Aliens, UFOs and Abnormal Psychology.

Dismissing myself as crazy has been my convenient go-to, a default triggered when my strange experiences and their apparent implications become too overwhelming. When this surreal aspect of my life comes to face the giggle factor, meets the laughter curtain and exceeds my boggle threshold, the barrier beyond which I am no longer able to suspend disbelief, I endure a sort of nausea of the mind so intense that I, for a time, submit to it. Declaring myself crazy by no means makes me feel better — to the contrary, I always feel worse — but condemning myself in this fashion requires less energy than continuing my efforts to actually understand my experiences. The issue is that once I get beyond the emotional devastation of labeling myself crazy and subject this self-diagnosis to analysis I ultimately come to realize it really doesn’t constitute a diagnosis at all. “Crazy” is just a buzzword, dismissive in spirit and entirely devoid of true explanation.

So early on, back in high school, I found myself trying to identify a more specific self-diagnosis by reading through books on psychology, even an Abnormal Psychology college textbook I got from a friend. I didn’t know whether to be relieved or terrified when I found that no single condition I read about seemed to cover the crazy shit that I had been experiencing. No umbrella terms appeared to be available. When I began seeing a psychologist shortly thereafter, and one that I had quickly developed a respect for, I explained how I had tried diagnosing myself and failed, as no disorder seemed to encompass it all. In my memory, he retorted, stating that I was wrong, and when I pressed him he fumbled and mentioned schizophrenia. The fact that he immediately seemed to backpedal when he saw my reaction only made my terror increase. The moment hung with me and I fell back on it when the weirdness weighed me down. At one point I remember finding a page on the net that described traits of the schizophrenic and the schizoid personality that seemed to fit me perfectly.  I scotch taped it to my bedroom door.

In 2002, when I came back to him after an intense cluster of experiences and casually acknowledged in our session that I was fully aware that I was schizophrenic, he immediately asked me, with a skeptical look on his face, who it was that had given me that diagnosis. When I stated that it had been him, he was emphatic that this could not have been the case. After explaining to me that the term schizophrenia was essentially a dumping ground for what may turn out to be various disorders, he took on this proposed diagnosis directly.

“If you’re a schizophrenic,” he told me, “you’re certainly a highly-functioning one.”

I found the notion that I, a twenty-something living at home yet again and working fast food, could be described as “highly functioning” by any measure to be ludicrous, but he was, after all, the goddamned professional. Though he predicted that I had particular abnormalities in certain regions of my brain and called my experiences “perceptual anomalies,” he never gave me a diagnosis.

For a time, specifically after reading Dr. Marlene Steinberg’s book, The Stranger in the Mirror: Dissociation — The Hidden Epidemic, I also explored the notion that I might suffer from a dissociative disorder, perhaps even Dissociative Identity Disorder. Without doubt I experience what has been labeled dissociative symptoms. In addition, my memories and experiences may in part be due to some alternate personality or “alter” and there appears to be evidence of its beginnings in my childhood. My initial rush of memories and the flashbacks that followed might represent a previously compartmentalized sector of my mind, one belonging to this alter, colliding with my conscious personality and merging. My experience with the ideomotor response in my use of the Ouija board, in my spontaneous artwork and writing, as well as during the hypnosis session, all may have represented the alter gaining slow and localized control over my body. The entity I encountered during my “astral projections” might be one manifestation of an alternate personality or alter as well — perhaps after sharing previously isolated memories the separate aspects of mind we have governed over blended further, giving rise to shared lucid dreams I took to be “astral projections.” Maybe the incidents between June and August of 1995, climaxing in the incident at the java juicer, represented transient periods where the alter took control of my body entirely.  

The issue is that this degree of dissociation is typically associated with intense physical and psychological trauma. On the surface, at least, this presents itself to me as an utterly insane proposition. As I imagine is the case with anyone, I have my share of complaints and grievances with respect to how I grew up. My mother favored my sisters over me and I had endless power-struggles with her over the course of my childhood. It hurt and enraged me, and I continue in my attempts to deal with those issues. Even so, I recognize that I was one lucky little asshole. My parents never physically abused us kids. I was certainly never sexually abused. Our harshest punishments as children, which I faced often enough, involved either staring at a corner for a length of time measured by my mother’s oven timer or being under “room arrest,” confined to my bedroom until further notice. Without doubt this nonviolent discipline is what made the abuse I witnessed at Jimmy’s house all the more traumatizing — and indeed, that was all certainly traumatizing from the position of a witness as well, but that it might provide the fuel for alien encounters seemed far more ludicrous to me than the thought that, well, I might have legitimately had alien encounters.

It isn’t just trauma and mental disorders that can allegedly produce these alien encounters, however. People have linked alien abduction experiences with various drugs such as Salvia Divinorum, Ketamine, and psilocybin, but most often DMT. All are classified as psychedelics, I believe, aside from ketamine, which is a dissociative, but unless you’re willing to concede that each of these chemicals constitute different rabbit holes leading to the same parallel universe, all are psychedelic in the true sense of the term, which is to say that they are “mind-revealing.” In other words, these drugs draw back the egoic curtain and let you take a peek beyond the veil of mundane consciousness, bringing you can deal more directly with the more subliminal aspects of the mind — just as psychosis can.

Some believe sleep paralysis alone can produce the abduction experience, which I find ridiculous for several reasons. Even among the popularized abduction cases one can see that bedrooms are not the only place encounters occur and that often enough the people involved are not asleep at the time of the event. They might be fishing or driving, for instance, and be among others who are taken along with them. In addition, I have had sleep paralysis myself and the earliest such experience is the succubus experience mentioned early in the book. Even at the time of the experience I did not interpret it as an alien breaking into my dark room, crawling atop my bed, straddling my immobilized body and proceeding to dry-hump rape me. Instead, I assumed it was a disembodied entity doing something analogous or — more likely, I supposed — this was all a hallucinatory experience brought on by one-part sleep deprivation and one-part prescription medication.

