Lately, I haven’t been commenting in much detail about the paranormal – I’ve been avoiding specifics as much as possible. I received a few emails from a listener of The Voices Podcast who suggested that those of us who share our research with “the public” are committing a great disservice. He suggested I was leading my listeners (and readers) down Primrose Lane; taking advantage of their vulnerability and the very human need to believe in something beyond the physical life.
At first, I just knew he was wrong, but then I began to think about it; really think about it, and I found myself shying away from the subject more than usual. I certainly don’t want to misrepresent anything – purposefully or not; don’t want to lead anyone in any direction, much less the wrong one. I despise people who use the paranormal to deceive or dishonestly profit at the expense of others, and I want no part of it. Period! And of course, I recognize that there’s more of that going on in the field than should be acceptable, so I have always tried my absolute best to be honest. I feel I succeed at that, but unfortunately, maybe not well enough. Certainly my letter-writing friend doesn’t think so, as he suggested my predilection for EVP is a negative and potentially harmful influence on those who might take it seriously.
Well, that woke me up. Take it seriously? Shucks, I’m one of those – I take it seriously. I was duly insulted and under normal circumstances I’d stridently mount a rousing defense, but his comments deserve consideration, and have therefore lingered with me since. The question arises as to whether anything suspected of paranormal origin should ever be investigated by anyone outside of a purely scientific or clinical background. After all, plumbers don’t diagnose an illness – we rely on medical science for that, where trained individuals make decisions based on facts and proven realities. We don’t allow the kid who delivers the pizza to set policy about our nuclear stockpile, or to negotiate treaties based on his “sense of things.”
There’s no Ph.D. in paranormal science; no established practicum for spirit communication. In fact, all we’ve got are a lot of folks like you and me, and I don’t know about you, but I’m just not sure of the final impact of my work. Am I a purveyor of false hope? Is every EVP I capture just one more exercise in sophistry? Is mankind better off knowing nothing until something can be proven? Since so much of what we do is based on an individual’s understanding of unsubstantiated theory, isn’t it possible we might offer no more than regurgitated folklore and potentially errant interpretations of ambiguous evidence?
I can deal with being wrong, because in the paranormal, most of us are, most of the time. But how does that help our clients? They assume we know what we’re doing; that we can identify their problem, and affect solutions. Can we? Or are we metaphorically firing in the dark in the hopes of hitting something – anything? And what is the collateral damage of our actions? I’ve seen the look in some client’s eyes – a kind of desperate hope that finally someone can help them, but is that what we’re doing?
I know that most of our hearts are in the right place; that the basis for our efforts come from a strong need to understand that which is unexplainable. But what if all the theories, ideas, and analytics are wrong? What if, out of thousands of possible answers, only those we’ve overlooked are accurate? Perhaps we’re unable to comprehend the truth, or too primitive to recognize it all around us. Good intentions or not, perhaps even our best efforts are doomed to become lies.
Personally, I think our need to believe in something beyond the physical life is at the core here, and if EVP give us the hope that existence can be everlasting, I don’t see a problem. If you object to that kind of hope; if you don’t want people to believe in an afterlife; if you think others should be quiet so that your point of view will prevail, then maybe you’re the problem – not me. But you almost had me there.
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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.