Meta Story: Paranormal And The Self

Paranormal events in one’s life tend to create more stories through newly-made story tellers than they explain of the meta story being told by the events themselves. In order to possibly get at the meta story, we have to turn our way of listening on its ear. This means not just asking different questions about the events, or of the witnesses, but listening to the story telling in such a way that novel questions reveal themselves. Here are a handful that may spark something in you.

Which Came First: Fairies Or Fairy Lore?

This one may have an answer that a folklorist could speak to. We know that there are documented cases of fairy encounters dating back hundreds of years, but are these the origins of fairy folklore, or a product of it?

I wonder if when we look at documented cases of fairy encounters, we jump to an assumption that the earliest lore also comes from real encounters. Do we have evidence one way or another for the origin of “real” fairy tales? Could it be that these were, for instance, stories told to affect behavior in children, that then were somehow brought to life, either in the context of a tulpa created unconsciously, or as the mask of an intelligence interacting with us as something we can understand? Not just understand, but that will not be confused for anything else in reality, because it’s borrowing from the imaginal? Perhaps an intelligence also interested in affecting our behavior?

Now apply these questions to ufology.

Is Farce The Only Repeating Factor In Paranormal Activity?

The stranger and more nonlinear the paranormal story is the more likely I am to believe it. If it’s a tidy narrative with a beginning, middle, and end spoken with confidence by a person who has an answer for everything, forget it. They’re making it up. Usually this is conscious, but I have encountered at least one man I know for sure who had a bunch of narcissistic paranormal fantasies that resulted from a mental breakdown gone wrong. (Aren’t you supposed to hit bottom and then get real with yourself?)

Many, if not most, lifelong experiencers of high strangeness reading this (and numerous researchers, too) know that just when they think they’ve got this intelligence pegged it throws a curve ball. As me ol’ broadcast partner Jeff Ritzmann likes to say, the paranormal asks us, “Are you sure?” It’s a dare to believe in our certainty.

Certainty. The unknown? Really? Is there anything more certain, more solidly repeatable in any paranormal encounter, than the fact that it’s a farce? I mean right down to the instrumentation used to detect it.

Repeatability as farce is one of my favorite repeating farces in this circus. The challenge to our letting it all ride on logic at life’s craps table extends to how we detect the paranormal through technology. It may be that something like a Frank’s Box, which is clearly a “you hear what you want to hear” wish fulfillment contraption, worked just enough times to get scores of researchers trying it out, only to find that it doesn’t work at all, and then arguing over its validity. Much as psychics say about paranormal/spiritual apparitions not being able to manifest signs of their presence in the room unless everyone is open to it, detection tools only work clearly and definitely if you don’t have any faith in them working at all. It’s the same principle in reverse, isn’t it? A farce of a farce.

And isn’t that also the exact same principle at play with people who “call in” UFOs? Guess what isn’t going to show up if there’s a skeptic ruining the vibe with his case-closed belief? Guess what isn’t going to show up in any definite “this is an alien craft” form in front of true believers, night after night, while the cameras are rolling? (Well… maybe. Just not if they invite a news crew or a mass of people.)

Something may have shown up once or twice–enough times to get a small group interested in repeatedly trying to call them in night after night, only to have them end up “calling in” satellites and airplanes. The phenomenon pulls a disappearing act after a while, leaving a group of people inviting others to their nightly ritual of meditating on mistaken identities. Meanwhile, you know who will have a life-changing experience from that group? It’ll be the skeptic who runs outta there, and, on his way to the car, feeling silly for even coming to this stupid thing, has a female squirrel approach and start talking to him about how these people are nuts, but that’s okay, she collects nuts–something so ridiculous as to not at all seem related to aliens in spaceships and yet it cannot be coincidence. Therefore, the UFO in the sky? ISN’T ALIENS IN SPACESHIPS. And now that I’ve written that very definite answer, squirrel women in space suits will appear to ask me if I want to travel the universe with them in their acorn.

Is Free Will An Illusion In Paranormal Experiences?

As those of you who have encountered something highly strange retell it to your friends, family, and the people at the party turned off by your assumption that this is the time and the place for such a conversation because there’s nothing else to talk about because what else in life could be more important than something you’ve seen and they haven’t that you can’t explain but that they think is delusional because you’re manic and annoying in your insistence that they listen when all they want to do is talk about how much they hate Tom Brady?–Yeah, YOU. Ask yourself this:  Did you have a choice in what seemed like a free will situation?

How many witnesses to the strange say, “I could have done such-and-such, but I didn’t.” It begs the question, Could you have, or did it just feel that way?

I had the ultimate I AM identity experience of being/seeing nothingness become consciousness and then manifest the universe, which is also me, and which sounds like it unfolded linearly, but actually is always already happening right now. Immediately following the experience I intuited a choice: live as that onenessy nondual now guy or come back to normal. I chose normal so that I could write about it–bring my message to my people, as it were. But guess who cares about that? No one! Because I’m me!

No one wants to hear from a self-promoting hypocrite about oneness and joy and love. Unless I’m wrong, in which case, won’t you please join me at www.ourundoing.com? Monthly membership is now available.

