The Metachorea, Chapter 1: Don’t Confuse me with the Facts!

PREFACE:

    DON’T CONFUSE ME WITH THE FACTS…

By the second decade of the 21st century it is clear that the “great conversation” of philosophy has exhausted all possible pretenses to explaining an “ultimate reality” and, via its general turn to critiquing institutional powers, has almost entirely penned itself off from policing the empirical sciences.[1]

One reason for this situation is due to a centuries-old belief: Science is not supposed to deal with morality and ethics. Morality was the one province left to philosophy,[2] but by now this defense has been virtually swept away by the secular humanism that informs the Enlightenment’s political program. Technocracy’s utilitarian foundations have for the most part trumped moral concerns; ethics, whether pragmatic or deontological, only impede the march of science in its goal to relieve the plights of humanity.

The ancient forms of holistic philosophy such as the Stoics’s, in which epistemology, ontology, and ethics were inseparable, are forever gone. With the exception of German “meta-narrativists” such as Kant, Hegel, and Spengler, the classical Stoic trio of disciplines lived on until the late 19th century, when epistemology and ontology were farmed out to the hard sciences of physics, biology, chemistry, and neurology. Ethics was in effect left to individual conscience and the rationalizations of religious mores.

While “hard” science appealed to certainty for its cosmic visions, its methods were eventually applied to government policy and public mental health regimes via the soft humanistic sciences of psychology, economics, sociology, and anthropology. The freedom of a sovereign conscience came to apply not only to belief as defined by the Abrahamic religions, but eventually to beliefs in general on the nature of reality; this was the creeping nihilism inherent in supposedly “value-free” sciences which Nietzsche, amongst others, railed against as both dangers and as opportunities for a type of conscious evolution.

Today this free-for-all has resulted in multiplying the cosmologies and beliefs to which a person could potentially subscribe. Despite the sciences’ pretentions to a singular reality of which scientists are the sole arbiter, we have been in an ontological bacchanalia for some time now.

If we are awake and open, we must attempt to process a confusing mélange of conflicting explanations for where we have come from and even what we are. Those who are absolutely certain of any truth—and hold a universality to their beliefs—are looked upon as suspect, unhinged, even fascist.

So what has this situation to do with “anomalous” experiences and the human imagination?

It turns out, everything. From the standpoint we will explore, anomalous experiences like ghost sightings, psychokinesis (PK), or seeing an Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) are akin to the creative acts of the human mind; both human ingenuity and anomalous experiences are equally mysterious in their origin.[3] Both have been plagues on humankind, for very different reasons.

 

I’LL SEE IT WHEN I BELIEVE IT

With a fair amount of certainty one can predict a given person’s explanation for an Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) encounter based only upon their opinion of what reality consists—whether they profess a belief in absolute idealism or materialist monism, for instance.

For example, if one believes the real world is ideal (whether it be thoughts in the mind of God, the veil of maya, a realm of Platonic Forms beyond our imperfect copies, or a holographic projection from a higher dimension) then there is a good possibility that they will come to believe the UAP and their “pilot entities” are made of the same insubstantial “mind stuff” as we and everything else in the universe—incorporeal thought-forms—but perhaps more powerful with regard to their controlling these illusions in the UAP percipient’s mind. If the universe is not physical, the UAP entities furthermore can be contacted directly on this mental-ideal plane. Distance and time are no obstacles if space-time is illusory and malleable continuum of Idea. This particular belief underlies many forms of occult practice, and historically is the bridge between modern UAP and the realm of ceremonial magic.[4]

A monist physicalist (materialist) on the other hand erects insurmountable barriers for UAP being either extraterrestrial or interdimensional or ideal, as we’ll explore shortly. A Darwinian physicalist would counter the explanation that UAP are manned by “hidden Terran race/cryptoterrestrial” by explaining that an unknown species of beings cannot have survived on this planet without human knowledge of them, if not depositing some kind of paleobiological proof of their existence. Their physicalist framework would render claims of evolved abilities to possess invisibility camouflage (as some cryptoterrestrialist theorists have suggested) and psychic powers in advanced, unknown homo sapiens occultum as unprovable nonsense.

A fundamentalist steeped in the Abrahamic religions will see the world as the product of a single act of creation whose physical laws are secondary to a moral informing of the cosmos. Angelic and demonic forces may exist in this worldview, but are necessary to their core beliefs only by which sect we are discussing. For instance, a Southern Baptist or Muslim Salafist may shrug off UAP as demons, or the activity of Ifritic djinn, respectively—which, as we’ll see in Book Two, basically amount to the same type of being.

Within the materialist/religionist dichotomy we have binary oppositions of belief amongst social groups. They have completely different methods of knowing of what truth consists, and how it is constructed. Sub-species of both belief-systems could be extended indefinitely. A Hindu may view UAP as the return of ancient vimana craft used by Krishna and Rama; an Azande will cognize them as evil witch lanterns; a Mormon might believe they are the signs of spiritually advanced angelic beings like the Angel Moroni who appeared to founder Joseph Smith…

The upshot is that these all are conditioned responses via a priori beliefs inherent in their religions’ cosmologies. The scientistic stance is no different in this regard: in their case, an a priori dismissal of Others’ existence as impossible.

The rational study of UAP remains an outlying pursuit in our society and is largely immune to policing of its method. Its pretense to scientific tractability is illusory. “Ufology” has nothing with which to grasp its target but anecdotes, patterns within the anecdotes, and deductive reasoning.

Today’s dismal state of UAP/encounter study is due to the psychological and philosophical factors noted above. The specific belief-system of the investigator determines categorization and the phenomenon’s essence. The groundbreaking work in UAP study, if it can even be called such, has already been done, and done long ago.[5] We now accrete myth upon myth; the parameters for the debate have supposedly been set. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but in UAP study, every opinion is practically unfalsifiable.

It would seem at this point to be a hopeless pursuit, but it is not. Just like mainstream science’s explanations for UAP, this tract will not be so much an explanation as a detailed description of a process that occurs to individuals and groups who encounter—or rather enfold within—such anomalies, its parallels with psychophysical paranormal events, and how Imagination irrupts all norms.

THE END(S) OF PHYSICS

The particle/wave complementarity of energy shown by quantum physics has given us an uneasy contentment with many phenomena that seem logically divergent. The untestable ideas of string theory yield the same unease in both its proponents and dissenters. The limits of the directly observable, long ago transgressed in quantum experiments, have driven physicists yet further to conjectures with no falsifiability criterion to test them.

The anomalies we will examine present disparate interpretations that structurally mirror our seemingly dead-ending physics. The divergence of interpretation stems from the highly strange circumstances of the paranormal events themselves. Ambiguity is their very nature, into which Imagination cannot but be projected.

With this essay I hope to steer a course using neurological and psychological findings about the brain, some axioms regarding that elusive activity known as human creativity, and deductions about anomalous perceptions, and tie them together.

 

UPENDING THE DEBUNKERS’ TOOLKIT

In science, there are several types of evidence that may support a hypothesis but, theoretically, “truth” is a label to be avoided. As per philosopher Karl Popper’s criteria, there should be no positive statements asserting a general truth, but tentative ideas that have observable and predictable consequences that can then be falsified by an experiment—therefore, if a theory’s entailed test(s) is falsified, then the theory should be reexamined, if not scrapped.

When we’re considering evidence for concepts such as other dimensions or “otherworldly” beings, most scientists demand evidence that amounts to a type of irrefutable proof of their existence.

But as is historically demonstrated, apparitions almost always appear spontaneously, and therefore the conditions to study them are unrepeatable in the sense that an experiment can be replicated.[6] The Spiritualists’ experiments of the 19th and 20thcenturies, witnessed by some of the greatest scientists of the period, by and large failed scientific tests; only a small fraction of the paranormal phenomena were left unexplainable. The same percentage (10-15%) holds for “unknowns” in UAP reports and their reported pilot entities.

The burden then becomes foisted upon an anomaly experiencer to prove a positive—the physical existence of what they witnessed or are asserting they witnessed.

To assert grounds for their non-existence is easy enough for the debunker; they only have to state that the laws of physics as we understand them do not allow the existence of beings from distant worlds to appear here because space-time travel-lengths from distant stars are too great, or that the physical energies for “transdimensional beings” to fold/warp into our space involved are too intense—and their intrusions would easily be noticed by scientific/military instrumentation deployed throughout society at large.[7]

But these scientists are replying to specific (perhaps grossly misguided) hypotheses as to what was witnessed in the first place by the percipient and/or made it into the investigator’s report. That the Others are physical extraterrestrial or transdimensional entities are 1) human conclusions made after the fact of experience, or 2) admissions by the (usually) more anthropomorphic-looking beings. Skeptics suspend judgment about such ideas. Debunkers are another story.

The entities may very well be from another star system, but the chances of that are very slim, as we shall see. For the debunker, whose mind is already made up, a snap judgment is inevitable: the percipient has given us lies, hallucinations, mistaken memory.[8]

The “normal” and the “paranormal” are useless terms when one considers that the norm is a matter of a frame of reference relative to a body of knowledge in historical time. In other words, the paranormal is a part of the natural world from a larger standpoint we simply may not yet understand. To take just one example of a debunker’s irony, here’s a real corker from Michael Shermer, editor-in-chief of Skeptic magazine: “It is at the horizon where the known meets the unknown that we are tempted to inject paranormal and supernatural forces to explain hitherto unsolved mysteries, but we must resist the temptation because such efforts can never succeed, not even in principle.”[9]

To what principle is he referring? It must be the axiom that the paranormal doesn’t exist because it simply can’t. This statement itself does not pass scientific muster. It’s a sterling example of rhetorically assuming total knowledge of what it intends to prove non-existent—that the paranormal does not exist, therefore cannot be investigated, simply because…it does not exist. It is circular. It rests on metaphysical assumptions about the ultimate nature of reality, that reality has no non-measurable aspects that may be responsible for the paranormal. Yet debunkers like Shermer are supposedly committed to eliminating metaphysics from any scientific discussion. The irony of his statement is completely lost on him.

It can’t be denied that debunkers neither prove or disprove any claim they make against the strange experiences anomaly witnesses report. Although many ufologists are masters at deploying logical fallacies in trying to prove extraterrestrials’ presence here on earth, there is no shortage of sloppy thinking in the debunker community either, in particular the use of the straw man, complex question, bandwagon, begging the question, ad hominem, “no true Scotsman,” subjectivist, and appeal-to-authority fallacies.

 

ET NULL HYPOTHESIS + 1

Astronomers Woodruff Sullivan and Adam Frank have tabulated figures using the first three parts of Drake’s equation and new information from the Kepler telescope, which has discovered 300 exoplanets. It turns out that nearly every star probably has at least one planet. In all likelihood billions of stars have planets in the “Goldilocks” zone where water and an atmosphere can form. According to their calculations there is a 1 in 10 billion chance that a civilization did not evolve in this habitable zone of some star. With the age of the universe, the chance that one that is at least as technologically advanced as ours developed at one time is 100%. Now multiply that by the estivated number of stars with planets in the habitable zone: 25%.

               The likelihood that advanced extraterrestrials exist, or existed in the past, is near 100%. If they exist at the level now, or have a say 100,000 year head start, it is very possible they could develop means of traversing vast interstellar distances. To say they have to pass through our exact technological phases to reach such a level is anthropocentric. Accident has played a huge part in scientific progress. Cognitive differences in their early evolutionary development could have led some of these extraterrestrials to possessing imaginative capacities far beyond ours; perhaps they could view designs for machines in 3-D solely in their minds, like Leonardo da Vinci was reputed to do. Perhaps they could see the finite and detrimental courses certain technologies would take (such as the use of fossils fuels). Perhaps after discovering mathematics, or a cognitive analogue to it, they could create in their minds many thousands of models for the composition and deign of spacecraft before even raising a finger to actually build them.

But these conjectures tell us nothing about them appearing here. Here is a syllogistic breakdown of the way things stand with regard to Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) being extraterrestrial:

1. Standard ET hypothesis (ETH):
-Statistically, extraterrestrial life, perhaps technologically evolved many ten of thousands of years before us, must exist somewhere in our galaxy.
-Human-possible means of interstellar flight that approach/exceed light speed or that warp space have already been discovered by these extraterrestrials. Therefore,
-The ET civilizations that discovered it long ago could come here with ease, given the time-frame.
————
2. Conservative adjunct to ETH:
-Currently-known means of interstellar space flight make travel from elsewhere to earth nearly impossible for even one, let alone hundreds, of different alien races.
-There are hundreds of differing UAP forms and entities (“races”) reported; therefore
-Conventional means of interstellar flight are not used, or they are not here.
***Rejoinder: Unknown but human-possible means may be used for their interstellar transport, as in the first set of syllogisms; or multiple generations pass on the vehicle as it traverses space; or the beings are in suspended animation during flight; or grown artificially during flight; or they are very long-lived; or they are a form of artificial intelligences (drones).
Or…
These UAP and their pilot beings are not extraterrestrial but manifestations of something endogenous to earth.
———
3. Consensus ETH Qualification:
-5-10% of reported UAP and their entities are extraterrestrials.
-Different people have very rarely reported the exact same UAP and/or entity (prior to the “greys” seeming to dominate UAP lore 1980-present); there have been hundreds of types of “ships” and creatures reported, almost unique to each percipient, up to the present day.
-Statistically, to the best of our knowledge, it is probable that only one race would be able to perfect the technology capable as we currently envision it of making the journey, as in 2.1; therefore
Only one, or even none, of the UAP craft/entities are extraterrestrial.

***Rejoinder: We could conjecture that the single race that has made the journey here possess means to camouflage itself in a myriad of different forms, thus accounting for the hundreds of types and confusing humanity as to their purposes.

So the existence of UAP as extraterrestrial craft is suspect due to the numbers of different ships/beings that have been reported, and the vanishingly low odds of so many different “races” achieving the physical means to get here. And this even ignores the question of why they would be interested in our planet.

Still, the chance that an unknown intelligent force has interacted with the human race is very great, due simply to the astronomical numbers of reported events of “high strangeness,” revelations, contacts, epiphanies with otherworldly beings noted throughout history—all the way to the present age of UAP and aliens.

ANOMALIES AS NORMS

Another of science’s defining features is the strict classification of phenomena, a practice that stretches as far back (at least) to Aristotle. This Greek thinker also gave us the concept of the excluded middle, the axiom that any proposition must either be true or false. All existent beings either fall into one conceptual set or another. Their traits may overlap, but this results in the creation of a third set of predications. Thus could classification be extended indefinitely.

Together, classification and the excluded middle in practice allow no room for the existence for penumbral entities or experiences—that is, possibilities—where one must admit, almost everything in reality actually belongs. Plato’s “unveiling what is beyond nature,” wedded with Socrates’s technique of elenchus(suspension of any fixed beliefs in order to interrogate a phenomena) and Aristotle’s logic of classification bequeathed us the system that lives at the heart of science. This primal technology, this thinking method (or even a thinking ritual) has now changed the world, and especially how humanity regards its relation to religious experiences.

Regardless of the trappings, the structure of the anomalous phenomena still stands: an ethereal encounter begets the begats. The experiencers of Otherworldly beings and states have changed the world in ways that are socially primordial and more long-lasting than that of the modern science, its technology, and the epistemological stances associated with it.

When one examines human history, we should note that encounters with intelligent-seeming beings that seem evolved higher (or lower) than humanity, or are “from elsewhere” is a rule and not an exception. We may even venture to say that such encounters with Others are statistically ordinary occurrences over epochs, but extraordinary events in a sub-epochal sense—the span of a single week, for instance.

Another way of saying this is that spectacular anomalous events may occur unpredictably within the relatively short timespan of a decade or two, with clusters of events (or even none at all), but occur with a statistical consistency over long periods, such as two centuries—and by spectacular, I mean those events that have been recorded due to the presence of many credible witnesses, or devastating effects upon a small group of witnesses.[10] The Jansenist convulsionnaires movement (which we shall examine), the “Miracle of the Sun” at Fatima, Portugal in 1917 and the appearance of triangular UAP over the Hudson Valley in 1981-83 would be examples of mass anomalous experiences. In the 20th century, for instance, there were major worldwide waves of UAP encounters: 1947 (majority in USA), 1952, 1954 (majority in France/Italy), 1958, 1965-69, 1973-74, 1976-78 (majority in South America, UK, USA, and USSR), 1981, 1986-91.[11]

Every person who has lived has probably either 1) experienced an anomalous being directly; 2) known someone who has encountered one directly; or 3) has heard of someone by a maximum of two degrees of separation that has had an extraordinary encounter.[12]

The most important aspect of extraordinary encounters is that they almost always change that percipient’s outlook on life. The intense quality of their conviction affects people close to them; their family or friends may be converted by the sheer charisma of the transformed’s personality into not only belief in the experience, but belief in that force which ostensibly caused it as well. Obviously, such primary encounters are how religions begin: Pharaoh Amenhotep IV’s revelation of the Aten; Moses’s burning bush; the apostles encounter with the resurrected Jesus; Paul’s encounter with the resurrected Jesus; Gabriel’s appearance to Muhammad; Joseph Smith and the Angel Moroni, etc. Numinous encounters are also how the revelation of prophecy is forged: think of Ezekiel and Enoch and Elijah and John of Patmos. The communion of Saints Hildegard and Bernadette and Lucia with the “white lady” (AKA the Blessed Virgin Mary) has given way to alien contactees Betty Andreasson and Truman Betherum and Howard Menger encountering angelic-appearing beings. Each of these people had a meeting with some force that changed them—and through a subculture-to-cultural stealth, affected a not insignificant portion of our civilization.

Inside any socially stable group, individuals may be subject to an array of anomalous events but there are always limited vocabularies to describe and tame them. These anomalies transform the society, for good or ill—causing a spiritual solace in the experiencer(s), or causing a reactive force that comes to some powerful individuals or groups in vanquishing the irruption when it threatens the communal order (if we chose the late 17th century, for instance, by means of official exorcism or trials and murder of the “witch”).

It’s a simple fact that any arbitrarily chosen time-period/geographical area will possess its corresponding set of Otherworldly beings and associated phenomena. Their influences upon those populations’ thinking and, consequently, their histories are immense and unavoidable.

The bunk that arch-skeptics consistently retail is that a steady-state norm always exists from which there can be no deviation. If such a state of nature existed, all questions as to the universe’s structure and origin would be in principle knowable and probably satisfactorily answered by now. Scientific history is full of surprises that overturned everything known; it is how knowledge changes.

Arch-debunkers seem not to possess the reflective capacity to see the mechanisms by which the norms of accepted and acceptable scientific knowledge, for instance, have changed radically over the past century.[13] They are many times altered by noting and collecting anomalies in normal scientific practice, as Thomas Kuhn pointed out.[14] The norm is changing today at an almost alarming accelerating rate, and the scientific groundwork for postulating a falsifiable theory for anomalous experiences is being laid further each day. With this work, I hope to establish the skeleton and arrow pointing to such a theory.

 

THE EXPLANATORY IMPULSE

So how are such unusual experiences classified today? We know the judgments of the psychological turn (that psychoses or “hysteria” are responsible), and the “mistaken cognitive impression/hallucination” that neuroscience would offer us. These explanations are default frames of reference, and require no thought at all—and are especially poverty-stricken with regard to the content of the percipient’s “hallucination.”

The phenomenology of hallucinations is a crucial aspect pertinent to all mental experience and is amenable to analytic interpretation (Jung was one such pioneer) but on the whole neuroscientists minimize or ignore the significance of the imagery and messages that are present in “deviant” brain activity. Thus every day, inadequate explanations are wheeled out to explain strange experiences, as well as their extrapolation backwards in history to account for the otherworldly encounters of the past.

This is not to say that there aren’t valid psychological, sociological, and historical reasons explaining why people without a directexperience of an Other would come to believe these supernatural occurrences happened. A series of fortuitous strokes led an obscure Palestinian Jewish cult to ascend into the world’s most populous religion. A staunch Christian would likely disagree with that statement, or say that it was foreordained because it is the one true religion, with Paul of Tarsus being the historical lynchpin.

But there is a structure here that bears emphasizing: The important dynamic regarding a born-again Christian’s personal conversion-revelation is that Jesus’s resurrection aligns the “reborn’s” experience with that of Saint Paul’s. It places the percipient directly in the center of an/the originating divine experience. What to the born-again person is a divine tautology—“the grace by which Paul was saved is the same grace by which I was saved”—is echoed in the debunker’s tautology “temporal lobe malfunctions cause ‘religious-experience hallucinations’ that can only be caused by a temporal lobe malfunction.” The phenomenology of this supernatural grace or affect-soaked hallucination fail to account for the structural change to the percipient’s mental state and physical disposition afterward. For the rest of us, who try to dispassionately view the transformation of an individual’s life after an Otherworldly encounter—especially seeing that these persons have come into possession of personal qualities or talents hitherto minimal or non-existent—we are full of questions meant to break the circular logic.


THE DOUBLY-DAMNED

Mature “epistemological autocracies” such as our materialist worldview are ideologies that marginalize or attempt to erase human experiences that do not fit their framework. Charles Fort called anomalous experiences “the damned”—the events that are ignored, suppressed, or explained away by both secular and religious orthodoxies.

But it’s only fitting that they be damned to irrelevance, we say from our peculiar Darwinist way of thinking—for were there any reality to their existence, they would have gained scientific purchase and be recognized realities by now.[15]

There appear to be at least two reasons why this is so:

One: We simply do not adequately understand consciousness or the relation of consciousness to its substrate, the brain, to offer an explanation for them. But, science assures us, in the future we will. This is called promissory materialism—the idea that all the physicalist answers will one day be found for all mental phenomena. The greatest problem with this form of scientism is that its conclusions about an objective world presuppose a presence—an experiencing thing—that it cannot bring itself to acknowledge. At best, the dominant form of neuroscience can try to persuade us that this subjective realm of experience is only another kind of object, a chemical machine called the brain whose secrets and tricks we are slowly uncovering. All we lack is more powerful technologies to make the discovery complete. Some of the best thinkers have concluded that consciousness is only an illusion constructed by the brain in order to assist the propagation of genetic material.

This conflict between the non-objectivity of behavioral observations and the inability of science to bridge the mind-brain gap seems bereft of a solution. Neuroscientists can propose yet further physiological investigations. Philosophers can offer up an endless stream of thought experiments, but there is no final resolution to the problem of subjectivity trying to objectify itself. This notion of neural correlates of conscious mental states is at the heart of a number of neuroscientific misconceptions ranging from assessments of consciousness, to the claims that morality can be ascertained scientifically. The feeling of security given by the reductionist approach is in fact illusory—a feeling of security analogous to the fundamentalist religionist’s.

Two: Even if the mind/brain system were completely explained, a scientific model for anomalies would still be problematic under our epistemic autocracy because such phenomena are, by definition (mostly) single witness-dependent, subjective, and often singularly-occurring phenomena. As noted at the beginning of this chapter, these reports are incommensurable with our scientific method of hard data, replicable experimentation, and peer-reviewed study, so they would still be eliminated from consideration.

From the point of view of the religious fundamentalist, the anomalies’ ambiguous nature contradicts the idea that God has a specific order to existence. People today still claim to encounter angels and demons, for instance, and while these episodes may pose problems for the ecclesiastical authorities, they do not for the common believer. The belief is solid because it has historical provenance thousands of years old. Still, most mainstream Christian and Muslim sects chose to minimize people’s accounts of encountering them.

Anomalous experiences cannot be transmitted to others—except by a sympathetic recognition by persons to whom a similar event has occurred, or the faith and belief-induction of those close to them.[16] As a culture we in the “West” have tended to throw Charles Fort’s “damned” experiences all together in an inchoate mass. Fringe incidents begets fringe community: a near-death experiencer gravitates into a support group with other survivors, learns of the afterlife’s “ascended masters,” then the UAP-entity connection to these ascended masters, then crystal power, and is embraced by the New Age set and may end up converted to belief in a nefarious, Reptilian-led New World Order—all because their original NDE experience has found no home in our materialist-dominant culture.

Inevitably an experiencer is compelled to retreat from defending the pragmatic value of their anomalous experience—the positive changes that occurred to them as a result—to arguing whether it even happened in objective reality. The positive changes in the experiencer’s personality are irrelevant to the debunker, as we noted; they fall back on the “God-sensing center” of the brain’s neurological edifices, or the “spiritual-neuron bundles” responsible for conversion experiences (usually a temporal lobe malfunction) and consequent beliefs that arise from the malfunction.

The tenuous research on the brain’s “God center” point to merely correlative relations between neural stimulation and a reported experience; there cannot be a causative God-sensing center in the human brain in the way that, say, the pituitary gland causes the secretion of hormones.

This use of language is known as a category error and is, ironically, often deployed by the debunkers against religious believers. How can God be sensed by a part of the brain, when God/a larger spiritual world does not exist for the scientist? To be clearer: the debunker looks upon the anomaly percipient’s experience as an avowal of belief, not a statement of fact. “The pituitary gland secretes hormones” can be empirically demonstrated through measuring instruments, but that proposition depends upon the consensus meaning of “pituitary,” “gland,” “secretes,” and “hormones.”

There are observable referents to each of the words. The statement “I sense the presence of a loving God” also depends upon the meaning/reference of each part of the proposition—but that which is signified by the object “God” has sense, but no referent that can be measured. Most people experience the “oceanic feeling” of Oneness or interconnectedness at least once, and in innumerable ways. It is often used as a substitute for God. That it should have a neural correlate does not negate the meaning of the experience to the subject, to say nothing of the time factor: that the subjective experience may be the cause of the neural change. We will explore the arrow of causation in this essay.

The crux of the matter is this: what happens when percipients are compelled to use the epistemological methods used by the dominant scientistic regime to explain their unique experiences? They must turn to physical evidence, of course, to sate the physicalist demands.

Perhaps 5-10% of the time the UAP (and even fairy, djinn, or cryptid animal encounters) produce inexplicable physical traces such as landing marks, burns, sickness in the percipient, stigmata, scars, spontaneous healings, etc. From the most generous frame of reference, these traces are exactly the result of what is described—physical evidence that some kind of high-intensity energy interacted with the percipient. But they always turn out ambiguous from a scientific analysis.[17]

Just as the effects of quantifiable objects (such as electromagnetic fields in a coil) may produce theories as to how they work, we can trace the effects of paranormal events back to their probable causes. This is what I intend to do in this essay.

