Monday, November 11, 2013

Ghosts and Consciousness

I meet a friendly couple at the hotel restaurant called The Dancing Bears.  We talk about this and that and I discover that they hail near where I spent some time as a college student. These two are so pleasant that I think that if we lived closer we could become good buds despite an age difference that is likely to be thirty years.

I comment on the rooms in the hotel and the views. They agree that the views are spectacular, the staff friendly, the fireplace in the lobby picture perfect--but they are concerned with the ghosts.

They laugh when they say this as if they know that there are really no ghosts, but the woman continued to explain regardless.  Seems as if they were settling into their room and they heard some noises that could not be explained. Must be ghosts, they said. I countered that it could have been a neighbor, or running toilet, or the clanking of someone unpacking in the room above.  Again, it was mostly tongue in cheek, but they shook their heads and concluded that the room was likely to be haunted.

For some reason this conversation seeped into my consciousness at about 5 a.m. this morning.  I had, as I occasionally do, conked out in front of the television set.  I was awakened by my cat Pumpkin who thought this was a fine time to hover above my head and meow in order to persuade me to open the door so he can cavort outside doing whatever in the world he does when he scampers away into the neighborhood.  So, I was up at 5.  The living room here has many windows so I could see the sky go from dark to light and the remaining leaves change color as the sun made its way to the eastern time zone.

I replayed the conversation about the ghosts. They had asked me then if I believed in ghosts and my response was that I did not.  I was pretty sure my room had no ghosts in there and told them so.  But this morning when I replayed the chat, I realized that I should have elaborated.  I do believe in ghosts. They are the ones in my head. And they are in everyone's head.

 I am not a big dreamer, but occasionally I have one.  This morning before my cat decided to purr near my head, I had a dream.  In it I had some argument with my mother about my birthday--just a couple of weeks back.  In the dream, she had missed it.

This was interesting since my folks never missed my birthday, always sent a card and called. They could have been in Timbuktu for a month, but I would get a card and a phone call on my birthday. Also, interesting that I would have this dream because my mother recently died, so she missed this year's birthday but had a great excuse. My mother is not a ghost in the sense that my restaurant friends meant it, of course. She is not rattling the furniture.  But she, like all people in my life that were once central and are now gone are hanging around in my subconscious lingering at the gates of consciousness.

As I wrote above, I don't dream much which I suspect means that many such ghosts are not near the doorway, but who knows if how we think and what we do, relates to ghosts just beyond the entrance to our head.  And who knows that for those who really do believe in ghosts, it is the memories to which I refer that create their notions of other beings occupying real time.

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