A paranormal investigation is a very unpredictable beast. While you may have a plan of what you want to do, the nature of things always seems to skew in a very different direction to what you have intended. Sometimes you could be sitting around all night with absolutely nothing happening. Other times, as soon as you open the door it seems like things are happening all around you. You always need to be prepared. A lot of people walk into an investigation with things like digital recorders and video cameras to be able to document the things that are happening. Why is it though, whenever something amazing happens, it never seems to be caught on camera? If we do catch something on camera, if we aren't there in person, it is not accepted.
We live in the age of social media. Our lives are documented on Facebook. If there isn’t a photo of you standing out the front of a location, how can you prove you were there? If I go silent on Facebook for a few days, people think I am not out doing anything because I am not posting about it on Facebook. It is actually possible to go to dinner or even go to the gym without a selfie (especially for me because I don't go to the gym). A picture though is not enough. It is just a moment in time. I can tell someone about the most profound things that have happened to me during an investigation, but If they weren’t there to experience themselves, they cannot relate or necessarily fully believe it happened. I admit that I do it too. Someone will tell me of an experience and the investigator in me immediately starts to debunk things in my head. While I believe that they believe they experienced something, I wasn’t there myself so I cannot say for sure what they experienced was paranormal. For this very reason, no evidence captured on film will ever be definitive proof of the paranormal. It could be the best capture ever seen, but there will still be doubt. The thing is, we don’t trust people anymore.
When it comes to other people offering a commentary on our experience whether we have asked for it or not, once we have made up our mind, it becomes difficult for another person to accept an explanation that doesn't match what they believe. We see it happen all the time on social media. People have a strong emotional attachment to their 'evidence' of the paranormal for example. They can become defensive and even aggressive when you debunk an experience. If you explain what causes a camera to photograph orbs for example, often they will take offence and say "but my house isn't dusty it can't be dust". They make excuses and will often keep seeking an opinion until they get one that aligns with their belief. On the other end again when you offer some truely interesting evidence to a skeptic, they may find a way to flaw and dismiss it, sometimes creating a story of rational sequences that seem even more unlikely than the fact that it could be something paranormal. In their mind, they are firm that they believe the paranormal doesn't exist and nothing will change that.
When you start to pull out facts and figures, hyperlinks and quotes, you are actually making the opponent feel even surer of his position than before you started the debate. As he matches your fervor, the same thing happens in your skull. The backfire effect pushes both of you deeper into your original beliefs.
Batteries die, hard drives fail, the shot is out of focus or out of frame or you may not have a video camera rolling. For whatever reason, it seems that when something possibly paranormal happens, we don’t capture it on film. Is this a coincidence or is there some sort of divine intervention here? Thinking a little bit spiritually here I guess, maybe we aren’t supposed to get all the answers. Maybe we aren’t supposed to capture a spirit on film. Maybe there is a reason beyond our control why we never seem to capture the amazing thing that happened in front of us. Some people believe that we are governed by the law of the universe. In these laws, we aren't supposed to know these things until we move on. Is there some divine reason or does it all come down to our perception and belief on what the paranormal actually is?
What is normal to the spider is chaos to the fly
The paranormal has certainly become more acceptable over the years and if anything is more popular and mainstream than ever before. There is so much that happens in the world that is outside of normal. 2020 is a perfect example of that. So again, maybe our definition of the words paranormal and normal needs to change. Maybe we need to accept the fact that weird stuff happens. Maybe we aren't supposed to understand it? Is that why after all these years we don't have any definitive answers? I do tend to wonder sometimes if it is something we just are not supposed to know until the time comes that we are ourselves meet our fate. Many people would question their God and ask a question such a "What is the meaning of life?". There is no definite answer here and when there is, it is based on a person's opinions and own experiences much like a person's views on the paranormal. Many say they only truely know the answer to this question when they reach the end of their life. Maybe this is another way that the paranormal is similar to religion?
One day maybe as a society we may finally acknowledge what many have known within themselves for a long time, the paranormal is really just a normal part of our everyday life in some way shape or form.
I am sure many of you can resonate on different levels with the above cycle. Whether you have gone through it yourself or you witness it happen, it is the human process we go through in order to normalize something. Again we are brought back to this word .... normal.
Is the paranormal really just normal for those who accept it?
Perception is how our brain translates the things that we see and feel. It is subject to our own interpretation of a situation. People often confuse perception with that of reality. Reality is things as they really are. Our belief systems, our education, our past experiences and just who we are as a person shape how we perceive things. When it comes to the paranormal field, beliefs have a massive influence on how we perceive a situation. For example, if someone doesn't believe in ghosts and something strange happens in their house, they are more likely to blame it on some sort of natural phenomena. Someone however who is very much into the spirit world may have the exact same experience, and their perception is that it is something paranormal. So who is right?
How reality appears to us depends on what kind of glasses we view the world in. The exact same thing can happen to 2 people in a room, yet they can both walk away with a completely different perception of what has happened. To them, their perception of the situation is their reality and in their mind, they are both right. The challenge in any situation is to separate perception from reality. While you may ask a 3rd party to decide this, again you are potentially being influenced by their own perception of what has happened. When everyone thinks so differently, how the hell are we supposed to know what the actual reality is? What actually happened?
There are things known and things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.
We are never going to fully agree on what is and isn't paranormal, maybe that is the point! What is paranormal to one person is completely normal to another. A grainy photo to one person is excellent evidence of the paranormal to another. Even if we can explain something with a natural explanation, why does our brain interpret it the way it does? It is what we need at the time?
I suppose the question we need to ask ourselves is, who exactly are we trying to prove it to?
I am going to finish the article with a quote from the movie signs because it really sums up the difference in the way people think and perceives the World which is ultimately how we experience the paranormal. If there is half a glass of water, is it half empty or is it half full? I think this goes far beyond the concept of a skeptic or a believer. It is how we ourselves are 'wired'. The way we are raised, the experiences we have, the company we keep, the books we read all the way down to the foods we eat and lifestyles we lead play their part. How you view the world will ultimately affect the way you perceive the paranormal.
People break down into two groups. When they experience something lucky, group number one sees it as more than luck, more than coincidence. They see it as a sign, evidence, that there is someone up there, watching out for them. Group number two sees it as just pure luck. Just a happy turn of chance. I'm sure the people in group number two are looking at those fourteen lights in a very suspicious way. For them, the situation is a fifty-fifty. Could be bad, could be good. But deep down, they feel that whatever happens, they're on their own. And that fills them with fear. Yeah, there are those people. But there's a whole lot of people in group number one. When they see those fourteen lights, they're looking at a miracle. And deep down, they feel that whatever's going to happen, there will be someone there to help them. And that fills them with hope. See what you have to ask yourself is what kind of person are you? Are you the kind that sees signs, that sees miracles? Or do you believe that people just get lucky? Or, look at the question this way: Is it possible that there are no coincidences?
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