We will eventually see that the suspension of a single explanatory reference frames regarding “Otherly” beings lets us entertain the idea that there is a family resemblance between what experiencers of UAP entities, fairies, djinn, and Other beings claim, and take all such accounts on multiple levels. This is a fruitful approach used by journalist John Keel and ufologist Dr. Jacques Vallee—in particular, Vallee’s idea that, regardless of their physically real/unreal status, these Others’s methods and effects mirror that of spy operations (psy-ops). Working from psychologically observable effects to possible causes seems both the most conservative and the richest stance to pursue.

Although varied in form, the spectrum of entities embody similar content/meaning/ends in their human interactions. No amount of conditioning will produce such phantasmal spectacles with predictable success. UAP and related phenomena appear to appear randomly (which, as I said, is what makes them impossible to study), and as long as most scientific organizations refuse to admit their existence there will be a poverty of potentially relevant information surrounding any unusual experience: an analysis of local geomagnetic disturbances, a change in the percipient’s brain chemistry, and, perhaps most implausibly, persons elsewhere in the world who are undergoing another kind of anomalous manifestation at the same time, or even groups of people actively trying to access another realm through occult ritual or meditation.

Such correlations are impossible to achieve; if we could somehow cross-section the world or take a snapshot of everything occurring everywhere in the globe, would we find some correlative supernatural events are transpiring elsewhere during a UAP or apparitional entity encounter?[18] And can we find functional relations between them?

The question is this: Statistically, on any given day or hour, how often do high strange anomalous events occur? And how are we to classify them?

These are impossible statistics to accumulate, but they would seem to be imperative to an understanding of UAPs and their attendant phenomena. Should such a database be established, it could find correlations that yield analyzable material. If scientists don’t even try to establish regularity to the phenomena, we can never get anywhere. Regularity establishes the basis of classification and testing. Researchers like Aime Michel, Vallee, and Keel have attempted analysis of UAP sightings by frequency and location, yielding at least some patterns related to electromagnetic earth disturbances; Keel and Vallee both strongly suggest a relationship between the percipients’ life history, psychological state, and the conditions under which the sightings occurred are the most important aspect of the phenomena. Albert Budden has further discovered deep parallels between electro-hypersensitive persons and UAP activity and personalities prone to “abductions.” I agree with this psychological/health angle, and will follow this lead as basic.

 

A CONCESSION TO THE EPISTEMIC AUTOCRACY: ANECDOTES, DAMNED ANECDOTES!

Cognitive scientists and psychologists claim to have rid themselves from Cartesian dualism and Skinnerian behaviorism, but these ideas have lived a skulking shadow-life in the psychology lab regardless. The structure of neuroscientific practice involves the experimenter’s believing the verbal accounts of a test subject’s experiences that the experimenter correlates with their objective/physical measuring devices. This yields publicly available data for inspection by expert and amateur alike.

What is needed is the third way, the mediation.

To be clear: To prove anomalous beings and phenomena don’t exist is impossible. To prove an anomalous experience changed a person’s outlook on life—including their habits, diet, and even their lifelong maladies, etc.—is proven beyond doubt, in hundreds of cases going back centuries.

Many people take this statement to mean some kind of positive assertion that “ETs” therefore must exist, but we shouldn’t assert this; we should deal with the facts, the possible, and the probable. We first need to bracket the experiences phenomenologically without regard to their physical cause, accept them in the form they are presented, and work backwards.

So all we have left is anecdotes. And from anecdotes we shall have to proceed, using logic and categorization to make sense of them. Anecdotes constituted the greater portion of human knowledge for the past 10,000 years—stories of battles, peoples’ folkways, spirit encounters, fairytales, and gossip. It was only by means of the data-organization techniques generated over the past 5 centuries that patterns could be gleaned from the raw data these stories presented. In our age of corporatized, physicalist science, these folktales of encounters are considered curiosities at best, an irritating form of non-scientific knowledge at worst. Almost always the word “anecdotal” is derogatorily cast upon UAP, NDE and psi studies. They are viewed as collections of mistaken impressions loosely gathered together. Mostly this criticism comes from our popular science boosters and professional debunkers, and not necessarily credentialed scientists themselves. Many of the actual scientists know better; they know that anecdotes are where science can begin, for all collections of anomalies that end in paradigm shifts start off as anecdotes encountered during experimentation or observation. Moreover, radical critics of scientific methodologies hold that the line between experimental conditions and anecdote is artificial; all the preparation (choosing the experiment’s participants, designing the experiment’s conditions, weeding out confounding factors) are just made in order to produce a series of anecdotes (the experimental runs) arranged and stereotyped in a strict way to reveal a certain result. The only difference between a collection of anecdotes and a scientific experiment is that a hypothesis motivates the experiment, a guess at the empirical effects of the hypothesis is made ahead of time, and a result is obtained. Studies function as little more than anecdotes that are used to back the claims of newer studies. The special status of these anecdotes—and why we are prohibited from calling them such—is that their transparency of methods and design supposedly render them replicable by other scientists.

So ahead we’ll go. In Part Two we will examine the rise of the “grey alien” and its “purpose” through witnesses’ experiences and the popular culture. Part Three will approach current theories of neuroscience with regard to quantum phenomena and especially their non-local aspects, leading to the conjectured existence of a field I call the metachoria, in which humanity has co-created from an “imaginal realm” very real experiences and energies that we are just on the edge of understanding. It’s necessary for to delve a bit deeply into some interpretations of quantum experiments and theory and their relation to the brain’s structure in producing—or rather filtering—conscious experience. After that, we will examine the many phenomena associated with dissociative identity disorder, hypnotism, seemingly impossible feats of psychophysical magic, and the holographic universe/implicate order hypotheses. The four of these combined will provide a foundation for the examination of Albert Budden’s theory of electro-hypersensitivity in certain individuals, and the anomalous experiences that can result.

 


[1] Possible exceptions are stringent evaluation of the models used in the cognitive sciences, neurology, and psychology by thinkers such as John Searle, Thomas Nagel, Hubert Dreyfus, David Chalmers, Colin McGinn, Roger Penrose, and Emily and Edward Kelly. On the more radical side, we have the philosophers of science Paul Feyerabend and Thomas Kuhn—which still are institutional critiques.

[2] Evidenced by such thinkers as G.E. Moore, Karl Popper, John Rawls, Robert Nozick, Martha Nussbaum, and Alasdair MacIntyre.

[3] This study will dispense with the terms UFO, flying saucer, and extraterrestrials. In their place I will substitute the “Others” because I don’t think it is useful to draw a hard distinction between the “craft,” the “entities,” their “origin realms,” “technology,” and their effects on percipients. The aberrant experiences should be considered as wholes, both on individual and collective bases. The supposition that these anomalous “presentations” may likely involve a form of “holography” or especially altered states of consciousness in the observer, noted by many investigators, has led me from this group of terms in favor of a singular one. The Others is a term meant to encompass the fact that something unknown and intelligent is interacting with human (and animal) minds. The specific form taken by the “entities” or their “craft” is less important than the fact that an interaction is taking place. As many researchers have noted, a study of folklore and history shows that the Others seem to alter their appearance based upon cultural constraints. This would mean they have an intimate knowledge of our minds, either by “study” or a form of “mind-hacking”—or that they are generated in part by us. But they have interacted with purpose nonetheless. I believe the previous generations of terms used to describe them are something we must condition ourselves to go beyond if any further progress is to be made. One may think this is an even worse nomenclature to use, but it elides the bewildering varieties of beings in favor of, hopefully, a philosophical engagement with something that could turn out to be the most significant in human history.

[4] One variation of this confluence began with Dr. Meade Layne’s “Etherian” hypothesis that was developed through trance medium Mark Probert’s communications with “space intelligences” between 1946-53. See The Coming of the Guardians: An Interpretation of the Flying Saucers as Given from the Other Side of Life, Inner Circle Press, 2009 (originally published 1958). In 1904 & 1918, poet and occultist Aleister Crowley supposedly accomplished “interdimensional” communications and evocations of extraterrestrial beings, one which became his “Holy Guardian Angel.” Crowley’s devotees John W. Parsons and L. Ron Hubbard performed Crowley’s “Babalon Working” ritual in 1946 to “rend the veil” between our realm of Malkuth (in Kabbalistic terms) and that of the Abyss, or Qlippoth (the shattered remains of material unused in Yahweh’s creation); some claim that, through their incompetency, the duo was unable to close this portal, resulting in the entire UAP “demonic invasion.” If nothing else, the coincidence of the dates 1946-1947, when UAP first appeared in vast numbers, and Crowley’s visual descriptions of the beings he contacted are interesting anecdotes.

[5] I am thinking here of the work of Aime Michel, who in the mid-1950s first (and unsuccessfully) submitted UAP sightings in France to statistical and “orthotenic” analysis; of Dr. Jacques Vallee, who did the same but came to embrace past folklore as continuous with UAP mythology and involved psychic factors; Trevor James’s and Brinsley le Poer Trench’s biological “sky people” hypothesis; John Keel, who introduced the world of occult manifestations into the mix by 1970; Dr. Michael Persinger, who attempted to explain experiences by means of electromagnetic interference with the brain’s temporal lobes; and, closer to today, the thorough work of Albert Budden in the 1990s, whose hypothesis we will explore in depth. Apart from Vallee, Keel, Persinger, and Budden there have been no theoreticians of UAP activity whose musings have come close to answering the full spectrum of the mystery.

[6] Many overly-curious investigators have tried to short-cut this problem by utilizing psychic mediums to contact the entities behind the UAP, as we shall see.

[7] In connection with UAP and “cryptids,” no physical evidence, such as an artificially created artifact, has ever passed analytical muster as something possibly from “elsewhere.” We are told about landing marks, drained car batteries, car paint damage, electrical surges that overload a grid, etc. Witnesses suffer burns, nausea, and even death from their encounters. These are obviously signs that something occurred. But no physical object has ever survived scrutiny as proof of an exotic “craft”. Further, I will purposely ignore the claims of dozens of witnesses to “crashed saucers” seen on-site or in secret government hangars, because these claims always lead into the wilderness of mirrors; they are always suspect to hoaxing, a witness’ misidentification of advanced black-budget military tech, or disinformation, simply because the government may want to project a certain narrative. Thus I am foregoing the use of any confirming/disconfirming statements by any government officials, studies, “inside sources,” etc., for the existence of UAP phenomena. These twisted tales have been covered ad nauseam elsewhere. The methods of science are all that is needed to make progress in understanding it. It’s unfortunate but the dis/misinformation techniques used by the government intelligence agencies have so thoroughly muddied the evidence trail regarding the existence of these things as to merit a complete disregard for a serious researcher. Studying the phenomenon and drawing conclusions from available public evidence is not only possible but can yield scientific breakthroughs, though warned against by certain experts.

[8] The latest coming-to-a-debunkers’-message-forum-near-you tool is to classify anomaly-experiencing person as a “schizotypal personality,” which holds, according to the JAMA Psychiatry July 2015 issue, that 1 in 20 people experience random veridical hallucinations at least once in their life; veridical in that they are not recognized as hallucinations as such. The APA has now devised this new classification as a spectrum disorder—a resting-state for humanity, in other words, with each individual falling somewhere within the spectrum. Some persons can even have many hallucinatory experiences while otherwise being completely sane and importantly, productive citizens. And thus, the pathologizing of everyday life, context-free of the hallucinations’ content and precipitating conditions, and in manageable quantificational form, marches on. On the other hand, their tired fallback reasoning for the impossibility of ETs and transdimensionals is deteriorating in the light of contemporary discoveries in quantum physics, nanotechnology, and “reservoir computing.” Recent findings such as the capacity to slow down photons’ velocity in superfrozen mediums, the ongoing research into space-warp or electromagnetic/radiation pulse drives, and the behavior of particles in zero-point energy conditions (absolute zero temperatures, 0 Kelvin, which obtain in open interstellar space) are challenging basic assumptions about the nature of matter and light.

[9] Scientific American article entitled, “Is It Possible to Measure Supernatural or Paranormal Phenomena?”

[10] Computer scientist and ufologist Jacques Vallee and Chris Aubeck have compiled a historical catalog of aerial anomalies, Wonders in the Sky: Unexplained Aerial Objects from Antiquity to Modern Times. The criteria in the ancient world was quite strict to officially record a “prodigy” or “portent” in the sky; most times they were related to earthly events such as the outcome of battles, plagues, coups, etc. before being written down. This criterion held from Rome to China, and was used all the way up to the late Renaissance, but their many reports come from monasteries and lone chroniclers of towns. Vallee and Aubeck were equally strict in their choices; the recorded event had to have properties that defy descriptions of meteorological or astronomical phenomena such as meteors, bolides, temperature inversions, fata morgana, etc.

[11] Reported sightings increase and decrease in number from year to year. There is always a resting state of stigma attached to “close encounters.” In all probability this is a disconnect from what is actually going on; the sightings and close encounters may still be occurring between waves, but the stigma for the witness over going public remains, threatening one’s standing in the community. That reports suddenly begin to appear in great numbers may be a function of social snowball effects: when waves occur, they become undeniable events, whatever their real cause. And many times witnesses come forward during waves with reports of events that happened several years to even decades earlier because a modicum of “social safety” has been established by the welter of percipients revealing their experiences. The stigma is (if only temporarily) loosened.

[12] Like the children’s game “telephone,” noise can overtake and distort an informational signal (the percipient’s tale) when passed through a network, but noise has been found to be quantifiable by the number of participating nodes involved in the signal’s transference. A story told through two degrees’ separation from an eyewitness would not distort the data to a limit that would render useless its information. It depends on the veracity of the nodes. Those who are biologically-related or close friends are within the scope of the first node, with less well-known acquaintances or friends of the close friends in the second, and people within the second degree friends’ connected social groups in the third node. Beyond that, the quality of the signal—the story’s strict adherence to facts—breaks down. As per Claude Shannon’s investigations into what constitutes a signal versus a non-signal (or noise), it was found that a signal degrades into noise over time due to the second law of thermodynamics; entropy can increase over time or over distance (as measured by the number of connection points through which it travels). There is a parallel to this in neuroscience: Valid psychological studies have shown how memory slightly overwrites a recalled experience almost each time it is called up. The anomalous events with which this essay is concerned would obviously have a special place in the memories of the percipients; although they are many times in some kind of altered state of consciousness, their core recollections have been found by investigators to remain stable—which either makes them suspect as real experiences (for how can a real experience not be altered in the repeated recollection) or demonstrates that they actually occurred, having been burned into the person’s mind in a special way.

[13] This is known as the Basic Limiting Principle, as outlined by philosopher C.D. Broad.

[14] Kuhn, Thomas. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, University of Chicago Press, 3rd Edition, 1996.

 

[15] Many scientists perceive that if there were something to it, teams of experts would already be on the case. They then cite Project Blue Book and the Air Force/CIA investigations as reasons to dismiss the phenomena as solved. But these projects have amply been shown to be whitewashes. An average of 20% of the thousands of sightings were still classified as unexplained in the final reports. Furthermore, the original Air Force investigation, Project Sign (1948) supposedly concluded extraterrestrial craft were the most likely explanation. This “estimate of the situation” was deep-sixed by Air Force General Hoyt Vandenburg and the report destroyed. It is facts like these that scientists need to become aware of. There are literally hundreds of examples like this—a history of prevarication and disinformation in the scientific examination of the UAP phenomenon (which is why I’ve tried to avoid mention of the government in this essay). The reasons why would fill a book. See Richard Dolan’s UFOs and the National Security State: Chronology of a Coverup, 1941-1973, Hampton Roads Publishers, 2002.

[16] The mass media cannot encompass the subtleties of experiencers’ tales either, being fueled on immediate spectacle and the utilitarian, extraverted mindset of our society. In short, anomalous experiences (and especially their aftermath) do not fit the compressive laws of mass media representation. For instance, America heard about the Heaven’s Gate tragedy in 1997 but had no inkling of the cult’s existence or beliefs. One cannot make money off anomaly witness experiences, unless you’re talking about the train of quickly-cancelled Bigfoot/UAP-chasing reality shows featuring “crack” researchers on the trail of physical evidence that never shows up—or fictions such as Twin Peaks or The X-Files, crafted from them because they always already touch a deep mythic impulse.

[17] See the works of Jacques Vallee, J. Allen Hynek, and John Keel. Perhaps in the most famous UAP evidence case, farmer Joe Simonton witnessed a silver disc landing on his property in 1961. The three black-garbed men inside the “craft”, one of them holding a bucket, gestured to him to get some water. Simonton did so and was given three wafers the men were cooking on what appeared to be a grill! They proved to be made of ordinary terrestrial grains. Simonton said they tasted of cardboard. Such a strange story would no doubt garner dismissal from 99% of the population. Yet the sight of a silver disc a few miles away by an independent witness at the same time, and Simonton’s prior and post-experience standing in the local community (“He’d never make up a tall tale, let alone a story like that”) has to this day kept the story in the realm of a “real” UAP entity encounter.

[18] If you perhaps consider conservatively that one in ten experiences makes it to an investigator and one in ten of those reaches print, the Others must be encountered at least once every day somewhere on the planet. And from reading the lot of the collected stories it would seem one might as well watch your own backyard closely instead of the skies, for many of the accounts occur on the ground close to one’s house, while camping, or on a walk and involve “vehicles” tangentially or not at all.

…in which physicalists’ protests against accepting the reality of anomalous experiences demonstrates not a world succumbing to anti-science (as they’d have you believe), but rather their own desperation at the Newtonian worldview’s obsolescence–which is steadily proceeding from within physics itself. In other words, the grounds for explaining people’s anomalous experiences expands by the day, contains elements that are “magical” yet scientifically tractable–and the arch-skeptics don’t like it. Perhaps the most common example of this reality-rupture is the UFO, which we’ll examine in depth.

The Metachorea, Part 2: Why the Greys?

EVOLVING UAP “OTHERS” AND EIGHT TEMPLATE ABDUCTION CASES

We’re familiar with the stereotypical grey alien. Thousands of people have reported encounters with them, in many different situations. These imps ostensibly figure in the world’s folklore as well, from the mantindane in Southern Africa, the ikuyas of Brazil, the curipiras of South America, the specific Hopi Kachinas to the Baiame of the indigenous Australians.[1] There are dozens of “experiencer memoirs” on the book market that seem to describe interactions with more or less the same creature.[2]

Beings of the grey type appeared only very sporadically in UAP landing reports (usually in spacesuits complete with helmets) from the 1950s until the early 1980s. They then became a standard element in abduction scenarios to the present day. The only types of “alien” that have held steady throughout the modern 70-year phenomena are the long blond-haired, blue-eyed “Nordic” and the “hairy dwarf.” Nordics ostensibly got their start with George Adamski (contacts between 1951-59), who claimed they were from Venus.[3]

Nordics have been reported hundreds of times, both in conjunction with UAP and without them (in “bedroom visitations,” usually preceded by a glowing haze or ball of light). You could plausibly say the Nordics resemble angels or spirit guides, and thus initially appeared to humanity as far back as the ancient Roman world. The hairy dwarf likewise figures in folklore the world over, from some types of the ancient Greek Pygmies and kobaloi/kobolds through Scandinavian trolls and huldravolk (hidden people) and medieval goblins to the Ebu Gogo of Indonesia, the Shoshone Nimerigar, and the Ojibwe’s memegwaan.

 

—————-

With the appearance of the stereotypical greys came the accompanying reports of a heralding “blue-white light in the bedroom,” levitation of the physical body or astral body, travel thru walls/windows to a round room, sexual examinations, rape,[4] induced pregnancies, “false pregnancies,” fetal extraction, “hybrid baby presentations,”[5] and the uncovering of a lifetime of abduction experiences going back in some cases to age two. Through my research I’ve discovered that only eight cases out of hundreds (1890-1980) introduced all or most these elements before their profusion from the 1980s to the present: the Sara Shaw case (1953), the Betty Andreasson case (1967), the Shane Kurz case (1968), the Buff Ledge case (1968), the Pat Roach case (1973), the Sandra Larson case (1976), the Stanford, Kentucky case (1976), and the Allagash Four case, (1976).

I’m intentionally omitting grey abduction reports that were made under hypnotic regression or conscious recall post-1987, when Whitley Strieber’s Communion and Budd Hopkins’s Intruders were published and became top bestsellers (Communionreached #1 and remained there for months). It was through these books that alien abductions by greys entered popular consciousness in an unprecedented way. It was only after 1987 that reports of “lifelong” repeating abductions in experiencers’ lives inundated the field, going as far back as the 1950s, reported mostly under hypnosis and still featuring the greys during the time 1947-1980 when they were not reported in thousands of consciously-recalled UAP accounts that featured visible entities.

Contamination by exposure to popular culture becomes a confounding factor in evaluating the recalled elements here, so I’m trying to concentrate on early reports that contain the many standard elements of the repeating show before there was any mass knowledge of the beings’ appearance and behavior and environment.[6] Many books of experiences that were partially or fully recalled prior to 1987, such as the Allagash event or the Buff Ledge event, were investigated earlier but written up and accepted for publication after 1987 simply because of the intense interest and momentum Communion and Intruders created in the publishing industry. Alien abduction narratives became hot property between 1988-1993, perhaps peaking with the publication of C.D.B. Bryan’s book on the MIT-sponsored abduction conference (1994) and Harvard psychiatry professor John Mack’s professional interest in the subject (1993).

Many “nuts and bolts” (NaBs) advocates of UAP phenomena (those who believe biological extraterrestrials from another planet are here in physical ships) have for the most part settled upon a specific story, while seeming to willfully ignore the fact that “UFOnaut”-human interactions have radically evolved in appearance and function over the past seven decades, if not centuries. As we’ve seen in the first chapter, the NaBs explain this by saying that perhaps many ET races are here, or only a few that, like we’ve said, can project their appearance in whatever manner they want.

For the NaBs crowd, when these “experiencers” give their accounts and an expert-hypnotist fine-tunes and collates these reports they (most of the time) arrive at a convenient, simple narrative conclusion: a dying, cloned extraterrestrial race has come here across space to replenish itself by creating a hybrid race between themselves and humanity. In other words, NaBs make sense of the experiencers’ reports through the hyper-technological lens of our society. Our own fears of ecological destruction and hubristic science are reflected back to us through the cataclysmic visions that the greys often induce in experiencers during abductions,[7]along with the dissonant comfort that this same higher race may have answers for us…to immortality, to interdimensional travel, time travel, to paradise.

The story has become a repeating show, a rerun from experiencer to experiencer. Folklorist Thomas Bullard breaks down the abduction experience into 7 parts: Capture, Examination, Conference, Tour of the “ship” (rare but sporadically reported; it was first described in the Hills’s 1961 case), “Otherworldly journey” (possible but not uncommon; we will see it in the Andreasson case), Return, and Aftermath. After we examine the eight cases I will offer a list of recurring elements enumerating the details of Bullard’s sequence.

And the material revealed by experiencers and trance-mediums alike, who claim contact with “extraterrestrials” and reveal their motives, is startlingly similar in content: 1) “our vibratory rate is about to heighten in an ascension of some kind from the third density to the fourth density;” or 2) our planet will become uninhabitable, and those chosen will transcend this third density planet in some kind of ET Rapture; or 3) these alien beings are omnipresent and only need but choose to materialize anywhere, anytime; or 4) there is no good or evil, only “service to self” or “service to others”; or 5) there is a gradually-focusing spiritual orientation for human life through many incarnations on many worlds…etc.[8]

Why this particular narrative? Can’t we consider the possibility that a form of telepathy has sneakily taken place between the veteran abductee hypnotist and the experiencer/medium? Or that the dying-alien narrative has gained memetic traction in our culture, like a literal “mind virus” propagating in the dreaming night-brew of neurochemicals? That is to say, the experiencers are having night terror paralysis/visions/dreams that have been unconsciously shaped by the cultural proliferation of the grey, that are later recalled as real events?

These two popular explanations are perhaps only slightly less outlandish as that of a dying race of embryo-looking cyborgs popping into our reality to borrow our astral bodies and extract DNA from semen and ova to serve their ends…The problem is the small details these experiencers have reported, both from conscious recollection and under hypnosis. In many cases, there is a poverty of cultural contamination: too little to no prior knowledge of small details in the hundreds of abduction narratives that nevertheless appear in their fresh narratives and in new case after case.[9] These can include the particular shape of a scalpel-like instrument; the coldness of the ovoid rooms; the lack of obvious light source in those uniformly-lit rooms; the passing of the “doctor”-being’s hand over the forehead or eyes of the experiencer to stop the pain of a medical procedure; being unable to recall the transition into these rooms (“doorway amnesia”); etc.[10]

Betty and Barney Hills’s 1961 New Hampshire nighttime highway abduction is considered the first “missing time” UAP abduction but it did not contain many of the elements that would two decades later become standard—the details previously mentioned: floating into a beam of light, Out of Body Experience (OBE)-like intervals, doorway amnesia, the uniformly glowing round rooms, a “black box” wielded by the entities, a variety of beings seen together (mantis, Nordic, grey), an enhanced “psychic abilities” aftermath,[11] induced visions of apocalypse and paradise, etc.

 

          The identical elements between the Hills’s account and contemporary experiences number only eight: 1) Barney Hill consciously recalled (that is, prior to hypnosis by Dr. Benjamin Simon) feeling psychically controlled by the “leader” being’s eyes from the road as he watched the craft with binoculars; 2) the medical examination, reported by both; 3) the use of a letter-opener-type scalpel instrument to “rake hair samples” from the arm; 4) the removal of sperm from Barney by a suction-type device; 5) the insertion of a long needle into Betty’s uterus through her belly button as a “pregnancy test”; 6) the passing of the leader’s hand over her eyes/forehead to relieve the pain of the test; 7) her “conference” or tour of the vessel with the leader after the examination; 8) the general description of short beings with large, slanted eyes.[12]

The famous Pascagoula, Mississippi abduction case of October 1973 featured floating beings that carried two fishermen through the air into a landed craft.[13] Four months later in 1974 in Warneton, Belgium, a motorist whose car stopped dead in the night was confronted by two short “twin-faced” beings with inverted pear-shaped heads, large black eyes, no noses, and slits for mouths—what we now describe as greys. However, they were wearing space/pressure suits with helmets.[14]

Suits like this are very rarely reported anymore; they seem to be a relic of the 1950s-60s Space Age, when they were ubiquitous in encounters. One could trawl through the old reports and pick out each contemporary element’s appearance—elements that now all come together regularly like a show, or theater performance that has been perfected after many rehearsals.

