Jung on “Flying Saucers”
AS with Childhood’s End, many of the messages of an approaching Singularity involve UFOs. Jung, shortly before his death, wrote a book about UFOs entitled Flying Saucers, a Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Sky. Jung believed that the relative spiritual vacuum and lack of a ruling myth characteristic of the Twentieth Century created a great tension in the collective unconscious, an uneasy tabula rasa on which almost anything might appear. Human beings have always looked toward the heavens for signs of God or other transcendent beings monitoring and altering human affairs. Jung was struck by the typically circular appearance of whatever was seen in the sky. To Jung, this suggested the mandala, an archetypal circular pattern that represented God, Self, and wholeness. Jung pointed out that the Sanskrit definition of God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere. Jung gave the UFO field a much-needed examination from the point of view of depth psychology. He did not presume that UFOs were immaterial and noted that they often seemed to reflect radar waves, but he wondered if they might not be physical exteriorizations of the collective unconscious. Like other archetypal manifestations, UFOs have the ability to appear in dreams and to haunt or inspire the imagination.
Holes in the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis and the Meaning of Skepticism
Since I originally wrote this section, I have seen some slightly more substantial evidence favoring the extraterrestrial hypothesis, but I include it anyway because there are so many people who assume that UFOs must mean extraterrestrials in metal spacecraft. In dealing with anomalous phenomena and other areas of investigation that are at or beyond the boundaries of human comprehension, I recommend an avoidance of premature closure. Many people readily adopt some pet theory and then corral evidence and thinking to support it. I recommend learning to endure ambiguity, keep the mind open to multiple possibilities, and delay reaching ultimate conclusions. That was essentially the philosophy of the Skeptics, Greek philosophers who believed that their observational powers would be improved by avoidance of conclusions. Ironically, people like Michael Shermer and others in the “skeptical community” practice the exact opposite of this philosophy because they are full of conclusions. They are true believers in a variety of negatives (UFOs aren’t real, parapsychology is nonsense, etc.) and are, therefore, more properly called debunkers. During a conference call in 2010, I confronted Shermer about these issues, and his response was glib and oblivious. He had just spoken about what motivates people to believe untrue things, and I questioned him about whether he had turned the analytical eye on himself. For example, now that he is the leading figure of the “skeptical” community, his income, ego identity, and social status seem to depend on his maintaining his debunking stance. What immunizes him from the subjectivity of highly motivated thinking and observation? I found his answers evasive and superficial.
When we investigate anomalous phenomena, we need to be wary of the human tendency to project expectations and needs onto the unknown. In a technological, materialistic era where the human ego seems to rule, fewer and fewer people have faith in a supervisory God watching over the human species who is ready to intervene miraculously. Speculations about UFOs, such as that they are the spacecraft of superior beings here to prevent us from destroying each other through nuclear war, create a secular equivalent of an absent Godhead. UFOs, as mysterious signs in the heavens, serve as extraordinary projection screens for people’s needs, fears, and archetypal visions. Since they are singularities of a sort, they naturally become associated with the Singularity Archetype.
This is not to imply, however, that they are purely psychological phantoms or that they do not have a relation to the approaching Singularity that is more than projection. Those who have taken a sober look at this phenomenon have recognized that underneath the hoaxes and manipulated stories, something of significance is occurring, but its ultimate nature may be beyond the present boundaries of human comprehension. However, be forewarned if you want to research this field. A great deal of the material available is highly unreliable. Many UFO buffs are gullible true believers, people utterly possessed by their need to believe a particular UFO mythology. Many others consciously perpetuate fraud and illusion.
One of the most insightful people to investigate this subject is the French astronomer Jacque Valle. Valle, in his book Messengers of Deception and elsewhere, has shown that exploring UFO lore means entering a trickster world, a carnival of warped mirrors where mental illness, fraud, and government manipulation have layered illusion on top of illusion. Much of the warped thinking and conscious manipulation, including government manipulation, aims to enforce the extraterrestrial hypothesis as the ruling UFO creed. Most of the general public who take any interest in UFOs are convinced they must be extraterrestrials.
