On Spirits and Other-Worldly Beings: The Things I Believe and Don’t Believe in

When I was a toddler, there was this story my mommy always tells me. It was during the early half of 1988, she was at our house in Cebu, pregnant of me. Every midnight night she would be waken up abruptly by angry knocks against the window. As Daddy was away in this country then, she wouldn’t dare to check out what/who it is so she’ll just force herself back to sleep amidst the noise. Whatever/whoever’s outside was more determined than her, however and s/he/it did not stop pestering her until Daddy flew back home. It was a matter of time that both of them found out that it was actually an aswang, trying to eat me out of Mommy’s tummy. It was decimated with the help of my paternal grandmother’s gigantic rosary.

I just frown every time I hear this. Mommy just sighs with the fact that she couldn’t convince me. But come to think of it, my parents don’t believe in aswangs, ghosts, or other-worldly beings as well. We are after all scientists/medical people.

In every myth, demonic creatures and the like exist. Every country has its local myth to share to the international world, the Philippines being one of them. It never fails — every first week of November, all that I’ll see in television specials are stories on bampiras, tiyanaks, kapres, sikbings, tikbalangs, etc. I actually love watching those shows, but not because I am super convinced with people’s “claims.” I find their stories super funny and comical.

Halloween’s already done and out this year, but here’s a summary of three things associated with it (in one way or another). An explanation of my opinions about them follows.

  1. Evil creatures and other-worldly beings — DON’T BELIEVE AT ALL, TO SEE IS TO BELIEVE. And until I encounter an aswang or whatever (a vampires or a werewolf, no thanks to Stephenie Meyer and her stupid Twilight Saga), I super refuse to believe in their existence as well as the claims of frantics that they actually walk on this Earth. Why? Simply put, their so-called existence has no scientific basis at all. It can be argued though that there should be things in this world that do not require solid evidence for one to prove, the existence of God being one of them. Yet, I still feel the need to demand a solid proof for all those other-worldly beings. Objects born out of sheer fiction cannot be compared to the Supreme Diety, after all.
  2. Witchcraft and other forms of “magic” — DON’T BELIEVE, ALL FIGMENTS OF IMAGINATION! I’m actually a big Harry Potter fan yet I still don’t believe that there is true magic. When I was pre-high school though, I was close to believing, using the Book of Exodus (Ten Plagues arc) as my proof. But as I learned, the Bible should never be read literally nor used as a solid source of historical factoids. Thus the Pharaoh’s sages/magicians (and probably even Moses) may have just seen the natural phenomenon happening in Egypt just then and used it to their advantage (that is to copy what Moses did). Come to think of it, there are a lot of scientific accounts of how the Ten Plagues happened already. Those I super believe. Thus, kulam, na-engkantobarang, spirit of the glass/coin, and other forms of black magic (and even those faith-healing and other inferior attempts of white magic) are all none-sense stuff to me. The possibility of them happening is zero, actually an integer of negative value! Besides in this modern world, all magicians are now revealing the secrets of their “magic pulls.”
  3. Forms of divining the future (palm and tea-leaf reading, crystal balls, tarot cards, etc.) — DON’T BELIEVE, SCIENTIFIC BALDERDASH! Again, going along with my explanation on magic and witchcraft, divination is a scientific impossibility. (Time-travel to the past is more believable for me.) After all, NO ONE KNOWS THE FUTURE — even God (this topic I will discuss in my next blog entry). Thus to all those who claim they can see what the destiny and fate of other people is, please give it a rest already. Get a life.
  4. Souls of dead people — PARTIALLY BELIEVE. When one dies s/he moves on to the Afterworld already because s/he has no more business here on Earth and that s/he has no more mortal body to fit her/his soul into. However, as much as Jesus stayed on Earth for forty days more after his Resurrection, I believe that the souls of our dear dead people still continue to walk with us during the same time frame as well. I believe that in their death, they are resurrected along with Christ. Before they join Him in His glory, they walk in this Earth to do their final glances and farewells. That I believe requires no scientific data already. Yet again, all of these may be just according to our psychological attachments to our relative/friend who just left us. Or maybe not. I don’t however believe on souls who stay here for x years because they want to take revenge against someone who killed or wronged them. That’s beyond the holy deadline, Sir.
  5. Exorcism and evil spirits — BELIEVE. Satan, being a former angel of God is powerful. Her dark army is a force to reckon with as well. That’s what Christianity says and thus I believe it. She is present in everything — from the smallest temptations to wide-scale massacres. Thus, when man commits sin, his psychological senses begin to deteriorate, making him an easy prey. With that he comes to think that doing evil will ease him of the pain and thus he commits sin. Those who are the weakest (especially in faith) are totally possessed, as the evil spirit in their subconscious and unconscious are very hungry and very strong that they attempt to resurface out of the person. The result is that he turns in a fitful rage. Luckily, Jesus taught His disciples how to banish evil spirits in His name.
  6. God — BELIEVE. No more explanation needed. But hmmmm, miracles? Let’s just say that man’s everyday breathing in of oxygen is a miracle everyone should learn to appreciate.

With all those stories Mommy told me (as well as those by my maternal grandfather), I’ve learned to NOT believe in most “scary” things. I guess the lesson everyone has to learn is that the fear of things actually stems from the fear of fear itself. We should all learn to look at things at closer scrutiny before we run away from them in a scared fashion. Nanay ko lang naman pala, akala ko multo, as Parokya Ni Edgar says. We need to learn how to tackle them before they (and our deeply unrested unconscious) tackles the living hell out of us. We are after all, creatures gifted with scientific intellect.

I end this entry with my favorite Tagalog quote: Mas matakot ka na sa buhay kaysa sa patay. Ang patay ay patay na pero ang buhay, kaya kang patayin.

Belated Happy Halloween to everyone!

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