It is another hot, humid day here in the northeast and temps will reach into the low 90’s and feel like the low 100’s. As it is, this aggravation will most likely make this post a bit fired up. I don’t mind hot, I don’t like humid…and we need rain, yesterday. So, I know I am not the only one who sees some of this crap go on and after something irritates me for long enough, I finally say something.
For the last several years I have been reading the writings of my friends and fellow paranormal investigators and have found some highly curious and intelligent people. People whom I gladly subscribe to because I know I’m going to find interesting ideas, theories and even some laughs. Some of these people seem to have become targets for haters: people who take a crack at anything posted whether it be blogs, pics, video, EVP…in short, potential paranormal evidence.
All I can say to these haters is I think your time would be better spent i-n-v-e-s-t-i-g-a-t-i-n-g and r-e-s-e-a-r-c-h-i-n-g rather than sitting at your computer shooting darts at somebody. I realize to put your words, your thoughts, your evidence- on the internet, is to open yourself to criticism and I have no problem with it provided the critic has a little respect. If you must be critical of another investigator’s evidence, do so politely and with tact, please do not be rude or hateful. We should be learning together not having turf or gang wars.
For you serious investigators and empathic souls out there, watch your mental state! There is sometimes quite enough psychic overload in the field we have chosen without wasting energy on un-called for drama. The worst thing you can do is respond to people who seem to be out to get you. It’s like rewarding a disobedient child, you give them permission to do it again because they know it will get them attention. Don’t worry about these kind of people ruining your reputation, your morals and intelligence will shine through and so will their lack of it.
As we all know, opinions are like a#%holes, we all have one. And I won’t dismiss anyone’s opinion even if it comes from an a#%hole, but please people, don’t tolerate abuse. We are here to teach and to support one another, not to thrash and bash. The internet is sick with “ghost hunters” and you must use your common sense and don’t respond to anger with anger. Ignore them or delete them but don’t encourage them.
If you are serious about investigating the paranormal and do more than sit on your ass and blaze people, I admire you! We can learn from eachother and keep our mental state as clear as possible of negative energy. I did not write this post to target any one person or persons…you know who you are.
I have read a bunch of books on the paranormal over my lifetime and expect to read many more. I plan to do more book reviews in the future but I wanted to break the ice with something great, a book that was top shelf , so to speak. With that in mind, I was compelled to choose these two wonderful books by a fellow blogger and new friend, Randall Keller. Voices From Forever is about one man’s journey into electronic voice phenomena. Not since I read Sarah Estep’s Voices Of Eternity several years ago, have I been so inspired by one person’s quest into the unknown dynamics of the voices. Randall Keller is open, honest and very real in his experience and wisdom concerning E.V.P. When you pick this book up you will not want to put it down until you’ve read the last page…and then you’ll wish it hadn’t ended.
But…it hasn’t! Mr. Keller’s second book, There Is No Silence is a continuance of his incredible journey into the world of spirit voices. This book is just as intriguing as the previous book if not more so. Mr. Keller does not presume to know it all and that is refreshing but I have to say I agree with his insights for the most part. His is a voice of experience and rings as true to me as anything I’ve read on the subject of spirit voices. I highly recommend you buy both of these books. They are not just for those of you who love E.V.P. but for all paranormal researchers and to all of you who want to experience the voice of truth.
Find out more about Randall Keller and his work at http://www.randallkeller.com/ where you can hear his collection of E.V.P., listen to The Voices Podcast, purchase these awesome books and more. For more on this field of study you won’t want to miss his blog here at http://thevoicesblog.wordpress.com/.
Here it is. I am curious to know what happened to you that created such a profound interest in the paranormal. And with that, I’ll tell you why I’m here doing what I do.
Now, I’m not going to go into the very early years and the dreams and imaginary friend but am skipping to my first true paranormal experience several years ago when I was a teenager.
My father had very recently died of a massive heart attack at the tender age of 42. He had been a coal miner all of his adult life and died suddenly one night coming out of the mines. It was so sudden and threw me and my mom into a tailspin (understatement). Shortly after this, me, my mom and my fiance were relaxing and talking one evening and heard my dad on the back porch. He often came home from work and stomped his mining boots off on the back porch before he entered. This night you could here this and him scratching at the door like he was trying to get his key in the lock. This happened about every 15 minutes for an hour. There was snow on and we repeatedly checked the steps and there was no disturbance in the snow.
