A Wound in the Soul: The Master of the Key & the Oedipal Project (Prisoner of Infinity VIII)

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“When we can’t follow in the father’s footsteps, when a trauma has erected a ‘Do Not Enter’ sign above reality’s door, we must regress to the mother’s bed, dip our pens into the psychic gene pool of the collective unconscious, and return to the surface to write our personal mythology. As the fatality of the traumatized soul, the Oedipus complex is less a complex to be resolved than a psychology to be affirmed.”
—Greg Mogenson, A Most Accursed Religion

The darkness at the end of Whitley’s tunnel would seem to have come knocking on his hotel room door, in the wee hours of June 6th, in Toronto, Canada, while he was on a book tour for Confirmation: The Hard Evidence of Aliens Amongst Us, the fifth in his “visitor series” (not counting Majestic, a novel about the Roswell crash). As Strieber presents his 1998 meeting with the Master of the Key (“a true encounter” is the subtitle of the book), it is very much the capstone of his otherworldly, transcendental or daimonic experiences up until that point. When I first read the book, in early 2001, I was so impressed that I made photocopies of it and handed it out to people. I have read it at least a dozen times over the years and it has had a profound impact on my thinking. Initially, I took the book for what it purported to be, the faithfully transcribed words of a perfectly realized being: God in human form (the Master even speaks in the first person of/as God).

Strieber certainly appears to believe his encounter was a literal, factual event in his life, which is how he has chosen to present it to the world. He becomes defensive at the mere suggestion he made it up, and grew quite histrionic over what he perceived as “sinister” interference with the text of the book when it was re-released in 2011.[1] At the same time, his inability to be coherent about the event, and incidents surrounding it, begs the question of why an actual, flesh and blood encounter would be so shrouded in mystery, confusion, and obvious contradiction.(An obvious example: his memory of the Master of the Key’s height varies from 4 feet to 5 feet 8 inches.) Strieber is the proverbial unreliable narrator, whose constantly shifting story and voice throws the narrative into question. Whether this is deliberate or not, and whether the Master of the Key is a real being “out there,” a concatenation of Strieber’s mind, a literary device, or a strange psychoplasmic blend of all three, is something I suspect even Strieber may not know for sure.

Whatever degree of realness the Master of the Key possesses, he represents something quite specific to Strieber, namely, a wise, powerful, and benevolent father figure. The Master of the Key is precisely what every boy needs to safely emerge from the protective cocoon of the mother’s psyche and navigate the troubled waters of childhood and adolescence: a figure of supreme authority and impeccable goodness. A representative of God.

Norman O. Brown wrote, after Freud, that “Psychoanalysis must always take the position that the Child is Father to the Man.”[2] The Master of the Key is Strieber’s idealized image of himself as the father—he even speculates it may be his future self. In light of Strieber’s fragmented personality—his strange blend of guru-like wisdom and childlike histrionics—the Master of the Key, and the artifact Strieber created to represent him (The Key), might be seen as an embodiment (in book-form) of the split in Strieber’s psyche, transformed into a literary device. The Key purports to be a transcript of a real-life conversation, and maybe it is. But it reads like a dialogue between Strieber’s regressed, child self and his progressed, father self: the guardian in its benevolent and angelic form. The Master even refers to Whitley as “child.”[3]

After the encounter of June 6th, Strieber claims he woke to find his hotel room floor covered with notes. He found them illegible, but not useless. When he looked at the notes, he says, whole chunks of the conversation came into his mind as if the notes were “a mnemonic device.” He called his wife, described the encounter, and told her that a day would come when he would try and dismiss the encounter as a dream, and that she must never let him do so. She followed his instructions, and The Key is dedicated to Anne Strieber, without whose “insistence, it would have been neither written nor published.”

Strieber’s recollection of the incident, outside of the transcript itself, certainly resembles a dream. He has stated that the whole conversation took roughly half an hour, yet reading the book out loud would take at least three times that. He claims that the words of the Master communicated far more information than mere words could communicate, that each phrase was like a soft bullet that exploded in his mind and filled it with imagery and associations. When the 2011 edition came out, his attention was drawn to changes from the original 2001 text. He claimed that the first version had been interfered with without his knowledge, “censored” by “sinister hands.” And yet he had been reading from the supposedly censored edition for years, and even stated plainly that he remembered the Master using phrases in it, phrases he later claimed had been falsely added or altered by those sinister hands.

All the evidence suggests that Strieber himself is unsure what happened that night, and that the only solid evidence he has is whatever he managed to write down. In other words, and whatever real-life basis there may be to the encounter, he wrote it into being, and has since adopted that literary version as reality. This is not meant as a criticism: it’s what we all do, all of the time. As Greg Mogenson writes in A Most Accursed Religion, memory is a form of imagination:

The psychological motto “we act out what we can’t remember” becomes for us “we are determined by the literalness of events (physical, emotional, intellectual, social, etc.), which we cannot imagine.” Memory, or memoria as it was once called, is a form of imagination. What it recalls into the present is always, in part, a function of the perspective currently dominating the present. Though we tend to reify history, thinking of it as what “really happened” in the past, history is not static. Inasmuch as it touches us experientially, it must enter into the imaginative modes of recollection, thereby becoming psycho-history, a history of soul (p. 19).

