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Reply To: UFO: A Living Myth of Transformation,” with mythologist Norland Têllez”


    I also wanted to bring our conversation to our current theme of metamorphosis and touch on something I said in my mythblast about the elusive quality of UFOs:

    In its very elusive aspect, UFOs represent the alternating logic of being and nothingness which structures the process of becoming, the processes of change and metamorphosis. As a modern symbol of transcendence, UFOs stand for the process of total transformation and self-creation in the noumenality of space-time.

    This has a lot to do with what I said about the “peculiar ontological status of mythic beings as such,” the fact that they are both real and unreal, here and not-here, manifestly self-evident and suddenly gone.

    This very elusiveness is an important quality of the phenomenological exploration of UFOs. Whereas the positivistic approach, with its vulgar concept of existence, sees in this elusive quality nothing but a regrettable and painful LACK of information.

    If the emphasis of UFO literature tends to be on their phenomenal appearance, a truly mythic perspective would underline the fact of their disappearance as well. As a quality of their transcendence, their continued disappearance is a positive sign of their mythic essence. It indicates a certain negation, the registration of a void or fundamental lack—the “un” of the unconscious—as it appears within the order of conscious knowledge. This lack of substantial identity is an essential part of their phenomenology. In their very designation as “Unidentified,” the shape of the unknown is made manifest dream. As Jung pointed to the basic structure of our knowledge of them, it consists in the simple fact that “something is seen, but one doesn’t know what.” (CW10: ¶591)