A week or so ago, a valued friend and mentor posted this link to her Facebook account: Scottish "Fight Song"
It gave me goose-flesh. Not because the music is beautiful, or expertly performed, though it is... but because of the strange effect these sights and sounds have had on me during my time on this planet. It has injected the drug of doubt into the Chronicles of Scott Quiggle the Unbeliever.
I don't believe in ghosts, haunted houses, seances, Ouija boards, or the undead. I do enjoy reading stories, watching shows or movies, and listening to people spin tales about their experiences. I've had quite enough of the whole overdone Vampire thing. Zombieland still cracks me up though - Rule #1: Cardio!
I don't believe in extraordinary powers of the mind. Fortune telling, visions of things to come or things in a pre-lifespan past, telepathy, levitation, mind reading, or anything related to the sixth sense. Our creative minds have conjured such concepts over millennia, and the artisans in us have given them color in our imaginations. I take pleasure in consuming such work from the pantheon of superheroes to to The Sixth Sense.
I don't own any tin foil hats. I don't believe in UFO's, alien abduction, faster than light travel, warp space, teleportation, or wormholes as a means of travel. These may be my favorite things to watch on a glowing screen. From the Original Star Trek, to the upcoming Star Wars movie, Firefly to Battlestar Galactica, Project U.F.O to the X-Files I have spent a lot of hours of my life enjoying the subject. Orson Scott Card, Isaac Asimov, and Phillip K Dick among many others have taken me places only these fictional concepts allow and I loved every minute of it. There is no doubt in my mind that life exists elsewhere in our galaxy. It's too big not to. And there's other galaxies. I just don't believe that travel of that nature either does or will exist. But it sure is fun to imagine.
Reincarnation? My logical brain says "of course not." It's on my unbelief list. What I cannot explain to you, or myself, is why ever since the first time I heard bagpipes and drums it has raised the hairs on my arms, given me chills, made me emotional in a deep and familiar way. When I saw Eilean Donan in this music video the same feeling came over me as every other time I'd seen it in a film (like Highlander). It's like I've been there. Both familiar and spooky.
As a kid, I was obsessed with World War II. I read books, I watched every movie I could find on Saturday afternoon TV or the HBO "black box" we had. I couldn't tell you now which I saw first, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, Desert Rats, A Bridge Too Far... In each there is a scene where bagpipes march into the screen. Each and every time I felt a sense of elation accompanied by a strange combination of familiarity, hairs on my arms standing up, and an electric chill in my gut.
I have never been to Scotland. To my knowledge, I have no Scottish blood in my veins. Being adopted as an infant, I don't know for sure. With all these subjects, it's not belief, it's the suspension of disbelief that make them so entertaining. What then is this shit with Scottish bagpipes? I can't think of an explanation that holds water.