Part One: UFO Club
“In the end, the future may well be decided by the image which carries the greatest spiritual power.” —Fred Polak, quoted in epigraph to Changing Images of Man
Once more unto the breach, dear friends.
American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology was released in early 2019, by Oxford University Press. It is by Diana Walsh Pasulka, a Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion. Pasulka’s research focuses on “supernatural belief and its connections to digital technologies and environments.”[i] She has co-edited two upcoming books: Believing in Bits: New Media and the Supernatural, from Oxford University Press, and Post Humanism: The Future of Homo Sapiens, from Palgrave MacMillan.
Probably the most famous living Ufologist, Jacques Vallee, had this to say about the book:
From a solid base of scholarship Dr. Pasulka introduces us to the players at the frontier of biological and physical research. Her sharp insight is drawn from her research into spiritual phenomena, updated by her travels from the purported UFO crash sites of New Mexico to the archives of the Vatican. The result is a timely introduction to the revelations in our collective future.
The narrative of American Cosmic is fairly simple and revolves around Pasulka’s relationship with two “insider” scientists who are supposedly investigating “the UFO mystery” anonymously, as part of the “Invisible College” of super-scientists, which J. Allen Hynek and Jacques Vallee first wrote about in the 1970s. As well as endorsing the book and inspiring many of her observations, Jacques Vallee is also a peripheral character in the book, as is Pasulka’s colleague, Jeffrey J. Kripal. Whitley Strieber also gets a few mentions as an ally on the not-so-secret team. Accordingly, as will surprise none of my regular readers, I approached the book with a degree of skepticism.
Not of this Universe
“The logic of camouflage works partly because the element of the absurd keeps what is camouflaged underground and hidden, and the absurdity of UFO testimonies ensures they are not studied in any official or public capacity.” —American Cosmic (p. 161)
For her part, Pasulka is a devoted disciple of Vallee and includes some of her interactions with him in the book. In an early chapter that didn’t make the final draft, she sums up his influence and position within both ufology and greater science, citing his work as a computer scientist (with a Ph.D. from Northwestern University) engineering ARPANET, the Advanced Research Projects Agency, a precursor of the internet. She goes on to describe him as “a successful venture capitalist, funding startups of innovative technologies that have changed the daily lives of millions of people.” Referring to Vallee’s “unorthodox history,” she mentions his work with the Stanford Research Institute, now SRI International. “Today,” she writes,
the group’s activities are largely unknown to the public. Yet declassified documents from the 1970s and 1980s indicate that it was a research site for the extraordinary. Jacques did his work on the fledging internet there under a program that, as Jeffrey Kripal writes, was probably called “Augmentation of the Human Intellect.” Before cognitive scientists and philosophers wrote about extended cognition in the 1990s, the United States military, through groups like the SRI, was already involved in experiments to extend the mind in tangible and potentially practical ways. The internet was conceived of as just such an extension. Strangely, this research was being conducted at the same time, in the same place, and at the same institute as the study of remote viewing, pre-cognition, and extra sensory perception. In this approach to extended cognition, the mind seemed able to be extended beyond the boundaries of the earth and even the solar system. These strange skills were developed under a classified program called Project Stargate, which was funded by the U.S. military in partnership with the SRI.[ii]
One of the lesser known projects of SRI was outlined in the obscure 1974 study, Changing Images of Man, the aim of which, was “to change the image of mankind from that of industrial progress to one of ‘spiritualism.’” This is from the introduction:
Images and fundamental conceptions of human nature and potentialities can have enormous power in shaping the values and actions in a society. We have attempted in this study to:
Illuminate ways our present society, its citizens, and institutions have been shaped by the underlying myths and images of the past and present.
Explore the deficiencies of currently held images of humankind and to identify needed characteristics of future images.
Identify high-leverage activities that could facilitate the emergence of new images and new policy approaches to the resolution of key problems in society.
The SRI and CIM have been credited by many with the inception of the New Age movement.[iii] I include all this background information (including quotes from the chapter that didn’t make it into the final version of American Cosmic) because it provides some additional context to Pasulka’s arguments, and because it serves as a reminder of the sociocultural and parapolitical nexus within which her work is embedded, and the lineage to which she openly belongs.