Although no one can disprove the extraterrestrial hypothesis, the conventional version of it, that they are aliens in nuts and bolts metal spacecraft here to do scientific research or genetic manipulation, is filled with obvious holes. As Valle points out, there have been hundreds of thousands of sightings. If you assume that the supposed aliens are trying not to be detected, there must be millions of actual visitations. What program of scientific research or genetic manipulation could require this much work? They must be dreadfully incompetent scientists to still be at it so often after all this time. Also, the idea that they are here in spacecraft, at least in a conventional sense, is inconsistent with the fact that UFOs are frequently reported to change shape or merge with one another. And wouldn’t such an advanced technology that wanted to avoid detection have some sort of stealth capability? Would they really streak across the sky lit up like Christmas ornaments? The idea that they are technology-wielding imperialists or well-meaning missionaries may be a case of our recreating the unknown in our image.
The truth about UFOs is likely far more interesting and significant than some of the threadbare, conventional alien scenarios. Valle quotes a scientist who describes UFOs as “reality transformers.” Reality transformers may well be the best and most accurate descriptive phrase that can be applied to UFOs at our present level of understanding. UFOs are apparently able to appear in a great variety of different forms to different people, and, like an archetype, the variations seem to have much to do with the belief system and cultural conditioning of the perceiving psyche. Valle compares observing the UFO phenomenon to looking at a screen in a movie theater. You look at the screen, and all sorts of fantastical images pass before your eyes. But to really understand what’s going on, you need to look over your shoulder back at the projector, the source of all the endlessly varying images.
UFOs seem more akin to projectors, capable of projecting all sorts of thoughts and images into the human psyche. The human mind, especially in our materialistic culture, is prone to take what it sees literally. In the UFO world, you can see an obvious inverse relationship between intelligence and how literal and specific a person’s alleged knowledge of UFOs is. On one side of the spectrum, the most conscious observers acknowledge that UFOs are unknowns about which we can make some general speculations. On the other side are those who know the names of everyone on the Pleiadian high council and who are channeling the most detailed information about superior beings who apparently live in worlds remarkably similar to those of grade-B science-fiction movies from the 1950s.
Valle and others make a convincing case that the source of the UFO phenomenon is not new, that it has been involved with human culture throughout human history. Many of the miraculous experiences and visitations recorded from the past may well have been the same phenomenon viewed through psyches conditioned by differing sets of cultural values. We live in an age where magic takes the form of technology and where we launch crude metal spacecraft into the heavens. Unimaginative psyches will tend to view UFOs as an advanced extrapolation of present technology and human motivation. The manifestations of the phenomenon are probably not, however, reducible to the psychological expectations of the witnesses. The phenomenon seems to have an ability to actively and consciously form its own manifestations. Rather than merely reflecting cultural values, it may adapt and manipulate them. Think again of the analogy of the movie projector. Movies both reflect and manipulate cultural values.
There is evidence that UFO phenomena, like dreams, are intelligently formed and are both profoundly aware of the psyches to whom they communicate and capable of exerting powerful influence on them. Like dreams, the phenomenon is real and capable of leaving physical traces and effects. Dreaming is associated with profound energetic changes in the brain, easily observed on an EEG. The supposedly solid world of waking life, as we now know from physics, is actually composed of patterned energy comparable to a holographic projection. Dreams are also patterned energy, and in many ways, it is merely cultural prejudice to view them as “less real” than the waking reality.
“They do not play by the rules of reality but of dream; they are not bound by the careful laws of physics, but by the wild ones of the imagination.”
— Close encounter experiencer Whitley Strieber, writing in The Communion Letters
UFOs seem to obey the physics of dreams far more than classical Newtonian physics, which we would expect solid, metal spacecraft to obey. The physics of dreams, where consciousness and reality are inextricable, and the universe is infinitely plastic and mutable, is closer to the universe revealed by quantum mechanics, although both defy our conventional understanding of reality. As J.B.S. Haldane put it, “Reality is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.”36
UFOs are powerful reminders of that inconceivable strangeness. It might be very comforting to our innate conservatism and limited imagination to view them as high-speed metal containers bearing “aliens” who stand upright and have two arms, legs, and eyes, and familiar human motivations such as curiosity and conquest. But reality is not necessarily as limited as the imaginations of UFO buffs. The evidence seems more supportive of UFOs traveling inter-dimensionally rather than through long distances of space. They may be just as able to travel through inner psychic space as outer space. Far more likely than their being metal spacecraft, they may be organisms in a more energetic state than we are or the projections of a consciousness of some sort.
