Raoul’s Two Cents: October 21, 2022
Do You Believe in Ghosts?
WARNING: Move to the jokes if sensitive about spiritual ideas.
“Your room is haunted,” declared Tata.
Tata is my Dad’s caregiver in our ancestral home in Dalipuga, Philippines. She, like many locals in the area, believes in multo (ghosts), dwende (elves), mangkukulam (witches), kapre (dark, hairy tree giants), and a host of other feared denizens of the night.
We were having dinner and I asked her if she heard the shrill of the neighborhood dog around 2am. It was as if it was being bludgeoned to death. To my surprise, Tata said that howling happens often. According to Tata, the dog is seeing a ghost of a young girl who was murdered years ago. The girl keeps going back to the scene of the crime. That’s when Tata opened up about the spirits around us.
She pointed at the far side of the garden and she said that’s one of the ghost’s favorite haunting spots. She said the upstairs guest room (where I stayed) was haunted. She often hears strange sounds coming from there even when no one was inside the room. She pointed at the rocking chair outside the guest room. “One time,” she said, “the rocking chair was rocking like someone was on it.” That’s why she doesn’t like to go upstairs. “Really?!?” I said with delight — “I’d love to meet that ghost.” You should have seen Tata’s bewildered expression. She didn’t think it was funny.
(Do you believe in ghosts? I don’t. I believe there are supernatural beings but not ghosts. I believe there are demons who pretend to be ghosts. Am I afraid? Nope. In fact, I don’t get scared watching any horror movie. They’re all Hollywood silliness to me. My God is greater than any of that.)
The next day, monsoon rain was coming and the wind started to shake the plants and trees. At the shaded area in the far side of the garden I imagined the “ghosts” were having a little party. That’s when a practical joke formed in my head. I took a picture and doctored it up a bit. And showed the picture to Tata. “Here is your ghost!” I declared.
Tata stared at it. I could tell what she was thinking — “Finally! Proof!” It was interesting to see her reaction. She tried to act calm and cool about it.
Then I told her it was fake. I even showed her the real photo but it made no difference. She still believes in ghosts and all the other silly superstitions. She didn’t see how gullible she was.
It bothers me that some apparitions have turned locations into holy shrines. Why do they venerate something they do not understand? Why do they worship shapes and faces in trees or in dripping ceilings. Please forgive me for what I am about to say. I do not mean to be insulting but this is a genuine question: Isn’t it possible they may be praying to demons? Shocking, huh? And don’t take comfort in numbers. A lot of people can be wrong. I realize some of you may be into these kinds of practices (so no disrespect) — I’m just hoping you’d consider a perspective few talk about.
How do you differentiate demonic from angelic activity? Take a hint from scripture. Every time miracles (good things) or apparitions occur, the angels and holy men refuse to be worshiped by man. Instead they all point to God, the true source of power. Only the one true God is to be worshiped (the very first commandment). It’s an insult to give reverence to anyone else. Let that sink in.
“Most people don’t really want the truth. They just want the constant reassurance that what they believe is the truth.” — Anonymous
“The reason you don’t know you’ve been lied to, conditioned and brainwashed is because you’ve been lied to, conditioned and brainwashed.” — Anonymous
Next time you see a man’s face in your toasted bread … just eat it.
But this is just me. TGIF people!
Joke of the Week
Thanks to Garie of Paranaque, Philippines
Video of the Week
Thanks to Wyne of Mandaluyong for this outstandingly funny and clever video.
Thanks to Art of Sierra Madre, CA
Thanks to Tom of Pasadena, CA
Outstanding Halloween Costumes
I love Rodney’s sense of humor
My good friend (and jokester) Terry and I came up with these.