"The soul of man is immortal and imperishable." - Plato
Greetings, and happy Summer! Well, the temperature is rising here in East Texas - today the heat index was 100 degrees! Fortunately we've been getting rain at least once a week, so everything is green and lush here in Jefferson.
I've been really looking forward to this GroveZine - there's something in it that I think is a milestone in the world of the supernatural... or, instead, make that the "natural." But I don't want to get ahead of myself.
Meanwhile, back at The Grove, we had a little excitement this month... and not the good kind. To preface this story I have to say that while we're restricted from doing a lot of things to the house because of the historical markers, one thing that we did do was to add central heat and air conditioning. Because of the lack of closets in the house, the only option was to put the main a/c interior unit in the attic. Well, we were sitting in the den enjoying a quite evening a week or so ago when I noticed a few drops of water on the floor. When I looked up, there was a large blister on the ceiling. Since it was directly beneath the a/c unit in the attic, I knew that it was full of water and was going to be a mess. It was. As it turns out, the a/c drips condensation when it runs, which runs out a drain pipe that goes outside. In case that pipe gets gunked-up and is blocked, there is a huge pan under the whole unit to catch the water to keep it from going into the house. Should the pan fill up, there is a sensor that will physically shut off the a/c unit. All these fail-safes are in place to make sure that what happened can't possibly happen. As it turned out, there was a problem with the sensor, the pan filled up, and the water seeped into the ceiling and made a big blister in the paint there. We called our a/c guy who unstopped the original drain pipe, adjusted the sensor, and then added yet another failsafe - another pipe running from the pan to outside. Meanwhile, we had to let the ceiling completely dry before starting repairs, meaning that we had a big ugly spot for several days... even during a couple of tours. It would have been so much cooler if it had a better story... like perhaps, a Confederate General was staying at the house with the Stilley family in April of 1865 when he learned of Lee's surrender. He was so outraged that he pulled a pistol and shot a hole in the ceiling. To this very day, that place will not hold plaster or paint, and can never be repaired or covered up! We believe that it's the curse of that old General, whose anger manifests even 150 years later... see, that's a much better story. Alas, though, what we really have is an air conditioner leak and an ugly spot, which are hopefully both now permanently repaired.
I usually don't post job opportunities in the GroveZine, but this one kind of fits. You see, a family in Scotland is looking for a live-in nanny: the job offers good pay, vacation time and a private room. The catch? The house they live in is haunted. The couple who live there have two children, ages five and seven. The previous five nannies quit due to the "supernatural incidents" that have occurred during their tenure in the family’s home. When the couple moved into their home ten years ago, they were told it was haunted, but kept open minds and made the decision to buy the house anyway, according to the job listing. A slew of nannies have cited strange noises, broken glass and furniture moving. The couple's ad said they often work away from home and require a nanny sometimes four nights a week, leaving the caretaker with the children in the home... alone. Sound like something that you're interested in? Just click this link to read the news story.
People tell me all the time that there's no way that they could live in a house with the kind of supernatural activity that The Grove has. I always reply that they'd be surprised - it doesn't take long before all the activity becomes second-nature. Sometimes it does get a bit annoying, though... case in point happened one night this month. It was the middle of the night, and I woke up because I heard something. I sat up in bed, and there was the unmistakable sound of footsteps in the house. Different parts of the floor creak throughout the house, so I could tell that whoever it was was walking from the kitchen into the den, and then into the game room. Now, ghosts don't frighten me at all, but people scare the heck out of me... and I was afraid that someone was in the house. I stood up, got out of bed, and walked into the hallway. I reached for the light, but couldn't find it, so I stepped into the den in the dark. I was thinking that if someone was actually in the house I'd need to defend myself, so I was imagining everything in the den and wondering what I could hit them with. The best that I could come up with was the lava lamp, but I hoped I wouldn't have to go to that extreme... it would make quite a mess. To make a long story short, I walked the entire house, front to back, and checked all of the outside doors. All were locked, and no one was in the house but us. As I made my way back to bed, I couldn't help but tell The Grove, "Would you please stop doing things like that? I've got a long day tomorrow, and I really need my sleep!"
A few days ago my wife and I wanted to watch a movie, so we dug out our DVD of Stephen King's Rose Red. It's about a haunted house - a house whose spirits kill off a group of investigators one by one in horrific ways. In the middle of it, I turned to my wife and said, "You realize that this is where people think that we live, right?" And it's true - most people fall prey to Hollywood, and let cinema dictate what they think and believe. When you say "ghost," "spirit," or "haunt," people immediately think of movies like Poltergeist, The Amityville Horror, or a favorite at The Grove, Rose Red. Reality is much different, but people still bow to Hollywood and treat the supernatural and paranormal as evil or frightening. But "supernatural" simply means "beyond the natural," and "paranormal" means "outside of the normal." But because of horror books and movies, people equate these terms with "evil." A sad state of affairs, really.
