Shopping Cart

No products in the cart.

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

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 37 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #74139

    Norland Téllez, Ph.D., is joining us in COHO this week to discuss “UFO: A Living Myth of Transformation,” his latest contribution to JCF’s MythBlast series (click on title link to read).

    I’ll open the discussion, but this is not an interview. Please engage Dr. Téllez  with your own thoughts, observations, comments, and questions about his essay, or the discussion below.

    Let’s jump right in to the deep end of the pool:

    Norland – I can’t imagine a topic that resonates more deeply with popular culture. Since at least the late 1940s UFO sightings, along with even more incredulous reports of “alien abductions,” have not only been reported in the media, but have provided the raw material for countless films and television programs (1977’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and 1982’s “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” Academy Award winning films from director Steven Spielberg, spring to mind). In light of the interest in the recent de-classification of Pentagon records, this topic could not be more timely.

    Without taking a side one way or other on the substantiality of these reports, Jung approaches the phenomena of UFO sightings from the perspective of psychological or mythological projections in response to a “universal spiritual distress” congruent with earlier psychological upheavals (e.g. widespread anxiety around the year A.D. 1000, widely anticipated as the end of the world).

    If we accept that approach, what in your opinion might be  the threat to the collective psyche that is in play here?

    #74175

    Thank you Stephen,
    As always, it is a pleasure to be back in in this COHO with you and our readers, especially taking up this elusive topic of UFOs, for which Jung devised the curious category of “visionary rumor” as opposed to an ordinary rumor:

    The first requisite for a visionary rumour, as distinct from an ordinary rumour, for whose dissemination nothing more is needed than popular curiosity and sensation-mongering, is always an unusual emotion. Its intensification into a vision and delusion of the senses, however, springs from a stronger excitation and therefore from a deeper source. (CW10:¶598)

    The unusualness of the emotion indicates a numinous archetypal content. But the threat to the collective existence of humanity has always been ourselves, homo homini lupus, the collective shadow of humanity. You remember Jung’s statement about the human psyche being the greatest threat to life on earth. “The world hangs on a thin thread, and that is the psyche of man… we are the great danger, the psyche is the great danger. What if something goes wrong with the psyche?” You can easily find the clips on YouTube.

    This vast collective shadow is the deeper source Jung alludes to, but it doesn’t point exclusively to a single source. It is the result of a whole confluence of factors, a network of interdependencies that pit us not only against ourselves, with our ridiculous nuclear capabilities, but also against Nature and Life on Earth as we stand near the precipice of ecological catastrophe to add to our nuclear threat. The pandemic is simply a sideshow compared with what is coming, something so unimaginable, so inhuman, that not even science fiction has been able to picture it.

    As we go deeper, it necessarily grows darker. “The basis for this kind of rumour,” says Jung, “is an emotional tension having its cause in a situation of collective distress or danger, or in a vital psychic need.” (CW10¶608). The psychic need the soul always suffers from is the need to admit the repressed truth of our lives, the piece of self-deception that sustains the painful lie we live by. If there is a psychic cause then we can expect to find a certain split within the psyche, a certain tension of opposites, which exceeds our power to symbolize, to give it language and general understanding.

    This is why the notion of space exploration is not at the same level as the notion of nuclear holocaust. Only one of these is completely unimaginable, whereas the other can be portrayed as an optimistic “Enterprise” (as it is in Star Trek). Space exploration is a child’s fantasy but the notion of nuclear holocaust could never be. For a child—as for the adult—only the latter is utterly unimaginable.

    This is a quality of transcendence everywhere we encounter it: the way it escapes the prison of language. The literal presence of UFOs amounts to a materialization of the transcendent, the realization of a transcendent function of “higher consciousness.”

    #74174

    Well said, Norland! The following especially rings true:

    But the threat to the collective existence of humanity you asked me about has always been ourselves, homo homini lupus, the collective shadow of humanity. This is the deeper source Jung alludes to but it points not to a single thing but to a whole confluence of factors, a network of interdependencies that pit us not only against ourselves, with our ridiculous nuclear capabilities, but also against Nature and Life on Earth as we stand near the precipice of ecological catastrophe to add to our nuclear threat.”

    The era of UFO sightings certainly tracks with the beginning of the nuclear age. I have the vaguest memory of a drill in first grade where we practiced hiding under our desk in the event “the bomb” was dropped: just a drill for this little kid, but the fodder of nightmares for my parents.