Strieber admitted this in a 1988 interview when he said about the visitor experience: “Not only does it trigger memories, it also triggers the imagination and you can’t tell which is which. Which is horrible; like fortunately there are a few things that have happened that are very concrete and that’s really fortunate.”

Whatever happened that night of June 6th 1998, whatever strange child was born from Whitley’s psyche—Archangel or Legion—it may be that Strieber had to grant it concrete reality by writing The Key (and later labeling it “A True Encounter,” the final nail in the coffin of the subjective). He had to because the forces were already set in motion: at the secret school in 1954; in the catacombs of the Vatican in 1968; after he wrote Wolfen and The Hunger in 1981-3 and Hollywood turned his dark dreams to reality; as he stared at the face on Mars in 1984/5, and then gazed into the black eyes of the visitor that Christmas night in 1985—all the forces of the unconscious that carried him to the top of his profession and down into the depths of his soul demanded that God-the-father show up and make sense of it all. The child cannot face the chaos of the world and the mother’s psyche combined. Its life depends on receiving the key to unlock the mysteries, from a good father who shows the way through, into the light.

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In Communion, during the second hypnosis session, Strieber describes an exchange with the female visitor:

I want to go home.

“What if we don’t let you go home?”

But I don’t know if she said that or not. I think I think that she said it. (I was shown that door again, which for some reason terrified me. I was asked if I wanted them to open the door.) “I do not want you to open that door! I belong with my momma and my wife . . . and my boy. That is where I belong. [Sobs.] I don’t belong here. I don’t know how I ended up here. What the hell did I do to attract all this?” (p. 84, emphasis added)

Whitley wants to go home to his momma/wife. Whitley cannot face the door opening. Whitley is still waiting for the key. But what is the key that will open the door? In The Key, Strieber expresses a feeling of helplessness in the face of the enormous stakes which the Master is describing to him (the extinction of “a living world,” and worse).

“My God,” Whitley says. “Can anybody do anything?”

“You can write,” the Master tells him. “Use your tool.”

He adds further incentive: “But also, you will see the demon revealed in those who refuse to acknowledge the signs.” The Master—which Strieber has conjured forth from the depths of his soul, and to whom he gives form and fixedness with his mind—is confirming Strieber’s divine (Martian) calling to bring order to the chaos and slay the dragons of denial, using the fiery sword of writing. The fate of the world hangs on Whitley using his tool right; and should he fail to penetrate, he can always blame demons![4]

If writing is the way Strieber makes sense of the chaos and brings light to his darkness, if it’s the key to his own psychological survival (though also his psychic-imprisonment), it was inevitable he would eventually write himself a salvific in the form of a key-carrying God-man—his own perfected image of himself.

Aggressive dissociation is how the traumatized boy-child first learns to use the mind as a weapon—against his own eros or life force. Strieber’s tragicomic self-emasculation/-aggrandizement process echoes what Freud (and Norman O. Brown after him) describes as “the Oedipal Project,” the infant’s attempt to “transform passivity into activity . . . by becoming father of oneself.” The infant feels God-like when still immersed in the mother’s psyche—its every wish granted. The threat of impotence which accompanies its first steps towards autonomy all but demand a compensatory “will to power” and the creating of a God-the-father imago to conquer and claim the mother-imago which is about to be forever lost. From Life Against Death:

The essence of the Oedipal complex is the project of becoming God . . . By the same token, it plainly exhibits infantile narcissism perverted by the flight from death. At this stage (and in adult genital organization) masculinity is equated with activity [e.g. Mars]; the fantasy of becoming father of oneself is attached to the penis [or the pen?], thus establishing a concentration of narcissistic libido in the genital (p. 118.) [The Oedipal project is] the causa sui (father-of-oneself) project, and therefore in essence a revolt against death generally, and specifically against the biological principal separating mother and child (p. 127).[5]

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“[W]hatever traumatizes us becomes our parent. Or, putting that another way, let us say that whatever we cannot master with our creating will, we will turn into a super-parent or god and be infantilized by it.”
—Greg Mogenson, A Most Accursed Religion

In Communion, Strieber describes his first remembered encounter with the visitor as follows:

She was undeniably appealing to me. In some sense I thought I might love this being—almost as much as I might my own anima. I bore toward her the same feelings of terror and fascination that I might toward someone I saw staring back at me from the depths of my unconscious. There was in her gaze an element that is so absolutely implacable that I had other feelings about her, too. In her presence I had no personal freedom at all. I could not speak, could not move as I wished. . . . If I could give up my autonomy to another, I might experience not only fear but also a deep sense of rest. It would be a little like dying to really give oneself up in that way, and being with her was also a little like dying. When they held me in their arms, I had been as helpless as a baby, crying like a baby, as frightened as a baby. I realized that the extraordinarily powerful states I was examining could lead me in two undesirable directions. First, the sheer helplessness that they evoked created awe, which could lead to a desire to comply . . . and then to love. Second, the fear caused such confusion that one could not be sure how to feel. Her gaze seemed capable of entering me deeply, and it was when I had looked directly into her eyes that I felt my first taste of profound unease. It was as if every vulnerable detail of myself were known to this being. Nobody in the world could know another human soul so well, nor could one man look into the eyes of another so deeply, and to such exact effect. I could actually feel the presence of that other person within me—which was as disturbing as it was curiously sensual [emphasis added].