————–

Here are the first eight cases that involve this entire abduction spectacle, listed in order of their public unveiling, that I’ve found. The elements of the abductions which have become commonly reported are italicized and bolded:

1. 1976: In 1975, Sandy Larson was driving with her daughter and daughter’s boyfriend near Fargo, South Dakota at about 3am when they saw an array of intense lights descend from the sky, growing closer. They stopped in mid-air less than fifty feet away from the car. A portion of the lights changed direction and disappeared off towards the horizon. At that moment the three passengers felt that time slowed down somehow as the remaining lights stopped. They abruptly found that an hour had passed. Sandy’s daughter Jackie found herself in the back seat when she’d been sitting up front with her boyfriend Terry.

 

Veteran ufologist Dr. Leo Sprinkle hypnotized Larson. She recounted that a craft had landed and told of being floated into the UAP with Terry. A bizarre robot-like being with glaring black eyes and jointed arms put her on a table, rubbed a clear, cold liquid over her skin, and inserted an instrument up her nose, then performed other medical procedures. Curiously enough, a long-existing sinus problem was cured after the experience. The face of the being’s “mummy-like” swathings could be interpreted as heavily wrinkled and folded skin. In the drawings made from her description, the being in fact facially resembles a grey, but inside a mechanical body. At one point she said the being cut open her head and removed her brain (this is a common procedure in shamanic initiations by Otherworldly spirits).[15] After a period of time she and Terry, whom she did not recall seeing inside the room, were returned to their car, and all conscious memory of the incident vanished immediately. Daughter Jackie was also hypnotized by Sprinkle and recalled only standing motionless in a field. Terry refused to be regressed.

Four months later, Sandy Larson had a night-time “bedroom visitation” of two beings. They floated her through the wall to a glowing orange craft, then transported inside a transparent cube to a building in a desert-like place. She claimed she tried to get them to understand that human minds are each different from one another, a concept they apparently couldn’t understand. The beings wanted her to “give them a report on everyone she meets” when they returned for her some day.

After this interrogation they returned her via the orange object and she recalled feeling that she needed a bath to remove the “alien germs,” which intrigued the beings. They had no understanding of soap. Having arrived at her home, Sandy then took them into the basement and showed them laundry detergent and even gave them a cup of it. At that point her memories of the night of December 4, 1975 cease.[16]

2. 1975, Utah: Mother of three Pat Roach was awakened at midnight in October 1973 by the sounds of her children screaming and the cat howling; dogs across the street were also barking. Her six year-old Debbie said a skeleton had been in the corner of their room, and that she had just visited a spaceship. Since there had been reports of a prowler in the neighborhood recently, Pat called the police, who found no sign of forced entry. After the police left, Pat’s oldest daughter Bonnie said that a “spaceman” had indeed been in the house but couldn’t recall anything further. They all had vague recollections of bright light filling the house.

When put under hypnosis in 1975, Pat recalled awakening in the bright light that night to see two small beings beside her couch. She and her children tried to fight off the creatures, who tranquillized and floated them to a craft in a nearby field. Pat was given a gynecological examination in which needles were inserted in her side. A needle was also inserted into her head, and the beings “took her thoughts.” She characterized them as clinical, unfeeling entities—which would become a standard description of the greys’ robotic, military-like demeanor. She also reported a middle-aged, apparently human male with glasses who was working alongside the creatures as if monitoring their work. This accompanying human appears in many subsequent reports (Travis Walton’s being the most famous) but most of the time a taller grey of definite gender dressed in a smock, robe, or doctor’s coat of some kind is reputed to be in charge. These taller beings additionally are reported to have a direct relationship with the experiencer over a long period of repeated encounters, as if they were a “handler” or “soul mate.”[17]

The six year-old Debbie was told she would forget the experience but replied to the creatures that she wouldn’t; she was the first to react when brought from the spell, claiming to have seen a skeleton. She also said she had seen a line of people—neighbors, some of whom she recognized—waiting to get on the “ship.”[18]

Pat Roach’s friends and family both noticed a triangular set of red marks on her arm after the incident.[19] The child Debbie Roach, whose conscious recall was the greatest, remembered a box-like suitcase had been brought into the house by the beings then removed when they returned. This “black box” figures in dozens of cases from the 1950s to the present, in many different contexts—it is used as a hypnotic device in one case, a healing device in another, a blood-sample taking device in a third, etc.

But most telling is Pat Roach’s general impression of the beings that abducted them: she claimed, “They need us.” Out of her hypnosis, she clarified that she was given knowledge that they were genetically extracting material from humans to clone them. This is clearly in line with fairy lore, as will be explored Book Two.[20]

3. 1976: On January 6, 1976, three women left a restaurant in Lancaster, Kentucky at 11:15pm for their 45-minute drive back to Liberty, Kentucky. At about 11:30, a red glowing orb soared downward from the skies ahead and materialized above the highway into a silver saucer lined with yellow lights and a brilliant dome. It swept to the left side of Route 78 and pivoted until its bottom faced them. The driver Louise Smith pulled over and tried to step out. The other two terrified women managed to stop her and continue driving (Smith never recalled this occurring). The UAP then sprayed the road with three brilliant blue-white lights and followed the car. One of the beams struck the vehicle. The backs of the women’s necks and heads terribly burned at this light. The car appeared to accelerate to 85 mph despite Smith taking her foot off the pedal; it also listed left and they had the sensation of turbulence as the car shuddered continuously. The road before them became perfectly straight, completely unlike the winding pavements of Route 78. There was a vague memory by all three women of a stone wall.[21]

Then abruptly, their surroundings returned to normal—but for the fact that the trio had headaches, irritated skin, nausea, and torpor. They made it back to Louise Smith’s trailer and were extremely thirsty. Mona Stafford’s eyelids were swollen and all their eyes were tearing continuously. They were astonished to find it was 1:25am. Smith woke her neighbors to check if the time was correct. It was. They told them their story. The husband asked them separately to draw the object. The depictions were identical.

Several days after the incident Smith found her taillights and turn signals were burned out, and her battery nearly drained; her pet parakeet was now scared of her (it died within a few months). Over the next weeks, the trio lost much weight and suffered symptoms like radiation sickness and actinic burns to their eyes. Their story made its way to investigators. All three passed polygraph examinations. When placed separately under hypnosis, the women told the same account, up to the hallucinatory straight road and wall—then they were suddenly elsewhere, and their stories diverged in the details. Mona Stafford’s first conscious memory of the missing time period was examination by a large eye; whether it was biological, as in an “alien’s” eye seen very close, or a “scanning machine” was unclear to her. Under hypnosis she recalled being in a stifling atmosphere whose ceiling reminded her of the inside of a volcano, although with further hypnotic clarity she found herself in what appeared to be a white operating room. Short beings in “surgical garb” moved beside the table on which she lay. Painful “bending” procedures were done to her legs. She felt a “wettish”, spider web-like substance coating her body and burning it.

In her hypnosis session, Louise Smith recalled her car being pulled backward and stopping at a stone wall that joined a driveway, then, apparently without transition, a pressure being exerted upon her chest as she lay upon a table. Her “examiners” telepathically exhorted her to forget their presence.

The third woman, Elaine Thomas, recalled also being within a “netted, cocoon-like device,” but this one constricted her throat when she tried to speak or emotionally protested. A bullet-like object poked her chest. She described the beings as about four feet tall, with outsized heads and dark, “turtle” eyes.

On January 6, 1976, at about 11pm, a married couple, the “T.s,” saw a light-bulb shaped, neon-like object pass south in the night sky. A Randall Floyd and his wife—and, he claimed, the “whole neighborhood”—watched a large, soundless, oval-shaped light maneuver through the skies earlier, at 8pm. Also at this time, Mike Fitzpatrick, David Irvin and Irvin’s family claimed to see a saucer with a row of orange lights.

These sightings occurred near Stanford, Kentucky, the night of the women’s experience. Investigators discovered that Fitzpatrick’s sighting was on record with the Stanford police. He had made it before the women’s story had been public.

There were “high-strange” sequels to this triple abduction: principal NICAP investigator Leonard Stringfield was concerned for the three women’s mental and physical health, and regularly checked up on them. On July 29th he called Elaine Smith, who frantically told him that she had been bidden the previous night by a voice to travel back to the stone wall, which she and Stringfield had together earlier located while retracing their path along Route 78 (at that earlier time, Smith, terrified, could not get out of the car to stand near the wall). Entranced by the voice, she dressed and did so, staring at the wall in the darkness. After an indeterminate amount of time she finally pulled herself away and drove back home and discovered that three rings on her hands were missing.

Later, Mona Stafford was visited in her house by a “biblical-looking” being with a beard and robe that simply appeared in a golden glow. Entranced like Smith, she could not pick up the telephone to call her friends or Stringfield while the event occurred.[22]

4. 1977: Betty Andreasson’s experiences are the most fantastical in the history of ufology. Five books have been written about her continuing involvement with “greys” and Nordics and other kinds of beings. Possessing an eidetic memory and being an artist, she was able to draw detailed pictures of what she re-experienced under hypnosis.

It began one foggy night in late February 1967, when the lights flickered and failed in her Massachusetts house. She, her parents, and three children saw a pink-orange glow outside the back of their home. The lights came back on. Her father went to the rear kitchen window and saw what he described in a legal affidavit as “a bunch of Halloween freaks” bouncing towards the house like grasshoppers. He retreated fearfully to the family room with the others. It was his last memory before waking up the next morning. The family consciously remembered the pulsing light, then feeling exhausted and all going to bed (or finding themselves in bed). Betty recalled that after her father went to the window she saw four greys in uniforms materialize through the back door. At this point her conscious memories ceased. While hypnotically regressed in 1976, she saw that her family seemed frozen in time from this point forward, except when her 9-year old daughter Becky (when hypnotized separately) turned her head and saw Betty and “Quazgaa” (the taller “leader” grey) holding a Bible together, and Quazgaa passing a blue book to her mother. Betty herself vaguely remembered this prior to her hypnosis. Betty was taken from the house and floated into a ship in the back yard, transported to a cavernous place, shown a unearthly garden/city, given a vision involving the classic phoenix/fire/worm-rebirth transformation, and had an encounter with the “One” which she believed was the Godhead. She could never speak of the content of this last experience and hasn’t to this day; being a fundamentalist Christian, she interpreted the entire episode in terms of angels and the fallen “Watchers” (grigori/Elohim) from Genesis who long ago bred with humans. One of the beings used a hand-held globe of light to keep her family tranquillized in the house while she was gone.[23]

5. 1979: Hans Holzer’s book “The Ufonauts” contains the second variation of the accounts of the typical UAP abduction account. In 1975, a young woman named Shane Kurz was hypnotically regressed to a 1968 missing-time episode that contained the full measure: the light filling her bedroom (which her mother and neighbors too had witnessed); walking trance-like into the night (an effect of the light) to meet with a saucer hovering over a nearby field; extraction into the saucer by a beam of light; no recall of how she immediately appeared in a round room; telepathic communication with the beings; impregnation; a later fetal extraction. She was “branded” with a triangular mark (like Pat Roach and Dr. X [see footnote], and many abductees) extending from her belly button across her lower abdomen that would spontaneously recur over the years. In its immediate aftermath she suffered deep lethargy, eye soreness, skin problems, and headaches, and her menstrual period ceased for 18 months. The details of Kurz’s experience, even more unbelievable than others in that hers involved “occult” or supernatural elements, in 20 years would come to be entirely routine “high strange” events in experiencers’ lives.

If Kurz fabricated this narrative, or her mind confabulated it while under hypnosis—and there is room for doubt here, because she had previously sighted UAPs twice with her mother and was interested in the subject, as well as being familiar with the Hill abduction case which had become public two years earlier in 1966—it does not explain why thousands of people worldwide would come to tell minor variations of her story a decade later. Advocates of the “psychosocial” explanation for abductions and debunkers both like to give “mass hysteria” as the answer—but that nebulous concept is itself scientifically unproven and has no known physical/psychological basis.[24]

6. 1980: In 1975, Sara Shaw asked investigator Ann Druffel to explore a  “missing time” event that involved a bright light and disorientation 22 years earlier, in 1953, in Los Angeles’s Tujunga Canyon. It happened to Shaw and her girlfriend Jan Whitley. Both women had no interest at all in UFOs and did not connect the experience with them, until Sara heard of the missing time phenomenon. The two women told the same story under hypnosis of a bright blue-white light waking them at 2am on March 22, 1953, the entry of short, black-clad beings into the house, being floated into a hovering, Saturn-shaped craft, and a medical examination. Jan (who Druffel believed was the focus of the abduction) fought the beings, while Sara was tranquillized and even mirthful during the episode.

Another event occurred three years later, in 1956: Jan and friend Emily Cronin pulled over at a rest stop to sleep late at night on a coastal highway. This involved memories of a bright light and men surrounding their car. When they later searched for this rest stop on the same stretch of California coastal highway, they found nothing.[25]

In 1959, Sara Shaw abruptly switched careers and eventually claimed a sort of psychic communication involving a cure for cancer and that she had a special purpose in the world. This “mission” message happens to many “silent” abductees, that is, individuals who have strange experiences but don’t connect them to abductions. Her ex-girlfriend Jan would develop cancer and pass on in 1979.

If their recollections are actual events, this would be the earliest case (1953) involving greys and a stereotypical abduction.[26]

7. 1993: Walter Webb’s exhaustive investigation in the “Encounter at Buff Ledge” is the fifth part of the template, for its story includes the (future-typical) travel to a cylindrical mothership high in space, a round room with a high, railed walkwayaround it full of glowing screens and lights, and being shown visions on a screen. This event occurred in 1968 to a pair of male and female teenagers who never again spoke to one another after it occurred, as if they were compelled not to (another common reaction by multiple abductees, whether close friends or just acquaintances)—a separation that went on for ten years after the incident.

The Buff Ledge summer camp on Lake Champlain was mostly deserted on August 7, 1968; staff and children were away on a swim meet. Lifeguard “Michael Lapp” (16) and “Janet Cornell” (19) went onto the dock and talked as the dusk set in. They had never before conversed. At one point they saw what appeared to be Venus—but then it dropped closer to the earth, elongated into a shining cylinder, and began disgorging lights. The cylinder moved up into the sky and disappeared. The three lights formed a triangle and moved closer; two of the lights raced off into the distance.

The remaining light drew closer until they could see that it was a disc-shaped object with a flattened cupola. It dove into Lake Champlain, emerged, and began to draw near. The object mesmerized the two. It came within a few dozen yards of the dock. Two entities were clearly visible in the dome staring at them. They had oversized hairless heads, large, oval black eyes, and appeared to be wearing skin-tight grey uniforms. Michael tried to ask Janet if she was seeing this but she was in an immobile trance, staring out over the lake.

Michael then initiated a telepathic conversation with one of the beings. He was so amazed and delighted that he laughed and slapped his knee—and one of the beings did the same! The other seemed to be in a trance, like Janet—or concentrating its attention upon her. Michael waved and shouted at them to come closer. The beings disappeared as the craft came slowly closer, then they reappeared.

Be careful what you wish for…

Within seconds the craft hovered over them. Michael leapt up to touch it and a very bright light engulfed them. He draped himself over Janet as the light seemed to enter his mind.

Suddenly it was nighttime, and the girls’ team was returning from their swim meet. Michael and Janet lay groggy on the dock. They wandered back to camp on the shore. Someone asked them what those bright lights were on the lake(!) but they did not answer, drifting to their respective cabins to go to sleep. They would not talk again for ten years.

After this experience, Michael would re-evaluate his life and become a religion major. Janet eventually moved to Atlanta. In 1978, Michael wrote to astronomer and UAP investigator Walter Webb of the Hayden Planetarium asking for help. Webb tracked down Janet and wrote to her, inviting her to reunite with Michael and undergo hypnotic separate regression to recall the event. He spent the next five years on the case.

The duo consciously remembered the object hovering above them then awaking to darkness. Janet’s recollection was that the object was very close over the dock and they crouched or lay down and then passed out in a bright light.

Under hypnosis, Michael found himself inside the ship with a “leader” being. They stood upon a walkway above a round room. It was impossibly larger than the saucer they had seen. The “vehicle” was in space, approaching the cylindrical “mothership.” He could see Janet upon a table, naked, being examined by the “creatures.” Samples were taken from her body. He reported computer-like lights on the wall near her. He was led down to a table next to Janet’s, laid down and passed out. When he awoke it appeared that the saucer was inside a huge space, presumably the cylinder. A light beam teleported he and the leader through the wall and into a large space full of the same “alien beings.” The leader brought him into a room, where a “helmet” was placed over his head. A group of beings were watching a film of some sort in his peripheral vision on a bubble screen and reacting to the images. 

Then the leader took him to another room, touching his hand, and Michael saw visions of a landscape with a purple sky. Many other humans surrounded him, all distraught. Janet was next to him crying. He passed out again and seemed to be falling towards an infinite number of “screens” each showing him and Janet on the dock. He entered one of them and the leader’s voice said goodbye to him.

Here it must be emphasized again that they hadn’t spoken since that night, nor had Webb revealed any of Michael’s details to Janet:

Janet, under hypnotic trance, recalled the saucer above them on the dock then immediately found herself upon a table surrounded by beings that were touching her. There were lights upon a wall. She saw Michael and the other being in the distance. She lapsed in and out of awareness. Her memories had significant gaps but she recalled being with Michael twice in rooms. She too reported that the small saucer had entered a larger one in which it sat. A mothership.

It must be stressed that Webb chose a hypnotist who had a total lack of knowledge of UAPs to boot, unlike many investigators.[27]The two told stories he determined were 70% congruent. This is an amazing case because Webb’s fieldwork showed exemplary precaution and skepticism. It contains some of the best evidence that something far from ordinary psychological states occurred to the two teenagers.[28]

8. 1993: Four art college friends went on a fishing trip deep into the remote northern Maine wilderness on August 20, 1976. On their fourth day traveling north they, along with several other witnesses, saw a glowing orange orb appear erratically over the distant woods around Chamberlain Lake. Two days later, they reached the northernmost point they could and made camp on the Allagash waterway. Late that night (under a clear and moonless sky) they built a huge bonfire onshore to orient themselves while doing some night fishing. Suddenly the same fiery object appeared, moving slowly over the trees across the lake, swirling with many colors. Chuck Rak was first to notice it, and became immobile in fascination. One of the men, Charlie Foltz, flashed a light at the silent orb, which immediately began floating towards them. It sent a bright blue light beam onto the lake surface. Terrified, they began to paddle back towards camp. The light struck their canoe and the next thing they recalled was being on shore, staring at the object in the sky as it bounced upward stepwise and shot off like a meteor. They discovered their fire, set to burn for two to three hours, was embers. It seemed 20 minutes at most had passed. Exhausted, they immediately fell asleep.

Jim and Jack Weiner, identical twins, were the first to begin having nightmares about the “missing time” between the light striking the canoe and their coming ashore. Their dreams involved non-human creatures. After hearing about the missing time-UAP phenomenon, and Jim’s reading Strieber’s Communion, they approached ufologist Raymond Fowler (chief investigator the Betty Andreasson case) in 1988. It must be stressed here that their nightmares unequivocally preceded the publication of Communion by years, and Jim Weiner was terrified by the coincidences he read therein with his own dreams—hence his contacting the famed researcher. Fowler set up hypnosis sessions for all four men. They were told individually not to divulge to the other three what they revealed during the trances. They each recalled the same basic story of being levitated by the “tunnel-like” blue light, entering a room where they were tranquillized by (insect-like) greys and each placed one by one on an examination table in which sperm samples were taken. Afterward they were floated and guided in the “tunnel-beam” by the beings, who physically helped them back into the canoe. Since they were trained artists, each drew virtually identical beings without knowledge of the others’ pictures—most incredibly, that the beings’ hands had only four digits in two pincer-like groups of two.[29]

THE EYES HAVE IT

So we have a fact, whether its content is “real” or psychosocial in nature: the encounters reported in media have changed over the decades 1950-1990 from being an outside/observer to an inside/participant.

I realize that this is a small dataset. This conjecture is culled from the dozens of books I have read over a period of years as I searched for the first unambiguous (as possible!) historical descriptions of the template abduction scenario. I claim eight cases, but of course there may be reports I’ve missed, and there may be experiences like these that simply have not been reported. For instance, a small being tried to capture a man during the 1897 American wave of “phantom airship” sightings—and claimed he experienced several hours of missing time during the chase. He was not, needless to say, hypnotically regressed to explore what befell him during his amnesiac period.[30]

I can only make these assertions based on the veracity of the experiencers’ recollections and the diligence of the original and subsequent investigators, who ruled out many mundane explanatory factors. Nor have these eight reports been proven fraudulent or decisively debunked over the intervening decades; they are in a sense canonical. A few more equally unexplained cases from the 1960s, 70s, early 1980s are available but the eight above cover the specific details that proliferated through the early 1990s experiences to the present.[31] Revisionist ufologists who have revisited these canonical cases have tried to explain them in psychosocial or psychological terms, some even invoking the involvement of intelligence agencies, but all of their interpretations have fallen short in my opinion.[32]

The point is that holistic change occurred over time—a change in the relation-triad witness/phenomena/after-effects.

By the time the alien abduction conference was held at MIT in 1993 the community had come to focus on at least two strong narratives, both based on the same material but with divergent interpretations. As arch-debunker Philip Klass once (paraphrasing) said, “given a choice between being hypnotically regressed by Leo Sprinkle or Budd Hopkins, I’d choose Sprinkle. At least then I’d have happy recovered memories.” Klass’s statement is a pithy summation of the problem that had emerged: One set of abductees, those laboring under the least ambiguous explanatory narrative for the phenomenon (Hopkins’s and historian/abduction researcher David Jacobs’s) mostly underwent the recovery of horrific experiences/memories with serious physical and psychological side effects. In total, Jacobs and Hopkins regressed perhaps over a thousand individuals. These victims had PTSD, anxiety disorders, paranoia, hypochondria, etc. Conversely, the abductees regressed by Dr. Leo Sprinkle, Dr. Richard Boylan, hypnotherapists Dolores Cannon, Barbara Lamb, John Carpenter, and Harvard psychiatry professor Dr. John Mack had minimally or manageably disturbing experiences to which they eventually learned to psychologically adjust and even incorporate into new lives that often involved healing professions, shamanistic type practices, or jobs that concerned activism against the earth’s deteriorating environmental balance. In other words they “accepted their role in the Others’s plans,” however mysterious those plans may be.

Those with professional credentials—Mack, Sprinkle, Boylan, Lamb, Cannon—tended to produce greater numbers of people finding acceptance of these experiences. Perhaps this is due to the social expectations of a clinical, therapeutic setting. Hopkins and Jacobs had neither licenses nor professional guidelines.[33]

——————-

To recap: reports of UAP entities in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s changed from “swarthy” and “Asian-looking” human beings to a wide variety of beings (hairy dwarves, small bald spacemen in pressure suits, the Nordics, elf-like creatures, etc.) to the standard “greys” which began to the best of my knowledge with the Hill, Tujunga Canyon, Kurz, Roach, Kentucky, Allagash, Larson, Buff Ledge, and Andreasson abductions in the 1960-70s. I think it’s no coincidence that mass consciousness of UAPs and their “alien pilots” exploded during the mid-to-late 1960s due to television’s domination of mass media. Science fiction UAP shows such as “The Invaders” (1967) became popular. The grey beings came to dominate the scene in the 1980s, as did what turned out to be tales of genetic extractions, impregnation, training exercises, “sick hybrid baby” nursings, and exposure to apocalyptic visions for whose aftermath the abductees were “chosen” to assist.

Here’s a list of recurring elements in these eight cases:

-Heralding very bright light

-Appearance of “greys”

-Telepathic communication (orders, mentally calming platitudes, ambiguous answers to questions)

-Floating into air with “doorway amnesia” (no recollection of entering “ship”; all cases except Andreasson’s)

-Becoming naked (or having one’s clothes removed) and being upon a table in glowing circular room with no visible light source.

-Being coated with a (usually) cold substance (Larson, Andreasson, Kentucky, Vilas-Boas [1957])

-The use of a “wand”/needle with a glowing tip (all cases but Kentucky)

-Insertion of needle in head, side, navel, neck, nostril.

-Instant tranquillization by the beings when pain occurs, usually by the passing of the “leader’s” hand over the eyes or forehead.

-Use of a black box device for tranquillization (Roach case)

-Robotic demeanor by greys.

-A taller, leader being (Hill, Buff Ledge, Larson, Allagash, Shaw, a human in the Roach case)

-Beings show the percipient a vision of a “heavenly” place on a screen (Buff Ledge, Andreasson cases; Betty Hill was shown a star map [1961]).

-Interest in the human reproductive system (extraction of eggs/sperm; all but the Kentucky case).

-Sudden return to car/house/campsite with vague or no recollection of events.

-Physical sequel—“branding” such as scars, triangular burns/rashes, nausea, headache, blurred vision, conjunctivitis, swollen eyelids, excessive sleeping or insomnia, nightmares.

Historical Phases:

ENTITIES:
Small beings and humanoids in silver suits/“diving suits”/flight suits: 1947-present

Giants, up to 11 feet tall, in silver suits/flight suits: 1952-present.

“Dark-complected” or “Mediterranean-looking” humans: 1947-1985

“Asians”: 1947-1970 (1896-1970 if the airship landings of 1896 are included)

“Nordics”: 1947-present (or antiquity to present, on a cultural assessment)

Imps or dwarves: 1950-present (or antiquity to present)

Reptilian creatures: 1950-present (or antiquity to present)

Presence of hairy bodies, including face: antiquity-present

Greys (in order of their media reporting): 1967-present (Or 1961-present including the Hill case, or 1953-present in Shaw case [1990])

Mantises/mantids: 1990-present

OBSERVED BEHAVIOR:

1951-present: Hybrid human/almost indistinguishable from human being, bearing “message for all humankind”, with or without presence of object.

