The stories we put on weird experiences

What stories do we put on weird1 experiences?

What do those stories say about me and my worldview? How do they impact my life? How can I find more kind, accurate, and useful stories?

In many ways, those questions are as or more important than the “truth” about these experiences, and what we can find through regular scientific research into them.

I have experienced and gone through a number of states that can be called spiritual. If I took these as some kind of goal or place to get back into, I would create a lot of problems for myself. I would be on a wild goose chase. Instead, I chose to see them as highlighting aspects of what I am, aspects of my nature. I ask myself if I can find the essence of it here and now. That seems more kind, wise, and useful, and I am sure there are other ways to look at it that may seem even more insightful and useful.

I have periods with frequent and amazing synchronicities. I can try to figure what they mean as if there is some meaning inherent in them waiting to be found. That seems stressful since I can never know if I have found it, and it also looks like a wild goose chase. Instead, it seems to point to me being in a kind of flow state and following my inner guidance. I can see if that seems accurate. I can also see it as a question about reality: Perhaps all is connected in a far deeper way than it looks? Perhaps all these surface expressions are movements within a seamless whole? I can also take it as a reminder that the universe seems like a seamless system.

As a kid, I had what seemed like flashbacks to between lives. I shifted into a state of disembodiment and all as consciousness and love. I was profoundly at home, beyond anything I can imagine in this life. It brought up longing and some grief in me. I can try to figure out if this is how it really is between lives. I can try to tell myself I know this is how it is between lives. Again, that’s futile since I cannot know any of that for certain, and somewhere in me I know that. I cannot successfully deceive myself even if I try. Again, it seem more wise, kind, and useful to use it as a pointer for what’s here now. Can I find it here and now? (The answer is yes, I can find it here and now. The essence is the same although it doesn’t look exactly the same, and it’s generally much easier to find it than it has been at some points.)

I seem to be able to sense to some extent what’s going on in the system of others and invite in healing at a distance. Again, I could try to tell myself I know that this is how it is and perhaps even how it works. And again, that’s futile since I know I cannot know for certain. It’s far more comfortable for me to hold the questions and keep exploring. The sensing and healing seem to work, so why not keep exploring it?

I have precognitions, either through dreams or in waking life. Many of these seem accurate. I dreamt I would live in Oregon fifteen years before it happened2. I dreamt I would live in a neighborhood with a very particular schoolhouse in South America, and that happened roughly thirty-five years later3. I also often have a sense of how situations will unfold, and when that sense has a certain quiet solid feel to it, it often turns out to be correct. (Hopes and fears can muddle it, of course.) I find it useful to see these as questions more than anything else.

My nature seems to be able to recognize itself and this whole field of experience as happening within itself. I could tell myself stories about how this is awakening or enlightenment, or that it’s a full awakening, or that it’s some kind of endpoint. It’s the same with this as with the other examples. It seems obviously not true. Those are stories and I cannot know any of it for certain. On the contrary, it seems that this is an ongoing process of exploration, clarification, deepening, maturing, healing, and so on. I cannot find any finishing line. That’s far more comfortable and it seems more aligned with reality.

I seem to have what could be called insights. I could tell myself these reflect some final, full, absolute truth. That seems stressful and it would require a lot of work to try to talk myself into it. The reality is that I cannot know. They seem provisional and more like questions about the world than anything else. I am sure there are other ways to looking at it that would make more sense to me now or will in the future. Taking it that way is far more comfortable for me. It seems more aligned with reality. (And that too is provisional and a question.)

To me, waking life seems like a dream. It’s all happening within the consciousness I am, just like night dreams. The consciousness I am forms itself into all of it. These too are questions more than anything else. If I got caught up in the mental mirroring (representations) of it and told myself that’s how it is, it would distract from the actual alive noticing. Holding those stories as questions frees up attention to actually noticing.

I could tell myself that having weird experiences with the “spiritual” label on it makes me special. That too seems stressful because it’s not true. Many if not most people have unusual experiences once or several times. Many have had far more experiences than me. (It’s not a competition.) I didn’t choose or create any of these experiences, they just happened. I cannot keep them or make them come back. They live their own life. At most, some of them are pointers for aspects of what I am and what I can find here and now.

