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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It’s a Calling

We all have things that keep us busy. Sometimes I cringe when the phone rings or groan when my message alert goes off. “I have too much to do for this nonsense!” But I absolutely adore “the call” for an upcoming investigation. I don’t know why exactly, because paranormal investigations are a lot of work. For me, that usually means an excess of 6 hours of video to watch, 3 hours of audio, assorted digital photos, Spirit Box recordings, and time lapse images. Reviewing all of these is definitely a task, and it eats away at my time-starved days, not to mention the incredible boredom built into the process.

So, then why do I love it? It’s not because my life is empty; I don’t need friends – I have children. I don’t lack intellectual stimulation, or crave new ways to occupy all the spare time I don’t have. There is precious little enjoyment watching hour after hour of static video, so the anticipation of seeing a ghost must keep me going, right? Nah. Been there, done that. So why do I drop everything and run off into the dark with a handful of equally insane people, lugging suitcases and camera bags, bottles of warm water, and enough cigarettes to kill me on the spot? Is boring the new fun?

This is a calling – that’s why. Just one of those things in life that I feel destined to do. Rain, shine, or ten feet of snow – I’ll be there if it’s at all humanly possible, and I won’t regret a single minute. It’s a calling. And not everyone who has tried paranormal investigation has been called. So, in case you were wondering whether you’re made of the right stuff, here are ten questions to ask yourself.

1. Are you concerned about missing the newest episode of Degrassi (or any TV show)?
2. Do you buy AAA batteries at the Dollar Store?
3. Do you see demons around every corner? (If so, go to church, and never come near a paranormal team.)
4. Can you differentiate between being “touched” and walking into a spider web?
5. You do realize spirits are the only ones allowed to whisper, right?
6. Do you still think EVP stands for electric voice people?
7. Did it take you six months to figure out that the ghost in your kitchen is the ice-maker?
8. Do you understand that the black shadow who follows you everywhere and who mimics your every move is actually you? (Hint: Don’t stand in front of light sources.)
9. Do you know what the words “personal hygiene” mean?
10. Are you one of those who thinks investigations require more of a party atmosphere – whenever possible?

Some of you may have additional questions, but these work for me. However, for those of us who feel this endeavor is actually a calling, there’s one permanent, universal necessity – behave like you’ve got some sense. That’s a little vague, I suppose, but if you think you’re prepared to handle paranormal investigation, common sense is the first prerequisite. I’ve met very few investigators I didn’t like, but I’ve met some who shouldn’t be there. Either way, if you’re called, you already know, regardless of where you buy those batteries.
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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.

Anybody’s Guess

We all have opinions. We have religious opinions, opinions about politics, about how to raise children, what constitutes the best diet, how much to drink, the coolest car… You name it, we tend to have an opinion about it. And one would hope these are educated opinions – substantiated by facts of some kind. Meryl Streep is the “best actress” because of all her awards, her box office success, and tons of critical acclaim. But other facts might suggest Cate Blanchette is the best, or Helen Mirren, or any number of others. When we’re smart, we filter our opinions through as many facts as we can, and temper the results with only a slight dose of personal feelings.

But things paranormal don’t flirt with things factual, so whatever we say about them is guesswork. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m as big a believer as there is. I’m completely convinced about almost all of it – I just don’t have facts or figures to quote in defense of my beliefs. In almost all cases, I’m guessing. I hear EVP easily enough, and I know how to determine whether what I’m hearing is explainable or not, but that’s the extent of it. The who, what, when, where, why and how of it all is anybody’s guess. So, when I tell you I’ve recorded the voice of Miss Lucy, there’s actually no way to know for sure. I’m just speculating, and you should know that. An unsupported opinion is a guess.

If you see an apparition, I certainly won’t doubt you, but conclusions drawn beyond the sighting itself aren’t facts. You may be logical, perfectly apply human nature, and adhere to every expert criteria there is, but any further deductions will never be anything more than guesses. In fact, if we’re honest with ourselves, the only actual facts we have are that the phenomena we record do truly exist. That’s all, and I know we think that’s adequate; that we can take our evidence to the whole world and proclaim our discovered realities far and wide, but it isn’t enough.

I completely understand why hardcore skeptics aren’t impressed. I wish they’d find a way to be more respectful; more open-minded, and I do wish they’d shut the hell up sometimes, but I get it. I really do. Still, the fact remains, almost every statement we make surrounding anything paranormal is a guess. It doesn’t even qualify as opinion.

This doesn’t bother me. That’s probably because I’ve always known that regardless of how smart I became, most things about life would exceed my intellect. Not that I’m stupid by human standards, but there’s just too much we don’t understand; too few facts to validate so many opinions. A Bob Dylan song says, “there’s something happening here, and you don’t know what it is…” No, I don’t, actually. I suspect you don’t either.

In “the paranormal” we guess, but how exciting to be at this place in history! To possibly be among those who just might guess well enough to discover something universally true… Imagine that! Of course, the problem with history is you never really know how it’s gonna turn out, and it kinda goes on forever. But history suggests that one day we’ll have answers. Maybe not for everything we question; maybe not answers we like, but answers enough to remove some of this guesswork, and season our thoughts with facts. I wanna be around for that. I’m guessing I won’t be.
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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.