The point is, it was, perhaps, a mistake to remain as I am with nonduality as an experience tucked away in the recesses of my awareness, rather than exploding into this dynamic new cave-dwelling character with a wizard beard and yellowed, curling nails that don’t quit. Buuuut… was it? I mean, was the choice real? Or was it that I dragged myself out of nonduality, back into my normal sense of separation, and then choice became a thing again?

The brain, which was transcended and included within the nondual experience, is back at work claiming control as the self and pretending to have a big decision to make. But if the decision of the self is to be annihilated or to live on and “evolve”, when would it ever choose its own demise? You see the problem?

And so this problem very likely translates for all experiences that take you out of yourself. Maybe they take place in some sci fi subspace bubble where you think you’re still in the here and now, but (at least psychically) you’re actually in another realm or a broader bunch of dimensions. Who knows? The question is, does such an experience play out in the only way it can, but when you come back to normal and review it, you think you could have chosen to do something differently?

A common example is not using the cell phone in your hand as a camera to document the occurrence. “Yeah, I don’t know why I didn’t think of it at the time, but I should have done that.” Many a witness kicks herself over this. But don’t kick too hard, lady, you might not have had a choice. In fact, you might not have been in your right mind even though you thought you were. This plays into the age old question, “If anyone else had been there with you, would they have seen the same thing or had the same experience as you?” Getting back to the sense of farce as repeatability, the answer is sometimes no and sometimes yes.

***

What do these three big questions drive toward? What’s the story they are telling if we know how to read? Isn’t it that we cannot trust anything?

We know we can’t trust high strangeness phenomena to present anything conclusively real in the way our culture demands. In fact, we can’t even trust its presentation as anything other than a representation plucked from our own minds. And now we see that we cannot trust ourselves, either. We can’t trust our evidence for very long; we can’t trust the stability of our sense of self in the situation; we can’t trust our choices. This leads many of us to grow frustrated and wonder why this intelligence is hiding and manipulating us if it isn’t malevolent. Some call it toxic. Is it toxic or is it pointing out our toxicity?

Ours is a selfish culture. We believe in the individual, the self, and we believe that this self is moving through time and, with any bit of luck, evolving through learning, through flashes of insight, and through new experiences. We believe in bettering and furthering the self, not self annihilation. Yet here is a circus of seemingly different phenomena that we call paranormal, psychic, spiritual, ufological, and high strangeness, which really aren’t so different beneath their surface presentations. This thing they have in common is their ability to demolish 1.) our expectations and conclusions regarding them and 2.) our ability to control and catalog them. In other words, our arrogance.

They present. We build up. They let us down. In the beginning we question them, but by the end, they make us question ourselves. Unless we refuse, which makes us delusional, which means we become toxic to ourselves, but with someone or something else to blame.

What’s the story there?

And when do we turn the page?

 

 

 

 

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!”

 

Controlling Reality? Doubtful. What About Influencing It?

JacintowithHHI was going to write this really well-thought-out post about the focus of intent on a grand scale, but then realized I simply don’t care to hear myself talk for as long as that would take and can make this point succinctly. What point? Good point. The point is this:

Something about the power of intention works. Not as strongly as proponents of The Secret like to pretend, but sometimes it works. Whether it works at all probably depends on the context. Like, if you’re trying to will world peace into existence without lifting a finger, you’re not liable to get the result you’re looking for. This is because you have billions of people willing consciously and unconsciously against that.

But could it work on such a grand scale? Perhaps–if we factor in a bit of George Hansen’s Trickster Theory. George points out that paranormal/spiritual activity is more likely to occur in times of anti-structure, which means in times that drastically break up one’s normal routine. Moving, divorce, death in the family, puberty, and getting fired are all examples.

I add to that the probability that this doesn’t hold for peoples who don’t have the strict blinders that the Western mind implements. Indigenous people accept the things that Westerners call “paranormal” as normal factors of existence. We block ’em out, but the blocking out is a false construct and you are reminded of that when you move to a new house and start seeing UFOs, dead people, or outlandish creatures.

If all of that is correct, and that’s no small if, then might the Western mind need something on the order of a giant disaster to act as the anti-structural moment in the culture/collective wherein individuals willing world peace might find a stronger influence?

We already know that broken, destitute nations are ripe for change. Sometimes that means Buddhism; sometimes that means Naziism.  Depends on the charismatic person doing the talking and getting the funding. Might that openness to radical change also take place on this deeper level?

There’s one way to find out: test it. The next time some end-of-everything circumstance rears its head anywhere in the world, focus your intent there. Will into existence, if you can, whatever those people need to live wholly and in balance. See if a revolution or metamorphosis occurs there. If it works, great! We can keep doing this until ruined humans have come to balance the world over. If it doesn’t work then you know we cannot, on a large scale, influence reality through building up good will in our hearts and letting it go like a fireball unleashed. Either way it’s a win and you can appease your Western mind by saying you’ve done science.

For those who remember the failure that was Harmonic Convergence, I say that the reason it failed was because it became a structure. I say that knowing full well I’m probably wrong, but there’s the little piece that thinks this is correct. Synchronizing a mass meditation or mass prayer is creating the structure that gets in the way of the very thing you’re trying to accomplish. Reorganization is not born of organization, it is born of chaos.

Or not.

Let us discover.