Halloween is fast approaching and friends have been asking Ben about the legends and stories related to this time of the year. One friend asks: Does the veil between physical reality and TSP (Timeless, Spaceless Place) really become thinner during Halloween time?
As a matter of fact, what is described as the veil getting thinner really does happen around this time. But it isn't something that just happens like snow or falling leaves. (which don't really "just happen" either but that is another story.) People shorten the distance between this side and the other side with their thoughts and feelings. You see, once upon a time most people died in the winter. And in fact they still do. Ask the folks who write the obituaries for the local newspaper when their busy season is. They will probably tell you, right around Christmas. Back in the not-so-good old days people died in the winter because of the severe cold weather and the shortages of food. Sometimes they just died of boredom. But I don't know why they do it now, at least not where folks have central heating and plenty of food all year around. But they do. Well actually I do know. It's because the veil is thinner and it's easier to see people on the other side and it's easier to cross over. It goes both ways. People in some part of their minds become conscious of death about the time the leaves start falling and the animals start hibernating or migrating or whatever they do that makes them scarce. People start thinking about death and wondering what it's like and they start wondering about their loved ones who have crossed over. And they wonder what they are doing and if they are okay. People who are getting close to the end of their own earthly life start to wonder where they will go and if anyone will meet them or if this is just the end. Of course long evenings when the sun sets early are the best times for gathering around the fireplace and telling stories. And sooner or later somebody with an imagination is going to start speculating about what it's like on the other side. And whether people on the other side can come back. People have always been aware that life goes on after the physical body has died. They are torn between wanting to see the ones they loved and not wanting to see the ones they didn't. There are customs that encourage the friendly spirits to visit but attempt to keep the bad ones away. Once people became a little more scientific and didn't quite so much believe in scary afterlife entities and events they started having fun with the holiday once set aside to honor or defend-against the restless dead. But humor and pranks and satire are really just another way of dealing with fear of the unknown. Like whistling in the dark. So whether people are participating in ancestor worship or fending off evil spirits or creating prize-winning zombie costumes, people are devoting much attention and energy to death and dead people and What Comes Next. It's only natural (not even super natural) that with all that energy directed their way the dearly departed would seem very close. (It's always about the energy.) Those on the other side are easy to communicate with at this time if that is what you want to do. Unfortunately most Americans don't want to talk to their departed loved ones. Unlike those of some other societies, American customs are aimed at inspiring fear, at least pretend fear, but not communication. It's too bad that fear of death is such an important part of American culture. A great many loved ones in the TSP would probably enjoy a cozy chat at this time of the year when the worlds are so close and the climate is so right for sharing stories and telling tales.