of which Christ was the forerunner.

But if that thought is too much, other liberating thoughts are possible. The sky is the limit, really. Science fiction has always pushed the mind beyond the ordinary to explore the extra-ordinary. I know this because I was raised by a father who read libraries full of the genre. He was an engineer and bordered on the genius--but managed not to go over into the neverland of strangeness. Even given his reading propensities, I thought he was really straight.

Recently, however, science fiction has been reported as the "last bastion for the literature of ideas. By questioning society's basic rules and speculating on how other worlds might work, science fiction can raise fresher more provocative questions" (WSJ from Wired, 1-25-08, p. B6.) Now I know what Dad was up to. He was exploring other realities in his mind, out of sight of the rest of us. It would have been like him not to share such questions or thoughts. Wish he was here to share with now. But then again, maybe he's watching at a distance from a UFO. After all, he believed they were possible.

Separating fact from fiction? It simply isn't possible at this stage in our evolution. But in the meantime, we can stretch our brains. In so doing, we are opening our minds to other realities--if they indeed exist. We might be surprised at what we begin to see, hear, taste, smell and touch. My Dad might enjoy the company.

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