Who you gonna call?

Angels, apparitions, demons, djinn, ghosts, ghouls, goblins, gremlins, phantasms, phantoms, poltergeists, possessions, presences, shades, spectres, spirits, spooks, and the good old bogeyman.

Basically anything that goes bump in the night, somebody somewhere has come up with a name for it. And different groups of people came up with these different names because they all want to claim ownership, knowledge, and ultimately charge you for their expertise in banishing them. To further give them that illusion of power and keep you coming back for more. And almost every society has their own hero in this area, their so called ‘specialists’.

A priest, an exorcist, a witch, a witch doctor (sexism, the male version automatically gets a PhD), a ghost hunter, a paranormalist (a word that spell check doesn’t even recognise), a spiritualist, the mojo man, lucky charms, sacrifices, a shaman, a mystic, a medium, a telepathist, a clairvoyant, a psychic, power of prayer, a sorcerer, a necromancer, a druid, and good old M. Knight Shyamalan.

How can any of this make sense and possibly be real?? Who believes in this shit? And if you do, do you believe all of it? Because by that logic if you believe in one, you should believe them all. “Angels and ghosts, yeah. But gremlins? Come on, get real!” It’s really shocking the number of people that believe in ghostly beings. And for some reason they are nearly always evil. Casper aside you never really hear of a friendly ghost. And why? So that the specialists can come and save the day of course! If all you ever heard about were jolly ghosts that help you reach the top shelf and remember to turn the lights off when you leave the house, these guys would be out of business. Misery makes money.

And anyway, what’s the pecking order here? Who gets jurisdiction over what? Can a clairvoyant banish a poltergeist? Can a ghost hunter free you from a goblin? What are they going to say? “Excuse me, I’m a level three demon, I’ll need to see some qualifications first.” Heck, why not call an exterminator and clear your house of everything else while you’re at it??

And religion… there’s a whole other set of variables! Suppose you live near the Gaza Strip and are being haunted, do you call the Rabbi or an Imam? Who takes authority here, the religion of the home owner? Majority religion of the residential district? Cultural background of previous tenants? Vicinity to a temple, church, mosque, or synagogue?

Suppose you’re a practicing Buddhist, you buy a house built on an ancient Indian burial ground, end up being haunted by a Rastafarian ghost, and there’s a Catholic priest knocking on your door… Who gets precedent here? Which ceremony do you carry out??? The answer is easy.

Who you gonna call? The police or your insurance company, because you either have a burglar or bad plumbing.

Where is Heaven?

Heaven is a place on Earth… apparently. But it definitely exists! It must! Too many people have too much invested in it, they’re in deep and there’s no way out. Sort of like buying a timeshare that you’re afraid will turn out to be a mirage.

Let’s backtrack a bit. Even if you just loosely glance at all the different cultures and religions throughout history, they all seem to agree it’s somewhere far, far away. A magical place, where everything is perfect, everything you could ever want, all your heart’s desires, forever and ever! And based on the number of virgins being promised you can bet your ass that this screwball idea was concocted by a bunch of blokes. And you can also bet that they were higher-ups in society; men that needed other gullible men to do all their dirty work. Heaven is pretty much sold as a place where you can eat all you want, drink all you want, hang out with your buddies, and have lots of hot sex. Basically what we now call a hip-hop video.

The key point about Heaven is that no one can prove that it does not exist. Faith is/was/always will be based on what cannot be disproved. In some circles this is known as specious reasoning. A hypothesis. A promise in the year of election. Or to put it another way; its bullshit wrapped in pixie dust.

Let’s conduct a brief investigation:

  • Ancient Greeks said the Gods reside on Mount Olympus… No they don’t
  • Ancient Egyptians believed Heaven was somewhere beyond the stars… No it’s not.
  • In the golden age of discovery many believed the grass was greener on the other side, and that the Americas were indeed the paradise promised in scripture… Yeah, right.
  • Many Renaissance artists painted Heaven as a place in the clouds… Nope, not there either.

Yet not only do a staggering number of people still believe such a place exists, they spend countless hours fighting over who gets to go there! Who gets in? Non-believers? Animals? The unborn? Literally, there are people out there arguing about who gets to go to a place that no one actually knows where it is, promised to them by a man no one has actually ever seen! And they argue over who has authority to make this decision as well! Doesn’t this sound a lot like a bunch of kids playing make-believe with their imaginary friends?! “This shiny hat makes me the Sheriff, and those monkey-bars are the gates to my empire, no one is allowed in until they take a ride on my invisible pony”. And depending on what era you were born in, and what part of the world you are from, the entry requirements tend to change somewhat. The Almighty is apparently a bit of an indecisive fellow. And while he’s making up his mind, he has created a vast void of nothingness as a staging area for you to sit and wait. God’s waiting room, take a number. And no one knows where this is either by the way.

And as science develops, religions love to jump on the bandwagon whenever it suits their cause.

  • “Our research suggests that the universe was created by a big bang
  • “No, God made it!”
  • “But we have evidence to suggest there are voids in space, unexplained dimensions beyond our comprehension”
  • “Yeah, that’s where Heaven! Yeah, it’s another dimension.”
  • “And one day we might be able to travel through these dimensions”
  • “No! Then it’s not there! Unless you can’t travel there, in which case that’s where it is. But if you can, then it’s not.”

I’ll tell you what works for me, Logic. I love logic. Something makes sense, because it makes sense. I don’t just believe in things for the sake of it, or just to fit in. I wouldn’t board a plane with an indefinite flying time, piloted by an invisible man, flying to an unknown destination! Instead of fighting over who gets to go where in the next life, how about taking care of the life we are actually living? Heaven should be a place on earth, but we f*cked it up.