    Of course, though we still have the capacity to blow ourselves up many times over, the likelihood of nuclear war no longer occupies the forefront of public consciousness the way it did during the Cold War; nevertheless, between pandemics and climate change, an existential threat to all humanity, and perhaps all life on Earth, remains.

    Certainly there are plenty of hooks in UFO sightings on which those projections of our fears are able to snag and catch; at the same time I do find it intriguing that, in the popular imagination, these potential visitors from outer space are considered both a potential threat on the one hand, and a potential savior on the other, with perhaps the technology and wisdom to save us from ourselves – the ultimate deus ex machina?.

    Jung doesn’t deny there might be some objective reality to these encounters – indeed, he notes, even back in the fifties, that there did seem to be evidence of, well, something – though what most concerns him are the psychic projections we make onto these phenomena regardless of whether they are real.

    Whether these sightings are of physical objects, mental projections, or a combination thereof, the ambiguity and uncertainty speak to the mystery, which strikes me as an essential quality of the experience. This has been happening for at least three-quarters of a century, yet, despite the plethora of sightings, it’s not anything we are able to nail down. There seems to be something there, but nothing we can know for sure, including whether or not the something is a something. Now, with the Pentagon files public, evidence does seem to be mounting, but not enough to dispel the uncertainty.

    So I am curious, Norland, where you stand on the subject? Stepping away for a moment from the psychological and mythological implications, do you believe UFOs are real? And if they are, then what the heck are they?

     

    #74173

    Do I believe that UFOs are real? This question reminds me of the answer Jung gave to the analogous question of whether he believed in God or not: “Difficult to answer. I know. I don’t need to believe.” (C. G. Jung Speaking 428) Or again when says: “I only believe in what I know. And that eliminates believing. Therefore I do not take His existence on belief—I know that He exists.” (251) Such statements are indeed ambiguous and require further discussion. Does he mean that he has objective scientific proof for the existence of God? No, that’s not it. So what does he mean by it? Some kind of gnostic confession of faith?

    Clips from John Freeman's (BBC) interview at Jung's house at Küsnacht (near Zurich, Switzerland) in March 1959
    In any case, I must admit a deep affinity with Jung on this question. In terms of where I stand on my “belief” in alien presence on earth, my answer could look like Jung’s. I don’t believe, I know They are here; They have always been here. As a phenomenologist, UFOs are not for me objects of belief. But the question of their objective “existence” in our usual definitions of “reality” gets a bit muddled, especially when we fail to clarify the ontological status of the “exists,” and the differences between various modes of knowledge and belief.

    #74172

    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)

    #74171

    What a fascinating and compelling subject Norland!
    When you mention Joseph Campbell choosing not to delve into this topic of UFOs, it makes me think of where you write:

    …whether physical objects or mental projections, the ambiguity and uncertainty speak to the mystery.

    Perhaps Campbell preferred not to address the subject because of that very “ambiguity!”

    As you also write: “From a Jungian perspective, UFOs stand for a certain archetypal content that finds no expression within our accepted frameworks of explanation and world view.”

     

    Campbell was looking at world traditions/religions and archetypal symbols and then on to space and science.

    Both Religion/traditions

    And Science have held perception of world views.

    But Campbell would find no reference nor expect any reference to such a phenomena from a mythic tradition or religion. (Even though there are others who might— a whole other story)

    And then Campbell would find “no proof” or exact validation from the science perspective either.

    Even though Jung offers an interesting take, maybe Joseph Campbell is uncomfortable with this?   Because from Campbell’s view there are no primary religious or mythic symbols to make that connection OR to point to the phenomena as some kind of “rapture” of the mind, which one has been conditioned to believe in certain Holy Traditions.
    It would be difficult to pinpoint the phenomena, because it is both concrete and not concrete.
    Can Campbell point to UFOs as being a concretization of a transcendent metaphor? Not easy. Perhaps he thought of them as no more than hallucinations or people mistaking natural phenomena for something else.
    And had no interest in digging deeper or seeing them as a “New Myth.”
    If UFOs are both out of the realm of religion/science (meaning no direct verification) Then where would they belong in the Psyche?
    Norland, what you and Jung muse upon as a metaphor suggests a collective pain in the psyche might birth such a phenomena of experience.
    If one sticks with metaphors, then one can imagine that perhaps our psyche symbols are going through an alchemical change…

    If the myths are presumed to keep up with the science of the times…the space exploration and thoughts of ETs or other extraterrestrial civilizations seems to be a possible  transformation of those old symbols.

