The only thing that I remember from the one psychology course I took was this: some people are predisposed towards a belief in a higher power.
Mind you, that’s probably not what the instructor wanted us to take out of the discussion. Nevertheless, that’s all that I can recall. One student was hopin’, HOPIN’ mad at such an idea. I didn’t give a shit, I was counting down the minutes until I got to go home and get rip roaring drunk.
The late 2000s were a weird time for pop-psychology. MBTI was big. Since I don’t do research for this blog, there was also some book released around this time that stated that our political beliefs are rooted in neurobiology. I dismissed such ideas, largely because I was a college student that just wanted to get drunk.
Also, it sounded like bullshit.
Maybe these were groundbreaking ideas and psychology hasn’t been the same ever since. I wouldn’t know because I don’t do research. How many times do I have to tell you? BUT, if there’s any sort of consistency with my personal philosophy, it’s that our minds are very active in shaping perception. When I talk mental health, I try not to frame “disorders” as “disabilities”, but as given mental conditions that have fallen out of favor in capitalist-driven cultures…hence people like me need to take medications to become more productive employees so that we may pay our bills (or, in other words, so that we may “fit in”). Additionally, because we live in a wealth-driven society, empathy is not a desirable condition. The better one is able to suppress empathy, the greater the likelihood of material success. Therefore we have allowed the psychopaths (or those that completely lack empathy) to steer the ship. Defenders of this system, thought of as “conservatives”, MUST suppress empathy hence they typically champion anti-immigration, anti-welfare, pro-death penalty, etc, etc. (anti-abortion is the odd outlier, but some interpret that as anti-women). This is also why “compassionate conservatism” during the Bush years can be considered downright laughable. So in other words, my personal philosophy is compatible with the inheritability conception of religious and political views.
This has become apparent to me with my most recent cycle of depression. I like to think of myself as a rational person. I’m not a religious person because, well…that’s silly! BUT, when I’m depressed, I do reach into a “spiritual” side. I know it’s bullshit, but it works. I’m not talking about meditation or prayer….I’m talking about mother fucking GHOST and DEMON videos on YouTube!
In my mind, I know with 100% certainty that Anneliese Michel was suffering from a mental illness (one that transcended a mere “disorder”) that needed to be addressed and it unfortunately wasn’t. Nevertheless, that video scares the fuck out of me. I know that every ghost and demon video is likely faked or has some rational explanation.
But you know what? Something “otherworldly” is felt. And suddenly I don’t feel quite as depressed.
This phenomenon has intrigued me since last Thursday night. Sure, I get scared and that shocks me out of depression. But, I think, something more sublime is happening: I’m being forced to ask “what if?”.
What if there is some supernatural force underlying perception?
Evil exists…do the forces of Good exist?
It’s these sorts of nonsensical questions that distract me from the meaninglessness of the world. Through philosophical discourse, it is sometimes depressing to be reminded: “oh yeah, the world is mostly bullshit.” So it’s refreshing to see these videos. They make you pause and wonder “perhaps the world is far spookier than you can imagine.”
But I’m left with a troubling question: am I one of those people that are predisposed towards believing in a Higher Power?