Holy Stone

So how much can actually be said about the paranormal that we don’t already know? Have there been any recent developments that have turned the field upside down? I could have missed it – there was that vacation in August; various other lost weekends and all that tv binge-watching. I think things have pretty much stayed the same though. If someone had suddenly discovered that spirits were made of peanut butter, I think that would have filtered down to me by now. Simply put, there’s nothing new.

Regardless, we still have to swallow countless paranormal blogs, podcasts, books, tv shows, radio shows… All of them about nothing new. There’s a bunch of this stuff, and I’m guilty on a number of fronts. Me, myself, and I are responsible for two books, 70 podcasts, and over 100 blog entries. And that’s not even all of it. Good grief! When am I gonna shut up? Reminds me of one day in middle school (back during the Dirt Wars) when my personal pontificating was met with an abrupt “no one cares what you think, Keller.” Well, my feelings were hurt, but I didn’t believe it then, and I still don’t. I expect to continue spouting off about all things paranormal until my head spins completely around, or my skin turns green and scaly. In fact, I plan on doing research when I reach the other side.

But I am only one small, insignificant sliver of the paranormal overload we’re exposed to every day. Imagine if you added together the output of only the people like me. That’s a whole lot of sharing, But even if we were exposed to all of it, we still wouldn’t find anything new. Oh, there’s tons of ideas, and fresh theories come and go with the ectoplasm, but nothing provable; nothing irrefutable and completely conclusive. You know, just because it’s new to us doesn’t mean the rest of the world hasn’t yawned about it for decades.

If there was some honestly unprecedented discovery; some new truth, it would have to be accompanied by scientific approval – white papers, test results, indisputable and highly documented evidence, not to mention testimonials from all across the scholarly landscape. There’d be newspaper headlines. The talking heads would make certain that everyone understood the real impact inflicted on all facets of life. Historians would be forced to rewrite the books. Organized religion would explode. The ramifications of paranormal verity would be staggering because our concept of who and what we are would change overnight. Culture shock? How about world-wide identity shock!

Just look at EVP for a second. We can’t even get a general scientific consensus that they exist. Of course you and I are convinced – it’s like breathing air to us. EVP are probably the most golden paranormal fact of life for us, but significant portions of the scientific community don’t even believe we are hearing words at all. If you ask me, EVP are as true as blue skies on a sunny day. Forget who is speaking, from where they speak, how they do it, or why – the fact that EVP exist; that we hear voices speaking, is chiseled in holy stone. But then, “no one cares what we think” do they? What do we actually know? What can we prove?

I’m afraid the paranormal is one gigantic unsolvable quandary – a kind of esoteric singularity of sorts, so I guess we’ve got our work cut out for us. No sense in giving up now. No need to throw our arms up in frustration, or storm out in anger. We just have to get busier; insist on being more conscientious; apply even more creativity. Of course it won’t be easy, and we’ll probably die trying with no more to show for our effort and dedication than tired feet and a box of worthless gizmos in the basement. But what the heck! What you gonna do with all that free time anyway, right? There may not be anything new in the paranormal today, but there’s always tomorrow.
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Also visit Voices Unplugged at http://voicesblogunplugged.wordpress.com/
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Voices From Forever by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/ZBBmj Available on Amazon
There Is No Silence by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/U6KY7 Available on Amazon.

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Help!

A few years ago, I watched a young woman on tv discuss a rather harrowing personal experience with a spirit she believed to be her deceased former boyfriend. He was an especially horrific young man who beat her and frequently promised to “destroy her,” so regrettably, the only defense she could fathom was to spill his blood while he slept. There was a trial, and remarkably, the young lady emerged a free woman after little more than five years, only to face her tormentor’s ghost on an almost daily basis. I watched as “informed others” suggested it was the onus of murder that haunted her, and that only intense therapy could free such deeply rooted guilt. Still others suggested more time in prayer, Sunday Mass, or the fruitful service of others. I watched, with the millions, as her face broke down. The strain from this new life sentence of daily spiritual battle ripped at her being; persecution from beyond life itself. It was all too much to bear, and she sobbed. She gave in and was defeated.

This is not a particularly common tale, but it is one that touched me significantly, and I clearly remember promising that should I find myself face to face with someone like her, I would be there to help first and ask questions later. I would try somehow to be the difference, even if only by lending an understanding ear or a comforting shoulder. And then time passed and I forgot about her; about all of it, until very early this morning.

Unable to sleep, cigarette in hand, I found myself staring into the 4:00 a.m. freezing blackness of my yard – listening intently as something or someone moved slowly through the leaves closer and closer to my back steps. A fox, perhaps, or a deer? Unfortunately, my senses could only decipher that menacing sound and with it, the certain knowledge something was inching its way ever nearer. I decided this foe in the dark was a man – possibly a vagrant, or worse, some wandering specter of the night. I listened to it reach the bottom of the stairs and stop – the sound of approaching calamity giving way to the beat of my heart, but when the bottom step creaked, I ran. Locking the door behind me, I caught a glimpse of my face in the glass, and saw the same sad trepidation I noticed in that young woman’s eyes so many years before. And I remembered.