    Yet even with the long potential and excitement over a one day manned mission to Mars…

    I think part of the break which is suggested between the lines of your essay and Jungs work:  is the need to still see our earth from the moon…and the care towards our home planet beset not just with pollution but also with the footprints of Nuclear War and War.

    So is Jung pointing to the phenomena of UFOS as a kind of escapism as well?

    Whether fair or foul? And the escapism is a break in the psyche?

    Yet curiously he remains ambiguous too upon the subject.
    Very interesting indeed!

     

     

    #74170

    One other thought on transcendence, also related to this UFO subject…

    Norland mentions how the quality of transcendence escapes the prison of language.

    That is the feeling, I always had from reading Joe Campbell, the understanding of coming to that threshold of experience, where there are no words…where it is the experience itself which “speaks to the soul.” And the mystery…the place where all drops away.
    Sometimes I wanted to challenge Campbell concerning this…not Transcendence but the “need to define.”

    The other part of his works were discussing the traps and fallacies of concretization missing the transformative power of the metaphor…concretization often based in stricter religious tenets, which probably reflect the idea of the “Thou Shalt Dragon”  or “Thou aren’t worthy dragon” and Thou must believe or go to Hell.
    So an escape from that type of concretization is understandable!
    Yet if one is standing at the threshold or gate or experiencing a transcendent moment beyond words…or definition…

    Is it not also a kind of “concretism,” to define “what cannot be,” when facing Mystery?

    If definitions drop away, then how can one define Mystery?
    Perhaps that’s why Jung remains mysteriously ambiguous in regards to UFOs. Maybe he enjoys hovering in that in-between place.
    So I always wondered with the emphasis on transparency to transcendence….

    how can one be so certain of What Is Not? If one falls into the place of experience beyond definitions?

    I think you have said Stephen,  that Campbell protested too much in regards to metaphysics?  But I wonder if  for his chosen path he needed grounding?  My guess is he made that crossroad a long time ago.

    It is interesting  too calling something unidentified leaves it open…it is not a direct definition…and even the change from object to phenomena is curious too…ball lightning is a phenomena…so UFO can be simultaneously a perceived object or a perceived event.

    Also interesting Norland has just addressed this in his latest entry in the discussion.

    My Mother (an Astronomer) saw some unusual “phenomena” both naked eye and through telescope but could only describe what she observed. She never pinned it down beyond referencing her viewings as unidentified. A big round light going behind a mountain (not the sun)…and…
    I remember seeing a line of lights that stayed in one place for about 30 mins before moving in night sky. That one peaked my Mother’s interest.

    But in reference to  your mention of different technology Norland…more earth related, what of Nikola Tesla?

    It seems his name will occasionally crop up in relation to both tech and UFO phenomena.

    (the irony is if Campbell so chose today…there are enough camps of perspectives to create whole new seeds of mythology/imagination in relation to UFOs! Even if counted as 20th Century/21 Century Folk Belief)

    #74169

    Thank you Sunbug, I appreciate all you say.

    Yes, what Stephen said (not actually my words) about about uncertainty and ambiguity of the UFO phenomena speaking to the mystery is an important point in connection to that “unusual emotion” that accompanies the numinous archetype. The ambiguity and ambivalence of the archetype, however, would not have deterred Campbell from exploring such phenomena. Quite the contrary, as Stephen suggested, that precisely such qualities might have enticed his philosophical and mythological curiosity. And I do think you’re right. Campbell would probably have pointed to the UFO phenomenon as a concretization of a metaphor of transcendent being.

    In my opinion, the reason Campbell didn’t pick up the subject probably has more to do to with the lack of genius literary elaborations on the subject. If James Joyce had decided to write a novel about Alien visitors, then he surely would have followed suit! Campbell loved books above anything else and didn’t actually express great interest in pop culture, especially his contemporary movie and entertainment culture, which he viewed with detachment and at a distance. When you look at Creative Mythology, for example, you see nothing but a magnificent compendium of contemporary works of literary geniuses, in both literature and philosophy. He could have included, for example, a piece on the history of painting, music, or dance—and indeed film-making itself as the quintessential modern art—as powerful exponents of contemporary “creative mythology.” But no such luck. After all, as everyone knows, Campbell was a professor of literature at Sarah Lawrence College. His angle of entry into the mythic dimension is pre-eminently a literary one.

    Another question you ask

    “If UFOs are both out of the realm of religion/science (meaning no direct verification) Then where would they belong in the Psyche?”

