Return to the Will to Believe

This point about Mulder's pursuit of wacky marginalized ideas, of course, also returns us to Mulder's will to believe. And, again, he pursues these ideas—down in the basement bowels of the FBI, and in spite of all the ridicule of his colleagues—because deep down and on a personal level (because of losing his sister), he wants to believe. This is the motor driving Mulder beyond those merely overcoded and undercoded abductions (at which Scully is so adept), and into the wilder side of the imagination, where he can see other extraterrestrial worlds (and make novel and creative abductions). Indeed, Mulder knows what James knows: believing helps us to see what might otherwise be overlooked. Wanting to believe, or willing to believe, can grant us access to certain truths that otherwise may not appear so concretely (and may easily fall outside our paradigm). We must trust first, and then other truths can be discovered.

Examples abound throughout The X-Files. First, Mulder (immediately) believes in Clyde Bruckman's (Peter Boyle) psychic ability to tell when and how people are going to die ("Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose")—which leads him (and Scully) to solve a case. Second, Mulder believes it is possible that a genetic mutant consumes human livers, hibernates for years, and can squeeze into the smallest spaces—which allows Mulder to see the man's fingerprints, which look inhuman (completely stretched out) and are placed where no human could possibly travel, for instance, the inside of a small air vent. Third, he accepts without question the existence of the Moth Men, a species of humanity, perfectly adapted over hundreds of years to the Everglades ("Detour")—and this aids in their analysis of their situation. In each of these cases—and virtually every episode of The X-Files—Mulder's extreme will to believe provides him with many more hypotheses to select from to form his creative abductions, with a better explanation than the one Scully (and "normal science") comes up with—better because it explains more of the anomalies.

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