When I became tangled up in the web that is ‘paranormal research’ at the age of Eighteen, I did so because I was looking for information and answers. In all the subsequent years I have found information, I have found answers and I have discovered more questions. The more I have learnt, the more I have discovered I do not know.
I am open minded and curious, more than most people involved in paranormal research can truthfully say. Most people have their minds made up one way or another, but I don’t. Some people involved in ‘the field’ have an agenda or are aiming to gain something from it, but I’ve never really aimed for that. Even though some people think I have. It’s concerning that so many people are content to say something is a ghost and be so sure of it when there is no rational way such an explanation is reasonably sound. The main problem with paranormal research is the amount of people who are so sure of their own ability (and not just ghost believers, either).
A lot of people involved in paranormal research need to just chill the eff out.
Since the age of Eighteen I have just been exploring the world we live in through curious eyes, and that has led me to be the skeptical individual I am today. I used to believe a lot of naive things and I learnt better. I still believe a lot of naive things, and over time I will learn better. Being critical of ourselves is the best way in which we can develop our understanding of the very nature of our existence.
I became involved in paranormal research to discover things I didn’t know about, and I continue to do that to this very day. Everything else has just been opportunities people have passed my way that I’ve taken them up on. All the talks, all the writing, all the interviews…
They’ve all been great fun, and they’ve enabled me to discuss my ever changing story with other people who’ve never held the curiosity in the paranormal that I have. It’s helped me make other people think about things, and it’s helped me meet like minded people and be challenged by the questions I’ve been asked.
Over the years I have come to believe that the answers to why people experience strange things lies within psychology and neurology. We (as the human race) are starting to deconstruct myths that have for a long time baffled many, and scientists and researchers are offering up explanations about things masses of people experience.
There is a lot still to be learnt, and a lot of what is being discovered is exciting and confusing, but progress is being made.
It’s why last year I decided to change the way in which I approach my exploration of the subject. I’ve started to study psychology with The Open University in the hope that when I’m much older I’ll be a bit more satisfied with how I understand the world.
The way in which people believe, perceive and think has always fascinated me, and I hope to be able to dig deeper and learn much more over the coming decade as a student.
This does mean I’m not going to have as much time to dedicate to as many projects as I did before, but I don’t see that being an overly negative thing.
I recently revamped the ‘Ghost Field Guide’ podcast and renamed it as ‘Talk About Strange’, I don’t think it will be a regular show but I will update it as and when I can with interesting pieces and interviews (of which I already have some to edit down). The Righteous Indignation Podcast was recently put on hold, but that doesn’t mean it has totally vanished. We’re not sure what will happen in the future with it, and sometimes it’s good for things to not have a long term plan. Life is a spontaneous thing, and I think it should be lived that way too. There are over 104 episodes of RI (if you could the Unlucky Dips) and I am really proud of the show and all it has achieved, and will continue to achieve. I will always be an indignate
Project Barnum is my baby and there are some absolutely fun things coming up for it. On January 5th Project Barnum launched the Monthly Actions for people to participate in with ‘The Horoscope Challenge’ and I’ve seen some really interesting feedback already. I do believe that when I launched Project Barnum I didn’t do so in the most organised of manners, and I let other peoples ideas influence the direction it launched in too heavily. However, this year things should be interesting on the PB front.
There are some really decent people supporting it, and so many people have reported back to me that the site and the resources have genuinely helped them that I think I’ve done something right there (and I’m not just doing a Colin Fry and allegedly blowing my own trumpet…)
I will continue to blog as I always have. Both here and over on The Vigilantes Blog too. I don’t see there ever being a time where I wont share my thoughts with those who follow me on this site. Blogging has been the foundation of everything I have done since the age of Eighteen, and it will continue to be so for as long as I shall live.
I have so many books to catch up on, so many research reports to read, and so much ahead of me to learn. It’s going to be exciting. 2012 is going to be the year in which I step up the quest that the Eighteen year old me started. Things have only just begun.