In my novel, Life in Harmony, the central couple buy a small farmhouse that appears to be inhabited by the ghost of a small four-year-old girl. The question is raised through much of the book about what exactly this apparition is. In the small town of Harmony, California (population 18), the small group of residents have varied opinions on what exactly this girl and other appearances in town could be.
A 2007 Fox News survey reported that nearly fifty percent of all people believe in ghosts and nearly a quarter of those believed they had actually seen one. What makes someone believe? Is seeing believing? Obviously not, if nearly half of all people believe and less than half of those have seen. Just what is it that makes people believe in things they have not seen?
In Life in Harmony, the statistics from the Fox News survey are fairly similar to those in the town in the story. There are just over a quarter of the people who have seen a spirit and about half who believe even without seeing. What’s most interesting about Life in Harmony is how the belief in a ghost or spirit works as a metaphor for our spiritual faith.
It was important for me as a writer to give those 18 residents of Harmony enough spiritual variety to demonstrate the spectrum of our world views toward spirituality, faith and belief in the unknown. Harmony has religious leaders and religious lay people represented, as well as non-believers and those who dance on the fringe of choosing to believe or not. All with various self-actualizing outcomes.
In my story, the ghost is presented positively and not at all in the horror genre. What if the ghost you saw were an angelic, spiritual one? How would that change things for you? Those of us who believe in spiritual things understand there are both holy and evil spirits that dwell in the world. In Life in Harmony, the focus is on the holy ghosts. There are those moments in our lives, even in nature, where reality defies logic.
Anyone who has ever seen ocean phosphorescence understands something phenomenal isn’t always easily
explained. While this type of phenomenon has scientific explanations, those who have witnesses it, understand how unreasonably powerful the sight of it can be. It doesn’t seem logical for us to see glowing greens and blue in the night surf and yet we’re seeing it. The world is surrounded by scientific logic and yet there are things that defy common logic all the time. We live in harmony with both our natural world and the people around us as well as in harmony with the spiritual realm.
What do you believe? Do you believe in ghosts? What about spiritual or holy ghosts? What proof do you have to support your beliefs? Share your comments below. Thanks for reading!
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