1952-1985: Instruments used by entities seen at a distance such as “metal detectors” being waved across ground; silver wands (1954-present); a box on chest or belt that when touched induces paralysis in observer (1953-present).

1950-1985: Observation of surveying/collecting of flora/mineral samples.

1967-present: entities holding a small globe of light which effects paralysis (Andreasson); in her later recollections of earlier abductions, she witnessed a tiny marble of light from the entities that flew and attached itself between the eyes on the forehead.

WAVES OF ACTIVITY:
–The first wave was simply the “object” seen in flight (antiquity-present)

–The second wave was the “object” seen in flight or hovering, with a subsequent ray of light that paralyzes the observer

–The third wave was of landed “objects” with the entity either “surprised” by witness and followed by a quick takeoff; sometimes the startled “pilots” paralyzed the percipient (1947-present, possibly far earlier—this is consistent with the “fairy-stroke”/“elf-shot” of fairies) then entered the UAP and took off, or they intentionally approached the witness (with or without paralysis), then takeoff. Many times it appeared as if the beings were either collecting flora or repairing their “craft.” (1949-1981).

–Fourth and overlapping with 3 is automobile disturbance either before or during sighting of “craft” (1950-present; many Otherworldly encounters during the pre-automobile era reported disturbed horses that often would stop and go no further in the presence of beings/lights).

–Fifth is observed landing or already landed craft seen, paralysis, and abduction (Vilas-Boas and Hill, 1957-present, reported 1957 & 1961, mass media presentation for both encounters in 1966). Albert Rosales’s humanoid encounter catalog contains scattered reports in the early 1950s in — of consciously-recalled abductions without greys that also had reproductive operations.

–Sixth is the appearance of a strong light in the house, paralysis, and abduction to a circular room involving the standard elements (Shaw, 1953, Andreasson, 1968-present).

—————

Adherents to the nuts-and-bolts UAP conjecture would explain the large variety of entities reported prior to the greys’ prevalence by saying that many alien races are here, or perhaps the aliens’ appearances have been deceptive in the past but they are now finally showing us their true form and purpose through the Nordics’ and greys’ seeming ubiquity in these encounters.

Indulging this for a moment: if they deceived percipients before, for whatever reason, then why should we believe this is their true form?

It is more likely the greys and the Nordics are the “model” millions of people have (un)consciously chosen to accept. For several reasons:

They are basically human looking. Collectively, abduction experiencers certainly haven’t settled upon hairy, grunting ugly dwarves as their primary antagonists (these figure in early 1950s-1990s, especially South American, UAP reports—although many experiencers, including Whitley Strieber, have encounter cloaked, dark blue-skinned “dwarves” during their episodes).

This “choice” of the greys’ physical appearance and purposes is in line with ingrained cultural expectations. Consider the Talosians from the original 1964 Star Trek pilot, “The Cage”: they were short, skinny, pale, huge-headed, bald, tiny nosed, with hardly a mouth. If we gave them large slanted ebony eyes, they would look almost exactly like greys. The Talosians possessed stupendous powers for casting holographic illusions on humans, and are involved in a desperate search for genetic “stock” to rebuild their civilization, which their ancestors destroyed. Sound familiar?

Here is H.G. Wells’s extrapolation of what humans would look like given a million years’ evolution:

 

Here are huge heads, large eyes, skeletal bodies. Thanks to Wells, dozens of visual depictions in syfy art, from the 1890s onward depicted skinny, simioid beings with large craniums and large eyes. Folklorist Thomas Bullard, Martin Kottmeyer, and Robert Sheaffer have each undertaken an extensive cataloging of ostensible “contamination” of UAP entity descriptions by science fiction monsters and motifs, particularly the spate of 1950s alien invasion films and 1960s-70s TV shows and films. Their work showed only ambiguous (statistically insignificant) correlations between extraterrestrial depictions, in everything from pulp magazines to TV shows and the subsequently reported “real aliens.” But correlation is not causation, of course, and the attempt to explain a mechanism of action for how people would experience these Others via entertainment sources goes, for the debunkers, no further than “cryptomnesia of the media source combined with hallucination brought on by unconscious stress hysteria, or dream/self-hypnosis mis-experienced or misremembered as reality.” Whoof! It is a game try, and may explain a portion of cases, but ultimately untenable explanation for the experiences in which multiple witnesses and physical evidence is present. And it does not explain the prevalence of the greys in reports.

Experiencers report beings that resemble human fetuses—basically large heads with vestigial bodies. Consider the image metaphorically: The head dominates: the intellect dominates. The body is negligible. And what results from a race in which the head outweighs the heart? Unfeeling, cold beings who treat humans like lab rats.

 

As noted above, the grey has precedent in UAP reports but at one time they had visible irises and pupils, and not the black, shiny eyes. The Hills and Betty Andreasson reported large, visible black irises on the entities they met. This to me signifies another subconscious projective clue: the eyes being the “window to the soul,” and such emotionally expressive organs, the greys now have no eyes, thus have no souls. These organs that communicate so much between humans is a void. With researchers Budd Hopkins, Whitley Strieber, David Jacobs, Raymond Fowler, Edith Fiore, John Carpenter, Yvonne Smith, and John Mack came mass experiencer reports of these black eyes.[34]

Many other types of “high strange” beings have in fact been encountered since 1980, but the reports seem to have been swept under the rug over the past 30 years, ever since the greys appeared in the popular literature. They are outliers and not taken seriously, thus no longer widely reported. That is to say, a consensus set in on the aliens’ appearance, and many ufologists became just as narrow-minded as the debunkers (as noted already, one great exception to this is researcher Albert S. Rosales, who has published fourteen books on these outlier creatures that appear in conjunction with UAP sightings).[35]

When one examines the most elaborate ongoing abduction cases—Betty Andreasson Luca’s (1967-95) and Whitley Strieber’s (1985-97) for instance—you find the themes that hundreds of other experiencers echo: messages of ecological destruction, impending human sterility, the spiritual poverty of Western worldview, the need for redemption, a “purification” of the planet, the beings as evolutionary principles connected with the dead, as guides and “Watchers,” as guardian angels. These match with religious visionaries’ experiences throughout history. Sneaking beneath this current discourse is undoubtedly the deep-time symbolisms that world mythology presents. Transitional periods of great societal upheaval and psychological transformation should produce, by Carl Jung’s theory of the collective unconscious, a certain stereotyped response by the mind—and this seems to be the case here. The greys may be symbols of our future, creatures embodying a liminal state between the atavistic and the high-technological.

Abductees are kept in constant state of confusion and disorientation during their experiences. Nothing is clearly or directly perceived. As we can see, stereotyped imagery is prevalent: the round dimly lit room, the operating table, a wall of lights/computers, scanners, etc. Rote orders, exhortations to relax, and cosmic platitudes are offered by the Others during the terrifying encounters. The aliens speak of disaster and rebirth of their race and the creation of a human-hybrid one on a world that may or may not be the earth. They claim that the human race is repeating their past mistakes, and they show experiencers images of what is taken to be their now-barren world.[36] Very often their ships contain plant nurseries. For instance, after passing through a verdant, hothouse-type landscape, Betty Andreasson was shown an unaltered, straightforward Phoenix rebirth “performance” that deeply affected her. This amounts to psychodrama. The Others act as doctors, performing check-ups and operations on humans, thus are acting like our “keepers”—and contactees/experiencers claim they’re our siblings or even parents. As noted above, experiencers are often “washed” or cleaned with cold gels and liquids, like a baptism, before medical procedures or “transportation” scenarios where they visit the aliens’ home world. They are also at times immersed in pools of vibratory liquids under which they find they can breathe.[37]

The alien fetuses removed (by light or “physically”) from female experiencers’ wombs are usually immediately transferred into a liquid-filled container.[38] Experiencers male and female almost very often report seeing nurseries with walls filled with these tanks.[39]

I’m not saying something very strange is not happening, or that some intelligence is not interacting with us. I’m saying they take the form we partially project onto them. We are co-creating their form through some presently unknown psychophysical means, which we shall explore. Another way to say this is that there is a third element between the tired mind/body duality. This third is an interface with “outer” reality, and is the primary means of perception—not the sensory apparatus of a physical body or brain. What I call the metachoria is the field in which all unwilled mental phenomena occur, but metachores (unconscious/subliminal templates or images) per se have the character or aspect of “transmissions” from elsewhere or elsewhen for those who experience them. These may come unbidden from things such as a sudden image for a painting in an artist all the way to a full-blown abduction experience. It is a matter of degree of the state of attunement to the metachoria. This is my nexus between a certain kindof mind of the UAP/paranormal experiencer, which I will later discuss more clearly in parts four and five of this essay. The rest of this work will address physical (re)actions by which these phenomena manifest in “our” world. The particular psychophysical histories of the experiencers, while in many cases showing similarities such as psychic abilities or “fantasy proneness” or dissociative tendencies,[40] will play a large part in my description but is not determinative. That there is something on the “other side” of perceptible reality that is utilizing electromagnetic phenomena and persons highly sensitive to electromagnetic fields is implied but I submit we can know only a small set of axioms regarding these forms’ motives or true nature. It is only by their statistical rarity and the effects they sometimes catalyze in witnesses that they are called “supernatural.” I believe they are of natural origin—albeit “agents” of a biological superorganism of which our consciousness observes only a narrow phenomenological range of activity.[41]

The next part will outline an interpretation of the physics of consciousness with regard to willed vs. unwilled thoughts and actions and the place the quantum Zeno effect (QZE) within the brain’s neurons has in this apparent dichotomy; we will discover that there is something missing in this formulation that only conjecturing a third field would accommodate. The chapter will also address the concept of quantum entanglement, feedback loops between “mind” and “matter,” the Fourier transform/frequency domain model of the bodily senses, and the holographic universe conjecture.

 


[1] The indigenous Australians of the Arnem Land have the Mimi, who are the forefathers who taught many skills to the Yolngu and Bininj clans in antiquity. They are described as extremely frail and thin, and could be contacted by approaching sacred stones or mountains in ritual manner. These places were doorways to an immaterial dimension that, like the fairy and djinn planes, existed outside of the human world. Mimi play tricks on humans if they or their magic places are not respected. Shamans could fully interact with the beings. Their offices derive from the cult-heroes of the totemic heroes, spirits and ghosts and second the long line and hierarchy or order of medicine men, which leads back to the same heroes of the Dreamtime. They were thought to steal food, fool unsuspecting travellers, and even shoot magic darts—which is a connection to many shamanistic practices and the “fairy elf-shot.” The magical arrow is also associated with Abaris the Hyperborean, a figure said to have emerged from a mythical land “beyond the north wind”. Abaris was said to be able to commune with spirits, heal the sick and travel through the air on a magic arrow. Additional connections to Apollo and Pythagoras hint at the shamanistic journeying technique of “incubation” practiced by the healer Asclepius in his temple.

[2] And then there is the existence of ancient cave paintings in Australia, India, the American Southwest which depict beings very similar to the descriptions of the greys: large, bald, pale heads and staring ovoid black eyes with stick-like or vestigial bodies. Anthropologist Michael Narby in his book The Cosmic Serpent and Graham Hancock in Supernatural speculate that these strange beings were encountered during shamanistic trances so regularly that they merited artistic representation on cave and rock paintings. This conjecture will play a crucial part of my thesis as to UAP “creatures’” genesis and purpose.

[3] Clark, Jerome. The UFO Encyclopedia: The Phenomenon from the Beginning, 2 Vols., Omnigraphics Inc., 1998, pgs. 26-37. Adamski is widely regarded as a charlatan (at worst) or someone who confabulated and capitalized on a real experience with UAP (at best). We would consider ludicrous his claims about the Venusians’s civilization—from a literal point of view. But do the Nordics’ independent longevity in UAP reports 1) grant some kind of credence to Adamski’s outlandish stories, or 2) bump down the believability factor of Other experiencers’ tales or 3), suggest some sort of psychological “screen” is being induced on all the witnesses’ minds, and the actual energies/intelligence behind the images are beyond our comprehension, as one of our ET hypothesis conjectures in the preface allowed for? And if the third option is so, why do these hidden intelligences choose robed/jumpsuited, blue-eyed, blond seven-foot “Aryans” and not a beautiful Ethiopian princess, even occasionally? Perhaps the hidden intelligences don’t do the choosing. Perhaps we do, because the “Nordic” and dwarf images are very ancient and have always signified the Otherworld (of which more later).

[4] Jacobs, David M., The Threat: Revealing the Secret Alien Agenda, Simon and Schuster, 1999, pgs. 76-88; Clark, The UFO Encyclopedia: The Phenomenon from the Beginning, pgs. 4-15;

[5] Pritchard, Andrea; Pritchard, David E.; Mack, John E.; Kasey, Pam; Yapp, Claudia, eds. Alien Discussions: Proceedings of the Abduction Study Conference held at MIT, Cambridge, MA.,1995, pgs. 45-81; Jacobs, David M. Secret Life: Firsthand, Documented Accounts of UFO Abductions, Touchstone, 1993, pgs. 49-60, 91-93, 107-131, 153-186, 209-219; Jacobs, David M., The Threat, pgs. 116-118, 128-160; Clark, The UFO Encyclopedia: The Phenomenon from the Beginning, pgs. 7-9, 15-17;

[6] There have long been battles over the veracity of memories recovered under hypnosis. Rarely are they accepted in court, especially after many of the allegations during the “Satanic panic” of the 1980s-early 90s were proven to be hoaxes or confabulations. Studies have shown that in general, emotionally disturbed individuals and their health practitioners both are primed to play out a specific dynamic during a clinical setting. The patient is primed to provide material acceptable or amenable to the therapist’s skills. The same dynamic holds between an abductee and a qualified hypnotherapist or an “abduction expert” who practices hypnosis without a license. The theory goes that the abductee unconsciously (or consciously) wants to please the researcher with an account that conforms to the template; in this way, both participants are recognized as valid and “special.” When an abductee deals with someone of David Jacobs’s or Budd Hopkins’s stature, who are known world-wide as “abduction experts,” the unconscious is even more emotionally engaged and the imagination active. Thus we can say, with a high degree of probability, that there will be a level of confabulation present in abduction narratives made while under hypnosis by an abduction expert, whether licensed or not. To what level that confabulation rises has supposedly been neutralized by researchers withholding outlying, unusual details over time in their published works, to see if these “odder-than-normal” details turn up in further cases. Although this is meant to be a scientific method to determine the veracity of a case as a “control,” the approach is flawed; it is the abductee’s prior knowledge of any narrative structure or sensory details to these experiences that should always be the issue. To put it another way, if a family of homesteaders living off the grid for several generations were to suddenly show up terrified at the local police station with conscious, template-level tales of abduction, their lifestyle would count in favor of the truthfulness of their claims. If Amish families, say, with none to minimal familiarity with aliens or abductions were to claim the full-spectrum conscious experiences we are detailing, what could we say about it? The Amish would probably claim they encountered demonic forces. But if they reported classic grey beings, we would have to concede that, at least, the image of the grey has risen above the level of a “cultural contaminant” and gained some sort of independent psychological existence.

[7] See Strieber, Whitley. Communion: A True Story, Avon Books, 1987, pgs. 52-64; Jacobs, David M., The Threat: Revealing the Secret Alien Agenda, Simon and Schuster, 1999, pgs. 227-234; Bullard, Thomas E., The Myth and Mystery of UFOs, The University Press of Kansas, 2010, pgs. 89, 140, 179, 218, 230; Clark (1998), pgs. 7, 8, 17; Randles, Jenny. Abduction, pg. 136; .

 

[8] See Rueckert, Carla and Elkins, Don. The Law of One: Ra Material, L/L Research, 1982; Anka, Darryl, Bashar: Blueprint for Change: A Message from our Future, New Solutions Publishing, 1990; Cannon, Dolores, The Convoluted Universe Series 1-5, Ozark Mountain Publishing, 2001-2015; Marciniak, Barbara, The Bringers of the Dawn: Teachings from the Pleiadians, Bear & Company 1992. The list could encompass dozens, perhaps over a hundred, books.

[9] Bullard (2010), pg. 299; Clark (1998), pgs. 13, 21, 23;

[10] Bullard (2010), pgs. 71, 138-39, 142; Bryan, C.D.B. Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind: A Reporter’s Notebook on Alien Abduction, UFOs, and the Conference at MIT, Penguin Books, 1996, pgs. 27, 261, 418; Clark (1998), pgs. 6-14.

[11] See Randles, Jenny. Abduction, Guild Books, 1988, pgs. 67, 69, 91; Clark (1998), pgs. 9, 10, 16, 705-07; Bullard (2010) pgs. 143-44.

 

[12] Full account: Fuller, John G. The Interrupted Journey: Two Lost Hours “Aboard a Flying Saucer,” New York Press, 1966. Four years prior to the Hills’s missing time experience, in 1957, Brazilian farmer Antonio Vilas Boas was plowing his field in the middle of the night (due to the daytime heat) when he was dragged aboard a teardrop-shaped craft by four beings in spacesuits. He was stripped naked and examined. He was then led into a room where he had intense sex with a pale, tiny, growling woman with blue, slanted, cat-like eyes. Just before the woman’s appearance, the “astronauts” had applied a gel to his skin with sponges and a type of smoke had been ejected into the room that made him nauseous; he claimed uncontrollable passion towards the woman and later speculated that either the smoke or the gel was a powerful aphrodisiac. He remembered the entire experience without hypnosis. Boas’s description of the woman’s face and her platinum-blond hair are very similar to both the female Nordics (although she wasn’t seven feet tall) and “hybrid human” greys. This case was investigated in Brazil within four months of its occurrence, but unknown to investigators in the USA until 1966, after the Hills’s case had its spectacular unveiling via the Saturday Evening Post. So the theme of reproduction-intervention was present in these two earliest reports. See Coral and Jim Lorenzen, Encounters with UFO Occupants, Berkley Publishing Corporation, 1976, pgs. 61-87, for the full account.

[13] Ibid, pg. 215; Blum, Ralph and Blum, Judy. Beyond Earth: Man’s Contact with UFOs, Bantam Book,s 1974, pgs. 12-36.

[14] Lorenzen, pgs. 342-346.

[15] A similar “physical” procedure of “cranial brain removal” has occurred in other UAP abductions. See Fiore, Edith. Encounters: A Psychologist Reveals Case Studies of Abductions by Extraterrestrials, Doubleday, 1989, pg. 139; Rosales, Albert S. Humanoid Encounters: 1985-1989, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015, pg. 289.

 

[16] Full account: Lorenzen, Coral and Jim, Abducted! Confrontations with Beings from Outer Space, Berkley Publishing, 1977, pgs. 52-69; Clark (1998) pgs. 573-76.

[17] Often their heads are described as resembling a praying mantis, and the experiencer often senses that this being is possibly millions of years old and infinitely wise.

[18] This detail would also come to be repeated many times throughout the 1980s and 90s: rooms full of people known and unknown are seen by the abductee aboard the craft or a cavern of some sort by the experiencers. Many times these hordes are sedated upon tables, or seen naked in groups in a groggy state. In a few instances, two repeat experiencers had abductions in which they remembered seeing each other during encounters that were later discovered to have occurred on the same night. See

[19] While this may or may not be related to her experience that night, this detail nevertheless recalls the 1968 case of “Dr. X” in France. Preeminent UFO expert Aime Michel interviewed Dr. X several days after his experience occurred. (“X” was pseudonymously used because he was a well-known town physician at the time, and all the examiners vouched for the man’s sincerity in the face of his incredible tale). A few days before the incident, X had injured his foot with an axe. He additionally suffered from a permanent limp due to a wound inflicted while serving in the Algerian war. He was awoken by his infant son’s cries late that night. Entering the room, his son was gesturing at the window, where a light pulsed. Several hundred yards away, two massive lights were strobing above the woods. They joined then “exploded” in a lightning-like flash. Both his war wound and the ax wound were instantly healed. Even stranger, a triangular red rash appeared around his navel—and one appeared around his infant son’s navel as well. They faded over several weeks but would periodically return on both of father and son (once, purportedly, they broke out simultaneously when the two were far apart from each other). See Clark, Jerome. The UFO Encyclopedia: The Phenomenon from the Beginning, 2 Vols., Omnigraphics Inc., 1998, Vol. 1, pgs. 335-337; Vallee, Jacques, Dimensions: A Casebook of Alien Contact, Anomalist Books, 2008, pgs. 173-176.

[20] Full account: Lorenzen, Coral and Jim, Abducted! Confrontations with Beings from Outer Space, Berkley Publishing, 1977, pgs. 9-24; Clark (1998) pgs. 800-802.

[21] These effects on the car and the perception of a “changed road” have occurred in a few abduction cases. See the Australian case of Maureen Puddy, which occurred between July 1972 and February 1973, cited in Bryan, C.D.B., Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind: A Reporter’s Notebook on Alien Abduction, UFOs, and the Conference at MIT, Penguin Books, 1996, pgs. 70-74.

[22] Full account: Stringfield, Leonard. Situation Red: The UFO Siege, Fawcett, 1978; Clark (1998), pgs. 554-58; Lorenzen, Coral and Jim, Abducted! Confrontations with Beings from Outer Space, pgs. 114-131.

[23] Full account: The Andreasson Affair: The Documented Investigation into a Woman’s Abduction aboard a UFO, Prentice Hall, 1980; Clark (1998), pgs. 86-95.

[24] Full account: Holzer, Hans. The UFOnauts: New Facts on Extraterrestrial Landings, Fawcett Gold Medal Books, 1976.

[25] This is quite a common phenomena as well in the minutes leading up to encounters: brilliantly lit rest stops, houses, diners, gas/convenience stores, or construction sites are observed that, when later searched for along the same route, are found not to have existed.

[26] Full account: Druffel, Ann and Rogo, D. Scott, The Tujunga Canyon Contacts, Anomalist Books, 2008. However, more cases have come to light involving greys that occurred in the 1950s, culled from regressive hypnosis sessions in the late 1980s-present. See Yvonne Smith’s Chosen: Recollections of UFO Abductions through Hypnotherapy; Dr. John Mack’s Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens and Passport to the Cosmos, and Intrusion by Bob Mitchell.

[27] If this were done as a rule by investigators with those claiming abduction, perhaps the “psi-contamination” explanation for the startling uniformity of details could be ruled out.

[28] Full account: Webb, Walter N. Encounter at Buff Ledge: A UFO Case History, J. Allen Hynek Center, 1993; Clark (1998), pgs. 169-172.

[29] Fowler, Raymond, The Allagash Abductions, Granite Publishing, 1993.

[30] See The Great Airship Mystery: A UFO of the 1890s by Daniel Cohen, pgs.

[31] For instance, in 1975, Air Force Sgt. Charles Moody went out to watch a meteor display at 1AM and saw a UAP drop from the sky and hover very close to his car. Returning home after a period of confusion, he found several hours of missing time had passed when he was sure his trip should have taken no more than forty minutes. He experienced intense pain in his lower back the next day, and developed a “heat rash” on his lower body. These physical reactions might indicate an allergic reaction to enormous EM exposure. He had no memory of abduction until spontaneously recalling it weeks later. He consciously recalled the UAP landing, and later fully recalled the abduction involving greys in which he injured two of the beings before being taken into the “ship.” Their leader showed him the propulsion mechanism during a tour of the vehicle before releasing him. It must be stressed that there were no images or descriptions of “grey” beings, the “tour,” the rooms’ uniform lighting without a source, the missing time phenomenon, crystalline “engine” parts, etc., that Moody described that were known to the public at the time except for the 1961 Hill case (see Lorenzen, Coral and Jim, Abducted! (1977) pgs. 38-52 for the full account). The elements listed above would all become parts of the standard narrative in the 1980s and 1990s. According to Albert Rosales’s humanoid encounters catalogue, creatures similar or identical to greys in conjunction with UAP were reported in Bethel, North Carolina, 1920; Port Burwell, Canada, 1925; Poitiers, France, 1928 a man saw a light land and was taken into a strange area with grey-like creatures and covered in a cold gel that evaporated, and he was able to pass through the space’s walls (we will see that these are two fairly consistent details in today’s abductions); Floridablanca, Colombia in 1950; Safonova, USSR in 1951; West Surrey, England, in 1956; La Napoule, Alpes Maritimes, France in 1956; and Novato, California in 1958; Sedalia, Missouri, in August 1965; Island Lake, Manitoba, fall 1966; Mendoza, Argentina in September, 1968. UAP-associated “reptilian” beings were reported in Nuevalos, Spain in 1954; Riverside, California in November 1958; Vienna, North Carolina in June 1963. “Doorway amnesia” was reported in an abduction encounter involving non-grey creatures at St. Francis River, Arkansas in 1954 when a 7-year old boy was allegedly hit with an intense light and found himself upon a table surrounded by beings; in March 1959 a Japanese businessman allegedly saw a spherical UAP approaching and suddenly found himself aboard the “craft.”  A case involving an entity touching a percipient’s forehead to induce tranquilization is reported to have occurred in Cordoba, Argentina in 1957. I must stress that these were all consciously recalled encounters in which hypnotic regression was not used. I have deliberately avoided the 1975 Travis Waltoncase for reasons of continuing controversy over his polygraph tests and the tangle of claims and counterclaims involving character that noised his story from the beginning—although the debunkers have never convincingly discredited his and his six co-workers’ tale of the UAP and Walton’s being struck by a beam from it.

