Final Installment of Prisoner Infinity Part One: Crucial Fiction

jasunwhitley

Is it possible for us to actually disappear into our own imagination?” Strieber asked his interviewer in 1988.

Strieber’s bondage (which is our human bondage) is that of the infant who wishes to please his caregivers by doing what he is told, but who is being pushed into going his own way. So far he has been unable to reconcile that contradiction—the oldest human dilemma of all, fate and free will—and obey the imperative of autonomy. He is forever falling back into the mother’s breast, even as he picks up the pen, the surrogate phallus, of his emasculated manhood—to prove that he is free to write his own life story. Yet all the while, silently and in secret, he continues to receive dictation. He has yet to recognize the metaphor which the visitors have presented to him (that he was mothered and fathered by trauma), and so he remains enslaved to the fantastic and horrifying fact of their existence.

The understanding I was reaching was that Strieber’s writing (and my own) was a way to allow “suppressed memories” (events too large for us to register consciously) into awareness. But there was more. Judging by the evidence of his own narrative, writing was also a way for Strieber to re-traumatize himself, in a (possibly misguided) attempt to “desensitize” himself to the traumatic material in his unconscious and make room for the past events to be re-cognized by his conscious mind? If so, then I wondered if this had inevitably and tragically overlapped with the child’s compulsion to self-traumatize, as a way to dissociate and enter into a blissful, fantasy space free from the pain of differentiation—to be re-immersed into the mother’s body?

As I arranged the recently found mirror shards into some sort of shape, I began to see a distinctly familiar form staring back at me. Had Strieber started turning his unseen trauma-parents (and parental traumas) into fiction unconsciously, “imagineering” the events which he then recounted as his first non-fiction best-seller? Communion (for which he allegedly received a million dollar advance) turned out to be his most financially successful work ever, even if it came at a considerable cost to his reputation. A popular horror writer whose sales are flagging and who comes out with an incredible, horrifying account of alien contact—insisting that it is a true story—is inevitably going to be met with a degree of skepticism, and even hostility. At that precise point in his life and career, metaphor irretrievably and forever crossed over into the realms of fact. Strieber’s horror fiction spilled over into his life, and his life turned into a non-fiction horror novel. Literally.

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Final Audio, Solo Session, “Writing Wrongs (Prepare for Contact)

33 thoughts on “Final Installment of Prisoner Infinity Part One: Crucial Fiction

  1. Namaste jake…….I want to thank you for asking for my comments……I have had not much imput but you have opened up my mind that a lot goes on behind the scenes which I quite frankly don`t understand and I feel unqualified to comment….however because of my chan/zen Buddhist practice ,and bodhidharma`s original mind idea I can see a link..THE ONLY WAY OUT WAS TO LOOK ALL THE WAY IN TO THAT INFINITY,AND SEE WHO,OR WHAT WAS LOOKING BACK> again thank you very much for sharing , your friend derm

  2. no, life does NOT begin with enlightenment! Jasun, i completely understand the *intellectual* point you are making – BUT – putting your ‘real life’ on hold until enlightenment, when we get married/meet ‘the one’, get our psychological issues straightened out, get ‘well’ (my personal biggest bugaboo programming)……this begs the whole issue that you’re/we’re all experiencing pops of enlightenment and authtenticity all the time anyways, we just mostly don’t notice them or talk ourselves out of them…

    live your most enlightened, authentic life RIGHT NOW. Nothing is more sad than putting off or denigrating the life you are living RIGHT NOW. Chances are it won’t be your ‘perfect ideal’, but then who said that was the point? namaste and right on you had a great time in Helsinki! w00t! steph

    • hi steph – sounds like something is stirring!

      the point i was making didn’t have anything to do with putting life on hold.

      I wasn’t putting life on hold for 46 years; I was looking in the wrong places and chasing after the wrong things.

      But I think I understand you are talking to yourself and not to me. You’re the only one here anyway! ; )

  3. I just finished reading both sections 11 and 12 in a row. Very nicely done (is it done?). I must confess that I began having doubts about where you seemed to be heading with this while reading section 11 but that changed when I got into section 12. I will be dropping you another line soon as a reply to your email back to me as well as to share further thoughts, and some experiences, related to POI. Talk more soon.