Before the Master of the Key, there was another being that Strieber wrote into existence, one he described as “the greatest master I have ever known”: the female alien pictured on the cover of Communion. In fact, I was surprised to discover that he used this phrase to describe her at his website in December of 2001, three years after meeting the Master of the Key. Characteristic of the separation-individuation process, Strieber appears to have experienced divided loyalties.

The woman whose portrait is on the cover of Communion, which I am looking up at now as I write, was without a doubt the greatest master I have ever known. Her being projected devastatingly powerful knowledge. A great part of the terror that I knew when I was with her came not from the situation, but from how it felt to be seen by her. In fact, she and those around her were trying to calm me down in some ways, even as they engaged in very quick but also very intrusive medical actions.

In the post, Strieber immediately went on to describe the rectal probe. He then made a striking statement: “Looking back over these years, two things have entered the culture from my experience: her face and the rectal probe.” By such a grisly juxtaposition of imagery, Strieber appears to wish to force the two images together in the reader’s mind. That was how I experienced it, at least, and the association is starkly present in Strieber’s own mind, even if he attributed it to the world at large: “I have been both amused and disgusted by the eagerness with which elements of our human community seek debasement, by concentrating on whatever they can find that offers them the potential to lower themselves further.” (Seeking debasement—a demonic predilection if ever there was one—provides a stark contrast to the “ascension” proscribed by the Master throughout The Key.)

Strieber also refers to the female master as “somebody very great . . . somebody whose life is vastly larger than a human life,” which is a pretty good match for how an infant child must experience its mother. After several more sentences, Strieber points out how the visitor experience was complex and varied: “Some of them are not like the woman I met and her staff. Some of them qualify as what we would call monsters, in every sense of that word.” Considering the ignominies which Strieber endured at the hands of the “the greatest master [he had] ever known,” one’s imagination pales to think what these other monsters might have in store for us!

Strieber’s supreme veneration of the female being who helped abduct him and presided over his “rape” in 1985 is surprising, to say the least. It’s especially so since, in The Key, Strieber asks the good father if he was “in the company of demons or aliens that night” (in 1985). The Master of the Key infers it was demons by telling Whitley to love his enemy as “your best friend.” He continues: “Without the darkness, you would never know the glory of the firmament. . . . You should bless your jailors, because without them you could never find your freedom” (p. 110). Whitley doesn’t ask the Master why we would need to find freedom if there weren’t jailors keeping us imprisoned (the same ones he is supposed to be blessing); but then, he has already accepted the terms of the exchange, since this is God speaking. In fact, the first words which the Master of the Key says to Whitley are: “You’re chained to the ground”—i.e., bonded to the mother (earth).

The Plutonian mother debases, violates, drags down into the earth. The solar-phallic father ascends, sets free, lifts up to the heavens. Earth and sky are seen as split, at odds, and the child-psyche is torn between the two.

The next thing the Master states is his benevolence: “I am here on behalf of the good”—a bold statement from someone who later uses the language of beyond good and evil, but anyway. The good father has come to “fish” the child out of the mother’s psyche, as echoed by the imagery of Aquarius (the zodiacal sign most closely equated with aliens) pouring the little fish of Pisces out onto dry land. The Master eventually calls the planet “a death trap,” the only possible escape from which is to develop the technology to leave the planet and venture into space: “You were meant to have acquired the ability to leave the planet by now. But you are still trapped here. You may be irretrievably lost. This is of fundamental importance, because the earth will soon be unable to support you, and yet you will not be able to leave.”[6]

The child has reached the end of a healthy symbiotic union with the mother. It was meant to have acquired the ability to separate-individuate from her body and psyche, but it has not. She can no longer support the child, yet without the intervention of the father, the child will be unable to leave the mother. It will enter into symbiotic psychosis, “mother bondage.” This is akin to the death (or still-birth) of the child’s psyche. Christine C. Kieffer writes, in Psychoanalysis and Women:[7]

Mahler, Pine, and Bergmann viewed the father as “a knight in shining armor” coming to the child “from outer space”—rescuing the child from the symbiotic tie to the mother. As the child moves from infant to toddlerhood, the father is differentiated from the mother as an exciting, mysterious other . . . the task of separation-individuation might be “impossible for either [mother or child] to master without having the father to turn to.”

