Reality Checking—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, July 2015
by: Brent Raynes
Boy oh boy, did I blow that suggestion out of the water! In my teenage years, I decided to delve headlong into UFOs, ghosts, Bigfoot, near death experiences, angels, demons, elementals, and an obviously unhealthy variety of other non-traditional, controversial subjects. In fact, I became quite obsessed with weird topics, feeling that somewhere, somehow a “real” and meaningful scientific explanation and interpretation existed for such extraordinary anomalies of reported human experience that might be right up there at the least with aspects of quantum physics, Jungian archetypal theory, Keelian ultraterrestrial/electromagnetic theories, Dr. Greg Little and Andrew Collins’s plasmoid theory, etc. I felt very strongly that such an explanation, once uncovered, would prove to be something extremely beneficial to humankind. I surmised that it basically embodied all of our fragile human hopes, dreams and prayers for something more meaningful and fulfilling to this life, for something in us that survived bodily death as well, and although I am not a scientist, as a free-lance and free thinking journalist I hoped that I could at least be part of a new and empowering vanguard of questioners, in this modern age of science and technology, who might be able to bridge the great and proverbial chasm between seeming polar opposites like UFOs, the metaphysical and science. I found that real pioneering, credentialed scientific explorers were attempting to blaze a pioneering trail through this dark, forbidden, and mysterious seeming forest as well. I attempted to study such works by such people and to align myself with them. Since this magazine’s inception, going back to 1985, I have continued to work closely with Dr. Greg Little, a Memphis author and psychologist, who became co-editor with me in 1993. Psychiatrist Dr. Berthold E. Schwarz, a noted parapsychologist and the author of the two volume book UFO Dynamics, contributed numerous researched articles to us too, a gentleman I had corresponded with quite extensively for well over three decades until his passing in 2010.
Sadly, it seems that the vast majority of the individuals who dominate these fields of the unexplained, who don the titles of “investigator” and “researcher,” are instead overzealous conversationalists whose critical thinking faculties are oft-times seriously compromised. Their belief-ridden perspectives incapacitate their abilities to conduct proper investigations. Bias and belief completely short-circuit their efforts at executing truly objective and thorough inquiries in a scientific-based manner.
Free thinking journalist, Mothman chaser and professed atheist John Keel used to exclaim “belief is the enemy.” But that’s only true if you don’t know how to correctly define, separate, and manage your beliefs in relation to other experiential, cognitive and perceptual categories of your human experience. Each one of us certainly needs some sort of self-validating frames of reference upon which to hang our hats, our very lives, so to speak, and each of us wears more than one hat in this life. Multitasking is the lifestyle and order of the day of the average human in these modern times. In Dr. Carl Jung’s day, he pointed out that modern science based concepts and understandings of the world and the surrounding universe (what we can perceive of it from a distance) had become so complex that specialists were needed to effectively address all of these individual parts; essentially, before any adequate theory of everything could be properly developed and created. Increasingly, scientists acknowledge the intricate balance and complexity of all of the individual parts that comprise our reality as a whole, the proverbial world of Nature, of which we should be more mindful of the fact that we are a part of, and the grim reality and potential consequences of the “Butterfly Effect” when anyone or anything interferes with that integrated balance in the slightest bit. Sadly, politicians and industrialists are all too often blinded by economic power and greed as the bull dozing of the Amazon Rain Forest and the melting of the polar ice caps continues largely unabated with some side-stepping lip service but very little real action being undertaken.
While Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are the dominant religions of our world, requiring the allegiance and a strong if not blind faith in and of their followers, the ancient Gnostic system Jung felt could function with or without that element of faith. He felt that the world today would have been better off with such an approach that would have encouraged more creative, experiential, inventive and intellectually honest discourse and exploration. He attempted to integrate all of the deep symbolic meanings and interpretations of our visionary, numinous experiences into a holistic whole; something he struggled to chart and define in his complex psychological theories, with the critical teaching and instructional aids and insights of ancient Gnostic and alchemical texts, gradually constructing an elaborate and complex theory that he came to refer to as “archtypes of the collective unconscious.” Jung was also deeply interested in the shamanic cultures, and I recall personally traveled to Africa and to the American Southwest where he spoke directly with the elders and wisdom keepers of such backgrounds. As I’ve written previously, former Apollo astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the moon, after his own numinous, cosmic consciousness experience on the way back from the moon, spent two years afterwards meeting with Native American medicine men, with shamans, kahunas, witch doctors and others around the world trying to better understand such experiences. “Basically, the fundamental aspects and descriptions of the experience are virtually the same, but the explanation is the basis of each religion,” Dr. Mitchell explained to me in a phone conversation. “We have often ended up fighting over whose explanation is right and who has got the best God, when it’s really based upon this initial perception that’s anything but hostile.”
James A. Swan, Ph.D., a former transpersonal psychotherapist, is the author of Sacred Places: How the living earth seeks our friendship (1990), and describes in this book how he had become well acquainted with a Cherokee medicine man named Rolling Thunder. He wrote how he and six others, watching Rolling Thunder perform a healing ceremony, all observed a purple glow emanating from his body. He mentioned how frequently spirit manifested as light with spiritual people and sacred places. He explained about the fourth state of matter known as plasma, and then wrote, “The Russian scientist Victor Inyushin takes things one step farther, suggesting that there is a fifth state of matter called ‘bioplasma.’ Inyushin proposes that bioplasma arises from the synthesis of many particle forms into a ‘biofield,’ such as the aura…”
Swan described how his friend Rolling Thunder would sometimes kid with him about his being a college professor for so many years. “Jim, what you folks call ‘paranormal’ is really what is normal to Indian people,” the medicine man would chuckle. “Maybe it’s the modern white man’s world that ought to be called paranormal.”