  4. I also wanted to ask, are you familiar with the works/ideas of Stanislav Grof? Particularly his book The Adventure of Self-Discovery? I checked the bibliographies of LV and Serpiens and there was, curiously, no mention of him. I was kind of surprised because a lot of your writings read in a similar way to his stuff. If you aren’t actually familiar with him you might enjoy checking him out, especially in light of where POI has taken you, because he also erects an elaborate “useful fiction” that discusses birth memories, what he calls “perinatal experiences” and his “basic perinatal matrices”, shamanic/mystical experiences, the “alien abduction” scenario, etc. All the usual suspects of ideas and all under the banner of “dimensions of consciousness and new perspectives in psychotherapy and inner exploration”.

    • I found a Grof book in sale in the library around the time I stared the POI project but didn’t read it. I recently picked it up intending to do so but for some reason I lost interest almost immediately. It seemed too conceptual for my current tastes, and since I am less and less inclined to apply effort in my life 9especially when reading!), I went with the feeling and put it back on my shelf.

      I don’t doubt what you say, that it’s very similar approach, at least on the surface. Perhaps it’s too similar – if you are a plumber, you probably don’t want to read books by other plumbers.

  5. it was a loose analogy; it could do with some fine-tuning

    plumbers can compare notes and learn from each other

    maybe my immediate feeling about SG was it was all a bit too worked out?

  6. My last comment was initially a longer reply but then I deleted all but the opening line just to keep it simple and to save some of what I ended up typing about for the email I plan on sending you (I may even opt to post my thoughts on my own word press page which I actually created just to engage in some way with your current projects). Interestingly you came back and said what I was initially saying about comparing notes. The “bit too worked out” feel of Grof’s ideas may simply be that he was primarily writing for an academic crowd and that crowd tends to want everything “worked out” as you probably know. I have personally found Grof’s ideas useful over the years, particularly his method of “holotropic breathwork”.

  7. I haven’t had a full moment to sit down and type up the email I want to send to you (it may even have to wait until early next week) but in the meantime I’d like to point you to an interesting passage from Kenneth Grant’s Outer Gateways which seems somewhat relevant to what you wrote about in POI. This is from pages 115-116 in the chapter titled “The Mirroracle” where he is discussing Ufonauts and Lam:

    “The sensation of fear induced by encounters, releases in the astral consciousness the demonic spectres reflected in the auric shell of the contactee; the ‘blue devils’ are a product of this fear. Relevant in this connection are the words of the psalmist: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. Of all the emotions, fear is primal, and it is the most potent factor involved in opening the Outer Gateways. Wisdom is attributed to Chokmah, the cult-centre of the Starry Wisdom Sect. This cult projects through the veil of the mauve zone the vibrations that are sensed within the blood as fear, or terror, which is denoted by the word PChD, a name of the power-zone of Mars (as Horus, Kali, etc.).”

  8. Hey Jason,

    Congrats on wrapping up Part 1 of POI – sounds like it was a bit of a painful journey for you at times. It sure helped me put a few things in perspective so thanks for working it through. I bought Kalshed’s book but haven’t cracked it yet.

    Speaking of “killing mothers” in bathtubs…

    The Shining’s room 237.

    As you know I got a jones on for Stanley Kubrick. Of late, I have been completing putting together an interpretation of The Shining. Many aspects of the material you’ve presented in POI are present in Kubrick’s version of The Shining.

    Stephen King publicly complained that Kubrick was totally misinterpreting the book – that Kubrick had no idea what a piece of horror fiction was about.

    Well, after having researched a fair amount on Kubrick’s version, I finally decided to read King’s book. Lo and behold, horrible things happen in the book but the book is hardly a horror story at all – it’s a study in the psychologies of it’s characters and in particular a study of the psychology of trauma. But really, the whole thing may be seen as a study in the psyche of Stephen King. King has made no bones about the fact that he writes to work through his fears and the trauma of his childhood.