I don’t believe this was residual as it only happened this one night. Our happy life was bumping along just fine and he died suddenly. I feel that my father just didn’t realize he was physically dead yet. He was never much of a believer in the paranormal and scoffed at a lot of what we, as researchers, accept as fact. There were a couple more experiences involving my father, with me and my mother, but I said FIRST paranormal experience so I’ll stop here. I have had many experiences in many different situations since and just cannot resist trying to learn as much as I can about what we are, at the present, calling paranormal.
Join me now in recalling what got you started in this fascinating field of study. Understanding what brought us to this point may help us understand where we are going. I realize some of you may not be comfortable telling your story but your comments are certainly welcome.
In my search of the internet for informative paranormal related articles and theories, I’ve stumbled across several of these “you know you’re a ghost hunter when…” posts. Here is just a small list of my favorites plus a couple of my own thrown in. Check them out and see if you can add to the list. ;D
* You sleep with a camera on your nightstand…just in case.
* You are more afraid of the living than you are the dead.
* You talk to a brown out.
* You look at old/all pics for ghostly images.
* Most of the bookmarks on your favorites list is paranormal related.
* You take pictures of your reunion and ask any deceased relatives to join in.
* You have more recordings of EVP than you do of your favorite music.
* You’re the only one who takes a voice recorder to a funeral.
* You get pumped over “bad” pictures.
* Your coolest ghost pic is framed and hanging in the hallway with your family photos.
* You actually like old mental institutions and prisons.
*You don’t go anywhere without your voice recorder.
* 95% of the books in your bookcase are paranormal related.
* You want unseen things to touch you.
* You get a new camera and the first thing you do is take off the strap.
* You have a shoebox full of “dead” batteries.
* Your kid says they have an imaginary friend…and out come the cameras, voice recorders, camcorders, etc.
* Better than half of your friends on facebook are involved in the paranormal field.
*You’re watching a scary movie with your family and someone asks “Can ghosts really do that?” and you have an answer and an explanation.
* You agree with most of this list.
I admit it…I am guilty of quite a few of these 😉
What does belief and intent have to do with pattern recognition? Well, first a couple of odd words: Pareidolia and Apophenia. Both, in broad definition, essentially mean that when you see shapes in clouds or hear voices in traffic passing by (this doppler effect happens as sound waves are compressed in front of the car (high pitched) and stretched behind the car (low pitched) or see faces in dust orbs, your brain is seeking to make something recognizable out of the chaotic. One short definition I found for the latter is: unmotivated seeing of connections.
The “Lanier Effect” has to be credited to George Foy who wrote the great sci-fi thriller novel “The Shift”. Now, Jaron Lanier is the pioneer of virtual reality and coined the term. In the book the Lanier Effect refers to a time shift lag in a virtual reality program. It is a trick of perception where the brain fills in the spaces where the program is not keeping up.
The brain knows what’s up and gives you what you believe in. And that is where belief and intent come into the picture.
Take the Oiuja board, tarot, automatic writing, dowsing; any of the diviniatory arts are based on intent. The board, the cards, the pendulum are simply tools to focus the intent of the person or medium using them. By the way, I believe we are all mediums in the sense that all sensory and extrasensory perception exists because of the human condition. So if you have a long standing belief in ghosts and you go to a location that has been reported as haunted intending to experience paranormal activity then you probably will. That banging is a water pipe, the light flickering is a loose bulb, the black apparition is the oak tree outside casting a shadow. But you intended to find a ghost and you believe they are there so despite zero evidence to the contrary you think maybe the spirits were just hiding. If you are listening to an EVP recording with the intent of finding voices something certainly will pop out at you and you will understand what it says even if no one else can. If you intend to see a face in an orb photo that has been blown up and pixilated out, then you will.
To try and put this in a human consciousness light, each and every one of us creates to some large extent our own reality. As such each sees or hears what is left after applying their personal filters and blinders. Naturally then not everyone who sees a rose will see beauty or think that gasoline smells terrible. Not everyone will relax to the sound of the rain and thunder or like the taste of chocolate cake. Once you run the input coming into your five regular senses then through your belief system and ego, the stimuli becomes unique to you alone. Five people riding in an elevator are experiencing five different realities.
And much if not all of our personal reality depends on what we want to see, hear, feel, etc. Intent. This from our beliefs and world view. But it can get complicated from there because some of these beliefs are probably not even your own. They may be your parents or teachers beliefs and you just accepted them as your reality. Say your parents spanked you when you were a child as a disciplinary action. You grew up and had children of your own and believed that this was the only way to control them despite what others may say or even a feeling within you telling you it is wrong. Your parent’s belief, not yours. Perhaps people alway told you the boogie man was just your imagination and there are no such things as ghosts. Thirty years later you are still skeptical of all things paranormal. Maybe you still hang on to family religious beliefs even though they have lost their luster for you.
