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Thursday, May 18, 2017

God, Ghost, and the Rebirth of Life

Throughout my years as a paranormal investigator, I've had the opportunity to share my experiences with so many people. My willingness to speak openly with others about my findings and beliefs seemed to pull the veil back on some rather intense ideas that I've encountered. Though many seem to embrace some form of belief of life after death, many more refuse to believe that religion can and does co-exist with the paranormal. Regardless of which side of the fence you find yourself on, when it comes down to it, I want to clarify that my intention for this entry is not to argue whether I feel that your beliefs are right or wrong or even different from my own. While I am interested in learning about everyone's ideas and religious beliefs, in this article, I am only focusing on the views that I have been taught and understand today. I've met many that have completely supported the belief that religion explains a great deal of how some paranormal events are possible. Of course, this is more widely embraced when either demonic encounters or angelic experiences are the topic in the discussion. Though the open debate often falls apart the moment you start talking about ghosts, and ghost hunting...

As a Christian, I grew up believing that you would be judged on all of your actions in death. If you were deemed a good person in life, your spirit will be returned to God. However if in life you choose to not live by God's word then your spirit would descend into hell. Pretty simple, straight forward instructions: Be good and you’ll go to heaven, whatever heaven may be. Being a huge fan of the movie “What Dreams May Come” and its depiction of heaven, I embrace the idea of heaven being the place where you would enjoy spending the rest of your days, and with whom. That is of course, if you can find your way there and believe in such a place for yourself. Not only do I believe in the paranormal, but I am also accepting of all religious beliefs as I feel that this is your own personal choice. But because of my paranormal interests however, sharing stories of the things I have witnessed and documented with fellow Christians, sometimes generates either an immediate look of confusion or disgust. I’m sure they're thinking to themselves "that’s impossible; their spirits can’t still remain on earth if they believed in the Lord.” I don't doubt that some have even questioned my faith for believing in such things.

Please don’t think that I'm saying this is the only reaction I ever encounter, it is not. Though this is something that bothers me, and I want to address it. I've been in situations where, that confused look I get that I mentioned before, is confessed to have been brought on by guilt and that the person I am sharing my stories and pictures with is actually unsure about whether or not it is sinful to partake in viewing my findings. There are even people that are very close to me that have expressed their own concerns regarding the subject, and have even implied that God would not think highly of me for attempting to interact with those from the other side. However a few weeks ago in church my pastor explained death in a little more detail that opened my mind to just what may be happening here, the mystery of how or why “ghosts” exist and that it may just be all in God’s plan after all. She, my pastor, stated that in the Old Testament the body is said to be made of four parts: the flesh, the breath of life, the soul (translated in Hebrew) or psyche (translated in Geek), and your spirit. She explained that your flesh returns to the earth, your breath ends, and your spirit returns to God…Uh Hello? What about the soul? Either I spaced out for a moment, which I doubt because I was pretty intrigued by this topic, or the Old Testament just doesn’t explain where your soul/psyche goes...

Per my pastor, Heaven and Hell are not even discussed in the Old Testament, so I’m not surprised that we are left with questions. She went on to preach about how we should prepare our spirits to return to God and how great that’s all going to be and yes I did kind of stop following the lesson at this point unable to break my focus from that unanswered question…Where does your soul go after you die? I mean the soul is a pretty big part of the body I would think, to just go missing. In my religion, the soul can be described as the free will God gave you, the choice he allowed his people to have. So if the body returns to earth by way of the dirt or fire, the breath comes to an end as your body dies, your spirit returns to whatever higher being you believe in, so then is it possible that your soul or psyche that has freedom of choice would go wherever it likes? Again with the movie “What Dreams May Come” they depict heaven to be where you would want to live eternal life with no image of God involved in this depiction. So, is it maybe less about heaven and more about what your soul envisions heaven to be? Is it just where your mind strongly believes that you will go after death? Can it be that it is much like a dream that you never wake up from? Or even more realistically, do you remain right where you where before expiring?

So why can’t we all just communicate with whomever we want to that has passed on. My thought is, first of all, maybe they aren’t connected with that physical world; they are in that dream state that they have imaged as their personal heaven. Second thought is that it’s said we all have psychic abilities but not everyone is in tune with their abilities on the same level. So to break through to the “other side” it takes a certain level of mental preparation. Think Patrick Swayze in the movie Ghost. In that movie it was explained that in order to communicate with the living, you had to develop the ability to do so. I believe the stronger the connection with your soul the better your chance will be to have control of it once you have lost physical control of your body. I realize to some this may be old news, many in the paranormal world already believe that “ghosts” are souls that want to stay in the physical world due to unfinished business or the inability to accept their death. As a Christian though my understanding of the separation between the spirit that belongs to God and your soul that may seek out another path, is more than just eye opening to me especially after having confirmation from a section of the Bible. 

A while ago, at a neighborhood party, a woman asked me about my paranormal adventures as if she was genuinely interested. I shared numerous exciting stories as she sat listening quietly. After I finished she blankly replied only to tell me that she felt that I was "doing the devils work." It quickly became clear that she had only been waiting for her turn to share her disgust with what I was doing no matter what I told her. I was stunned by her comment, and attempted to recover from her wolf in sheep's clothing approach by explaining my beliefs in heaven, the return to God and “ghosts” all in the same breath. I had to try and explain my gut feeling type of belief, without having a textbook answer. My conviction that a higher being gave all living things the breath of life and as a gift we were given the freedom to be our own persons. We all have the ability to make choices and to change and to evolve. This right forms our souls and once we die our psyche may make the choice to wander wherever. Maybe even just waiting for the day that it may be useful again and God returns it to our spirit for a new life. I've listened to many voices regarding their beliefs on the subject, and what I've learned is that not all Christians are cut from the same cloth. Fearing the outcome and not assuming by labeling is important to opening your mind and seeing what is not always explained to you. There are those of us that believe in God, ghost, and the rebirth of life. Therefore the pursuit will continue.