So I have explored the Psychological Hypothesis (PH), which alleges that while it may require activation through trauma, drugs, mental disorders or the peculiar circumstance in which your mind wakes up before your body does, the abduction experience is purely a product of human psychology. There is no external intelligence at work here, only my own. It’s all in my head. A related school of thought I explored posits what I’ll call the Psi Hypothesis (PsiH), and it attempts to compensate for the failure of the PH to account for physical evidence by bringing parapsychology into the fold — specifically, the psi capabilities of the human mind.

My train of thought ultimately ran along this track: if one finds the PH absurd and instead accepts abductions as nuts-and-bolts physical experiences, these physical experiences require you to accept the existence of paranormal phenomena. It is simply a given. After all, a cursory glance at abduction reports should make it clear that telepathy and moving through walls, for instance, is by no means rare in abduction events. To the contrary, paranormal phenomena is pretty fucking standard — and not just during these events, either, but in the wake of them. There is the matter of the “paranormal afterglow” that manifests in my life during these experiences, and while some investigators fail to mention them, personal reports from abductees reveal that I am by no means alone. Others also experience spontaneous telepathic experiences, poltergeist activity, vivid dreams that seem like awakening in a parallel reality, odd coincidences and other strange events.

As this paranormal afterglow runs the full spectrum of psi, stretches on indiscriminately into the gamut of the strange, it seems natural to wonder if the aliens themselves, rather than extraterrestrials, might just be another manifestation. In other words, it could very well still be that the phenomenon is purely psychological at the roots, that it is governed by compartmentalized aspects of my mind that influence me subliminally, that this is truly my conspiracy against myself. Maybe it also branched out into physicality utilizing psi abilities, however: powers which for whatever convenient reason I cannot wield consciously.
This would by necessity be a form of poltergeist. In this view, the phenomenon of poltergeists is explained as a living individual who is experiencing recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis; the psychokinetic activity is the result of subconscious and involuntary acting-out of the focus individual.

For a clearer picture of how this might work we might first turn to a series of parapsychological experiments that have been conducted since 1972. These experiments sought to demonstrate that the display of psi phenomena often attributed to deceased individuals could manifest without them, and so such phenomena were not necessarily evidence for life after death. In the beginning, which in this case was 1972, there was Philip Aylesford, the child of eight members of the Toronto Society for Psychical Research. He was a fictional character they developed with an elaborate backstory regarding his birth, life, and eventual death. They collectively meditated on him before attempting to communicate with him in the style of a Spiritualist seance. Participants reported not only communications but manifestations — they not only saw and heard things, in other words, but poltergeist phenomena also manifested. Other groups conducted similar experiments, reporting that they had successfully created and then conjured Lilith, a World War II French Canadian spy, Sebastian, an alchemist from medieval times and finally Axel, who was from the future.

As expected, results of these experiments were disputed — as were the tales regarding the more extreme manifestation of what has typically been called the tulpa in Western culture and which is also variously known as an egregore or a thought-form. It is often conceived as an imaginary entity that achieves, through ritual intent of its creator, a physical manifestation — according to some, an intentional and advanced rendition of your typical poltergeist.

Though the notion is reasonably dispersed across the collective consciousness at this point, methinks, the only alleged personal account I have come across is the one told by Alexandra David-Neel. In her journey through Tibet, she became interested in tulpas. Having elected to make one herself, she decided on a friendly, pudgy monk, and was eventually able to visualize him as a hallucination in her visual field. Over time the hallucination gained clarity, and eventually she found it indistinguishable from a living, breathing, physical being.

The frightening aspect of her little experiment soon became apparent, however, when the monk began appearing when she hadn’t conjured it, and then began behaving in ways it had not been programmed by her to behave. The monk also seemed to be losing weight and had taken on a distinctly malicious appearance. Nothing was as shocking, however, as when an individual she knew, who knew nothing of her practices, began questioning her about the stranger that had been meandering about in her tent. She reports that it took half a year, but she was eventually able to abolish the creature through other Tibetan techniques.

Though in both of these cases the entities were intentionally generated, in both cases they reportedly also exceed their programming and seemed to take on a life of their own, independent of the conscious aspect of the mind: essentially, a spiritual form of artificial intelligence. It also fits the profile of a dissociative identity state, an alternate personality. They are essentially intentionally-generated alters that can manifest physically.

An interesting aspect of the Philip experiment was that none of the eight involved were gifted psychically. Nonetheless, they were apparently capable of creating and programming a spiritual entity that could communicate in a way that was consistent with that personality and, most important and amazing of all, producing psychokinetic effects. David-Neel seemed to be at least moderately gifted psychically and have some degree of discipline as well; despite being a lone individual, she was able to produce a creature that could be seen by her and others. The entity was also able to become independent of its creators, functioning autonomously. Naturally, this might lead one to wonder what kind of effects a large group of psychically-gifted individuals might be capable of producing.

All the people I know that have had experiences similar to mine seem to have no knowledge of the UFO or abduction phenomenon beyond the superficial reports that the media regurgitates every now and then. Despite this, correlations between our narratives are plentiful right down to unanticipated details. From the way one friend described the shadows of the beings from outside her tent during a formative experience while camping as a child to the way another friend described the manner in which one of the creatures in his encounter ran, there are correlations even in the details littering our experience that I cannot in good conscience deny. This extends to many of those of whom I have read and read about in blogs, articles and books and seen through interviews and documentaries. Could the answer really be that our collective unconscious is conspiring against us, utilizing telepathy to share a narrative and RSPK to bring that narrative to life?

Despite finding the concepts of both the PH and PsiH fascinating, I have, in the end, always choked in my attempts to swallow. Those who have posited that poltergeist activity is the unconscious product of an individual note the similarities in individuals around which the alleged recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis (RSPK) manifests. In cases of alien abduction, on the other hand, it is clear that these experiences are shared by people from all walks of life, people all across the spectrum — racial, religious, cultural, class, education — as well as people of wildly different constitutions who react to these shared experiences in very individual ways. This sounds less like a psychological disorder — with or without psi effects — and more like an actual, nuts-and-bolts experience.

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To Mentally Maim.