I think elementary teachers along with parents have the greatest impact on children’s perceptions of the world around them. Very young children seem more receptive to true paranormal experiences as they do not have a solid belief system in place and their every intention is pure and spontaneous. Children are impressionable and beliefs taught as facts can certainly distort their reality. So before you were old enough to start middle school, already your perceptions are distorting because of other peoples ideologies.
Try examining some of the things you believe in and I’ll bet you come up with a bunch of stuff that you can’t even remember where you got it from. Beliefs you’ve never examined or tested against yourself because you just assumed they were true. Investigate those beliefs with the intention of dumping the ones that don’t hold water with you. You will clear up your personal reality and get rid of hang-ups.
Now you can look at paranormal activity much more objectively when trying to determine whether it is true activity or if something in our physical world is causing the disturbance. But the human mind is capable of much trickery so you need to be on your toes when investigating the unkown and going over evidence. Your mind WILL try to compensate for what it does not understand.
The brain is still the best computer out there, but like all computers, are outstanding at some tasks and damnably slow at processing others. And with that in mind, so to speak, can we train ourselves to recognize when our brain compensates or over-compensates for stimulus it has never encountered before? When it fills in the spaces, the pixels, the sound waves as a result of our intent and belief in the situation? Pretty easy to find a ghost if you really want to find a ghost. And the intent of most ghost hunters is to find a ghost.
Each one of us has a unique brain “program” or virtual reality system that accounts for why some people “see” and some don’t. But the operating system must be the same for there are accounts to numerous to list of hauntings and ghosts. I for one have seen and heard and experienced enough to make me a believer while letting the skeptic in me do the research and evidence review.
(End note) During the first thought processes of this article I was doing an EVP recording where I was explaining to our friends on the other side what I was trying to get across in this article and got an outstanding Class A of one word, “Commission” in a loud male whisper. I didn’t take this to mean getting paid for the writing. After looking up some definitions I felt that it more meant: responsibility or charge, assignment, authority granted for a particular action or function, authority to act as agent for another or others, the power thus granted. I don’t know who this wonderful entity was but he strengthened my belief in the miracle of the other side and renewed my passion for life here on the Earth plane.
Dear family, friends and foes,
I write this letter to those of you who have passed on to another plane of existence. I wish to express my gratitude and respect on behalf of the thousands of paranormal investigators and ghost hunters around the world. After many years of research, we still don’t really know why we can see and hear you sometimes and not at others.
I ask that you forgive our errors in learning about your existence. Whether you are earthbound or have moved on to the great beyond, please remember the limitations of physical existence. There are many of us here truly trying to understand and communicate with you. We are letting others know what we are finding out so that they don’t have to be afraid of you.
I want everyone here on the earth plane to remember and understand that you are human beings, have been and always will be. Our perceptions are limited again by physical laws and when you seemingly pop out of nowhere, we are startled. But if we were not afraid of you when you were in body, why should we be afraid of you now? I suppose if you were violent in body, you are probably not someone I want hanging out in my basement, attic, bedroom, etc.
But I know you wouldn’t be making the effort to communicate with us if you didn’t want us to understand that our soul or consciousness lives on after physical death. You wouldn’t communicate unless you wanted us to know what happened to you and to maybe help you with our, still as yet, limited resources.
I wish to apologize for those who try to provoke you into making your presence known by insulting you and invading your personal belongings. It is just that they want to capture evidence of your existence and since we have to deal with time issues, angering or upsetting you seems to work at times. It is not a good excuse but it is the only one we have.
I want to express my sadness for those of you who seem to remain stuck here on the earthly plane, unwilling or unable to move on. There is greater spiritual development waiting for you and you need not remain here, stuck in the past. Go home now and find your family and friends who passed before and after you. Find peace.
In closing, I again want to extend the utmost respect to you from all the investigators who are serious about finding out how it all works. Although we may appear to be nuts, (stumbling around in the dark, talking to the walls, etc.) to others and maybe even to you, we persevere in our quest for greater understanding.
If there is anything we can do or should be doing to make the communications easier, please try to let us know in the best way you can. I, for one, will continue my research and will be watching and listening closely for any sign of your presence.
Diane M. Goff