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After the Golden Age by Alvin Schwartz
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AFTER THE GOLDEN AGE for 07/21/2003
Volume 2, #86

Why I'm Not So Bright

Last week I promised to tell you about some of the stuff I believe. I promised it after commenting on Daniel Dennett's "I'm so bright, I don't believe anything unless I can eat it, screw it, wear it or at least hang it on the wall." All right, I'm being a little cute, but essentially Daniel said pretty much that. He doesn't believe in God, ghosts, ouija boards, life after death, the whole gamut of what bright people are too smart to be bamboozled by and that's why he calls himself and his fellow unbelievers "brights." Now me, I'm not that bright. I believe in too many things. But let's leave God out of it, not on the grounds of disbelief but rather because, as I said last week, nobody seems to know what they mean when they invoke the word, or rather, if they know what they mean, it's not exactly what almost everybody else seems to mean.

Okay, we've disposed of the God problem, although not God. I wouldn't even try anything like that because I believe in so many wild things even before we get to anyone as complicated as God. For example, I believe, as I demonstrated in a recent column, that if you look carefully, without prejudgments, you'll notice that people tend to glow. I also believe in discarnate beings. How could I not when for two years, back in the nineteen-fifties, I had such a being for a teacher. In these very columns, if you take the trouble to go back and search, I described how I and my friend Waldemar Hansen got tangled up with one special discarnate being who originally passed himself off as Waldemar's late brother-in-law, but who, in the course of time proved to be a lot more. Now I'm not saying that I know exactly what this alleged discarnate being really was. In a certain way, he mirrored my own psyche, as he claimed. But he also had Waldemar reciting the works of an ancient Greek poet, which we later confirmed by checking with a neighbor who was a Greek scholar. Also, he did something to my mind, I mean really boosted my thinking power by two hundred percent so that I found myself able to ratiocinate more clearly, more rapidly and more precisely than almost anyone I came across for the whole two year period when I was getting my mental workouts by this discarnate being.

However, I'm not suggesting that a single one of you start believing in such creatures. You just don't go out and do that kind of thing unless you actually come across such a personality. What I do suggest is that you keep your mind open just in case such a personality comes knocking at your door. Because you really wouldn't want to miss out on such an experience just because you had a closed mind, or, perhaps were too "bright", as Daniel Dennett says. Now I'm not saying you should sit around and wait to be taken up by a discarnate being. That's just distracting yourself. There may not be a single one around and if you're too focused on finding one, there are other things you might miss, like coincidences or synchronicities that really mean something. My own feeling is, of course, that if you're a typical comics fan, you're likely to be open to a lot of things, because comics is one of those very fluid arts, especially the way its evolving today, where almost anything can come along and seize and really stir up your imagination.

So what am I saying? Don't try to be too bright. Or you might just dazzle yourself with your own light. But worse than that, if you're too dazzled you might miss the unlikely, the unexpected, the magical, the incredible, all those marvelous things that happen if we keep our minds open and our prejudices locked away.

Had any remarkable experiences yourselves? We'd love to hear from you. Tell us about them on the Round Table. There's a lot more to this strange world than just tulpas, you know.

Alvin

<< 07/14/2003 | 07/21/2003 | 07/28/2003 >>

Discuss this column with me at my Round Table.


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