In Defense of Boo

In Defense of Boo

It has been said that such are the laws of cause and effect that if a star blinks, it matters to all of us. I don't spend much time, though, trying to find out which stars have blinked, when they have blinked nor how exactly their blinking may have influenced specific thoughts and actions of myself or anyone else, but I do think that their blinking matters. Regarding the Boo, I tend to have the same attitude toward them as toward the stars. They probably carry on just fine without my trying to probe into their affairs. Of course, my path has not recently crossed that of the stars, but, then, that's another story altogether.

 I am not well versed in medical perspectives of human consciousness, but I have experienced the symptoms of many abnormal psychiatric conditions. My experience with the subconscious is not the result of formal synthetic learning, but of direct confrontation. I think my experience of the Boo might be taken as a type of allegory of many subconscious processes. Like all analogies I am sure it breaks down when compared to the science itself. I am convinced that the Boo are real, however I'm not sure what or who they are.

 I have accepted, with great difficulty, that while my reality is many respects parallel to that of other people, is not the same reality of other people. I don't believe I am in this respect special. I think each person carries one's own view of the world and to each the world is unknowable apart from one's understanding it. But I suspect that that which is within the mind affects that which is not.

 Now, none of this really answers the questions you have asked about the Boo and for good reason--I don't know the answers. But in all fairness I will attempt to answer the questions as best I can.

 Re:[Does everyone have to be affected by the Boo just because it exists?] Have to be? No.
Either they are or they aren't. Also, Boo is plural. So, howabout "Does the existence of the Boo affect everyone?" Answer- I don't know.

 Re:[Or just because someone is not affected by the Boo necessarily mean that it doesn't exist?] No, one would first have to accept the proposition of "If the Boo exist then everyone is affected" to derive the proposition of "If someone is not affected then the Boo do not exist." If we accept "If the Boo exist then everyone is affected." as the premise then the following can be derived--"If everyone is not affected then the Boo do not exist." Since I don't think it is possible for everyone to be affected and at the same time have someone who is not affected, the existence of a someone not affected would, in my mind, discount the proposition of "If the Boo exist then everyone is affected."

 I don't think though the problem is primarily one of logic, though. If the Boo are taken as allegory, existence is a state difficult to define. Also there is the problem of evaluating the degree to which one might be affected and to establish a measure by which we could determine to what degree or whether someone were in fact affected. I suspect that trying to prove the existence of Boo would be an elusive venture.

 Now I realize that I said that according to the Boo, everyone is affected by the Boo. Perhaps I should clarify my statement before we try to hold the existence of the Boo contingent on the such a statement. I meant that my understanding of the Boo is such that they affect all. Now, my understanding is based on experience which is suspect on a number of grounds. I was insane during the experience, so my reasoning was not intact. During much of the experience I was under the influence of mind-altering substances, so in addition to cognition, perception was not reliable. I may not be the best spokesman. But even so, as no one else is apt to know or care much about the issue I shall do what I can.

 By saying the Boo say all are affected by the Boo is not to say that all Boo say the same. I suspect the Boo of being of diverse opinion upon a great number of issues.

 Re:[The flu exists and has an effect on thoes who come in contact with it and catch it. Even if I come in contact with it I may not be affected by it even though I know it exists.] Knowledge affects us. Your awareness of the existence of a virus which causes the flu is apt to affect the way you act. Your actions may influence whether or not you experience the symptoms of the flu. But if you think differently or act differently due to the existence of the virus or knowledge of the virus or misconceptions regarding the virus, I would say you were affected. Further, if there is a flu epidemic there may economic and social consequences experienced even by those who may have no knowledge of the exisence of the latest strain.

 Prior to the recognition of air as a substance were people affected by it? One needs not believe in death to experience it. One needs not give it a name or talk to it. But because one has given death a name and called it friend, wrote about it and by doing so appeared a bit odd, the concept of death is no less than had it remained impersonal, cold, and called merely by the name of "death." All are affected.

 Re:[Perhaps everyone is affected by the Boo, but just because the Boo exists does not necessarily mean we are all affected.] A kind of non-consequential existence? "It's there but doesn't matter?" Could be. I can't think of anything that fits that category, but I'm sure that the category exists, even if we did just make it up. Now that's something that could affect this discourse.

 Re:[[Ah, and one point of clarification--everyone is affected by the Boo, though not all are aware of the existence of Boo. That's according to the Boo. Of course, *if* they don't exist, then perhaps one could argue that noone is affected by the Boo. But then it would be difficult to argue that I'm not 'affected.']]

 Of course, one could, effectively argue that perhaps the Boo exist and I don't care if they do. That one doesn't take logic. It's purely a matter of taste.

 Why all of the interest then on my part? Why the attention? What's the point of talking of a thing that's that may or may not be, a thing without substance and definition? Aren't there enough things that exist that are worth talking about? Why talk of the unseen, unknown, and unknowable?

 There are stories that touch us. After being told to us, something in the story lingers in our mind and haunts us. Sometimes we forget the experience or attribute the experience to our mood or something that we ate. If we do not develop effective skills in discussing our experience of such hauntings we will continue to attribute what might be profound experience to indigestion.

 We are also prone to the other extreme. We call the experience revelation. Other potentially powerful experiences are denied because they seem to contradict what has been revealed to us.

 Now, I don't deny that our digestion and other biological process affect our emotions and thoughts. Neither do I deny the possibility of revelation. I think, though, that my experience with the Boo falls somewhere in between. The Boo being by nature a bit elusive of definition by the little logic that I know may be perhaps better described in stories. By allegory and by myth perhaps we can learn to talk of things that escape more direct approaches.

 Mike Akana

by Mike Akana

In Defense of Boo