    Jack Torrance has suffered a traumatic childhood. The main event of that traumatic childhood (which begins on page 237 of my version of the book) is the beating with a cane of his mother by his drunken father at the dinner table in front of the family. Jack packs the event away in his psyche but it’s influence on him surfaces in his behaviours at work and home – eventually he becomes his drunken, abusive dad.

    King’s father left the family when King was two. He grew up with his mother with no father to “fish” him away. (The book ends with Danny catching a fish from a lake, Dick Hallorann refuses to help Danny land the fish – Dick has become the surrogate father instructing independence from the mother)

    Jack’s father is tied to the Overlook Hotel via wasps. There’s certainly a “white anglo” angle to Jack’s father and the hotel but the wasps also connect via the wasp nest as representing disturbed “mind”. Jack’s father burns a wasp nest while having the kids watch, Jack finds a wasp nest in the roof of the overlook, the wasps sting Jack and later Danny, the last image of the burning hotel at the end of the book is of a cloud of wasps exiting the hotel and dissipating.

    Closer to POI – the wasps are given an “alien” association – hive mind as well as insectoid appearance. The word “alien” is used quite often in the book. Danny is once described as pale, large eyed and thin mouthed.

    There’s a motif of fellatio in the text – which is never really resolved into something concrete: “panic squirting in his mouth like bitter juice”, “the storm seeming to choke on it’s own dark throat filled with snow”, and so on.

    There’s mention of Freud, autism, schizoid behaviour, autohypnosis, and on and on.

    Makes one wonder if Streiber read a lot of King’s work.

    Anyways, thanks again. Looking forward to part 2 (whatever that might involve).

  9. That’s great! Circles within circles. I just noticed that Kubrick & King have the same initials. Seems to suggest that there’s one story being told and retold with different protagonists and locales – like Jack at the Overlook, eternally recurring, a little bit of history repeating.

    I am not sure if there will be a Part Two. Popular demand will be one determining factor.

    The psychic sweat lodge has been constructed around the Strieber monolith; now let’s see if the demons will start leaving the building…?

    • Eternally recurring indeed.

      Kubrick referenced James Joyce many times in his work. As dense (sometimes to the point of being impenetrable) as his prose can be, I’ve always loved reading JJ. I’m sure Kubrick felt the same. His visual works are similar to JJ’s literary works.

      James Joyce begins Finnegans Wake with the last half of the sentence with which he ends the FW:

      A way a lone a long a last a loved a long the….
      ….riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.

      Kubrick follows this example in The Shining. A lake sets the final scene of Kings book: a lake sets the first scene in Kubrick’s movie.

  10. Really enjoyed this series and especially the conclusion. Does the second part deal with Castaneda? (nudge nudge) I wonder, though, if the rabbit hole, Wonderland and Reality end up being the same place.

  11. If reality by definition is all there is, then there is no rabbit hole, no wonderland, and no spoon. Only you!

    Like your site – curious that you also are focusing on the Kubrick Code.

    CC is cited further in part two (what there is of it) but the focus is still primarily on WS.

    • I guess I’m wondering if the fictions, like our bodies, ARE absolutely crucial. Maybe the only question, as Blake suggested, is do we create our own fictions or are we trapped in someone else’s story?

      I’m reluctantly covering Kubrick. I love his films, but this is well-trod territory.

      Looking forward to Part 2.

      • I think the fictions are crucial to a part of us and once we let go of/integrate/remove that part of us, the fictions naturally fall away with it. Creating our own fictions might be a transitional method by which we make an unconscious process conscious – and thereby render the fictions less than crucial. But living without fictions is the obvious ultimate goal.

        Living without Kubrick is one of the baby steps – a breeze for me. ; )

        • Being embodied, and therefore occupying a unique yet shifting position in time and space, isn’t our perception of reality always and necessarily limited, “fictional”?

  12. (Funny, I wrote this post not too long before znore posted his comment above regarding Castaneda, but I’m only getting around to posting it now.)

    Sorry to jostle things a bit here but I presume this UFO / Strieber
    stuff did not happen in a vacuum where Carlos Castaneda did not
    already exist (and did not already have a major sorcerous-like
    influence) in the psyche of the young man-child, Jake Horsley.