    I don’t think that UFOs are, phenomenologically speaking, outside the realm of religion and science. In a way, they represent the possibility of an absolute synthesis of the two. And there is a measure of verification involved in both spheres, as we know, one objective the other subjective. The pentagon videos along with witness accounts could be counted as a modicum of objective proof.And there is no doubt that something of a religious faith has taken root in it—especially in order to regard such videos as objective proof! You see, at every point, UFOs blur the dividing line between science and religion. The experience of seeing a UFO is qualitatively no different than seeing a God.

    Although we’ve said that Campbell appears not to have expressed himself on the topic, one little fragment did emerge from our research at the Foundation. Here’s how Campbell saw it in a rare instant:

    “In one of those cock-eyed theaters that are in New York, on 42nd and Broadway, I saw advertised Fire Women from Outer Space. That was a mythological idea. In Tibetan Buddhism these are called docheles—fire women from outer space! And in their spiritual powers they can excite you a little bit. And so I thought, Well, we’re getting back to the old days in a very funny way.” (The Hero’s Journey, p. 184)

    “Whenever the human imagination gets going, it has to work in the fields that myths have already covered. And it renders them in new ways, that’s all.” (The Hero’s Journey, p. 212)

    #74168

    “My Mother (an Astronomer) saw some unusual “phenomena” both naked eye and through telescope but could only describe what she observed. She never pinned it down beyond referencing her viewings as unidentified. A big round light going behind a mountain (not the sun)…and…
    I remember seeing a line of lights that stayed in one place for about 30 mins before moving in night sky. That one peaked my Mother’s interest.”

    So you have seen them, Sunbug! You have! I am so glad you decided to join our COHO! I myself have never had such privilege but I am still hopeful that one day I’ll get my chance. My son and his friend reported seeing three hovering lights that suddenly flashed away from sight.
    And I am glad you picked up on this, always overlooked quality of their phenomenality. Not just the way they appear but also how they disappear speaks to the essence of their non-essence.* (This notion of the non-essence is actually not my own invention but a formulation by Martin Heidegger) But as I said above:

    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 [non-]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 [lack of] knowledge about them, it consists in the simple fact that “something is seen, but one doesn’t know what.” (CW10: ¶591)

    And you are absolutely right that it is this sense of hovering between the real and unreal, between being and nothingness, that may be what Jung, like the rest of us mythophiles, enjoy about the visionary flight of mythic consciousness, which takes place in the in-between spaces of our phenomenological experience of being in the world.

    #74167

    Thank you for your responses Norland!
    First my apologies…I remembered things both you and Stephen wrote, which I liked…but scanning back for them, unfortunately made an oops on who contributed what.
    And you did say Campbell would have welcomed the challenge of the ambiguity. I can see that now. I was perhaps thinking how all the public reaction for proof and evidence might turn him away… but you put it more succinctly, that if a contemporary within Campbell’s field or if more besides Jung had written about the subject…he would have been more willing to dig into it.

    You write: I don’t think that UFOs are, phenomenologically speaking, outside the realm of religion and science. In a way, they represent the possibility of an absolute synthesis of the two.

    That makes sense. Perhaps I was taking too literal an approach in imagining Campbell searching for how a UFO symbol could relate to the symbols of old and balking from any views of physical proof. Should give Joseph Campbell more credit for being open to such an adventure of exploration. Even if he might have preferred other peers of renown and expertise to tackle it before daring a “Parzival” himself. Sorry Joe!

    And I think you are right, because the UFO subject has such potential as a modern myth. You mentioned how the UFOs both have the dark and light side…and a new sort of “Savior symbol” as well. A synthesis of science and religion into something fantastical, numinous as well as potentially terrifying.
    After all going into Space…I seem to recall Campbell’s fascination with that…and I had the impression in Power of Myth…that Campbell was looking towards space as what would birth the New Myths.
    So to give him credit…perhaps I should say he would not be surprised by this Public Dream of the UFO!

    the quote: “news affirming the existence of UFOs seems welcome, but skepticism seems undesirable” which says belief in UFOs “suits the general opinion” whereas disbelief is to be discouraged.

    I have a little different perception of THIS. Even with the whole Roswell episode…the reaction to UFOs seemed to be divided with those who did talk about existence often getting the labels “of kooks” and “little green men ha ha”

    even though the symbol by then was really “Gray” beings.

    There was an “underground” following of all UFO details

    BUT that over the next decades mentions of UFOs even among regular people (not just Roswell UFO enthusiasts) became quite common.

