“I do not await the future, anticipating salvation, absolution, not even enlightenment through process. I subscribe to the premise that this flawed perfection is sufficient and complete, in every single ineffable moment.”
–Man on TV, “Waking Life”
I was listening to an Alan Watts lecture the other night and spoke of the idea that when we make a decision to change our lives…we shouldn’t “announce” it. Because then we attract “the devil” to mess around with us and tempt us off our new path.
But more than that, Watts says: we shouldn’t even announce this decision to ourselves. Because where do we think the Devil resides (he asked with a chuckle)?
We must instead decide without deciding. We must act automatically.
“The art of the Sly Man is simply to leave, without one word. That’s the meaning of Wu Wei, in the technical vocabulary of Taoism…not to force things. And so he drops it just like that.”
Letting go of the bow string without first deciding to do so. To act and decide all at once.
You can only decide without deciding once you realize you can’t do it and give up. You have to not care anymore. Then it happens automatically.
I would like to direct your attention, if this might be a topic that interests you, to this recent Reddit thread on reported (possible) paranormal experiences. Such collections of more-or-less spontaneous first-person accounts can be quite insightful.
We can break down the reported incidents on the thread into three broad categories:
- Ghost Stories (mostly concerning loved ones who have passed)
- Scary Shadowy Humanoid Apparitions
- Glitches In The “Matrix”
The ones that concern me the most at the moment are #2, because these seem, to me, to be the same “well” from which we get alleged “alien encounters” from.
For example, this anecdote:
“my boyfriend and i woke up in separate parts of the house in hysterics, naked and covered in sweat. when we both finally calmed down and talked we realized we had the same dream of being surrounded by a group of black and white people with no mouths.”
And this one:
“In the house I grew up in, it always felt Ike you were being watched. I’d see shadows out of the corner of my eye and dark mists that would dissolve when you looked straight at them…
One time I went up there, and as I reached the top of the stairs, I saw large, translucent alien-shaped white head looking at me from behind a box. I froze, terrified, and locked eyes with it for a few seconds before it slowly lowered itself down to hide. I turned right back around and left, telling myself I had imagined it, but scared to go in the attic for years after that.”
And this one:
“Somewhat ironically something happened to me last night. I got home from work very early in the morning, 230 AM. My house has an entryway or mudroom before you actually get into the house. I open the front door, step inside, close front door and proceed to try and find the key to get through the next door to get into my house. So the only light in this entryway is through the glass on the front door, the rest of the room is completely black and I can barely see my hands in front of my face. All of a sudden I start to hear this…buzzing/vibrating?…noise behind me off to the right. House is old so maybe just weird house noises. Still looking for the key when I notice that the noise is getting louder, closer, and it has risen in pitch to something like of a woman was humming loudly. Maybe it’s just ringing in my ear. Out of the corner of my eye I see a shadow that I thought was from light reflecting outside, move towards me creeping along the wall…that’s when I noticed the vibrating noise was also getting closer to me and it seemed to be coming in the same direction as the now moving shadow. I’m shitting my pants trying to open this damn door and when I finally do the noise stops, the shadow disappears and I’m hoping it was all in my head.”
And this last one was of particular interest to me, because on December 12, 1996 I had my own “encounter” and a buzzing/vibrating sound was a big part of it. And apparently, according to the literature on the subject, it isn’t that uncommon to have that type of sound accompanying such a situation.
“Paralysis/Frequency/Wash of energy/things moving behind me—rustling noise behind my bed. I heard the rustling and thought—oh, shit! Shit!
After the noises, paralysis, and a hearing a frequency, blasted in my ear…a noise like radio being tuned, punctuated by a knocking noise, a knocking noise at steady intervals. I couldn’t move, my tongue felt heavy, I couldn’t think straight. I felt like I was being washed by energy, immersed in more energy than I could handle. Experiencing energy like a vibration, a humming—
Experiencing this I thought—I must be having a stroke. That explains this. A brain hemorrhage.
I jumped out of my body and onto the street in front of my house. Outside it looked just like it would look outside this time of night, dark, cold, outline of trees, light reflected off of wet pavement. But I’m not moving normally, though it is my first instinct to do so. I’m walking backwards, like I’m going back in time, or am operating in reversed time, or something is pulling me back. Back in my room, I am looking at my room, but it is like not really looking at my room, things are slightly different and weird. I’m back in my body in a sense—the ceiling is leaking water, cold water that drips onto my foot, startling me, waking me up from all of it. There really wasn’t any water, it was just a way to bring me out of this experience, a safety alarm.
Going back to sleep, it happens again, the paralysis and the sounds, but less seriousness, I feel that I can get out of this one much easier. The worst part of it was feeling washed over with energy, then looking into a strange mirror, like a shaman might do—a mirror fuzzy and awash in swirling energy, I see my reflection but it quickly becomes distorted, my jaw elongating, fangs, like a vampire or a snake. In my desperation to make sense out of everything, staring into the mirror far too intently, seeing little grey aliens and knowing deep down with a feeling of fear that it is just me trying to put a pat answer to something bigger than that—it wasn’t these very “X-Files” aliens I see in the mirror. Their figures are just what would be the most pat answer, then join an alien abduction group, yippie, everything is solved and documented…no. Not aliens, not like those. Nothing pat like that. But something, definitely.”
And the two biggest things I get from looking back on that experience now is:
a) Even as it was happening, I entertained the possibility it might have been a “medical” thing (stroke/seizure). So I kept my wits more or less about me, and to this day I still am open to the possibility that I had suffered a “seizure” of some kind.
b) Following up on that last point, my intuition at the end that these were absolutely not physical “aliens” per the popular trope.
I did want to point out that the knocking noise at steady intervals is something Whitley Strieber also reported, in connection to what he initially considered an “alien” encounter.
As Peter Levenda recounts it in Sinister Forces:
“They took place on the evening of August 27, 1986 while he was at his upstate New York cabin. There was a definite series of three distinct sets of three knocks, for a total of nine knocks, coming from a corner of the ceiling. Strieber seemed to understand this as an invitation to go outside and meet ‘the visitors’…an invitation he declined, from fear. His cats also reacted in terror, staring at the spot the knocks came from.”
Levenda then connects the knocks to a ritual in Western occultism, quoting Aleister Crowley from Magick In Theory And Practice:
“The general object of a knock or a knell is to mark a stage in the ceremony…The sudden and sharp impact of the sound throws the mind into an alert activity which enables it to break loose from the obsession of its previous mood. It is aroused to apply itself aggressively to the ideas that oppressed it. There is therefore a perfectly rational interpretation of the psychological power of the knock.”
Which is all to say…that if nothing else, there might be an aspect of personal transformation/”initiation” involved in such strange occurrences (as in the case with the beetle sync and Jung).
And perhaps that’s just the best we can get from such damned things.
I was going to keep this post until tomorrow, but I discovered late yesterday that a friend of mine just died. (which I’m not in the mind-space to talk about quite now) And I feel like I just need to push this material “live” when I can.