    You’ve written extensively on the Castaneda “sacred cow” material and
    also the Strieber “sacred cow” material (and don’t forget about
    Crowley) , and their influence on you, seperately. But what about
    together ? ! What happens when you bring them together in the mind of
    a twenty something guy with aspergers in the 1980’s and 1990’s (spirit
    of the times being what they were and such) ? All these guys each
    have an impact on us (if they do at all) at very specific times in
    each our own lives in a one-to-one encounter at a specific historical
    moment. Do you think it matters which of those fellow’s psychic imprint landed
    on you first before you encountered the other? I presume you were trying to play
    out the role of the sorcerer-warrior (quite easily for your plutonic self, surely) by
    the time you starting absorbing Strieber’s “crucial fictions”. I might be wrong
    but Castaneda came before Strieber for you if I remember correctly, right?

    If Strieber’s “grey” had an impact on you before you encountered
    Castaneda’s “flyers” , would that have mattered? (Of course!,
    says me) but your destiny to have encountered one before the other is
    your destiny and not anyone else’s. I’ve never read a book by either guy so
    I’ve never had the pleasure(or otherwise) of their full imprints on my psyche,
    especially not during my formative twenty-something years. I suppose Strieber would
    win the “impact prize” in my own life but only because his mass market “grey” was seen
    by me (and it staring out at me) plenty of times while standing in line for groceries as a teen
    and even pre-teen (I think). Only in later life (my thirties) did I
    begin to read chunks of Strieber and Castaneda online but never the
    entire work … And I only read their stuff after I had become a little
    more familiar with the more ancient “gnostic” material and Jungian
    material, which meant the idea of “true stories” had already started to
    fly out the window to encircle the earth for eternity.

    Perhaps there has not been as much feedback as you may have wanted
    lately because: 1)your explorations of these various “sacred cows” seem to
    be done in way as if they were not intermingled within your psyche and that does
    not ring true , 2) you use the language of the “sacred cows” , with terms like
    “UFO” when framing your arguments and/or thesis, and that only big-ups
    the “sacred cows” that you say you are trying to slaughter, imo. I think a lot of
    people are rooting for you to slaughter them but you tend to use the language
    that the sacred cow handed to you, which leads to frustration for me 3) you have
    explored the phenomenon of the “Other”, it seems, outside of the framework of the aspergerian
    mind-workings by which you live inside of and understand. Why haven’t you gone there
    very much in these recent writings (or have you?) 4) there always has to be a fourth so I’ll let you fill it in …
    (Honestly though , I had a fourth but I forgot what it was ).

    — Chris

    • Hi Chris

      I did write about WS & CC in a single piece, later cannibalized for the separate ones, called “The Perils of the Literary Shaman.”

      Does it matter which of those fellow’s psychic imprint landed on me first? CC’s influence was far deeper and more lasting, and to this day I still think of passages from those books fondly and find myself making “new” discoveries that confirm CC’s ideas. Whatever my reservations about CC himself, the books are still the top of the literary pile for me, even if that pile is now a bonfire. WS’s work has markedly reduced in value for me, however, from seeing through the crucial fiction of it.

      Castaneda came before Strieber, yes.

      If Strieber’s “grey” had an impact on you before you encountered Castaneda’s “flyers” , would that have mattered?

      They did, because the Active Side of Infinity (the first mention of the flyers in CC literature) came out in 1999, several years after I started reading WS. Actually I think I first read about them in an interview in a Spanish magazine a few years earlier, but still post-WS.

      1)your explorations of these various “sacred cows” seem to be done in way as if they were not intermingled within your psyche and that does
      not ring true

      Is that accurate? Have you read the POI material? The statement seems to suggest otherwise.

      2) you use the language of the “sacred cows” , with terms like “UFO” when framing your arguments and/or thesis, and that only big-ups the “sacred cows” that you say you are trying to slaughter, imo.

      Isn’t a sacred cow by definition “big” – i.e. meaningful to lots of people?

      >I think a lot of people are rooting for you to slaughter them

      That’s nice.

      but you tend to use the language that the sacred cow handed to you, which leads to frustration for me

      That’s interesting.

