What Is the Supernatural?

Q. Do our restless memories/fractured lives create the elements needed to summon the supernatural?

A. I think the “supernatural” properly understood is something that arises only from within conscious, sentient beings. Like the “soul,” these sorts of … entities … are virtual, on my view. They exist and have power within the sphere of human ideas, the “memosphere,” if you will. People want a dual universe, of course, one in which there is a metaphysical realm that predates human existence and that will endure after we are gone. Reality is much richer and more complex, I’d argue. We are the origin of devils and angels, of monsters and gods. They emerge as epiphenomena from our collective thinking, and the power we given them to shape our lives, our culture, our actions is more amazing than any ectoplasmic intrusion into the physical world.

A Mexican-American author and translator from deep South Texas, David Bowles teaches literature and Nahuatl at the University of Texas Río Grande Valley.

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