One winter evening many many years ago, I walked to my friends house after supper. Thick snow on the ground and the lack of any cars or people made the stillness so eerily quiet that I could hear the beating of my child-size heart in my ears. My friend’s house was not even 100 metres away but before I was halfway there I stopped in my tracks, suddenly feeling irrepressibly drawn to look up at the wide open expanse of the dark sky, spectacularly glittering with millions of stars. And as I stood there, my friend’s house forgotten, head back (and probably with my mouth hanging open) I just knew. To me the secret of the universe had been revealed to me, and only me. And the secret was that everything is connected and there is far, far more to life than we can see, and that it is only one small part of our entire existence. I felt so safe, so secure, and as if nothing was beyond my reach.
I’ve never forgotten that moment, and until recently I’ve kept the experience to myself. Looking back on that incident, it’s clear just how incredibly significant it was, given that in the following years, and perhaps as a result of a long bout of depression I was going to find that out for myself.
My fascination with science and space from around that age was obvious to me, and I read books about the moon landing and watched Cosmos on T.V., as I debated in my mind on other things, such as whether god existed or not. Even then I could see there was a huge divide between the scientific community and the religious. But I noticed that Mr Sagan seemed to see a connection between science and spirituality (something I’ve come to learn is far, far different than religion). From that moment he was my hero, because I felt the same.
My sense that there was more to life than we could see never left me. As I grew older I became aware I was occasionally seeing things out of the corner of my eye. I kept them to myself, so no-one would think I was insane, and I wasn’t even sure myself. Usually I just shook them off and tried to ignore them.
These sightings came to a scary head when in my 20′s. I was a few years into a long depression and living in a flat above a shop. One day whilst I was washing dishes, I heard a crack beside me in the quiet kitchen. Looking for the source of the noise I saw a glass canister that was waiting by the sink had cracked and split near the bottom. What was weird was that my hands had been in the sink at the time, nowhere near it, and I was alone in the apartment. That on its own had me rattled enough. I told my boyfriend about the incident but I could see he wasn’t quite convinced. A couple of weeks later, we were sitting quietly on the couch watching TV when a glass sitting on the table just cracked and split near the bottom, just like the canister. This time I had a witness, needless to say we were a little freaked out. But soon we forgot about it, until one day listening to a local radio station. The DJ asked people to call in with any ghostly experiences they’d had and, just for a laugh we called in. We got on air – which was nothing significant, given the size of the audience. He listened with interest and then after the call ended a frightened sounding woman called in to warn us that it wasn’t the apartment that was haunted but it was me.
Well this wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear, as I wasn’t quite sure what I could do about it. But fortunately those glass-breaking incidents stopped, as if simply acknowledging the incidents had been all the attention the spirit responsible had needed. Life moved on, and so did I – several times.
Every home that I’ve moved into since then I’ve been aware of being watched on arrival. I’ve seen a ghostly figure pass behind me reflected inside the glasses I wear, and when I’ve whipped around, and not being surprised to see no-one there. I’ve even seen a washing machine dial spin endlessly on its own – suddenly stopping when commanded to. But they haven’t always happen in a place where I’m living. Even as recently as a few weeks ago as I turned around from being served at a convenience store counter, I quickly had to jump out of the way to avoid crashing into an old lady who, on second glance, was never there
But the realisation that the sightings hadn’t stopped since moving away from that flat forced me to face the uncomfortable fact that there was probably a lot of truth to what the woman caller on the radio had told me. If the spirit or spirits were haunting me, what could I do about it and what did it or they want with me? My scientifically-inclined mind wanted the answers more than it frightened me.
Probably the very same reason I can see and sense spirits was most likely connected to the reason I had to stop going to crowded places in amongst all the moving. Being “sensitive” is what I found they call it, in spiritual circles. I found it excessively distressing to visit crowded places due to a disturbing ability to pick up on other people’s energy, all their anger, anxiety and even excitement. This was unfortunately doing absolutely nothing to alleviate my depression.
This was the point I made the decision to utilise my lifelong love of reading to recover. I started with a visit to the self-help shelf in our local bookstore. I did my best to search out the less mainstream volumes, and let my intuition guide me to something that would help. I did manage to find some lesser known self-help books, and those led seamlessly to others at an almost alarming rate, which were notably much more esoteric in nature. Exercise to yoga, to meditation, to Buddhism. Ancient Egypt, spiritual books and the afterlife according to aforementioned ancient Egyptians and others. Interestingly the books on the afterlife mostly seemed to concur that there are actually no evil spirits, just misguided and unhappy ones, and yes they can be damn terrifying when they want to be. They could very well be attracted to living souls who were, like me, very depressed. It made an interesting correlation between people’s energy and hauntings and even how energy can stay trapped in houses and buildings years after unhappy incidents such as death and murders. A couple of books on how to use our own power through visualisation to affect our reality came into my attention. From those and other reading I was even presented with the suggestion that perhaps it was my own befuddled and distressed energy that had broken those glass items all those years ago, albeit unconsciously.
But without even realising it, I’d stumbled back onto what had enthralled me when looking up at those stars all those years ago. I began to unavoidably see the common thread – the invisible thread – that binds us all.
Now some years later I am through my depression, thankfully but still on the course that the determination to recover had set me. My beliefs have not changed at all, I still reside in the perceived gap between science and spirituality with my hero Carl – and I am so pleased to see that more than a few notable scientists now seem to share the same thoughts.
The honest truth as I see it is that I’ve not even scratched the surface of what we can learn about our universe. Though I may never even know exactly what caused the breakages whether it was actually me or another spirit, I can’t say it really matters. But everything I’ve read between then and now from whatever genre, the general consensus suggests that there is a far stronger connection out there than a lot of us are aware of. My poltergeist story is just a teeny tiny piece of a much bigger puzzle. Though, between you and me, if it was me that broke those glasses, and I could harness that power there would really be no stopping me..
A fellow Earthling, Emma Beeken
Be sure to visit Emma at her own blog: emmabeeken.co.uk
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