The more time I spend out and about in the paranormal community, the more I become aware that there are two types of people. The first group of people are the dedicated investigators. They are the ones with a passion for the paranormal who investigate for a range of personal reasons that range from a love of history and mythology to the desire to discover for themselves whether or not we go on after we die.
I adore spending time in the company of people like this. They are the people we interview on Paranormal Underground Radio and profile in our magazine. I always enjoy talking with them, because they communicate their passion and the joy that they derive from what they do. They are always willing to share credit, and they love to share information, theories, places and ideas with other groups. They aren’t territorial about their evidence or the places they investigate – because what they really want is to share their love of the paranormal with others who feel the same way.
The second “type” that I’ve come across in my travels are the ones who are out for some kind of personal gain. They often are quick to point out how credentialed they are, how they were the “first” to discover something or why they are better than other groups. They are quick to discredit the theories of others without really even listening to them, mainly because they aren’t their theories. They pursue fame at all costs. They attempt to align themselves with people who can help them. They often charge for their services and share their opinions as if they are the only opinions that matter. You may find them at the center of drama and discord within the community. It seems that they care more about building their own personal empires than they actually give a rip about advancing the field or sharing any real knowledge.
The paranormal is no different than real life. Its political structures are the same as any workplace, community group or other social hierarchy. No matter where I go, no matter what I do, I’m going to come across people who are driven by passion and people who are driven by personal power. There are probably other motivations tossed in there, too. Sure, it creates a rift, but here’s the good news. No matter what “type” I am – no matter what “category” I fall into, there isn’t a darn thing about I can do about the “others”. And that, my friends, is a very freeing thought. If I can’t do anything about anyone else, and if the only person I can truly control is myself, then I am free to wander my own path without needing to worry about or pay attention what someone else is doing. And I’m also free to spend time with the people whose presence I enjoy. Because let’s face it. Sharing time with people with whom we connect and enjoy is far more soul-satisfying than spending time with people who barely even see me other than in terms of what I can do for them.
I know who I choose to be, and I know whose company I choose to enjoy. And the rest? I am free from worrying about it because attempting to control it is craziness to which I don’t want to subject myself. I prefer to think of the paranormal community as an “us” rather than an “us” vs. “them,” and I prefer to spend my time in the company of people who promote “us” as opposed to promoting “me.” In the end, it becomes pretty easy to sort it out, and I wind up much happier without all of the negativity. No matter what your motivation in the paranormal, more power to you. Be who you are and pursue your passions with the full force of your will. That’s what makes the world go around.
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