Later on in the Key conversation, just before referring to the Earth as a death-trap, the Master gives Whitley what might be the key to The Key, and even to this whole convoluted psycho-history. He tells Strieber that humanity “bears a wound in its soul that makes you deny the reality of the past that is plainly visible all around you.” Mars was murdered by us, he says, at which point, “intervention occurred, as it will happen again when you destroy this planet, as will probably happen. This is the trigger for intervention, the destruction of a living world.” As is becoming increasingly clear about everything in Strieber’s work—but most especially The Key—this passage appears to be concealing a deeper, more intimate meaning behind an apparently cosmic narrative. The narrative, like all good sci-fi, is metaphorical.

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“My father seemed scared. So I said to him, ‘Daddy, it’s all right.’ When he replied, ‘No, Whitty, it’s not all right,’ his fear just seemed to pour into me like a freezing torrent. I suddenly realized that the creature before us was the nun who had been my secret friend, and that she was really a monster. This was the beginning of the fear that ruled my life until the writing of Communion initiated the healing process.”
—Whitley Strieber, The Secret School

As I hope has become clear to the reader by now, behind the larger galactic history which Strieber’s books present to his readers as fact, there is another narrative, only thinly concealed, that is both more fantastic and yet also, I think, much less fanciful. This alternate narrative (which I believe is the true narrative) can be read at a much more intimate level; the many diverse and overlapping elements of it include:

  • Early trauma involving some kind of sexual interference, possibly using technology
  • The absence, passivity, or complicity of the father, resulting in a lack of protection and an unhealthy bondage to (identification with) the mother’s psyche
  • Veneration of a controlling and terrifying female presence
  • Aggressive dissociation (psychic fragmentation) necessary to the child’s psychological survival
  • The resulting disconnection from the body, life force, and libido
  • The imprisoning and rechanneling of the libido into mental activity (writing, out of body experiences) as a form of offense-defense
  • A preoccupation with the demonic, the horrific, and with soul damnation
  • The equation of the body and the Earth with a “prison.”
  • The sustained attempt to escape the body/become the father/become God through a variety of visionary scenarios and otherworldly encounters
  • A recurring series of sexually-tinged traumatic reenactments
  • A consistent and growing preoccupation with overcoming death and leaving the planet

The Master of the Key sums all of these elements up by telling Whitley that he bears a wound in his soul that makes him deny the reality of his past even though it is visible all around him. The galactic-spiritual language of the Master of the Key, and of Strieber’s other writings (including his early horror fiction), is what I have called Whitley’s “cosmic lens,” as symbolized by the telescope the Martian nun told him he must acquire at any cost, immediately after he realized his mind was the only weapon he had to fight “the cold.” Whitley’s telescope allows him to see what is far away; but it also prevents him from seeing what’s there in front of his eyes.

On the other hand, Strieber’s writings might be seen (inadvertently) as an example of how the intellect, when trained to act as a sophisticated mental-literary dissociation device, makes it possible for us to hear, and report, what would otherwise be too painful to allow into consciousness. The problem is that this distancing device also greatly reduces the chances of our understanding our experiences—most of all because the cosmic narrative is so arresting and urgent on its own terms that it never occurs to us to look beyond it. The mystery, dear Whitley, is not in the stars but in ourselves (and not our interstellar selves either).

While we need a psychic buffer (screen) before we are willing to see what’s there, the danger is that the buffer will trick us into accepting a faulty interpretation of what we’re seeing, placing us in the same spot as before. When Strieber’s “daemon” came knocking on the door of his ego, the only way he could let it in was by seeing it as something outside of, and separate from, himself. As a result, he may have misread the message entirely by failing to recognize the medium (this happens in psychotherapy when the patient fails to complete transference). Whitley is convinced that “the key” he was given is meant to save the world. In fact, if I am right, it was meant exclusively to help him save the inner world of his psyche. For everyone else, it’s manna laced with strychnine: truth seen through the distorted patterns of personal trauma.

Repressed material can only resurface into consciousness in an atmosphere of denial and negation (that cosmic lens, in Strieber’s case, and my own). The only way the daimonic guardian allows suppressed trauma to come back into consciousness is by first denying it—just as the government denies the existence of UFOs. That resistance strengthens what’s being resisted and ensures it eventually break through—because denying something affirms it by admitting something is there to be denied (which is why government officials tend to practice non-denial denials, or better yet, ridicule). Awakening/integration/individuation, therefore, invariably threatens to bring about ever greater levels of denial, resistance, and distortion, and an increase in neurosis (and ever more Draconian government policies of secrecy and control).

The Master of the Key describes an ancient cosmic event in which Mars was about to be murdered and “intervention occurred.” This, he says, is “the trigger for intervention, the destruction of a living world.” Strieber described in The Secret School seeing the photograph of the face on Mars as a trigger (like the photograph of his prostrate father?) which led to the intervention of the visitors (including an Ishtar-like female Master[8]). This intervention was not so much divine as bodily, taking the form of a traumatic anal violation apparently intended for healing purposes. If so, it gives a fair indication of both the type and scale of trauma which Strieber suffered.