So again,
they descend
upon the zoo,

pluck out
their pet projects,
examine, test
and tweak
from mind to skin.

All those questions,
all those nightmares,
every hope and fear
attacks

me viciously
like shot arrows, alive,
hungry for me.

Expected this.
No surprise.
Better fucking luck next time.

Go ahead,
insist it was all a dream,
wipe the subjects’ minds clean.
Now just give them space
to feel it out,

explore their black-and-white
options: to dissociate
or embrace…

Subliminal influence
will keep you in line.

Train your brain,
follow your heart
and in time
we shall meet
again, predictably
in this very same place.

Chapter ends.
It moves
on, be patient…

Despite those ever-cautious
expectations
of yours, even in the light
of your diverse and rich disillusion,
your cautious nature
clearly now called
into question, answers
will trickle in, bleed,
leak like a sieve,

stain you,
mentally maim you,

a virus that replicates,
breeds like bunnies,
evolves a cultural bowel movement
into a goddamned revolution.

Our keynote flood.

Alien Inside II.

“All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher.”
— Ambrose Bierce.

On more than one occasion George Carlin has said that when you are born on earth, you are given a ticket to the freak show, and when you are born in America you get a front row seat. Even better, some of us, he said, get to watch and take notes. Those taking notes would be those like himself, he has suggested — those who have removed themselves from the equation and can have the best chance at cultivating an objective perspective, a sense of being on the outside looking in; of being in the world, though not of it. A sort of third person perspective in which you can look at humanity and its affairs on the earth as a detached observer — with a witnessing consciousness. Alongside the overwhelming feeling that I belong nowhere, I find myself in that sort of witnessing perspective quite often — thinking to myself, “not my circus, not my monkeys” and applying it to the earth and humanity as a whole — and perhaps that is behind the alien theme. Maybe this witnessing aspect of my consciousness has an autonomous nature when I am not one with it and it manifests as an alien because it serves as an effective metaphor.

Maybe it persists as an autonomous aspect of my psyche because I have failed to integrate all its associated qualities — not just detached observation but equanimity, for instance. The memories of that dead, desert planet and the playtime I engaged in as a kid: perhaps that helped flesh out the metaphor, give it a fitting backstory. The memories of that lifetime? False memories. The subsequent lifetimes of the Priest and Sam? Metaphors of my apparently futile struggle to connect, to find my place, to procure some meaning out of life.

Why in my “astral projection” or lucid dream experiences did this personality manifest as a human child with alien qualities? Perhaps the two human past lives between the alien and I represent that Witnessing consciousness having humanized to some degree, integrated into my personality in some respects. Also consider the child is a symbol we frequently default to when speaking about a sense of virginity to experience — the kind a Witnessing presence can offer. Open, curious, ever in a state of flow, though possessing great wisdom. A child of this caliber would qualify as the divine child with divinity often associated with the heavens and the notion of extraterrestrials serving as the modernized equivalent. So the potential sources of the alien qualities of foreign bigger-picture perspective, fetal form and point of origin are clear to see.

Perhaps this is all a product of my utter insanity.

Lost in Dreams.

On March 16, as I sit down in the front seat of my car to go to work, I receive a flash from what had to have been a dream. I remember driving at night, looking anxiously at the dashboard as its lights went out.

When I awoke the following day, I recalled looking into the backpack I still carry around despite being 36 years of age and out of school, looking to see how many packs of cigarettes I had left. It turned out I had more than I had anticipated, which amounts to perhaps four packs of Marlboro Blacks. What should have been, to me, the clear giveaway: I have never bought a pack of Marlboro Blacks. Nor would I carry around my notebooks and books by hand along with the box of dried mash potato mix I have in my kitchen cabinet, though that crisp and colorful image also came into my head.

This is how my dream recall has gone as of late. Tiny glimpses. Often memories crop up when I awaken and I can write them down type them out before they fade, but just as often it is something in the midst of the day that triggers a creeping memory of a dream. Typically its just a fragment divorced from whatever narrative it was originally a part of. When these memories last for even the shortest duration, though, I still find evidence of my omnipresent mindlessness. All were moments in which there was clear suggestion that it was a dream and yet I passively accepted it, unquestionably accepted the circumstances I was in despite their clear absurdity, mindlessly allowing myself to be seized and absorbed by my own illusions. I was still just sleeping through my dreams. Sleeping a third of my life away, so they say — though perhaps not so much given the consistent periods of insomnia.

There have been a few “dream teases,” as I prefer to call them. A lot like the Ohio weather: promises of waking life and warm weather destroyed by perpetual and unreasonable periods of frosty, frigid deathlike sleep.

In early April, I found that my car’s brake line was leaking, and given that I had no money until my paycheck at the end of the week, I turned to Elizabeth and Jacky, two friends of mine at work, for rides until I could get the damn thing fixed. They were generous enough to help me, but this required getting up early on some days because their shifts did not always synchronize with my own. One one particular afternoon, April 7th, I got permission from Jacky to hide in her car until my shift started, as I had hours to kill with empty pockets in a town I loathe. In there, I wrote on my iPhone, read a little, and eventually found that I was so sleep deprived that taking a nap was even possible. At some point during my nap I half-awoke to the sound of my boss’s voice nearby the car, hiding the bowl full of weed beside me under my arm, and eventually hiding it in the crack between the passenger seat and the door. Only when I fully awoke later did I realize that the boss was not here today and there was no way I would be smoking pot in Jacky’s car. However dazed I was during the experience, what I had had was a false awakening.

It had been some time since that had happened to me. However much it was frustrating that I only realized its nature in retrospect, I found the false awakening hopeful. For the last few weeks I had been focusing on reading and watching more videos online regarding lucid dreaming; perhaps this served as a sign that I might be waking up from the zombie slumber that has overtaken my dream life and often seems to invade enough of my waking hours as well.

This zombie state is what I felt was perhaps referenced my dream on April 13th. While talking with someone I turned to find what looked like Hal from the movie 2001, though in this case his robotic eye lens was on the face of R2D2 like some cyclops droid.

“Nice mobile unit,” I said to Hal, turning back to my conversation.