Pasulka keeps her primary sources anonymous and refers to them as “Tyler” (after Tyler Duren of Fight Club) and “James” (an associate of Pasulka’s). Tyler has since been identified as Timothy E. Taylor,[iv] who worked on the space shuttle program for NASA, wrote a book called Launch Fever, and went on to run several companies involved in “biophotonics . . . the application of lasers and light to biological tissues and cells to shift their contents and their information.”[v] Whether Taylor (or James) ever worked at SRI, or whether they belong to the same insider clique that Peter Levenda and Tom DeLonge recently claimed as their anonymous source for the 2016 Sekret Machines (an ongoing series), is something Pasulka doesn’t take the time to wonder. In fact, she makes no reference to this previous literary “disclosure” project at all, just as she dedicates no space to the shadowy history of SRI.[vi]
With apparent trepidation, Pasulka travels to New Mexico with James to meet Tyler. They are blindfolded and taken to a UFO crash site (not Roswell), where they find some left over fragments from seventy years ago. The experience is shrouded in mystery and intrigue and initially, Pasulka seems to keep her head about her, as when she mentions how Tyler’s powerful charisma puts her on her guard. But as the narrative proceeds, her reservations rapidly dissolve, until by the end, as she and Tyler travel to the Vatican to dig through ancient archives, she is comparing her insider scientist to Copernicus.
This is rather reminiscent of Kripal, in The Super Natural, describing Strieber as a prophet and placing him in the religious context of Moses and St. Paul. In American Cosmic, Pasulka appears to be intent on demythologizing, or at least on deconstructing the technology—literal and figurative—by which modern myths are generated. But apparently the myth of the lone visionary pitted against the ignorance of the world is one Pasulka is not interested in deconstructing. This might seem like a minor oversight, except that her book is about the generation of religions, and religions are generated around seemingly transcendental authority figures, representatives of the divine. In today’s technological society, such figures are perhaps most likely to take the form of scientists.
In the conclusion of the book, after one of the fragments she and James discovered in the New Mexican desert is analyzed, another anonymous research scientist tells her: “It could not have been made in this universe” (p. 240).
The Unusual Suspects
“The phenomenon is a meta-system, not a bunch of spacecraft. It adapts to its environment, like the cinema does. Think of the movie industry as a meta-system. We just need to find the projector.” —Jacques Vallee, quoted in excised chapter of American Cosmic
The first four chapters of American Cosmic are compelling and rich with insights. Of particular interest is how Pasulka lays the groundwork for her thesis by discussing (with reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey) how media technology interfaces with our consciousness and, by internally reconfiguring our perceptions, alters our relationship to reality.
I have made the case that belief in extraterrestrials and UFOs constitutes a new form of religion. Media and popular culture have successfully delivered a UFO mythos to audiences through television series, music and music videos, video games, cartoons, hoaxes, websites, and immersive and mixed reality environments. New research in digital-human interfaces reveals that it doesn’t matter what a person might consciously believe, as data delivered through the screens shoots straight into memory, which then constructs models of events (p. 216).
For Pasulka, UFOs represent “more than an ideology, a philosophy, or the social imaginary.”[vii] She compares the phenomenon to “a process of translation—the translation of an imagined technology into an operational and tangible reality” (ibid). Citing the German philosopher (and Nazi supporter) Martin Heidegger and his essay “The Question Concerning Technology,” she describes the UFO phenomenon as “about the processes of translation, the translation of imagined future technologies, into present, viable, technological realities” (ibid).
As a concrete example, she allows (along with the UK Census) that “Jediism” (Star Wars worship) either is now, or soon will be, a genuine religion:
Jediism exists within a milieu of beliefs and practices about extraterrestrials, galactic visitors, and UFOs that posits their realism, if not as contemporary reality, then as a future one. They are as real to some people as gods, Jesus, and the various Buddhas. . . Jediism [and UFO-based religions] incorporate the realism of historical religions and project it into the future (p. 136).
Her premise is that even fantastic fiction might eventually become the basis for a genuine religion (as distinct from a geek fanbase), if the elements that constitute it (ETs, spacecraft, the Force) become a tangible part of our reality at some point in the future. Nor does she dodge the maddening conundrum that, to an incalculable degree, such fictional elements might only be entering into consensual reality because more and more people are acting as if they were real, thereby creating the technology that reproduces effects first seen in fantasy.
