It appears I might have erred in my interpretation of “discernment of spirits”. Below is a summary of some of what St. Ignatius of Loyola had to say about the issue:
“Good and Evil Spirits
Ignatius believed that these interior movements were caused by “good spirits” and “evil spirits.” We want to follow the action of a good spirit and reject the action of an evil spirit. Discernment of spirits is a way to understand God’s will or desire for us in our life.
Talk of good and evil spirits may seem foreign to us. Psychology gives us other names for what Ignatius called good and evil spirits. Yet Ignatius’s language is useful because it recognizes the reality of evil. Evil is both greater than we are and part of who we are. Our hearts are divided between good and evil impulses. To call these “spirits” simply recognizes the spiritual dimension of this inner struggle.”
‘Discernment of spirits’, then, is not about spirits of the dead withwhom we place ourselves into contact. However, since contacting spirits requires an absolute and precise understanding of one’s impulses, motivations and ‘inner spirit,’ it is legitimate to affirm that you can’t contact spirits if you aren’t able to discern your own tendencies towards Loyola’s rather black and white understanding of ‘good’ and ‘evil’.
If you don’t see, feel or comprehend your own ‘demons’, then you certainly will attract spirits of the lower order. Like attracts like; what drags you down in to depression, anger, loss of hope or cynicism will return to you in full during an investigation into the survival of the soul. One could see it as a ‘vibrational’ frequency of despair serving as a beacon to all those–in death–who are of like mind and heart. Since so much of what we do in an investigation involves the ‘mirroring’ of ourselves in the spirit world (there are even theories that we are contacting versions of ourselves in parallel dimensions, backwards or forwards in time), we return again and again to the theme of “knowing oneself,” and taking precautions when you are not in the state of mind or spirit to attempt contact with another world.
This is why I caution those who are in the throws of depression, despair, general unhappiness or any chaotic emotional state to stay away from ‘haunted’ sites. Your emotional state serves as a magnet, destroying your chances of any objectivity in the search if you display a lack of control or awareness of your inner spirits. Discernment of spirits, then, is an interior exercise that requires a thorough self-examination before you can attempt any potentially dangerous communication with those that are now on the “other side” of you.
I haven’t answered my original question. So, I ask my readers to please help me out here, and tell me if you think there is any spiritual or religious justification for the ghost hunt. There may be spiritual justification, but my research so far is indicating that no religious sanctions can be found in the Christian Bible.
Thank you for reading,
—Kirsten A. Thorne