The robot theme is building in what little I have been remembering the last few months of my dreams, perhaps in reference to my typical autopilot somnambulism, the lifeless, zombie daze I operate in during my daily life — and Colin Wilson’s idea of “the robot function,” which I find myself identifying with.

Between the 22nd and the 23rd I received two more dream flashes. In one, I was walking with a group of people along a sidewalk when I passed by TR, who was going the other way. He turned around to say hello, and I looked him in the face and returned the greeting. We shook hands and then parted ways. This was a guy I knew from high school and we had engaged in many circular religious debates. In another flash, there is a girl almost on top of me, as if she might be waking me up, and I think it is Sadie, a friend, lesbian and former workmate of mine, though she soon made it abundantly clear she was Sadie’s twin sister, Sally — a mistake that I have made more than once when actually bumping into them in public.

I made a similar mistake on the 24th, as I sat on the front lawn of my parent’s property during the warm, sunny day, sitting on the lush grass beneath the shade of trees. I was calmly looking at the house and noticing the tree right beside it, sitting to the right from my perspective. Long, narrow, it rose over the rooftop, perhaps over all the trees in thick forest surrounding the property — and high into the bright, blue sky. Shaking my head, I thought to myself that if this were a dream and I were lucid, I would want to fly and perch atop that area. It would be the perfect place to rest and observe, a natural throne from which I could, from a great height, observe things from over a great distance.

The lucid dreaming material I had been watching and listening to lately had suggested having a good idea of what you wanted to do once you became lucid in a dream. I knew I wanted to fly in outer space; I had decided that long ago. Now I was engaging in that line of thought a bit more, which I admit is good. What bothers me is this: not once, as I sat there thinking all of that over, did I consider that I was actually in a dream at that very moment.

I was lacking awareness. Mindfulness. Lucidity. All I had to do was to realize that I was dreaming while I was thinking about lucid dreaming. I just had to suspect it, seriously consider it for a moment and perform a reality check as all the countless things I had read and watched had suggested. I had all the material I needed, I only had to put it to use. Once awake within what I knew to be a dream I could engage in flight fueled by the belief that I could and perch up there in the sky as I had wished.

Needless to say, awakening to remember that dream scene was more than mildly frustrating.

Of Aliens & Alters.

It would not make sense to claim that alien abduction accounts are due to “screen memories” of childhood abuse, and for two reasons: first, the purpose of such a screen memory would be to dull or reduce the trauma of the actual memories being “screened,” and given the terror inherent in so many of these alien experiences it does not seem to be serving its purpose. Second, not all memories stem from childhood; many have been real-time experiences. Those with Dissociative Identity Disorder often have alters who are modeled after an abuser or perhaps the “screen” that the abuser was given. The alters may then repeat the abuse, perhaps similar to the way in which the mind is thought to deliver recurring dreams in order to exhaust an intensely emotional circumstance. Is this the answer? Are the aliens I have been seeing all my life hallucinogenic exteriorizations of alternate identities? The astral projections or lucid dreams I began having in May, 1995 — experiences that began with me being attacked by a formless, vicious entity — truly a shared dream state which I had with just such an alter? Is this a possibility I could perhaps verify or falsify myself in some way?

Satan’s Hot Topic.

(5/4/03)

I came into work in a bad mood. My boss had been quite the bitch lately, which was no doubt a factor, though this didn’t feel as if that was the whole of it. There was a weird edge to it, too. It bothered me all the more when it became apparent that I was forgetting things. One of the girls had handed me my drink before my shift and later, when I saw her in the break room, I was sure it was the first I had seen of her all day. For the remainder of my shift I remained quiet, dominated by that dark mood.

After I arrived home, I spent some quality time in the bathroom, passing time as I returned nature’s call by reading Stephen Hawking’s, A Brief History of Time. Occasionally, and very briefly, bright blue lines would flash over my field of vision as my field of vision twitched and folded in on itself.

Chapter read and shit flushed, I ascended the stairs to my bedroom and crashed. Some time later I awoke abruptly, feeling on edge and very anxious. Strangely, I failed to question why, which bothered me once I realized it, though — even more strangely — not enough to remedy the situation by investing time in the aforementioned questioning. Instead, I invested in the search for distraction. After eating while watching television, I drank some coffee and wrote on the subjects of telepathy and psychokinesis. At one point, I became incredibly absorbed in it. At roughly eight in the morning, however, I decided to set my alarm, lay down and try to get some sleep.

After closing my eyes, I suddenly find myself with my eyes open again. Looking at the glass ashtray atop my crumpled brown blanket, I smoke my cigarette.

I watch and try to relax as I smoke and ash, smoke and ash.

It was not long until a wave of incredible exhaustion came over me, so intense I thought I might literally collapse. To blink was a threat, for to close my eyes for but a moment was to risk being seduced by the sweet advertisement of oblivion, to be tricked out of blinking them back open. Despite my fighting it, the weight of the exhaustion grows quickly. Immediately I recognize this as a prelude to an out-of-body experience, but usually I have to go to sleep before the bodily paralysis kicks in. At once my vision is fading out, getting darker, with my other senses following its lead, and before this distance increases to the point that it peels me from my skin I try to slam that cigarette down in the ashtray, and just as I grind the glowing cherry into the glass the process of disconnecting consciousness from body awareness has been completed. My carry-over worry became that the perhaps partially-lit cigarette might catch my bed sheets, my room, my parent’s house on fire.

Peeled entirely from the skin, having dropped away from the reality to which it is bound, I blast into acute awareness to find myself soaring through a tan-gold void of zero gravity. My disembodied ears are overwhelmed by this consistent, erratic squealing nearly identical to the sounds produced by an AM radio. My non-corporeal form infested with the sensations of pokes and spasms. It soon becomes clear that there is some entity above me, at my back, clutching me with its hands from beneath my arms.

This was not the first time I had found an entity in my back during a spontaneous out-of-body experience, though it had not happened since the initial set of experiences in May of 1995. Rather than fight the entity as I had back then, I chose instead to use the opportunity to experiment.