The living world that is in danger of being destroyed, evidently, this dark and stormy Christmas night, is the world of the human psyche—specifically that aspect corresponding with Mars, i.e., our sexuality and “manhood.”

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“Whatever we do not face but gain salvation from remains unredeemed and becomes satanic. Evil is the excrement of waste product emitted by the salvation process itself. Ironically, the more we are saved, the more there is to be saved from.”
—Greg Mogenson, A Most Accursed Religion

In The Inner World of Trauma, Kalsched cites the psychoanalyst Sandor Ferenczi, an associate of Freud. Ferenczi observed in one of his patients how, when subjected to unbearable trauma and on the point of “giving up the ghost,” a new element entered into the fray. He called it “the organizing life instinct,” or “Orpha” for short. In place of death, Orpha “chopped up the personality, dispersing it into fragments”—thereby splitting the psyche into three: the ordinary ego self, the traumatized child self, and a “higher” self which comes to the rescue of the child-self. The “destroyed” child part is “a being suffering purely psychically in his unconscious, the actual child of whom the awakened ego knows absolutely nothing.” Orpha, on the other hand, is

The part that “sees” the destruction. “She” is a supra-individual being, apparently without time and space, who, at the moment of unbearable pain, “passes through a hole in the head into the universe it shines far off in the distance like a star,” seeing everything from outside, all knowing. This “Astral fragment,” Ferenczi says, leaves the selfish spheres of earthly existence and becomes clairvoyant –“beyond understanding the aggressor, to an ‘objective understanding’ of the entire universe, so to speak, in order to be able to grasp the genesis of such a monstrous thing.” Orpha, says Ferenczi, has only one concern and that is the preservation of life. She plays the role of the guardian angel. She produces wish-fulfilling fantasies for the suffering of a murdered child, she scours the whole universe seeking help” (p. 121).

Orpha can’t be dismissed merely as a delusional state, but is better seen as “part of a regenerative universal ‘intelligence’ [that] makes use of a deeper wisdom in the psyche at moments of traumatic distress . . . It represents a factor truly ‘superior’ to the ego” (p. 122).

Two exchanges from The Key stood out to me: one about why God/the Martians call humanity/Whitley “Dead Forever,” and another about how Mars was murdered and humanity/Strieber bears a wound of the soul (= split in the psyche). In between the two passages, there is an exchange about the nature of the soul’s imprisonment. The Master tells Whitley:

When you see UFOs you see prison guards. They also act within your society to confuse you about your own past, and to prevent progress in areas such as propulsion, which might enable you to spread into the heavens. This is all done to prevent you from escaping. . . You know [this enemy] by many names. But you yourself had the privilege of meeting your enemy face to-face (p. 109-10).

UFOs as prison guards evokes the idea of the guardian (angel), both protecting the unformed personality from the unbearable truth and confusing it about its “own past,” preventing “progress” by keeping it sealed in a delusional-protective bubble from which it cannot escape. This passage then leads to Strieber’s question about whether he was in the company of demons on the night of December 1985—the night he met “the greatest master [he has] ever known.” If the female being on the cover of Communion is both Strieber’s demonic prison guard and his teacher, a being he felt “mothered” and “caressed” by (in a later incident described in Transformation)—how exactly are we to square this circle? Why would Strieber experience such a majestic being’s influence upon him as both divine-mothering and demonic-smothering? Is this perhaps how the infant experiences its mother, when the time comes to separate-individuate, and when a strong father is not present (“on behalf of the good”) to fish the child out of her psyche? Would this make the UFO both a symbol of the feminine and a “prison guard.” at the same time?

Cue the Master of the Key, the knight in shining armor from outer space who “propels” himself through Whitley’s door, in the dead of the night, with these words: “Mankind is trapped. I want to help you spring the trap.”[9] If only it were that simple. But alas, the trap which Whitley helped to spring by writing The Key may have only sealed him up inside his own self-made pyramid. As Greg Mogenson observes in A Most Accursed Religion (p. 32), “what we need salvation from is the very notion of salvation itself.”

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2013 MP3 downloads: “The Author of His Own Experiences“; “A Dangerous Perspective.”

[1] I wrote about this controversy in a revised and updated version of an article on Strieber, published at Reality Sandwich in 2012, entitled “Through a Looking Glass Darkly.” http://auticulture.com/go/through-a-fractured-glass-darkly/

[2] Brown, Life Against Death, p. 120. “[Freud] did not always abide by his dictum, that ‘analytic experience has convinced us of the complete truth of the common assertion that the child is psychologically father of the man.’”

[3] The psychoanalytic school of thought observes how the male child, trapped inside the once-nurturing, now-stifling symbiotic union with its mother, creates an “imago” of the father in its own image—a stern but powerful presence to rescue it from drowning. As Jung writes in Aspects of the Masculine, the role of the father-imago is an ambiguous one. “The threat it represents has a dual aspect: fear of the father may drive the boy out of his identification with the mother, but on the other hand it is possible that his fear will make him cling still more closely to her. . . . This double aspect of the father-imago is characteristic of the archetype in general: it is capable of diametrically opposite effects and acts on consciousness rather as Yahweh acted towards Job—ambivalently. And, as in the Book of Job, man is left to take the consequences” (p. 69).

