August 19, 2013

It is unexplained

It is that time of the year again ... the month where most Chinese believe that the hell gates are opened and beings of the netherworld are out roaming the streets ... the month of the Hungry Ghost Festival.

As usual, ghost stories are aplenty during this time of the year ... all sort of ghost stories, some real scary, some seems unreal, some very funny and some are out of this world, so to speak.

While waiting for my wife at hypermarket check-out counter, I heard a mother telling her very young daughter that ghosts and ghouls are now out wandering the streets at night catching little children ... look, I am sure the mother was just trying to scare her daughter so that she won’t go out playing alone. Really, I believe the mother is more worried about the crimes committed by human beings rather than the doing of ghosts.

I am sure the mother’s intention is good but what I don’t agree is using ghost stories to scare children. I don’t think children should be planted with the idea that there are ghosts in this world. These young minds should grow to be free to explore what is out there. Should they encounter anything strange, it is up to them to call it ... a ghost or something unexplained.

When I was young, I was told many ghost stories (not by my parents) ... though scared but I was also curious ... so, when someone in my village dies, my friends and I will be the first ones at the wake gathering around the Taoist priest when he conducts the rites ... why? We were told that when the Taoist priest lifts up his hands during the rites, we can see ghosts inside the sleeves of his robe. While some of my friends swore that they saw something ... I never saw anything and I am not convinced there are ghosts in this world.

Those who know me know that I don’t believe in ghosts ... although to me there are no ghosts or ghouls, no demons or devils and no spooks or spirits, that doesn’t mean I don’t think there are strange and unnatural occurrences.

I believe strange things do happen. But that does not prove that ghost exists ... to me, they are just things that are unexplained and I can accept things that are unexplained. Like UFOs ... the Unidentified Flying Objects ... they are UNIDENTIFIED ... so, UFOs are NOT proof that aliens exist. The same notion applies ... say, if I see a cup on a table moved by itself and then fell to the ground ... I don’t believe there is a ghost trying frighten me ... it is just some forces at work. What kind of forces? I don’t know ... like I said, it is unexplained.

In my fifty plus years of life, I have seen my share of strange things but I believe that only science can offer the best explanation to the things happening around us. And those things that are unexplained ... for now, they will remain unexplained but in time science will be able offer a proper explanation of what exactly they are.