Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The existential implications of ufology

Greg Bishop has written a wonderfully thought-provoking piece on the UFO inquiry titled "UFOs As Agents Of Deconstruction." Here's a brief excerpt:

Ostensibly, the UFO question is whether a non-human source is causing sightings, abductions, radar returns and flying saucer religions, but the intricacies of the problem impinge on so many other areas that we redefine them as well. Examples include reported physics of UFO movement, the question of cultural antecedents and perhaps how our society decides what is acceptable as serious study. That last one may be the most deconstructive effect of all. Changes in our mindset, and not any so-called "answers" may be the real reason behind the whole thing, or at least the most meaningful. There may indeed be "knowledge gained without awareness."


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25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Here is a related paper on the effects and consequences of possible contact with "the other": http://bit.ly/4FIc1j

"Encountering Alien Otherness" by Michael E. Zimmerman, which is a fairly strange read, addresses some of the same matters noted by Greg Bishop's reference to Carl Raschke's article, “UFOs: Ultraterrestrial Agents of Cultural Deconstruction,” and also the effect of nonsense or unfamiliar forms of illogical information exposure as noted in the NY Times article Bishop also links to for its relevance to the idea that novel experience or anomalistic encounters may exercise different aspects of the brain and consciousness in ways that otherwise might not be activated, and which, in turn, may produce higher level or better than expected processes of mind related to memory, intelligence, and a more expansive accommodation to and intellectual investigation of concepts or aspects of reality which otherwise might not be achieved or attempted in more normal or standard modes of cognition. Pretty interesting stuff.

The NY Times article Bishop notes also refers to recent studies that scientifically quantify statistically this fairly new and generally unrecognized effect of mind opened to or "awakened" by encounters with or experience of anomaly as consequently being better able to solve certain kinds of problems. [The best part of the Zimmerman piece, btw, is the last quarter of his paper and footnoted citations.]

The most interesting element of all this is that, regardless of what may actually be happening, one can take advantage of the effects and results on the mind of uncertainty and ambiguous experience to realize, regardless of the ‘recursive unsolvability’ of the source of certain ufo or "alien" phenomena, that one may be able to expand and enhance one's thinking abilities and perceptual acuity in ways that are positive and beneficial to helping understand or possibly solving difficult or intractable problems of human existence.

In a way, what is being described is, whether fully conscious or not, that experience or encounters with the novel or anomalous seem to activate creative elements of mind that seek to not only understand the novelty concerned, but also have a side-effect of deconstructing usual or normative means of thinking, and by which new or more productive solutions or effects may be accomplished. This psychological revision of self-limiting boundaries or standard mental parameters may thus open up new ideas and paradigms to deal better with both anomaly, and in general terms, the complexity of reality, or at least its more challenging and esoteric aspects. On the other hand, there is a potential dark side effect, in that this can also lead to less rational or conspiratorial thinking if one is not careful to employ "balancing tests" or empirically grounded.

The effect of "nonsense" or experience of anomaly, due to our minds desire for order and logic, and inherent need to recognize patterns as a deep survival mechanism, can go either way when encountering something illogical and unexpected, and consequent depatterning and disorientation, depending on what one is confronted with, can be either negative or positive.

If there are non-human "others" interacting with some humans, as in close encounter and select "abduction" cases, then perhaps the effect is intentional, and represents a form of co-evolving modification or acceleration of human consciousness or intellect for evolutionary advancement. Or, of course, it may be something else completely different. Makes one think of the possibilities! Perhaps that, whether intended or just internally generated, is the purpose and point--to revise thinking and expectations, and to take a step outside the box, and to seek new means for better ends when the times and fears of the unknown future require it. As they do now.

New York City Personal Injury Lawyer said...

It really is sad that we completely turn our backs on an entire subject just because of cultural discomfort.

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PK said...

Hi Mac

I came to your site because I find posthumanism a very interesting subject and think that transhumanism is something that we will see in our lifetimes.

I am a bit disappointed to find that your main topic of discussion is actually UFOs and the paranormal.

On this topic I can VERY strongly suggest that you read a book called 'The Eerie Silence' by Paul Davies (former head of SETI) if you haven't already.

From what he says I think you can fairly reasonable follow a train of logic that leads to the conclusion that any UFOs on the planet are terrestrial in nature.

Just my 2 cents
Peace.

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