Saturday, 9 November 2013


Further into The QI Book of the Dead, 76%, and something struck me with the usual OMG gasp of recognition of the blindingly obvious. 

I retweet those cosy and comforting 140 characters of encouragement I am pleased to receive  with a passing, 'Aw, that's nice' without much thought to how true this particular sliver of wisdom might be.  ( If 'true' is even the right word.) My own, though perhaps not my VERY own, insight into the inner working  of the human soul:

 (Altogether now!!!)

"You can believe what you like and get away with it." 

Is resoundingly vindicated  in the section  I am currently reading on the after- life convictions of some of our dearly departed that are so far out as to be - well, very far out indeed. 

Nikola Tesla. Great bloke, phenomenal mind, nutty as a fruit cake, invented stuff the which of, you couldn't be doing without, and generally got himself robbed of the benefits. Believed he was in communication with aliens, and had a, platonic,  love affair with a pigeon. This guy could see and work in three dimensions and solve complex mathematical puzzles before the challenger had finished writing them down. I forgive him the pigeon. He got electricity to work. 

Ann Lee, founder of the Shakers, a  gentle peace-loving Christian sect that threw themselves about ( in the Spirit, that is) and got themselves persecuted in the process, for making too much noise. Ann took herself and her followers off to New York State, back before the Statue of Liberty was up, knocked on someone's door, took over the house, and shook away for a couple of hundred years when not making astoundingly good furniture. 

Ann had the most show- stopping visions of Hell, which appeared to be populated by people who insisted on having sex. (Whilst alive...) Shakers didn't. A practice that pretty much put paid to Shaking as a means of grace once Ann (thought by some to be Jesus) died and was no longer around to hold the reins, and get converts. The Shakers voted in1965 not to admit more members, and there are now just three of them left.

You see? You really CAN believe the most extraordinary things and be good, kind, and/or  a genius. 

LOTS of famous people have. Let's give it a go! 

I wondered what grandiose, whacky, amazing, worldview I could come up with, with attendant lifestyle,  if I really put my mind to it. I gave it a lot of thought. No aliens, Messiahs, pigeons, shaking, or sexual abstinence: those slots, thankfully, are taken. 

I haven't decided where I'm going with this yet, but I have divined that with a bit more imagination life could be a whole lot more interesting!

On second thoughts, my life as it is, is often as interesting as I want it to be, so perhaps I'll just finish The Book of the Dead and let my fantasy- life return to normal. MY normal, that is.

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