I tagged Tom yesterday with the One Book meme. I now have leverage for teasing, knowing that a computer programming book changed his life. But the book he wishes had never been written is the Necronomicon (from the movie "Army of Darkness"). This reminded me of an incident that happened to me in High School that absolutely freaked me out, so I thought I'd share it with y'all.
This was in my pre-post-Lutheran days when I was a nominal Christian but went to church weekly with my parents. I had no real firm beliefs, but I loved to sit around and speculate about God, meaning of life, and all those sorts of things. A friend of mine, Jess, said she had a friend I had to meet. He liked to talk about those things too.
We went over to his house and the three of us sat out on his porch talking. He was the first goth kid I ever met. We talked about philosophy and reincarnation (which I argued against by default) and Satanism and all sorts of crazy things. After about, oh I don't know, 45 minutes or an hour, he turned to me and asked, "Have you ever heard of this book? It's called the Necronomicon?" I answered, "No, I don't think I have." "Are you sure," he asked. "It's called The Necronomicon."
And all of a sudden something trippy happened to me. I'm not sure I can really explain it. It's like I wasn't there for about two or three seconds. I had an overwhelming sense of great tragedy, like the sense you would have visiting a Nazi gas chamber and thinking of all the millions that died. It's like I tapped into a sense of devastating regret on a cosmic scale. Then I felt the presence of an evil being, laughing at it. Then it was over.
"Gee, look at the time," I said. Jess and I split as fast as we could. She said she felt the same thing, though it was hard to tell exactly.
What I took from that encounter is that there really is a supernatural realm, and at the very least, there really are evil beings. Even when I doubted the existence of God, this single event has kept me from ever considering humanist materialism as a viable option. It kept me pushing forward to try to figure out what is true. And it is the reason why, when I really embraced Christianity for myself, I needed to be in a charismatic church. Though I've come a long way since that experience, it has had a profound impact on my life.