    There were those who thought UFOs would make traditional religions uncomfortable, maybe the strict ones…but I have found that even those who consider themselves to have a strong Christian faith…see no reason God could not have created beings on other planets as well. So that’s sort of interesting.

    I know that you and Jung were emphasizing a potential “break in the human psyche” in regards to the birth of the UFO phenomena…

    But I also wonder if there is a certain kind of allure and draw to this as well?

    To be fair that sense of “dissociation,” that Jung mentions might also reflect that NEED.

    The DRAW I’m thinking about is “WHAT IF?” Looking at UFOs from this perspective of PLAY. The classic suspension of disbelief and the engagement of WONDER and IMAGINATION. Maybe the soul or psyche has felt a drought…and looking up to the Stars…births this WHAT IF? Game. Because it’s in the form of questions could it not still retain that numinous quality? Wondering what a UFO could be? How it flies? Wondering if there are ETs or what they might look like? Friendly or grumpy? Tall or Short?
    Wonder is more open ended than belief…I know it’s a contradiction to letting definitions slide before the mystery. But this shows to me you are exactly right…and it is a way of longing for that wonder and imagination and rapture of mystery, which all the myths have talked about. And it reflects that “play,” that is often the key to the threshold of experience.
    Of course if one has heard ufo culture references then alas the game becomes a bit more defined: Are “Grays real?”
    If so? Are they nice or mean or indifferent? What kind of ships do they fly?etc. (Getting a little too concrete for Joe Campbell at that point heh heh)

    But I can see what you mean about UFOs having that almost ephemeral quality…whether an object of light (interestingly some have suggested some UFOs are like holograms which gets back to that insubstantial vision appearing and disappearing)

    Or whether an object that moves in an odd manner.
    You made good points too about our own tech (whole other branch of the subject)

    I have no idea what we were seeing that night when those 8 lights didn’t move for 30 mins. We were watching them from a deck and my Mother looked at them through the telescope too. All I know is it was fascinating!!

    The other one Mother saw…maybe before I was born…she described as a big orange ball of light, which slowly went behind a mountain (laterally)

    She was driving home at the time.
    Who knows but it definitely leaves the Wonder dancing in the in-between!!

     

     

     

    #74166

    Norland,

    This observation of yours rings true:

    . . . 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.”

    And, a few lines later:

    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)”

    I believe you “knocked it out of the ballpark,” so to speak, with this MythBlast – and not just the essay, but every entry in this exchange is well worth the read. What a wonderfully relevant and immediate example of how mythologizing isn’t just something that happened in the long ago, but remains a dynamic, ongoing, unconscious process informing culture yet today.

    #74165

    Norland,

    As you have mentioned (and we discussed prior to the publication of your essay), Campbell doesn’t really express himself on the subject – though I do recall a couple passing mentions re life in outer space (apart from the Fire Women from Outer Space poster). I have looked for those since our email exchange, and finally found one:

    The idea that we will have a divine visitation by some friendly forms, benign forces from other planets who will come to our aid and save us, is a clear reflection of an outmoded understanding of the universe. Jung wrote that the modern myth of unidentified flying objects tells us something of humankind’s visionary expectations. People are looking for visits from the outside world because they think our deliverance will come from there. But the space age reminds us that voyages into outer space turn us back to inner space. The Kingdom of God is within us, but we have this idea that the gods act from ‘out there.'” (A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living 168-169)

    The other reference, which was much warmer toward the likelihood of life elsewhere in the universe, I’m still searching for.

    #74164

    Yes, absolutely, the draw, the attraction, the pull into mythic consciousness, is what draws me in as well. As you so well put it:

    The DRAW I’m thinking about is “WHAT IF?” Looking at UFOs from this perspective of PLAY. The classic suspension of disbelief and the engagement of WONDER and IMAGINATION. Maybe the soul or psyche has felt a drought…and looking up to the Stars…births this WHAT IF? Game. Because it’s in the form of questions could it not still retain that numinous quality? Wondering what a UFO could be? How it flies? Wondering if there are ETs or what they might look like? Friendly or grumpy? Tall or Short?
    Wonder is more open ended than belief…I know it’s a contradiction to letting definitions slide before the mystery. But this shows to me you are exactly right…and it is a way of longing for that wonder and imagination and rapture of mystery, which all the myths have talked about. And it reflects that “play,” that is often the key to the threshold of experience.

