Brian Froud asks disbelievers, “What do you think would make life more fun—believing or disbelieving in faeries?” I know the answer to that one for me! Do you know it for you?
But… how to believe? Chances are that, as a child, you believed that everything was alive. The idea of Faery did not boggle your mind at all. Perfectly reasonable. But chances also are that your parents did not include Faery in their belief system. Even people who do believe in something out there are embarrassed to even think of believing in faeries. It’s not only unscientific, but it’s childish! It’s socially okay for adults to believe in gods—perhaps—but it certainly is not acceptable for them to believe in sparkly faeries. The Victorians converted the fae from powerful and often-frightening figures into little twinkly things at the bottom of the garden. They made them cute. The Victorians were magnificent at denial, and their shadow still influences our world.
So, the chances are that you’ve been brought up to be certain that Faery is illogical and unreal and, worst of all, childish. (Notice, please, that this, too, is just a belief because you cannot scientifically prove that they do not exist.)
I think this is where people tear themselves up. We can believe something on the conscious level and disbelieve it on the unconscious level, or vice versa.
Let me give an example: I knew a man who did not believe in ghosts. Period. “When you’re dead, you’re dead.” Yet… at least three times I witnessed that man startled and frightened momentarily because he thought he’d seen a ghost. A better word might be “terrified.” First time he jumped over a wall and fell in the ditch behind it; second time he jumped behind a person with us, and the third time he literally shrieked and dove under a bed.
Each time, there were witnesses who saw his reaction. Did he believe in ghosts? Even after those experiences, he still denied the existence of ghosts vehemently. Yes, there is a thing called “denial” which means you deny the truth of something that you have reason to believe is true. He denied his belief, because he didn’t want to believe—it was too frightening—but really he did. The funny thing about this example is that on each occasion the “ghost” was simply another person who happened to be wearing white in a very dark place.
So, did he believe or disbelieve? Yes. Both. We are not whole. We are each a committee of warring voices. Some parts believe and some don’t. And yet, that is not all we are. There is a part of us that experiences truth. That part, unfortunately, is usually hidden under all the contrary opinions we have. We are so full of opinions/beliefs that a lot of the time we don’t even notice that we are fighting ourselves. In fact, we may become quite angry if someone suggests that we are being illogical and conflicted—as if humans were logical beings anyway.
What healing is largely about is reconciling these differences, these inner conflicts. So, yes, we are what we believe, but that isn’t all we are. We are also what is true—whether we believe in it or not. Like Faery.
The curious thing is, if you pretend to believe in them, it opens your mind and heart, and you start to notice that quite astonishing things do happen…
Feel free to visit FaeryWisdom.com if the idea tickles your fancy…