Part­ner­ing with ghosts of the other world

The Sunday Guardian - - Society - VEENU SANDAL

Re­cently, quite apart from other sub­jects which have be­come con­tentious, the #MeToo move­ment has gained mo­men­tum in In­dia, shred­ding rep­u­ta­tions, draw­ing sym­pa­thy and/or in­dig­na­tion and evok­ing a whole range of emo­tions. Else­where in the world too, there are nu­mer­ous is­sues keep­ing mat­ters on the boil, di­vid­ing opin­ions, be it Brexit, US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s poli­cies and an­nounce­ments, Rus­sian med­dling or Chi­nese machi­na­tions. Even an au­gust body like the Swedish Academy, the or­gan­i­sa­tion that de­cides the No­bel Prize for Lit­er­a­ture said it will not an­nounce an award this year, af­ter it was riven by a scan­dal over sex­ual as­sault al­le­ga­tions. The scan­dal is the big­gest to hit the prize since it was first awarded in 1901.

Po­lit­i­cally and so­cially, a some­what ma­li­cious hand seems to be stir­ring the pot con­tin­u­ously. What if some­body sug­gested that all this un­rest and a grow­ing num­ber of un­savoury ex­pose’s are be­ing or­ches­trated from the other world? That it is be­ing in done in re­tal­i­a­tion for or as a re­ac­tion to the cal­lous, thought­less man­ner in which the rights of the denizens of the other world are be­ing tram­pled upon? Pre­pos­ter­ous? Maybe, but it still de­serves a thought in the light of re­cent and cur­rent hap­pen­ings around the world and the well known abil­ity of su­per­nat­u­ral en­ti­ties to ma­nip­u­late hu­man minds and ac­tiv­i­ties.

On the one hand there is the fact that an in­creas­ing num­ber of peo­ple seem to be­lieve in the su­per­nat­u­ral. A 2017 sur­vey by Chap­man Uni­ver­sity found that 52% of Amer­i­cans be­lieve places can be haunted by spir­its, an in­crease of ap­prox­i­mately 11% since 2015. On the other hand is the fact that the con­nec­tions of the other world on and to earth are in­creas­ingly un­der threat due to a va­ri­ety of fac­tors linked to hu­man ex­pan­sion.

I’ve writ­ten ear­lier about the grow­ing prob­lem of home­less­ness amongst ghosts. In the case of a ma­jor­ity of ghosts who are thought­lessly evicted, they make sure that the new res­i­dents can­not flour­ish in the new build­ing or “de­vel­oped” area. And if the evicted ghost hap­pens to be of a “low va­ri­ety”, af­ter wreck­ing the dreams and health of those who have wrecked its abode, it takes to wan­der­ing around, stay­ing for short pe­ri­ods as and where it de­sires but al­ways tak­ing mis­for­tune where it goes. Clearly, home­less­ness amongst ghosts is a ma­jor prob­lem, grow­ing steadily as de­vel­op­ment takes a toll on their abodes.

In ear­lier times, there were cer­tain pre­scribed rit­u­als and do’s and don’t’s which en­sured that a ghost or ghosts who were about to be­come home­less were com­pen­sated in some way and nat­u­rally, that way had to be mu­tu­ally agreed upon. To­day too, it would be worth tak­ing ear­lier prac­tices into ac­count in­stead of “de-hom­ing” a ghost, par­tic­u­larly na­ture spir­its, in an ad-hoc man­ner and harm­ing one­self and a lot else in the process. In Ice­land, even to­day, au­thor­i­ties ask psy­chics to com­mu­ni­cate with na­ture spir­its and some­times al­ter their build­ing plans for roads or houses to avoid dis­turb­ing them.

