Does the paranormal need to be proven?
We all know by now that what would be considered genuine paranormal phenomena cannot be achieved on demand. It means that it also cannot be replicated. In order for science to accept a finding, the phenomena needs to be replicated. So when phenomena is spontaneous like the paranormal and cannot be replicated, how then can it be proven? The answer is, that it cannot be. The question then becomes, does it need to be? Do we really need the paranormal to be proven?
Most investigators realistically don't need science or even the mainstream world to accept that they believe the paranormal exists. In a lot of ways, the paranormal field works in the same way that religion and faith works. There is no scientific proof for example that there is a god yet to god's followers they don't need the proof. They live and breathe it through their faith and their belief is in their heart and soul. The paranormal works in a similar way. Most of us that are out there investigating and researching the paranormal are doing so most likely because we have experienced something that has shaken us to our core. It has made us feel and believe that we are not alone. Putting aside for the moment that we don't entirely know what a ghost is, in the grand scheme of making the point here, it doesn't matter. We believe that there is something out there. Some people don't just believe it, they know it in their bones. They know it in their soul and regardless of what science says or anyone else says, they take comfort in their experiences.
I kind of feel like I guess it depends what it is you are looking for. A lot of the time we don't question a person's faith in their religion. So why do we question their belief in the paranormal? If believing that the paranormal exists such as life after death gives a person comfort after losing a loved one, where is the harm in that? If a person has what they believe a paranormal experience and it makes them feel like they are not alone, where is the harm in that?
Criticism of course comes when a person is seeking validation. In the same way that not everyone believes in your religion, not everyone believes or views the paranormal in the same way. If you shop around a photo for example that you believe has captured a spirit and you keep posting it in different Facebook groups asking for an opinion, it is most likely that you are not going to get the validation that you seek. You will likely get many responses telling you all the reasons why your photo has not captured a spirit, yet you may keep looking until you get the answer you want to hear. Instead of asking people to comment on your photo, you should ask yourself why do you need their opinion? Is it because you really want to learn more about the paranormal or is it because you want the validation? Do you want someone to confirm for you that your experience was real?
No one is going to be able to confirm for you if what you experienced was paranormal or not. The only person that can truely answer that is yourself. I can sit here all day and tell you all of the rational explanations as to why an experience may not have been paranormal. I can give you a list of all of the spiritual explanations as well. But I can't tell you if it was paranormal or not. Only you can really answer that. This is probably why science is never going to validate the paranormal because it is personal. But again, do you need it to be proven? If there was a big press conference tomorrow confirming 100% that Science has said the paranormal exists would that mean you would stop your search because the answer has been found? My guess is that no it wouldn't change a thing.
Learning is an important thing and helps us on our own personal journeys because even those who are quite spiritual will also acknowledge that not everything is paranormal and that is an important thing to know too for the integrity of our field because we do need that. If we as a paranormal community were ever to be taken seriously, we can't jump to conclusions every time we hear a noise. At the end of the day, the majority of paranromal investigators are all on our own personal journeys. Whether it is wanting to learn or just experience, it is your own journey. You need to ask yourself what it is you want to get out of investigating the paranormal. If it is a way for your to channel your creative energy into a blog, a Facebook page a YouTube channel etc that's great! If it is a way for you to do something you enjoy doing on the weekends - fantastic. If you are searching for certain answers fantastic, but make sure they are answers for you, not because you need to prove something. Some people investigate just because really enjoy doing it and that is cool too. I feel like we can help each other along the way and educate one another based on our own knowledge and experiences.
I am obviously all about empowering ourselves with knowledge and taking rational approaches etc, so I course acknowledge that there is flaws in what I am saying here, but I want to put that aside for a moment and I hope you understand the point I am trying to make. While there is not necessarily a right or wrong way to do certain things, some things will never be paranormal. We cannot prove if something is paranormal. When can however prove when something is not paranormal. It is the times that we are not able to prove it that make it all the more interesting. Pick your battles. Sometimes that grainy photo that is really just a case of pareidolia is not worth the argument. If you felt something was happening at that time, there may have been something happening that we can't explain, but that photo is not proof of it and you do not need it to be either. If you are lucky enough to receive a piece of evidence that validates your experience you are very lucky because a geniune piece of evidence to back up a personal experience is not something that happens every time. While of course people want evidence to be able to show or prove to others that something happened, personal experiences I find though are better for my own paranormal journey. They remind me why I do what I do. That feeling I get that there is something out there that is bigger than me is what drives me. While I am quite the rational investigator and pick apart quite a lot of things especially when it comes to evidence, when I experience something that shakes me (which is not often), I don't want to debunk it. I need to hang onto that feeling. It is that feeling that keeps me grounded and connected to whatever it is that is out there. Aren't we all just searching for that feeling we once felt that got us interestd in the paranormal? So for myself, no I don't need the paranormal to be proven, because I feel within myself there is something out there. I don't know what that is, but I sure enjoy trying to find out.
While it is exceptionally hard to even label something as paranormal, you know what you experience and what you feel. In these cases you don't need the evidence to prove it to yourself. In the same way you believe in the paranormal, believe in yourself too!
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