[4] This brings to mind Strieber’s manipulation by (what sounds a lot like) a shadowy cult to perform sexually during his 1968 Rome odyssey.

[5] Brown quotes Freud: “All the instincts, the loving, the grateful, the sensual, the defiant, the self-assertive and independent—all are gratified in the wish to be the father of himself” (p. 118).

[6] The Key, p. 42. Later, Strieber is told that “the extinction of mankind,” if it happens, will be due to “your inability to expand off the planet. This planet is at present a death trap” (p. 132). The reason the Master gives is that the child who would have “unlocked the secrets of gravity” was never born because his parents were killed in the Holocaust! (p. 43)

[7] “Selfobjects, Oedipal Objects and Mutual Recognition: a Self-Psychological Re-evaluation of the Oedipal Victor,” by Christine C. Kieffer, from Psychoanalysis and Women, ed: Jerome A. Winer, James William Anderson, and Christine C. Kieffer, Routledge 2004, p. 70. Emphasis added.

[8] “I have reported that the being I have become familiar with looks like Ishtar. Maybe she is: She said she was old.” Communion, p. 242.

[9] “The key I offer you consists of a new way of seeing yourselves that will free you.” The Key, p. 41-2.

33 thoughts on “A Wound in the Soul: The Master of the Key & the Oedipal Project (Prisoner of Infinity VIII)

  1. Everything can and does fit into a psychological narrative- especially if every imago has an ambiguous dual (at least) aspect as every single thing does…what’s more interesting to me is the elaborate deception Whitley is manipulated to participate in (the short version of the Whitley story anyway)… Where’s the myth for that? I always wanted to ask Harpur. Is the deception from Zeus escaping from Chronus with the help of his mother and Gaia the earth? Is it Chronus arisen from the pit tricking his children so they can’t trick him again? Where are the myths of deception in order to maintain power over others? It seems to me that is what we are trapped in. Like Jung helping Dulles profile Nazi’s for the ratlines.

    Who are the artists of those great images in this post? As always- great stuff. Salud!

  2. The first is my own cobble; the last links to the artist; the ones in-between were found online by Lucinda Horan during the Crucial Fictions phase of this op.

    Interesting observation about the myths of deception; I would agree this is where the meat is. Yet can we separate the exploitation of psychological needs from the creation of psychological narratives, i.e., myths, to deceive? I think it is all of a piece.

    • I was curious about the third one and the first one makes me think of Shane. Very cool. Of course it’s all of a piece and Sure ya can separate it! To create a group narrative the nature of individual needs/desires must be very much understood. That’s not too hard and seems to be at the heart of occult knowledge- astrology, freemasonry, tarot, etc. Finely tuned by the ‘profile’ which apparently had to be written up for everyone in the Illuminati, (though Illuminati is a dodge of some sort) and also which the CIA has mastered. The profile is everything. Then if you really seek total control, or power (why? satanic hatred? fear of death? or is it just another human ‘type’ or personality?) then you need to deceive the multitudes of profiles because basic fairness seems to be intrinsic to human consciousness. How to deceive the multitudes? SO here the individual myth collides with the social myths. What are the social myths? That’s my question. If the gang of humans can be divided into 12 rough ‘types’ then the deceivers need a device to entrance each type- the highbrow, the warrior, the earth mother, do gooder, the hedonist, the melancholic, the hirsute, the bald, appolinian, artemisian, whatever. So this alien shit is being thrown in our face on all those levels. Chris Knowles is for the middlebrow educated type, Streiber the middlebrow adventurous type now aiming for highbrow club. Movies for the more or less innocent ones or emotional types. But the mechanism of the group mind that does the deceiving and the actual nuts and bolts of the machinery that carries it out actually becomes the real mystery however mundane. It must have something to do with mind control from the get go- or should we just say culture? And it certainly involves the melding of the one and the many. It’s really the one untold story and it’s endlessly fascinating, much more so for me than Individuation or Freudian complexes because it is 9 billion times more complicated!

  3. So yeah these are all good questions and I like where you are going with it. I still say you cant separate the internal individual psychological mechanisms from the external group control ones, that there is a mirroring going on, as I mention on today;s podcast, and it is the internal principals that we can fully grok and which are incredibly simple once identified, even tho they seem “9 billion times more complicated” when looked at as a social dynamic. Complexity may be endlessly fascinating, but it isn’t where the ground is. The ground is simplicity itself (being one thing, let’s say a sensation and not a multitude of thoughts…?).