(I am no longer quite as dismissive of the extraterrestrial hypothesis as I was in 1996 when I wrote the section above. There seems to be substantial evidence for both the reality-transformer aspect and more tangible, physical aspects.)
Strange Parallels — UFOs, Near Death Experiences, and Psychotropics
Dr. Kenneth Ring, the professor emeritus of psychology whom I referenced frequently in the chapter on Near-Death Experiences, has shown that there are striking similarities between NDEs and UFO experiences. Many of the stages and lasting effects of NDEs and abduction experiences have strong correspondences. For example, in both types of experience, people often report seeing a vision of the earth-
36 Possible Worlds and Other Papers (1927), p. 286.
-being destroyed and emerge from the episode with a new and lasting commitment to environmental work.
Many UFO experiences have aspects that strongly indicate that, whatever else might be happening, the experiencer has had an encounter with the Singularity Archetype. There are many connections to the logos-beheld theme. Large-eyed aliens are almost universally described as communicating telepathically, sometimes using visual telepathy. Some encounters strongly suggest that they are capable of generating visions and surreal episodes in the minds of perceivers. Encounters often include explicit material about the evolutionary metamorphosis of Homo sapiens, with extensive reports of matings between humans and aliens to produce hybrids. The Greys are increasingly described as having a “hive mind” and as being something like Homo gestalt. One of the strongest correspondences between the UFO experience and encounters with the Singularity Archetype is that both often pathologize into apocalypticism.
Daniel Wojcik, Associate Professor of English and director of the Folklore Program at the University of Oregon, in his 1997 book, The End of the World As We Know It — Faith, Fatalism, and Apocalypse, provides several illuminated examples of UFO encounter-related apocalypticism.
The role of UFOs in the end times has also been noted by Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, who asserts that UFOs will be used to destroy the white man’s world and the enemies of Allah in an apocalyptic battle. At a press conference on October 24, 1989, Farrakhan described his encounter with a UFO, during which he received messages from the founder of the Nation of Islam, Elijah Muhammad, who purportedly dwells in a mother ship, whence he orchestrates the downfall of the six-thousand-year reign of the white man. (EWK 177)
In Farrakhan’s own words, “A beam of light came from the Wheel and I was carried up on this beam of light into the Wheel. […] At the center of the ceiling was a speaker and through the speaker I heard the voice of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad speaking to me as clearly as you are hearing my voice this morning” (EWK 229).
Saucer cults37 and some New Age writers will see UFOs and aliens as messianic, angelic entities here to act as catalysts of evolutionary metamorphosis. As Wojcik puts it:
“Human beings are usually viewed by these groups as an unenlightened, lower life form, and extraterrestrials are said to be helping humanity attain a higher form of consciousness that will lead to the next level of evolutionary development. This-
37 See the study of Heaven’s Gate in Chapter XI
-widely held belief is espoused by Brad Steiger, a leader in the UFO movement and author of more than one hundred books on UFOs. Steiger maintains that UFOs are multidimensional, higher entities that are guiding human beings into a new age of harmony and enlightenment and that these godlike beings have always assisted humanity but that, since the 1950s, have accelerated the interactions in preparation for the imminent transformation of the planet. The transition, which has been predicted for centuries, will inevitably involve apocalyptic trauma:
“For generations, our prophets and revelators have been referring to it as The Great Cleansing, Judgment Day, Armageddon. But we have been promised that after a season of cataclysmic changes on the earth plane, a New Age consciousness will suffuse the planet. It is to this end that the gods have been utilizing the UFO as a transformative symbol” (EWK 189).
As I pointed out in my 1978 paper, “Archetypes of a New Evolution,”38 some Evangelicals consider UFOs to be demonic manifestations related to apocalypse: “Several years ago a religious and sincere Seventh-Day Adventist, who believed Biblical prophecy indicated the imminent arrival of an Anti-Christ, related to me his belief that UFOs were a deceptive device of Satan’s that might be used in the arrival of the Anti-Christ.”