I have had ghost and UFO experiences. Again, I could make up stories about these and tell myself I know how things are. I don’t. I can explore and have questions about it, and that’s about it. That’s more interesting and aligned with reality, and allows me to keep exploring.

With the things that relate to something “out there” – ghosts, UFOs, synchronicities, and so on– I take it as only “out there” in the world. That way, I would miss out on the richness of also seeing it in here. I can notice that it all happens within and as my sense fields, and that my sense fields happen within and as the consciousness I am. I can identify my stories about them, turn these stories to myself, and find genuine and specific examples of how it’s true.

These are all provisional stories, and I keep exploring to see if something else may seem more useful for me. Of course, to be useful, they also need to be as sincere, honest, and true as possible – in a conventional sense and in my experience.

NOTES

(1) When I say “weird” it means weird as seen in our mainstream culture. Something that doesn’t fit the mainstream materialistic worldview and the views of our current science. In some subcultures and in most other cultures, it will not be seen as weird. It fits their worldview. (For a couple of hundred years, our culture has worked to shed superstitions, and that’s good. Now, it may be time to include some of it again, and to do so in a more grounded and science-based way.)

(2) I was a teenager and lived in Norway at the time, and had absolutely no intention to go to the US. I didn’t like much about the US so it was very far down the list of places I wanted to visit and even less live in. Through a set of circumstances, I did eventually find myself in Oregon and in the setting described in the dream.

(3) I almost fell out of the car when I saw that schoolhouse while we were in the process of buying the land. At some point, we had given up since it seemed impossible – there was no road access – but the dream suggested that it would happen. Now, I can see that school from our tiny house.

Image by me and Midjourney

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An I Ching experience

Synchronicities can show us when we are in some kind of flow in life. We can use them as a pointer. And we can also make use of them in the form of a Tarot or I Ching reading. 

Here is one I was reminded of this morning. 

When I was in my late teens, I got in touch with a man in Norway who became a kind of mentor for me. I initially contacted him for earth acupuncture services, we started talking on the phone, and he introduced me to I Ching

He told me he had asked I Ching about me in general, and got 1. The Creative / Heaven and 56. The Wanderer, and talked with me a bit about those two hexagrams.

Within a day or two, I went into Oslo to get my own copy of I Ching (the Richard Wilhelm translation with a foreword of Jung whose writings I devoured at the time). When I came back to the house, my first question was the same, a general question about me. And I too got 1. The Creative / Heaven changing to 56. The Wanderer. 

If I remember my middle-school math, I think it’s a one in about 4000 chance that we both got the same combination of lines. And that’s not so important. 

What’s important is that it helped me trust my process a little bit more, and it certainly made me interested in the I Ching in general. I read my copy over and over for the next two or three years until it almost fell apart. 

I also did use it as an oracle, although I quickly learned that I Ching would reflect the state of my mind at the moment more than anything else. And if I asked a frivolous question, or asked the same question more than once, I would typically get 4. Youthful Folly. 

When it comes to the two hexagrams, the first – The Creative / Heaven – certainly seemed to fit then and now. And, at the time, I remember I didn’t like that it changed to The Wanderer. I didn’t particularly want to be a wanderer. But now, looking back, I see it was accurate. I have been a wanderer both literally and metaphorically. I have lived in several places in the world (these days, I am a Norwegian in the Andes mountains). And I have a deep curiosity about a wide range of approaches to healing and spirituality and have explored several of them. 

Dream & synchronicity: Ceramics kiln

The kiln at the Airbnb

I am helping Sofia, my partner’s cousin’s daughter, with her business. In the room, and connected with the business, is a silvery cube a little bigger than a fridge or washing machine.

Sofia is a teenager who is looking at business ideas to make money, and we just spent a couple of weeks together in a house in Barichara with more family. In the dream and after, I wasn’t sure what type of machine the largish silvery cube was. It was shorter and bulkier than a fridge, and larger than a washing machine.

In waking life, it had made an impression on me that Sofia’s main goal is to make lots of money, and my partner and I had talked about it briefly before going to sleep. I don’t doubt she can do it if she puts her mind to it, which she seems to be doing.

Later the same morning as this dream, my partner and I went to look at a possible AirBnB outside of Barichara for a future visit. It turned out to be the Airbnb of a ceramic artist, and she showed us her workshop.

In the workshop was a ceramics kiln, which was large and silvery and exactly like the machine I had seen in the dream.

