Lord, from ghosties and ghoulies and long legged beasties and things that go bump in the night, preserve us. That prayer, by an anonymous author was said many times at my junior school over forty years ago to conclude morning assembly. Although I may have hinted at it in my blog before, I have never had the opportunity to talk about 'spooky' things before but today there is a reason. Tuesday night is my 'circle' night - a psychic circle run by good friends Shirley Ann Summerwill ably supported by her partner Barry Chessman. This week due to the holidays and Barry and Shirley Ann moving house, we have a rare week off and I will miss it.
What do you call a ghost's mother and father? Transparents.
I was interested in a BBC News online poll today which said that nearly one in four people believed in ghosts, a massive rise from one in ten in 1950. But here's the most fascinating result of all, 70% of respondents believe in the human soul. My own history as a child in Cottingham in the old Victorian three storey house identified many unexplained happenings that, looking back can only be explained by the presence of spirits. It was fashionable in the late 60s early 70s to do Ouija Boards (a very dangerous thing to do today unless you know exactly what you are doing) but back then, it was Sunday afternoon family and friends entertainment.
My Grandfather who lived with us was blind and had a walking stick and on a Sunday afternoon he would go upstairs for a nap and he would bang on the linoleum covered floor if he wanted anything. One summer Sunday afternoon, downstairs the Ouija Board session was in full flow with the curtains closed and a slim shaft of sunlight where the curtains just didn't meet showing the slowly swirling dust, but nothing much was happening. I belonged to the Cottingham Amateur Dramatic Society then and they had just done Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward. In a stupid voice mimicking Madame Arcati the medium in Blithe Spirit when she was conducting a seance, I wailed, "Is anybody there, give us one knock for no and two knocks for yes." You've guessed it, Grandfather knocked twice on the floor with impeccable timing with his stick and frankly frightened us all witless. We still laugh about it today - nervously!
My modest psychic abilities have over the years proved (to my satisfaction) that the human soul does indeed exist and it transcends time from one physical being to another in a series of lives. I've no scientific proof for this of course and sceptics and scientists quite rightly remain unconvinced. I admire Derren Brown for example for his 'outing' of the criminal practises of the Victorian mediums and for giving potential logical reasons for how some psychic and paranormal incidents can be explained. One thing Derren can't do is destroy my faith and belief in spirituality.
Although I haven't done one for a while I used to do psychic or paranormal investigations with a band of enthusiastic friends. Have I ever seen a ghost or spirit with my own eyes? Not that I am aware of. Have I felt one's presence? Certainly, on a large number of occasions and have communicated with many contacts from the spirit world with the assistance of my spirit helpers to give messages of meaning, love and compassion to friends containing proof of which only they are aware.
But what is most important to me is that we all take care of something nearly three-quarters of us believe in and that's our soul, the very essence of who we are, a combination of a life's experiences - the sum of all our parts, past and present (the future doesn't exist does it - ever - we all live in the 'now' with just memories or thoughts of what's passed before.)
We should take more time to meditate an essential plank of learning about yourself, and that is simply relaxing with our own thoughts, concentrating on our well being, and thinking about others and asking that their broken or damaged souls be mended. How do they get broken? Usually by negative emotions: the loss of a loved one, the loss of employment, a family upset or debilitating illness. A lot of bad people have badly damaged souls and some are probably beyond repair in this life.
But more meditation, being calmer, thinking more about our own health, physical and mental and caring for others in our thoughts can lead to a better and potentially less violent society. Whether that's achievable realistically I don't know, but I shall never stop praying or meditating for other's souls. The spiritual aspect of meditation is perhaps for another blog in the future and certainly doesn't have to be part of your meditations if you simply want to relax, clear the busy mind and recharge the batteries.
Today's story, tongue in cheek of course, but maybe...
Two men were walking home after a party and decided to take a shortcut through the cemetery. Right in the middle of the cemetery they were startled by a tap-tap-tapping noise coming from the misty shadows. Trembling with fear, they found an old man with a hammer and chisel, chipping away at one of the headstones.
"For goodness sake, mister," one of them said after catching his breath, "You scared us half to death ... we thought you were a ghost! What are you doing working here so late at night?"
"Those fools!" the old man grumbled. "They misspelled my name!"