In passing, it’s worth noting that Joseph Campbell, a primary inspiration for George Lucas when conceiving Star Wars, was also one of the authors of Changing Images of Man.
“These flying saucer cults are all quite insignificant, but one like them could well rise to prominence in a future decade. We need several really aggressive, attractive space religions, meeting the emotional needs of different segments of our population, driving traditional religions and retrograde cults from the field.” —William Sims Bainbridge, co-director of Cyber-Human Systems at the National Science Foundation, Senior Fellow of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
In the final chapters of the book, Pasulka shifts her focus from a meta-analysis of myth-generation to actual case studies, and finally to her own direct experience. Firstly, she discusses the overlaps between UFO data and Catholic history and culture, also explored in Vallee’s Invisible College. She emphasizes the subjective nature of these experiences. She compares the emergence of a UFO-religion with that of early Christianity, and acknowledges the element of the absurd as central to both. (Credo quia absurdum.) She speaks of “the logic of camouflage” and asks, “Could the UFO phenomenon be a mass koan, working on millions of people?” (p. 161).
She then covers some familiar ground by recounting the famous Fatima sightings of the Virgin Mary and the parallels to UFO encounters, after which she returns to 2001 and suggests that technology is becoming autonomous: “Media technologies inhabit human consciousness in ways that have been largely unacknowledged and in ways that are disturbingly autonomous” (172). She returns to Tyler and describes his belief that “the phenomenon is technological [and] interfaces with humans directly through biotechnical antennae—cellular functions and even human DNA” (179).
Tyler compares this with how “humans interface with God through the practice of worship and prayer with a mechanism called the Holy Spirit” (180-81). He compares the human body to a computer, with the prefrontal lobe as the RAM and the skeleton as the motherboard. “The mouse has already become our middle finger” (181). Pasulka takes up this metaphor and runs with it, comparing the internet to “the divine universe,” thereby equating God to a great information system.
In the next chapter (chapter seven, “The Human Receiver”), she brings in the case study of an “experiencer” (Rey Hernandez) who shifted his belief from atheist to agnostic via a series of encounters with UFO beings. Hernandez received a “download” of extraterrestrial information and a telepathic message that told him he had to inform humanity of their presence and seek help from others to do so. That help came in the form of Mary Rodwell (“a researcher who claims to have supported over three hundred thousand experiencers”), and Harvard professor of astrophysics Dr. Rudy Schild, who introduced Hernandez to Dr. Edgar Mitchell. Together they founded FREE, the Foundation for Research into Extraterrestrial Encounters.
Pasulka writes about Mitchell’s alleged experience as an Apollo astronaut of seeing the Earth from space, and how it seeded his 2001-like vision of a cosmic humanity (all of which I discuss in depth in Prisoner of Infinity). She describes a meeting with Mitchell and is “surprised to learn that, just like the other scientists I had interviewed, he had been involved with the Stanford Research Institute.” Like Tyler D., she writes, Mitchell “was part of the hidden and unofficial history of the American space program . . . who believed in extraterrestrial or nonhuman beings that interacted with humans with the goal of helping them achieve space travel and . . . peace on earth” (204-5).
She recounts her interview with Mitchell, describing his theory of telepathy, matter-as-energy-information, brain-synchronization, and attaining mystical states of ecstasy and oneness with existence. She describes him as a pioneer of consciousness and places him in
a lineage of esoteric cosmonauts and rocket scientists, such as Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, John (Jack) Parsons [a Crowleyite and self-proclaimed Antichrist], Tyler D., and many others—people whose ideas and beliefs appear to be on the fringe, and are. They may be on the fringe of our future (p. 209-10).
Into the Pyramid
“Thus, science has acted as a kind of validating filter through which events in the ‘real’ world had to pass before they could become accepted. However, in performing this function, science has often ended up rejecting as unreal or illusory many aspects of subjective experience of phenomena which cannot be explained by its own paradigms—psychic phenomena, UFOs, religious experiences—as well as some of the taboos listed earlier. In recent years, major institutions of science have begun to recognize that they can no longer refuse attention to aspects of human experience having high currency in society, and that to continually deny existence to widely experienced realities is to eventually destroy their own authority.” —Changing Images of Man
American Cosmic is brilliant and depressing in equal parts. It’s like watching a magician demonstrate in painstaking detail how she performed her tricks, then realizing it was all just part of the show, meant only to soften us up for the next level of deception.
