“There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

This quote from Shakespeare has become a saying. A way to say “but there are supernatural things going on, and alternative things do work!”. I see the Norwegian version of this “det er mer mellom himmel og jord!” being used now and then in my Facebook feed, in comment sections on articles etc.

I like this quote, and I would like to use it myself from time to time. But my take on it is different, and if I use it people will get a wrong image of me as a person. First of all, there is no “Heaven”. Not in the biblical sense at least. So to me that part is more literal. Space. There are more things in Space and Earth than we can dream of. So much wonder and awesome natural occurrences, that make me confused in a way. Why do people desperately need to believe in an invisible creator, when the universe is such a wonderful thing on its own? Why do people need to believe in ghosts, psychic powers, clairvoyance and “talking with the dead”, when you have wonderful things like pulsars out there? What sounds more awe inspiring? People claiming they have some special power, a power that no one has managed to prove, or a neutron star 16 km in diameter rotating faster than 1 second. Sounds unbelievable, yet pulsars has been observed, proven.

Why are some people so desperate to believe in alternative “medicine”, hiding behind “there are more things in Heaven and Earth!” whenever science says “this doesn’t work! There is no scientific reason why it should!”. Why so desperately believe in the mystical. There is no reason for it, there is enough magic in nature already. Hell, the very fact that we are thinking beings, who can contemplate the world around us is crazy. Our consciousness is a reality because of electrical signals racing around in our brains. Everything that is me, every little thought, every little memory, flicker around in that one important organ. These signals cannot linger after death, they cannot expand out of our brain to touch others. We are all confined in our own reality. And when we die, that reality is gone. So why waste life by spending it pining for the afterlife. Why spend life in pursuit of some mystical fountain of happiness. There is enough wonder in nature as there is. And if you actually begin to think, and realize the fact that we are all insignificant, our lives are so brief they mean nothing to the cosmos, and that there is no life after this one, you might be sad for a bit. But then consider the fact that every little part of you, every little atom, came from stars exploding a long time ago. As the great man Neil deGrasse Tyson said:

“The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them in their cores and exploded these enriched ingredients across our galaxy, billions of years ago. For this reason, we are biologically connected to every other living thing in the world. We are chemically connected to all molecules on Earth. And we are atomically connected to all atoms in the universe. We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.”

In the face of that, I embrace my brief time here.

That said, believe in what you will. As long as it doesn’t hurt people I don’t care. The problem is that a lot of alternative thinking does hurt people. Anti-vaccination, homeopathy, chiropractic “treatment”. All of these hurt, and even kill, far more often than is comfortable. The anti-GMO movement hinders progress to feed the world, killing millions of starving children in third-world countries as a result. Homeopathy sells sugar-pills that sometimes has a drop of water put on them, claiming it can cure anything. People forgo scientifically proven treatments, pay an exorbitant price for these pills, then either get well on their own or get worse and probably die. It’s bullshit. People are getting rich on cleanses, claiming they flush your body of toxins. It’s bullshit.

I am glad I have been equipped with a brain that works in such a way that I can be skeptical. I can think for myself, find sources, read up on subjects before believing something. I feel sad for those who cannot, will not, refuse to.

“There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” It sure is. But if a thing cannot be proven, cannot be verified, then that thing is non-existent. And if it does not exist it can’t really be said to be “in Heaven and Earth” now, can it?

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