Friday, June 24, 2011

Ghosts, closets, portals, the meeting of worlds, and the representation of things

I used to watch a lot of paranormal stories on TV. To be expected, I had a childhood filled with annoying demons, ghosts, and the lot. The weird thing I noticed is that so many ghosts on shows like Celebrity Ghost Stories etc... seem to like using doors, especially closet doors. Now, what is that about? It got me thinking.

The idea of portals is nothing new. Special places, which are supposed to join two worlds, abound. The new-age world even has some notion of places on earth which are hell-mouths, the gates of hell. Crystal balls are also symbolic portals. As are mirrors. And pictures of idols. And temples.  One might even say televisions, computers, and phones are portals as well because they bring the world into our houses. I have even heard of people who have received phone calls from dead relatives....yeah, yeah, after the person has died.

Which, of course, makes me think about God's command to Moses: "See thou makest everything according to the pattern you saw on the mount." He said this in his description of the temple of heaven. The holy of holies on earth had carved golden cherubim because there were cherubim in the holy of holies in heaven. There was altar on earth because there were altars in heaven. Same thing with the tongs. Yes, there are even tongs in heaven! Same thing with the veil in the earthly temple and the drapery in heaven. Isaiah 6:1-5

So there seems to be the spiritual reality and the earthly pattern of that reality.
Some verses come to mind:
Let thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
What we bind on earth, God will bind in heaven.
So the two are intricately connected and the earth mirrors (or should mirror) heavenly things.
"Take, eat, this is my body."
"You are my body."

So yeah, back to the ghosts and the closets. And to portals. And to things representing other things. Certain portals and meeting places where earthly and spiritual things meet are forbidden. Some things are encouraged.

Communion and taking the eucharist is a portal. In taking it, we are joined to all the children of God living in the world or in heaven. We are joined even more to God. We are taking spiritual food but the spiritual food also affects our body. When we pray, we're also creating a portal and a meeting place of the spiritual and the earthly world. These are encouraged.

But when we look into a crystal ball, or tarot cards, we're also opening a portal as well.

Some folks think all portals are bad. Some even think C S Lewis descriptions of portals (the wardrobe, the painting, etc) are sinful witchcraft. I'm not convinced of that. A portal is a portal is a portal. The portal's existence isn't the problem...it's our entering into it if we are forbidden to do so. I've heard Buddhist masters speak of meditating before a picture or an image they suddenly saw the person in the picture coming to life and walking out of the picture. I believe this. One should be very careful about the power of the human mind to open portals.

Back in the day, when I was a teenager, I would accidentally end up in out of body experiences. I would find myself suddenly in strange places. I came from a family of seers so...when I  began reading paranormal books and reading tarot cards portals opened up. Then about 25 years ago, my first son -- who was about 2 at the time-- he came to me one night and said a hole had opened in his world and it seemed someone was asking him to enter into it. He looked at me intently, "But I didn't." Smart kid!

People have seen hell sometimes or heaven. So the spiritual worlds and the physical world are very near each other. And passages seem to open to those who can open them. God specifically forbids going to mediums, fortunetelling, and certain spiritual practices which open portals. But if such portals open by themselves, that doesn't mean one should rejoice that they are opened. If one can muster up boldness, one should command the spirit coming out of the portal or closet to go to the foot of Jesus. One should not hang out with the spirit or feel special or feel safe. If an angel comes out of the blue (angels never come out of closets, btw) ask it about the blood of Jesus and if Jesus conquered the demonic world, sin, and death, by becoming human in human flesh. Generally, angels show such love and inspire such awe that one can tell they're good...but one never knows.

Anyway, I'm thinking about all this because I was thinking of portals because I was thinking of ghosts coming out of closets and I was thinking of my short story, A Cry for Hire. So I figured I'd write this. I know some Christian folks will be mad at the whole portal thing in that story...but that's how the story presented itself to me and I think it a very Christian story. 
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