For the final chapter, Pasulka provides the coup de grace, when she and Tyler take an unexpected trip to the Vatican, Rome. Pasulka explains that she was invited there to share her research on the question of the canonization of two saints. She decides to combine her trip with looking for any old documents in the archives relating to the search for extraterrestrial life, and invites Tyler to join her. It turns out that Tyler—who we have already seen can move through airport security and immigration like a spook through solid walls—has a reputation that carries weight even with the Vatican security, and via his influence they gain deeper access to the vaults.
At this point, the book becomes full-on narrative nonfiction a la Whitley Strieber, by way of Dan Brown. (In passing, the Vatican was also the location for a turning point in Strieber’s abduction narrative, in 1968; see Communion and/or Prisoner of Infinity.) Yet rather than being a detective story, American Cosmic turns into an inspirational, as Tyler is so moved by his brief interaction with Catholic priests and nuns, and their selfless dedication to God, that he undergoes a full-blown conversion experience.
Tyler’s conversion experience is the capstone of the book. Perhaps I am hopelessly jaded by over-exposure to cynically created fantasy narratives around this subject, but to me it felt like being closed off inside an ancient pyramid. In the lead-in to her account, Pasulka writes:
the perceived contact with a nonhuman intelligent, divine being is simultaneously imagined and real. I am not making an ontological claim, that extraterrestrials are real in the sense that couches are real, although they could be. I am arguing that perceived contact has very real effects with powerful social implications (p. 216).
This may be a form of unconscious hedging on her part. At the very least, she is making an explicit ontological claim, via her choice of adjectives, that, whatever their status, “extraterrestrials” correspond with divine intelligence. This may be a quantum leap of faith unto itself, and it is surely no mere coincidence that Pasulka—herself a Catholic—ends her search for extraterrestrial life inside the Vatican, with a tale of the miraculous. By its finale, American Cosmic seems to be no more nor less than a delivery device for this “catholic” message.
It is hard to say at what precise point this happens, because the line between speculation and belief is often invisible, even to the subject. But it became steadily more apparent to me that Pasulka had taken the postmodern, quantum leap from arguing that technology, narratives, media, and belief influence how we perceive reality, to the New Age notion that this is how we generate reality. At no point does she raise the question of whether all realities are created equal, or of how a reality generated by belief, persuasion, media technology, Hollywood entertainment, and sophisticated forms of perception management is anything but an elaborate deception—hence not reality at all. Like her colleague Jeffrey Kripal, only with considerably more skill, Pasulka plays to both sides of the auditorium, the skeptics and the believers, including religious believers.
According to her account, sustained exposure to the UFO primed Tyler, the hard-nosed esoteric cosmonaut, for a more conventional encounter with the divine. Via his epiphany, we are led to understand, Tyler D. reaches a deeper and more devout understanding of the UFO mystery he has been researching. His “understanding of the ‘beings’ was being transformed by his experiences (p. 237). In interview, Pasulka described Tyler’s transformed view that the ETs are “below God but above humans.”[viii] It’s a view that seems remarkably in accord with the Vatican’s own official position on ETs—that they exist and are part of God’s creation—as has emerged over the past few years.[ix]
After describing this remarkable turn of events, Pasulka emphasizes what constitutes a true religion: “One cannot put an angel under a microscope,” she says. One wonders why not, if they are ETs. Isn’t that partly what her book—via people like Mitchell and Tyler—is proposing: a materialistic basis for the divine? She continues: “It is this aspect, the mysterious sacred, that distinguishes religion from other organized practices like sports or fandoms. In religion, one finds the inexplicable, sacred event, or a mysterious artifact.”
So much for Jediism then. Why the apparent backpedaling? At this stage of her discourse, Pasulka is presenting a “legitimate” religious experience, and she may want to avoid any suggestion that Tyler’s conversion could be an overly subjective event—or in any way comparable to a kind of internally generated movie. Somehow, she argues, Tyler’s belief has generated his experience, and, in a kind of cosmic rapport, experience has validated his belief. We scratch God’s itch and He’ll scratch ours.
Pasulka wants to make science compatible with religion via a mix of quantum indeterminacy, postmodernism, Buddhism, and New Age spirituality, but she may be too divided in herself for building such a heavenly ladder.
For a Catholic, the idea that God needs our belief to act is nothing less than heresy.