Wojcik came across similar interpretations:
“In his Planet Earth — 2000 A.D., [Hal] Lindsey devotes an entire chapter to the prophetic importance of UFOs, stating at the outset:
“Since the publication of the Late, Great Planet Earth, I have become thoroughly convinced that the UFOs are real… And I believe they are operated by alien beings of great intelligence and power. Where I differ from most “ufologists” is in the question of origin. I believe these beings are not only extraterrestrial but supernatural in origin. To be blunt, I think they are demons. The Bible tells us that demons are spiritual beings at war with God. We are told that demons will be allowed to use their tremendous powers of deception in a grand way in the last days” (EWK 203).
In some cases, UFO experiences closely resemble other cases of people encountering the Singularity Archetype. The UFO experience strongly parallels many other states of nonordinary consciousness in which people encounter the Singularity Archetype.
38 Available at ZapOracle.com.
William Buhlman, who has studied thousands of out-of-body experiences (OBEs), has pointed out how much they resemble and might be confused with abductions. Terence McKenna has shown connections between UFO experience and the experiences of people under the influence of hallucinogens. Terence refers to the effects of certain hallucinogens as “UFO experiences on demand.” Although McKenna does have a tendency to overgeneralize from his particular experience, he does demonstrate convincingly that chemically altered mind states are valid access channels to the source of UFO phenomena.39
The so-called postmodern approach to UFOs is to study their effect on us rather than what they are. Jacque Valle was the great pioneer of this approach and essentially said we should infer the intentionality of the phenomenon from its effects. The effect, Valle says, is that of a control system manipulating human beliefs, culture in general, and even evolution. (OP 243) This approach has a certain validity because the nature of UFOs may be beyond human comprehension at this point.
From that point of view, UFO phenomena could be considered cognitive singularities that break down our collective over-confidence in how we perceive reality. In 1996, in a late-night conversation with cattle mutilation expert David Perkins, I had the intuition that this might be the best perspective from which to view a number of anomalous phenomena. I wrote about this conversation in “A Mutant Convergence — How John Major Jenkins, Jonathan Zap and Terence McKenna met during a Weekend of High Strangeness in 1996”:
“It was late in the evening now, one or two o’clock in the morning, and having absorbed hours of cattle mutilation talk, my unconscious had suddenly begun to coalesce this information into an encompassing theory that linked cattle mutilations, crop circles, and many anomalous aspects of ufology. What if these phenomena were crafted to be intriguing, anomalous, inexplicable — designed like Zen koans to defy rational comprehension, to awaken us to the realization that, as Terence so frequently quoted J.B.S. Haldane, ‘Reality is not only queerer than you imagine; it is queerer than you can imagine.”
A few years later, I found a Terence McKenna talk in which he made a somewhat parallel point when he described UFO anomalies as “showing up like the cosmic giggle at the bachelor party of science.” I found an even more striking case of mental parallelisms with my own conclusions-
39 For a detailed study of encountering the Singularity Archetype in the context of an ayahuasca experience, see “Andrew’s Ayahuasca Journey — An Encounter with the Singularity Archetype.”
-on ufology in Dr. Kenneth Ring’s The Omega Project — Near-Death Experiences, UFO Encounters, and Mind at Large.
In The Omega Project, Dr. Ring references a Valle-influenced thinker, Carl Raschke, who has spoken of UFOs as “agents of cultural deconstruction.” In Raschke’s own words:
“Such experiences tend to be convulsive, perplexing, and outré and to conflict strikingly with the habitual thought patterns of the subjects. A meeting with a UFO is apt to leave the witnesses’ world in upheaval. One must remain curious therefore, whether the purpose of UFO sightings and contacts is mainly to undercut the ingrained human longing of secure knowledge and faith, rather than to gratify it.
“Here then I shall advance a tentative assessment of what UFOs are in point of fact. […] Our interest in them should center on how the spreading and deepening convictions about them subtly, yet irreversibly, remold not just peripheral religious or metaphysical ideas, but entire constellations of culture and social knowledge. In this connection, UFOs can be depicted as what I would call ultraterrestrial agents of cultural deconstruction” (OP 244).
