‘Keep an open mind’; is a phrase that we often hear in the paranormal field. I can remember my very first overnight Ghost Hunt, as I was new to the experience it was that phrase that was uttered to me almost as some kind of advice. Granted that when any of us enter a situation where our standard understanding of the world maybe tested slightly, then keeping an open mind is imperative in order to allow us to get by. However it was this very scenario that has recently got me thinking just a little more ‘outside the box’ especially around the concept of an open mind.
What if this very concept of approaching a situation with an open mind actually enables us to receive and perhaps send information telepathically? What if the scenario of a paranormal investigation approached with the correct mind set allows us to pick up more? Now I think it’s important to mention that I am not trying to state that spirits and ghosts don’t exist, that is still firmly standing as an unknown for me based on my own personal experiences and the huge amount I have read on the subject. I am sure we would all like to believe a little in there being something after death right? What I am trying to communicate is the simple fact that we don’t have all the answers and this equally means we don’t know the source of probable communications. That’s of course taking into account that there may equally be multiple possible sources of any information communicated. Confused yet?
Let’s imagine if we can; a simple room with a table at its centre and two chairs, one either side. There are no windows in this room, so it’s essentially a box. However, behind each chair there is a door into the room. Two walls opposite walls each have a door and the two others are blank. A single light nothing fancy hangs above the centre of the table, it’s the single only light source in the room. That’s our room, simple and relatively controlled.
The problems begin literally as we enter the room. Our senses begin to process the information that we are presented with, visually, audibly, etc. Anything our senses can pick up on they will and here’s usually where the arguments start, so I will explain it as I see it. The information from our senses ‘streams’ information to our subconscious (or unconscious depending on your understanding), then our conscious mind is aware of its existence yet only chooses to utilise the relevant information. The relevant information is usually the stuff that allows us to negotiate the space and time we occupy in the grand scheme of things. It’s our potential interaction with spacetime based on our conscious awareness of our environment. Applying this to our room, this stream of information may help us enter through one door, negotiate the room to the nearest chair in order to sit at the table.
That still leaves a lot of redundant information we didn’t use, information we consciously saw as irrelevant to our task at hand. However that information is still a part of us, processed and stored.
If we add to this certain information which can be associated with other elements then we begin to see a puzzle that our mind wants to solve, that it often fills the gaps. For example, as the heat from the single light heats the surface of the table it releases a woody smoky smell which could be associated with smoking. Without prompting our mind would search for other smells to associate with this and by that determination attempt to identify it to its best ability. However along with this identification comes memory and understanding which can often attribute external sources to this contained room. Equally we have suggestion, if we are told that the ghost of a smoking man occupies the room, this smell could tigger our belief that he was present. Confused now?
I know many an investigator that doesn’t often jump to a conclusion based on this suggestion and indeed seek logical explanations or as it’s become more commonly known these days; ‘debunking’.
However what if there are more possibilities at play in this room. Place two in the room and we have to deal not only with the room, but the other individual too. The problem now is that each person in the room is processing information at different rates and utilising it in different ways. What is more important to one may not be to the other and that’s on a subconscious level. Even when you believe you’re consciously seeking the same goals, your driven by certain automatic features that may just be stifling that.
If you add one more possibility into the mix; what if telepathic interaction can occur at a subconscious level without conscious prompting? This would then place our two individuals not only receiving prompts from each other’s senses and reactions, but also processing information transferred between the pair telepathically too. Now we have stepped into a relatively controlled environment, but through our continuous probable connections we have made it massively variable and complicated. We’ve not even touched on belief, faith, education, intention, attention, emotions and physiological drivers to each individual within the room yet! Perhaps leave that for another post.
‘Keep an open mind’ they said, ‘don’t jump to conclusions’, was the advice! Can we really control fully the fundamentals of who we are? In any investigation or experiment, paranormal or otherwise, the greatest variable is us! So, the question to investigators and Ghost Hunters is simple; by placing yourself in that environment what are you achieving ? Does paranormal activity occur without the presence of an observer? If a tree falls in the forest with no one present, does it make a noise?
Remember experience isn’t evidence or at least not cold hard evidence! Data and lots of it can lead us to evidence or at least the beginnings of something we can begin to understand. So, if you investigate, if you are a ghost hunter, share your experiences. Document them all for others to review. For me this was something I have always done and something documented on this very website. However it was something that I was glad of recently when I heard that Sage Paranormal investigated the Explosions Museum. During their investigation they picked up on an EVP of a man with a particular accent, which on discussion sound remarkably close to my own captured EVP. Could this be the same ghost years later? Personally I’m keeping an open mind!
Don’t just keep an open mind, it’s not enough any more. Consider everything and when you’ve done that go beyond the simpler explanations. Combine the science with the spirituality and seek greater explanation. Try something new! Anything is worth a shot, it might just be what helps us discover the key to a complex field.