This is from Patrick Keller’s (http://bigseance.com/author/sillypk/) blog:
“Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD publishes a blog with fascinating thoughts as she travels on her own paranormal journey. In what seemed like amazing timing, a few months ago she published Are EVP Meant Only For the Person Recording Them? and Why Investigators Typically Don’t Validate Other’s Data as Evidence. I’ve kept the links in my e-mail inbox for a long time, just for this post. In a comment to Kirsten, I tried to explain some of what I have here, but also that most of the time I find myself avoiding commenting or validating other investigator’s evidence. It doesn’t mean I don’t listen, but if I’m so incredibly hard on my own evidence, imagine what my brain goes through when I hear someone else’s evidence, and knowing I wasn’t there to see the whole situation, or to use my second recorder (or to partake in the late night snacks!) And does it really matter what I think? Does the trouble that my crazy analytical, yet complete believer brain puts me through really matter to someone else? Not really… at least not in most cases. Kirsten doesn’t need that… and neither do you. Am I still talking? (Gosh! No wonder spirits stay away from me!)”
As long as we are quoting each other in this awesome meta blogging exercise, I wanted to explain something about the clip above and offer a few thoughts on Patrick’s (and almost everyone else’s in the paranormal field) burnout issue.
About that clip: The setting was a church in Thousand Oaks. The Father at the church gave three of us permission to investigate that night. There were only three women, three of the four Paranormal Housewives (Jennifer Storey, Erin Hayes-Potter and me). The church was all ours; no one else was there, and the Father was off in his apartment waiting for us to call him should we need anything. The line repeated in the clip is so obvious that it does NOT require interpretation. It’s not some hazy, vague sound that makes little sense to anyone but the person listening to it. A very male voice states, “It’s the light”; immediately afterwards, Jennifer repeats “the light,” although she did NOT hear any voice at the time she said it. Jennifer has this particular gift for repeating paranormal sentences and/or words without knowing it. Later, when she hears the clip, she is just as surprised at the rest of us at the fact that on some subconscious level she ‘heard’ or intuited the word or sentence without using her ears.
Now this audio was captured right after the overhead light at the church gradually illuminated the sacristy. To turn on this light required someone to head to the back of the church and flick a switch. No one did that. The light is not on a timer and does not slowly come on–when you flick the switch, it immediately light up. That is not what we saw. Also, around this time, we are recording some knocks, bangs and creaks that are so loud that no careful listening is required to hear them. We had, in other words, a collection of events or a constellation of activity that occurred around the same time, resulting in the ‘grand finale’ of the man’s voice proclaiming the answer to my silently formulated question of earlier in the evening (why are we doing this, why am I DOING THIS??)
Yes, I suppose that all of this could be questioned because the person reading this account was not there to see it or hear it. You could decide that I made up this story, and the other ladies colluded in that invention. You could also decide that the Father at the church somehow created the entire charade (although I cannot imagine how he might carry off such a trickery) with the sole intent of dragging our butts into church. How the Father could rewire a light for that one moment and only that one moment boggles the mind. How he created an paranormal voice from thin air while at his apartment is a true mystery. WHY he would do any of this confounds common sense.
Of course, if you weren’t there and don’t trust your sources, there is no reason to believe anything at all. Why do you believe that the Middle East is exploding into war if you aren’t there? Why do you trust the news media? How can you believe anything you read or hear? Why are you comfortable believing that climate change is occurring? Any observed news that you pick up from media sources can be questioned the same way “evidence” is questioned in paranormal investigations. It comes down to this: do you trust your source? Do you believe that the source is telling the truth? Do you believe that your source has enough experience and training to make an educated analysis of anomalous data? Or, do you simply decide that you don’t believe any of it unless you were there to triple check the circumstances under which the weird voice was captured on audio?
What is more frustrating for me is not the veracity of the audio clip, but what these voices are really telling us and how to interpret the messages that DO come through clearly. Why is so much of what we capture on audio irrelevant, odd, out of context, meaningless, short and impossible to place in a larger picture of an afterlife that MAKES SENSE??? The picture of the afterlife that good audio clips portray is at best confusing, and at worst, deliberately and provocatively meaningless. The “It’s the Light” clip is THE ONLY CLIP THAT ANSWERED MY QUESTIONS, thus rendering all future investigations less vital and more for fun and entertainment. I was enormously lucky to receive an answer to a burning question.
The purpose of ALL investigations into spirit is to find light, both in your life, in the lives of others, and in the seemingly chaotic life of the world. We must always seek the light, for it is the Alpha and the Omega, the secret, the goal and the purpose. You may call that light God or something else, but it better be illuminating, or it’s not real. So much of what we catch on audio is scariness, chaos, perhaps even the polar opposite of the Light. It’s something to think about, no matter what religion or spiritual tradition you follow. I dare say that if you have no faith in anything more powerful, intelligent and compassionate than mere humans, you will not find answers in paranormal investigations or even know what the questions are.
I don’t mean that to sound condescending, and I certainly do NOT profess to have all the answers. I have a personal answer, and that is more than good enough for me. Ultimately, your answers must be of a personal nature, because we simply cannot convince others of the reality of the spirit world. There is no way to force someone to believe that our EVP are worth listening to, because they might change your life. If your best audio clips do NOT change your life, then it’s time to put away the gadgets and find another way to the light.
I find gardening and bird watching to be every bit as transcendent as a good ‘spirit hunt’. This is a solitary journey, unfortunately. I wish all of you the best.