Michael: Paul and I had our first live interview in the wee hours of Saturday morning a few weeks back on Midnight in the Desert with Tim Weisberg. It was a great discussion and a lot of interesting questions were raised. The archived is stored here: http://midnightinthedesert.com/michael-robartes-and-paul-conroy/
Later in the conversation, Tim raised the question of whether it is the journey or the destination that is the reason for what we do as paranormal investigators.
I think to answer it, we would first need to identify what the “destination” would be in either case. For many in these fields, the destination would be to prove the reality of these phenomena to: the world/ skeptics/ science/ (insert other target). While Paul and I both seek `proof’ for ourselves, especially on the Sasquatch front where neither of us has had that definitive personal experience, neither of us are that interested in proving anything to anyone else. Our main purpose is to assist the witnesses who called us for help.
In addition, as I argue in the book, I believe that in the absence of personal experience of the paranormal, no second hand evidence, no matter how definitive and scientific, can ever convince anyone of anything. At least, not in the sense of stimulating an RHE.
Still, it’s certainly worth considering the direction the Mystery Machine is currently traveling and what it might look like if we got there. Coincidentally (if you believe in that sort of thing), just prior to the interview, I had been watching the film The Discovery, in which a scientist finds hard evidence of an afterlife. The immediate result is a rash of suicides due to anyone unsatisfied with their lives wasting no time in moving on to whatever awaits them.
Would this be the result if we were to find some sort of definitive evidence of the survival of human consciousness? It certainly makes one pause to consider. We hope that the evidence we find will give people hope and a sense of being a part of a larger world rather than suggesting that the grass is greener on the other side of the veil.
But I think this is probably looking at it the wrong way. Here in the 21st, we seem to think that evidence of the spirit world would be a new discovery. But in reality humans have accepted the existence of spirits and the afterlife since there have been humans. The materialist paradigm we currently live in is a fairly isolated and novel phenomenon in the course of human history. So, in this sense, discovering `proof’ of these things would really just be restoring us to where we have been for most of human history.
To think that, just because this time around it had been proven by ‘science’, it would be a different story and people would all start killing themselves, is likely revealing the hubris of Science in thinking that its stamp of approval on a belief suddenly propels it to a status of ‘truth’ that it didn’t have as a religious, philosophical, and experiential belief.
All those past generations of humans didn’t feel the immediate need to shuffle off the mortal coil and move on to level 2. In fact, it seems to have had the opposite effect. People viewed their lives as a short time they got to spend on Earth before returning to wherever they came from. They made the most of it, just as people pack all they can into their vacation days.
The more I think about it, the more the warning of The Discovery sounds like a plea not to look behind the curtain. I say… off to see the wizard.
Paul: I have to admit, it wasn’t until we began working on the book that I had ever looked back upon my “journey”. The very process of writing “The Rabbit Hole Experience” was exactly that – a look back on the last 13 years.
I love everything about it.
The camaraderie – you get to know a guy after spending a few years roaming the mountains together, looking for a lost tribe. You see remote and beautiful places. You meet interesting people who tell incredible stories. You feel that you are constantly on the cliff of possibility – discovery, wonder, and mystery.
At the risk of sounding too “hippie” or “new age”, one of the things that draw me to animals and nature, is the humility that I find when I observe and interact with them. To be reminded of a world completely devoid of cell phones and 401k portfolios, completely independent of human interference, beautiful and dangerous, is a huge part of the journey for me.
The concept of discovering and interacting with what I suspect may be our brothers and sisters would be the ultimate in humility for me. They have a world that is – for the most part – completely independent of ours.
A bad day of monster hunting is still better than a good day at the office.
Coincidentally, it wasn’t until we were scripting the last few pages of the book that I ever stopped to consider my “destination”.
Do I have one?
Perhaps more importantly… Do I want one?
If the destination is proof of the existence of a bi-pedal relative of ours, somewhere between ape and man, or something similar, I can only imagine what that would look like. I think there would be an initial shock wave felt throughout the scientific community, and society in general. Everything to government regulations regarding land use to pop culture would be heavily influenced.
And where do we draw the line? What if someone wants to hunt them? Would it be murder to shoot one? To what extent do we “protect” them?
And then there is the general public. On more than one occasion I’ve read about how baby-dolphins have been killed after becoming temporarily separated from their mothers. They are often close to the shallows chasing bait fish, and run aground, and on more than one occasion have been snatched up by bathers and passed around for selfies like drunks with a bottle of cheap wine.
We are capable of incredible harm, regardless of our intentions.
Perhaps we need to explore our need to first “conquer” nature, and then become “stewards” of it.
The witness that I refer to in the book, Allen – said it best.
“Maybe they’re better off without us”.
We wrote a whole book full of this stuff. Don’t believe me?
Click here to see it!