Essentially, Raschke, Ring, Valle, and McKenna are all recognizing the UFO/alien phenomena as a cognitive singularity and inferr that this might be the intent of the phenomena. As I pointed out to David Perkins, a precedent for intended cognitive singularity is the Zen Koan, those paradoxical statements intended (“What is the sound of one hand clapping?”) to shock the mind out of its rational categories. Dr. Ring makes almost the identical point: “Extraordinary encounters, UFOEs, NDEs, and others that disclose something of the mysteries of the transcendent universe, and of ourselves, are conundrums akin to a koan” (OP 246). In keeping with the trickster aspect of the phenomena, the UFO/alien doesn’t even consistently play that role. As we see in the Farrakhan example above, this phenomenon is also capable of working with and reinforcing the belief system of an experiencer.
Despite what I have just said about the UFO/alien as a cognitive singularity, I think there is still value in our continued speculations about what “they” might be, keeping in mind that speculation may be an imaginative exercise while we struggle to understand something that is stranger than we can think. In that spirit, I’d like to offer some raw material from my own experience and provide a couple of possible “whats” in relation to UFOs. But before I do, I want to be absolutely clear that this is pure speculation and raw material. I don’t regard the vision I am about to offer as “true” but rather present it as a psychological artifact open to interpretation.
Vision of a Multiply Incarnate Organism
Several years ago, I had a vision of a roughly circular organism. The organism was composed of a series of highly differentiated connected organs. The awareness presented in the vision was that each of these organs was actually a separate incarnation or lifetime of this organism viewed outside of linear time. An analogy would be to viewing a human being outside of linear time. Rather than seeing a snapshot of a person at a particular age in a particular frozen moment of time, we might see the full lifecycle — a fertilized egg connected to a fetus connected to an infant, a child, an adolescent, a middle-aged person, an aged person, a corpse. Yet this picture of the human lifecycle would still only represent that portion known to us, the interval between birth and death. We don’t know that the human lifecycle is completely contained between a single birth and death, and there is much reason to think that it isn’t.
The circular, manifold incarnate organism I saw presented itself to my mind as the full lifecycle of a being for whom human incarnation was one phase or organ. Outside of linear time, all the incarnations or organs were perceived as connected and in a state of simultaneous interdependence and influence with all the other organs and incarnations. Human incarnation was an organ far closer to the “head” rather than the “tail” of this Ouroboros–like organism. In other words, human incarnation was a more conscious, differentiated organ of the body in much the same way that the brain is a more conscious, differentiated organ than the liver. Another analogy would be to the brain, where we see a living manifestation of the principle, “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.” More evolved structures, like the neocortex, are built on top of more primitive structures, such as the hypothalamus. But in this manifold incarnate organism, human beings were not the most advanced organ or incarnation. Ahead of us were the beings behind the UFOs. In this model, the “alien” incarnation or organ is the most conscious and most aware of all the organs or incarnations.
Evolutionary Design Limitations
Since we’re indulging the bizarre, let me push a bit further in that direction, however briefly. Michael Murphy, in his seminal book on human evolution, The Future of the Body, discusses the work of certain theorists in evolutionary biology. These theorists claim that some species have fundamental design limitations or flaws that will not allow them to evolve the degree of intelligence human beings have. Marsupial brains, for example, lack the corpus callosum, the dense bundle of nerve cells connecting the human brain’s left and right hemispheres. This neurological limitation means that the marsupial brain can never have the relatively excellent communication between hemispheres that the human brain usually enjoys. But, these theorists continue that the human brain may also have a fundamental design flaw limiting our further evolution or survival. The structure of our brain is a kind of retrofit where a mammalian brain is superimposed on a reptile brain, and the neocortex is retrofitted onto the mammalian brain. The neocortex, said to be the center of our self-reflective consciousness and ego, believes itself to be the head honcho, but unfortunately, it has very poor communication with some of the earlier structures that control appetites, aggression, and so forth. Anyone who goes on a diet discovers that the neocortex and its creation — the cognitive ego with all its powers — are not necessarily a match for the reptilian brain and its relentless will to defend body weight. Similarly, our sexuality seems largely beyond ego control, and for all our civilization and wisdom, our ability to restrain territorial aggression has not prevented world wars and the possibility of our making ourselves extinct through technologically amplified territorial aggression. Poor communication between higher and lower brain structures may be a fundamental design flaw in the human species that may result in our eventual extinction.
