Talking to the dead

altarWe have a small alter in the living room with photos of the closest group of our beloved dead, parents, my older brother.  I put flowers there daily, and think of them, sometimes talk to them. But this is different than what goes on in the movie, The Sixth Sense, in which a young boy saw dead people, that is physically saw them and spoke with them. Or the TV series, Medium, that was based on the real-life Allison DuBois, in Phoenix, who helps police solve crimes because she sees and speaks to the dead, mostly in dreams, but sometimes just sitting in her kitchen.

Friends and I were talking about this phenomenon and what it could mean. Is it possible for someone to actually see and talk to the dead? We talked about physicists’ current theory that there is no matter–that everything is just energy bumping around and jostling and causing random events–a belief that is also posited in the Secret Oral Teachings of Tibetan Buddhist Sects, by Alexandra David-Neel. If this is true, then pretty much anything is possible–someone could have an unusual sensitivity to that energy stream. In fact, death and life and time and matter are all pretty much up for grabs. The amazing thing is that in this astounding chaos, we are able to build bridges that hold weight, catch planes on an agreed upon schedule, and recognize and cherish our loved ones.

sunflower and corn MRI_optIn any case, we had an interesting evening talking about it. And this morning, I found these animated MRI scans of vegetables (via the Bennington Garden blog) that seem appropriate to this discussion. You might call them, the inner life of vegetables. I especially like the garlic.


The exemplary sentence and the elusive world

I realize I have collected a number of sentences about imagination vs. reality.

“What a gulf between the self which experiences and the self which describes experience.”  Edmund Wilson, I Thought of Daisy from the last one of these posts

“Life is not what we live; it is what we imagine we are living.”  Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon, from the one before

and this one:
“The world in out heads is not a precise replica of reality.” from Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, which Larry happens to be reading.

I’ve been pondering this idea a lot lately, the construct we carry in our heads as opposed to the world an infant experiences, for example, one without labels or words. Continue reading “The exemplary sentence and the elusive world”