Continued in Part Two, “Pawns of Disinformation“
[iii] See Ty Brown’s “10,000 Heroes—SRI and the Manufacturing of the New Age.” See also: https://isgp-studies.com/bio-of-jacques-vallee
[iv] https://www.reddit.com/r/ufo/comments/arp0q0/tylers_identity_has_been_found/ His name is listed next to Pasulka’s in the Vatican 2017 annual: http://www.vaticanobservatory.va/content/dam/specolavaticana/documenti/Download_AR2017/AR2017.pdf
[v] Diana Pasulka, “The Spectrum of Human Techno- Hybridity: The Total Recall Effect,” https://www.academia.edu/34657518/The_Spectrum_of_Human_Techno-_Hybrid_The_Total_Recall_Effect
[vi] There is another recent book that claims to be based on insider sources, Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base, by Annie Jacobsen. Jacobsen claims that the “alien bodies” found in the Roswell crashed disk were surgically altered humans as part of an elaborate War of the Worlds black propaganda campaign by Stalin to prove to the US military that the Russians not only had better technology but a better propaganda department also. The fact that Jacobsen’s book, despite being released in 2012, is currently at the no. 1 position of UFO best sellers on Amazon Canada, suggests that the UFO narrative is anything but nailed down. The author sums up the book to Joe Rogen, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP_BFT-UPEc
[viii] Expanding Mind – “American Cosmic, Part 2,” Jan 2019. https://expandingmind.podbean.com/e/expanding-mind-%E2%80%93-american-cosmic-part-2/
20 thoughts on “When Wonder Occludes Objectivity: American Cosmic Unveils the Temple of Techno-Religion (1 of 2)”
This book has been on my list to read. It’s a long list and my reading time is short. Thanks for helping to make my list one book shorter now. Seems everything is disinfo now or some form of propaganda for one faction or another. I’m going back outside into the real world….
My perception of this world is a ring of blogger podcasters with G White at the hub who promote this books theme. And it’s fitting that White is promoting Catholicism along with UFO phenomena. It’s like there’s a timeline of unveiling the propaganda (if that’s what it is, we may just be paranoid) … Steiner, White’s endeavours, Kriple’s work, then this book…
There’s paranoia and then there’s critical thinking; I don’t think it’s a symptom of an overly suspicious mind to ask for, and apply, a level of analytical rigor that’s equal to the outlandishness of the claims. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, not just extraordinary testimonials.
I didnt know GW was promoting Catholicism. How does that square with his occultism??
Before I stopped listening to Rune Soup, one of his last monologues I caught, he views the apostles as magicians and the Acts of the Apostles as a book on magic.
When I listened to her podcast with Erik Davis, I was equal parts fascinated and skeptical. I meant to ask if you’d heard it, because the old dynamic duo Kripal and Streiber were mentioned.
Naturally though you came upon it yourself, and, as expected, expertly deconstructed the meta narrative here. Some of the best writing I’ve read in a long time. Thanks once again for pulling back the curtain.
Looking forward to Part Deux…
For a scientist to proclaim that a novel material “could not have been made in this universe” is utterly fatuous, and for the author to report it uncritically is equally so. It is the sort of thing that is only meaningful in fiction because it is gestural.
The most puzzling part is that they get away with it. Uncontested by Academia. Or Hackademia.
Brilliant work, Jasun. Thank you. When you write, “At no point does (Pasulka) raise the question of whether all realities are created equal, or of how a reality generated by belief, persuasion, media technology, Hollywood entertainment, and sophisticated forms of perception management is anything but an elaborate deception—hence not reality at all,” you eloquently express my own thinking. By the way: How did you lay hands on Pasulka material that didn’t make it into the finished project?
sorry Michael, i missed this question; it’s linked at her site.
Thanks for the link to that particular interview with Annie Jacobsen, she is a lot clearer about the circumstances surrounding her claims about the Roswell crash than in other interviews I’ve seen.
Her major point is not so much “What happened at Roswell?” as it is her contention that the
US military was doing human experimentation at Area 51, that both these claims came together from the same source, who said that he himself had participated in doing the experimentation. That makes that first-person part of the claim seem more credible to me.
