Tuesday, January 24, 2012

When the darkness has robbed you of all of your sight

Yesterday on twitter, my friend Joe asked people to share their Mulder Score -  a number from zero to twenty, calculated by whether you believed in any of the following ten things: Horoscopes, Auras, Ghosts, Telekensis, Telepathy, Fortune-Telling, Bigfoot, Nessie, UFOs, Souls. You got two points for definite belief, one for maybe, and zero for things you didn't believe in. (It got hashtagged as #mulderscore for any of you who want to read back through the feed.)

I scored six: belief in souls and ghosts, and maybe-belief in telepathy and fortune-telling (if we define fortune telling broadly as any divinatory practice.) And honestly, the fact that my number wasn't higher makes me a little sad.

Not that I want to be gullible (though there are some, I am sure, that would look at that small list of beliefs and tell me I am), but that I wish there were more things I could believe in. I remember believing in Nessie and Bigfoot (hell, I remember believing in the Bun-biter Snakes my Dad told me lived in the overgrown section of our backyard.) I tried very hard to set things on fire using only the power of my brain. I was certain there were unicorns, and elves, and fairies, and wizards. There were so many wonders that seemed possible.

I appreciate logic and reason and knowledge, and I am grateful for modern science and technology. But I long for wonders, for the miraculous, for the bright flash of magic.


12 comments:

  1. I have to ask, and this may come across as strikingly naive, but how does a lack of belief in these things affect your writing about them? Not that I think you have to believe in the hard, cold reality of every idea you address in what is, after all, fiction. I just wonder what role it plays.

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    1. My lack of belief in the existence of something in this world has - as far as I can tell - no effect on my ability to write about it. I write speculative fiction, so everything I've written has significant elements that don't reflect the world as it is.

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    2. OK - but here's where I get confused (or amazed). How can you write believable stories about something if you don't believe it? How can you find truth in that? I don't mean to imply that you haven't (because I think you have), or to sound critical, I'd just like to understand.

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    3. The only belief that's required is for the space of the writing.

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  2. I'm a big whopping zero. Does that make me a full on Mulder? Interesting test.

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    1. I scored 15! Two on Horoscopes, Auras, Ghosts, Telekinesis, Telepathy, Fortune Telling and Souls. And 1 point on UFOs
      By public definition, that makes me pretty gullible. But I just wanted to share (and hence I'm commenting) the reason behind this. As we all know, there is no conclusive proof behind any of this, hence scientific temperament suggests that we do not believe them. However, I don't see conclusive proof against any of these either - so it's more like a 'why not?' belief.

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    2. I like this idea - that we ought to believe until things are disproven, rather than wait for something to be proven before we believe in it.

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  3. Offhand, I'd say my Mulder score is a 12. I want to believe!

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  4. Thanks, everyone, for sharing your scores, and talking about beliefs. It's so interesting.

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  5. It's so strange how, when we grow up, we lose some of that ability to believe in certain things. When I was a kid, I was certain that there were fairies living in the woods behind my house.

    There are times I wish I could still believe that wholeheartedly.

    Very thought-provoking post, Kat.

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    1. I scored 3 (maybe Telekinesis, UFOs and Telepathy).

      And I believe in creating one's own wonder when the old beliefs are gone.

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    2. "I believe in creating one's own wonder when the old beliefs are gone." I love that.

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