It as if the Guyana Police Force does not have enough trouble from human sources, including its own ones. Trainees are under siege and fearful before invasions of the mind-bending. But it goes beyond the physical manifestations, and cowering before the unknown.
In many respects, the supernatural visitations (“ghostlike figure” and “taken over”) reportedly experienced at the Felix Austin Police College, as well as the reactions (“running helter-skelter”), together are representative of a society bogged down in the swamps of superstition and unnatural fears.
It is ironic; untimely and unseemly, too. That a society in the bright lights and lightning speeds of the 21st century surrenders readily to the darkness and imagining many spine-tingling fears. Paralyzing fears. This is bigger than the occurrences at the training college. Too quickly, there is the readiness to sense the worst and settle for the worst. According to the media, there have been similar incidents in different locations around the country. On these occasions, the big city is the place. But such frightening incidents, for the most part, are more rural in origin and contagion. For the darker, less bustling, pristinely quaint locales are more susceptible to every manner of terrifying speculation and with a huge brigade – of the ready, knowing, and supporting – fueling the fires of fears.
There is ready admission, as reinforced by most religious belief systems, that there is darkness and light, with creatures of the unknown sometimes running amok. There had to be outside interventions: hopefully holy; necessarily unflinching. Thus, there must be those steadying and influencing hands, voices, and presences of men and women of a purer power called upon in numerous scriptural examples to step forward and overwhelm the forces of another world.
It is encouraging that senior police responded authoritatively to calm the agitations by reaching for men of the light. Hopefully some measure of tranquility and sanity returns early.
Yet this is troubling on another level. In an age of instantaneous and nonstop communications, of ever-increasing spheres of exposure, knowledge, and wisdom available at the flick of fingertip and gaze, there are still the many forms of superstitions that menace the minds of locals so easily, too fluidly. A cemetery is nearby and it has to be… A horrible accident occurred right there; therefore, it means that what is believed to have been seen, that brings chill and shivering, can only be of that spectral nature.
It is crippling. Not solely one person. Not around one place exclusively. Not at one time only. In the most mundane matters – be such of the heart, of work, of progress (or lack thereof) – there is that retarding, cast-iron conclusion: this is what it is.
It is the same sad story in the scientific and medical worlds: the ready, rushing retreat into the netherworld, and limp succumbing to the throes of the mysterious, the malignant, and the mentally maiming.
A citizen consults a doctor, irrefutable laboratory tests indicate that glucose numbers are off the charts. Amputation of extremity and limb threatened, and then effected. It matters for naught because somebody did something. Something dirty. Something devilish. Something destructive. It is where the forces of darkness and evil are summoned at will, and answer at will, to the machinations of men. Tradition mutated into the ironclad law of psychological irreversibility. It can only be that!
That is why workers resist removing their shoes. Somebody out there (or in here) is waiting to pounce to do something. The domain of the demonic delivering without fail; and which explains all the tribulations that terrorise.
From powerful politicians to ordinary people and many in between in this society, there is a reach for the underworld to solve the challenges of the real world. Looking to the light and believing in it are not the first or second options. Just have to be that way. Of forefathers; of frights; of fragile flesh. Does not have to be. Today, just should not.
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