Through reading, I learned that experiences of this type in the paranormal literature suggest that intensely focused desire is the vehicle for this subtle body beyond the flesh. Particularly during my initial encounters, I often found myself out of control in the otherworldly environments, zipping from here to there in the area in time to the meandering target of my erratic and intense focus. It was Astral ADHD, plain and simple, and that attentional tendency in that state clearly has harsher consequences than while enfleshed.

In the course of reading William Buhlman’s Adventures Beyond the Body, it interested me how he had managed to exert control on his OBEs by chanting or boldly pronouncing. He would command in the OB equivalent to verbally things such as “clarity now” so as to better perceive his surroundings. He might start chanting the name of an individual or location he wished to visit. Mantras such as those Buhlman used were merely convenient props for accessing that emotionally-saturated state of concentration more easily.

Ever since my last experience the previous Christmas of 2002, when an unseen force had brought me before the earth in outer space, I had wished to repeat that experience. So as the entity carried me at light speed through this tan-gold void and began to bring me down into a realm that seemed to be yet another alternate version of my bedroom, I chanted aloud with a confident, demanding voice the words “space, space, space!”

Though I could hear my own voice, it was as if several other voices in the midst of other conversations played over my voice at the same time, but only while I was speaking, never in the silence between my words. The voices sounded staticky, as if they were coming from a CB radio or bad phone. Consistent with the AM squealing, another way of explaining it would be when you hear more than one AM radio station at once, where they bleed and weave in and out of one another. I found the AM interference distracting and completely annoying.

As soon as I chanted my space mantra we began lifting up and out of my alternate reality bedroom and back into the gold-tan void from whence we came. In response to both the voice-distortion and my success at retreat, though not into outer space, I screamed out loud: “What the hell?” Still the same broken chorus of indecipherable AM-radio-weaving voices broke through to interrupt my spoken words.

Soon thereafter I decided to stop trying to direct the experience and just let it happen, to enjoy the flying experience through the zero-gravity. Feeling thankful for the entity on my back, which I had for some reason taken to be female, I impulsively grabbed one of the hands from under my arms and kissed it.

Soon the entity brought us out of the void and into another realm, an alternate version of the yard beside my parent’s house. I was guided down from the sky from where I was held beneath my arms. Upon my feet touching ground, I turned my head around to finally face the entity that had been carrying me. To say I was surprised at who I found is to make a mole hill out of Olympus Mons.

“Ken? No. Ken?

It did not seem to me he should be here, that he would have anything to do with this. He was a good friend and respectable debate partner despite what many members of our circle of friends took to be the typical “Sagittarius” traits of arrogance and moralizing. He was a good guy and interesting discussions on philosophy, the paranormal, spirituality and science had been our most frequent form of interaction for years, and despite his bond with me I presumed that he thought me absolutely insane.

As soon as I had spoken he had promptly turned around and walked away, laughing arrogantly at my belief he was Ken. He explained in a matter-of-fact way that he was not Kent but rather constituted certain things to him, that he had manipulated him into believing falsehoods about himself and taking a certain path in life as a result.

Listening to him and his mad laughter, I followed him down this rough pathway cut through trees, shrubs and bushes leading from the side of the house to the backyard, where the profound exhaustion returns. My awareness begins to diminish and I fall seamlessly into a diffuse, blurry, low-intensity dream state of consciousness.

Suddenly I blast back into acute awareness to find myself in the void, just as before. The pokes and spasms, the entity on my back, the AM squealing. It is then that I remember that cigarette I had ground into the glass ashtray before phasing out of physical reality. I knew I had to wake up, and I could only hope that it would not be into a bedroom engulfed in flames.

Instead of waking up, however, it all happens again; the entity takes me from the void and lowers me from the sky onto the ground of an alternate reality. The environment was another alternate version of my parent’s house, and just before me feet touch ground in the side of the house I turn my head to face the entity again.

Rather than Ken, I instead turn to face a man I did not know personally, though he looks vaguely like an actor I have seen somewhere, a comedian I believe, that I saw on television at some point in the past. He has an ovular, unshaven face lingering somewhere between a five o’clock shadow and a full beard. Akin with the actor as I recall, he had a very uninterested, apathetic, pessimistic and cynical persona. He also wore a ball cap pulled down almost to his eyes, as again was like the actor.

The colors of the ball cap and his jumpsuit seemed out of place, however. Both the cap and jumpsuit were patterned by four boxes: red then blue on top, blue then red in bottom (or vice versa).

I look at him, entirely confused and slightly frustrated. “Who in the hell are you?” I ask him, irritated to hear the interrupting voices again.

It also happened as he spoke, though I was unable to ascertain precisely what he was saying to me. I felt as though I got the gist of his answer, however, which involved him claiming to be Satan. I looked at him like he was nuts. I don’t know of I told him that he was full of shit, as I knew damn well that Satan does not exist, but I know I thought it.

Ignoring him, I instead took time to survey the setting. Looking to the front yard just passed the driveway, I saw and heard the red lawn tractor mower, though I do not recall seeing anyone actually driving it. At the same time, I heard a speech over the loudspeaker. It sounded familiar but difficult to make out at first, as it was distorted and full of static. Again, that interference. Then I distinctly heard the words, “I have a dream.”

“Martin Luther King?”

“No,” the stranger said. “It’s an advertisement for Hot Topic.”

The difficulty I had in reading him made me uncertain as to whether he was being sarcastic or merely cryptic, so I just responded with, “Oh,” and left it at that.

I feel myself rush upward and backward, quickly finding myself in the void once again. As I begin to gain a vague awareness of my physical body and its senses, I swear I hear my alarm clock radio — perhaps examining to MLK bit of the experience. My main concern was still that cigarette, however, so as soon as I succeeded in gaining full connection with my body I bolted up in bed, looking around frantically for the glass ashtray.

While I was actually awake and actually in the physical reality, something was wrong. Not only was my alarm clock radio not on, but I had no glass ashtray. I was not even allowed to smoke in my parent’s house. The entire experience of smoking in bed did not actually occur, at least not in terms of physical reality.

Quickly, I wrote it all down.

