The Thing from Inner Space, Part Four

The UFO As Trauma

2010 tattoo zipper flesh 1 jared hindman

“When trauma strikes the developing psyche of the child, a fragmentation of consciousness occurs in which the different ‘pieces’ (Jung called them splinter-psyches or complexes) organize themselves according to certain archaic and typical (archetypal) patterns, most commonly dyads or syzygies made up of personified ‘beings.’”
—Donald Kalsched, The Inner World of Trauma: Archetypal Defense Systems of the Personal Spirit

I have written about the connection between early trauma and alien abduction experiences in great depth elsewhere (for an on-going web-site project, “The Prisoner of Infinity,” at www.crucialfictions.com), so I will merely sum up briefly my position here before going on to qualify it. All that we know of the UFO and the alien—outside of any direct experiences we might have—come from stories, i.e., from accounts of eye witnesses and experiencers, some of whom have, I think beyond all doubt, experienced something. What they have experienced is unknown, but what we can be sure of is that they have perceived something and that they have then done their best (or at least made a cursory effort) to describe their perceptions accurately. These partial descriptions of unclear perceptions have then been collected, organized, and interpreted by researchers and, over time, been turned into hypotheses and, in most cases, articles of belief.

My own investigations lead me to the following hypothesis: it is not possible to separate the faculty of perception from the element of belief, because we not only develop beliefs based on our perceptions, but our perceptions are, likewise and to an unknown degree, limited, directed, and shaped by our beliefs. Both perception and belief develop in human beings at an early age, at a pre-rational stage of development. During this early stage of development, there is a primary experience of powerlessness and of the corresponding potential for trauma. There is also the inevitability of at least some degree of trauma informing our psychological development, limiting our abilities to perceive and giving rise to a certain set of beliefs. To an unknown degree, both our perceptions and our beliefs are shaped, then, to protect us from the full brunt of early trauma, and from being overwhelmed by a feeling of powerlessness.

The depth psychological view sees early trauma, and the resulting psychic fragmentation and dissociation, as at base of all our subsequent experiences, perceptions, and beliefs. This is most unmistakably evident in the way we encounter divine or transcendental realities, for the simple(?) reason that the way we deal with early trauma is via dissociation, by calling upon and/or withdrawing into the realm of phantasy. Through phantasy, the greater, more transcendental part of the psyche intervenes and rescues us from intolerable reality by “abducting” us into its realm. This is not an unreal realm (the psyche is real), but it is a dissociated one. An experience of the psyche that isn’t grounded in the body cannot become fully real, because it will always be diluted, or polluted, by the defensive fictions that have arisen to keep the trauma out of our awareness. This is what I have termed “crucial fiction,” and while I extend such fictions to every aspect of our existence (starting and ending with the ego itself), once again, I think the UFO is a perfect opportunity to map the ways in which such fictions are created and made “crucial,” i.e., become articles of faith, fanaticism, irrational conviction, and out-and-out obsession.

What I discovered in the writing and dialogues for “The Prisoner of infinity,” and which I hope is being communicated to at least some of its reader and listeners, is how the experiences of Strieber (and by extension other abductees), whether phantasy, reality or some little understood combination of the two (the model I lean towards), are filled with very clear “symbolic” elements. These symbolic elements point towards early childhood trauma (which may be universal) which the psyche is attempting to address and integrate through psychic re-enactments. This requires re-experiencing trauma in an unconscious attempt to make conscious the original experience. If psychology is sufficiently accurate about this, then early trauma is the basis, the driving factor, not merely behind UFO encounters but all human history and experience, at least until that early trauma is made conscious and can be integrated.

The purpose of the UFO experience, then, like all other traumatic/transcendental encounters, is a re-experiencing of trauma to bring about healing in a conscious, contained fashion. This can be compared to the many types of initiation through trauma found in shamanic traditions, and even in Masonic and other western forms. However, it’s essential to point out that it is not the trauma per se that allows for integration, but the erasing or dissolving of previous “traumata” trapped in the body, by way of the “traumatic reenactment.” If this subtle distinction is missed, new trauma is caused, and what occurs is merely a new layer of conditioning to override the old, which is likely only to bury it still deeper in the unconscious. This can appear to be effective, however, because experiencing a new trauma will sometimes re-activate the dissociative mechanism developed in childhood to escape the original trauma. The person may then have a “transcendental experience,” but if so, the danger is that it will take them further from embodiment and not closer to it.

I have come to see Strieber as a clear example of this in the way that his later trauma at the hands of human agencies and/or “the visitors” can be mapped onto (and feeds into) his earlier Catholic conditioning. (And many of Strieber’s experiences, both early and later, entail out of body journeys, which seems to mirror the early experience of dissociation.) In the case of many other abductees also, I would suggest there’s more evidence for the experience being unbalancing and deranging than “initiatory.” It may activate “psychic potential,” as many experiencers report, but activating psychic potential, also from what I’ve seen, is as often as not deranging, rather than conducive to a person’s psychic wholeness or embodiment.

