Instinct Versus Intellect
Many skeptics dismiss the topic of investigating the paranormal as a black-and-white issue of intellect versus instinct. The two should never be viewed in conflict with each other, because as you pursue your paranormal studies and investigations you will definitely need to rely heavily on both qualities.
Your intellect and observational skills play a key role in your investigations. You should always look for a natural explanation for any observed or reported phenomenon before concluding that an event is paranormal in origin. Frankly, in most cases you will be able to find a mundane explanation when you examine the evidence thoroughly.
But listening to your instinct is important, too. Instinct can tell you when a situation is potentially dangerous or lead you to a certain room or area where your investigation will bear fruit. The important thing is to keep a good balance between intellect and intuition.
Stumped by the Spirits
If you investigate long enough, you will inevitably encounter a circumstance that cannot be explained by any natural law or debunked by an everyday explanation. When this happens, it is important to maintain an open and alert state of mind. This is easily said but hard to do.
When the human mind is confronted by phenomena it cannot quickly categorize or readily understand, it tends to either freeze or race out of control. Your heart may pound and your thoughts may grow chaotic or confused. So how do you cope with these reactions? The answer isn't a simple one; each individual has a different threshold for dealing with anxiety and fear.
If you are a total skeptic, you may find that you completely shut down and simply refuse to process or believe what you are seeing. On the other hand, if you have a tendency to be open-minded, you may be better prepared to handle the situation. In either case, you should work with a partner and use technology to help you keep an objective record of the event. Try to maintain as professional a demeanor as you can, given the circumstances.
Digital's Got Your Back
Additionally, a DVR, digital camera, or tape recorder should be in use at all times as you work. It's best to use at least two of the three at all times. They will provide you with valuable data to be analyzed and verified. If you capture something unexplained, evidence from these devices will force you to realign your thinking. If you're a believer, it will reinforce your existing belief system. Of course, some skeptics have their beliefs validated if nothing turns up on tape or film. That is why it is so important to have credible eyewitness accounts and independently verifiable evidence.