Thursday, July 5, 2012

Summer Library Lecture Series Rewarding

by Mike Chapman

This summer, thanks to my friend and fellow Team Leader Shelly Beard of MSSPI, I have been lecturing in Libraries in the central Mississippi region. They take place in the evening time and people of all ages are invited to hear me speak on some aspect of paranormal investigating and/or demonology. These lectures have been rewarding because of the wonderful opportunity to interact with the general public. (It also gives me the chance to see my hometown in my rearview mirror and eat at some great restaurants!) My next lecture however, is here in Natchez on Friday the 13th (July) and is a bit is to early teens in a library lock-in. I'm planning on a bit of Hogwart's time with them...not with magick, but with Magik. I'm going to tell them about real dragons, dementor's, occlumency and legilimency...and how to stay away from nargles. But that's an entirely different subject. I digress...

Back to the regular lecture series. I usually offer about 30 to 45 minutes of the basics of P.I., with an emphasis on our unique methodology and approach, which helps dispel many of the common myths about real investigating. I intersperse this with "war stories" - experiences from real investigations, and invite them to raise a hand when they have a question or are not clear on something. The end of the evening is spent simply answering their questions. I do present some evidence, but I do not focus on that. I've found that just having a short time to present everything doesn't afford the proper time to do so with quality. I also believe that evidence analysis is very much a trained skill. It takes someone with much training and experience to "hear" a proper and true EVP, as well as sort through camera or photographic evidence. Like CIA aerial photographs, it takes someone will experience and skill to be able to discern what is real and what is not. I also have likened it to language learning. Analyzing paranormal evidence is like learning a different language. Showing the public evidence "cold turkey" is just not going to work...many of them will not be able to hear or see much of it, despite it being clear to experienced investigators. It leads to confusion and chaos that one cannot afford in an hour and a half lecture time. Besides, more important topics and issues should be covered.

These lectures have taught me a lot about the curiosity of the public in this field (which is substantial) and exactly where that curiosity is centered. Isn't it odd how the "teacher" is often the one who ends up learning the most from the students? I had thought that these would be attended mostly by people who have had or are having experiences themselves, but I have not found that to be the case. There are a few of those, but most people come because they have a deep, inner curiosity about the after-life and what happens to us when we die. However, not all of them are elderly, although there are quite a few older people who attend. These lectures give me the opportunity to share the Truth with them, and I thank God for my faith and the theological training and experience that I've had in my life. It truly is rewarding to see faith and truth meet with a relevant subject in normal peoples' lives and see the light of understanding shining in their eyes. Sure, it's cool to talk about "ghost" experiences and paranormal methodology, but it is truly rewarding to answer peoples' far deeper and more important questions about life, which includes physical death, and the life that goes on afterward for those who have made good choices.

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