I often wrestle with the more spiritual aspects of reality. It causes me great internal frustration to see my friends and society at large discount spirituality in favor of reductionism.
I consider myself an analytical, critical and intelligent person. Words I do not align with that would somehow make me more credible: skeptical, scientific, and logical.
I feel like I have no room to speak about faith from a credible perspective because I do not embody these words.
I am constantly doing mental acrobatics to allow myself to feel any semblance of comfort with the overwhelming evidence in my perception of things that simply don’t work within the binary of science. All this means is that I end up doing a very unscientific thing by denying information that I am taking in through my senses.
I live in fear of explaining things that happen to me because I know they happen subjectively. Stupidly, I ignore that all of my experiences are subjective, scientific or not.
Case in point, my synesthetic nature. I never knew anything was different about the way I understood the world until I did. When I did, I immediately panicked, started crying, and ran out into the hallway. It’s a lot for a 13 year old to take in when they realize no one they know sees the world the same way they do.
For years, though I was introduced to synesthesia in a scientific and valid context, I vilified this ability. I tried to convince myself that it was not real, that I was imagining it, and that I was crazy. Because, my logic went, if I was crazy, then I could live with it. But if it was real phenomena that no one else could corroborate, then I would be completely alone and isolated without any hope of relief. If I was crazy, at least I could take pills or a doctor could give me some program to heal me.
Once I accepted the fact that I was indeed synesthetic, it is scientific, and it is very, very weird, I immediately felt that sense of dread and panic well up inside of me again. It’s overwhelming still to know that there is no cure, minimal information, and an endless stream of questions that never cease to unfold into more and more complicated problems. The more I become aware of it, the farther away I get from any documented research. I am in uncharted waters, and it’s still very possible that others could look at me in complete disbelief and write me off. It’s a terrible feeling.
But with spiritual matters, I feel even more lost, if that’s possible. The realm of spirituality, while (potentially) much better documented, is still “pure hokum” in the words of nearly every scientifically credible source.
I cannot continue to ignore the data that I intake from the spiritual world. Telling myself I am crazy is simply a salve. It’s a feat of mental ingenuity that I’m proud to say has saved me from the dark abyss of swimming in new uncharted waters alone. But I know that when I say I’m crazy – it’s simply to give myself some path to resolution. Maybe I can be “cured” of my spirituality. Maybe science will prevail, one day, at curing the soul’s ability to perceive things beyond what our physical laws can explain.
I deeply long for that day. But until then, how can one protect themselves from what feels, smells, tastes, looks, and sounds like something very powerful and negative when no one else can even perceive it?
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