|The UFO as millenial gnosis
||[Jun. 30th, 2007|11:37 pm]
|||||Pauline Oliveros - A Thousand Quiet Mountains||]|
"The UFO is a reflection of a future event that promises humanity's eventual mastery over time, space and matter." - Terrence McKenna.
I certainly haven't made up my mind about the UFO phenomenon, but I tend to side with astrophysicist Jacques Vallée, Terrence McKenna and the Typhonian OTO in the notion that the UFO represents something much bigger - and much stranger - than the mere arrival on Earth of physical beings from some other part of the universe. In fact, I think that the phenomenon straddles the lines between objectivity and subjectivity, between consciousness and matter, in such a way that the lines themselves are called into question. I have two reasons to think this: familiarity with the literature and personal experience.
First off, from reading and hearing reports of UFO sightings and abduction experiences, it seems to me that what is going on definitely cannot be labelled purely physical and "objective." For one thing, the experiences often contain outlandish elements of the surreal and absurd and do not make simple "logical" sense. Why, for instance, would an advanced race studying our species need to perform, over and over again, procedures that even our scientists would consider primitive? How much can human digestive tracts differ? Once you've probed one person's anus you've probed them all. Second, aside from the occasional shoddy video and photograph, the physical evidence is surely lacking.
My personal experience was quite interesting and raises some strange questions. One night in December of 2003 I was hanging out with a childhood friend, Marc, in the field across the street from my parents' house (incidentally I haven't seen him since that night, though my mother has). We were looking at the stars when suddenly a light appeared above us. It was flying really low and slow, so had it been a normal plane or helicopter, that would have been obvious. It flew past us and over the treeline to the north. Then another appeared, and then another. These lights were flying in a line. I didn't think to count them, unfortunately, but they were a typical example of a formation called the "string of pearls" by ufologists. I pointed them out to Marc, without telling him what I thought they were so as not to color his perception, and he immediately shouted "UFOs!" Oddly, though, as we discussed what was happening, a striking discrepancy emerged: the UFOs I saw were glowing with a white light, but the UFOs he saw were shining bright orange.
(A key point in understanding the development of my personality is the fact that throughout my childhood, I had terrifying dreams about aliens that caused me to develop a real phobia; even last night I had such a dream. They are rarer now, but I still have them occasionally. So you can understand that as this sighting was taking place, I felt as though it was something I had always been prepared for.)
This color discrepancy blurs the line between objectivity and subjectivity. We weren't arguing about the color after the fact, but while the sighting was taking place. On the one hand we can't call this a hallucination as that is usually defined, a delusion had by an individual. And we can't really call it an "objective" experience as that is usually defined, some concrete thing that multiple people can cooberate. Does this suggest that multiple people can have the same hallucination (the same "unreal" subjective experience) or that "objective" reality is actually another level of subjectivity? Does consciousness affect our perception of physical reality, or is so-called physical reality just an aspect of consciousness? Nothing (even the physical) is ever known except in consciousness; what we know as sights, sounds, physical sensations are actually, always, taking place inside the mind. Hence the Hermetic axiom of "as above so below," (as within so without). For these reasons, I'm certainly not prepared to answer such questions, but they are interesting nonetheless.
It is possible that the UFO is an incursion into our ordinary bandwith of awareness of levels of consciousness not currently known to science. Religious phenomena throughout history, such as weeping images of the Virgin Mary, might similarly be manifestations from these levels. In ages past, visions of gods and spirits had more potency, but after several centuries of scientific materialism, such things have been discredited and rendered less acceptable to the rational mind. Thus, perhaps, the gnosis is forced to assume a new guise. Strange as the experiences are, the possibility of extraterrestrial visitors is at least more believable to the hardened materialist than a vision of Christ, while the effect of ontological subversion remains the same.
We have dissected and prodded the other creatures of nature as though they were nothing, and the UFO occupants give us a dose of our own medicine. We become, in their hands - on their cold, sterile tables - a reflection of our hollow view of life. Our selves are, therefore, revealed to our selves. From an unilluminated standpoint, this is truly horrific. If we figure out what is going on, however, we become aware of the timeless mystical unfoldment. Consciousness (or the universe, if you will) is being revealed to itself. We find out that science can be restored as an updated form of the spiritual art of alchemy. The Hubble telescope reveals as much about the soul as meditation. For instance, we have learned that energy cannot be created or destroyed; from the beginning, there has been one energy, a single movement of expansion outwards. We are that one energy, that one consciousness. My typing right now is just as much a result of the Big Bang as what took place two seconds after the explosion. There is one movement, and it leads to the effloresence of self consciousness in which we are now engaging. That consciousness focused upon itself reveals the infinite moment, outside time, in which this movement occurs.