In Between the Lines – The Paranormal

Paranormal – Beyond the range of normal experience or scientific explanationAmerican Heritage Dictionary.

Humanity seems to be fascinated with the paranormal. It is the juice of many Hollywood movies. We cannot get enough of it. Whether we approach the topic with curiosity, fear, passion, or skepticism, we are drawn to the unknown because we seek to make sense of it. The paranormal is another theme present in my novels, and a topic that I love to research.

We are complex beings who live in a material world and make sense of it through our brain and senses, but seem to entertain a spiritual side or at least try to make sense of spirit, whether we are religious or not. It has been since the beginning of our species. Whether we choose to blur or highlight the line between spirituality and science, the issue is more our curiosity to find out more, to study it, to learn. It is our curiosity to learn that makes us human, whether we set out to prove or disprove the paranormal or make sense of our physical/material world.

History is full of examples, some gruesome, of our species trying to make sense of our surroundings – cave paintings, rituals, altars, religious persecution, witch huntings, signs on the sky … All of if represents to some degree our interpretation of an event, paranormal or not, in our search/attempt for an explanation or for power.

To a person in medieval times, a hologram would have represented the paranormal or the work of spirits or the devil; to us, and in the context of today’s culture and technology, it is merely an image produced and meant for entertainment or artistic expression. Our mind and culture has evolved to create and make sense of it. We have an explanation for it. If today, we were to present a holographic image to a remote culture that is removed from technology, the people might interpret it as paranormal or of spiritual origin because they cannot explain it through their present technology, knowledge, and experience. Something to ponder. Is the paranormal the absence of knowledge?





Answering Your Calling – Enjoy the Process

Animation of the structure of a section of DNA...

Animation of the structure of a section of DNA. The bases lie horizontally between the two spiraling strands. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Life is full of surprises, of twists and turns, of straight roads, of the predictable, of the inevitable, of the good, and of the not-so-good … life is a miracle. It seems short many times, too short; other times, it may seem as an eternity, depending on what chapter are you living or reliving. When we are young, we live day by day, as if life is eternal; with the pass of time, we realize that it is not, and so our search for meaning begins. We experience mid-life crisis, moments of enlightenment, moments of despair, epiphanies, and absolute sense of loss. Time becomes important, precious, our best ally, and our worst measure of self. We come to a halt; suddenly, we need more, meaning and purpose – we want to find our calling. So we set on a journey of discovery, introspection, and awe. A journey that is different for every human being. To each, its own, says the adage. We focus on finding, and we search and question, ponder and wonder … and we become exhausted. We have not found our calling. Maybe, there is nothing to be found. How can we find what is already there?

We don’t have to find our calling, we have to answer it. Each human being is here for a reason, an important and unique (as DNA) purpose. It is engraved in us, and no matter how much time goes by, the calling is still there. Our searching is part of the process of discovering to be able to answer when we are ready – in perfect synchronicity, in harmony. Instead of enjoying this process, we become frustrated, impatient, sad, lonely, angry, desperate, hopeless, doubtful, without faith … we forget about the now, the moment that is part of the whole that becomes the calling. When we become aware of the now, we begin to answer. Wonderful and magical things happen as we become present.

Ghost Words

A trashcan at a food court in Salt Lake City, Utah

A trashcan at a food court in Salt Lake City, Utah (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The more I think about our kind, I see the complexity of our being.  This morning for example, I went for my early walk, and saw this complexity unfolding.  I am a hello, good morning person, so when I am walking and happen to see another of my species, I usually say the words.  Many times, I get some kind of response – a smile, a gesture of a head tilted sideways with a subtle up movement, a hello or a good morning.  Other times, I get nothing, a stern look, or a head down, avoiding eye contact.  This has puzzled me for so long – why do people do this?  Even animals, acknowledge other species, and theirs.  This morning, I said Good Morning to a woman who was cutting some flowers, and who politely answered with a short and quick good morning, the kind with the absence of a smile.  Later on, I said good morning to a man who had come out of his home and was ready to collect his garbage cans.  He looked at me, as if I had just insulted him, and said nothing.  As I walked further, I spotted a crossing guard who was walking to reach her morning post.  I smiled, but instead met with the quick head down to avoid eye contact.  Later on, I encountered two neighbors driving to their destination flashing smiles and waving. Thank God I’d just reached home and that was the last image I had on my mind – my happy neighbors – because I was beginning to feel a bit uninspired and yes, puzzled, about why people behave that way so early in the morning. I understand when people have had a rotten day, but so early?