Evolution of Intrusions.

When I was a kid, I would always feel as if I was tending to an audience, as if I were entertaining someone watching the television show of my life. I would play with toys in my room and weave stories using the figurines as props, which I saw as television shows for the viewer.

From as early on as I can remember, I was always fascinated with mirrors and would weave tales for my sisters regarding the hidden world it served as a doorway to. Privately, I seemed to use it as a sort of communication device, I suppose. Privately, I would lip sync in the mirror to the 45 blaring out my little record player. Among my favorites were “Disco Duck” and “Morris the Moose.” All of this was entertainment for the imaginary audience implied by my constant sense of being watched, so strongly felt that I often found myself addressing my audience directly in the mirror.

It was not until very recently that I discovered that imaginary companions (which may only be alter personalities in the making) can manifest to the child not only as a hallucination or a subjective figure, which I would have guessed, but may also come in the form of a mere “sensed presence.” I must wonder: was that audience beneath my skin, behind my eyes? If so, I suppose it made sense to address them in the mirror after all.

Beyond sensing a presence and feeling as if I were under constant observation, there were other suggestions that my imagination was quite literally getting out of my control, particularly in reference to the “daydreams” I produced in my restless mind at night in bed.

In retrospect, it seems I was as much an insomniac as a small child as I am now, so perhaps calling me nocturnal would be more accurate. The issue then that the teenage years would free me from was not insomnia, but passive insomnia. In my current active insomnia, I spend my evening doing artwork, reading, writing, watching documentaries. My child status had me confined to a dark room and a bed, so I would spend my nights passively, though quite active subjectively. I would daydream, making up stories in my head and rehearsing future situations, wondering about things, reflecting on things.

Sometimes, though, I got the funny feeling that parts of my imagination literally had a mind of their own. The suggestion came in the form of the “bionic spiderwebs” as well as the increasingly unwelcome visits by the asinine messiah, both of which had to have occurred during the first to third grade era (1985-1988). As I am uncertain as to which came first, I’ll begin where it seems it would have developmentally.

It happened pretty much the same way every time. I would be imagining something and then from out of the peripheral vision of my inner eye this meshy tendril of spiderwebs would shoot out, grab ahold of the imaginary content and drag it quickly out of frame. I would try to imagine it again and the same damn thing would happen. Needless to say, this got annoying really quick.

Never was I certain why I referred to these webs as bionic, though I later learned the word essentially means “life-like,” which serves as a good description of their behavior. After all, I was not doing this to myself. I was not so dire in need of entertainment that I would resort to imagining an ethereal, cleptotelepathic bionic cobweb as an adversary. If this was my imagination than this was no imaginary parasite, or in the very least not merely, but a parasite of the imagination. It had been born in or had invaded my headspace where, so far as I know, it fed solely on the acute levels of frustration it managed to generate in me.

Now I had to open my eyes to the darkness and isolation of the bedroom. Play with the array of stuffed animals I would arrange in a circle around my bunk as a ritual of comfort and protection. After some time I could perhaps forget about it, slip back into imagination and everything would be all right again for awhile. That was the hope, anyway, and it didn’t take long to see that hope needed some work.

Inevitably, I would start daydreaming again, but I would either slip and think of them or they would arrive on their own to ruin by reveries. How could I banish them?

I noted that they often arrived with their thought-abducting strands precisely when I was thinking how I hoped they would not. It was as if I were at some level summoning up the strands that seized my imagination, semiconsciously conjuring up the very cobwebs of my concern. It was outside my conscious control, though perhaps inadvertently awakened through thinking of them at some subliminal level of pre-thought.

This was perhaps only because in order to ensure that I did not think about it I had to remind myself not to think about it, which consequently necessitates thinking the very thought I sought not to. Yes, I did discover the answer, no doubt obvious to many from the get-go, and that was to think about something else, an alternative, a Thou Shalt as opposed to Thou Shalt Not. A positive can stand on its own. A negative by necessity requires its opponent’s support.

This was but a temporary aide, of course, nothing approximating a solution. The enemy was still out there, I just ceased waving them over. They still found me, just not right away, being free of my assistance and all.

As a product of my imagination, however autonomous, perhaps some understanding could be gained by looking at the bionic spiderwebs from the perspective of a dream symbol, which is to say as an unconsciously-generated personal metaphor.

I know neither how nor when it began. It could have been the case that I first imagined these things, unknowingly “getting the ball rolling” for some autonomous function that took it from there. My sense is that I did not know how or why the bionic spiderwebs began even at the time, namely because I ended up giving them a back story down the line. Strangely, this came as a consequence of my novel attempt to rid myself of them once and for all. My attempt involved the use of my imagination as a tool to solve the problem.

Creating a wild series of misadventures in my head at night, I would engage myself in a fantasy about seeking out the source of the bionic spiderwebs, at the end of which I would imagine I found their source, ultimately destroying it, thereby banishing them from my mind.

Perhaps suggestive of their subliminal inspiration, I imagined their roots to be found in “the grave of Spider-Man” and wove a story around it, ultimately leading to the destruction of the grave. I recall using this scenario more than once, and I am uncertain if it ultimately had any bearing on the eventual disappearance of the bionic spiderwebs, but ego likes to label it a triumphant act of banishment.

In any case, the complete symbol would then appear to constitute a superhero that, however buried, was none the less showing signs of life-likeness by extending his “superpowers” into my imaginal space in the form of “bionic spiderwebs.” Was it a buried personality breaking through to extend a web-tendril, or a gestating complex showing signs of alter potential through autonomous intrusions into waking thought?

Subsequent imaginal events seem to suggest that bionic spiderwebs were no longer needed to reach out from that hole, be it grave or womb, as the soul had escaped, it had been born from the rich earth of my mind.

Or as it was more specifically expressed, the dead superhero himself had risen. Rather than assume the form of the human-arachnid cross known as Spiderman, however, he incarnated into the form of a far more ancient superhero, a god-man cross that I today refer to as the asinine messiah. He assumed the traditional image of Jesus Christ.