      3) you have explored the phenomenon of the “Other”, it seems, outside of the framework of the Aspergerian mind-workings by which you live inside of and understand.

      Isn’t anything I write going to be inside that framework? Autism features in this latest piece, the next installment in fact. Ask and ye shall receive.

      4) there always has to be a fourth so I’ll let you fill it in … (Honestly though , I had a fourth but I forgot what it was ).

      Can’t have been too pressing then?

      • I remember what # 4 was , now … and actually it is the most pressing to me. For me it was probably the top reason I was having a difficult reason connecting to the POI.

        4) Lloyd de Mause was a big influence on POI. Psycho-history is definitely a sacred cow that someone needs to slaughter. He wrote “The History of Child Abuse” and did not even bring up the ancient jewish ritual wherein a bearded man sucks the freshly cut bloody penis of an eight day old infant. Sanctioned child abuse began there, about five thousand years ago, in my opinion. A person’s mouth does not belong on the genitalia of a child. Period. Stop metzitzah b’peh now !

    • yes, REALLY . The fact that it is written — it is The Law — for a man to put his mouth on the cut penis of an eight day old baby should be included in any writings on the collective trauma of humankind (which always starts with the codified / religiously-sanctioned traumatization of children). Lloyd deMause missed it or skipped over it, as have a lot of people who have written about how human beings lost the plot (lost their humanity). Metzitzah b’peh not good. It has a lot to do with what you have been writing about , I think, and maybe even has to do with the “UFO” topic in some roundabout way.

  13. From my POV, MB is just one in a vast array of atrocities; placing it at the center of all the world’s ill is your own personal obsession and you may be wearing on other people’s patience besides mine.

    The notion of psycho-history as a sacred cow is a bit rich, too.

    • alright … well, then psycho-history is a precious cow.

      The precious cow does not need slaughtering but it does need a good chastising. And I chastise the purveyors of psycho-history for not covering metzitzah b’peh in the long list of atrocities against children that they do cover. I would just be happy
      if it just got a mention. It doesn’t even have to be placed at the center. The only reason that makes me think that it might just be at the center is that hardly anyone even knows about it — that it has been happening for thousands of years and is still happening under protection of the law in many countries … the protections of “religious freedom” being what they are. Maybe I’m just pissed that I only found out about it around 8 months ago (and I’m almost 40 years old).

      Henceforth, I’ll leave the topic alone here in your comment section.

  14. >Being embodied, and therefore occupying a unique yet shifting position in time and space, isn’t our perception of reality always and necessarily limited, “fictional”?

    I don’t see the apparent limitations of embodiment as leading to a necessary fictonalization, only the reverse, ego/lack of embodiment. Being embodied need not be limitation of awareness any more than being a cell IN a body is limitation.

    A finger is not prevented from having direct sensory experience of reality simply because it is not the hand, or the total body.

  15. This is pseudonym3000 by the way, I reformatted my drive and for some reason It wouldn’t me post under that username.

    “I think the fictions are crucial to a part of us and once we let go of/integrate/remove that part of us, the fictions naturally fall away with it. Creating our own fictions might be a transitional method by which we make an unconscious process conscious – and thereby render the fictions less than crucial. But living without fictions is the obvious ultimate goal.”

    Have you ever seen the film The Secret in Their Eyes? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1305806/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
    Well the synopsis explains it plainly. “A retired legal counselor writes a novel hoping to find closure for one of his past unresolved homicide cases and for his unreciprocated love with his superior”
    If you haven’t definitely a must-see.

    I’ll even recommend Starting Out in the Evening. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0758784/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_19
    The literary critic, played by Lauren Ambrose, approach to find truth & fabrication through her idol reminds me of Sarah Polley’s cold and critical method carried out in “Stories We Tell”. Also how devastating the writers toil is to cover up those traumas though fiction.

    If you haven’t seen these I think you’ll find them fascinating and may find some truths of your own.

    • Secret in Her Eyes is one of my favorite recent films, and Stories We Tell is probably the best film of the year, IMO. So I will definitely check out the other one you cite, which I never heard of – thanks!

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