It’s here that the alien abduction lore overlaps with that of the infamous intelligence programs such as MK-ULTRA, which often entail, or at least hint at, the conditioning-via-abuse of children (which Strieber also believes he was subjected to). The evidence would suggest that such programs are aimed at tapping into the psychological survival mechanism of dissociation, by which the psyche summons “daimonic complexes” from “the Beyond” (the deeper unconscious) to bring about some kind of healing intervention for the child. If so, it may be that Strieber, along with thousands of others similarly interfered with (and not necessarily by government), has unwittingly summoned his own “visitor” phenomena, one which is both highly personal and, paradoxically, universal—since the human psyche reacts to trauma in more or less the same way every time.

The danger in this is obvious. People who have suffered such early fragmentation, by whatever outside agencies (I include myself in this camp), who are then exposed to the alien abduction literature are likely to reframe their trauma within this new context, as a way to re-experience it “safely.” As a result, the phenomena will then, over the generations, become “viral” and, as already suggested, generate its own proofs.[1]

This may all be part of the larger plan, and it’s certainly worth looking into for anyone who wants to get to the bottom of the UFO bottle. But what’s more interesting to me, at this stage in my life, is how all of this can be seen to demonstrate the way the psyche works.

Because if the UFO is evidence not of outer but inner space, then the psyche, not quite literally perhaps but very nearly, becomes the creator and destroyer of worlds.


[1] If abductees on the whole seem closer to what we’ve seen or heard about victims of mind control than shamanic initiates, the “aliens” must be deduced to be closer to CIA  agents than to shamans or “spiritually evolved” beings.

14 thoughts on “The Thing from Inner Space, Part Four

  1. strieber-“when i first told my dr, he said ‘whitley I think youve been raped’

    the hill encounter, strieber, and a few others have raised my radar re possible connection w abuse (sexual or otherwise) .

    As always, fine work.

  2. Psychology is good. Re: Abductions: some people are delusional, some people are interacting with malevolent physical and interdimensional human and non-human beings by being abducted. There’s nothing healing about what most abductions entail. Electroshock, mind-control, experimented on like a lab-rat, burned, cut, raped and branded like a cattle usually aren’t positive or healing.

    The law of attraction is definitely at play and you can avoid abductions by learning how to manifest a better experience. Fear and paranoia attract like experiences where you resonate with more negative beings. There’s something too that, you can avoid a lot of abductions by consciously controlling and redirecting your thoughts and feelings, bending reality in various ways but not all the time. i get you’re gleaning insights from the psychological aspect of attracting things like abductions but you clearly haven’t done your research into this topic.

  3. You are approaching this from a different premise/position, that of a believer.

    I’m not saying you are wrong to believe, only that belief prevents you from understanding my premise, therefore all you can see is what’s missing, not what’s there.

    Of course I’d like to reach believers inside of their belief – maybe you can help with that, since you seem to want to be reached. But belief is like a moat/mote in the eye; there’s no way to see past it until you recognize it’s there.

    What you call “research” isn’t relevant to the arguments I put forward here, otherwise I’d have done it. It is relevant to you because you want to understand your experiences and give them context. That context is what I call belief. It’s a double-edged sword. You may find it empowers you to believe you can avoid abductions via controlling your thoughts; but it leaves unaddressed which beliefs you have adopted (unconsciously, out of necessity) that disempowered you to begin with.

  4. Trust me I try to really understand myself and determine what’s true with my heart and my brain together. The main reason I like your writings is the introspection and psychological aspect you offer people. The reason I post is because it comes off like you’re dismissing the abduction phenomenon (pretty much) as fantasy and that is understandably a bit annoying to someone who gets drugged and has their memories erased with witnesses confirming they’re not delusional. It’s not belief, it’s real, has physical and has damaging effects. It’s something that needs to be taken more seriously if we really want to get along and understand each other fairly.

    And well, you’re writing a lot lately about aliens and ufos and it doesn’t seem like you really understand what’s going on. It’s your blog and you can write whatever you want though. Those tag-words might even get you some more hits from new readers.

    Yes reality creation is real and we can learn to attract things in life, even in amazing and synchronistic ways. Un/Subconscious beliefs do affect your conscious mind, maybe even moreso than the conscious one with attracting life experiences.

    I don’t know why you’re so stuck on using alien abductions as the context for your abstract philosophical ponderings but I think part of the reason is you like to rattle people’s cages in a subtle innocuous way, by like… talking about alien abductions all the time, flicking the phenomenon off of your shoulder as you go into more ‘profound’ thoughts and abstractions. Well it kinda bugs me and you’ve got some feedback… II’m probably better off in a different environment. Though I like different perspectives on things so I can try and get a more objective on topics like abductions which is why I’m here.

  5. btw i’ve had abduction related experiences since I first learned to speak, the memory hasn’t changed since then. I don’t think there was much I was exposed to to create such an odd experience but it turned out to match up with a lot of cross-referenced sources of information that starts to paint an interesting picture.