Sometimes at night he would just pop into my head. He would be sitting cross-legged on a puffy white cloud, sporting his mythical robe, long hair and beard and looking down from his puffy white throne he would engage me in conversation.

If ever there was a time in which we actually got along, it is a period I have long since forgotten. From what I do remember he was actually quite the asshole. What frightened and angered me particularly about our interactions was his supposed all-knowingness and insistence that fate or destiny controlled our lives. This, I think, is what led to our little game of prediction. Typically we would spend the majority of our interactions placing bets on things, as for instance when a car would drive by on the road outside my bedroom window, or whether or not I could resist scratching an itch and a host of similarly stupid things. I did a good job of beating him quite often in our wagers, too.

I often wonder if this has ties to my whole concern about free will when I was around seven or eight. I would be on my bed and try to do something that was too swift to influence, too random and on the fly to predict, but I was of course never able to rule out a hidden influence on my decision-making or confirm a deviation from any supposed path of predictability.

We would argue about things all the time (though conveniently I cannot recall any of the specifics) and he quickly morphed from a fear or intimidation into an absolute fucking annoyance. I believe I told him to go away and never return, though from what I vaguely recall it took repeated efforts to successfully banish him. In any case he eventually lost his dominance in my imagination, effectively vanished from my inner-vision.

These instances made little sense until I learned about partial dissociation. Rather than the abrupt “switching” from one personality to another in Dissociative Identity Disorder, both personalities can simultaneously possess varying degrees of partial control over the mind or body.

The extreme ends of the spectrum where the host or alter take control are known as complete dissociation. The spectrum of co-consciousness is known as partial dissociation. The alter exerts influence on the host through “partially-dissociated intrusions” that can take many forms, such as through the subjective experience of imagination and dreams. This may suggest that bionic spiderwebs and elder superheroes in desperate need of attitude adjustments are items that belong in this category.

Again, subsequent events suggested that death of the asnine messiah, like the death of the bionic spiderwebs that presumably came before it, may have merely represented a state of transition, a metamorphosis bringing to it greater heights of complexity in a new incarnation soon to be plaguing my life.

And indeed, around that time I also found myself committed to activities without knowing why.

Inner Aliens, Ex Nihilo.

Recently I have been reading the words of Marlene Steinberg, MD, in her 1999 book The Stranger in the Mirror: Dissociation — The Hidden Epidemic.

It is an interesting book in general, but I read with intensity a particular chapter, Chapter 15: “Aliens from Inner Space: UFO Abductions, Past Lives, Near-Death Experiences.”

Here she conveys her hypothesis that alleged alien abductees are in actuality sufferers of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). The content of the abduction experiences are in actuality metaphorical screen memories of childhood trauma. These screen memories can play out in dissociative trance states in which hallucinatory externalizations of inner alters “alien” to the “abductee” host personality act out the aforementioned screen memories.

The strangeness experienced both bodily and perceptually throughout the alien abduction experience can, she maintains, be adequately explained by the distortions, illusions and hallucinations commonly experienced in severe DR/DP.

In her eyes, alien abduction experiences represent a double-dose of dissociation. Not only was the memory of the original childhood trauma dissociated from consciousness , giving rise to amnesia, but the memories themselves were subject to dissociation, giving rise to distortions, erasures and metaphorical manifestations of the root memory. Evidently the aim of the substitution is to reduce the emotional impact of the actual traumatic memory.

Though I have read the suggestion elsewhere before, the notion that transforming the actual perpetrator into an alien will somehow soften the blow of a traumatic experience still strikes me as ridiculous. To have a trusted figure abuse you as a child would certainly be a traumatic experience and a screen memory would be understandable. An alien abduction would not appear to be a choice cover-story if the intent is truly to lubricate the truth, however.

These “screen” experiences and memories are themselves traumatic on multiple levels. They isolate the abductee socially, for there is considerable difficulty when it comes to sharing the anomalous experience with others. Even if one accomplishes it, others may seem to doubt the abductee’s sanity or even subject them to ridicule.

Given the apparent reality of aliens, their telepathic powers and technological magic, the anxiety of uncertainty arises regarding the nature of reality on the one hand and the potential possibility of their utter fucking insanity on the other. There may also be identity confusion produced by the assertions of the aliens, who often claim to be ancestors or parents to the abductee, or who claim more directly that the abductee is “one of them.”

Despite this, I somehow manage to feel certain that had Steinberg read John Mack’s book, Abduction, she would have found only more support for her notion, particularly in the abduction cases which involved both past life memories and a “duality of consciousness.” This duality arises in some abductees who seem to be host to an alter that identifies itself as alien. It has distinct knowledge as well as memories of a life as an alien. It can sometimes even “take over” the body during an abduction and work alongside the aliens as one of them, or even switch on partially or completely during mundane life, as suggested by Budd Hopkins in his books Witnessed and Sight Unseen.

If she were to have read the other literature, especially the later literature, perhaps she would interpret the notion of transgenic children that represent a cross of both alien and human as a symbol of synthesis or integration. Signs that the barriers distinguishing the host and alter are breaking down.

Dissociation does not explain why the alien abduction schema explained so many other aspects of my experiences, memories and dreams, however, and how they relate to those of so many other people.

Many, such as Jacques Vallee, suggest that the answer resides in the fact that the UFO and alien abduction phenomenon are merely modern upgrades of age-old mythologies. Steinberg seems to agree when she writes:

“Carl Sagan … pointed out that the fantasy life of people has always been influenced by the prevailing cultural images in all times and places. When everyone believed that gods regularly came down to earth, gods were what people envisioned as fearsome otherworldly beings. In the Middle Ages, when demons were in vogue, it was incubi and succubi. Later, when fairies were widely believed in, it was fairies that were said to paralyze and rape human victims. Now, in the space age, when we are sending spaceships to Mars and have begun to think aliens might exist, aliens descending from space ships are the imaginary predators that people see in their dreams and flashbacks.”

Within the second flashback I had there was what only could have been dissociative distortion, for the tall, slim and “muscular” Gray alien by my bedside was devoid of a face. It was shadowy, contoured, but blank. If the true perpetrator was not the creature I saw plus a face I dissociated away, then the creature itself was a cover. If the intention is to substitute a known identity with an alien one, why replace the true perpetrator with an alien just to wipe the face of the screen memory clean?

