Friday, February 02, 2007

I've been attempting to reconcile the "visionary" nature of encounters with nonhumans described by the likes of Terence McKenna with the decidedly physical episodes recounted by close-encounter witnesses. Must the "alien contact" experience be exclusively "real" or hallucinatory? Maybe not.

The psychedelic realm has the visual flexibility of a multimedia installation or high-bandwidth website, forcing me to consider that it's actually designed as a communications system: a sort of neurochemically derived "chatroom" populated by all manner of colorful "avatars."

It's conceivable that "trippers" can access this interzone, even if inadvertently. The beings seen -- described similarly in UFO and drug narratives -- might be the equivalent of neuropharmacologists and system operators. (Online environments like Second Life, while fanciful, abide by many of the conceits and laws that govern the real world, if only for the sake of convenience. It's likely that an alien intelligence versed in nonlocal communication would apply similar reasoning when constructing a virtual environment.)

If access to the shamanic realm hinges on the brain's production of DMT, as argued by Richard Strassman, then the "aliens" may be attempting to promote organic DMT production through germ-line engineering.


Alfred Lehmberg said...

I suspect one must be very careful not to write off, too quickly, McKenna's contribution to what might be a ufological consideration of the *other*, as merely visual... the underpinnings of which are and were fleshed out by a panoply of significant others... Abraham, Sheldrake, Strassman as you mentioned, Pinchbeck and Hancock et al.

That said, I submit my music, Art, videos, animations, and prosery as a small representation of what McKenna was describing as early as 1989, and probably before, about the direction, composition, and fabric of cyberspace. You too, for that matter.

This is despite McKenna's take on Ufology, I have to add... an enterprise he felt was was approached too credulously... why? Because the interpretations of Strieber, Mack, and Hopkins were not weird _enough_! Indeed, he felt the aliens disguised themselves as cattle muting, people abducting, and anal probing invaders from the stars so we don't get too weirded out by what they REALLY are, eh?
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Dustin said...

Interesting thoughts Mac. I've been having this discussion(sometimes argument) with a couple of people over on Book of THoTH recently. While I refuse to discount the physical, 3-D nature of some encounters, it's almost "en vogue" for people to say it's all hallucinatory these days.

However, as I always say...why does it have to be one or the other? Or even a blend of the two? What if we're confusing two phenomena with one phenomenon, and trying to cram different things into one category? While they seem to be very closely related(as do many things that we can't explain, probably), I wouldn't bet the house that everything that's put under the umbrella of "UFOs" really all belongs together as one distinct phenomenon in the end.

Michael said...

Forgive me for being stupid, but I've been reading everything recently, and of all of the possible explanations of this stuff, Whitley Strieber's strikes me as the most coherent. But he seems to be really marginalized in these discussions in favor of guys like McKenna, whose position is more esoteric (read: painfully obscure and basically meaningless) and actually makes not a whole lot of sense, in any way whatsoever. Some of the same personalities exist in both spectra, but McKenna's, and the others like him, strike me as simply not having a lot of substance or meaning, beyond the experience itself. Am I missing something of importance?

In the same vein, I'd welcome being informed of any sites where this stuff is being seriously discussed by people who aren't terminally addled.


W.M. Bear said...

The "aliens" may be attempting to promote organic DMT production through germ-line engineering.

Or by mystically plucking and pinching our pineal glands to increase their DMT output! (Actually, this is half-serious. What if they -- whoever "they" is or are -- really ARE doing something like this, at least "telepathically" to create the hallucinatory side of the UFO/abduction experience?)

Mac said...


McKenna speaks of the phenomenon in terms of its effects on human perception.

He's not a UFO researcher, per se, so it's difficult to tell if he subscribes to a shamanic interpretation or a more corporeal perspective. My understanding is that he thinks it's both -- and rightly so, in my opinion.