  4. Yeah i guess past a certain age , and having bought completely into the alien mythos , Whitty could well be walled up inside the pyramid for good . Sometimes i wonder wether psychoanalysis leads to a magical ” transference ” , rather , my own work is ongoing , repetitious , gentle but consistent and persistent , and seems to have increased my intellect , powers of observation , helps me make wiser choices to avoid the clammy grip of the complex . I imagine Auticultures resdership would consist of a veritable rogues gallery of Oedipus and Electras . The work goes on for life , it is hard fought , like being a soldier of Mars !
    The best Oedipus movie i have seen is Fernando Arabelles “Viva la Muerte ” ( long live death ) , though Tom Kalins ” savage grace ” with Julieanne Moore and Eddie Redmayne is right up there .

  5. I don’t think Streiber is meeting aliens from some other planet. Most of what they say is a lot of nonsense. Jacques Valee has this covered pretty thoroughly. Which Whitley talks about in his more lucid moments. “The Visitors” spew gibberish to certain people who for various reasons feel compelled to share with the world. A lot of the time this stuff gets turned into religions like Mormonism. Or reductionist materialism/Atomism or whatever you want to call the Dawkins thing- after all, DeCarte was specifically inspired by an angelic visitation. Whitley was probably chosen by these weird intelligences because he was mentally traumatized by some weird pre-MK Ultra nastiness. I hate to come across like a wet blanket. I am open to a lot of weird and wild stuff, but I’ve always suspected Whitley Streiber was being played by the Magonians. And maybe they’ve actually helped him out.

    There’s actual scientific evidence that Mars had a civilization on it that wiped itself out with nuclear superbombs. It’s a theory that’s out there. Courtesy of an actual scientist.

  6. Yeah. I think it can. Or rather, as working by applying/exploiting a psycho-sexual mechanism (or roster of them). Girard’s work provides a bunch of clues as to how social engineering functions, maybe.

    • But I mean the bigger story- the group dynamics of the deceiver(s)- that ain’t sexual- it’s the opposite. It’s not psyche either…It’s becoming much clearer how they engineer us but how do they engineer themselves?

      • Their teeth matches our wound. They engineer themselves in the same way they engineer us. On this us and them spectrum, which side am I on? Clearly it is both, hence neither. Why do you think the group dynamics of the deceivers is not sexual?

        • Because it’s about power and control and fear of death and hatred. Kind of the opposite of sex as far as I’m concerned. I think this statement is kind of a cop-out- “On this us and them spectrum, which side am I on? Clearly it is both, hence neither.” The audience is not the playwright, except in the most ultimate of mystical awareness, which just ends all distinctions and finishes every story. Why bother doing anything then? We are their ‘audience’. They write the play.

          As far as dividing us and them into absolute separate camps that of course isn’t possible. You can’t divide day and night clearly either, or humans and animals or hot and cold. No clear lines anywhere. But midnight ain’t noon and 100 degrees ain’t zero and a fish is not human.

  7. That’s the second time you’ve accused me of copping out in my answers. Are you not getting the attention you want from me? It tends to discourage me from wanting to engage, FYI.

    • I am just trying to push you beyond the psycho-sexual interpretation with the mystical fall back because that is where my own interests are. No offense meant- my apologies. My friends and I use ‘cop-out’ as a friendly riposte, a gentle jibe. I wasn’t trying to psychoanalyze you! Salud!

  8. Yeah I don’t respond well to pushing. It’s an argumentative style that I’ve tried to reign in for myself, after years of seeing how it backfires.

    Again, trying to separate “power and control and fear of death and hatred” from sexual drives is like trying to separate a plant from its roots (but a whole lot harder): why would you want to?

    The line you’re pursuing, if i read it rightly, seems based on an idea that the ‘deceivers’ are wired differently than the rest of us. Well, there is such a thing as neurodivergence, so there could be something in it, but how to separate neurological or biological differences from cultural (epigenetic) and psychological factors?

    & the point I made which you considered a cop-out is really the opposite of a cop-out, it’s a copping to. Under different conditions, I could have, was supposed to be, one of the gatekeepers. So why aren’t I?

  9. Fear of death the opposite of sex ?
    I would also agree sex and death are virtually indistinguishable as two sides of the same coin …
    The deceivers are perhaps just better at deceiving themselves that ” the head quarters ” are in charge .
    It would be interesting to follow the trajectory of a typical gate keeper and see what trail of destruction ensues in their lives , illness , addiction , sexual compulsions , misfortune etc .
    The psyche/ body would catch up with them for sure . Be interesting to see how they delude themselves , lets see – patriotism , the last refuge of any scoundrel ??

  10. Could it be that we, the ritually and systematically wounded inquirers into the unseen, seekers after self improvement , integration and ” enlightenment” are also the unknowing gatekeepers , purveyors of deliberately seeded weaponised troppo memes , designed to lead the curious and unwary into a labyrinth of predetermined psycho spiritual dead ends and traps ?? ..
    Or just some of us

  11. “There’s actual scientific evidence that Mars had a civilization on it that wiped itself out with nuclear superbombs. It’s a theory that’s out there. Courtesy of an actual scientist.” — Lazycat
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    I don’t think so.

    Why?

