Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door. – Emily Dickenson
One of the most wonderful things about researching, investigating and even just having a general fascination with anomalistic, paranormal, UFOlogical, cryptozoological phenomena comes from the fact no one really knows anything. Since the fields are open to speculation and imagination we have the ability, and responsibility, to look at and ponder all of the endless facets of each experience. We can use scientific methods, trace stories through folklore and mythology, experiment wildly, and debate the smallest snow laden footprint, the largest spinning light in the sky and all the raps, bumps and figures in the night.
Over the decades a large amount of “odd” phenomena has actually been explained and therefore moved from the realm of the “unknown” to a region of experience understood, now, as “known.” As the illuminated bolts hurled by Zeus or Wotan became lightning there have been steps throughout history to unwind that which is not understood to that which is more easily understandable and perhaps in some instances make more sense, but the breakthroughs in science and the arts are not made in a vacuum.
For as much as we laud over those who are popularized as the ones who made a discovery we must remember that they talked to others, exchanged ideas, thought deeply and honestly about the situations in which they were mired and took those concerns to friends, family and yes even those who thought skeptically about the ideas being presented. Together is when we work best because no one really knows.
Over the last 30 years, I have ended my lectures with the phrase, “Don’t believe anything I’ve said.” I do this to challenge people not just to take the word of someone they might perceive as “learned” or “respectable” but to find the “answers” for themselves. No one can tell us our own “truth”.
The Rusty Door
One of the difficulties we will encounter during our quests into the unknown are those people who “know”.
Since our questions are about the unknown we often think that the answers will become known and in thinking this way we sometimes believe that someone, somewhere, already may know the answer. This fault in our logic leads down dark and obfuscating roads. When someone places themselves in the position that they “know” or that they are “in control,” the “master,” the “only one” who really understands they are not only setting themselves up for a terrific crash they are trying to grab as many others as they can to prevent the fall and usually end up bringing those people with them.
“I’m the only one” is a phrase bandied about by people in all aspects of our combined fields. Certain flying saucer contactees, UFO investigators, psychics, channelers, paranormal researchers, cryptozoologists, magic(k) practitioners, reiki healers, metaphysicians etc. have made the claim that they are the ones who “know,” they will make the “breakthrough,” they will be the one to disclose the truth to humanity. As stated earlier, the “breakthrough” does not happen in a vacuum. No one person is any more important than any other. When a person makes the transition from interested, or passionate to claiming they are the only person who knows the “truth” we should immediately take a step back and fully try to understand their motives. Fame and money are great motivators but so is obfuscation. By confusing already confounding situations a person can mire us in unending promises. We continue to stay stuck in the mud spinning our wheels becoming frustrated so that when someone comes along to “help” we readily accept it…at any cost.
When you read an article online that explains how many different “shadow people” there are remember… they don’t know because no one even knows what “shadow people” are or if they even are.
When you see a television program that explains the only way to communicate with ghosts remember… no one even knows what a ghost is, or if they are, and communication is a multi-faceted experience so what do they even mean by “communication”?
When you see a tweet by someone claiming that they will be the one to lead us into a new world of “Disclosure” regarding aliens remember… Many people throughout the centuries have claimed the same thing and no one knows what aliens are, or if they are, and why does that person think they are different from all of the thousands of others making the same claim?
We must be flexible with our ideas. We must be willing to make our best guesses better. When someone tells us they “know” the “truth” we can investigate their claim but we shouldn’t limit ourselves to a single person and a single option.
When it comes to thinking about strange/odd phenomena we need to have all the options on the table, and we need all the tables to be in all the rooms, and we need all the rooms to have all the doors, and we need to open all the doors.