The facts of life are difficult enough without facing certain horror from something unknown. For me, the locked door was protection enough – real or imagined, but I wondered how it went for her. I wondered if she still endured attack after relentless revenge-filled attack; whether she is still hopelessly resigned to a life of desperate fright.

It took only twenty-five minutes to find her obituary – she “took her own life” on what was probably a warm summer night, and no mention was made of why. Or how. Only of her crime and sentence; of her parole just three years earlier. She was survived by no one, and I imagine whatever mourning there had been was long since over. So easily forgotten. For a moment or two I just sat there. I could almost see her – trapped in that solitary life, her only companion the tortuous spirit and his unforgiving taunts.

This is my 100th post in The Voices Blog, and I had planned a light-hearted entry about a few of the things I have learned these past months. There was to be some special appreciation for those of you who stop by so frequently; for those who comment; for all who suffer each new attempt at humor or meaning. Some other day perhaps – there is always time for such things. This is, however, a “paranormal” blog, and should represent my personal attempt to make occasional sense of an infinite unknown, so it seems more fitting to tell the story of the young lady on tv instead. Who, in spite of the disintegration of self, was somehow eloquent enough to touch my heart so elegantly. But someone should have helped her.

I am once again reminded of the promise I made that day in front of the tv. It is a good oath to take for those of us who do this work, and I hope I never forget it. I need to be reminded that sometimes things can go very very wrong, and when they do, real people are often in the way. And also, that the smallest choices in life are often prelude to the most difficult challenges, especially if no one is there to help. Help is, after all, the true calling of paranormal investigation. And in spite of all the electro-magnetic forces, infrared cameras, full-spectrum, EVP, and whatever else you can think of, nothing matters if the offer of help is missing.

That’s how I see it. You may disagree, and I accept and respect that. But I ask you… If not to help, then what?
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Also visit Voices Unplugged at http://voicesblogunplugged.wordpress.com/
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Voices From Forever by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/ZBBmj Available on Amazon
There Is No Silence by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/U6KY7 Available on Amazon.

Ninjas Are Real!

From time to time I read or hear something that just makes me crazy. It makes me want to foam at the mouth, chew the carpet, spit fireballs, and do a Wile E. Coyote right off the cliff. But most of these troubling items are political or religious in nature, and definitely not fodder for this venue – especially since this is supposed to be a paranormal blog.

However, my sensibilities were irreparably harassed while reading some comments about food stamps on that bastion of credible reasonability we affectionately refer to as Facebook. I knew that reading the comment was not wise, but I like the young lady in question, and before I knew it, I was engaged. Even being totally aware that the average “Facebook political pundit” is less informed than my dog Oliver, I indeed took the bait further to hazard a comment. I thought I could state a fact – not an opinion; a fact, and that others might reconsider their extreme point of view. I sorta knew what would really happen. I promised myself not to follow up and to allow the jackals to tear at my silent carcass with as much vim and vigor as their semi-sentient minds could muster. They went for the throat first.

Sometimes, presenting something factual is tantamount to strapping raw meat on your body at a lion convention. It was brutal. Acceptable facts are in high demand these days because so many of us refuse to believe them. People believe whatever propaganda matches their level of anger – regardless of accuracy or common sense. (There’s actually a name for this condition, but I can’t for the life of me remember what it is.) Anyway, without wasting any more time, here is a list of ten things I wish were true, but alas, are not. And please feel free to let me know which ones you’re going to accept regardless. Why not join the club, right? I mean… Everybody’s doing it!

1. Food stamps are no longer necessary. Everyone has a good-paying job, all the starving children are well-fed, and God himself is now in charge.
2. Cancer is cured by eating free vanilla bean cheesecake. Add any fruit topping to prevent Shingles.
3. Ninjas are real. Swear to God!
4. Fox News and Wikipedia have formed a new network called WikiFox promising to take accuracy and credibility to a new level.
5. Homophobic thugs and bullies across America were only kidding. Oh, you guys!
6. Health insurance has been replaced with unlimited free money for life.
7. There’s no such place as Bengazi, so we can all relax now.
8. All free-floating phantasms have been given amnesty, upgraded to ghost status and given green cards. (See, this really is a paranormal blog.)
9. Enemies of the State are not right-wing extremists, but a metal thrash band from the Jersey Shore.
10. Obesity has been replaced as the national pastime by the milk of human kindness, and an unquenchable hunger to love thy neighbor.

I know. Lame, right? But I think my facts make about as much sense as anybody else’s. If I had known it was okay to make stuff up all these years, I wouldn’t have spent so much time looking for the truth! Think of all the tests I’d have aced; all the Little League games I’d have won; all the sorrow I could have avoided. What good is the truth if all it’s gonna do is prove you wrong, right?
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Also visit Voices Unplugged at http://voicesblogunplugged.wordpress.com/
______________________________________________________________________
Voices From Forever by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/ZBBmj Available on Amazon
There Is No Silence by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/U6KY7 Available on Amazon.