I am not sure what this means or points to, if anything. Although it did renew my desire to start with Japanese wood-fired pottery. I have done electric-kiln pottery in the past, although I love Japanese wood-fired pottery and would love to do it. There may be an opportunity to build such a kiln at our new place.

It may even eventually be a small business, connecting with the dream theme.

Coincidence or synchronicity?

On a street in Villa de Leyva, I saw three cars parked one after the other with license numbers 111, 222, and 333. It’s obviously very unlikely this would happen. To me, and at first glance, it doesn’t have a very obvious meaning which makes it a coincidence and not synchronicity. For someone else, it may be more meaningful, a meaningful coincidence, which is then a synchronicity.

I have recently had a series of these coincidences and synchronicities in my life. For instance, one morning, I had a mental image of a dog showing up at the french windows, and a dog did just that within the hour. At a restaurant yesterday, a cat was called Agatha and looked similar to the cat we have, and today we receive a photo of our cat’s mum which looks – as far as we can tell – almost exactly like the cat we saw yesterday and is also called Agatha. I have wanted to get a closer look at some big raptors flying in the area, and this afternoon, one slowly glided over me so closely that I could almost touch it.

I know from experience that series of synchronicities tend to happen in my life when I feel more on track and in flow.

So in this case, each one may be a coincidence since they are not – in themselves – all that meaningful apart from being a coincidence. And together, they seem to reflect that I am on track and in flow, and they take on meaning and become a kind of meta-synchronicity.

Update: As I wrote this, my partner told me that Venus entered Scorpio today and shared a little of what it points to. Within an hour, I saw our cat playing with something on the floor, and it turned out to be a small black scorpion! I moved the cat to another room and used a broom to sweep it outside and it was gone. This is more of a real kind of synchronicity since it’s meaningful. It gives added emphasis to what my partner said, and perhaps also mirrors a sweeping out of some of the parental conditioning in me (both my parents are born in Scorpio).

Update 2: Just now, I went to Spotify, and on top of the page, one of the suggested podcast episodes was “Scorpion Part 2”.

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Reflections on society, politics and nature XX

Continued from previous posts…. These posts are collections of brief notes on society, politics, and nature. I sometimes include a few short personal notes as well.

A more formalized type of mirror. I am not much into astrology or tarot, although I recognize that it can be helpful. At their best, they combine archetypes, projections, and synchronicities in a powerful and potentially life-transforming way.

Both have systemized some basic archetypes and some of their dynamics. And since archetypes are universal, they will resonate with whomever is receptive to it.

Both can serve as very good projection objects. We see ourselves in the astrology charts or a tarot card or layout because we put ourselves into it.

Synchronicities can play a role in both. Something going on in our life – and especially in our mind – can be reflected in astrology and tarot.

In all of these ways, astrology and tarot can serve as a mirror for us. They can help us see and get to know aspects of ourselves.

It seems less useful if we have a simplistic and heavy-handed approach to astrology, tarot, or anything else. For instance, if we think they tell us something that’s going to happen. That can create stress, and even self-fulfilling prophecies (or the reverse).

And it seems more useful if we hold it all lightly. If we consciously use them as mirrors for ourselves. And if we are conscious of the archetypes, projections, and synchronicities.

Of course, the whole world is a mirror for ourselves. We don’t need astrology, tarot, or something similar to see and get to know aspects of ourselves. We just need to recognize that the whole world – and especially what in the world and our life currently draws our attention – is a mirror for what’s here now.

Astrology, tarot, and similar things are more formalized, structured, and explicit mirrors for ourselves. Life is the mirror we live with all the time, and we may need a somewhat structured approach to make use of it. For instance, some form of inquiry.

Unedited photos from Bryant Park, New York.

Editing photos. When I take, select, and edit my own photos, I need one or more pointers for myself to guide me. Here are some of the pointers I tend to use:

Something I would like to look at over time, and again and again.
Something that gives me pleasure.
Something that is interesting.
Something where I can keep discovering new things. 
Something that conveys a certain mood.
Something that conveys a certain way of perceiving the world.

Something that feels right at a deep level.

Of course, not every photo need to satisfy each of these. And a photo can be interesting for other reasons. But these are useful pointers for me, at least for now.