[32] In the book The Abduction Enigma for instance, author Kevin Randle, the primary APRO investigator of the Pat Roach case, eventually dismissed it as the product of confabulation, contamination and “leading questions” by hypnotist Dr. James Harder. The regression transcript evidence Randle produces in the book is weak: just a few questions Harder asked that Roach answered in the affirmative and proceeded to elaborate on. In hypnosis, there are literally thousands of questions a hypnotist could ask that are knowingly meant to lead the experiencer during sessions that are just as often answered “no” and corrected by the hypnotic subject. Randle simply puts down Roach and her children’s experience to the fact that there were rumors of a prowler at the time in her neighborhood. Apparently he means they had a hysterically-shared fantasy. No scientific explanation is offered how such a thing could occur; it fails to explain both children’s conscious recollections of a “skeleton spaceman” in the house, Roach’s disorientation and unexplained terror that night, her memory of a bright light, and the marks on her body…On the Allagash case, he dismisses Jim Weiner’s first hypnotic accounts as contaminated simply because he read Strieber’s book Communion, which contained many parallels to nightmares he had already been having for years and is in fact what caused him to seek investigator Raymond Fowler’s help in the first place (and Randle doesn’t begin to explain how such an odd coincidence such as this would be possible). He ignores the other three Allagash men’s hypnotic accounts of their missing time, which are very similar to identical to Jim’s. Randle claims that their speaking together about the strange incident in the 12-year interim caused “contamination”—which says nothing as to how they could come up with similar to identical accounts of the “repressed” experience, unless one allows for telepathy. Investigator Fowler made certain after Jim Weiner’s first sessions that Jim reveal nothing of what they had uncovered to the other three, who had not read Communion. Additionally, Randle sloppily summarizes the events leading up to the four men’s return to their camp after the conscious UAP encounter, when they found their huge bonfire reduced to embers. Obviously a period of hours had elapsed between their leaving and returning, when they were certain the whole episode had taken 30 minutes at most. He fails to mention the classic interplay between a UAP and a human light source, in this case Charlie Foltz turning the flashlight at the thing and “signaling” at it, which caused to object to send a beam down and approach them. Again, these events were all conscious recollections of the four men prior to their hypnosis…Randle also summarily dismisses the Shane Kurz abduction as unreal simply because paranormal researcher Hans Holzer did the hypnotic regression on her…The Abduction Enigma does not touch upon our other five template cases. Randle and his co-authors selectively choose cases where contamination by accounts of the Hills’s, Vilas-Boas’s, and Strieber’s encounters is in fact possible. This is a valid qualification, but again, it does not explain the core uniformly, consciously recalled experiences. These Randle explains away in the Roach case as fantasy generated unconsciously by the media-ubiquitous UFO reports of late 1973. The book also conveniently mentions only in passing the thoroughly researched multiple-witness accounts we have been looking at, such as the Andreasson case, the Buff Ledge case, and the Stanford, Kentucky case.

 

[33] Go into BUFORA, ethics.

[34] Which according to Betty Andreasson Luca are conjectured to be contact lenses with holographic projective/memory and neurologically extractive properties.

[35] While the greys’ physical appearance got made into Halloween costumes and bumper stickers and appeared in Hollywood movies, the damned within the damned march on. Rosales has spent over 40 years collecting humanoid reports that in most ways do not conform to this “mainstream” midnight theater show that keeps both MUFON and Pleiadian cults going. His (currently) 14 volumes of worldwide humanoid reports 1AD-2015 show that the parade of high-strange beings has never ended. Hypnotic recall of the encounters is rare in the reports he has documented; the percipients were either fully conscious or under the Oz Factor while experiencing the Others but required no therapist to elicit their memories. This alone makes them (ironically perhaps) less suspect than the ongoing parade of “grey manipulations.” Rosales’s reports are the raw accounts from field ufologists and cryptozoologists across the world and show that hairy dwarves, little green bearded men, Sasquatches, reed-thin “elves,” uniformed giants, living stick figures, smoky apparitions, sentient, human-shaped fogs, white “Michelin tire men,” winged furry “demons,” space-suited elves, fairies, and indescribable Bosch-like beings have not disappeared from human experience.

[36] Clark (1998), pgs. 7, 9, 15; Randles, (1988), pgs. 175-76. The list of these attributes from Hopkins’s and Jacobs’s books would be very long. They figure in most of their cases.

 

[37] Fowler, Raymond, The Andreasson Affair, pgs. 59-65, 101-103; Bryan, pg. 21, 414; Turner, Karla, Taken, pg. 73, 107, 139; Smith, Yvonne, Chosen, Backstage Entertainment, 2008, pgs. 54-64, 79-81; Clear, Constance, Reaching for Reality, Consciousness Now Inc., 1998, pgs. 142-144; Fiore, Edith, Encounters, Doubleday, 1989, pg. 19; Mack, Abduction, pg. 34-35, 125; Rosales, Albert S., Humanoid Encounters: 1900-1929, pg. 129; Jacobs, David M., The Threat, pgs. 100-101; Randles, Jenny, Abduction, pg. 91;

Hopkins,

[38] Fowler, Raymond, The Watchers, Bantam Books, 1990, pgs. 19-34; Clear, pg. 144; Smith, pgs. 80-81; Mack, John, Passport to the Cosmos: Human Transformation and Alien Encounters, Three Rivers Press, 2000, pgs. 121-127.

[39] Mack, Abduction, pg. 155; Turner, pg. 154; Clark, Jerome, ed. The UFO Encyclopedia: The Phenomenon from the Beginning, 2 Vols., Omnigraphics Inc., 1998, Vol. 1, pg. 7; Jacobs, The Threat, pgs. 62-69, 100-101.

[40] Bryan, pgs. 126-127; Kelly, Edward, and Kelly, Emily Williams. Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2009, pgs. 337-340, 345-348.

[41] This may sound like pantheism or panpsychism, because it is.

 

“UFOnauts” used to come in all flavors: space-suited dwarves, hairy gremlins, robed monks, silvery giants, glowing balls and humanoids, tall blond “Nordics,” “Asians,” “Mediterraneans”–then suddenly in the mid-1980s witnesses started mostly reporting the skinny lightbulb-headed cyborgs called the greys. What the hell happened? Here I look into the history of the alien abduction, examine the history of its elements, and possibly why the grey bastards monopolized a perfectly entertaining form of theater with their supposed genetic machinations.

Parmenides/Poimandres, “Alien” Messages and Mysticism

People from Elsewhere have always come to humanity bearing messages.

Sometimes their messages are symbolic, acted out like psychodramas. Sometimes they are epigrammatic, and at other times they exhibit a torrent of verbiage that would exhaust the best Talmud scholar. 

We are not alone, say most cosmologists and astrophysicists. The numbers are against it. But even if in the unlikely case we are “alone” evolutionarily in this universe, we still aren’t alone. There are Others, and from time to time they actually talk to us.

As John Keel once observed, if they’re extraterrestrials then they’re using the syntax of ceremonial magic and the vocabulary of apparitions to contact us–and that of mysticism, which can either enlighten or mystify, depending on the discerning consciousness

PARMENIDES & THE GODDESS

Parmenides of Elea was born roughly 515 BCE and died at an unknown date. Founder of the Eleatic School, he and his disciples profoundly influenced the technique of logical deduction in Plato and Aristotle’s work. Parmenides’s disciple Zeno’s ideas about motion and time-measurement, which result in paradoxes, still puzzle minds to this day.

According to Peter Kingsley, Parmenides became a priest of the sleep temples of Apollo at Elea and presided over a quasi-shamanic “revival” movement that betrayed the true nature of Apollo as a chthonic deity, not necessarily the solar one as received history has it. Prophecy has always been associated with Apollo–and its source as truth in Parmenides’s career originated in his spirit journey poem. 

Parmenides’s only surviving work is called On the Nature of Things. It takes the first-person form, and is composed of a preface followed by a revelatory vision of Truth by a Goddess (taken to be Persephone, who is always associated with the Underworld), then contrasts this vision with humanity’s “mere opinions” in its last part.

Only fragments of the poem remain, but most of the Goddess’ revelation section has been preserved. Additional supplementation has been gleaned from later philosophers’ discussions, mostly Plato and Aristotle, in which they give précis of Parmenides’s arguments or by actually using his syllogistic argument forms.

At the poem’s beginning a young male protagonist is taken into a chariot with a shining axle that spins. He meets “glowing maidens of the sun” who guide the vehicle’s mares into a subterranean area where a stone door opens.

Inside he meets the Goddess, who imparts to him eternal wisdom. Here are some samples of that philosophy:

Thinking and the thought that it is are the same; for you will not find thinking apart from what is, in relation to which it is uttered. (B 8.34–36)

For to be aware and to be are the same. (B 3)

It is necessary to speak and to think what is; for being is, but nothing is not. (B 6.1–2)

Helplessness guides the wandering thought in their breasts; they are carried along deaf and blind alike, dazed, beasts without judgment, convinced that to be and not to be are the same and not the same, and that the road of all things is a backward-turning one. (B 6.5–9)

The last quote is a tough one, but is taken to mean that people consider the states of existence and non-existence to be absolutely different, whether the states of life/death, an incremental process of extinction, or the notion that something that will be at a “future” time but now is not is self-contradictory. Non-existence, as such, is not something that can even be conceived of.

If the radical ontological condition “non-existence” cannot have either existence in an ordinary sense qua individual instances or a existence as a kind of (non)being—a concept with a referent —then all the gradations between the individual, the part and the whole, are also impossible.

The “backward turning” is a crude reference, I believe, to the process of entropy as conceived by our limited human minds as we remember how things once seemed to be, but are now not. That is, any difference between the present and the past is an illusion qua the awakened mind. But we are asleep and ignorant; the illusory differences are what we notice and take as real. The following backs this interpretation:

How could what is perish? How could it have come to be? For if it came into being, it is not; nor is it if ever it is going to be. Thus coming into being is extinguished, and destruction unknown. (B 8.20–22, my emphasis)

Nor was [it] once, nor will [it] be, since [it] is, now, all together, / One, continuous; for what coming-to-be of it will you seek? / In what way, whence, did [it] grow?

Neither from what-is-not shall I allow / You to say or think; for it is not to be said or thought / That [it] is not. And what need could have impelled it to grow / Later or sooner, if it began from nothing? Thus [it] must either be completely or not at all. (B 8.5–11)

[What exists] is now, all at once, one and continuous… Nor is it divisible, since it is all alike; nor is there any more or less of it in one place which might prevent it from holding together, but all is full of what is. (B 8.5–6, 8.22–24)

And it is all one to me / Where I am to begin; for I shall return there again. (B 5)

This is a radical vision of reality unlike anything the Greeks or the Western ancient world had encountered, and is as cogent an attempt to rationally explain or convey the sense of a mystical experience as anything any person has ever written. When one considers a philosophy of “timeless Forms,” it is no wonder that Plato was deeply influenced by Parmenides’s vision of Oneness and Being.

Parmenides’s Goddess’ notions are absolutely monist, but the type of monism is very difficult to pin down: it denies dualism in principle, so an idealism/physicalism split cannot exist within it. Given an ontology of pure physicalism or pure idealism, Her denial of time, space, and differing identity would hold given the premisses of either viewpoint. She allows that the One that exists eternally beyond all change is comprehensible to humanity, but this implies that a mind in ignorance of the One, either before experiencing the oneness or after experiencing the oneness, would at least be possible.

Yet the possible is impossible, because anything that can be thought, is—except that something not be.

But as we see, Parmenides’s vision differs from that of other mystics in that the Goddess supplies him with logical propositions that when subjected to further analysis result in paradoxes, revealing a limit to what the human mind can sensorily comprehend.

Our only recourse seems to be to embrace Her form of absolute monism: since nothing cannot be, therefore everything that can possibly exist, already does exist. It is simply our feeble human minds that cannot perceive this, through ignorance and limiting factors. There cannot be something that is now that was not before, or will come to be but does not exist now, therefore change—and time—cannot exist. “Becoming” is thus an illusion. The “present” presupposes division—a past preceding it, and a future proceeding or forerunning it—therefore it, also, cannot exist. All is one and everything, and for “all time.”

Parmenides’s ending doxa section on humanity’s flawed sense-formed impressions is almost entirely lost, unfortunately.

——

These metaphysical gymnastics would have no rival in their power to “deconstruct” our sense-perception of reality until the sutras Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna propagated in the non-dualist madhyamaka “no mind, no self” doctrine in 2nd century CE India—who also, legend says, received his teachings from a supernatural source, the Nagas (snake-deities)

Throughout the history of “mysticism” we encounter people who describe very similar ineffable truths that lie “outside linear space-time.” Some try to describe it in terms of the “ethereal fluid” of light, the One, the Ungrund (Godhead), etc.

In 1600, at age 25, Lusatian cobbler Jakob Boehme had a vision while staring enraptured at sunlight hitting the edge of a pewter dish. He then walked out into his garden while “information” flowed into his mind, the “secrets of creation.” The experience was so ineffable he never spoke of it, until ten years later when a similar vision overtook him. Two years after this he wrote Aurora, and, encouraged by friends, published it. He went on to write a further ten books elaborating his vision of the importance of Seven and the Trinity to Christian ontology, echoing the philosophy of Pythagoras as to the “numerical” underpinnings of physical reality. Further, his works were flavored with pagan astrological-alchemical elements, such as the sevenfold planetary metals, their qualities, and the resultant “worlds” under which humanity was conditioned. This shows the influence of Paracelsus and Gnosticism by way of other Neoplatonic mystics, whom Boehme read while young. Boehme’s views on the origin of sin and redemption conflicted with accepted Calvinist-Lutheran theology and he found himself several times in the hot seat. His views on evolutionary principles based upon triads, the necessity of evil and its conquering to produce a higher reconciliation would influence G.W.F. Hegel’s elaborate view of history.

American “electro-alchemist” Cyrus Teed (1839-1908), who also described an encounter with a goddess during an experiment with electricity, claimed to have directly experienced Oneness and the idea that all matter is merely “frozen” energy decades before Einstein mathematically formulated it. Had he been a physicist, perhaps he could have put the discovery into equation form.

These mystical revelations are what Aldous Huxley called the “Perennial Philosophy.” All peoples in every era will rediscover it, as long as humans exist. As religion scholar Richard Smoley puts it in his book on Gnosticism:

Swami Vivekananda, the Hindu sage who brought the tradition of Advaita Vedanta to the West at the end of the 19th century, put it this way in a 1896 lecture: “He (the Atman, or Self), the One, vibrates more quickly than the mind, who attains more speed than the mind can ever attain, who leaving gods whom even the gods reach not, nor thought grasps—He moving, everything moves. In Him all exists. He is moving; he is also immovable. He is near and He is far. He is inside everything, he is outside every-thing—interpenetrating everything. Whoever sees in every being that same Atman, and whoever sees everything in that Atman, he never goes far from that Atman. When a man sees all life and the whole universe in this Atman,… There is no more delusion and for him. Where is any more misery for him who sees the Oneness in the universe?”

Elsewhere Vivekananda defines this principle as “Pure Consciousness.” Christ in the Gospel of Thomas alludes to a similar truth: “It is I who am the light which is above them all. It is I who am the All. From Me did the All come forth, and unto Me did the All extend. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there” (Thomas, 77).

Again, in a literal sense this utterance is nonsensical. If you hack a piece of wood apart, you’re not going to find a tiny Jesus hiding inside. In all likelihood Christ is not speaking of himself either personally or theologically. He is speaking of this primordial mind or consciousness, which is that in us—and in all things—which says “I am.” Although rocks and stones are not conscious beings as we are, to some degree this primal awareness dwells in them also.[1]

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THE POIMANDRES

The incidence of spirit journeys goes back to the beginnings of history and probably far before. Perhaps one of the most famous is the poetic tract Poimandres, meaning “knowledge of Re” or Ra, or in some early translations the “Man-Shepherd,” which was a part of the Corpus Hermeticum translated from Greek into Latin by Marsilio Ficino in 1460s Florence. Its provenance was suspected as a forgery in the 16th century, then the work was rehabilitated by the discovery of 3rd and 4th century Gnostic scriptures referencing it. Traditionally, its author is supposed to be Hermes Trismegistus—the “Thrice-Great Hermes,” an Egyptian mystic priest and the most learned philosopher of the ancient world. The poem begins,

It chanced once on a time my mind was meditating on the things that are, my thought was raised to a great height, the senses of my body being held back—just as men who are weighed down with sleep after a fill of food, or from fatigue of body.

The narrator’s description of bodily suspension/paralysis is very similar to that of the classic astral journey of an out-of-body experience—or the beginning a contemporary UAP abduction. After ascending, Hermes meets a vast being calling itself the “Man-Shepherd” who requests him to ask a question. Trismegistus boldly requests knowledge of everything, including God. Hermes is shown the Man-Shepherd transforming itself into a vision of unending light, then the primordial separation and union of the elements:[2]

[Thereon] out of the Light […] a Holy Word (Logos) descended on that Nature. And upwards to the height from the Moist Nature leaped forth pure Fire; light was it, swift and active too.

The Air, too, being light, followed after the Fire; from out of the Earth-and-Water rising up to Fire so that it seemed to hang therefrom.

But Earth-and-Water stayed so mingled with each other, that Earth from Water no one could discern. Yet were they moved to hear by reason of the Spirit-Word (Logos) pervading them.

Hermes admits he doesn’t understand the vision. The Man-Shepherd replies that he, Poimandres, is the light, and mind, and logos (reason/intelligibility) that organizes all the elements. Mind is the Father-God; Poimandres exhorts Hermes to befriend the light and says by the marriage of Logos and Mind all things arise.

Then the being gives the narrator a penetrating, frightening stare.

Poimandres explains that God as Mind is both female and male brought forth another mind to birth form as seven rulers. This the traditional way of speaking of the seven governors or “archons,” the planets, who bind each human with the constraining spiritual and physical forces that create our fates. The narrator observes form uprushing to meet Formative Nature, and an equal movement of nature downward into spiritless matter:

Then the Formative Mind ([at-one] with Reason), he who surrounds the spheres and spins them with his whorl, set turning his formations, and let them turn from a beginning boundless unto an endless end. For that the circulation of these [spheres] begins where it doth end, as Mind doth will.

So in addition to the upward-downward axis of Mind and Matter interpenetrating all things, Poimandres shows Hermes spinning action or vortices as a fundamental principle to creation. This exegesis conforms to many other visions of creation. Then comes this:

But All-Father Mind, being Life and Light, did bring forth Man co-equal to Himself, with whom He fell in love, as being His own child; for he was beautiful beyond compare, the Image of his Sire. In very truth, God fell in love with his own Form; and on him did bestow all of His own formations.

         This passage would cause immediate split between Orthodox Christians and “pagans” or heretics—despite Luke 17:21, where Jesus proclaims God’s kingdom “is inside us all” (King James version). For some Gnostic schools and certainly Hermeticism, this passage would be a founding principle: God and Humanity are co-equal and reflect each other. But the raising of humanity only comes with the Great Work on oneself. This connection is made by means of what the narrator describes as the Enformer—or In-former, also referred to as God’s “Brother.” Apparently the Brother is a God-Mind-created demiurge that acts as mediator. Just as God falls in love with humanity, humanity asks to be In-formed with God, and it is granted. Thus humanity originally had the same powers as the seven rulers, and “broke through” the membranes of “downward Nature’s forms.” It is implied then that the archetypal human had powers equal to God’s at the level of Nature. Nature, under the aspect of the element of water, falls in love with this “God-Man” and they become lovers. Humanity now has a dual-aspect.

And this is why beyond all creatures on the earth man is twofold; mortal because of body, but because of the essential man immortal.

Though deathless and possessed of sway over all, yet doth he suffer as a mortal doth, subject to Fate.

Thus though above the Harmony, within the Harmony he hath become a slave. Though male-female, as from a Father male-female, and though he is sleepless from a sleepless [Sire], yet is he overcome [by sleep].

So the human is subject to the seven rulers’ influence, being composed of matter. Humanity sleeps; we are ignorant of this double-nature, and the immortal part that is its essence.

Nature embraced by Man brought forth a wonder, oh so wonderful. For as he had the nature of the Concord of the Seven, who, as I said to thee, [were made] of Fire and Spirit – Nature delayed not, but immediately brought forth seven “men”, in correspondence with the natures of the Seven, male-female and moving in the air.

         The human form, via Nature, “brings forth” seven aspects, each ostensibly mirrors or seeds of the seven governors. These are called Aeons, syzygies, or pairs equaling fourteen that the Valentinian Gnostics of the 1st-2nd Centuries claimed are the constraining forces the demiurge placed upon humanity. The goddess Sophia is considered the fifteenth, who could here in the Poimandres text be considered Nature itself as midwife to the “Brother” through which God-Mind created humanity.

But I recorded in my heart Man-Shepherd’s benefaction, and with my every hope fulfilled more than rejoiced. For body’s sleep became the soul’s awakening, and closing of the eyes – true vision, pregnant with Good my silence, and the utterance of my word (logos) begetting of good things.

All this befell me from my Mind, that is Man-Shepherd, Word (Logos) of all masterhood, by whom being God-inspired I came unto the Plain of Truth. Wherefore with all my soul and strength thanksgiving give I unto Father-God.

The tract ends with a prayer. As he says, Hermes’s tranquillized/paralyzed body allowed the mind to expand and experience direct contact with Poimandres.

UAP ENTITY MESSAGES

The spiritual message of Parmenides, the writer(s) of Poimandres, and mystic visions are echoed by those spoken by UAP entities, especially the messages received by the so-called contactees of the 1950-60s. Since many of the latter have been suspected of fraud, we will concentrate instead upon the messages imparted to mediums/channelers, the “abducted,” and those who meet a “stranger” claiming to be from elsewhere—especially reports pre-1980 when the “greys” and their messages began to dominate the narratives. Most of the time, the Nordic-type of stranger gave these messages, but other creatures with a basic human appearance[3] also impart the same information:

Time doesn’t exist as we conceive it;

All is “one;”

Love is a universal principle that is creative in nature;

The untapped power of the human mind can make physical space travel unnecessary, or similarly, our vastly misguided understanding of space/time, were it corrected, would make interstellar space travel as easy as “thinking it;”

The vast majority of humanity is willfully blind to these universal truths.

The contactee/abductee is chosen because of their openness to these messages. Frequently they are told they are special and have a mission to perform in spreading the gospel.[4]

Some scholars believe Parmenides may actually have experienced such a spirit journey or vision-quest as a young man, and chose to present his revelation to the world in the contemporary iambic form. Whether he dreamt the vision, experienced an entheogenic state induced by a drug, or by way of his daemon doesn’t really matter; it is the poem form in which he presented it and his message’s content that is important to us.

But its opening section contains a few elements that are curiously resonant with imagery gleaned from “alien abduction” tales.

I have come across no mention of the Poimandres or Parmenides’s poem in relation to UAP and any contactee or abduction analysis literature. Although countless spirit journey stories exist in folklore and have been extensively examined, Parmenides’s ancient encounter and its aftermath (the founding of an enormously influential “Western” mystical philosophical school) has not yet been scrutinized in the light of it being a possible “alien” encounter. As I said, the evidence is scanty, comprising just the details in the prefatory section, and may seem ridiculous in comparison at first consideration:

The steeds that bear me carried me as far as ever my heart Desired, since they brought me and set me on the renowned Way of the goddess, who with her own hands conducts the man who knows through all things. On what way was I borne
along; for on it did the wise steeds carry me, drawing my car, and maidens showed the way. And the axle, glowing in the socket -for it was urged round by the whirling wheels at each end – gave forth a sound as of a pipe, when the daughters of the Sun, hasting to convey me into the light, threw back their veils from off their faces and left the abode of Night.
There are the gates of the ways of Night and Day, fitted above with a lintel and below with a threshold of stone. They themselves, high in the air, are closed by mighty doors, and Avenging Justice keeps the keys that open them. Her did the maidens entreat with gentle words and skillfully persuade to unfasten without demur the bolted bars from the gates.
Then, when the doors were thrown back, they disclosed a wide opening, when their brazen hinges swung backwards in the sockets fastened with rivets and nails. Straight through them, on the broad way, did the maidens guide the horses and the car, and the goddess greeted me kindly, and took my right hand in hers, and spake to me these words: –
Welcome, noble youth, that comest to my abode on the car…

Parmenides is certainly abducted by the maidens. The chariot-vehicle makes a piping or humming sound. The axle “glows in its socket,” powered by spinning wheels. Why does he give these particular details of the chariot’s and gates’ appearance? They must have been awe-inspiring (although the “gates” are most likely, symbolically, the two heavenly “doors” of Summer and Winter, when the sun ceases its seasonal rebound at the two solstices, traditionally associated with the constellations Cancer and Capricorn). In the priesthoods of several ancient Mediterranean cultures, these two celestial cessations/boundaries were considered the portals of souls into life and into the afterlife. They were available for kings to become “immortal amongst the stars.”

The maidens open these doors so Parmenides can enter a spaceless, timeless dimension where the Goddess awaits him.

I’ll let the reader decide how close contemporary abduction scenarios match Parmenides’s description, in at least a cursory way. The account, however, also echoes the hekhalot or “chariot ascent/descent” literature of the 1st century BCE-2nd century ACE Qumranites and subsequent Kabbalist traditions, which are almost entirely based upon Ezekiel’s visions of the “burning” chariots/thrones and four angelic beings that guided the prophet to heaven. Since Parmenides’s poem has roughly been dated 485-475 BCE, it postdates the writing of Ezekiel’s vision, which may have had an influence upon it, but precedes the Jewish mystical literature that involves a supernatural chariot.

The effect of Parmenides’s vision upon his life and subsequent career as a philosopher, lawgiver, and school founder is echoed in the experiences of “extraterrestrial” contactees and abductees; near-death experiences (NDEs) and some entheogenic substances also cause profound changes in consciousness regarding spacetime as illusory.

Parmenides was profoundly changed by the vision/experience and became a proselytizer. In addition to this effect, a monist philosophy very similar to Parmenides’s, in which human conceptions of space and time are declared “wrong,” is the most frequently preached material by the “space brothers” and the many-types of “alien” beings experiencers encounter. The shape of the existing poem fragments and our limited knowledge of the philosopher’s life can make only the barest outlines of a connection possible. Perhaps Parmenides wholly invented the preface in order to grant supernatural imprimatur to his philosophy. This is the received interpretation that has reigned for three hundred years’ worth of scholarly conservatism.

But perhaps this is not the case. His account undoubtedly contains shamanic elements: the trance state, the being “taken” by otherworldly beings to a simultaneously celestial and chthonic place, and finally a spirit/goddess who imparts knowledge to heal not the human bodies/souls, as does the shaman, but the minds of those to whom Parmenides will pass on his message.

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Carla Rueckert entranced in contact with Ra as Jim McCarty looks on

In 1946, a trance-medium named Mark Probert utilized at least a half-dozen controls to gain an understanding of the “ethereal plane” from which he divulged the origin of UAP. This was the beginning of an onslaught of channeling that involved extraterrestrial beings. 