So continuing on with that thought, most self-described "rational" people choose not to believe in such things. That is, of course, the easy way out. The easiest thing in the world is to simply sit in a protective little box and not consider anything out of one's comfort zone. The problem is that people say, "That sort of thing CAN'T be true, therefore I deduce that it is NOT true." That's terribly flawed thinking. In medieval Europe if you said that man could fly, you'd most likely be burned at the stake as a witch... yet the same laws of physics that govern flight, such as Bernoulli's equation, existed back then just as they do today, but no one knew about them or understood them at that time. A lot of folks today do the same thing, saying, "Since I don't understand , it can't be real, and I therefore summarily don't believe in it."
I try to not discount anything even if I don't understand it. Take bigfoot, for example; I routinely speak at paranormal conferences with cryptozoology researchers, and even though that's not my field of interest, I think that it's at least interesting. I certainly would never make the definitive statement, "Bigfoot does not exist!" I mean, who the heck am I to make such a ruling? Besides, a couple that I know - probably the most conservative, respectable, serious-minded people in my world - swore me to secrecy one time and told me their bigfoot story. They are above any doubt and reproach. I'd love to share it, but I can't! But I know that there is no question that they believe that they saw a Bigfoot, and I have no grounds to dispute them.
Aliens are another example; I have no idea what I think about the existence of aliens from another planet/galaxy/dimension/whatever. When I think about it, though, I don't understand denying the possibility. If you are a evolutionist, can you really say that in the infinite planets in the infinite galaxies in the universe, our little Earth is the only one where life could develop? On the other hand, if you are a creationist (which I am), would you dare limit God to say that he does not have the power to have created life anywhere else but on our planet? Both of those viewpoints show an arrogance that only human beings could muster. I therefore don't categorically dismiss such stories, even though I haven't had any such experiences. Recently I had lunch with the editor of the book Experience by Elizabeth Anglin, and he gave me a copy of her book. It's interesting, if not a little disturbing, and I can't imagine going through the things that she talks about.
Okay, so why am I standing on my soapbox preaching about ghosts, bigfoot, aliens, and the supernatural? Because most people lump ESP into that same "paranormal" category. The idea of two people communicating telepathically, or someone reading your future with their mind, or doing remote viewing or astral projecting... well, to most people that's all supernatural hooey. But guess what - it's real, and about to be available to the general public. A scientist who worked at Google[X], is an MIT professor, and already holds over 100 patents is using MRI technology to create a wearable cap that will allow telepathic communication. It's undeniable - to poo-poo this is to poo-poo everyday inventions like the internal combustion engine. Just click on this link to read the story - and it's on the CNBC website, not some fringe webpage. Notice that there is no question as to whether this is possible - no, instead the debate is about the morality of it... can the police put it on you to read your thoughts? How about a parent putting it on a child? The army putting it on an ISIS captive? Or a boss putting it on their workers? All valid questions, but the bottom line is that ESP, something supernatural and paranormal, has moved into the realm of natural and normal. But if that's true, who's to say that some people haven't had this ability forever? We all have special talents - Michael Jordan can play better basketball that most of the planet, Bill Gates is a better entrepreneur, Amarillo Slim was one of the world's best poker players, etc, etc, etc. The people that we call "psychics," "seers," "sensitives" and such may have simply had the talent that is now scientifically real. So now one form of ESP is becoming provable and reproducible... what will be next?
I love the story of the four-minute mile. For many years, it was considered to be physically, medically, and scientifically impossible. Doctors even said that the human body could not withstand such a strain, and it would cripple whoever tried it. That was the accepted belief in the athletic world... but on May 6, 1954, a man named Roger Bannister ran a mile in 3:59.4 minutes. And the world changed. Within a year after he did this, a number of other runners did the exact same thing. Another example is the quadruple jump in figure skating (my wife is a huge fan, so I actually watched this one develop). Skaters tried this and failed again and again and again. Finally, in 1988, Kurt Browning landed one in competition. And the world changed. Quadruple jumps have become increasingly common among World and Olympic level men's single skaters, to the point that NOT having one in a program may be considered a handicap. So what about this ESP breakthrough? Now that it's known that this is possible with the assistance of a machine, will those who can do it naturally get more respect? And like the four-minute mile and the quadruple-jump, will more people start recognizing and exercising their natural ability? Hmmmm... maybe the world had changed again.
To me, this revelation of the ESP cap is simply amazing. I was blown away by this story, and I think that the ramifications of it will shake the foundations of what people believe about Extra-Sensory Perception... and maybe even the supernatural itself. It's like the government holding a press conference and saying, "Back in 1947, a saucer actually did crash in Roswell, New Mexico, and we covered it up." Or an investigator discovering a bigfoot graveyard. Or someone coming on The Grove tour and having a supernatural experience... oh, wait, that happens all the time!
Okay, it's time to close out the June issue of the GrozeZine and get into the heat of Summer here in Jefferson. I hope that you have a great month, and I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to read the GroveZine. See you at the end of July!
Here's what's coming up around Jefferson...
9/9/2017 - Fire Brigade Benefit Car Show
10/6 - 10/8/2017 - The Original Texas Bigfoot Conference
10/14/2017 - Grillin' on the Bayou, Jefferson Eggfest
10/13-10/15/2017 - Burn Run Benefit Motorcycle Rally
11/25/2017 - Jefferson Christmas Parade
12/7-12/9/2017 - Candlelight Tour of Homes
...and much more throughout the coming year!
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