He was a studious orator who told awe-inspiring tales of how neglected “paranormal” aspects of reality might work. In part, he based his assertions on the mythologies of heart cultures, including Hawaiian. Before him sat a Hawaiian woman who was keeper of the knowledge of her ancestors. She was excited to share what she knew with a like-minded intellectual such as he. He listened guardedly for a short time, but when it was clear that she was asserting Hawaiians like her actually believe the reality of the things he called myth, he shut her down, assuring her that they (and by extension, she) do not. These are just myths, after all.
Why do we ignore the authentic when it is presented to us–even those of us who ponder deeply and write about such things? Why is it easy to imagine something about other people based on what we study, and build off of that, but when in direct contact with them, deny them the very thing we were so interested in?
Really, this is a question of why we need to own another’s story. And isn’t it obviously about control? Isn’t it about retaining our comfort level as we explore possibilities beyond what our culture teaches?
If we are honest with ourselves we will see that even the most astute, most collegiate among us who write about the true, the authentic, do not want the true or the authentic. We want our truth, not Truth. We want to form our own interpretation, something we can handle, extrapolate from, build upon, and make our own. We want perversions, not the real because the real does not come from us. The real does not reinforce our identity.
Yes, even those of us who dedicate our lives to illuminating the neglected places of being do so to gain something. I gain knowledge. I gain a hypothesis. I gain a way of putting together bits of knowledge from around the world to form a unified theory. I have, therefore I exist. And if the authentic does not fit into what I have accumulated to reinforce myself, then Truth be damned.
This is how we survive what we learn.