Many people in the general public think that if you do investigate the paranormal that you must automatically believe that there is life after death.
And granted, some do. Which is fine. We investigate the paranormal for different reasons and often from an experience that has made us ask questions about the afterlife.
But, you don’t have to believe in it to investigate the paranormal.
Now let me back up for a second here. Having faith in the afterlife is fine. Actually having faith in religion is equally fine. Goodness knows that faith has often pulled many a person out of their darkest hour.
But, that’s where it should stay. “Hang on!” you say. “Isn’t investigating the afterlife investigating the paranormal?” Not necessarily. Not for everyone. Here are 3 reasons why.
1) Belief clouds judgement
As much as it can be a shining hope when we are in our emotionally heaviest situations in life when it comes to investigating, the less “belief” of anything regarding the afterlife, the better.
Having a belief in any sort of afterlife is fine, but leave it at the door. Yes, when investigating you need to be as objective as possible. Confirmation Bias is rife with investigators and we are all susceptible to it. So recognising this and going into an investigation with a “clear slate” as much as you can help you better interpret the environment and psychological situation around you.
2) Your aim is to investigate phenomena
Yes, phenomena. Not whether a place is haunted or not. Of course, this also is a little different when exploring public locations since the basis for going is due to the well-known reports of activity. Your focus though is on things like witness experiences, not if there are trapped souls who haven’t made their way to a version of “heaven”. There is also the argument of being careful of negative and demonic entities. Understandable to hear this often, yes, but how are we to research something while avoiding it at all costs? So much can be explained by other means.
Think of the 3 knock example. One person hears this and believes it's mocking the holy trinity of Christianity. Then they may start to think that there is a case of a negative entity. Or maybe another person hears 3 knocks and see’s it as a sign of their pagan faith (power of 3). And they begin to think that their faith is there to protect them from what possible harm may come to them during the investigation. Neither situation is right or wrong. But either scenario's may have nothing to do with the 3 knocks which could have very well been a window shutter banging in a breeze.
3) Afterlife clinically doesn't exist regardless of belief
As much as many of us have had experiences that we still can’t explain till this day, the fact of the situation is that “the afterlife” hasn’t been proven – yet. And, there is no evidence that anything spiritual has anything to do with the paranormal. It is, quite often, used to explain what science hasn’t proven.
If you really want to, go “old school”. Observe the environment inside and outside the location only. No “asking out” or trying to illicit communication. Just seeing and making notes on what is happening around you at the time.
So if you want to adopt this way of investigating, start by leaving your belief of what happens after we die at the door. Again, having a belief is completely acceptable, but when you step foot into a location, leave it at the door.