I see dead people…er…angels.

July 12, 2012

Figures that when I find something interesting to blog about, it would be some more religious Huffington Post Fail. In this case it is an article from Lorna Byrne, an Irish mystic who sees guardian angels everywhere, and it is about responding to cynics.

Sounds like it was meant for me!

I understand that for some people it’s hard to believe that there could be such a thing as an angel, or even that I can see angels. I can’t prove the existence of angels, or that I see them. I wish I could. All I can do is tell you what I see and am told and then leave it up to you.

Well, basically for everyone who values credible evidence, yes. It is hard to believe. Of course, this sort of skepticism is characterized poorly, and when I visited her website I was implored to ‘put your disbelief to one side’. This is something I do for a work of fiction, to watch a ridiculous movie or play a fantastical game. This is not an ideal method for building the basic structure of one’s life.

It seems to me to be a terrible waste to have all this help on offer and not to use it. Why not suspend your cynicism.

What have you got you lose?

Good ol’ Pascal and his Wager again. Her conclusion in the HuffPo article is along the same lines. Remember, she’s asking us to simply accept what she sees and is told. Again, Byrne’s website is useful in finding out what she would have us do.

Be alert for any signs that the Angels might give you. A sign from the Angels, no matter how trivial it may seem at the time, can be a symbol of hope, lifting your heart and reminding you that you are not alone, no matter what may be happening in your life.

She then relates a story of a woman she taught, who then felt sure that a song that had gotten stuck in her head was actually an angelic revelation. The prescription here is exactly what I’ve seen before – ascribing special meaning to anything or everything as needed. I can still recall what happened to me after my trip to the hospital, the coma-dreams I endured, and the special meaning that I was encouraged to assign to them, by nearly everyone in my life.

After that, Byrne runs afoul of the problem of evil, as everyone who believes in such powerful and benevolent supernatural powers must confront. We’re such terrible bloody cynics, aren’t we, to bring up the little hiccup of why is the world so awful if it’s supposed to be so good?

The first question most cynics ask me is, “Where was the guardian angel when…” and will reel off some terrible atrocity.

The truth is that the guardian angels were there trying to avert the disaster or tragedy. God has given us all free will and no guardian angel can overstep this. Whenever any of us are doing wrong, our guardian angel is trying everything possible to stop us, but they cannot overstep the boundaries of free will. The hard truth is that evil exists — we can see the evidence of it all around us — and many people seem to find it easier to give into evil rather than to listen to their guardian angel and do the right thing.

This is her counter from HuffPo, and as seems appropriate for that venue, it’s an over-simplification. There are plenty of disasters and tragedies that have next to nothing to do with ‘free will.’ Take the Indian Ocean tsunami from 2004 (the day after Xmas, ouch!) that killed about a quarter of a million people. What’s to blame, mankind’s free will in choosing to live on the coast? Somebody trip and fall and cause the earthquake? Whatever guardian angels did to mitigate this disaster, sure didn’t add up to much.

So while Byrne believes in guardian angels that protect people in ‘miraculous’ saves – any improbable good is credited to angels – she tries to pawn off blame for the bad on us. On her own website, she has a little extra to offer about “accidents” like what’s pictured above.

So yes, people do die in accidents, but the Angels are there for them also, helping them to be peaceful and calm as they take them on their journey to the other world.

And to believe that, you have to believe that everyone dies peaceful and calm, thanks to the ephemeral reassurances of angels. I suspect that if anyone were around to document reality, it would not correspond to this pablum. But that’s the best that a believer can offer in cases like these. Life sucks and then you die, but it’ll be peaceful and oh, then there’s an ‘other world,’ too.

I wonder if she also buys into the typical xian afterlife of all wrongs being righted and such. Probably.

You are the most important person in the world to your guardian angel and it will do all it can to help you. But you need to play your part and listen to it, whatever way it communicates with you best; by signs, inspiration, gut feelings (including guilt) or comments from other people.

Anyway, this may be a new spin on the message but it’s an old message. The one with special knowledge, with powers only they can possess, nothing they can share with you. But they can tell you what to do. They’d like very much to do that. It’s wrapped in attractive notions about being special and everything being meaningful and all good in the end. Her beliefs suggest living one’s life to the full. But how does that work exactly, when the message is also one of accepting one’s lot, however ordinary, and finding special purpose in it somehow?

Easier to live it up when you’re the one who can see angels, I guess.


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