Two!

About a week ago, The Voices Blog quietly celebrated a birthday. It’s been two years since I wrote my first entry and waited pensively to see if anyone would read it. I think if you had asked me then how many people would still be paying attention two years later, I might have suggested it would be a terrible flop and that my singular follower would probably stop actually reading in a few weeks. Well, this blog won’t be breaking any records, but I’m grateful to have exceeded “one” of you, and I’m thrilled every time someone clicks “like.” Everyone wants to be liked, right?

I haven’t strayed too much from my original plans for the blog – once in awhile, maybe. No one is perfect, and sometimes the temptation is just too strong to resist, but I’ve only gone on one political rant. I count that as a major personal victory, because I surmise the rest of you aren’t here for the party polemics. I’ve also only talked about purely personal things a few times – my vacation, time management issues – stuff like that. I’ve tried to write about subjects that are important to me as they relate to the paranormal – to the art of investigation, or the wonder of EVP; perhaps a ghost story or two; occasional humor. I feel successful in that regard, so please, feel free not to burst the bubble with comments accentuating the obvious flaws in my self-analysis.

But after two years, I recognize there are subjects I haven’t touched on as yet that could possibly be of some value to others. Maybe. You probably realize that I’m about to share some of those with you now. So here are ten things I wanted to write about but for one reason or another, decided against. Keep in mind that I resisted the temptation and deserve points for doing so.

1. Why I believe a paranormal team without women is doomed and a stupid idea.
2. If one more medium tells me I am being followed by an Indian Guide, I’m gonna have them scalped. It’s always a Native American with a wolf and he’s very wise and… Sigh. Stop!
3. Is “the paranormal” just another religion?
4. TV ghost shows are not training manuals for good investigations.
5. Why I am convinced that Ouija boards (and similar practices) are dangerous – even if nothing happens.
6. Some Christians should stop abusing scripture as a means to their own selfish ends and refrain from calling themselves Christians altogether. Somewhere in their new name should be one of the following words: film-flam, malarky, hooey, bunkum, poppycock, drivel, or bull.
7. Science, religion, and paranormal research are just different points of view on the same subject. There should be more listening; less evangelizing.
8. Is there sex in the afterlife? Do spirits procreate?
9. What I really think of The Ghost Box and other advanced forms of TransCommunication.
10. Why we will never find the answers to any of our “paranormal” questions.

My list actually exceeds ten by quite a few. Maybe if you’re still reading after this, I’ll find the temerity to post about some of those, but these ten are off the table, thank God. I think the problem with blogs is that we assume other people care what we have to say, which is why I’ve tried so hard to police myself. So, I’m much obliged to those of you who have been so supportive these past two years. I hope you’ll keep coming around and that it’s not too punishing. You never know, I might just find the courage to tackle one of these taboo subjects someday – like those “new” Christians, or spirit propagation. Well, I’ll write something every 7 – 10 days regardless – I just hope it’s not boring or too typical. Thanks!
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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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Primrose Lane

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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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.