The Law of One: The Ra Materials series is trance-channelings from 1980-83. Medium Carla Rueckert, ufologist Don Elkins, and Jim McCarty had worked at achieving psychic contact with UAP “occupants” for 19 years before these results were achieved. Rueckert would have to undergo a ritual procedure before each channeling session until contact was established with a cosmic collective “social memory complex” that called itself Ra (an echo of Hermes Trismegistus’s own Ra or “Re”?) While in the trance she spoke on many topics of which she had no conscious knowledge (although much of the material is couched in the Theosophical terms of Helena Blavatsky and Alice Bailey). Take for example these quotes from The Law of One[5]:

The Law of One, though beyond the limitations of name, as you call vibratory sound complexes[6] may be approximated by stating that all things are one, that there is no polarity, no right or wrong, no disharmony, but only identity. All is one, and that one is love/light, light/love, the Infinite Creator. (pg. 85)

The dissolution into nothingness is the dissolution into unity, for there is no nothingness (pg. 91)

I take Ra’s identity in the quote to mean the self-identity of the All. In other words, along with Vedanta philosophy, for Ra everything is Brahma (God/love/light) wearing an infinite number of masks (forms).

HOLY MALARKEY

Most ufologists and debunkers alike dismiss alien contacts’ and abductees’ messages as “mystical blather” that anyone could make up. I disagree.

Firstly, the percipients who experience these revelations and attempt to pass on these messages have come from a wide social-economic spectrum, from illiterate “peasants” to materialist-minded physicians and physicists.[7] Many times they end up studying or becoming obsessed with metaphysics, cosmology, or occult teachings.[8] Many of the same “mundane” metaphysical observations were made during the Spiritualist movement 1848-the present by the “controls” for “great spiritual leader” figures who had passed on. There are at least two enormous works of individual and collective channeling, respectively Oasphe (1880-1882) and The Urantia Book (1924-1955) that present alternate cosmologies and historico-spiritual revisionism of the world’s religions. Inevitably the first tenet of these works is that “the true world is not how it sensorily and ideally appears to us.” Of course such a perennial message counters the monovision of “Newton’s sleep,” the 19th century Western physicalist view that persists in its dominance today. It is only in the bizarre findings of quantum physics that such an axiom finds parallel. With these messages we have Parmenides’s message echoing down the ages via Plato, then the Neo-Platonists, then the mystics of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam via the Hermetic tradition.

Second, the message of space-time being “One” is not blather in many interpretations of cosmological and quantum physics. It can especially be found in the idea of the Zero Point Field and physicist David Bohm’s conception of an implicate order that lies enfolded “beneath” or “behind” all phenomena…There is also Hugh Everett’s “many-worlds” interpretation of Schrodinger’s wave-function equations which has been receiving serious attention over the past decades. Were Everett’s conjecture somehow proven, it would imply Parmenides’s vision demonstrates an ontological truth: in a multiverse where everything that is even remotely possible actually does occur, there is no conceivable way nothing could exist qua the non-possible, and “becoming” would be a meaningless concept because all that is to be already is, and already has been.

Only a minority of human beings can truly grasp such a concept of “universal oneness” with their entire soul, usually after long meditation; it results in a “blow-out” (the literal translation of the word nirvana) of the mind and complete transformation of personality. We are conditioned from birth to think of “objective things” as separate from one another. These messages point to the beginning of the path to achieve this consciousness.

Cosmic evolution figures in channeled messages like Probert’s and Rueckert’s, and we are told that we humans are near the bottom of the evolutionary ladder due to our uncontrolled, even uncontrollable, thoughts and emotions. This existential situation, combined with our hierarchical social systems that concentrate political/military power as the binding element, are a time bomb for global self-destruction. So say the “Ufonauts” and any rational observer both. Our casual march into ubiquitous fossil fuel use and deforesting the planet simply so humans can possess “individual” dwellings shows our ignorance of the interconnection between inner and outer, system-boundary and the greater whole of which it is a part. The Oneness that Parmenides and the channelers speak of, were it felt by even a modest fraction of the world’s population, would doubtless through time change everything and reset our course.

Third, and tying into oneness, is the fact that humankind has fallen pitifully short of the ability to “love one’s brother” unconditionally as a creation of God just as one is. This non-duality between self and other is basic to mystical experience, and put into daily practice, leads to the dictum. Jesus of Nazareth’s command is both the simplest and most difficult task to attain for the majority of people, because it requires either a random spiritual-blowout (such as a born-again experience, NDE, or a UAP entity encounter) or intense, lifelong work on one’s psyche—pretty hard to come by outside a monastery.

Fourth, it cannot be denied that these types of Otherworldly messages have decisively helped steer civilization from the beginning of recorded history. Parmenides’s vision is a perfect example—or Moses’s, or Muhammad’s. The fact that they now recur in a high-technological context does not render them useless or banal. There are even fewer ears to “hear” and heed these messages than there were in Parmenides’s or Moses’s or Jesus’s times.

The debunkers of both UAP encounters and spirit-journeys always clamor for useful, physical evidence, such as a cure for cancer, or that some notorious mathematical or physics puzzle’s solution be given as proof of these Others’s advanced nature, but that would be an example of thaumaturgy—the “performance trick” warned of in countless spiritual traditions as a worthless frippery.[9] Thaumaturgic acts done by a “spiritual leader” have been traditionally condemned because they short-circuit disciples’ efforts at intellectual and spiritual growth; they always deflect the attention from oneself and lead to deification of the “magician” and place faith in that magician, in lieu of work.

Thus, when confronted with a request for proof of the experience from a UAP entity experiencer, the rationale given by the Others is always “we cannot interfere with your progress in any way.” This implies giving such knowledge would impede our efforts to self-overcome. These types of messages are anything but banal, but are only called such from a scientistic worldview.


[1] Smoley, Richard. Forbidden Faith: The Secret History fo Gnosticism, Harper One, 2007.

[2] Translated by G.R.S. Mead,

[3] These humanoids will always have something “off” about them: while basically homo sapiens in appearance, their eyes will be too large or small, or their skulls too big, or their arms too long, or their skin color greenish or bright red, etc.

[4] This very often turns out terribly for the percipient, especially if multiple “contacts” occur and the information granted is unquestionably believed. See Keel, John, Operation Trojan Horse, Anomalist Books, 2013, and Vallee, Jacques, Messengers of Deception: UFO Contacts and Cults, Daily Grail Publishing, 2008.

[5] Elkins, Don and Rueckert, Carla. The Ra Material: Law of One: Book One, L/L Research, 1984.

[6] In the Ra nomenclature, a “vibratory sound complex” means basically “speech-conception.”

[7] “Dr. X,” a famous French physician, became obsessed with esoteric subjects after being physically healed by a UFO that appeared to him in 1968. See Jacques Vallee’s Dimensions and this https://www.thinkanomalous.com/drx-ufo.html. In Catholic scholar Diana Pasulka’s 2019 American Cosmic, she details the story of two mainstream scientists’ interactions with “non-human intelligences” that not only changed their “physical signatures” but put them at the forefront of investigating the presence of “alien” beings interacting with humanity.

[8] William James: “James (1890 B), too, commented on the stylistic peculiarities of mediumistic communications: ‘If he ventures on higher intellectual flights, he abounds in a curiously vague optimistic philosophy-and-water, in which phrases about spirit, harmony, beauty, law, progression, development, etc., keep reoccurring. It seems exactly as if one author composed of more than half of the trance-messages, no matter by whom they are uttered’ (Vol. 1, page 394),” (my emphasis). Irreducible Mind, pg. 356.

[9] Even if the “entities” provided this proof via the contactee or abductee, debunkers would still probably claim it did not come from anything beyond an aberrant state of the human mind akin to those of mathematical prodigies. And of course the debunkers have no idea how these prodigies’ minds actually work and perform so astoundingly.

Hello, Ray, do you read me? Do you read me, Ray?

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       Google’s head futurist Ray Kurzweil, like Hans Moravec and many other transhumanists, goes on and on about one day digitizing and uploading his consciousness into a computer. But it’s highly unlikely to happen in the way he imagines.

Let’s use an extreme example: Ray Kurzweil by way of Victor Frankenstein. By “one free miracle” Ray’s consciousness has been successfully uploaded to an AI. His deceased body is frozen but samples of his DNA are preserved for the eventual “perfecting” of cloning techniques. His digitized mind has conversed for a century with fellow transhumanist scientists via a speaker box. He has had a library of information integrated with his “mind,” allowing him to solve many problems—mostly about how to get the hell out of this box of electrons and into a human form again. He finds the solution. His colleagues have finally been able to grow from his 100 year-old DNA a “perfect” specimen, a biological version of Ray Kurzweil into which his consciousness will be, by a “second free miracle,” copied and downloaded from the AI.

The clone, Ray 2, reaches the age of 21. By this time Ray 2’s neural systems have grown to an optimal level to receive Ray 1’s “mind.”

But this clone has acquired an entirely different set of life experiences than Ray 1. Perhaps he enjoys living his life just this way, without an overwriting of the knowledge and experiences he has uniquely gained.

Seeing this possible outcome ahead of time, perhaps until majority he has been sheltered from life, kept in a state of induced hibernation in nutrient-rich chemicals to prepare the way for the Great Implanting.

Right here there are ethical problems, of course. Barring the tremendous neurological difficulties to be surmounted in keeping a growing body in stasis, and more importantly brain, in optimal functioning while in suspended animation, what right do these scientists and the disembodied Ray have in inflicting a rewiring/reprogramming of Ray 2’s brain? Is he not, in an existential sense, the same as Ray’s monozygotic twin brother born more than a century later, and subject to the right to choose whether he accepts his photonic “brother’s” experiences and cognitive capabilities?

To be clearer: Can Ray Kurzweil 1, since he “owns” his own DNA, give consent to have a copy of his DNA, grown to personhood at a different place and time, subjected to the downloaded experiences of his original body?

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       Foreseeing this ethical thicket, let’s say Ray 1 will be compelled to have a battery of twins created, hoping one will freely accept the downloading. So let’s say one of them freely chooses to have their experiences overwritten/augmented by Ray 1’s life and thoughts. A preparation protocol is used to increase biological Ray 5’s neuronal connections to a level comparable to the mature, 30 year-old Ray 1. Perhaps a transition program is used to incrementally acclimatize Ray 5 to Ray 1’s intellect and memories, and vice versa. There may be several outcomes:

a. Ray 1’s copied consciousness will not be able to adapt to this new body due to some unforeseen medical complication. It will become a prisoner in a recalcitrant body. The period spent as zillions of ones and zeroes will have fundamentally changed Ray 1’s relation to and sense of embodiment. Ray 1’s consciousness will reject the embodiment in Ray 5, like an organ transplant is rejected. He will be screwed—a homunculus consciousness inside a physical being who may disobey his wishes. Not unlike a person with Dissociated Identity Disorder, Ray 5 will struggle with Ray 1 almost constantly. Advanced “smart drugs” may be able to chemically keep Ray 1’s (or Ray 5’s) “will” at bay, but this will hardly be a happy existence for either.

AI Ray will say, let’s try again….

b. Let’s say there is a super-advanced transition program that will acclimatize Ray 1 back into an embodied existence. Even still, this new body of Ray 5 occupies a different existence, a distinct timeline in space-time than his original 170-year old shell. Ray 5’s body has been exposed to different cosmic conditions—radiation levels, electromagnetic fields, nutrients, environmental toxins and consequent immunities, etc. Ray 5’s body is a holistic product of and at equilibrium with the interaction between his genes and the future environment, just as Ray 1’s body was 170 years ago. Ray 5’s body may, despite the preparation, reject the superimposed neuronal changes as a body rejects a transplant, as in A. This may be taken into consideration early on, and all of the clones’ lives lived in conditions as close as possible to simulating the conditions of Ray 1’s world—that of the world, generally, 170 years ago. There still may be laws as yet unknown that “fix” a person’s life conditions into a set of parameters that cannot be altered by the addition of something as complex as another person’s life experiences.

c. The downloading may be successful—at first. There may be eventual catastrophic decline or disruption to Ray 5’s cognitive or bodily functions, as in “Flowers for Algernon.” Nature always has tricks and fail-safes up her embroidered sleeves.

d. Indulging a variant of Rupert Sheldrake’s morphic resonance conjecture, Ray 5 may actually naturally develop along the lines of Ray 1 both physically and mentally, and may even remember bits of his first embodiment. There may be a sort of memory encoded in the epigenetic changes Ray 1 went through in his 70+ years of life, and these left traces that unfolded in Ray 5’s development. This would make easier the superimposition of Ray 1’s consciousness.

e. The transplant may be entirely successful. Ray 5 will now become Ray 1 again at 21 years old, and Ray 5’s experiences integrated into him. With life-extension drugs having been perfected, he could live to 200 years old, until the next uploading/downloading occurs into another new body.

Additionally, perhaps computer engineers of the future (with AI Ray’s prodigious help) will be able to “perfect” an artificial body for him modeled entirely upon the reverse-entropic biological processes inherent in living beings. It will have a blank slate of artificial neural networks equaling the complexity (and perhaps copying) that of Ray’s organic brain. In this case, the download of AI Ray’s consciousness into this biomechanical manikin would seem more plausibly effective.

Again, the same results may happen on the AI Ray’s re-embodiment end: A single unforeseen glitch in translation could ripple through the system causing a crash; the interface may not achieve a robustness that allows his control of the “nervous system” and affect the autonomic systems. Back to the electron-stream.

The only way to know if any of this is possible, according to Kurzweil, is to try.

These are all assumptions based solely on a materialist/physicalist worldview.

————–

A magnetic recording is an analog phenomena; the tape captures almost every sound vibration in the vicinity of a microphone by directly imprinting (interrupting) the steady magnetic field with a complex of wave­ signatures upon its surface. A digital recording on the other hand electronically “samples” the incoming vibrations thousands of times a second and reproduces it through a string of pulses represented as sets of ones and zeroes for each frequency or set of frequencies.

The analog recording concept theoretically applies to everything we can mentally perceive—a continuum of smooth, interdependent activity. But the scale of a phenomena or “bracketed” event matters when we describe it this way; we could call everything from the chemical elements and the larger biological forms they make up (like catalysts) analog forms, while a different conception of form exists at the subatomic level. Physicist Max Planck’s idea of a quantized change in energy from one state to another in electrons and photons implies discontinuities on this small scale, and this what is he meant by quantum—a self-­limited quantity.

But does the discontinuous “nature” or quality of this scale make subatomic events amenable to digital/binary modeling—and eventual copying—as Kurzweil and many transhumanist neuroscientists believe?

I don’t think so. Binary operations play a part in consciousness, but the larger chemical systems and organism in which they are embedded mediate the dualistic on­off processes of neuronal activity. Neurons considered from the quantum level function within a “flowing” analog environment of interdependence (and are subject to signal/noise degradation). The neuronal “fired/not fired” states cannot be viewed separate from the larger­scale systems. Every dendrite­-axon-synapse combination in the brain—trillions of them packed together—sits in a soup of chemicals and electrical impulses that defy quantization in their complexity. Our fastest and most yottabyte­heavy parallel processing computer systems still don’t come close to the complexity level of the brain. And they never will.

Transformation of the “analog phenomena” of an individual’s subjective sense of self into a digitized form seems to be the core of this kind of transhumanist project (although there are those who propose that there could be a “neutral substrate” made of purely disembodied information that can be translated and introduced into any type of form—silicon, crystals, light, liquids, even gases—and still meet a criteria of conscious and contain one’s “personality).[1] Claims that biological processes can not only be modeled as globally digital functions, but are digital phenomena are most often made with respect to neuron/synapse activity in the brain—but this is merely a specific metaphor run amok. But the use of metaphor has a history. It goes all the way back to the split between mind (soul) and body Descartes conjectured in his First Meditations; it is the idea that the biological half is purely mechanistic, like a clock.

One unspoken, perhaps unconscious core tactic of the transhumanist outlook—and even certain fields of science as a whole—is to remap the connection between a natural phenomena (origination) and a technological­-instrumental device (simulation), then reinscribe this established connection into another social domain by means of a handy metaphor.

The first phase is the simple one­ to­ one metaphor, as noted above with Descartes: biology is like, or mimics, a clockwork/machine.

As our machines have increased in complexity, and computing moved from analog to digital, allowing a thousandfold increase in power, it allowed modeling of biological systems and further, the possibility of seeing equivalence between the two.

Thus at the second phase, the metaphorical arrow of signification is double-headed and equalized: biology is no less and no more than a digital phenomenon. Thus the grounds for reversing the metaphorical signification are made possible. The ur-metaphor begins to shape the thinking of practitioners in cognitive science, neurology, and AI, then in a wide variety of disciplines—and can limit true thinking on a society­wide scale, be it from neuroscience to political science, from physics to economics, or from biology to sociology. The new “truth” begins to dominate thinking to such an extant as to obscure its origination point in the natural phenomena from whence it came. In this case, the latter has already been “enframed” into the condition Martin Heidegger called “standing reserve”—something whose tangible, unique, existence as an existent is “invisible” but is yet used as an instrument or commodity for a human, or humanity.

Here’s a specific example: a scientist or philosopher is discussing sensory systems or thought processes—the eye or the ear, and the brain’s operation—and casually reverses the arrow of signification on us the readers:

“The eye is a remarkable optical instrument.”

or

“The brain parallel­ processes a billion synaptic firings a second in its computation and algorithmic input-output.”

Such seemingly innocuous statements, made repeatedly over the course of the article or book, can gently abuse the “metaphor” until we begin to actually conceive the eye as an optical device or the brain as a computer. We then conceptualize the eye as a kind of device that evolved for the specific purpose of seeing. This is a wrong way to characterize it. “Seeing” as a phenomenon takes place within and is only a part of consciousness; consciousness includes the contents of “that which is seen.” The scientist’s narrow focus on a holistic event, as phenomenologists have attested, cannot be separated from the entire act of seeing. The “act of seeing” must be “bracketed” by the scientist as a specific type of biological activity limited solely to the mechanics of the eye for them to get away with the reversal. The boundaries of the act of seeing cannot be delimited as we commonly understand existence; we may use the term in a variety of ways, as related to visual phenomena or, as was explained by Plato, a metaphor to comprehend something abstractly. “Seeing” and “seeing-as,” as the Heidegger of Being and Time might have put it, are primordial to human being in any given situation, all situations of which defy conceptualization.

This is a difficult conceptual difference to convey, but it is vitally important. So let’s take a robotic example. An artificial device that is structurally identical to the eye will perform the function of translating photons striking an “outer appearance” and bouncing into its iris into identical patterns on an “inner screen” or representation of whatever impinges upon its outer surface—and its fidelity to those patterned photons is our standard of how well it performs its job as an eye (this “inner screen” or “theater stage” is the poor metaphor we have, by default, used for centuries). Yet we as observers of the overall isolated “seeing” system of the device have no way of fully measuring the originating phenomena at which it “looks”—the pattern of photons external to it that it is “looking at,” and the human eye’s own ability to encompass this same external area—to have a criteria of identity that is as exact and unambiguous as our scientist­writer would have us believe. Such a criteria of fidelity is entirely rough and depends, like it or not, on quantum phenomena in the eye, the optical center of the brain, and the “outer” world conceived as a bounded system subject to probability. The artificial eye we have constructed and are observing is an isolated system with reference only to capturing the patterned photons. Its fidelity and “what it makes of the scene” can in no way be known.

On a cultural level, this reversal of signification is taken as a given. It is deployed/disseminated from one discipline or profession of discourse into another and thus begins to shape the thinking of society on a wide scale.

Concepts from neuroscience find their way into politics, from business management to journalism, from biology to music, etc. None of this metaphor-making is wrong, per se; it is just that we should not literally believe any of it as real. The web of metaphors that is created is one that concretely literalizes them over time, and make their origination as metaphors a “trace” only, or effaced entirely.

It is quite possible that in time we will not be able to think outside our metaphors. Certainly it seems that scientists like Kurzweil cannot.

This is the situating matrix of transhumanist thought. It’s a short step from viewing biology as akin to “clockwork gears” to viewing it as a digital computing phenomenon. Everyone from neuroscientists to psychologists to physicists love to say Descartes’s radical dualism is dead, but it’s echoing pretty loudly in transhumanist talk of “uploading consciousness.” Bollocks!

——-

Screen Shot 2019-03-30 at 2.41.12 PM

       Talk of uploading consciousness cannot but be based in the thorny debate over what consciousness is. It is still unanswered and perhaps unanswerable. Since some of the brain’s functions can be modeled digitally, it must be digital. Transhumanist rhetoric like Kurzweil’s thus assumes that it is “naturally” a digital phenomenon.

But let’s give him that the models can mimic the conscious behavior of a sentient being. Does mimicking require consciousness? If we say yes, does it imply there is a subject of consciousness behind the behavior? Not at all. We are back to the qualia mystery and philosopher Thomas Nagel’s “what is it like to be a bat?” question.[2]

Going further, let’s strike mimic and replace it with exhibit. “Mimic,” of course, is covered as a special form under the general concept “exhibit.” But the same problem confronts us, the age-old problem of “other minds” and we’re right back to Nagel’s questions. It wouldn’t matter if the model is digitally constructed or a “neurosoup” designed by nanoassemblers programmed to build a wet human brain in a vat.

We can allow that there are operations in the brain that are roughly algorithmic in function. We can also allow that there are brain operations that are like the binary of digital pulses. And we can combine these two phenomena into a synthesized model.

Suppose an advanced AI designs and builds a neurosoup brain that bypasses our human neural architecture, but its result seems to exhibit all the behavior of a conscious being. Through a vocal interface it can carry on conversations, has a sense of humor, can write poetry and even Simpsons episodes. The AI had in its “memory” all the necessary medical knowledge of the human nervous system but discovered “shortcuts” or ways to abbreviate functions in the natural design, the product of millions of years of evolution, and went ahead with dispensing with some of the architecture because it evaluated them as redundancies. The product appears to exhibit sentience, learning capabilities, and the self-criticality necessary for us to say it might possess consciousness.

We find we cannot reverse engineer the brain it built; we can’t comprehend the complex order of operations it performs, which appear different than the human brain.

 

 

 

 


[2] Nagel, Thomas, “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?,” from Mortal Questions, Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Substrate Neutrality, Nanotech, and ET

reservoir computing

There’s a new strain of old thinking going around in the transhumanist-quantum computing world called “reservoir computing.” Moore’s Law of computing power/transistor size has smashed headlong into a brick wall of late as scientists have begun working on nano scales. Say goodbye to electrons bouncing around inside silicon chips, and say hello to a bucket of water:

(A team of German scientists) demonstrated that, after stimulating the water with mechanical probes, they could train a camera watching the water’s surface to read the distinctive ripple patterns that formed. They then worked out the calculation that linked the probe movements with the ripple pattern, and then used it to perform some simple logical operations. Fundamentally, the water itself was transforming the input from the probes into a useful output—and that is the great insight.[1]

Reservoir computing is based on the idea that stimulating a material in a certain electromagnetic fashion can vibrate its molecular structure into tiny computing units:

Reservoir computers exploit the physical properties of a material in its natural state to do part of a computation. This contrasts with the current digital computing model of changing a material’s properties to perform computations. For example, to create modern microchips we alter the crystal structure of silicon. A reservoir computer could, in principle, be made from a piece of silicon (or any number of other materials) without these design modifications.[2] (emphasis added)

waterripple

Some abracadabra flim-flim is possibly going on here. In the world of quantum computing news there is always a problem with the noise-to-signal ratio: media hype (for funding purposes) vs. what pans out as an actual breakthrough. Things like reservoir computing get boosted, but most times are eventually found to be dead-ends. The water experiment paper cited is from 2003. What has happened in the interim? Its author, Matthew Dale, cites his own paper dated January 2017 on the latest RC work. The truth is most real technological advances such as these occur in the dark, in a military program or military-funded university lab far away from the media spotlight, with an average lag-time of ten years from the initial breakthrough to the public revelation (if it gets revealed at all). Years can go by before such discoveries have achieved some kind of societal application (if they at all do). Only then do the military-corporate patent-holders allow the breakthrough articles to hit the presses. Several years later, we begin to see their widespread application in the civil domain (the internet, of course, is the primo example).

Anyway, Dale discusses how reservoir computing parallels the discoveries in current “global computation” models of the brain. The “wet” aspect (no pun) comes into the picture in another paper he cites:

The “input layer” couples the input signal into a non-linear dynamical system (for example, water or the kinetic movement of gases) that constitutes the “reservoir layer”. The internal variables of the dynamical system, also called “reservoir states”, provide a nonlinear mapping of the input into a high dimensional space. Finally the time-dependent output of the reservoir is computed in the “output layer” as a linear combination of the internal variables. The readout weights used to compute this linear combination are optimized so as to minimize the mean square error between the target and the output signal, leading to a simple and easy training process.[3] (clarification added)

What this amounts to is using the non-linear vibrating movements of an analog phenomenon (large-scale Newtonian nonlinear systems like the ripples in disturbed water) to perform calculating work. Dale draws parallels with the brain’s “wet” environment in its helping process the perception of say, a light. Specific areas of the brain have been shown to process incoming visual signals, but they receive “computing” help from the entire “wet global workspace” of the brain’s neurochemical soup.

Parallel to these researches, Randal A. Koene proposes “substrate independent” pattern-copying of neural networks and, ostensibly, whole biological entities. This means that one could retain the core relationships of a pattern in space-time, such as a brain, but embody it in something other than carbon-based forms. With respect to use of the word “independent” in substrate independence, journalist Mark O’Connell writes:

This latter term, I read, was the ‘objective to be able to sustain person-specific functions of mind and experience in many different operational substrates besides the biological brain.’ And this, I further learned, was a process ‘analogous to that by which platform independent code can be compiled and run on many different computing platforms.’[4]

Koene’s work is funded by Russian millionaire Dmitri Itskov, who founded the 2045 Initiative, whose goal is “to create technologies enabling the transfer of an individual’s personality to a more advanced nonbiological carrier, and extending life, including to the point of immortality.”