    I think what you and your mom experienced, as with everyone who has seen them, was such moment of transcendent wonder. But the concretism of the experience is not to be underplayed either for it is precisely that quality of the Real which takes us beyond the merely metaphorical, beyond the merely symbolic and purely ludic what-if, only to add and not subtract from the transcendent sense of mystery.

    I think the issue of concretism vs symbolism is often turned into a rigid ideological fantasy in which their opposition is seen non-dialectically, as if they were opposites external to each other. But rather than a binary split between the concrete and the symbolic we must learn to see them the way the ancients did, one inside the other. The more concrete a reality is the more symbolic it becomes. So rather than determining the literal definition of the concrete in opposition to the metaphoric, we must learn to see in the symbolic order the literal and concrete meaning of our lives. There is neither the symbolic nor the literal but only the becoming-symbolic of the literal. Time is the thing that melts them both within.

    We really need to deconstruct all our binary oppositions in order to think properly about things. That is why I also appreciate the work of Jacques Derrida, who is in my book another great depth mythologist. This is how he puts it On Grammatology with respect to the ‘science of writing’: “It is not, therefore, a matter of inverting the literal meaning and the figurative meaning but of determining the “literal” meaning of writing as metaphoricity itself.” (15)

    #74163

    Norland, Stephen is absolutely correct: “you definitely knocked it out of the ballpark!” And I agree…not just the essay but all the additions you made after! Excellent!!
    Stephen that’s awesome you dug up a direct Joe Campbell reference to UFOs. His take not surprising! Exactly what I would guess! And that is what Campbell liked about the Moon Mission…pointing back to the earth and back within…though it took pointing to the beyond too…and the beyond has always lingered in the imagination.
    I would really like to have seen Campbell’s response to the growing “Public Dream/Myth,” of UFOs today.

    There may be an evolution of a few new nuances within this Modern Tale!

    So my Mom had a small observatory non-profit…but she also had a photo of Capt. Kirk…so keeps a bit of symbol of wonder along side the study of astronomy.

    She loved not just sharing her knowledge with others but seeing the wonder awake in them, when they had their own experience of seeing the stars and nebulas revealed in fine detail through the telescope. Human connection.

    Your last entry Norland is so good…really love it…that I’m at risk of copy pasting the entire quote.

    The last paragraph really resonates and I agree! There is so much push for trading metaphor for concrete that perhaps bringing that back together is a reminder of transcending pairs of opposites! Now I want to look up that writer! That mythologist! (A plus Stephen to these boards…looking/reading/watching recommendations has been really lovely!)

    So yes concrete elements used to translate as some odd farmer seeing something but overtime the “happenings” are unusual things moving  witnessed by military pilots…not that there weren’t those connections before but calling the Myth Public really expresses that it’s not limited to one group but shared in a much larger way!! And that’s the fascination!

    Stephen and Norland: this Subject could have several subheadings!
    Or innings! Yes it is baseball time of the year! Grin. Speaking about knocking this out of the park…oh my!

    A quick question to you both?
    Have either of you heard of the “Hopi Prophecies?” I’m not sure this was around or known during Campbell’s study. And I may not be alluding to this correctly, but the jist is that a group of Hopi Elders was interviewed and maybe they were asked about UFOs but were not surprised at all…and gave some explanation that fit with the modern myth. What peaked my interest is that people with strong native heritage had interest and did not dismiss it as merely outsider interpretation. There were papers I think…there is a book that refs but it’s the papers what were/are interesting to Native people and others.

    The Elders were real or at least that’s what I gleaned at the time.

    I think what that numinous in-between place does where the opposites meet… is it becomes a deeply magical place…and/or experience.

     

     

    #74162

    Yes there could be several subheadings of this Myth/Dream/Happening:

    SETI (and I’m betting Campbell knew and the quote you provide Stephen might be in response to that as well as the phenomena on a whole)

    But if wanting to bring together concrete and transcendent and past and present. And jumping into the Game and Story of The Public Myth?

    Dare I reference: Erik Von Daniken?

    Or even more so Zecharia Sitchin?
    There could be a whole piece on both of them.
    ZS took the ancient myths and ran with a whole new interpretation (which yes played into the whole UFO theme)

    I do not have to ask Joe Campbell’s opinion *wry grin*

    But such imaginings created a myth life of their own which has highly influenced part of this UFO/ET Dream/Wonder/WhatIf?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 37 total)
  • The forum ‘MythBlasts’ is closed to new topics and replies.