Sunday, December 12, 2004

Imaginary Friends

According to this article from Reuters Health, most middle-aged school children have imaginary friends -- and it's perfectly normal. The friend could be in the form of a person or animal. A German study noted that the friend may stick around well into the teen years. Is this truly a surprise to anyone? It isn't to me. Children, in their innocence, are much more open and sensitive than their adult contemporaries. Before they become burdened with facts, peer pressure, and video games, they are able to freely sense and connect with the world around them in ways that adults -- whose senses have been dulled and deadened by stress and "significant" responsibilities -- have long lost. I don't think I am giving anything away when I say that I myself had imaginary friends. And, yes, I do mean that in the plural. But just like most folks in Western society, the prevailing culture (through the indoctrination of public education among other things) hardened me and prejudiced my mind against the supranormal (a term I often prefer to "supernatural"). Do you see what I am getting at? Those imaginary friends probably aren't so imaginary after all. In fact, I would go so far as to say they are a part of the natural world, operating just beyond dulled senses. Can we sharpen those senses again? Can we regain that connection with the "unseen" part of the world? And what would happen if we did? URL for Reuters Article:

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