Reconciling the inner skeptic

Years ago, during one of my many periods of “downsizing”, the company I had been working for was generous enough (ha!) to provide us with the services of a career transition counsellor. I was already scheduled to go on vacation before the layoffs — turns out it was perfectly timed — and so I didn’t attend the counselling sessions with the other downsizees. When I returned, I got to spend 2 full days with the counsellor one-on-one session. I still look back on that time fondly. If you want to feel good about yourself at a bad time like that, spend a couple of days with someone whose job, who vocation it is to make you feel better about yourself. He did that and I will always be grateful for that. It didn’t help me find a decent job — I ended up back at the same company, which laid me off again a year later, prompting my move here — but it felt good at the time.

One of the things he had me do was take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test, a rather long personality questionnaire. My results indicated that I was INFP/INTP (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceptive/Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Preceptive), with the Feeling and Thinking parts almost perfectly equal.

Sometimes I have trouble reconciling the two parts, the dreamer and the skeptic. I believe in psychic abilities but am skeptical of many who claim to have those abilities. I believe in the permanence of the spirit but am skeptical of those who claim to see and speak to those who’ve passed on. I believe in the magic of the universe but have trouble believing anyone who says they can see or manipulate that magic. I believe in possibility of life elsewhere in the universe but am suspicious of anyone claiming to have seen an alien (or worse, to be one). Perhaps that is why I have trouble with religion — I don’t need proof to believe what I believe, but I need proof, I need personal experience, to accept what someone else says I should believe. I know. Religion is all about belief in something you don’t really know.

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