One White Crow
On the other hand, I take the views of many evolutionary theorists, especially if they are neurological materialists with many grains of salt. There’s an obvious flaw in the aforementioned theory. To paraphrase William James again, “One white crow is all that is needed to disprove the notion that all crows are black.” If we have even a single human being — Jesus, Buddha, whomever — who has overcome the problem of poor communication between brain structures and achieved a consciousness that transcends appetites and aggression, then there is the possibility that the species can also transcend this limitation. But, if the fatalistic conclusion of the theory is flawed, the problem it describes bears an interesting analogy to my vision of a manifold incarnate being.
In the way that I perceived the manifold incarnate organism, all the organs/incarnations are interdependent. Therefore, the health and fate of the “alien” incarnation are also dependent on the status of the human incarnation. I’ll further speculate that the human incarnation is the adolescent phase of development, a crucial juncture on which the fate of the entire organism depends. The alien part of the organism recognizes that although there is interdependence, there is poor communication between organs or incarnations. It is capable of communication and seeks to contact us through inner and outer space to make us aware of things crucial to our fate and that of the larger organism. It may also intend cognitive singularities to shock us out of constricted awareness and prepare us for crossing the event horizon of personal death/ species metamorphosis.
Consider another analogy to bodily organs. Normally, my waking consciousness is not very aware of what my liver is up to. But let’s say my liver started to malfunction so seriously that it threatened the viability of my entire body. If I could somehow open up communication with my liver, perhaps shock it with my mind into functioning better, it would be in the interest of all my organs to do so. Perhaps the human species is like a malfunctioning organ right now. Certainly, we have become a threat, not only to ourselves but to many forms of life on the planet. If we are part of a much larger lifecycle than what we presently conceive, then perhaps there are unknown interdependent organisms concerned with what we are up to.
For example, let’s say I am an alcoholic man living during the Renaissance. The microbiological world has not yet been discovered, so I am in complete ignorance that I am a colony of fifty trillion interdependent cells, which I am poisoning with my alcoholism. If those cells could communicate with me and make an intervention, they would have every reason to want to do so. More advanced communication skills, however, are more likely the province of more advanced parts of the lifecycle. Just as we, with our advanced medical technology, have figured out some ways to make interventions with a malfunctioning liver, perhaps there is a part of the lifecycle, of which we are also a part, that is trying to intervene with us. Since the “aliens” are usually described as having a roughly human form, and since they seem to be so laboriously interested in us, perhaps it is more likely that they are us rather than exotic extraterrestrials. For most of human existence, we were clueless about the microbiological world. Surgeons used to wash their hands after surgery, but not before. Once the microscope was invented, we slowly began cataloging millions of exotic microbiological life species. The microbiological plane of life wasn’t extraterrestrial– we didn’t have to go anywhere to find it; it was us– a dimension of life that was both hidden and ubiquitous. So what if we, the culture of scientific materialism, are ignorant of another plane of life, a plane of energetic life forms? Every culture except scientific materialism has recognized energetic life forms — spirits, ancestors, ghosts, etc. We may be interpenetrated by a whole plane of life and haven’t yet discovered an instrument, like the microscope, to allow us to see them on demand.
The “aliens” in this model may actually be us after we have crossed the event horizon of death. A part of the lifecycle of the human being about which we have much uncertainty is the post-death phase. As Terence McKenna has pointed out, if we wanted to look for an ecology of souls, an intelligent species that seems to be very interested in our evolution, by the principle of logic known as Ockham’s Razor, we seek the simplest hypothesis that accounts for all the facts. Our species is a source of several billion intelligent creatures that are very much interested in themselves and their evolution. Perhaps the “aliens” are merely us in an after-death phase of incarnation. When Terence showed pictures of grey aliens to tribal shamans in the Amazon, they replied, “Oh, the ancestors.” People who have abduction experiences frequently report seeing deceased relatives in the company of the grey aliens. A woman reported to Whitley Strieber an abduction experience where she saw her deceased mother as a Grey. I once had a dream where I saw what appeared to be a Grey emerging from a metallic saucer. As the grey approached, I saw that the large almond-shaped eyes were actually the visors of a kind of astronaut helmet. Inside the helmet was a man I recognized from the neighborhood where I grew up in the Bronx. The neighbor was a mathematician, and he passed away in the Eighties. In other words, inside what appeared to be an alien was a dead guy.
