A few weeks ago, my so-called ability with EVP was severely challenged by an old friend. He wondered why my evidence wasn’t more spectacularly convincing. He offered the opinion that if I expected to “make it in the paranormal game,” I should start getting better, more dramatic results. Game? This encounter has been on my mind.
Well, honestly, I always thought any bona fide paranormal result was spectacular; that even the most diminutive spirit voice was a pretty big deal. And as for his comment about making it in “the game,” I never thought that was part of the equation. I was kind of appalled. I literally got hot! Well, of course I try to sell books! If you have something to say, you want others to hear it, and I have a point of view I have always considered worth sharing. That might be wrong, but if one’s perspective can only be judged in terms of crass commercialism, then what’s the point?
I considered just giving up the whole thing. I really did. His remarks cut deep, and I figured I should just do my EVP thing as a hermit might – in solitude. God knows there’s no money in it anyway, and by his standards, I was evidently wasting my time. Not to mention, society at large thinks people like me are crackpots.
My friend is right about one thing though – I’m truly not very important in the paranormal field. I didn’t think I had to be, because it was a labor of love, ya know? I contemplated an inconspicuous exit – the equivalent of just slowly walking off into the midnight mist. But why? I don’t record EVP to gain notoriety. I talk and write about them because they seem valuable to me. So many different spirits have taken the bold step of speaking to me specifically, that I feel blessed by it, and so I embrace a very strong commitment to telling their story truthfully and with as much empathy as possible.
Sure I pay attention to how many copies I’ve sold – I’m not oblivious. And it’s only natural to be curious about how many people actually listen to the podcast or read this blog. But those are just numbers. If those numbers measure success, then I guess my friend’s implications are correct, but like I said, I have a point of view. There’s an evangelist inside of me somewhere who wants to spread the word. EVP are not like stumbling onto Mayan gold, or metal-detecting your way to a Rolex on the beach. You can’t buy shares in Apple with them, or turn them into dollars or sense. I’m not even certain what EVP are exactly, but I know they’re incredibly extraordinary and I’m positive I should be paying attention. Writing books about the things I’ve learned seems like a no-brainer, and frankly, I’ve even started to feel that some of these spirit voices are more than acquaintances.
I’m not entirely certain why my friend’s comment bothered me so. Maybe because this has always been like a quest for me, even though I never felt it was a quixotic one. I realize that it doesn’t matter how many EVP I record, or whether my conclusions are absolutely spot on; whether I receive more raised eyebrows today than yesterday. It’s inconsequential whether someone thinks I’m delusional or half-a-bubble-off-plumb. It doesn’t matter if I sell a million books on Amazon, or 17 at the strip mall (each with a free box of Girl Scout Cookies).
Well, what does matter then? It’s hard to say – I just know that something does. The work matters. And there are perks. I’ve learned more about myself than I could ever have without the voices. I’ve developed an unshakable conviction that the hereafter is real. I’ve learned that I’m never alone, even in my darkest moments. I’ve learned that we’re much more attached to eternity than we can completely comprehend.
And if there are others out there like me, I say “carry on.” With pride. Know that what you do is of tremendous value, and understand that you were chosen. Not chosen to be important or significant; not because you’re wonderful or even particularly bright. You’re not a guru or leader; wise or super-spiritual. You’re just someone who documents and professes an odd truth. You’re a weapon in the war of spiritual understanding, and you can’t quit – the other side needs you. It’s not a game. There has to be someone out there who realizes just how much the work matters. And it really should be someone who cares enough to share.