As Gabrielle Blocker has pointed out, all cul­tures speak of na­ture spir­its and their in­ter­ac­tion with hu­mans. “In an­cient times… the in­ter­ac­tion be­tween these two worlds was far more com­mon. The por­tals be­tween these two worlds were more eas­ily crossed…”. In the di­men­sional por­tal which in­vis­i­ble other world denizens oc­cupy time is not the same as in the world of hu­mans, and yet “…chil­dren per­ceive these be­ings that are very real in­deed, they just don’t vi­brate on the same fre­quency and in the same di­men­sion as we do - they don’t have phys­i­cal bod­ies. We some­times call them the in­vis­i­ble peo­ple… While grow­ing up we have closed our ca­pac­ity to see them, we have closed our third eye though we were born with it open…”

Na­ture spir­its or el­e­men­tals, Blocker ex­plains, work for the well-be­ing of plants, trees and an­i­mals as well as the dif­fer­ent el­e­ments they are as­so­ci­ated with. They vi­brate at a higher fre­quency than ours; they live in a much lighter world made of light and love. They don’t un­der­stand the neg­a­tive and de­struc­tive hu­man be­hav­ior to­wards na­ture. The dif­fer­ent el­e­men­tals were first clas­si­fied by the Swiss doc­tor, astrologer and mys­tic Paracel­sus in the 16th cen­tury.

Earth el­e­men­tals in­cluded gnomes, pix­ies, sprites and trolls. Air el­e­men­tals in­cluded fairies, elves, sylphs, etc. Wa­ter el­e­men­tals in­cluded undines and nymphs, na­iads, wyverns, etc. Fire el­e­men­tals in­cluded sala­man­ders who are said to feed on the fire. There are nu­mer­ous sto­ries of love unions be­tween na­ture spir­its and hu­mans. In cer­tain shamanic tra­di­tions there are also chil­dren that re­sult from such unions.

Ac­cord­ing to Wikipedia, Paracel­sus con­ceived hu­man be­ings to be com­posed of three parts, an el­e­men­tal body, a side­real spirit, and an im­mor­tal divine soul. El­e­men­tals lacked this last part, the im­mor­tal soul. How­ever, by mar­riage with a hu­man be­ing, the el­e­men­tal and its off­spring could gain a soul. The Jain con­cept dif­fers on this. “In Jain­ism, there is a su­per­fi­cially sim­i­lar con­cept within its gen­eral cos­mol­ogy, the ek­endriya jiva, ‘one-sensed be­ings’ with bod­ies or kaya that are com­posed of a sin­gle el­e­ment, al­beit with a 5-el­e­ment sys­tem of earth, wa­ter, air, fire, and plant, but these be­ings are ac­tual phys­i­cal ob­jects and phe­nom­ena such as rocks, rain, fires and so on which are en­dowed with souls or jiva…”

Ob­vi­ously, the num­ber and types of in­vis­i­ble en­ti­ties liv­ing on earth is vast and the threat to their habi­tat from hu­man ex­pan­sion is re­plete with dan­ger­ous con­se­quences at many tan­gi­ble and in­tan­gi­ble but very im­por­tant lev­els. What then, is the an­swer to this strange prob­lem ? Af­ter all, times change and de­vel­op­ment is an in­te­gral part of change. Wise peo­ple, those who are sen­si­tive to the other world or have ac­tive links with it, those who have had or heard about su­per­nat­u­ral ex­pe­ri­ences or dis­place­ment in­ci­dents and the con­se­quences gen­er­ally try and make their peace with the ghost or ghosts to move out peace­fully.

Many even ar­range for the al­ter­na­tive or al­ter­na­tives sug­gested by the ghost. Some spir­its re­quest a small bit of undis­turbed space at an­other or a new lo­ca­tion, even a tiny room in a new build­ing. Cu­ri­ously, very few want to leave earth. Wic­cans and fol­low­ers of na­ture-based re­li­gions have al­ready made a start in try­ing to es­tab­lish a use­ful di­a­logue be­tween the seen and the un­seen worlds. Per­haps, to end the grow­ing chaos on earth and the threat to its en­vi­ron­ment, it’s time to re-ac­ti­vate in a big­ger way a mean­ing­ful part­ner­ship with in­vis­i­ble but pow­er­ful be­ings from the other world.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.