to the Irrationalist
An Essay by Harvey H. Madison
Puzzling, it’s really puzzling. The backwardness of the self-limiting
mind is what I’m referring to. I have a friend who, while
disparaging me for not “opening my mind” to the paranormal
realms, considers my science learning to be dull and dry. Another
friend thinks that he can enjoy a sunset better than I by not cluttering
up his mind with technical facts. He thinks my knowledge reduces
my ability to engage in transcendence! They used to fool me.
Try as I might, my anti-rationalist friends cannot be cajoled into
expanding their horizons into Reality. They feel so much safer rejecting
science with its requirement to examine their beliefs in the crucible
of reason. It’s comforting to believe in a soul that lives
beyond death. So reassuring to pretend that a crystal of quartz
worn around the neck will protect one from cancer, or that a sphere
of it can tell the future. Comfortable but oh, so imprisoned. How
can an intelligent mind intentionally keep itself in a dark pocket,
not peeking out to see the magnificence of the Universe outside?
Ever since I can remember, I have yearned to see as far I could,
turn on the lights, and uncover all of Reality. Once one deals with
the fear of death and adjusts to the absence of a parent-god or
goddess, one cannot resist an addiction to mental adulthood and
the flow of pure experience. Come and feel the pulsing and the throbbing
of the Cosmos!
For years I heard the mysterious and constant “whistlers”
between the stations on my short-wave radio and wondered where the
curious stream of sound came from. Persistent inquiry led me to
the astounding revelation that for all those nights I sat alone
in a darkened room in the glow of my receiver, I was connecting
myself with the very nervous system of my planet. These signals
are generated by lightning strikes all over the Earth, and I now
know that in my headphones I was hearing the 24 hour global symphony
When my friend looks through the telescope’s eyepiece he can
stay interested for only a few seconds, but I sit at length in awe,
because I see the Andromeda Galaxy with the knowledge that the photons
striking my retina are ending a two million-year undisturbed voyage
across an unthinkable distance. I gaze down across the sprawling
spiral arms as one who is equipped to appreciate the possibility
that some vast and ancient civilization is navigating its nebulosities.
This is intimate contact with the Cosmos. No more can some channelled
voice from Aunt Ida impress me.
Please don’t think I’m arrogant if I pass up a psychic’s
routine; I’d rather run my fingers over a billion year old
fossil and stretch my mind until I encounter that ancient time;
or soar silently in a glider over vast cloudscapes while visualizing
oceans of air. Don’t delay the astrology meeting for me; I
feel more alive chasing a megaton thunderstorm to photograph million-volt
bolts of electricity.
Reality is too rich to me to waste any time on the dubious.
The Cosmos is so awesome and exciting and . . . Real.