It is true that we are living in a fast technologically “challenged?” society, and that we seem to “need more hours” to keep up the pace. However, we seem to have forgotten good manners while we spend the 24 hours we have. It seems to me that two very important words/phrases are almost nonexistent these days – GOOD MORNING (or Hello) and THANK YOU.

It may be my perception, but I seem to hear them less these days. It was very important to say Thank You or Good Morning, not too long ago, although it may seem another century, or as if these words have been relegated to retail pleasantries status. It puzzles me when a door is held or opened for someone, something is given, or someone takes the time or effort to do something for someone, even for a stranger, and these words are never said. As if the person at the other end was a ghost.

What has happened to us? Why are these words less important today than a few decades ago? I am not sure if the speed we live our lives has to do anything with it, or is it that our values have changed, and good manners are not important any more? Sometimes I get more thank you’s from automated systems/services or machinery than from human beings. It is not that I want to be thanked all the time, but more of a concern about “where is our kind headed.” A world where everything is taken for granted? One without gratitude? One where machines seem to have better manners than humans? Or are we there?

We all have our slip-offs and moments of “zombie awareness,” but when our hurried steps/lives become more significant than the generous acts of others (who happen to have the same 24 hours that we have), maybe it is time to stop the purposeless frenzy and think about how long  has it been since we said the Ghost Words.  By the way, Thank You for reading this.


The Quest for Mind Domination – Our Quest

English: Earth rotation as seen against the Mi...

English: Earth rotation as seen against the Milkyway-background. Animation from 20 single exposures with a DSLR on an motorized, equatorial mount. Deutsch: Rotation der Erde gegenüber dem Milchstrassenhintergrund. Animation aus 20 Einzelaufnahmen mit einer DSLR auf motorisierter, äquatorialer Montierung. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The other day, I was thinking about what makes “me” and inevitably, I went down memory lane, visiting childhood and young adult memories.  I saw a young mind being shaped by the people and experiences around it, a series of beliefs, traditions, cultural traits … which began clothing and molding “me.”   Although I turned out a decent human being, I realized that I could have shed out a few of those beliefs or ideas, with which I was not totally in tune with (as a young adult and older), but accepted anyway, since they had been passed on by generations and culture.

Many times, we feel obligated to believe or “honor” a system of beliefs/values/information that has been passed along in our upbringing and we end up living our life in a constant silent battle of ideas.  Our mind has been dominated by other’s beliefs/ideas and they have nested in us for so long, that even when we feel that we no longer need them, we feel obligated to carry them with us, in fear of dishonoring someone’s memory or culture or social ties.  We don’t realize the harm that we are doing to “me” when we keep holding on to ideas that do not fit us anymore.

In being fair to “me” I realized that one can only continue to grow and evolve if one sheds out all that does not feel in tune with the actual self, with the person that is and continues to be, whether that be religious, social, or cultural ideas.  Is that an easy thing to do? Not really; most likely, you will encounter opposition from many sides, internal and external, as well as judgement or pre-assumptions.  The real issue here is, do you keep evolving or do you “play nice” and hold on to those ideas (which do not serve you anymore) for self-preservation (avoiding judgement or hurting feelings).

It takes guts to say, “I am finally free and I don’t have to believe in anything anymore; I just am.”  The key words here are have to.  When you feel that you have to believe or accept an idea which you have outgrown you are denying the essence of being; you are reversing the process of creation, of creativity.  You may exist, but you are not – you are not creating, you are un-creating.  You are denying your essence (I’m not talking about ego here).  I choose to believe that I am part of a greater and collective creation, and that in order to honor (LOVE) that essence, first, I must honor (LOVE) my own.  To be (part of creation), first I have to know and respect that I am.  By acknowledging that, I am opening the door to LOVE, the essence to all.


