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”Shamanic Approaches to the UFO“
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Unidentified Submersible Object

          Well I’m aware of how late in the day it is, and I know some of you must be double-parked, so I’ll make this as succinct as possible. This morning’s discussion caused me to wonder how much we would understand about electricity if our method of studying it was to stand on the tops of high hills and wait to be struck by lightning. It seems to me that’s sort of the position that we’re in, vis a vis the UFO. We have no real theory – we have conjectures. We have fiercely defended hypotheses. But we have very little that is concrete to go on; it’s almost as though the issue of the UFO were an onion, and as we peel the layers of the onion, we discover when we get to the center that there is nothing there whatsoever left. It reminds me that if you cross an onion with a UFO, what you get is a flying saucer that brings tears to your eyes.
So what I would like to do is, just based on the notes I took today, to review what the options available to us are, in terms of trying to get some kind of intellectual handle on this phenomenon. And I’ll move through them rather quickly.

          One possibility that I suppose is now out of fashion, because it wasn’t mentioned here today, other than what Jacques [Vallée] said about ball lightning and plasmas, is that the UFOs are somehow natural phenomena, perhaps piezoelectric forces that have an ability to interact with the delicate electrochemical machinery of the human nervous system to create an impression of hallucination, or visitation, or abduction. That’s one possibility.

          The more serious contenders as explanations, I think, fall into three categories.

          Is it us? Are we being visited? Or is there another tenant in the building that we are unaware of?

          My own feeling about this tends to vacillate. I have had contact experiences; I have seen a UFO, very close; I have met with entities from other dimensions; and it has not impelled me to take a strong position. I paid very close attention when these experiences were happening to me, and there always seemed to be loose ends that argue against whatever hypothesis seems currently most attractive. 

          And, though Jacques didn’t mention it today, I recall in his book, The Invisible College, he stressed the absurdity that seems to attend the contact experience – that if the contactee will truly tell the unvarnished truth, then there will be elements in the story which will make the contactee look like a moron. In other words, the invalidation of the experience is an inimical part of its structure – almost as though the entities were saying, “Well you may tell this story if you wish, but if you tell it truthfully, you’ll be taken for a fool.”

          Well, there’s nothing wrong with being taken for a fool, except that it does seal the phenomenon rather nicely away from the very sober ladies and gentlemen who are making their careers in some branch of science. They are not interested in investigating the kinky, the anecdotal, the possibly pathological.

          In preparation for this conference, I re-read Carl Jung’s book, published in 1959, called Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Sky, and to my mind, no one has really gone beyond Jung. He understood very clearly that saying that something is a denizen of the psychic realm [in] no way precludes its also having efficacious force in the physical realm, through the phenomenon which he called synchronicity. 

          Some of the points which Jacques made today about the nature of the medical examinations that are reported: they are absurd, they are unnecessary to be performed at our level of technology, let alone any future, more advanced level that we might be asked to believe in. 

          So if the UFO phenomenon is something that is coming from us, then what is it and what is it for? 

          And I’ve given a good deal of thought to this question over the years, because I tend to lean toward the notion that the UFO problem, like many subtle problems, is haunted by our own naïveté concerning language. If I were to randomly choose, and don’t worry I shan’t, five of you to come up here, and each one of you would have forty seconds to explain to the rest of us what an atom is, it would be preposterous. None of us know – I doubt there’s a person in this room who can give an account of the atom that tallies with the quote-unquote orthodox description of the atom. 
          So, there is a curious fuzziness about the most mundane parts of reality, when we really attempt to magnify and understand them in the clear light of consciousness. How much more ambiguity there is, then, naturally attendant upon the examination of any kind of phenomena which are rare, or tend to be fringy. It isn’t a matter of achieving consensus over the UFO – we can’t even achieve consensus about what constitutes a decent soufflé. This passionate desire to drag us all under the umbrella of a single explanation is, I think, missing the point.

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