Additionally we have so many proven examples of abusive human experimentation in the US and elsewhere from Tuskegee, to the Fernald radiation experiments on orphans, there’s not reason to believe these kinds of experimentation would not be carried out in the US, nor in Russia where Stalin was famed for his cruelty.
I am not very familiar with the body of investigation concerning the Roswell incident; I don’t know whether there is any strong evidence contradicting Jacobsen’s claim.
Sorry, its late here, and I can’t say anything about the more subtle issues concerning Pasulka,
but for me there seems and endless array of false notes struck by her writing.
A friend first mentioned her to me several months ago, and usually I would let something like this go, but I intuitively felt it was important to object to …following her. I also said the same about Whitley Strieber, and its not the themes I object to– I mean I am not having a knee-jerk reaction of denial of UFOs or psychic phenomena or covert action, all topics I am familiar with, and the second of which I have strong personal experience with.
A deceased but contemporary American spiritual teacher I am comfortable with, Peace Pilgrim had the following difficult standard–“If someone has the truth, they won’t be selling it.”
The Bainbridge quote desiring the formation of good new major UFO cults I, as an American, found very disturbing coming from a government official. Our constitution prohibits government establishment of a religion, although talking about the Constitution is …
sort of fantasy nostalgia at this point. Still it gives us a measuring stick of fair or foul behavior as far as the government is concerned, and establishing UFO cults would definitely merit a “foul” ranking.
Apparently they used Taiwan as a base of operations. That is, to torture children and adults in the name of science and ‘national security’.
Thanks Jim. Can you recommend any online sources of information on this?
The picture of the woman in the red dress connected to the golden flying saucers is lovely.
Greg Taylor of the Daily Grail gave your review a shout-out in his News Briefs
Then today he published his own review of Diana’s book with a conspiratorial caveat similar to yours:
My impression was that Pasulka came across very much as the ‘anthropologist gone native’ – and it must be said, there’s some argument for doing that when investigating the paranormal – to the point of her almost ‘selling’ a belief in UFOs, in a book about how UFOs might become a belief system.
So much so, that when she noted that she researched “the ways in which virtual and digital media were being used for political purposes under the auspices of information operations” and that “all of these media have played major roles in the creation of global belief in UFOs and extraterrestrials”, I wondered whether American Cosmic might be part of just such an operation.
I used that metaphor of going native in part two of my piece, oddly enough.
Another great read, thanks, Jasun.
However, and touching on just a small portion of your piece, of course, I for one can’t buy into the whole UFO/aliens thing. I think it’s especially interesting given the surge of ‘outer space’/alien stuff on mass media, this year in particular (including a new, f**k off documentary on the moon ‘missions’) — could this be in response to growing skepticism about the possibility of space ‘travel’ and the preposterous ‘flat Earth’ arguments?
Now, I don’t think the Earth is flat, but I do think that we are not evolved chimpanzees on a ball of rock hurtling through space at whatever thousand miles per hour: the answer/resolution to that puzzle remains one of the deepest mysteries and challenges we face collectively as a species. I’m convinced that we live in a closed off ‘Realm’ of some sort– Thor, the movie, among many others, I have been told, directed puzzlingly enough by high-initiate Brother Branagh, may provide a clue, or two, dressed up in nonsense, of course, as are all the great Truths of our time.
I sail– a lot– mostly old-fashioned sloops off Eastern Ireland and the Isle of Man, and am fortunate enough that I can indulge my passion pretty much full-time. And one thing is for sure: some of those flat-earther arguments hold water, so to speak. For example, stuff hull down over the ‘horizon’ comes back into full focus– hull up– through a powerful lens (wheres the curvature?); the North Star– essential for navigation– shifts its position not one iota, ever; and those ever mysterious ‘sun-spots’ (less than a mile across, usually) on open water, when one calculates the angles with a bit of basis trigonometry, reveal the sun to be no more than a few hundred miles in altitude. Weird, or what? Parallel rays from a body thousands of times bigger than Earth should be just that– parallel. Refraction? Diffraction, even? Through the atmosphere? Yeah, right.
I’m caught somewhere in the middle, pulled between years of educational indoctrination and the really weird stuff that happens on open water as any sailor will confirm. But I do know that the whole UFO/Roswell spiel, ad infinitum, is a joke– and have been told as much by some acquaintances who know more about this stuff than I ever will– ‘guys from the deepest holes of spookdom’ is a term writer Jack Heart has used.