WWJD? The Humanity of Evil

Jesus Cleansing Temple Mormon

Image by More Good Foundation via Flickr

This morning I visited my FB page and found a very sad and horrible picture being passed around – it was of two kids hanging a puppy and enjoying the act (for what their faces could tell).  The person(s) who shared the link was asked to keep posting it to see if these people are caught and punished.  I love animals and all living things, and in a moment of rage, I shared the picture with the plea, and used some profanity directed at the abusers.  This prompted this post.

I am not one to like that kind of language but the rage that boiled inside me when I saw the picture gave way to those words.  Then, feeling a bit sorry about my poor choice of words, I thought – In that case, WWJD?  Immediately the scene of a Jesus irate at the merchants in the temple came to mind.  Apart from his divinity, at that moment of anger, Jesus was being human – his humanity was leading his actions.  I thought, “Ok, I can’t compare myself to Jesus, but I understand why I reacted in such way – my humanity.

Then, I thought, “Wait a minute!  Why were these kids committing this crime?  Because of their human condition?  Because of the evil that we humans are capable of and let out many times?  I pondered the issue and realized that we all are capable of committing evil, whether in the name of God or the Devil (if you believe in such) or just by the fact that we are human.  My reply to the picture was “I wish they die the same way … (and other words that I not dare repeat here).  The point is that in a millisecond, out of fury, I saw myself hanging those kids and enjoying their death as punishment for killing that puppy.  At that moment, was I worst than them or equal?  I don’t know, other than I was angry at their evil act, and they were enjoying their evil act.  That is the only difference I can find.

So WWJD?  I don’t know other than I am sure that he would not just stand there watching these kids kill a puppy and I doubt that he would open his arms and say “Come here my children for you have sin.”  No, he would probably be as pissed off as he was with the merchants in the temple; however, there is nothing written as if he hit one of them or not.  Maybe that is the answer – it is fine to let your emotions out and your true feelings; however not always ok to act on them.  As humans, we are capable of acts of Love and Evil; as spiritual beings our nature is one of Love.

Simply Human

"Skeleton of human (1) and gorilla (2), u...

Image via Wikipedia

The title of this post came to me after opening the lid of the trash can in the kitchen – the brand is simplehuman.  When I glanced at it, this question came to mind, What is to be simply human?  We belong to the human species on this planet, and we live among many other species.  Just as elephants are pachyderms, we are human.  Unfortunately, over the years, the term human has been associated with mistake, error, shame, and a negative connotation.  When we make a mistake we tend to say, “Well, I’m only human or I am simply human.”

I have said that in many occasions, and it wasn’t until today that I got to think about what I was saying.  By saying the phrase, I was giving a negative meaning to my species.  Not on purpose, I was saying that being a human was being less than … far away from perfection, and I was using the word human as a crutch.  A crutch to justify mistakes and not performing up to my potential.  I think that the reason we think of ourselves, as humans, as something far away from beauty, has to do with a philosophic and religious influence throughout the ages, starting with the original sin and Adan and Eve story.  It also has to do with us comparing ourselves to the perfection of divinity.

On the contrary, implying that God or a Creator (if you believe in such) made a beautiful species, capable of many great and not so great deeds, would liberate us of the “simply human” negative connotation.  If you are an atheist, you may see the beauty of our species, and the greatness of our kind.  We can learn that there is no need for excuses in our journey to achieve our potential, and for many who believe, like me, on a divine purpose, to fulfill such.  Whether you believe in God or not, you may find yourself thinking of your humanity as an excuse.  It doesn’t matter if you are an atheist or if you believe in a Creator, you belong to the human species, and this puts you on the same level as any other human being.  What you do with your life – with your human existence is up to you.

Today, thanks to my trash can, I stop saying that I am “Simply Human,” because I know I am much more than that.