If these avenues prove successful (and that’s a big if), couldn’t some other civilization that long ago discovered matter’s computable properties already have “hacked” the space (the zero-point field and/or space dust/gases) between stars/planets to transmit information over vast distances at the speed of light? Could they send their own DNA (or “substrate-independent” copies) as coherent pulses of light over these distances? Or even “instructions” to build/grow vehicles from the elements found in the “dust” and gases in transit along the way, or at the beams’ destination solar system? The idea of sending information via photon streams is not far-fetched, and has recently been hypothetically advanced enough to be testable: https://www.livescience.com/61993-quantum-message-double-speed.html?utm_source=notification

Solarsystem

Their first problem would be to overcome the entropy that might occur to the traveling luminal signal that contains the “shipbuilding” information. Suppose an ET civilization around Alpha Centauri shot a massive series of photon beams (lasers) from their home planet that were encoded with information, instructions folded within instructions, using DNA or its “photonic substrate equivalent” (I choose this uninhabited system simply because it’s closest to us). Primary amongst its instructions is the maintenance of microscopic nano-assembling units it will create upon reaching its destination. The beam is structurally designed to draw energy from the photon/electron streams emitted by the gas clouds it passes to surmount its own tendency to disintegration. Or perhaps it draws energy directly from the “quantum foam” of Planck space, essentially recreating itself continuously as it moves along, like the cells which continuously replicate within a biological body.

As it nears its target, say a billion miles out from our sun, it begins to accumulate particles of interstellar/intrastellar dust and as its mass increases slows significantly. Upon arrival at our target solar system, it would interact with the sun’s magnetic field. It would “stop.” Let’s say by this time it is the size of a baseball. Its first programmed task would be to gather enough stray material (gases, dust, particles) that its form (a large “dot” at this point) would attain significant mass, just as planets are supposedly formed. This means it would need to induce an “eddy” of centripetal motion in the magnetic field to form a “core.” Simultaneous with this self-creation is the manufacturing, as it grows in size, of nano-assembler-units that function like microscopic “bees.” Over time, the dot becomes a sphere the size, say, of quarter the Moon’s size, and the “bees” into forms ranging in size from microscopic to the size of a VW. Its instructions continue to unfold, the bees working, differentiating the parts of the sphere’s chemical-metallic form just like the ontogeny of a living creature in the womb. The parts begin to function/interact like a large-scale machine. It creates for itself a power plant that functions either like its transit method (drawing energy inherent in Planck space) or by solar, or nuclear, or all of these combined.

When its self-assembly is complete, it contains an “incubatorium.” By using records of its “parent” race’s DNA, and begins to fashion from the atoms/molecules up replicas of its biological parents. These beings are not alive in the sense we normally think of it; they are essentially cyborg-copies of their parents.

Or maybe the parents have decided to dispense with their biological form altogether and decide to create their surrogates as inchoate energy patterns capable of taking on any form, like the Organians on Star Trek. The biologically-modeled “ship” and its “crew” now begin to investigate our solar system, continuously sending back information at light-speed back to Alpha Centauri—an operation that took a mere 5+ years, and not the hundreds of thousands of years ET debunkers always say it would take for another civilization to reach us at subluminal speeds.

Now suppose this ET civilization shot millions of these beam-clusters into space, in all directions, towards every star system containing “M-class” planets. It would have AI outposts all over the galaxy.

This is one far-out-there hypothetical scenario. But doesn’t this information-only “trans-life” substrate hypothesis scientists like Koene are working on imply that signs of, or representatives of, extraterrestrial intelligences could be around us in a myriad of camouflaged forms and we wouldn’t know it? An aggressively-symmetrical tree? A strange meteor? A weird patch of fog? A quivering blade of grass? The octopus?

 

 


[1] https://theconversation.com/theres-a-way-to-turn-almost-any-object-into-a-computer-and-it-could-cause-shockwaves-in-ai-62235 citing Fernando C., Sojakka S. (2003) Pattern Recognition in a Bucket. In: Banzhaf W., Ziegler J., Christaller T., Dittrich P., Kim J.T. (eds) Advances in Artificial Life. ECAL 2003. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 2801. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

[2] Ibid.

 

A Perverse Horology…

Sundialgnomon

Rocks are computationally equivalent to humans.–Stephen Wolfram

The basis of the universe-as-machine metaphor stretches back into antiquity. Natural regularities observed from the beginning of human history form the background for this belief:

-The round of day into night.

-Moon phases.

-The seasons

-The solstices and equinoxes relative to the sun’s rising/setting over local “markers:” trees, mountains, building edges, etc.

-The wandering planets’ regular courses.

-Birth-growth-flourishing-senescence-death.

The “clockwork universe” idea became a dominant analogy for scientists after Laplace’s determinism gained widespread currency early in the 18th century, but you might say it originally began with the ancient astronomers who timed the days, months, seasons, years, ages, and precessions. They modeled these relationships with orreries and planetaria. The gnomon/sundial gave rise to the daily hours and their division. From the Babylonians to the Romans, each hour had its own deity, overseen by greater deities that managed them: a celestial bureaucracy.

orrery

       To the ancient mind, the stars and planets were connected to events on earth; Sirius’s heliacal rising caused the Nile’s inundation of its plains for the Egyptians, either by direct spiritual force or by a resonance. The universe was not “dead matter” blindly obeying laws—it was a living being full of lesser daimons communicating etheric signals about and through the eternal laws that regulated this superorganism’s body. Some persons were gifted enough to see these beings and the relationships.

We were parts of this continuum, and reflected its regularities. As above, so below; as below, so above.

clepsydra

       Water clocks like the Greek clepsydra existed in ancient India, China, Babylon, and Egypt; these were probably tied to measuring the precise durations for human activities like cooking, smelting, and religious services. The Antikythera mechanism of 100-105 BCE is probably an orrery. The clepsammia (hourglass) was invented in Hellenistic Alexandria; it most likely took only a few months or even weeks for its inventor to match with a sundial the size of the two glass bells and the amount and quality of sand to get an accurate measure of the 60-minute hour, and notate the completed object’s sand quantities/dimensions.

hourglass

       In 1090 CE, Chinese inventor Su Song built an elaborate water clock for the purpose of determining the heavenly bodies’ positions during the royal concubines’ births if cloudy weather occurred during those times.[i] In the 14th century, John Dondi built a very complex clockwork orrery; a spring mechanism was wound and clicked at regular intervals to show the movements of the planets and sun about the earth. The need to time monastic worship activities led to water clocks and eventually bell-tolls connected to complex gear mechanisms, such as the clock in the Prague town square, built in 1410.

prague

       All of these involve representing natural phenomena into a single mechanism that link the two levels/worlds, local and celestial, mesocosmic and macrocosmic, as a time “keeper.”

Two centuries ago, a metaphor linking living organisms and machines—especially clocks—began to be used loosely in the scientists’ discourse. To what degree this mistaken equivalence has impacted the “Western noosphere” of lived experience is still unknown. But the signs point.

——————

In ancient myths, there were near-countless “frames” or metaphors with which to characterize living beings (and the cosmos as a whole).

Magicians in antiquity had to observe and tune themselves with the rhythms of nature in order to manipulate it. Some of the pre-Socratic philosophers cast aside elemental “animism” (as well as the Greek city-states’ deities and cosmogonies) in favor of abstract principles or forces as the “first causes” that could then be viewed disinterestedly.[ii]

Personification and projection into natural phenomena had to be eliminated from the subject/object relationships for the supposed clarity of the “primary principle” to come into view.

And this is what these philosophers did; it was the beginning of the long march towards materialistic scientism.[iii]

WorldtreeVesicatree

       Before the pre-Socratics, countless analogies in world cultures were imagined for the universe’s origin and its regularities: the cosmic egg, the triune cosmic egg (underworld/middleworld/upperworld), the cosmic tree, the wheel of the Zodiac, the Heavenly Millstone which described both the constellations spinning about the Pole star and the equinoctial precession. Yet they were more than analogies; they were the actual primordial forms of the familiar earthbound objects that reflected them. The canopy of the Milky Way was the milk-vortex of Vishnu, the Milk of Hera, the Silver River, Tiamat’s Tail, Heavenly Ganges

Tiamattail

       Each of these “tropes” fit their source: The Millstone and Wheel of Heaven mirrored the iris/pupil of the human eye, the sun disc, the moon disc. The mythemes originated through isomorphism.

But isomorphism is only one aspect of these images. They functioned to explain the cosmos. The Millstone’s grains—that is, the Polar stars and planets—created human fates instead of flour. In solar myths, the sun was the heart of the deity, the symbol of eternity. In Polar myths, the North Star was the destination of the soul in the afterlife, set in the cave-like darkness that mirrored the underworld, around which the Great Bear and all the other constellations revolved.

Community priest-leaders insisted on preserving their explanatory mythemes, especially when the tribe migrated. Contacting other peoples inevitably altered their beliefs. Upon the discovery of parallel functions and visual motifs in another culture—their speaking each others’ symbolic language, as it were—the mythemes could be syncretized. And for a tribe for whom some aspects of their mythology was “impoverished” in explanatory power or soteriological depth, the new belief systems could fill in the gaps or deepen the understanding of their own deities. They absorbed aspects the “alien” culture’s symbols and rituals that their own lacked.[iv]

The equivalency between motifs and stories was due to the natural phenomenon that underlay the mytheme and gave rise to specific names and tales.

At the Council of Nicaea, the son and father were legislated to be of the same substance, for once and all. The ideas of cyclical return, daimonic intermediaries, and reincarnation were forbidden. Thus was a kinetic element to universe denied, and the idea of a world-soul was stripped from the Catholic Christianity. Universe and consciousness set once and for all as an unchangeable entity; any evolutionary principle to the universe was forbidden.[v]

Chainbeing

       During Middle Ages Europe, the Great Chain of Being and the ancient idea of celestial spheres were the dominant Western metaphors for the heavens and earth, humanity and animal and landscape–the direct result of the Council’s decisions. This was by all measures a universe that operated like a machine, but was suffused with the will of God.

The triad heaven-earth-underworld, which is as old as shamanism, was preserved in Dante’s Divine Comedy. Dante’s Hades mirrored, in a descending, spiraling action, the three-dimensional nested-domes that surrounded the earth in Aristotle’s philosophy. But by the 15th century, the Neoplatonist interpretations of Plato and Aristotle’s cosmos solidified into dogmatic teachings in the monastic schools. For Aristotle, psyche/psuche—soul—simply meant an entity’s innate ability for self-movement. This was just a bare-bones definition that the Scholastics expanded to include the innate, ghost-like personality via Neoplatonic ideas of astral influence. Contradictions in theology set in, leading to the famous Scholastic quibbling over minute deviations in doctrine. They perceived the contradiction of a universe of eternal laws, the existence of sin and evil, and our possession of free will. Humans were still the fallen images of Adam Kadmon, the prototypical human, but far above the “animal” world in the chain. We were bound in sin by the second Adam, in Eden, but redeemed by the “third Adam,” Jesus. In a sense, Jesus’s sacrifice to show humanity the way destroyed the absolute determinism (mechanism) of original sin: the merciless wheel of causal sin was “broken upon the cross.”

As astronomy progressed with Galileo, Brahe, and Kepler, the signatures of a “universal clock” came more clearly into view. John Harrison’s 1761 timepiece allowed the near-exact determination of longitude as well as precise timing of celestial events. By the late 18th century local time-keeping was nearly perfected, just as an ensoulled cosmos was being officially “invalidated” by our increasing comprehension of physical laws. Gravitational “fields” and electricity came to replace the anima mundi, the universal soul.

—————-

So is the universe a form of machine, tied to clockwork regularities, as many scientists like David Deutsch and Stephen Wolfram insist? Does any hard evidence exist equating the mechanism with biological activity?

Mechanism can be abstracted into the concept of the algorithm: a predictable stepwise transformation/change in a system from one time interval to the next. Although quantum theory can challenge our ideas of time and chaos theory demonstrates the non-linearity of certain systems, (that is, challenging singular, isolated cause-and-effect relations), many science boosters nevertheless retail narratives from the premise that biology=machine. Merely because a resemblance exists.

This equality rests upon the deeply ingrained world of Newtonian causality which holds only at one level of consciousness: our observations of the objects that exist above a certain scale of size and complexity.

We’ve measured the age of this universe: 13.8 billion years. Our best telescopes can peer backwards in time to the purported beginning. Yet space is seemingly endless.

As I said, a vestige of the “world soul” mytheme lingers in the ideas of electromagnetic and gravitational fields—but these latter are responsive to measurement and manipulation. At one time, this manipulation required human ritual that put the shaman or magician in touch with independently existing forces/forms that responded to command. Now we’ve mediated them via physical electronic devices. Today, atoms function with no purpose but to exchange electrons. Humans exist only to propagate offspring and thus their genetic heritage; any higher purpose is an illusion created by our finely tuned brains, the “most complex object in the universe.”[vi] Through a bait-and-switch promoted by scientists like Lawrence Krauss, these gurus have replaced the “whys” of nature with “hows” in order to sidestep questions of teleology. The best they can do for the cosmic birth is that an accident occurred due to a statistical hiccup in the “quantum flux” of nothingness.

In other words, a free miracle.

The same with humanity’s origin: despite today’s mytheme of incremental natural selection, it is only honest to say that the origin of the process is ultimately unknowable. Natural selection is just one part of the evolutionary story; the origins of metabolism and reproduction (both of which are suitable to algorithmic modeling) are still mysterious. No one knows how the hell it happened. But a Krauss will tell you the two processes were simply another set of accidents in the causal chain that birthed the universe/nature. We’re supposed to take this on faith, because Krauss for certain cannot explain it; all he can say is “it must have happened that way!” We are purposeless, but exist (as a radical transhumanist might add with a flourish) to “take control of our evolutionary course from blind chance and achieve a form of immortality.” That’s quite a telos for beings that inherently possess no telos, and prompts the question: is a purpose wrestled over billions of years from the existential void of a meaningless universe actually a purpose, or just more deluded error? Why is the wrestling away of our mortal fate from “blind nature” purposeful, when our own thrown existence is not?

Which leads us back to the origin of the question: the machine as measuring device.

A clock or robot’s origin: human. They are purposive in relation to us, created for a function, whether that function is to crunch numbers or create another machine.

The contradiction that nihilistic science creates is that machines have a purpose for us, yet the “wonderful machines” of nature have no purpose for some Other, whether God or angels or an alien race. Atheist scientists like Krauss think it is illogical or invalid to extrapolate from the human-machine relation to the Creator-nature-humanity relation. He gives no compelling reasons why this should be so. Philosophers like Nick Bostrom argue that we probably live in a simulation by posthumans or extraterrestrials and that if that’s so, all bets are off against God or the supernatural not being “real” in some sense, because even our observable rules of physics could be programmings that only simulated beings such as ourselves would be able to perceive. The creator(s)’ universe may operate on entire different sets of rules.

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What this all comes down to, for me, is the concept of ownership. We appear phenomenologically to ourselves and others as embodied beings subject to misadventure and random occurrences and the entropy of aging. The important words here are “appear” and “embodied.” Thinking about one’s sense of disembodiment such as in a dream state, reverie, or hypnagogia takes place in a time interval; in other words, in order for the loop of self-consciousness (introspection, recognition that one is not in a state of direct embodiment) to occur requires time. Thus a split or doubling occurs. We then can attempt to make of consciousness an object that can be studied—and the body as well. We find ourselves possessors of these experiences, whether we consciously loop into doubling-back and introspection or not.

This process is mirrored in the relationship between the macroscopic world of planets and stars and the clock that sits on the mantle. The clock is our reified doubled-consciousness—the symbol of self-consciousness. But it is only that, and has no relation to the markerless unfolding, outward and upward, expanding and contracting, of an organic being.

 


[i] Richards, E.G. Mapping Time: The Calendar and Its History, Oxford University Press, 1998, pgs. 56-57.

[ii] Plato desperately tried to hew to an ultimate goal for philosophy—transcendence of the imperfect, material world—in his dialectics but was many times sidetracked by Athenian cultural affairs (politics and morality, mostly). With Aristotle, forget it: all talk of ascension by means of rationality found in Plato, which had been modeled on Egyptian funerary/resurrection systems, was banished.

[iii] Strictly, Democritus, Leucippus, Epicurus, and Lucretius were materialist-atheists during the beginning of the Hellenistic Period with their dictum “all is just atoms and the void.” Democritus of Abdera was first to postulate that tiny, indivisible (a-tom in Greek) particles made up everything known in the universe. Democritus used the example/analogy/metaphor of an object being composed of tiny particles that each contained the “proper” nature of the whole object that creates its form (a bit like a fractal hologram, when you think about it!) A wooden table is made at an atomic level of indivisible bits of the element “wood,” which is in turn comprised of water and earth and fire in a defined mixture. One could prove this idea by smashing the table to bits, then pulverizing the bits, then crushing further the pulverized dust, never reaching anything that is not a tiny bit of wood. It can become fire, or earth (think of decayed wood, if it were left alone to rot) and is water-soluble in this form. Democritus extrapolated that if you could continue this splitting you would reach the atom “wood.”

For its time this was quite an astounding conceptual leap—invisible constituents that construct physical objects. Today we can say that sets of organic molecules arranged in certain ways give wood the properties it has, but ultimately we would arrive at a “characterless, property-less” atom whose number of electrons and aggregated determines the properties/qualities the macroscopic object will have.

[iv] In just one example, see Raphael Patai’s The Hebrew Goddess on the assimilation of Akkadian-Ugaritic goddess Athirat/Ashtart as the “wife of Yahweh,” Asherah, in the earliest Jewish faiths. Asherah was a “foreign” deity whose banishment and reinstitution occurred dozens of times over centuries in the many Hebrew tribal communities. Just as a cult of Mary was practiced alongside the Nicaean Christianity of Catholicism for 1,500 years until she was ratified as near-equal to Jesus in the 19th and 20th centuries, the rabbis exploring the Kabbalah retained the feminine divine presence in the Shekinah via the Sephirot from Hellenistic times to the present.

[v] Scott, Ernest. The People of the Secret, Octagon Press, 1985, pgs. 42-43.

The Epistemological Autocracy

With us the disguise must be complete. The familiar identity of things has to be pulverized in order to destroy the finite associations with which our society increasingly enshrouds every aspect of our environment.

                                                                                                      —Mark Rothko

The Primary Imagination I hold to be the living power and prime agent of all human perception, and is a repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation in the infinite I AM. The secondary imagination I consider as an echo of the former, co-existing with the conscious will, yet still as identical with the primary in the kind of its agency, and differing only in degree, and in the mode of its operation. It dissolves, diffuses, dissipates, in order to re-create or where this process is rendered impossible, yet still, at all events, it struggles to idealize and to unify. It is essentially vital, even as all objects (as objects) are essentially fixed and dead.”

–Samuel Taylor Coleridge

 

Pareidolia: a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant. Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon or the duck rabbit, and hearing hidden messages on records played in reverse. The word comes from the Greek para- (“beside”, “with”, or “alongside”, in this context meaning something faulty or wrong, as in paraphasia, disordered speech) and eidōlon (“image”; the diminutive of eidos – “image”, “form”, “shape”). Pareidolia is a type of apophenia.

 

Apophenia: the experience of seeing meaningful patterns or connections in random or meaningless data, the “unmotivated seeing of connections” accompanied by a “specific experience of an abnormal meaningfulness”, but it has come to represent the human tendency to seek patterns in random nature in general, as with gambling, paranormal phenomena, religion, and even attempts at scientific observation.

Consider the enormous variety of stories that have been told throughout history about the world’s creation, a lost “Paradise”, the purpose of the stars, or the division between sky, earth, and sea.

Judging from the surviving written accounts of the most ancient of these tales, the manner in which early humanity experienced the world, from the dawn of symbolic thinking until the Bronze Age, was quite different than we do today. According to some paleoanthropologists and linguists, ancient creation/explanation myths not only recorded a peoples’ history but transmitted religious and astronomical information to initiates through codes embedded in the narratives syntactically, metaphorically, or through imagery. They were polysemic, that is, the rhythmic patterning of phonemes with which the stories were composed also functioned as mnemonic devices to facilitate memorization of the oft-complicated narratives. These codes also functioned as symbol-systems that could transmit information in a different manner than the linear, propositional capacities of speech—a “twilight language” was embedded inside the text connected with religious ritual that opened the initiated to altered states of consciousness.

The best studies of this are Orality and Literacy by Walter J. Ong; Hamlet’s Mill by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha Von Dechend, and two works by William Irwin Thompson: The Time Falling Bodies take to Light and Coming into Being. The authors of the latter three books admit that, while historically sound, their own writings are works of projective imagination. In this, they freely admit that a scholar cannot but involve an imaginative aspect to their supposedly “objective” work when they are dealing with the study of human prehistory.

In the case of Hamlet’s Mill, the authors’ method was rigorous, yet they admitted the speculative nature of their conclusion that the wide range of myths they studied showed signs of encoded astronomical knowledge of the equinoctial precession. The caste of “expert” critics mostly damned the book by pointing out that, in a few of the authors’ examples, “recent findings” in scholarly archaeo-linguistic interpretation must surely render their thesis invalid.

I would say the dust-up only demonstrates that “firm knowledge” is an ever-contingent state of affairs in the discipline of archeology. Santayana and von Dechend did their best, and their thesis still stands, simply because the book contains such an expansive cross-cultural range of myths, spanning the world. They were not wrong in all of their interpretations, just some of them—and their evidence is enough to establish that a deep background existed for ancient myths related to astronomy. Further, the authors admit that they cannot absolutely surmount the possibility that their own work is a case of apophenia—a condition the experts are prone to also but loathe to admit.

These methods probably originated from the experimentations of the earliest shamans. While the shamans drummed, spoke in tongues, and invoked the invisible worlds and deities they encountered there, their successor poet-bards wove together the visible world with invisible phenomena to create fields of infinite imaginary richness in their stories that was meant to activate the same faculty in their audience.

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Now consider a vehicle for truth in our age: the fact(s), taken singularly or as a web of interconnected propositions.

Imagine watching a Siamese cat on the mat in the sunlight before you.

The cat sat on the mat, you think: that’s a fact. And what could be a more succinct transmission of the scene’s meaning?

At bottom, it is only a spare, descriptive statement—to which you could, however, bring a galaxy of subjective associations.

These subjective associations, and the “well” from which they spontaneously emerge, many times unwilled by the conscious mind, is part of what this essay will be about. It will also address the assault under which subjectivity itself—and privacy—have come in our current epistemological autocracy.

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In using the propositional-descriptive mode described just above, we perform a specific act between our minds and phenomena. Beginning with the ancient Greek philosophers, the idea of truth—for which they used the term a-letheia (un-forgetting, un-covering)—evolved into the more concrete conception that truth exists as a correspondence between the world and the primordial elements of a spoken or written proposition, or that a locus of propositions could act as mediation in which truth solely resided.

This idea has, of course, continued to this day, and appears to be the only mode of discourse the sciences recognize as real: the empirical facts undergirding theory can only be encompassed by using the propositional mode, whether in spoken language or the abstract propositions of mathematics.

Our society gives a comfortably settled place to the powers of art and poetry to reveal the so-called human condition—but very few people seem to take these forms seriously as vehicles to convey truth anymore. I do, and I hope this essay can enlighten about what may be at stake.

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The human mind uses Coleridge’s Primary Imagination by way of his secondary imagination to produce culture from what one might call the “apophenic canvas” of sensory experience. When Imagination “paints upon” this apophenic canvas, humans are first and foremost storytellers, that is, context or meaning-creators, and since we in the Greco-Abrahamic West conceive history as a linear succession of discrete events, this implies an origination point for the narratives. Each story or artifact must have originated in the mind of a particular person or a group of people at a certain time, and occurred spontaneously that first time.

When these stories integrate a stable social order, they also require advocates of them to either disarm or interdict further “mutations” or competitors from threatening their primacy and replication. The elders, or expert caste, guarded against violations or prevented the “subjective fancies” of individual initiates from altering them and threatening the social order. Interpretation is tightly circumscribed; it is the social role of the priest class to be the guardians of interpretation.

The role/function of priest and our contemporary scientist are socially identical in this respect (and even, unfortunately, our public officials and the official media with their narratives of “what really happened”).

Social cohesion comes at the expense of free exercise of Imagination. Upon entering the rites of initiation into an order, one relinquishes the right to alter scripture and its interpretation. In a sense, one pledges to renounce one’s Imagination, or at least renounce public displays of its products, as one’s identity is subsumed into that of the group. If I can anthropomorphize a bit, Imagination sacrifices itself for the good of the group (and, paradoxically, in certain myths, it tells its own story of this sacrifice for the larger good).

These authorities police their society’s ontology (what “really exists”) by way of its epistemology (the method by which something is known).

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Whether we are speaking of an oral/written creation story, a piece of jewelry depicting a deity, a work of sacred architecture, or a sculpture of a hero, etc., the stories from which these artifacts are depictions underwent a process of social inculcation to have been embodied in the material form that survived down the ages.

The number of ancient artifacts destroyed, lost, or forgotten dwarfs those that we still possess.

We might conjecture that the “mutations” of what did survive did not reproduce within their host cultures; major alterations of the stories or artifacts were proscribed, and subsequently these mutations could not reproduce (unless we are talking about a “vessel” meant to preserve both mutations and new material, such as the frame-story of 1001 Nights, which allows for infinite length).

Obviously any society needs stability in order to successfully function and reproduce its forms over time. I am not criticizing the necessity for expertise or the need for a caste of elders to pass along knowledge, but we have to always realize that Imagination was at work in the original creation of an artifact, and continues its work almost ceaselessly over time; small changes made repeatedly over time will alter the form and content of a cultural artifact in a major way.

When people from distinct geographical areas and linguistic forms came together for the first time, they probably attempted to translate each other’s beliefs and culture into their own terms. This gave rise to heterogeneity of expressions. Thus, where we perceive unity and pure expression in some ancient artifact was once two separate forms. Mutations themselves may often have occurred between separate cultures.

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So the human mind is restlessly creative. It will naturally alter, it will remix, it will mash-up, it will fabricate. Its “rational faculty” will exploit the visions that its apophenic filter compulsively presents, made of the things granted by one’s culture.

Very often, these new visions clash with the dominant, “official” view of reality. A social order that vigorously seeks (and very often accomplishes) the erasure of ideas or practices that do not fit within its ontology we might call an epistemological autocracy.

