Thursday, December 29, 2011

Are Ghosts As Real as We Are?

My belief is that our souls, our spirits make us who we are. Once the spirit/soul leaves the body the body is just an empty shell. The essence is gone on to wherever it is spirits go- heaven, hell, limbo, or perhaps stuck in this world unseen and unheard by the living.

With this belief in mind I would think that on one level a ghost is just as real as a living, breathing person they just no longer have a shell around them. When I say real I mean a conscious, feeling entity.

I do understand that some spirits are not conscious, they are more of an imprint, a memory locked on replay tied to a place or thing- the same image, the same thing happens over and over again. And then there are spirits that are not human, that were never human to begin with but that’s a whole different ball park than what I’m talking about now.

I’m talking about your basic ghost. Someone dies, the spirit leaves the body but for whatever reason does not cross over. It’s here, still conscious, still feeling, still aware but not tied to a physical body. Can we say that the spirit is not worth considering, that the spirit does not matter?

I question this because the point was brought up in an amazing book I just finished, Sparks by Laura Bickle. Her character, Anya, believes that ghosts- spirits matter. That their feelings should be taken into consideration. A few people in her ghost hunting group think otherwise. It’s not something that gets resolved within the book but it is a great discussion point and something to ponder.

If we are who we are because of a soul and our soul leaves our body when we die and moves on to become a spirit- then how can anyone who believes in a soul believe that the spirit that it becomes irrelevant?

It’s something to think about isn’t it?

My story, A Halloween to Remember, features a ghost. Dimitri is the spirit of a man who died before his dream could become reality. This ties him to his house so he is unable to cross over. But no one ever sees him. Not until Adena attends a Halloween party in the home he built- and Halloween magic allows her to see and feel him.

Many of my stories feature vampires not ghosts but many consider vampires to be soulless- so would that make them less likely to have rights even though they have a physical body?

One line I read in the book Sparks said something similar to “their rights end at death”.

According to a lot of vampire legends vampires are dead- or undead. So even though they are up and walking around do they not have rights, feelings, emotions to be considered?

It’s something to ponder when reading or writing paranormal fiction and urban fantasy- in the laws of a world that recognizes the existence of paranormal creatures what rights under law should they have?

What feelings should we consider when making choices about/for them?

What do you think?

Do rights and feelings end at death?

If they existed in our world should sentient ghosts, vampires, werewolves and Other paranormals have the same rights as normal humans?