In what can sometimes be a very heated debate, it was of course inevitable that I would eventually write about the topic of provocation. To provoke or not to provoke? It seems to be the question a lot of investigators come across. Let’s look at both sides, and then I will tell you what I do because I do a bit of both. It’s all about picking your moments.
It’s nice to be nice. Simply put, we talk to people how we wish to be spoken to. It also comes down to an element of respect. If you were sitting a room and minding your own business and someone came bursting in aggressively yelling out at you ‘Are you here? Come at me! What are you going to do?’. How would you respond? Would you respond at all? It is also important to remember that you are assuming that you are talking to someone that once lived and has family members. Would you like to think that someone has come in abusing your sweet old granny? Not at all, that just seems disrespectful and in bad taste. Even though we can’t see them, we assume based on our different beliefs of the paranormal that we are dealing with spirits that were once people so we should treat them with respect and therefore not provoke.
In dealing with the paranormal, it isn’t all sunshine and roses. Most investigators are out at venues like prisons for example where the people that may still be hanging around weren’t exactly nice in life. We have the theory that you are as you were in life so simply put if you were an asshole in life, you are most likely going to be an asshole in the afterlife. Some people have done some pretty terrible things. I personally believe that we encounter so many of these people in our investigations not only because of the venues we are investigating, but because they have been unable to move onto the next stage whatever that may be. Especially if they were a religious person, they may not move on because they are afraid of what awaits them on the other side and they they will finally have to pay for the horrible things they have done. Again this is just a little personal theory of mine, no one knows for sure of course. Do some of these people deserve politeness? Do they deserve for you to act like nothing has happened? What about the things you are dealing with that are perhaps hurting people. You hear of certain entities that scratch people or hit them or attack them in some way. When you are dealing with them, do they deserve the politeness? Is that how you would be with someone in real life if they were acting that way or would you call them out on it?
There are valid arguments for both sides of the fence. So where do I sit? As on a lot of issues, I am in the middle of this one. I absolutely believe that we should treat the spirits in the spirit world with respect. Hollywood has trained us to think that every encounter with a spirit is negative and this is simply not true. I myself have had some wonderful experiences with whom I believe nice spirits. I would never dream of yelling or screaming at them or saying any sort of bad words to them and I also wouldn’t allow anyone else with me to treat them with anything but respect. On the other end of the spectrum, I have also dealt with some really nasty stuff. Nasty spirits who have done some pretty horrible things with no remorse and like to push their weight around in the spirit world it would seem. These people, I am not so polite with. I will call them out on their behaviour and stand up to them because ultimately it is cowardly behaviour. I personally believe as an investigator the best thing you can do if you are dealing with something negative is to confront it and stand your ground. Depending on your belief and sensitivity to the spiritual world, if you show fear or weakness, you are essentially giving into that and feeding them with fear. By showing them you are not afraid I find in most cases, they back down. There is of course a lot of people that will tell you be prepared for the consequences if you do provoke and this again is up to the individual person.
All I am saying on this topic is, pick your moments. When you start off an investigation, don’t go in there aggressive and guns blazing. You don’t know who or what you are going to be dealing with. By coming in disrespectful and aggressive, you are potentially not allowing a positive experience to happen. Remember like attracts like so if you do go in this way, you are most likely going to get a negative response. Go in an introduce yourself and try to start up a conversation. Save the provocation for moments when it is needed but don't be afraid to stick up for yourself. We are teaching our children to stand up to bullies so why should we put up with it in the spirit world as well? Some people are just not nice and don't deserve to be treated with rainbows and roses. When you do it, just be mindful of family members if they are present and think about how far you are going with it if you are on a public investigation. Be very mindful of the information you are sharing and how you conduct yourself as it ends up being a reflection on the venue itself. We know that it isn’t like it is on TV so pick your moments, use your head and your common sense and you will be just fine. It is really no different to real life. Don't put up with anything in spirit world that you wouldn't put up with in life.
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