“I know some people say “Keep your eyes on the prize,” but I disagree. When your eyes are stuck on the prize, you’re going to keep stumbling and crashing into things. If you really want to get ahead, you’ve got to keep your eyes focused on the path.”
My wife and I stayed at a hotel in Southern California last weekend. I won't say which hotel it was because I wouldn't want to get them or myself in any trouble. But I do want to report what we saw in our room.
We were lying in bed talking Sunday morning when I caught a fleeting glimpse of what appeared to be a moving shadow on the ceiling in front of the open bathroom door. My wife kept the bathroom light on and the door open a crack so she could find her way to the bathroom in the dark if she needed to. What I saw looked like the shadow someone might cast on the ceiling if they were in the lighted bathroom. But no one was in there.
I didn't think much of it or say anything about it. First of all, I don't believe in supernatural phenomena like spirits or ghosts, although I don't rule them out completely, and I just figured that my eyes were playing tricks on me. I never saw anything else like that the two nights we were there, and my wife didn't mention anything about it at the time.
Yet, this morning my wife called from work and asked if I'd seen anything "strange" in that room. I said, "Like what?" and she replied that she had seen the moving shadow. But she saw it four or five times. She also said she'd had a peculiar dream or two about a little boy in that room. I felt a few chills along my spine. I'm feeling them now too.
I told her that I didn't have any peculiar dreams, but I did see what she saw. I also asked why she didn't say anything to me while we were in the room. She answered that she didn't want me to stay awake looking for anything out of the ordinary and, besides, she didn't feel threatened by whatever it was that she saw.
I should explain that my wife is Thai. As a Thai, she believes in ghosts and takes them rather matter-of-factly. In fact, she and her whole family believe that a benevolent ghost protects their property in Bangkok. The opening fight scene from Rambo III was filmed there and they've called it the "Rambo House" ever since. You can read my blogpost about the filming here. The reputed ghost appears as an old lady sweeping the grounds of the property. She doesn't appear to family members but only to guests staying overnight. Everybody calls her "the caretaker" in Thai.
Back to our hotel room. I don't know what we saw. I'm inclined to believe that there's a natural explanation for it even if I don't know what it is. But who knows what it REALLY was?
Each one of us was harmed by being brought into existence. That harm was not negligible, because the quality of even the best lives is very bad--and considerably worse than most people recognize it to be. Although it is obviously too late to prevent our own existence, it is not too late to prevent the existence of future possible people. Creating new people is thus morally problematic.