I am spending some time with Jaque Vallée and we are going for a walk while talking.
At some point, we get to the question of what motivates our desire to find or know about alien life.
I say that since my background is in psychology, I am biased. So for me, the question is not: “Are we alone”. The question is: “am I alone”.
For this, finding aliens is not the solution. The solutions is something we can only do for ourselves. By being with ourselves, by befriending the different part of ourselves, and especially the lonely and alien-ated parts of ourselves.
Of the different people talking about these things, Jaques Vallée is one of my favorites, not the least because of his interests in patterns and archetypes, and in looking at similarities between UFO stories and fairy tales, and so on.
The conversation is initially about the phenomena in general, and then switches to why we are interested in the topic. What are some of the motivations? A part is obviously a general curiosity and wanting to know about the world.
And for me, with a background in psychology, I am also interested in another motivation: The wish to not be alone. A wish for connection. If that’s a drive for us, it points to that we feel alone. And apart from the conventional solutions to this (making friends etc.), a root solution is to get to know and befriend the exiled, alienated, and alone parts of ourselves.
Finding aliens is not the solution to feeling alone. Befriending ourselves is. And it’s far easier and closer at hand than finding aliens.
Another side to this dream is that in waking life, I would likely not have this conversation with Jaques Vallée. I wouldn’t feel confident enough. I am much more free in my conversations in my dreams than I am in waking life.
Image: From Close Encounter of the Third Kind where the main scientist is modeled on Jaques Vallée.