I've known some folks in my day who have strange things happen to them. You know a few of them yourself, since they write here. TheDeadGuy seems to be on a first-name-basis with coincidence, synchronicity, and prophecy. And iceowl has writeups about talking with the dead and out-of-body experiences and all that. On top of that, I've read some of the best damn ghost stories right here on E2, all of it written by people who've sworn to me that it's all true.

Plus there's the big world outside of cyberspace. I knew scads of people in college who swore that they lived in houses that were haunted. Some claimed that a couple of the dorms had spooks, or that the university concert hall had a ghost that played the piano late at night. One of the RAs I knew said she saw a large UFO hovering over her car once, and one of my co-workers once told me that her first house was haunted 'til her preacher came and did a makeshift exorcism.

But I've never, to my knowledge, experienced anything even vaguely unexplainable or supernatural. As far as I can tell, I'm 150% solidly mundane -- which seems a bit odd to me, because I've always wanted to experience things that were unexplainable and supernatural. Since I was a small child -- and despite the influence of my uninterested-in-the-unexplained parents and siblings -- I've had an intense fascination with all things unearthly, devouring every book I could find on ghost stories, monster movies, Forteana, and general weirdness. I've always loved horror movies, horror novels, short horror stories, you name it, and dearly love those cheesy documentaries they run on the Discovery Channel about all those ghosts roaming Civil War battlefields. "Ghostbusters" is one of my favorite movies ever. When you get right down to it, I've always wished that strange and unearthly things would happen to me. I watched night skies for mysterious lights, fiddled with Ouija boards, snooped around old houses with bad reputations.

And nothing ever, ever happened to me. Where others were touched by angels, devils, ghosts, gremlins, sea monsters, and aliens, I remained eternally, relentlessly mundane.

In fact, even when things happened that some people considered supernatural, I never seemed to have trouble finding more rational explanations for them. When I predicted what songs were about to be played on the radio, it wasn't a matter of precognition -- it was a matter of blind luck allowing me to pick what currently popular song would be played on a radio station that played currently popular songs. When one of my pagan friends feared that an evil spirit had thrown a plate off of his cabinet, I pointed out that it was a plate sitting right at the edge of the cabinet and could've fallen even without supernatural aid. When people in college told me their apartments were haunted, I wondered how much alcohol/pot/mushrooms they were ingesting.

This used to frustrate me to no end. All these people who knew nothing about the supernatural world had all these interesting experiences that I always wished I could have, while I, whose lifelong spook-and-monster obsessions had made me an all-but-official occultist/demonologist/parapsychologist, had nothing. Talk about cosmically unfair! But as the years have passed, I've come to accept it -- even relish it. I'm the exception that disproves the rule, the Doubting Thomas, that irritating guy with the crooked eyebrow who screws up the ethereal flow during séances. It's not as romantic as being haunted by the unknown, but it's not actually a bad life.

I don't know if my unrelenting mundane-ness simply preceded my skepticism and atheism or actually caused them -- I suspect the latter, since I doubt it's possible to have one's hopes and dreams betrayed by the universe as deeply and as often without going through a significant change in one's belief system. Frankly, sometimes I suspect that my mundanity, skepticism, and atheism were all caused by a childhood obsession with Scooby-Doo cartoons and Three Investigators novels. Both taught me that anything unexplained can be explained if you take the time to find the holographic projectors and disguised loudspeakers hidden behind the walls.

The more mystic-minded of my friends have a number of theories about my mundane nature. First, I am refusing to see evidence of the supernatural. Second, I am a liar and an evil disbeliever. Third, it just isn't possible for me to see the unexplainable because I don't believe in it. Fourth, the unexplainable isn't even able to exist around me because my disbelief field is so strong. While I'm quite fond of that last one for its sheer audacity, none of them really appeal to me. What I see as the overwhelming impossibility of the supernatural tends to rule out any theories that rely on a belief in the supernatural. Still, I try not to favor or disfavor any of their theories -- as one of my Wiccan friends liked to tell me: "There are many paths through the forest. All of them will lead you safely to the other side."

Mun*dan"i*ty (?), n.

Worldliness.

[Obs.]

 

© Webster 1913.

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