Certain experiences defy description. That is, the tacitly accepted stories that define reality are sometimes undermined by anomalous events.
Tacitly accepted stories are everywhere. They are as omnipresent as water to a fish, holding us in place, and often similarly invisible. That’s because we tend to accept the stories into which we were born as if they weren’t stories, but perfectly accurate descriptions of reality. Some people (a nasty phrase, see footnote Number 1 below) believe that this is necessary, and that the task of education is to indoctrinate children into holding tight to these stories, because these stories define shared identities and values. That’s why some people don’t want to teach children our full and honest history, preferring the white-washed versions that encourage a population’s willingness to maintain historical privileges. To some, the underlying story or philosophy (indoctrination) that drives them is the belief that “it’s a dog-eat-dog world”, a matter of might making right. And this tautology justifies the lies of omission and elision that hold the culture’s narrative in place. They say, see, every other culture does this too, so why should we give up our story and make ourselves weaker than the others?
So honesty becomes a dangerous thing. And this is why reflecting on things “philosophically” (which is merely being honest about the hidden philosophies driving us) is “not interesting” to most people. They might not admit this outright, but most people are frightened by questioning things too much. They don’t want to disturb the surface images that define their world. They’ve learned to fear reality, and conflate their own lives with the surface reflections they diligently (as good children) learned to embody, and this philosophy is called “being practical.”
What people gain through this subtle and unconscious repression is a neat, picket-fenced world, a virtual world, where hallucinations of reality are preserved against all anomalous evidence. And this “works” to preserve a happy face (for the time being), even while the real world is crumbling. But it’s the kind of success that is killing us all. Because now (see footnote #2) we have a population of human beings worldwide that tends to fear or despise anyone holding an “anomalous” story or vision of reality, which can be abbreviated to mean “those with other skin colors or from other cultures.” And so, the longer we hole-up in these caves, retreating from reality, holding tight to stories that make us feel safe and secure, the more dangerous our world becomes, and the more impossible it becomes to thrive. Thriving begins to seem like a Utopian dream.
See, honesty is not a moral value. It’s merely eyesight that isn’t obscured by our own lies – not other people’s, but our own. If we can’t face our own duplicity, we can’t see clearly. And no animal survives if it’s senses are distorted in this way.
Honesty is the capacity to see through our own deceptions and wishful thinking. It’s not “telling the truth.” We don’t know the truth in that positive, assertive, conclusive sense. And that’s the first honest thing we realize. A negative honesty. And by default our stories begin to shift, freed from the self-blinding need to promote a false narrative, or convince others to believe one thing and one thing only. And then our remaining stories become less absolute, less dogmatic, but more engaged with reality, more inclined to frame things honestly, but only as metaphor, or as creative myth. We don’t confuse these stories with Answers. They are ways of looking through the prism of perception to obtain insights that wouldn’t otherwise be visible. In this sense, every honest story, no matter how contradictory it may sound at first, adds information necessary to everyone else. Because survival is less competitive than we thought. (That’s a negative discovery). It’s competitive only if that’s the story we tell ourselves. But the cooperative spirit ensures survival more than competition.
That is, divided we fall. And our different stories divide us, but one thing unites us all – the recognition of bullshit. This is a universal sensory capacity, a human potential, an animal potential. And this tendency to repress the negative capacity to sense bullshit in every story we hold dear keeps us in a state of childish dependency to those who promote lies of omission.
But see a secret harmony shows itself here – we’re all in the same boat. We’re all embedded in a mystery of staggering depth. And it’s not so bad after all. It’s not necessary to fear this uncertainty. It’s the face of God perhaps, if you prefer that metaphor, something beyond the farthest reach of human knowledge, if you will. Realizing this, the competitive spirit dies. And we want to explore the mystery from as many angles as possible, which means none of them are competing, but are merely providing different refractions on that shared mystery. In the absence of Answers, it’s all hands on deck, and every honest story provides essential information to everyone.
All this by way of introducing a story, which is honest in a mythic sense, or as metaphor. Something happened to me as a kid that might be described as a breakdown or as a partial insight, or as an hallucination, and on and on. But none of those more readily available stories would communicate the essential mystery of this event itself. It was an anomaly that refused to fit any narrative frame. So I place it in the frame of an alien experience, as a metaphor, not as a literal depiction, which would be bullshit.
I’m not interested in the positive descriptions of UFO experiences as this or that, as little green or gray beings visiting us in spaceships. Maybe that happens, it’s very possible. But that’s not what interests me about the recent UFO reporting. What I like about all this is the undeniable anomalies of these events, their power to put holes in our certainties, in our vision of reality. “Something is happening here, but we don’t know what it is, do we, Mr. Jones?”
Here’s the story: When I Seven Years Old I was Abducted by Aliens
Footnote or Kick-in-the-pants note #1: Why am I pointing fingers, it’s uncharacteristic. I think it’s because I was trying to introduce this story to an imaginary set of people, and that throws off my internal compass. It brings me down to a staked position. I won’t correct it, because I have to let my mistakes air themselves out.
Footnote 2: I write as if this tendency to repress reality is a new thing. I’m daydreaming from the point of view that this development has intensified over the past 10,000 years, almost logarithmically.