    Trust me, if they could find ANY evidence, ANY; not even of actual life, but just 2 or 3 fossilized microscopic “organic structures” (collections of microscopic rods, cones, bacterium “shapes”…) they would be screaming to high heaven about it;

    and they haven’t done it and ain’t doing that.

    Why not?

    Cause they ain’t found nothin.

    (The irony is killing me because what the “scientists” are actually searching for on Mars but won’t admit is; anything that looks like it was DESIGNED)
    LOL

    Evidence of extra terrestrial life is the penultimate 800 pound white elephant/gorilla nail the Darwinian Evolutionists have milled and are ready and waiting to pound into the “coffin” of Creationism/Intelligent Design…

    Dawkins gets an erection just thinking about that announcement.

  12. Fascinating quote from Sandor Ferenczi regarding Orpha. I cannot take credit for intuiting the following. It was brought to my attention by a friend but relating to trauma and all that you are discussing here Orpha conjures up Oprah. Oprah who according to her legend was named Orpah but whose name was misspelled on her birth certificate.

    Oprah/Orpha whose biography has holes in it as big as the state of Mississippi where she was born to a Vernon and Vernita.
    Oprah/Orpha who was raped as a girl.
    Oprah/Orpha who has transcended her humble beginnings
    Oprah/Orpha who trajectory has seemed aided by powers waiting to guide her just outside of our view

    “Orpha,(Oprah) says Ferenczi, has only one concern and that is the preservation of life. She plays the role of the guardian angel. She produces wish-fulfilling fantasies for the suffering of a murdered child, she scours the whole universe seeking help” (p. 121).
    Orpha ( Oprah ) can’t be dismissed merely as a delusional state, but is better seen as “part of a regenerative universal ‘intelligence’ [that] makes use of a deeper wisdom in the psyche at moments of traumatic distress . . . It represents a factor truly ‘superior’ to the ego” (p. 122).

  13. Dear Jasun,

    I am compelled to say that while your work as armchair investigator is of high value, you’re running the risk of turning into some sort of authority figure that does not respond gracefully to challenge. I wouldn’t dare oppose your will to speak the truth to the best of your knowledge and infiltrate the rank minds of psychopaths, oops, I mean, psychiatrists, in your highfalutin way.

    But I’d say you should bear in mind that “the flip side” is that if you’re not careful enough not to take yourself too siriusly, some provocative personalities might disengage interaction with YOU.

    All in all I wish you all the Prana and Qi you can get away with.

    • Compelled by who or what, I wonder?

      This is a very vague and general, ad hominem critique. I guess you’re referring to the exchange with Ginko?

  14. Jasun wrote: “As Strieber presents his 1998 meeting with the Master of the Key (“a true encounter” is the subtitle of the book), it is very much the capstone of his otherworldly, transcendental or daimonic experiences up until that point. When I first read the book, in early 2001, I was so impressed that I made photocopies of it and handed it out to people. I have read it at least a dozen times over the years and it has had a profound impact on my thinking. Initially, I took the book for what it purported to be, the faithfully transcribed words of a perfectly realized being: God in human form (the Master even speaks in the first person of/as God).”

    1) Did you ever get involved with any other writers or writings with such intensity of belief to share their ideas? Are there any other favorite books you’ve read more than 5 times? These are?

    2 What happened with your involvement with Castaneda’s ideas? You really need to do a complete podcast [or several] that focus just on your studies and travels about Castaneda. After all, you went to Mexico to follow in his footsteps to become like a Shaman. Or, am I mistaken? What happened?

    3) Did you ever get involved with Scientology or other UFO “belief groups” or people beyond Strieber or Castaneda? Please share what else you studied or learned about such subjects.

    • Honey, do you think:

      1) That scout boy pseudo-subservice truth-twister David Icke outlook on humanity is mediated by his premature bodily ageing due to rheumatoid arthritis? Poor man.

      Hey Jasun, just fucking with you 🙂

  15. JASUN SHAH MEN HONEY POT, CANT SEE ? PRIVATE DETECTIVE TECHNIQUES NOT OF USE HERE . ALL HAIL NEW SHAH MEN OF NEW WORLD ORDER JASUN STOP

  16. Open and friendly inquiry and sharing information, unlike what Strieber does, should be available from Jasun about his life’s story. That is a well established stated purpose of Jasun for doing his writing and podcasts online. He is open about how he has patterned his beliefs about what Strieber and Castaneda has written, but he has changed his beliefs from what he once held. It is extremely important for Jasun to share how he was changing throughout these years to understand his new viewpoints. The main part and central theme of Jasun’s story is how and why he sincerely believed these people for many years, so I don’t want half the tale he has to tell. The full story about Jasun is critical to understand his writings and beliefs about Strieber and Castaneda too. Without it, then this will be very boring and a worthless endeavor indeed.

    Btw, Jasun reached out to me at another forum privately, and I certainly was not that interested in Strieber before learning about what Jasun thinks. I think you’re [The Devil] being a bit devilish to drive the paranoia that I’m using private detective techniques. No need to write in caps or send these woo woo telegrams.

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