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UFO reflections IV

Documentary: Witness of Another World

My interest is more: what happens to these witnesses? How can we help them? The witnesses, when they grow up, will integrate their experience within their life, as Juan has done. That process is very interesting, and these people have something to teach us.

– Jacques Valleé in Witness of Another World, 59:04 – 59:24

I enjoyed Witness of Another World very much and also listening to some interviews with the director Alan Stivelman (Podcast UFO, Open Minds, Richard Dolan). It’s a deeply moving story of a young boy experiencing something inexplicable, being traumatized by some of the consequences (people not believing him, precognitive dreams), and finding some healing through the process of participating in this documentary and meeting shamans from his ancestral tribe.

I share Jacques Valleés interest in the witnesses and how the experience – close encounters with something or someone alien – transforms them. It’s similar to the transformations people often go through following space travel (overview effect), shamanic journeys, using some psychoactive drugs, near-death experiences, spiritual openings or awakenings, and so on. I would love to see a more systematic study done on this, and the similarities and differences between people and between the categories of experiences.

January 2020

A oneness view on UFOs, synchronicities, and psychic sensing

I am listening to Mike Clelland’s Stories from the Stories from the Messengers: Owl’s, UFOs, and a Deeper Reality. I like it very much as it explores the connections between UFOs, alien encounters, synchronicities, shamanism, spirituality, and the personal transformation that often takes place following UFO and alien encounters. (This is a follow-up to The Messengers: Owls, Synchronicity and the UFO Abductee which I equally enjoyed.)

One thing I notice is how puzzling these connection are to many people. Of course, there is something inherently puzzling and baffling in many of these stories. They definitely elude conventional explanations. They make sense more the way mythology and dreams make sense. And we don’t know much about what UFOs and the reports of alien encounters actually are about.

And yet, from a oneness view, these stories do make sense in a certain way.

Synchronicities are movements within oneness and within the seamless system of the universe that we are inherent parts of. The different parts of the synchronicities only appear to be separate because thoughts can make it look that way to us.

It’s the same with psychic sensing. We are part of the oneness of all of existence so, naturally, we’ll sometimes pick up information outside of our physical senses. I suspect we all do it, now and then, and some of us may be more tuned into it than others for whatever reason.

From a conventional science view, it’s very unlikely that this planet is the only living one in our galaxy or the universe. More likely, the universe has developed itself into life many place, including what we see as intelligent life. And if so, some of these civilizations will likely be far more advanced than ours and possibly able to travel across or even between galaxies. (Using an understanding of physics and technology that is beyond what we can currently imagine.)

And from a oneness view, these civilizations and galaxies happen within and as the same oneness as we do. They too are expressions of the same oneness. They too are expressions of Spirit. They too are Spirit exploring, expressing, and experiencing itself in always new and different ways.

If some humans encounter some of these aliens, and if or when we officially and collective encounter an alien civilization, that too will happen within and as this oneness. And that too will be Spirit exploring, expressing, and experiencing itself in that particular way.

Note: In his two books on owls, UFOs, and synchronicities, Mike Clelland wonders about the connection between synchronicities and aliens. Perhaps the aliens somehow create the synchronicities? This is, in some ways, a natural question if we live within a mostly materialistic worldview.

But when we begin to notice that all is Spirit, or the divine, or consciousness, and that it’s all One, then it looks a bit different. Then synchronicities becomes a natural expression and consequence of oneness.

It’s a bit like watching seaweed moving with the waves along the shore. If we are unaware of the water, we may wonder what makes the seaweed move in synchrony. It may seem very puzzling and we cannot find a reasonable mechanism. When we notice the water it’s all moving within, it makes more sense to us.

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Taking in the “death of nature” and a synchronicity

I am at the cabin in Norway (by the lake Mosjøen in Enebakk), and a couple of nights ago, while falling asleep, I listened to an audiobook. The author talked about the loss of butterflies and other insect life at her home in Ireland, a gradual ecological devastation, the and the possibility of a very dystopian future for humanity.

I have been impacted by the same – the very obvious loss of insect life in Norway and corresponding loss of bird life and a variety of other animals and animals – and how it is just a small local expression of the global loss of biodiversity and nature.

In a very real sense, it’s a “death of nature” caused by us humans – and our current worldview of seeing ourselves as separate from nature, and a society that operates within frameworks that do not take limited ecological resources into account.