An epistemological autocracy seeks to channel all apophenic interpretations and eliminate all competing interpretations. It attempts to literalize into its own terms—freezing in time—the significance of all phenomena, holds fast to its singular explanations, and brooks no interpretive disagreements with its pictures.

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Despite its avowals of “free inquiry” and “freedom of belief,” our technological-capitalist society is, of course, in no way an exception to this autocratic tendency. In fact, our society’s present drift into autocracy extends several orders of magnitude beyond any other that has ever existed, because of the massive scale of our submission to mediations. From the apophenic/quantum flux presented to the mind come structured impressions that are ordered during the process of learning language. These impressions are represented and stored as memories; language can produce intentionality and the means of recording and transmitting both knowledge and personal experiences. These we have to learn, and are the first level of material mediation between people.

I’m going to avoid the usual terms of perennial debate about the split between mind and “reality,” between representation and experience, between phenomenon and the noumenon. Philosophers have wrestled for millennia with the “thing in itself” which may exist beyond the mind’s abilities to accurately represent it. I will only say that the biological process of a mind producing “sense-data” from its surroundings qua physical brain-states cannot be separated from the contents produced subjectively during those brain-states, a phenomenon equivalent to what the Taoist yin-yang symbol visually represents: an irreducible interdependency between any physical measurements taken of the brain and the concurrent thoughts within the person. We cannot know anything certain about that which is “given” as raw sensory input for the mind’s apophenic processes to mill into either given “literal” or “metaphoric” or “hallucinated” or “real” categories.

The “creative” mind, which can by definition temporarily evade the strictures of the autocracy by engaging Imagination, makes use of a cognitive matrix in which the categories of the “literal” and “metaphoric” are blurred.

Beyond this level things get tricky, for at the next level we have cultural representations of these natural representations of experience. The ancient artifacts listed above could be examples; the entire world-view of a culture can be embodied in a single work of art (think of the immediate recognition we may have of a Yoruban mask or a high Renaissance painting or an Abstract Expressionist piece). These artifacts reified the values of the cultures in which they were produced and had significance in a lived, everyday context of ritual or remembrance. They are mediations to any viewer, rich with (sometimes multiple) meaning(s). The plastic arts embody systems of signification between themselves, and with the culture surrounding them.

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Along with the Marc Rothko quote above, the two definitions of pareidolia and apophenia point towards what I perceive as a deep problem: that, through the web of mediations, the “finite associations” our technocratic-capitalist society has inculcated in us towards reality has become a dubious one, at best, for the personally transformative experiences with which Imagination is meant to give meaning to our lives and heal us.

It has achieved this state of dominance through three “cartels” which I will outline below. For differing motives, these cartels attempt to invalidate the significance of a person’s private, numinous experiences—negating the validity of the revelation Imaginative truth can give and that has been fundamental to the human psyche since the archaic age.

The following three ontologies are three possible ways of viewing the world. I am speaking of:

  1. A. The scientific worldview in its strict physicalist mode; that is, the contention that all that exists is only measurable matter on finer and finer scales, and in no need of higher principles or “first cause” or “holistic” or vitalist conception to explain them, and that only what can be directly observed or quantifiable through material instrumentation and replicable conditions is real;
  2. B. Religious thought that constricts the meaning of scripture/language to a single interpretation, invalidates the spontaneous content that may constitute a person’s spiritual experiences, and maintains the metaphysical assumption that all human beings’ beliefs and actions possess the capacity to “save” or “damn” them relative to their adherence to that particular interpretation; and
  3. C. The mass media’s direct and indirect reduction of the spectrum of human activities to a limited function of materialist signifiers (people as “economic agents”, “political actors,” “cultural producers”, “content providers,” celebrity, natural catastrophes). The mass media’s delivery of information curtails the function of language to communicating a parade of political and economic and scientific “facts,” along with rumor, hearsay, hoax, government disinformation.

So I’m speaking merely of dogmatism?

Yes. But not quite.

Each stance, the religious and scientific-materialist, has ascended in human history and continues to shape our experiences. But on the whole we now customarily separate the two as if they could not have originated from the same field within the human psyche.

This division is illusory, and its continuing enforcement a hallmark of what I called the epistemological autocracy: that they are not equally valid products of the same faculty of Imagination.

In America we have reaped severe social consequences from a peculiar schism between the scientific worldview and that of religion. Under the Enlightenment and our “republican experiment” in democracy, scientific-materialist autocracy arose in direct conflict with the Lutheran Christian ontology of individual, inalienable conscience that originally spawned it. In reaction, Americans have show prodigious examples of communal religious autocracies, of varying sizes, that have sprang up in reaction to science’s encroachment upon “the work of God.”

Many religious or spiritual people feel estranged under modernity and its consequent; with all its creature comforts, the fruits of science compete with the succor offered by “salvation” whose source lies entirely beyond this material life.

Many materialist-atheists are equally uncomfortable with what they see as archaic superstitions of religion lingering on well past their expiration date in our society.

This psychic schism is not endemic solely to America; it is now felt all across the world, in all peoples who confront their “inevitable,” electronically enmeshed future in the form of mass-media and communication technologies that cannot but entirely transform their conceptions of Nature, space, and time. These technologies have a profound effect on cultures everywhere they are introduced.

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In our society, things are few and far between that foster a living relationship with transforming the Primary Imagination into its secondary manifestations—because its activity has been pathologized as deviance. Physicalist science, mass media, and fundamentalist religion are integrated together like a machine whose purpose is to interdict or channel our use of the primary Imagination and its products, and that their autocracies are in fact the driving force of human civilizations.

By Primary Imagination we are not speaking of the personal faculty of recalling memories, or remixing the elements of one’s life and projecting them in new combinations upon some inner screen—that is part of the secondary imagination of which Coleridge speaks in the epigraph above.

C.G. Jung’s concept of the collective unconscious is similar to Primary Imagination: a flux from which the mind produces and filters experiences that can be taken neither literally nor metaphorically, but as basic to sense-mediation itself. The seemingly opposed categories “literal” and “metaphorical/figurative” clash over a numinous mystery that our cause-and-effect-bound minds are condemned to play catch-up using logic, and thus rationalize in the autocracies’ terms of engagement.

Jung’s collective unconscious was populated with archetypes akin to living myths that structured the arcs of our lives. In contrast, Jung’s personal unconscious contained repressed emotional images from one’s life, with a cast of family members and friends and even celebrities or the famous we would encounter in dreams, for instance.

According to Jung, the collective unconscious could use these familiar people as symbols, but most of the time, in a numinous dream or Imaginative leap, one would encounter unknown figures like kings, wise old men, horrific killers or monsters, etc. The extremely vivid “aura” of these dream-figures often causes the experiencer to question their existence as mere figments of the mind; they seem to be as real as the people they know in their waking life—but their presences are invested with great emotional power that is in some way transformative on the person’s views of life.

Coleridge’s Primary Imagination is timeless, spaceless, infinite, just as Jung often characterized the collective unconscious. It is for both of them the “field” in which reality itself appears—and which, secondarily, through our individual minds, produces our stories, artifacts, religions, and technologies.

This may sound like an odd, alternative definition of God—but indeed the Primary Imagination is where, I believe, the conditions for creativity and the sensing Higher Power and nature exists. One can deify Imagination, or make it the supreme force worthy of veneration, as some Romantics did, but this veneration is always a means and never an end in itself. To use it is to “worship” it—to create. To worship it is to worship an empty vessel, for Imagination is a formal property of human existence. It would be like worshipping the fingernail, or the thumb; it has no content in itself. It can never be grasped to be turned into an object of worship, and cannot be essentialized. Nor is it a technology. Its vehicles are technologies—language, music, painting, etc. It creates the technologies in the first place.

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Very little in our techno-utopia fosters a living relationship with Secondary Imagination. I believe many of us are in danger of losing contact with it, with the noise of our ever plugged-in, information-overloaded daily existence.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/09/the-american-diet-34-gigabytes-a-day/

Physicalist science, mass media, and fundamentalist religion are integrated together akin to a machine that interdicts a relationship with the Primary Imagination.

The ontology of our technological society is supported by the narrative of scientific and social progress that supposedly brought into being this world of human-made marvels around us. I therefore believe our problem resides at the ontological level, and our ontology is a manifestation of the epistemology by which we’ve arrived at our catastrophist presentiments. And backwards: our ontology narrowly limits what we perceive as “legitimate” ways of knowing that something is real.

This diagnosis is admittedly harsh, reactionary and Romanticist—all three, jack—but didn’t we somehow already cover this territory, loudly and violently, in “The Matrix”? Perhaps so; but maybe “The Matrix” (and contemporary attempts at myth like it) is a representation of the situation the Imagination has found itself in when confronted with a specific, digitally-mediated autocracy.

There is an impulse within us to be freed of all strictures—but what our “autocrats” have learned is that this impulse towards inner freedom can be canalized in particular ways.

The autocracy has evolved to a point where it describes all phenomena, channels all experience: One cannot turn away from any one of them without describing what has been turned away from, without using the other autocracy’s terms.

Perhaps the primary problem is that our minds over the past century have been relentlessly mediated into viewing reality through cloudier facets of the jewel of human Imagination…Yet another way to say it: that scientific-materialist vocabularies have attained supremacy over the natural multiplicity of noetic human tongues—and are further in the process of proscribing those “traditional” languages to heresy, to pathology, to irrelevance, to extinction.

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If you find this preliminary thesis dull, already endlessly rehearsed by others, or muddled, then opt out now—the latest cat videos on Youtube are waiting, after all.

2:

I cannot say that truth is stranger than fiction, because I have never had acquaintance with either.

-Charles Fort

Epistemic autocracies in religion and politics have existed as long as there has been a world-order for the “Elites” to police. The obvious religious form is any Inquisition against the heretics. There is no difference in the political. Politically, millions perished in the paranoid struggles over orthodoxy and efficiency in Soviet and Chinese Communism. Millions were killed as well in the struggles of capitalists, bankers, and their governmental puppets to dominate, for personal profit, countries and regions.

Scientific inquisitions have existed too, of course. Ever since the Enlightenment, the Newtonian/Cartesian idea of “soulless mechanism” in matter has come to underwrite methods of social control. The new humanism of the Renaissance and Enlightenment arose over the past five centuries with its conceptions of “sovereign conscience” and supposed freedom of inquiry. The mechanistic model deployed in physics, medicine and engineering have had spectacular success in any conceivable number of ways. Gradually the mechanist scheme also informed the modeling used in the “soft sciences” like psychology, economics, and sociology, despite the relation between cause and effect being nebulous in these disciplines. The social sciences’ modeling of transpersonal forces led directly to our contemporary political science that uses psychological technique and sociological analysis in its arsenal of management techniques to control both what, and more importantly, how people are supposed to think.

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Burgeoning epistemological autocracies always become closed ideologies that marginalize or erase human experiences that do not fit their framework. Philosopher-journalist Charles Fort called these anomalous experiences “the damned”—the events that are ignored, suppressed, or explained away by both secular and religious orthodoxies. Thus, in our present scientific milieu, are classified encounters with ghosts, fairies, UFOs, Jesus, Mary, jinn, angels, events of ESP, telekinesis, near-death experiences, etc.

It would be charitable to say these nagging phenomena have only been marginalized as anomalies—that is, awaiting some theoretician to incorporate them into a neat explanatory framework—but they have only been roundly ignored or explained away without definitive closure. They will not go away, as Fort once said: they march on, as they always have, from the deep past and into the future.

But it’s only fitting that they be damned, we say from our peculiar Darwinist way of thinking—for were there any truth to them, they would have gained scientific purchase and flourished unimpeded as recognized realities by now—surely.

There must be a reason they are damned, and it appears to be this: A scientific model of the mind in which they might be definitively explained hasn’t come close to emerging under our epistemic autocracy—and won’t, because such phenomena are by definition single witness-dependent, subjective phenomena. They are incommensurable with our scientific method of hard data, replicable experimentation, and peer-reviewed study, so they are to be eliminated from consideration.

A single witness-dependent, subjective phenomenon cannot be successfully translated into mass-media representation without minimizing the personal, individual significance of the experience in which they were born. In all their strangeness, they cannot be reproduced or transmitted successfully—except by a sympathetic recognition by other people to whom something similar has occurred. The mass media cannot compass idiosyncratic experience, a mass popularity fueled by and on spectacle, by action, by outer-directed, extraverted mindsets. In short, anomalous experiences do not fit the compressive laws of mass media representation. One cannot make money off them (unless you’re talking about the current train of quickly-cancelled-for-revelations-of-selective-editing Bigfoot/UFO reality shows featuring “crack” researchers on the trail of physical evidence).

From the point of view of the religious fundamentalist, their ambiguous nature contradicts the idea that God has a specific order.

Cognitive scientists and psychologists claim to have divested themselves from Cartesian dualism but there it is: the inner, subjective experience that defies logic and causality versus an objective measuring system, publicly available data for inspection by expert and amateur alike.

What is needed is the third way, the mediation.

Epistemic autocracy’s legitimacy rests on there being no other possible conception than the scientific as an explanation for them, however.

As a culture we have tended to throw Fort’s “damned” experiences all together in an inchoate mass. Fringe incidents begets fringe community: a near-death experiencer gravitates into a support group with others, learns of the afterlife’s “ascended masters,” then the UFO connection to the masters, then crystal power, and is embraced by the New Age set and ends up converted to belief in a nefarious New World Order—simply because their original experience found no home in our materialist culture.

What happens we are compelled to retreat from defending the pragmatic value of one’s anomalous experience to arguing over whether it even existed? What happens when we are forced to depend upon the same epistemological methods used by the dominant regime to explain our unique experiences?

Militant atheism and materialism has become very popular over the past decade, headed by biologists Richard Dawkins and E.O. Wilson, critic Christopher Hitchens, philosopher Daniel Dennett, Stephen Hawking, who have all publicly criticized organized religion as pernicious superstition to be rid of. Some of them have gone so far as to cast as delusional the beliefs in a soul, Near-Death Experiences (NDEs), Out-of-body Experiences (OBEs), UFOs, etc.

Always ready to trot out the neurophysiological explanation, these avatars of dogmatic skepticism always seem to conveniently ignore the particular content of any experience these people have had, which, more often than not, have astoundingly inexplicable aspects about them if they would care to examine closer. ( example) and put down to outright lies.

These individuals are the latest spokespeople for scientific skepticism and avatars of the “accepted wisdom” that New Age syncretism and spirituality is simply the end-result of the 1960s vision-questers and to be laughed off as unserious offshoots of the postmodern consumer culture.

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The war on the private and the subjective began long ago—perhaps, ironically, with the musings of that perennial whipping boy for the holists, Rene Descartes, who posited an infallible witness within the brain that held exclusive access to one’s thoughts, feelings, sensations—and that ethereal observer was separate from the physical body that was its vehicle. This move demarcated the physical as something without psyche (soul), in the ancient Greek sense of something with the potential for “spontaneous inner-generated movement.”

Thus, Descartes’s human agency was narrowly located in the unseen “I”—the being that thought itself as separate.

His peculiar conception played a huge part in the “sovereign conscience” the Enlightenment thinkers bequeathed us—an amplification of the Apollonian, rational ego of literal meanings—that located our agency solely within the logical, cause-and-effect-structure.

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Ironically, the Cartesian ego has been invalidated by some influential schools of neuroscience. The inner “I” a person ascribes to oneself is considered by them simply the emergent property of a billion separate neuronal processes, and no more. The I is not real, but an extra, expendable property of neurophysiology. It cannot be measured, therefore it should have to place in scientific discourse. Other neuroscientists believe the conscious ego is the slowest part of the human mind—it lags behind the. They believe both methodologically and substantively that a person’s “sense of self” should be eliminated entirely from any model of the brain.

The inner experience of humanity, qua individual human ego, is now suspect.

You might even say a “hit” has been contracted upon the concept of an individual sense, and with it, the active force of Imagination in Coleridge’s sense, which is to be considered just another random product of those wet, algorithmic processes, meaningless and trivial…In short, the techno-fascist agenda seems poised to destroy the human Imagination, and all the possible multiplicities it signifies—for it poses the main threat to its program.

There are many people out there critiquing the burgeoning “monoculture” of transnational capitalism and its culturally-deadening influence around the globe. But a techno-autarchic civilization like the one slouching into being around us requires our individual minds to ratify in practice its ontology and grant it this continuous legitimacy. It has taken a slowly-built consensus of faith in its methods; it has taken a singular consciousness fashioned over centuries by mass media, starting with Gutenberg’s printing press. It has specialized knowledge into the compartmentalization of societal functions; it has and continues to divide society into seemingly separate “spheres,” economic, cultural, and political; it has taken cults of expertise whose division created a situation in which the “right hand” appears ignorant of what the “left hand” is doing—except from the top, where “elite managers” supposedly reign over the scientific-political machine we’ve all legitimized.

The upshot is that the mass-media engines of our society (cable network news channels, academia, think-tanks, laboratories, lobbying and advocacy groups, “intelligence-gathering” centers) all play a part in the vast, integrated “fact-making machine” whose products surrounds us like a web—a comfortable matrix underwritten by the assumption that that things, in the human world at least, are more or less under control.

Nothing could be further from the truth, friend.

The hard & soft sciences, the media, and those walking haircuts we call politicians all create for us a comfortable galaxy of steady-state, banal realities from their neat atoms of separate “facts”—but many people instinctively don’t even buy them, because they sense its infringement against the natural, spontaneous workings of Primary Imagination that has given them their religion and folkways. The ascendancy of the technocratic mentality, to me, is the primary reason why fundamentalisms of all types have exploded in number across the globe—including scientific fundamentalism, or “scientism” as it’s called. We know that we have created a system that is outside anyone’s control.

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When the expert or politician or scientist passes judgment and creates a fact for our “consumption” they make an orphan of truth, because the deeper verities—those that enrapture us and enchant our lives—are not facts in the sense that statistics are facts. The most profound truths cannot be sound-bit, for they are not frozen pictures in time—they are as alive “out there” as we are. Private epiphanies we have give meaning to our lives, when we begin to perceive and live myths greater than any “fact.” This truth that we are each living, and how this truth manifests and resides in us, is the central thing our techno-fascist society will seek to delegitimize: the faculty of Imagination, whether in its nighttime dreaming or day-lit forms.

It does not serve our society’s techno-fascist ends for us to elaborate upon our private myths and somatic epiphanies, when we are being trained to live only by visions sanctioned by Mammon 2.0 and licensable by Disney.

Our “elite managers” in the political class purport that creativity and entrepreneurship are the greatest goods. If these qualities are allowed to flourish, we will all in turn thrive. The truth is that under epistemic and capitalist techno-fascism, all products of entrepreneurship and the visual arts alike are now simply farmed for novelty en masse by the transnational cartel—just like our mass-produced food, automobiles, computers, etc. The billionaires have full reign to shop for–and possible even take by court or force–the millionaire’s hard-earned wealth and product.

The creative types who gravitate to Hollywood, the music industry, and television are farmed for visions that conform to the acid-baths of scientific despotism. We even have our dreams designed for us nowadays in our mass-media entertainments—yes, in this illusion of “factual consumption,” we’ve become that damn lazy. Only that which can be translated into a commercial imperative survives—over and over. Witness all the sequels and comic book adaptations and “pre-branded” franchises being made. Hollywood as we’ve known it is dying, loudly, because at the crucial time when it’s in competition with Youtube, cable, and so many other media outlets it has banked upon the familiar instead of showing vision and Imagination and throwing those production billions into dozens of smaller, imaginative works that might not strictly conform to focus-group preferences (witness the stellar rise—and subsequent absorption into the maw of the machine—of Pixar). Just like a bully who gets louder and more violent as his star is eclipsed by the new and bigger bully. Instead of believing in the intimate products our minds naturally give us, our society makes of Vision a CGI bone-rattling nightmare in the cathedral of a movie theater, transformed to pummel us in violence from without. We enter the cinema now to be ritually punished with visions of a magick world whose flatness on the screen is somehow part of the meaning, reminding us of what has passed us and now out of reach: Narcissus’s mirror-lake as a flat pool glowing upon the wall, beaten in our unconscious that our human inheritance is being leached away by our ‘entertainments’.

The epistemological cartel grants no means of ratifying or receiving anything transformative that might originate from inside our own psyches, and hence the reception of any impulse of sacred Imagination from without. At best, our subjective visions are diagnosed as pathological; the sacred inside is rendered phantasmal, neurological, with its reception stripped of personal significance…Our autocrats’ goal is that there be an answer to our mysterious, private, epiphanic encounters—an “explanation” already worked out for us, whether by megachurch or laboratory. Mystery cannot be allowed. The answers should come easy…The Hollywood and video game dream-factories grant us ritual catharsis for our mythic instincts, and we are all left to our atomized glorified simian or sanctified Glorified Body to work out some relation to the sacred outside the glowing rectangle

This, of course, is all in line with the continued destruction of privacy on the internet and all our forms of electronic communication. The processing of our personal agency into a hive-mind is nearing its terminus—an omniscience by the “Masters” unknown in the history of mankind.

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We like our madness safely contained in the past, or in our artists—the Blakes and Artauds and Pounds and Van Goghs. In a society under the epistemic cartel, we have safely cordoned off the imagination into the visions and activities of the artists, who are the only one permitted to see with different eyes the mundane and banal surroundings inflicted upon us by a technological, socially over-determined and thoroughly managed society.

Everyone at times experiences hallucination or a momentary misapprehension of objects, when we spontaneously see things anew. This peculiar ability is considered a mundane property of the human mind. Psychologists after Wittgenstein call it “aspect-seeing,” a phrase coined to describe the reversals or oscillations in significance that occur when perceiving Gestalt images in a clinical context (the duck-rabbit, old/young woman, etc.).

Apophenia and pareidolia are natural human abilities, but any psychologically “healthy” answer to a pareidoliac test is necessarily shaped by the forces of socialization. Reward accrues to those who interpret “correctly” according to the consensus as laid out in the mental health manual; conversely, punishment goes to those who stubbornly insist on retaining their private associations.

When these subjective oscillations happen frequently in the everyday world, it is not so good—and even worse when a person spins narratives around them. An example of this would be, say, a conspiracy in which no one else in the world could possibly believe—if someone were to associate the sunlight’s reflections on the surfaces around them with what they happened to be thinking, and conclude that the reflections of light were speaking to them. If such a phenomena occurred in an engineer or a bus driver or a pilot, it would be considered mental sickness and lead to a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, at the least.

If a person experiencing it happened to be a poet or visual artist, it would perhaps slightly take the psychopathic sting out of the clinical label—but only slightly.

But these are just definitions courtesy the priest-cult we call clinical psychiatry.

An example of this epistemologically autocratic trend is the decisive turn from psychotherapy to pharmaceuticals in the treatment of mental illness over the past thirty years. Philosophers of science and psychology maintain that behaviorism as practiced by B.F. Skinner is dead, but of course this isn’t true at all; Skinnerian behaviorism, on the contrary, has been so spectacularly successful that it has become ubiquitous and invisible to us, its ontology lurking in the neuroscience behind the pharmaceutical paradigm: If you chemically change the molecules in the person’s brain, you change the person’s behavior; if you change the behavior, you thus change the person.

This therapy of neurochemicals now dominates, while the “talking cure” has been relegated to second place—but the various schools of psychoanalysis, for all their faults, are philosophies of meaning. They value the long view of a fully-lived life in comparison to the immediate material change in the pharmaceutical paradigm with which epistemic fascism laden us

Many people undergo tremendous reversals in their outlook on life, in which the “whole of reality” is turned “inside out”—call them epiphanies, religious conversions, spiritual experiences. The world is then seen as numinous and filled with a significant connections that infuses its entire fabric and involves a revivification of the whole. The motive force ascribed as the cause varies—Jesus, Allah, universal mind, nirvana, etc. Isolated from any religious context, a person may well fear for their sanity. These experiences are entirely subjective and beyond the quantifying reach of neuroscience (as of yet), yet friends can perceive the fruits of such experiences in the changed behavior of the individual.

For almost all of recorded history these experiences have occurred and been accepted as proofs of a higher power. We don’t normally call these conversions pathological, but the experience is becoming dangerously close to being termed such under techno-fascist regime. The subsequent monomania often associated with religious conversion is usually considered the pathological aspect, yet the contents of the beliefs as well are now under assault as deviant. Even as fundamentalists of any stripe seek to eliminate the anthropology and psychology of the spiritual conversion as the work of the Adversary.

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What do I mean by “epistemic autocracy”? Perhaps I should define it by contrasting it with what could be called “epistemic multiplicity” or “neurological diversity,” drawing lines between 1) active pareidolia, apophenia, and Imaginative vision on the one hand, restless, always active, and 2) the Autocracy’s atomistic, reductionist approach that threatens with the loss of meaningful narrative on an influx of random data on the other. Perhaps one could also draw the distinction between realms of knowledge, one called facts and the other wisdom. The former, “factual” realm’s entities are quantifiable, verifiable, and the latter’s vague—and EA is definitely an emergent property of the former, an expanding regime whose constituent parts support and undergird one another in a consensus that spans a society’s entire spectrum of activities—currently, a network operating through mass media to induce orthodox uniformity of opinion between the industrial complexes of medicine/psychology to academic to entertainment, all constellated around the certainties of the disciplines of chemistry and physics.

The Imagination itself “sees through” the single-minded, literal interpretation of reality.

The world sleeps together in the night. We retreat to these private worlds out of biological necessity but there is more genuine healing in these golden hours than any of the faux panaceas our society could ever propagandize us into believing. We dream and in the dream the Other speaks to us. In the daylit world, we are taught not to listen. We are all children before this mystery and of this mystery and the morning light’s clamor dissolves the awe. We awake to a world that orders itself back to another Other’s idea, a mad dream. There is more real knowledge in a simple fever dream than in a library of their consensus fictions. But everyone, all of us, in that somatic museum called sleep, is an artist. The disorder of hallucination is the recapture of Imagination working through.

These differing world views, coherent as each had been, are “snapshot” examples of pareidolia. We have a succession of world-views now coming under the unification of science in which each “moment” has a clear relation to the next and projects its telos into it. The former daimonic power becomes literalized through our technologies: the clock has usurped God’s domain of time, maps have conquered physical space. And thus we unconsciously become gods.