Learning To Let Go


One of the most difficult parts of becoming a skeptic was readjusting my thought processes. I was afraid that because I was now a skeptic that I would no longer be able to enjoy some of the things I love most.  For instance, how can a skeptic enjoy the wonder and magic of Disney World and the Magic Kingdom?

Was I allowed to like things like that anymore? Was my life now to be relegated only to the wonders of the world around me and the Universe at large? Not that those are bad things. The Universe and the natural world are full of amazing, complex and wonderful things.

But I still love the fantastic. I still love dragons and fairies, mythology and magic. And I love the magic that is Disney World. It’s a wonderful place where, for a little while, we can be kids again. We can get excited about meeting Mickey Mouse and for a little while we’re seven years old again.

The truth is, I didn’t give ANY of it up. I still love the fantastic. I still get excited about seeing my favorite characters at Disney and I still run to get to the Haunted Mansion. Yet, I proudly wear the label of ‘skeptic”.

Now how does THAT work??  It’s not as hard as it sounds. The concept is called Suspension of Disbelief. It is defined as: The temporary acceptance as believable of events or characters that would ordinarily be seen as incredible. This is usually to allow an audience to appreciate works of literature or drama that are exploring unusual ideas.

In other words, when you go to a movie and you allow yourself to be immersed in that world you are willingly suspending your disbelief for a time. You are making a choice to accept the premise set down by the writers and actors.

While I understand that dragons, fairies and magic probably don’t exist, I allow myself to enjoy the concept  and suspend disbelief for a time. So while I know that there is a person in a costume, I still joyfully hug Winnie the Pooh, embracing the nostalgia of my childhood and allowing myself, for a little while, to be 7 years old again.

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1 Comment

  1. Loki said,

    November 8, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Good post. I’m a huge fan of science fiction/fantasy and love stories about elves, trolls, magical lands, psychics, levitating nuns- everything. Yet I’m sceptical about them all. It robs us of nothing to enjoy the fantastical while still allowing for reality to act as a level ground to put it on.


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