  6. I’m just honestly responding to what I got out of your writing, because that’s what I as an artist like to have, honest feedback from their own perspective, how they relate to it, how it affects them. I’m sure many others will respond completely differently, we’re all different and on our own paths, learning different things. The internet’s huge pretty much everyone’s on here nowadays submersed in technology.

  7. OK. Your complaints don’t seem to actually apply to what’s written however, and your arguments don’t show even a basic understanding of the points I have tried to make. Sorry if that sounds rude, just trying to be accurate.

    For example, a) I have gone to great pains to emphasize that I am not saying abductions aren’t real b) the whole thrust of these writings is that we aren’t equipped to draw a clear line between “real” and unreal anyway.

    The ego is not real, therefore NOTHING we experience and interpret thought the ego can ever be real, either.

    So you really are in the wrong place to talk about how abductions are “real.” I’m simply not interested, and I mean that sincerely, without wanting to give offense (but knowing there’s probably no way to avoid it).

  8. Nothing interpreted through the ego is real? It’s gotta be real on some level… I think we just have to align our egos in the right direction, with our inner spirit (God) fortified with knowledge and understanding. Then the ego, our personality when it’s aligned in the right place can perform it’s function in the flow of life, in natural harmony. The ego can’t experience godly consciousness, by definition it can’t, but it is real on our egotistical level of reality.

  9. namaste` guys……the situation seems to be agree to disagree…..you both have valid points to me …..and in my opinion very honest……but having no experience I do not wish to comment dermott….the ego thing for me you get to chuang Tzu again re the butterfly thing….

  10. Trauma can make us sensitive to perceive ulterior forces that may or may not be the product of the splinter-psyche, but sleep and dreams can do the same. I’m really interested in how the abduction or contact phenomenon relates to sleep, how the psyche is fragmented every night and reconstituted each morning upon awakening. Sleep is a fragmentation of the psyche and an unknown state that we all experience every night. It’s not exactly uncommon to experience a dream that feels like it’s more than just a dream, something that doesn’t seem like the product of the personal individual imagination. An extremely vivid dream can even be indistinguishable from the contact experience (I recall your extremely vivid dream post from a few months ago), and many contactees speak of waking up in the middle of the night with the feeling that their consciousness had been altered to a half-dream half-reality state. I think Strieber writes about this but I can’t remember.

    I know there’s a lot of literature about sleep paralysis and the paranormal out there (David Hufford, Louis Proud) that I haven’t explored but it feels like a key link to the experience.

    I really like your advice in an earlier post on how to begin studying UFOs, starting with Jung’s Flying Saucers book. I plan on following that advice.

  11. In sleep the ego’s hold over us is loosened and, although we are removed from direct contact with physical reality, we are much closer to an unfiltered experience of psychic reality. It’s quite symmetrical (only apparently paradoxical), because the way to understand the nature of waking, egoic experience is using the metaphor of the dream. In our ordinary waking life we are sleep-walkers interacting with the subliminal images of our unconscious (the past), misidentifying what we see as “real” in the present.

    Yet there is no present moment besides that infinitesimal junction between past and future, both of which, as Jed McKenna writes, have the peculiar charm of not-existing. The ego keeps our awareness time-bound, and if time is an illusion, then everything else is too, because nothing can exist without the backdrop of spacetime to exist within.

    In dreams time doesnt flow in a linear fashion, we are closer to the liquid (non)existence of the psyche. Yet because we are interacting more directly with the contents of our unconscious, we are closer to true consciousness and therefore to reality.

    The ego sees itself as representing consciousness and the psyche as being unconscious. It’s a bias with no basis in reality, a belief that provides its own proofs, proofs that appear unassailable to it.

    That bias then inverts real and unreal also, since it has to see itself as real, it then bestows itself with the false power to define reality (what’s real and unreal).

    Everything besides “I am perceiving something” is a belief. Everything. We can’t know anything beyond this one thing.

    Belief has the special quality of reducing awareness: the more we invest in a belief, the dumber and less sentient we become.

    The dream state is one of uncertainty in which anything is possible and nothing is certain. That makes it closer to reality than the waking state.

    To have an “abduction” experience, or any other transcendental encounter, good, bad, or indifferent, and to try and understand it as “real” is to go in the opposite direction which the psyche (soul), via such experiences, is trying to lead us.

    Belief is the Prozac of the soul.

  12. I’m still processing a lot of this information, and a lot of the material you bring forth feels challenging to me in the best possible way. This is a lot to take in –– The Prisoner of Infinity series, the Crucial Fictions dialogues, and your ongoing investigations here are radically different from anything else I’ve encountered in the field of the paranormal.

    I think my “Mulder Complex” is so strong that I often don’t realize how it colors my awareness on these topics, and personally I’m more interested in sleep and dreams than childhood trauma, but then again I’m just figuring out how to connect with this as an individual, since I often wake up wrestling with the half-remembered fragments of bizarre and unsettling dreams. Thanks for your response.

  13. Thanks Chris. For me the two subjects closely intersect, as the first clues of my own trauma came through night terrors and incomprehensible dream states. That probably led to a lifelong fascination for dreams. In fact as a kid my ambition was to invent a machine for recording dreams!

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