I’m not sure if it’s the writer in me or the narcissist or the kid with the new toy (though it’s likely all three), but I’m quite excited to get this blog moving and hopefully generate some interest, discussion, idea-sharing and general merriment here.
On Reaching the Front-Lines
I posted to twitter that I was interested in public opinion on blog topics – be they questions, queries, general thoughts to respond to or whatnot – and I’m thinking I’ll reply to one tonight. It’s only two thirty in the morning, I’ve a tumbler of cran-grape juice, the interwebz are quiet and I’m decently awake. If you have anything on your mind that you might want to query, please, feel free to share, here or there works fine by me.
Tonight, Mark Rushing (@adaptiveoptics) asks how my thoughts/beliefs in the paranormal may have changed after more rigorous investigation:
I thought this was an interesting question, not only for content, but because it’s been the second time I’ve been asked in two days.
To date, my perspective on the supernatural has not been particularly swayed one way or another. Ghost Hunters Academy was indeed more rigorous than any of my prior experience, which included a smattering of local cases, no personal experiences, and limited training. During much of the show there was heavy, heavy focus on the technical side of things, efficient setups (both botched and butchered, but successful too), and the education of proper procedure, which in many ways detracted from the full-on focus on the spirits. Our experiences and evidence were limited. There’s nothing at all wrong with this – we in fact got some neat evidence for a few cases. But nothing revolutionized my way of thinking.
I’ve always been a believer in the supernatural, it’s a faith that has stuck with me since I was young, coloring my interests, pursuits, and study. I’ve never had a significant personal paranormal experience before age twenty-one, but I’d always dreamt of a career within the field. Of course in the last few years I’d come to terms with the fact that there is no money in monsters – only the select few can cash in on it, let alone make a living. In 2007, I went to college to get a Liberal Arts degree in creative writing, my other sincere passion and best incorporation of the dark into my career, and so scientific pursuit of the supernatural was moved to the back-burner. Though I turned up the heat when I joined a local team, it became a personal curiosity to satisfy, a love still just beyond reach.
If anything then, this remarkable opportunity – a long-shot-turned reality that rocked my world and truly threw my life off the rails – brought me to the hard realization that I’m not only living the dream, but I’m actively at the front of a fluid field that, though at its peak and potentially changing worldwide views on the afterlife, is still living a fragile existence. It’s a pseudo-science that is constantly adapting, constantly changing, and constantly seeking grounding and support in the skeptical, science-minded, horizontal world we live in. It’s brought me to the realization that out of nowhere, I’ve become a part of this on the front-lines. It’s time to snap out of it – to change everything the world had pounded into me. I’m the hippie with his hair buzzed off in a pair of fatigues – my entire outlook is in shock.
I’m in it now.
It’s real now.
Thank god I see a lot of this coming together. My own personal beliefs and pursuits, my writing, my study of not only the supernatural but the thematic darkness (it’s the poet in me), my search for meaning and faith, a brainstorm of discovery. And what better place than a blog to think on it, to share with the community who wants to hear about it and work to sculpt not only the field, but life itself.
I’m not convinced I’ll make a difference, not even a tremor, but I’m a part of it now, and I’m excited to bring my tools to the table, if you’ll have me.
Thanks for the question, Mark. After seeing where this post took me, I’m not sure I could have suggested a better one.
Advice, then: when life hands you radical change, keep your mind open enough to change your perspective in turn and see what you can learn and share.