After listening to this description of loss butterflies and insects in general, I was unable to sleep.

I got up, and allowed the sadness, distress, and pain in the heart to be here and work on me. The more I am able to allow it all as it is, the more it is allowed to work on me and transform me.

As I took it in more deeply and fully, I felt something in me realigning with the reality of what’s happening, and there was also a sense of a deeper healing. I don’t know exactly what happened, and I don’t really need to know. (Perhaps we never can know fully.) Although painful, it was  a beautiful process.

The following day, there were a couple of synchronicities.

I found myself surrounded by a huge amount of insects when I was down by the lake in the evening. (I have noticed the loss of insect life at the cabin too, even if it is in relatively untouched wilderness and soon-to-be national park, and the corresponding loss of bird life is very noticeable.)

Later, I was down by the lake again to get water and saw several bats flying over the lake. (During the previous night, the absence of bats was one of the things that came to mind. I hadn’t seen any bats here for many years although they were abundant when I was a kid.)

It was as if life was telling me: Yes, it’s good you take in what’s happening – the possibility of a dystopian future for humans and many other species, and that there is already a dystopian present for many humans and other species

And also, see, there is hope. It’s worth working and fighting for a different future, one that is more life-centered. One that values life. One where humans organize themselves so what’s easy and attractive to do is also beneficial for other people, ecosystems, and future generations.

You know it’s possible. Help others see it’s possible.

UFO reflections III

See previous posts on this topic. I have backdated this post so it will show up alongside the others.

September 29, 2017

How we approach it. As with anything else, how we approach the UFO topic makes a big difference. It’s the difference between seeking truth or emotional satisfaction. It’s the difference between being taken seriously or not. It’s the difference between creating a field that scientists will want to approach or not.

If we latch onto beliefs and take them as true even if we cannot really know, it will be obvious – to ourselves and others – what we are doing. We are acting out of reactivity and an emotional need. We allow emotional reactivity override rationality. Many do exactly that in this field, and that’s why it’s often viewed with suspicion or even ridicule by others. (When I say it’s obvious to ourselves, I mean that a part of us knows what’s going on, and we are still doing it. We are also aware of others doing the same but may chose to not say anything.)

If we approach it with honesty, groundedness, and sanity, it’s quite different. Then, it’s just an investigation into something mysterious. We are open about what we may find. We are more invested in finding and reporting on what’s really going on than supporting a particular view or theory. We hold off on drawing conclusions. We practice generating and exploring a wide range of possible solutions including the ones that would be disappointing to us. (We may even practice favoring the most boring solutions.)

In the first case, we are more interested in a short-lived emotional satisfaction than truth. And in the second case we are more interested in truth than in satisfying wishes, fears, or identities.

Of course, for most of us, there is a mix of the two in how we relate to most areas of life.

And it’s helpful to be honest with ourselves when we do one or the other. We can look for the signs.

Do I feel invested in a particular answer or interpretation? Do I feel or act defensive? Do I feel or act reactively? Are there particular interpretations I particularly want to dismiss? Do I feel an emotional charge around the topic? Do I feel a charge around wanting to back up my view and get others over on my side? Do I use word such as “I know….” even if I cannot know for certain? If so, I am most likely caught in emotional neediness and may favor satisfying that over a more rational approach.

The more rational approach also have some signs. Do I practice generating a wide range of possible solutions, including the ones I don’t personally like? Do I keep an open mind? Do I acknowledge that I don’t know? Do I acknowledge that any interpretation is an interpretation, and that there are other ones out there – including many none of us may be currently aware of – that would fit the data equally well or better?

I am aware of only a few in the UFO field that takes such a dispassionate view. Jaques Vallee is one, and Clas Svahn is another (although their approaches are quite different from each other). Most are somewhere further along the spectrum towards being emotionally invested in a particular answer, whether it’s pro- or -anti-alien. (Whatever they understand as alien, whether it’s beings from another part of the universe or something more “supernatural.)

I personally have an interest in the field for two reasons. One is that it helps me see the difference between rational and emotional approaches more easily, and I get to see and examine my own approach in that light. The other is that the different UFO phenomena likely have different types of solutions and each of them are quite interesting – whether it says something about human psychology and sociology, about unexplored natural phenomena (Hessdalen), or something else that falls outside of our current modern and scientific worldview.

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