Note added in 2023:
I add a few things to this possibility in the Epilogue of Parallel Journeys where I talk about “ . . . the possibility that what people interpret as ‘extraterrestrials’ are far more likely shapeshifting disincarnate former humans who have become mind parasites seeking to torment us and feed off our negative emotions.”
“My late colleague, Terrence McKenna, said that if we wanted to look for an ecology of souls (supposed ‘aliens’) that would be highly interested in us, who would understand our psychology intimately, and would usually take on hominid-like forms, the most likely source would be us—us from the part of the lifecycle we usually can’t observe—the human dead. Specifically, the earthbound dead, those who can’t move on and still want to interact and feed their terrestrial desires. A mountain of evidence stretches back thousands of years to support that . . .
“So, we need to be careful about those who claim extraterrestrial contact when those experiences have so much continuity with strange encounters people have had for millennia. We live at the dawn of the space age, but what people see and label now as UFOs and extraterrestrials were called by other names in the past . . .
“I certainly don’t rule out extraterrestrial aliens, but my reading of the evidence is that most of what people call ‘aliens’ are disincarnate human beings appearing in forms that are part psychoid and part physical and who seek interaction with the living for a variety of motives.
“There have been some encounters where the ‘aliens’ will actually say they are dead people. Same with some fairie encounters of yesteryear. A common theme in modern abductions is the so-called aliens will say they need to hybridize with us because they’ve become nonviable and can no longer experience emotion. To me, that sounds more like a hungry ghost than a different species from an advanced alien civilization.
. . . Whitley and Ann Streiber documented the connection, but we now have a much more comprehensive source, Joshua Cutchin’s exhaustively researched book, The Ecology of Souls. I’ve exchanged a few messages with him, and his two-part work, which is about 1100 pages long, is the definitive source on the topic.
“The point is, anyone in contact with strange beings needs to be careful about assuming who or what they are. Many are genuinely paranormal entities, but not necessarily who they say they are. You can read or listen to something I wrote called The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts.”
Once again, a warning to anyone tempted to quote any of the above out of context. What I have just presented is speculation. We are dealing with ambiguous and paradoxical phenomena and I present it as more grist for the mill, available to be interpreted in many ways. It is not a conclusion I have reached, not something that I believe to be true or untrue, but merely the record of the thought process of one more puzzled human gazing at a singularity.
“They told me that they came from ‘everywhere,’ and their names, I suspect, are no more fixed than the wind. As far as why they came here, they said to me, ‘We saw a glow.’ At the time I thought that this referred to cities in the night, but now I feel that it was us they saw, our souls like embers, and they knew that we were trying to grow bright.” — Whitley Strieber, from The Communion Letters
UFOs — Evolutionary Messages
UFOs seem to bear many messages related to our further evolution. In recent decades, the UFO beings that contactees experience frequently have a stereotyped appearance that UFO researchers used to call “the Delta type humanoid,” and that is now more commonly known as “the Greys.” What is perceived is an androgynous being with huge almond-shaped eyes, a somewhat ethereal, willowy body, and a small, almost vestigial mouth. The beings typically communicate without spoken words. Increasingly, experiencers report that the Greys seem to have a hive mind. These reported qualities may be a message anticipating an evolutionary future where we have transcended ordinary language and gender limits, and our body is moving from matter toward a more ethereal, energetic state. As mentioned, people with UFO abduction experiences or NDEs are frequently shown images of the earth’s destruction by manmade causes and are influenced by these visions toward a much greater awareness of our interdependence with the planet. Many will devote themselves to environmental causes after these deeply affecting experiences. Another typical theme of abduction experiences involves genetic manipulation and particularly the cross-fertilization and hybridization of human and alien species. This is often presented as a symbiotic evolutionary step actually having greater benefit for the supposedly superior alien species. These experiments could be interpreted as metaphorical communication of our need to evolve and merge with this other consciousness.
Whatever the source(s) of UFOs, they seem to bear a message that we are at a critical nexus and need to evolve. But once again, they remain, perhaps appropriately, in a realm of imaginative speculation. Their nature may not be understood until we have evolved further.