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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Force, Counterforce: Revisited.

At the tail end of my former attempts to procure a new and respectable job for myself — just before acquiring the humble abode I have been in now for still under a year — I had an experience that my mind keeps coming back to.

To the chronically oversensitive, to those who live in a perpetual state of fixed overreaction, life is marked by traumas. This was my most recent major self-manufactured one, I suppose. Another mountain made out of a mole hill.

I lay in bed, painfully sober after an epic failure at job-acquiring one day and descended helplessly into this dark vortex of violent emotions, of relentless guilt and self-hatred. It was as if it were eating me alive. In retrospect, the experience was the emotional equivalent of some aggressive and uncompromising animal tearing into my skin, ripping apart my insides, but I could not sleep and even if I died I felt certain there would be no escape. I was plagued by horrible thoughts, but it all stemmed from this sense that I was fighting against some force that, however insurmountable, came from within me and refused to listen to reason.

Now I fear running up against that uncompromising force of seeming though subliminal self-sabotage again. Like an electric fence erected around the boundaries of my comfort zone, like guard dogs at the threshold of the known pond where I reside, where I can sink or swim or float through life and a land of hope, however unpredictable, ready to fight to the death to keep me within, where life is predictable, however increasingly miserable.

In retrospect, the experience itself reminds me of my experiences with Ee as a teenager. Perhaps, I think now, this is no coincidence. Maybe he, the autonomous figure who chased and tortured me in those lucid dreams or OBEs, was a manifestation of that “guard dog” force and that is why he manifests as a canine so frequently, and did so especially in the beginning.

My assumption is that this is ultimately all me, of course, it is only that a inner split is there and the other half is disturbingly autonomous. And if indeed that is the case, than I wonder just what it is that I expect of me, what I really want of me out of this life. I ask that other part of me now, officially:

Is this where you would like to die again — alone, in poverty, weighed down and torn apart by your emotions, dependent on others for survival? Is this static, infantile existence satisfactory in your eye? Isn’t this endless redundancy boring as fuck to you, murderous of any sense of meaning, useless and caging? If I am punishing myself, haven’t I endured enough at the hands of myself already?

Can’ this shit he over? Aren’t I allowed to grow — to try and live a life of meaning, to feel joy?

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.

Attentive in the Trough.

All the weirdness of my life happens in clusters, akin to the wave-like characteristics of UFO sightings, particularly as they were described by Jacques Vallee. More or less he described these waves as periods of inactivity broken by periods of intense activity — always following an altogether unpredictable pattern.

These waves have piques of unknown heights and troughs of uncertain depth. When riding the wave, drifting closer to the alien eye of the surreal, paranormal, psychotic cyclone, I mostly just document. During the silence of the troughs I keep trying to put it together, to determine with as most certainty as possible what they are and why this happens.

The reason is simple, really. It’s as if they wait until I have finally convinced myself that none of it ever happened, that it was all a really bad dream, that I could forget about them because they were never coming back, never really there to begin with and, bam, they return and I get to watch and feel as my life crumbles to dust all over again.

Perhaps my family of the strange and I truly are being conditioned.

To fight the recurring shock value of their return, I try and face them constantly, because the moment I turn my back and fall asleep with both eyes confidently, naively closed, I know its going to bite me on my ass.

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.

Probing the Probability Tsunami.

Having a single experience that seems to contradict sacred axioms of consensus reality can lead one to fear that one has become mentally unstable. Having a single such type of experience recurrently throughout one’s life would most certainly do so. This leaves only me, one who has had a full fucking spectrum of strange experiences, and pretty damn consistently. One such as I, evidently, is left questioning reality at every damn turn, evaluating his mind in the attempts to ascertain the state of mental health every damn day. This teeter-totter, this constant state of deeply-rooted uncertainty just cannot be a healthy way to tread through life.

If I am indeed insane, does my insanity produce these strange experiences, or did real experiences spawn the maddness? What does it mean to be mad, crazy, insane anyway?

Jung always painted a picture in which madness was the result of an unconscious that overwhelmed the conscious ego. The ego was too weak, the unconscious too strong, and so unconscious contents cross the conscious threshold with impunity. Even when voluntarily going within oneself and fixing the inner eye in the dark of the mind, Jung always indicated, the goal was to be on equal footing with the unconscious, to maintain the tension of balanced power between each end of the psyche. One’s sense of self had to be strong, have set and sturdy boundaries, hold his position in the face of the unknown inside. The ego must not repress or become possessed by the unconscious, but trapeze that thin line betwixt those polar approaches. He often spoke about this interaction between the ego and unconscious in the process of active imagination, in which one intentionally approaches the unconscious subjectively, in some self-hypnotic or meditative state.

I don’t ever recall him referencing the act of questioning your own, presumably psychotic hallucinations when they spontaneously whisk you away, but it seemed consistent with his general approach. Since childhood I have resisted them, hidden from them, tried in every which way to assert my will and break the spell, yet it was all to no avail. I have questioned them, argued with them, and it would seem that I have accomplished little to nothing in my efforts at provoking some transcendent function or even receiving useful feedback. Experience has seemed to repeatedly suggest to me that they are in the very least alien with respect to my mind, which is to say they were not borne within its confines, that they are some external force and not a manifestation of an autonomous complex or unconscious sub-personality.

Of course, concluding that on the basis of Jung’s perceptive on the unconscious might not be the wisest thing to do, as more disciplined and technologically-equipped sciences have come to shed some light on the unconscious and it could very well be that the split between the unconscious and conscious is hardwired, inevitable, irreversible. Mental disorders of all types would appear to be genetic predispositions yanked out of latency and activated through personal experience, most likely early in childhood. Inherit the right genetic seeds, find yourself planted in a social environment conductive to their growth and germination is surely a likelihood. Maybe I inherited the right ingredients and life provided the right conditions, or I created the right conditions through my reactions to life.

The other possibility is that these experiences might be real. If they are real, that does not necessarily suggest that I am sane. If all this as real, it might be acting as a catalyst for the development of my multifaceted madness. Is my insanity real, perhaps the logical and predictable outcome of a mind being subjected to these experiences while subsisting in a culture that treats such experience as red flags for madness? Or is it all real and I am not insane at all, and my reactions, through the appropriate context, constitute a perfectly sane reaction to an insane circumstance?

I honesty could not even say which of these options I would prefer.