(Check him out for an interesting take on where we are, cosmologically speaking; cosmogenically, even? Die Glocke; Von Neumann; Wave Physics in opposition to the particle nonsense; it’s all there; but was buried decades ago after those of us fortunate enough to have broken through into parallel dimensions revealed Einsteinian physics for the big smelly turd that it was, and still is. But hey, that’s another story.)
But one thing is for sure: powerful, organised and sick minds are playing the masses like a fiddle, you for one can help them/us see through the murk, Jausn– looking forward to more tales from Skid-Row, Hope, Alberta, some time soon. Those stories resonate– and how close we all are, really, to hitting rock-bottom if we are honest with ourselves, and our limited abilities…
….As it happens, was stopped by a fine Mountie on the interstate (not on a horse, though, this one was in a scorching fast Dodge Charger and I was travelling just a little too fast in my sup’ed-up hire-car for his liking!) last Summer just outside Hope on the way to Edmonton, from Vancouver via Banff. Got away with a stern ticking off and a 200 dollar fine thanks to light traffic and good visibility– and a warning for me never to be seen on his highway again!! Still managed that drive in 18 hours, though– thanks to Tim Horton.
After speaking with you in person earlier today my curiosity was peaked once again, and am now glad to have taken the time to read this latest piece of work. Very enlightening. Thought provoking as well, as always. I am and have for a long time been interested in this area of thought. Science as religion, techno religion, ET religion. None are far fetched in the least. Area 51 gives me shivers as does The Antarctic. The treaty is stupefying. My belief concerning ET is that they are a product of gene splitting experimentation which has been ongoing since the 30’s. Admiral Byrd let the cat out of the bag, so to speak when he was interviews on television in the fifties. Fascinating stuff.
Thank you Jasun
Concerning Thaumiel and Social Engineering: Among the speculations of Islamic theology which were incorporated into Qabalistic thought was the idea that Lucifer’s fall was not from pride in the sense that it has been commonly portrayed.
According to this view, Lucifer’s pride lay in his refusal to accept Creation as Good. That he affirmed, against God’s command, that spirit and flesh should never be joined.
This original rebellion is given a two-fold expression in the sphere of Thaumiel. Wherein one principle zealously pursues the radical splitting off of spirit from flesh via unyielding asceticism and vilification of the body. While the other aspect of this sphere makes known its contempt for Creation by an excessive and monstrous indulgence in the flesh.
It is observed how these two poles feed back into each other. Both, in their own way, making the statement that God’s grand Creation is little more than either a bad joke, or a perverse and delusional exercise in dictatorial power.
It is easy enough to see how this aligns with human psychology. We have ample examples of this kind of love/hate dynamic. For instance, the sexual trauma victim who alternates between obdurate sexual avoidance and debauched indulgence.
What has not been stated about this dynamic, however, is how such a anathema (making Lucifer’s primary sin that of seeing that God’s creation as fatally flawed), relates to the agenda of social engineering.
Consider that this view of Lucifer and the sphere of Thaumiel is cast against he backdrop of three religious paradigms that are adamantly set on the idea of One God, One Purpose, and One Destiny. That for Jews and Muslims (and, by relation to the Judaic, Christians as well), the ultimate goal of the societies they envisioned was the eventual rule of this One God over the whole of the world. This would naturally have its social and political expression. If God’s Kingdom were to be made manifest, there could be no dissent from the masses that any aspect of the doctrine was not valid or true.
Now, the rebellion that I am dealing with here is not that of thinking that the pagan/pre-monotheist view of the cosmos was inherently better, more liberated, etc. I am not talking about that kind of rebellion. Rather, I am talking about the rebellion of the pessimist. The rebellion of the mind. Of the critical, self-aware person who simply looks at existence and can see that any effusions about a Perfect State (whether manifest now or to be manifested in the future eschaton), are wholly untrue.
If we follow the idea that all religions of any significance are always (consciously or not) involved in re-engineering their host societies to bring them into alignment with the religion’s doctrines, then it is possible that Lucifer exists as a figure of rebellion in a context not normally seen.
Not as a self-appointed Supreme Ruler in the making; not as an usurper of God’s Rightful Authority. Perhaps, not even as a figure of great power and scope.
But, as the mind that will not close its eyes. That will not settle back into any comfortable, hopeful doctrine.
