Prepared by Julieta Sanchez & Jose Morones for Capstone Seminar at St. Mary’s University, Department of Theology

Second Half of Presentation On Ghosts

Indigenous Sacred Ways (PDF)

Indigenous people have a distinctive type of spiritual specialist. These mystical intermediaries help their society by using their gift for the well being of others. They are healers and some are “thought to have gifts such as being able to talk with plants and animals, control the weather, see and communicate with the spirit world, and prophesy” (51). It is also expected that they become familiar with death and learn spiritual techniques. The spirits have to accept the mystical intermediaries and teach them themselves, if they are not accepted by the spirits then the shama is not able to carry out the role.

Sixth Sense (The Movie)

The Sixth Sense is a movie that tells the story of a boy by the name of Cole Sear who is able to see and talk to ghosts or “the dead”. A child psychologist, Malcolm Crowe, begins to meet with the boy and attempts to help his problem. As Cole begins to trust Malcolm he reveals his secret to him and Malcolm makes connections with a previous case he had treated. Malcolm is able to help Cole accept his reality and respond to it in an effective way. How can one learn to live with ghosts? Are ghost actually real and if they are is there anything that can make them disappear?

Important scenes from the movie:

  1. 29:41-30:30 Cole’s mother is cleaning around the house and notices there is a white glare in every picture she has of her son
  2. 50:10-51:30 Cole reveals his secret to Malcolm and explains to him that he sees dead people
  3. 54:17-56:10 Cole’s mom feels a coldness and the temperature decreases
  4. 57:50-59:25 Malcolm and Cole are at Cole’s school and Cole sees three hanging people in the stairwell
  5. 1:13:45-1:14:10 Malcolm asks Cole to think about why he sees ghosts and what it is that they might want from him
  6. 1:32:00-1:36:00 Cole and his mom are stuck in traffic because of an accident. Cole reveals his secret to his mom and communicates a special message from his grandma to her
  7. 1:36:30-1:42:10 Malcolm realizes that he himself is one of the “dead” and everything begins to make sense to him.

C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce (PDF)

(Assigned portion. Read Chapters 7, 8, 9 & 10; or pages 18-33 on pdf)

The Great Divorce, is a theological dream vision that offers reflections about the Christian conceptions of Heaven and Hell.

  1. Mystical intermediaries are said to have the ability to enter parallel spiritual realities in order to gain knowledge and power from the spirits, how might this be possible without their earthly body getting stuck on the other side?
  2. Could ghosts be a reality that we have created for ourselves as a coping mechanism to deal with the concept of death? In the Sixth Sense we see that people feel cold when a ghost is around. If hell is a burning fire then why might a person feel cold in the presence of an “evil” or “good” spirit?
  3. Is there a difference between ghosts and souls? At the end of Sixth Sense when Malcolm realizes he is a ghost he is able to move on, was this because of his personal realization of his ghostly status or because he took care of the “unfinished business” he had on earth?
  4. What is the strong force that keeps ghosts holding on to the earthly instead of focusing on the heavenly?
  5. In chapter ten of The Great Divorce we learn that ghosts of hell get a glimpse of what heaven is, how does this compare to the idea that those in hell are stuck there forever?
  6. In the Great Divorce we learn that all souls in heaven are “equal” how does this compare to the after-life we see in the movie Coco? How is this similar to other eschatologies we have studied in which death is the great equalizer?