There was a time when I believed in everything. I was young, I'd had a lot of weird things happen to me, and I was open to anything. It was a time in my life when I hadn't yet been hoaxed. Now, I've got some years on me, and I'd like to think that I'm not just older, but maybe a little bit wiser, too. I've seen some shenanigans in the fortean field, and I've reexamined certain beliefs after better understanding the evidence in favor of them. But I can't help but think I've lost something. Certainly that childlike innocence has been shed, but it's more than that; I can't help but think that perhaps I suffer from something I see too often, especially on the internet--I may be becoming cynical.
This occurred to me recently after a few brief exchanges online with people who questioned why I bother writing articles on certain supernatural subjects. They rolled their digital eyes and asked "Why bother? It's clearly bullshit. People are so gullible." And I got unreasonably angry at their response. Not just because they were wrong to say that--although they were--but because it reminded me of all of the times I've thought the same thing, and I felt guilty. I felt like I let myself down by letting the world rob me of the magic and mystery that once colored how I viewed the universe. This field of study is rife with con artists and madmen, and if you let them, they won't just take your money, they'll take something even more precious--they'll take your belief. And it's our ability to believe that keeps us questing for evidence. If I lose the ability to entertain a belief or idea without actually succumbing to it completely, then I've lost everything.
But is it too late? I don't think so. I have brief flashes of wonderment that exist in the moments when I am witness to the miraculous. I still see the occasional apparition, or hear a strange voice calling longingly from the ether. And in those moments I'm a child again, capable of imagining any explanation for them. Maybe I just need to remember that the rest of the time. Maybe we all do.
Yours in Impossibility,