Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What Ghosts Are

By Mylene Tuazon

Ghosts are usually said to be apparitions of deceased people. Ghosts can also mean things or events from the past that haunt you until the present. Many cultures and world religions believe in and deal with ghosts in one way or another. In fact, many people throughout history, regardless of where they come from or their environments, have experience hauntings from what appear to be ghosts. Some ghosts frequent certain places or tend to haunt certain people. And when that person happens to be you, it can be a really hair-raising experience that you may never want to go through again.

Many religion's and people's beliefs in ghosts stem from the belief in a person's spirit, or the person within the person. The Bible tells of God breathing life into Adam, which is why metaphorically speaking, the word 'ghost' is equivalent to the word 'breath' in some languages. And until very recently ghosts have been depicted as exact copies of their appearances in life.

Getting rid of the Ghosts that Are Haunting You

Throughout history, there have been a lot of cases of people, places or even things being haunted by ghosts. But why do they continue to haunt? And more importantly, how do you get rid of a ghost that won't stop haunting you?

We all know the standard solutions of saying prayers or using holy water. But it may also be pertinent and timely to know what famous people in history have done in order to free themselves of ghosts. Who knows? You may just get rid of other excess baggage as well.

Watch Your Actions: The Chinese philosopher Mo Tzu tells one of the oldest ghost stories known. That is the story of the minister Tu Po, who was executed by the Chinese king, Hsuan on a false charge, in spite of warnings that To Pu's ghost would come back to haunt him. Three years later, the ghost of Tu Po would be seen shooting King Hsuan with a bow and arrow before an assembly of feudal lords. The moral of this story? If you don't want anything bad from the past haunting you in the form of ghosts, enemies, bad memories or what have you, remember to always be fair and kind to everyone you see. Remember Scrooge? You never know which person carrying a grudge against you is coming back from the dead to make your life a living hell.

Give Peace to the Weary: Another story told by Pliny the Younger, a Greek philosopher in 50 AD tells the story of Athenedoros Cananites, another philosopher, in whose house the ghost of a disheveled old man that had bound hands and feet suddenly appeared to him and beckoned Athenedoros to follow him before suddenly disappearing at a certain spot. The wise philosopher had the spot dug up and lo and behold the man's shackled bones were found. After giving them a proper burial, the hauntings ceased completely. Moral of this one? Spirits may just need help in crossing over to the other side. This is usually the case with ghosts whose bodies have not been buried properly or have unfinished business in this life. Hamlet is an extreme version of this. So be sensitive and listen to what the spirits want to say. You may just get rid of a haunting and do someone a favor all at once.

Quit Your Crying: The old English folk song, 'The Unquiet Grave' tells of the ghost of a woman who can't find rest because of her lover's weeping on earth. So one of the best ways to free yourself of ghosts? Get over it. Whatever it is. Go out and wear a smile so you (and all the spirits near you) can enjoy life (or death).

Get Some Closure: The Child ballad, Sweet William's Ghost tells of a ghost that can't find any rest because of the promise that he made to marry his old sweetheart. He returns to earth to ask the girl to free him from the promise, because he's, well, dead and he can't find peace because of his situation. What does this say? Closure and understanding are important for any relationship. Leaving something open ended can lead to trouble so fixing up your personal affairs can get rid of your ghosts for you.

Don't Mess With Spirits: Tarot cards, ouija boards and other attempts to summon spirits like using mediums can have bad consequences for you. It's better not to tempt fate. Just look at Saul and the Witch of Endor. Even the Bible thinks it's a bad idea. Messing with the dead means you're giving the dead the right to mess with you.

So whether it's fixing a ghost problem or it's just fixing up your life, you can be sure these tips will help you live a little bit better. Remember, if this doesn't do the trick, you might need a full-blown exorcism to fix the problem... or a new house. Happy ghost hunting!

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