I want to believe

We are all investigating the paranormal because we want to find answers. The question is however, are our belief systems influencing our investigations? Does religion, belief and skepticism influence the way we investigate the paranormal?
Sarah Chumacero
30th March 2018.
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It’s a classic line that we all resonate with. We are all researching and investigating different areas of the paranormal because part of us wants to or already does believe there is something out there. While we don’t know if spirits, UFO’s and even Bigfoot really exist, we dedicate our time to find out for ourselves. The question we have to ask ourselves however, do our beliefs influence the way we investigate?

Does religion have an effect on paranormal investigating?

Quite a lot of people subscribe to a particular faith. While they may believe in different things and practice their faith in different ways, ultimately, they believe in some sort of god or creator. In each religion is different beliefs and perceptions of what happens to us after we die. In some religions, they believe death is final and the end of the road. The afterlife is not spoken of. Other religions believe we move onto a place like heaven where our soul lives on forever. In some religions, where there is good, there must also be bad. If there is heaven, then there must be a hell. If there is a god, there must a devil, and there would be demons.

If you are from a religion that does not believe in the afterlife, how do you investigate the paranormal? If you don’t believe that a spirit would exist, does this mean you go in with more of an attitude of debunking things to conform to your religious beliefs? If you believe that we do live on and spirit is present, does it mean your investigating style is more influenced by this because you are wanting to seek that validation? It is a question I cannot answer myself because it would be deeply personal and different to each person as we all have different belief systems and different levels of belief. It is not a one size fits all kind of answer. I want you however next time you go out to ask yourself the question, “Do my religious beliefs influence how I investigate?” Could you debunk a little bit more or on the other end should you perhaps be a little more open minded? Is your style of investigating influenced by your belief? Are you potentially limiting yourself because of your beliefs? It is all about finding a balance and going in unbiased. In the same way we say to people to forget everything you know about a place when you investigate, the same applies here. Forget your belief system and let the evidence and the experience speak for itself. When interpreting that evidence or experience, put your belief system aside and look at the facts that are in front of you. A big part about paranormal investigating is questioning everything that you know and believe in. You may be confronted with things that could make you question your faith. Is it not for the weak. It will mess with your mind and sometimes shake you to your core. It is not about proving anything, it is about finding the answer that you are looking for. I always say to be people, sometimes be careful what you ask for, because you might just find it.

Is our wanting to believe in the paranormal influencing our investigations?

Quite often you can have a discussion with someone about the paranormal. You may ask them, how do you know this place is haunted? The answer is usually something like, “because everyone says it is”. There it is. That element of suggestion. It only takes a little bit and suddenly we will walk into that same place with the pre conceived notion that it is haunted. Every sound can suddenly be misinterpreted. You may feel strange in room and think you are in the presence of spirit when it could be likely you are standing next to a fuse box. Rationalization can often go out the window in this instance. We want to believe that a place on our bucket list that we have wanted to investigate forever is haunted. We want it to live up to that reputation. Does this influence us when we go in there to finally investigate? We have seen countless articles and stories and even episodes of paranormal reality shows dedicated to these locations that tell us they are some of the most haunted buildings in the world. We go in there with excitement, but are we going in there expecting something to happen so in our minds we are making it happen? Are we misinterpreting things because we so very badly want to have an experience?

One could even go further in asking another question. If we all go into a place with the preconceived notion that it is haunted, are we actually creating our own ghost much like the Phillip Experiment. If we concentrate on the stories, are we inadvertently making the activity happen ourselves using just the power of our minds?

Is our skepticism influencing our investigations?

On one end of the scale we of course have what people will dub as believers. At the other end are the skeptics. These are people who do not believe in the paranormal at all. Quite a lot of them believe in science and spend their time trying to debunk and discredit paranormal claims because there is a scientific explanation. Is this skepticism influencing how you investigate? Spiritually for example, are you stopping yourself from having a potential experience? Some people believe that the way you hold yourself during an investigation can speak volumes. Such as standing with your arms crossed isn't really inviting to the spirit world. They want to resonate with a more welcoming energy. Could you perhaps be a little more open minded? Sure, pretty much everything if not everything that happens on an investigation that particular night could be explained by science. But just as it can be explained by science, does it mean that is what happened in that instance? Is your belief in science hindering the way you investigate? Sometimes it is worth just trying to let yourself go and give into the experience. Get caught up in things and see where it takes you. You never know what you might experience.

Ultimately, it is very difficult to be completely unbiased. We are human beings. We are subject to the power of suggestion no matter how much we try not to be. We can get caught up in things in the heat of the moment. Our belief system is part of who we are so of course in some way it is going to influence how we investigate. It is actually what makes our field so diverse and great because we all believe in different things. You can have a room full of people all with different belief systems who can interpret a set of circumstances in a completely different way. You know what is really cool though? When that same group of people experience the same thing at the same time. Suddenly the belief systems are out the door and you are just left with a set of circumstances that you collectively as a group cannot explain through your faith or through your belief. It is what it is, but you don’t know what that ‘is’. This is what paranormal investigating is about.

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