by Karen Frazier, Managing Editor
As you might have guessed, I wind up discussing the paranormal with a lot of different people. Interesting and knowledgeable people with phenomenal ideas, thoughts and theories about the paranormal.
I love talking to these people because there is such a diversity of ideas. Certainly there are common themes that also arise, but there are great differences in ideas, as well. Especially when it comes to paranormal investigation.
Each investigator (or team) has come up with an investigative approach that fits with the skills, knowledge and abilities of their team. Some rely heavily on psychics or sensitives. Some rely heavily on equipment. Some seek to explain. Some seek to disprove. Some seek to comfort the living. Some seek to help the dead. Some are just in it for a good time.
Yes – paranormal investigation is a diverse field full of different personalities with a variety of agendas and methodologies. So who is right and who is wrong?
Paranormal investigation is a field in its infancy. We don’t know who is right. We don’t know who is wrong. We don’t even really know what it is we are looking for.
There are many who would like to standardize investigation. While I can see the merits of this – such as establishing a code of ethics for paranormal investigators, I can also see some difficulties. Because really, what is there to standardize at this point? What do we know about the paranormal that extends beyond the realm of theory? And, if we establish investigatory standards too early in the process, does that limit the creativity that can lead to true breakthroughs in discovery?
Parapsychology (and paranormal investigation as an offshoot of that) is a hugely underfunded field. Sadly, there’s not a huge faucet of money flowing out there that helps to fund great research. And so, research is done at a grass roots level, with each investigator or group digging into their own pockets and contributing as much money as they can afford to explore the unseen.
I’ve made this point before – paranormal is not a science. Science deals with our physical world, and it does very well explaining that. Paranormal – at least as it exists now – is part of the unknown. We haven’t found a way to quantify it – but that isn’t surprising. We also haven’t found a way to quantify human consciousness. Perhaps some things will remain unquantifiable until we have a better understanding of the energetic influences that exist in our universe on the tiniest levels.
In searching for evidence of ghosts and hauntings, we are searching for evidence of the human spirit. We are searching for evidence of our consciousness living on after our bodies die.
We are only human. We can only perceive this three-dimensional universe in which we live – in spite of the fact that there are at least six folded dimensions that we can’t perceive. (You can take my word on that, or you can do some research into quantum physics, folded dimensions and Calabi-Yau manifolds).
If we are only capable of perceiving our three dimensions (plus the pseudo dimension of time, which seems as if it may be illusory at best), how can we truly study our physical universe? Perhaps the unknowable and the unknown exist in those folded dimensions that we know are there but haven’t yet figured out how to measure and observe.
Paranormal research may not be in the realm of science yet, but who’s to say it won’t? After all, continental drift was once considered pseudoscience. So was cosmology. Likewise, things that were once considered highly scientific – such as alchemy – are now considered pseudoscience.
We live in a fluid universe. Knowledge and discoveries are constantly in a state of flux. Don’t believe me? Think about the stuff that you had to learn as a kid in school. Now look at what today’s kids have to learn. They have to cram their brains full of not only everything we learned, but all sorts of new stuff on top of it. We’re constantly improving on our knowledge and abilities. Dick Button won an Olympic gold medal doing a single axel. Today, they’ve perfected triples and they’re working on quadruples.
Random skating references aside, our skills, knowledge and ability are constantly evolving. Who’s to say what humans will know four or five generations down the line? Just as we look to our great-great grandparents’ time and marvel at how much they thought they knew vs. what we know now, so will our great-great grandchildren do with us. Chances are, they’ll find us highly unsophisticated with this knowledge and technology of which we are currently so proud.
Which brings me back to what I originally claimed this blog was about before I took you on a merry wander through my mind. Is there a right way and a wrong way to investigate the paranormal? I don’t think so. I think that we try things and we learn. And if we share what we’ve tried and what we’ve learned from that with other investigators, then we can begin to create a foundation of knowledge upon which those intrepid future investigators seeking out the unknown can build. We, as investigators in the field of the paranormal, become the shoulders upon which future generations can build their knowledge and methodologies.
As I allow you to ponder this, I will leave you with a few quotes by Thomas A. Edison.
“Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something.”
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
“I start where the last man left off.”