Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Presencing of the Other...,

"Whether the subject is crop circles, orbs, alien abductions, UFOs, miraculous appearances of the Virgin, spirit encounters in psychedelic states, and so on, we face the question of the existence of "the Other," of entities or intentionalized energies that seem to exist largely beyond the current range of our perceptions, yet touch upon our world. Philosophers would agree that we don't know "things in themselves," but only those aspects of a thing that can be perceived by our senses and cognized by our mind. It is also clear that perception involves a tremendous amount of choice, and that choice is based upon our psychological disposition. We don't see the world as it, but to a large extent we see the world as we are.

I think this is true with all phenomena, but it is especially true with phenomena that lingers on the outer edge of the cultural imagination, such as otherworldly apparitions. It is almost as if we require a multisensory approach to these areas, as ordinary sense itself - logic or rationality - seems too limited. Rudolf Steiner defined higher modes of cognition as intuition, imagination, and inspiration. We can seek to make use of the faculty of "intellectual intuition" as a tool for exploration, taking care not to confuse thinking about something from believing in it, or feeling something from thinking we have knowledge about it. Making sure to keep thinking, feeling, believing, and willing separate requires intellectual discipline, and is the only way to approach what Steiner described as "the spiritual world" without getting lost in our own projections.

In my personal explorations of shamanism and my study of extraterrestrials, spirits, and so on, I have developed the hypothesis that this phenomena is neither real or imaginary. What seems to be happening is something subtler and harder to define: the alien "Other" is coming to presence within the human Psyche." Daniel Pinchbeck at Glastonbury this weekend.