According to a new poll out today, fully two-thirds of Canadians believe in angels. And nearly half believe in spirits and ghosts. (Many years ago I attended a seance in a private home and while there was some table rapping I must say it didn’t do much for me.)  Significantly more women than men seem to believe in angels.

Another 10 per cent of people are conviced their own residence is home to a supernatural presence.

A British Columbia woman author who writes ghost stories is « convinced there’s something out there that we don’t understand. »

When I was growing up we heard a lot about the Archangel Michael. We were also taught that each one of us had an angel protector. I am somewhat startled to learn how many adults still believe that.

What about you? Do you still believe in « a guardian angel »?



  1. 1
    Cate McB Says:

    Mmmmm — we’re in the realm of strangers, gods and monsters again.

    I continue to believe that regardless of whether we call them « guardian angels, » « devils, » « aliens, » « ghosts, » a « supernatural presence » or « spirits, » they are really parts of our individual & communal selves. We can either welcome, accommodate and learn from their otherness, or continue to restrict them to the « alien » department, thereby increasing their power over us, and facilitating the projection of our fears about them onto other concrete human persons and then the cycle of fear and violence continues.

  2. 2
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Yes I believe in a Supernatural presence. No I am not afraid of It. Whenever I was done wrong, it was by humans not spirits. Some will say that I am an old fogey and very gullible but, as my son says: « Dad, if it has not been proven false, it can be true ».
    Joe would say no definitive proof of the Supernatural has been given and he would be right. On the other hand no definitive proof of its non-existence has been given either. So…
    There is that anecdote about Marco Polo at Gengis Khan’s Court. It was Easter time and Polo wished to be granted permission to celebrate it. It was also Confucius’s anniiversary. So one philosopher said:  » if he is allowed to celebrate Easter, can I celebrate Confucius? » Gengis Khan reportedly granted both celebrations saying: « I my state of affairs I can’t risk incurring the wrath of whichever God. »
    As I said I do not fear The Supernatural but if such a fear can set some humans straight, let it be.

  3. 3
    Chimera Says:

    I never did « believe in » something I could not discern with at least one of my primary senses, even as a child. It made no sense to me that something I couldn’t see, hear, touch, smell, or taste would be allowed to have so much authority in my life, so I simply disallowed the existence of it. If it can’t play show-and-tell, it can’t be part of my life.

    Then my secondary senses started to develop, and my attitude changed somewhat. There are « things » in the universe that do not conform to the identifiers limited by our five primary senses. I don’t have words for them. They just are. Some people might call them angels, I suppose. Or ghosts. Or spirits. Or whatever. Written and spoken language is ‘way too limited for the describing of them.

    « …something out there that we don’t understand. »

    Out there? I would have said in there.

    And she’s right.

  4. 4
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    15 years ago I was driving south on Decarie and stopped at a gas station at the corner of Van Horne on the north east corner, I think it was, to make a phone call at a phone booth. It was winter time and it was at the tail end of a snow storm. The phone booth’s doors faced immediately out onto the sidewalk. After I hung up the phone, I turned to exit the booth and just as I was about to go out the doors I felt two hands — one on each of my shoulders — physically holding me back. Just at that moment one of those mini snow plows — you know, the kind made to push snow off the sidewalks that are about the size of golfcarts — whizzed right by. Because of the noise of the cars on the Decarie Expressway which was in close proximity, I couldn’t hear its approach. Had I stepped out when I intended to, I would have either been killed or maimed for life.
    Do I believe in Guardian Angels, you ask?
    Belief has nothing to do with it.

  5. 5


    Are you a reader of Richard Kearney?

  6. 6
    Cate McB Says:

    Yes, absolutely!!! I love his stuff, especially since he was a student of the late great French philosopher Paul Ricoeur! And I think that « Strangers, Gods & Monsters » is one of Kearney’s best and certainly, one of his most thought-provoking books.

  7. 7
    Alex Thomas Says:

    If you take a basketball, and place it at one end of a football field, and take a grape, and place it at the other end, you get a rough idea of the proportions of a hydrogen atom. Now, consider all that empty space between the basketball (the nucleus) and the grape (the electron). If you think about it, the biggest proportion of all « solid matter » is…empty space. Or is it empty? Might it not be filled with something we could call…Consciousness? Yeah, yeah I hear ya…what has all this got to do with angels?
    Well, we can’t see them, or hear them, or feel them…or does that depend on what you mean by « see », « hear » or « feel »? For all we know, angels just might be part of that great empty space, a Universal Consciousness, the light side of the Force, maybe?
    Angels may be nothing more (or nothing less) than specific manifestations of humanity’s capacity for compassion. Demons could be the dark side, our capacity for cruelty and violence.
    My name is Alex Thomas. Only The Shadow Knows!

  8. 8


    I haven’t yet read much of Kearney, though not for lack of desire. Ricoeur is easily my favorite philosopher. I’ll make it a new year’s resolution to read a few of Kearney’s books, Strangers, God, and Monsters included.

    Any other recommendations for which of his works to put at the top of my reading list?

  9. 9
    Cate McB Says:

    It all depends on your interests and where you’re coming from.
    I did my doctoral thesis on Ricoeur’s work, but I came to it with a background in both philosophy & theology, and a particular focus on ethics. So I have always found the dialogue between Ricoeur and Kearney extremely interesting and Kearney has given me new insights re: Ricoeur’s work that I would not have had otherwise.

    On that basis, after « Strangers, Gods & Monsters: Interpreting Otherness, » I would recommend – not necessarily in this order:

    Kearney’s, « On Stories (Thinking in Action) »; « The God Who May Be: A Hermeneutics of Religion »; « Questioning Ethics: Debates in Contemporary Continental Philosophy » and Kearney’s book on Ricoeur:
    « On Paul Ricoeur: The Owl of Minerva (Transcending Boundaries in Philosophy and Theolgy). »


  10. 10
    Peter LeBlanc Says:

    Alex, you might have the book « The Physics of Angels » by Theologian Matthew Fox Phd., and Biologist Rupert Sheldrake. The Biologist proposes this. He argues the sun is conscious. « If the sun is conscious, then why not other stars too? All the stars may have mental activity, life, and intelligence associated with them. And this of course is what was believed in the past, that the stars are the seat of intelligence, and these intelligences are Angels. »

    My interest is in the speed of which Angels travel faster than the speed of light. We can see how our Guardian Angels will help us travel through space when we reach our potential « We are capable of The Universe ».

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