"Notice how he's gone from the most "bat shit
> crazy" to Robert Schoch--from the least credible
> to archeology, and ties them all together as New
> Age crap. "
Ray! It's good to see your feathers being ruffled. Not what I'm used to from you.
First, let me say that this is not a good look for Jason, if he is really interested in being a balanced skeptic. So, we are in agreement on that point, as per the excerpt below, which I reviewed here and at the original site.
Kripal has also embraced Communion author
> Whitley Strieber, with whom he wrote a book on the
> supernatural, and has taken to describing the
> alien abductee as a “prophet,” though he does
> not believe that Strieber’s abduction occurred
> in the physical world.
> I don’t know what’s going on with Kripal, but
> his ever-closer orbit to the Ancient Aliens school
> of quasi-spiritual speculation will only continue
> to give aid and succor to ancient astronaut
> theorists as they continue their quest to
> speculate their way to fame and fortune.
> But what bothers me is this drifting toward a
> weird spirituality. It’s been a long time in
> coming, born of the failure of UFOs and space
> aliens to produce any tangible evidence of their
> reality. The recent versions, though, of
> paranormal spirituality are a far cry from the
> spiritual flying saucers of the 1950s, which
> imagined angels and demons riding in silvery
> discs. Now, the spirituality seems to orbit around
> New Age/Gnostic ideas of consciousness and false
> You will remember that Graham Hancock has taken
> consciousness as a major theme of his latter-day
> work and claims that hallucinogenic drugs provide
> a path toward communicating with cosmic entities.
> In this view, our minds become receivers for
> transmissions from other dimensions, much as
> Kripal imagines that imagination taps into
> supernatural forces. Similarly, Ancient Aliens
> continuously emphasizes Theosophy’s Akashic
> Record, the imaginary library of all wisdom in the
> sky that psychics can visit mentally to access
> hidden truths. And of course we can’t forget the
> UFO-poltergeist hypothesis pursued by Hal Puthoff,
> Robert Bigelow, and others, which imagines flying
> saucers to be manifestations of ghostly energy
> from other dimensions, seeping into ours through
> At the most ridiculous end of the spectrum...
So, Jason fails on a number of counts, mainly for insinuating that this entire spectrum of interpretation is "ridiculous". But let me first say one thing that I think you and I may agree on Ray, which is that there's a lot to make fun of, legitimately, when it comes to SOME New Age (etc) thinkers.
But not all, and here's where Colavito overextends his hand. When one leaves all of the bogus New Age stuff, all of the deluded UFO types, and so on, we are left with legitimate "New Ages" voices, and similar ones involved in the very vast UFO thing, and non-affiliated types who KNOW that they have had some sort of communication.
You and I have had this discussion many times, which is that experience trumps all. What really seems to be going on here is a confession of sorts, that Jason has never had any of these experiences, and so he wants to find an explanation that invalidates all of these others' experiences, carte blanche. It's really too bad that he won't admit this, if this is true. I would think he doesn't because if he explained his position more fully - All 'telepathic' experiences are bullshit, perhaps? - with such directness he would instantly estrange a huge proportion of his growing audience, who seemingly rely on him to make reasonable comments about archeological interpretations, as that applies to Lost Civilaztions and ET - real and/or imagined.
Earlier I gave him kudos for recognizing how militant skeptics "conflate" secular atheism with sound criticism. Here he makes the same fundamental error, by conflating telepathy etc with UFOlogy and "weird" science. The case for telepathy is much more ubiquitous in nature, having to do with these things and Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and various other major faiths. Far better, it would have been, for Jason to have said that all of these things are bullshit, at least the parts that involve episodes the conversion of Saul, or Abraham's instruction to sacrifice his own child, Moses being called up the mountain, and on and on and on and on. That, of course, would lower his audience numbers further.
Alternatively, he might say, Well it might be okay for telepathic experiences to occur in those settings, but not when it comes to modern UFO discourses, or ayahuasca, or DMT for that matter - and her I recall the works of Mark Strassman, the accredited doctor whose subjects came away saying, frequently, that what they experienced on DMT ranked in the top five experiences of their lives, or something like that.
So, Ray, you and I seem to know better, for being among those who have felt a spiritual connection. In the context of my own path, I've sensed this on a number of occasions, but rarely have I been certain about the source. And so, rarely will I discuss such episodes, because I know that some people will assume I'm daft. But there is another reason: rarely can I back up what I am asserting in any meaningful way. In this thread I have shared one such episode where I can, and while that may not 'prove' that I had a communion experience with God, there can be no arguing the fact that the attending symbolism isn't relevant to my claim, and that it incorporates elements that are really, really big. [grahamhancock.com]
But most of the time, I don't know what or who the 'source' is, and after I explain another example, I will circle back and explain how this is relevant to what Jason says, in a way that shows further, that he overplayed his hand viz the excerpt above.
In 2006, after many years of relative normalcy, I began to sense that someone or something was directing my thoughts. At first this happened subtly, in relation to my past. I would think of some spiritual episode from much earlier in life, and think to look at it from an angle that I had never considered before. When this happened, I would find a stunning relationship upon lookkng more closely at what came to mind.