Understand, that in my view, this Lucifer is not a conqueror. He is, in fact, more than a little wretched. In that he knows that what he sees is true; but he also knows that his resistance is doomed. Because what he questions are not merely the specific elements of right and wrong, the particulars of the given religions (Judaic, Muslim, Christian.) What he questions is not only the value of Creation. But, also, the sanity of his own Creator.
I know full well how Satanists spin this. They make it the staging point for the Promethean venture of self-created values. To be sure, this is a course that this awareness can drive you toward.
But, for me, Lucifer’s insight cannot support this, anymore than it can support the idea of a perfect or redeemable creation.
Lucifer then, not as a conqueror; not as a waiting King To Be. But, merely as the final scapegoat. The dissident who knows that his dissent is factually justified. But, who also knows that, in the end, Authority and Power will have the final say.
I regard as entirely farcical the assertion by Satanists and Luciferians that their rebellion is a rebellion of freedom. I even deny that their rebellion is, necessarily, in true opposition to God and His Design.
According to the monotheistic view, all that is, is God’s creation. There is nothing that does not come from this source. So, when the Satanist makes his noises about how he is leading people to freedom, leading them to this in defiance of God, then he is either knowingly unknowingly lying.
If a Satanic conspiracy were to attain absolute power over the whole world, then that Rebel Angel would now be God. Give it a few millennia, and people would not even recall that Lucifer/Satan (the ‘New God’) was ever a figure of rebellion. Because he would now be He; he would rule. And rulership always unfolds along the same lines.
To me, a ready parallel in the historical world was the myth built around the figure of Constantine the Great. For centuries after his reign, persons wrote of the miracle of old Roman world being yoked to this supposed new ethic.
But, a close analysis of Constantine’s reign, and that of his inheritors, shows that nothing really changed. Emperors went on conquering, warring, scheming, killing.
Much the same would happen if there ever was an overt rule of Satanists in the world. Their New God, would become the God.
And, to quote an obscure source: “The Big Machine would just move on.”
But, Lucifer is not the best symbol to use for what I am aiming at.
Blake’s work, with its variant permutations of the divine and the infernal is a better staging ground.
Ever since I became familiar with Blake (back in my quasi-Thelemite days), I was most fascinated by one of his most obscure characters; Theotormon.
I think it fair to say that anyone who delves into Blake’s work will see what they need to see. So, I preface this by stating that my interpretation of the character is no more definitive than any other.
But, for me, Theotormon came to embody the dynamics of Conscience itself. Not Conscience in the exclusively Christian, or even moral sense. But, closer to what Heidegger indicated in “Being and Time”. Which is to say, a certain state of questioning awareness.
Some scholars, pondering the name, have suggested it is a compound of words that indicate that Theotormon is the embodied Fear of God. Which has a certain resonance when you consider the context in which the character appears.
“At entrance Theotormon sits, wearing the threshold hard with secret tears…” In this context Theotormon is witnessing the enforced symbiosis (via rape) between Bromion and Oothoon. Most have seen this whole scene as a comment on the dynamics of patriarchal, sex-guilt, and the need for sexual freedom. Well, it works well enough on that level.
But, in recent years, scholars have delved deeper and questioned the original interpretation. Was Oothoon truly raped? Was her union with Bromion really against her will?
Theotormon seems to ask these questions… and finds no satisfactory answers.
To me, another character that has been credited in the creation of Blake’s threshold dweller is that of Hamlet. And, to me this is a much more interesting thread to take up.
The essence of Hamlet is the destructive power of truth. In the beginning Hamlet has only suspicions. And, a feeling of the impropriety of his mother and uncle’s actions.
The Ghost gives him truth. The truth of betrayal. And, that one insight, gained against ‘natural law’, escalates into other revelations. One following quickly upon the other. Until, by the final act of the play, it is not merely vengeance against Claudius that Hamlet pursues. But, vengeance against life itself; against Creation.
To me, what passed through Theotormon’s mind, as he sat at the threshold, were not merely questions about Oothoon and her desires. But, other questions arising from those questions.
Theotormon, it should be noted, is an essentially helpless figure. Despite his conjuring of tempests and waves to castigate Bromion and Oothoon, he can make no break from the Questions that haunt him.
This is a much better description of the state I was aiming at. Because, Theotormon does not question from malice; but from a genuine need to know.