The Blessing of Each Day

human skull

Image via Wikipedia

We are by instinct, a species that will do anything to survive.  We survive the Ice age, and the human race continues to evolve, learn, invent, create, destroy, love, hate …. and survive.  In tragedy or hardship, we seem to bring the best and the worst of us; we help others, injure others … and we keep on going – surviving.  The survival instinct is ingrained in us very deeply; however, one thing puzzles me – we fail to live every day.

We live daily, sometimes in a daze.  We go thru the motions, like zombies in a hurry.  We wake up each day, sometimes in a frenzy.  We fail to acknowledge the blessing of each day (me included).  Why (as species who will fight for survival) we seem to forget of everyday living?  Do we take living for granted?  How can we be sure that when we go to sleep, we will wake up the next day?  There is no guarantee to that, we know it, we ignore it.  Each day is a huge blessing – no matter what it will bring.  If you opened your eyes today, you were given life.

Small Steps – Every Day

Image of the ZYPAD wrist wearable computer fro...

Image via Wikipedia

I used to get frantic trying to do everything at once.  Worried to the point of becoming stressed, even about the things I could not control.  It took me a while to realize that there is “time for everything under the sun.”  I had read that many times, but never grasped the deep significance the phrase had. 

We go nuts multitasking and running around trying to get everything done.  In the end, we feel burned out and unhappy, the colors of life lose their brightness, and there is no music to our day – just the hurried stomps of our feet as we run like robots without a cause.

It took me a while to realize that small steps everyday accomplish a lot.  Sometimes, even the best antidote against procrastination.  Small steps everyday take you closer to your dreams and goals, and let you feel and see some progress.  Today, I don’t run with the pack, I take small steps, but surely, and everyday – I am happier that way.

Just Be

LIVES training

Image via Wikipedia

What would happen if we allowed ourselves to just be?  To do as we genuinely felt and not as we tought we would look better in front of others?  What would happen if we acted by true care as opposed to having to care?  I think we would be happier, and only give the best of us to others by just being. 

Being genuine to yourself entails being true to others as well as your own self.  It is applying the golden rule.  Many times, we covet the ideal lives of others – the successes that we view as perfect lives – without realizing that the only way that we can meet a fullness of life is if we just be. 

When we embrace ourselves, our creativity, our spirituality, and our physical state of being, along with our lives, we are in the path of becoming what we are to become – of being as real as we can be – of fulfilling our purpose as human and spiritual beings.

When we write, many times we worry about rules, about sounding like our favorite best-selling author, or about setting writing goals according to somebody else’s standards.  However, we forget one important thing, that life, goals, writings, and anything else that goes with it, will not mean anything if they are not centered and meant for the true self and its true purpose. 

 Just be and the rest will follow is a good way of approaching life, but in our way to letting the true self shine, we can strive to better each day by asking ourselves – Am I letting myself be?

No Guilt, Just Happiness

A smiley by Pumbaa, drawn using a text editor.

Image via Wikipedia

Have you ever felt so happy that your heart overflows?  Have you ever felt guilty for feeling happy?  Sounds like a contradiction, but it happens.  Many times we don’t know how to accept the happiness in our lives and give thanks for it.  Sometimes, we think that it is temporary or that we might put a jinx to it if we enjoy it for long.  What is wrong with this picture?  Everything.

Many times we think of the old adage that said – “After much laughter, there comes the tears.”  I thought of this adage and how sick it is to think that happiness is something that we have to grab fast because it will disappear and be replaced by some sad moment and suffering. 

This adage is an example of the power of words in our feelings, and in entire cultures.  Words are passed from generation to generation.  They build stories, they become tools for educating entire families, cities, countries … civilizations.  They become sacred or heresy; they become anointed with the same feelings they have provoked in people.  But they are just words, and we choose to give life and meaning to them.

The truth is that there are happy moments and sad moments – and we should embrace both to grow as humans and spiritual beings.  Our Creator made us to enjoy our lives and be happy.  (This is a personal belief).  However, even when you do not believe in a Creator, a God, or whatever you choose to call it – him – her …. one thing remains true – It is silly not to enjoy a happy moment or a happy life.  It is silly to feel guilty about pure happiness, and moreover, to let a silly adage cloud a perfect day!

Be happy!