Now, at first I didn't suspect that anyone was whispering in my ear. There were no heavenly voices, no apparitions, none of that, Just ideas which, prima facie, seemed indistinguishable from my own. However, after a while, after the immensely improbable-relevant qualities of my findings accumulated, I began to suspect that these seemingly random thoughts were not my own. They were too relevant, too timely and too numberable to attribute to chance. Eventually, I noticed that a similar thing had begun to go on with respect to my personal 'present', someone seemed to be informing me that 'it' had the ability to similar reflect what was going on in my life in the unfolding present.
Nearly a year later - long after I had accepted that this was the more likely interpretation: that someone was directing my thoughts, demonstrating a keen awareness of my Past, and proving both by crushing the default 'chance' interpretation, I stepped out of the workforce for an extended period in order to go back to school. Not long after I became a student again, I met somebody who reminded me of what had long since seemed like a 'bucket list' fantasy. To enter the world of film and television as an extra. Vancouver, known as Hollywood North, is the third largest film and television centre in North American, behind only LA and New York.
So, I signed up, which didn't interfere with my studies because I was able to only sign up for jobs that worked around my scholarly obligations. It was a perfect gig, because when I wasn't on set, shooting a scene, I was in an extras' tent, eating gourmet food and working homework via my laptop, while getting paid.
To make a long story short, it didn't take long before I started finding myself going to sets that ALSO related to my past. Before long it began to seem as if the source that had been directing my thoughts had decided to do a similar thing in the world of film and television.
The table thus set, I was called to be in Watchmen. Everything had been normal over the previous days, as things had been throughout this period (other than how remarkably relevant certain thoughts and set visits were, personally). My wife was in the bathroom when I hopped in bed, and just after I setted in, I came up with another very out-of-the-blue "random" thought-question:
What is '13 cubed'?
The moment I observed that thought, I knew I wasn't going to be able to sleep until I got the answer. I sprung out of bed, found the calculator by the phone, punched in the numbers, and found what I thought had to be the right answer, 2197. I promptly returned to bed and put the whole matter aside, didn't think about it at all the next day, until...
We filmed Watchmen's riot scene that night. There were hundreds of us extras, I would say, and I was among the lucky early ones. After signing in I went to wardrobe, as we all had to, and from there I went to one of the extras' tents. I was 'lucky' because, being one of the early ones, meant that I could settle into a seat which become much more difficult to find as things get crowded.
Once settled in, I opened my laptop and began studying as was my custom. (I was never a chatty extra.) As I worked awaw I rarely looked up, but I could feel the tent getting ever more crowded. The long table I was sitting at began to fill up, and I paid my neighbours no attention. At some point a woman set down next to me, immediately to my right. She settled in immediately, just like I had. She pulled out a book, a workbook, and put on her headphones. Then she began studying, paying nobody any attention either.
The extras streamed in over a period of at least a few hours that night, prior to shooting. I have found that I'm good for 3 to 4 hours of focus before I finally have to pull back from my laptop or whatever I'm reading, if what I'm reading is good enough to warrant such attention.
And so, several hours into this experience, I finally had to sit up and pull myself away from my laptop. The tent was jam-packed, many dozens of extras, with several coming and going. Turning a little to my right, I happened to notice that the woman I have mentioned was taking a break herself. I said hello, and asked what she was reading. She showed me her book, the title was 13 Cubed.
It is important to that this episode, which can't be explained by luck-chance, happened during a time when I had found reason to conclude that my thoughts and movements were being very deliberately directed on an ongoing basis. As such, it was the latest piece of evidence, which lent further support to my growing conviction that someone was directing my thoughts and movements for a reason.
On that note, I will circle back to Jason Colavito's commentary above. When I "reverse engineer" this entire sequence, I am convinced that things began just after I jumped in bed the night before this Watchmen shoot: that I had a telepathic communication exactly then, imparted by someone (or perhaps a higher aspect of my self) that had the ability to communicate with me in ways that are indistinguishable from my ordinary thoughts.
As I said, there have been times when I believe I have identified the 'source' of such episodes. And so, if a reasonable sounding person who is interested in UFOs, or ayahuasca, says they believed that they received a message from ET or, as Graham might put it, Mother Ayahuasca, I don't dismiss that because I have personal reasons, based on experience, to NOT presume that they are "weird" or based on seeking some way of justifying their belief in ancient aliens, contemporary aliens or spirit guides.
But this was NOT one of those occasions, and that admission calls to mind the experiences of many others, others who believe that "someone" or "something" reached out to them in the past, on at least one mysterious occasion. That's my position here. Given the timing and improbability of what happened on this Watchmen gig, and its highly personal relevance to what had been going on in my life for some time by then, I totally reject the interpretation that my original thought was random, that I somehow randomly asked myself, What is 13 cubed, when I did. And so, to Jason I would say this: while such episodes are certainly unusual, they are certainly real, if only at times. And since they can't be explained by chance, with any remote persuasion, all bets are off. It becomes legitimate to think that they might also be communications from ET, angels, or whatever. My own example begs further questions, one being that the source had the ability to send a very particular person my way, out of hundreds. Then there's the possibility that the source could see into the future, if it didn't have to choreograph my meeting with said woman.
Finally, in case you are interested, of course, I got the book. I thought it was horrible. But that's not the point, is it, Ray?
; ) Mark