Thursday, July 05, 2007

A must-read post by Greg Bishop:

Making UFO Sense Often Sucks

The source and meaning of truly "unexplained" UFOs seems to be hidden, and will likely remain that way for quite some time. It will reveal itself to us when we are ready, or when it is. Many UFO cases, if looked at from a symbolic perspective, reveal more to our humanness than simple questions about "where the aliens come from and what they're doing here."

Bishop posits that brushes with the paranormal, just like encounters with genuine art, convey meaning by remaining purposefully elusive. (Ever tried "explaining" a David Lynch movie to someone, or to yourself? In my experience, people who feel the acute need to understand "Eraserhead" on a literal level are exactly the sort of people who'll sap your brains, given the opportunity.)

My own creative powers (such as they are) suffer when I try to adhere to a template, which is one of the reasons I try to keep away from writing "how-to" texts, as seductive as some of them are. But when I relax my guard -- never an easy trick -- I find that meaning and structure often arise as if of their own volition.

The field of ufology suffers from a related problem, the toxic assumption that UFOs and other elements of forteana must necessarily yield to a single consciously derived explanation -- whether the hallowed Extraterrestrial Hypothesis or something else.

But if we're dealing with a truly alien intelligence there's no promise that its thinking will be linear. Indeed, its inherent weirdness might serve as an appeal to an aspect of the psyche we've allowed to atrophy. It might be trying to rouse us from our stupor, in which case it's tempting to wonder if the supposed ETs are literally us in some arcane sense.


Anonymous said...

Perfectly Put.

Anonymous said...

"Eraserhead" was about male anxiety over marriage and fatherhood. Simple as pie.

Edge zone experiences, on the other hand, are for us to not comprehend (with the "not" in the right place).

There's always one more corner to turn, so keep walking.

Let the brain sucking begin!

Mac said...



Anon. #2--

"Eraserhead" was about male anxiety over marriage and fatherhood. Simple as pie.

It's indeed about those things. But I'd argue it's about a hell of a lot more, as are most artistic expressions.

Anonymous said...

The only "purpose" or "meaning" that I've ever derived from long-term study of the "ufo" phenomenon is that there is something else "out there" _and_ "here"--the phenomenon functions within a bewildering variety of forms of plausible self-deniability and covert appearance.

The overall patterns of display over time of the best cases need to be more deeply and scientifically studied, as do the percipients and the effects upon them and others who they communicate their experiences to, from a cultural and sociological perspective.

It evolves to confound our expectations, and ability to comprehend, while appearing in ways that are both undeniable and yet unprovable, in the general sense of those terms. It is extraordinarily sophisticated in its manipulation of our consciousness and innate curiosity about "the other". I do know that it is not just in or created by our minds--there _is_ "something else".

I suspect it all boils down to something with an advanced form of sentience basically letting us know there is a different reality and intelligence other than our own, and that its "intent", if any, or perhaps just as a by-product, of it is to "help" trigger or motivate us to think differently, for our own benefit, and to seek out better answers to the unknown.

It may function as a prod to intellectual evolution in our efforts to try to understand the nature of the various phenomena that display themselves in many guises and in very elusive ways. It could be presenting itself as a challenge to consensus reality, to get us to "look up" and think about what it represents, and to seek better answers about the nature of reality, and possibly a means to better cope with and survive our own limitations as we approach, over the next 50 years, our own self-created "omega" point and possible extinction.

Perhaps it's the general equivalent to a curious child drawing a stick across a trail of ants just to see what will happen.

Of course, this is all a form of idle speculation and I could be completely wrong. But I suspect I am at least partially correct, based on an experience I had over thirty years ago that I still do not know what to really make of.

I also think there may be some breakthroughs in the next 10 to 30 years in our comprehension of the phenomenon, although it will not involve any formal or overt display from the "others", as that would likely be culturally damaging due to a form of intellectual and emotional "co-dependence" syndrome that might result.

Just my 2 cents worth of opinion.

Anna Murphy said...

Great post.

Greg Bishop said...

Thanks for the link! Comments like "Eraserhead 'IS' about..." leave me cold. The point of my post was that there are a variety of interpretations available to us when confronted by good, or even great works of art. The UFO subject may be one of the most complicated art projects in history. A variety of viewpoints may be equally valid, and fruitful.