Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ask Gramps

Can the dead hear our thoughts? —Sarah B

Can dead people really hear our thoughts?
I read somewhere they could, but only if they are listening.
Man i thought the only privacy we had was in our head

Sort of. There's an interesting line of thinking that says mysticism has its roots in our need to get help with decision-making. The idea is that being decisive gave some groups an evolutionary advantage, but only if they weren't always knocking off the tribal leader for making a poor choice. So this need, combined with our natural human tendency to continue to feel an association with people after their death, led to *asking* the dead for help and "divining" their answers. Because hey, if grandpa leads us astray, we can't do him any harm—he's already dead!

So yeah, in the minds of the living at least, you could say the dead hear us and help us decide how to act. If you're asking whether the deceased people themselves continue to "hear," though, that's a no. They are dead.

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