The Trickster Has A New Home

If you care at all about ufology or any of the other paranormal categories we entertain, you need to check out Jeff Ritzmann’s new blog The Numinous Den. In it, he breaks down and dissects George Hansen’s Trickster Theory in every situation where it rears its head. It’s superb. It’s easy to grasp. And he’s only a handful of posts in so it’s easy to start at the beginning and catch up.

In honor of Jeff’s latest accomplishment, I offer my two cents on the Trickster element at work in the psyche….

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‘Trickster’, by Bill Lewis

You could easily mock people who report experiences that fall outside the range of normal awareness if they occurred only a handful of times or in a few cultures. That they happen with frequency throughout all time and in every culture means normal awareness is being mocked at every turn, and so to mock high strangeness experiences is to ignore that fact with high prejudice.

The whole feedback loop is one big knowing smirk, but those limited to normal awareness aren’t conscious of the joke. The debunkers don’t know what they’re laughing at but they know they’re being laughed at, so they guffaw as bullies and demean experiencers and anyone who takes experiencers seriously. Their arrogance is from ignorance. Not miseducation or lack of education, but ignoring. On that deeper ignored level, they understand the joke is on them. In this sense they deserve pity for they’ve not had an experience which forces them to question reality in any sustainable way past being born.*

We’re all living in a facade in which and with which we self-identify. Some of the unhealthy impulses beneath the surface are sadistic because they are psychotically detached. Some of the healthy impulses may feel sadistic because they are compassionately detached and we are not consciously equipped to tell the difference.

Perhaps there is an intelligence trying like Hell to help us tell the difference. Perhaps there is a unifying principle that shocks its way through all cultures in all times like a jagged lightning strike through clouds.

Perhaps that raw, unfiltered consciousness messing with us is also us.

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*There is a reason all children question reality and it’s not because they don’t know anything. By the time they’re able to articulate questions, they’ve been filled with knowledge. But knowledge doesn’t answer the unknowable and they haven’t yet given up on the questions, repressed, or handed them over to personal and cultural authority figures with fake answers. Really, what bigger paranormal experience have we normalized than popping into existence from out of nothing? And if the appearance of form from formlessness isn’t a fractal version of the ultimate forms-within-formlessness transcendental bubble, I don’t know what is.

The Hero’s Journey of Michael Shermer?

Is Michael Shermer making that difficult and rare transformation from debunker to proper skeptic? His latest article in Scientific American indicates yes. Notice how I did not say “from debunker to believer,” because that would be a wrong move. We need open minds, not belief in either direction. The closest we can get to a useful belief is to admit that there is something here in the paranormal muck worth investigating honestly. Although he might say he was always open, always honest in his inquiries, I don’t think his track record shows that. But I think the record has scratched, to mix metaphors, and a new track is beginning.

Shermer might say it started with the incident spelled out in the article linked above. I’d say it’s merely the latest incident in his life, and one that he cannot ignore–perhaps because it affected someone he loves and trusts. If he had been alone, he might brush it off. But he’s not going to be so coarse to his new bride. To his true love. Perhaps this is the sledgehammer it takes a trickster intelligence to crack the walls of a professional skeptic.

Paging George Hansen.

In any event, kudos to Shermer for being open with this in such a public way. If nothing else, it will be a lesson in humility, for he is no doubt on the receiving end of a backlashing from the well-trained arrogant subset of loyal readers who never understood that science wasn’t about being able to declare reality’s boundaries, but being curious enough to question them.

Then again, I just read this and now have to wonder if he’s just trying to pull focus from the allegations by making it known that he’s married in a revelatory  article that will almost certainly be read more widely than his usual stuff.

Again I say, “Paging George Hansen!”

 

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