Rather than merely an amnesiac gap of “missing time,” Budd Hopkins suggested, the aliens often create false or misleading memories. These screen memories that substitute for the real memories buried beneath amnesia. For the most part Steinberg could dismiss these alleged alien-imposed screen memories as she did with respect to an apparent memory of a deer tied to an abduction event: it was merely the hallucinatory exteriorization of an animal alter alongside alien alters.

What makes considerably less sense to me is how this fits into the first flashback I ever had. I encountered a frowning, wrinkly reptile-like alien who then looked into my eyes and after explaining some things telepathically went on to throw me into a “screen memory” cover story for our encounter, or so it seemed. He was now a grinning doctor in a white lab coat, holding a clipboard. He was working with scientists and he was here to give me a check-up. Most importantly, I feel, was the fact that he and his team were still clearly aliens.

He was not an alien, she would claim, but a screen memory for an actual human dick-head that traumatized me in my youth. I get that. Yet why would I double-wrap the true dick with fiction — so that he can safely fuck with my mind for the rest of my life, delivering all the implicit agony while protecting his identity in the selected distortion of explicit memory? Why would I have “nested” screen memories, both depicting an alien encounter?

My mother was oppressive as well as subtlety manipulative, but she never hit me, nor has my father. I watched my friends get physically abused by their father, but I was never physically abused. I have never been sexually abused.

I know I’m sensitive. I know I have dissociative tendencies, I have had what must have been hallucinations and its becoming increasingly less of a leap for me to fancy the notion that I may have an alter sharing my headspace, but all of this without a triggering mundane event in sight? All of this ex nihilo? Without rhyme or reason?

Eclipsing the Vessel.

Whereas derealization is simply dissociation from the world you perceive to be around you, it turns out that depersonalization is a rather loaded word. This is is dissociation from one’s “self,” with the issue being all that evidently falls under that category. As far as I have been able to discern, depersonalization is when you experience partial or total dissociation of the body, of cognition, emotion, behavior, memory and/or identity.

Dissociation of consciousness from specific parts of your body can lead to distortions or loss of body perception. It may seem as if parts of your body are becoming different sizes and shapes, for instance, as in my aforementioned experience of watching my eyes grow in the mirror when I was young. Conversely, it may leave a part of your body numb or even void of sensation altogether. You may even have the sense that its under someone else’s control if you are host to an alter. Consider dissociation of the hand. Ouija board experiences, automatic writing and automatic artwork could perhaps have some light shed on them here.

Right after the flashbacks my artwork, my writing, and even my handwriting itself changed dramatically. I let myself drift into this trance where I felt as if I sort if shared power with some other part of myself, where we worked together in a collaborative project. Sometimes the power would shift in my direction, sometimes towards the other part, but we both played a role.

The process of my writing was one of high-speed, coffee-fueled, uninhibited stream if consciousness. I would put my fingers to the keyboard and literally wrote whatever came to mind, as fast as I could. My fingers could hardly keep up with my rush of thoughts.

Essentially the same was the case with my artwork. I would simply begin drawing and the result would feel as if it were a collective effort between my conscious self and some other part of me of which I was only vaguely aware. They were highly detailed drawings done with a Bic pen and pastel works, both often depicting strange creatures with surreal faces. Hidden in the drawings were other images such as faces, but often things of a blatantly sexual nature as well.

I had gone into the art room when no one was there one day, as I essentially lived out of that room, and got a huge sheet of paper and drew a huge, detailed, grotesque face which I hung in the back of the room. Several periods later when I came into art class, the art teacher, Mrs. Lila, pulled me aside and told me that I should probably take it down, as several students had complained about something in the drawing that I hadn’t even known I had drawn. Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten if it was a huge vagina or massive penis, but in either case the embarrassment and my prompt disposal of the picture would have been equally, unbearably profound.

Aside from sexual themes, the theme in many of these collaborative works was often that of duality: two people, faces melting in or out of one another, a creature with a homunculus in the head or the mouth. Sometimes there was a third eye in the Ajna location between and above the eyebrows, too.

Sometimes a creature would extend an arm in front of itself and look at it with amazement, confusion and curiosity, as if they are uncertain as to who or what they are. I have drawn this several times, realizing so only long afterward.

Aside from varying degrees of dissociation from specific body parts, there may also be a fixed sense of not being in the right body, of which I am also guilty. I had never met anyone who felt uncomfortable in their own skin in this all-too-literal way until a met a specific girl at work this year.

While she felt less like a lesbian and more like a man in a woman’s body, I feel only that I don’t fit right in my body. There is no difference sexually or persuasively in my case, save perhaps for the fact that at the deepest, most innermost core I feel like a sexless something stuck with the controlling impulse of the heterosexual man.

My “soul-wedgie” was from not fitting in this form; thats how it felt, like uncomfortable cloths. I cannot say for certain what I would fit as, however. She said that her aunt felt exactly how I described feeling, which made me even more intrigued. I was not the only one. There were at least three of us.

In addition to the degrees of bodily association described above there is the extreme end of bodily dissociation. Here you dissociate from your body as a whole, experiencing out of body sensations. This, it would seem, is evidently more my style.

Rather than merely extreme depersonalization, in my case it was also extreme DR. I did not just vacate my physical body, it seemed evident to me at the time, but the physical reality I experienced through that empty shell. What I instead found myself in we’re what appeared to be alternate realities. Some were near-duplicates of familiar environments, most often my bedroom, and then environments that constituted varying degrees of abstraction from those familiar environments. Dimensions would be wrong, there would be duplicates of objects, objects missing or added, furniture moved and colors different: that sort of thing.

Even in the beginning I worried that someone else might be trying, even accomplishing getting behind the wheel of the body while I was thrown into some alternate reality. I thought I was being possessed by some vile spirit.

Perhaps that “spirit” was a buried part of me. And those alternate realities were backdrops to false memories, home to an alternate identity.