“The Aliens Have Landed (and are eating breakfast on my front porch)”

September 15, 2022


Down Rabbit Holes, Through Wormholes: The Ins and Outs of UFOs

We have a tendency to assume that when we close our eyes and say, dream or meditate, we are somehow “going within” or “inside ourselves”; and conversely, that when we use our physical eyes (or the instruments that amplify and extend their sensory reach, from binoculars and telescopes to sophisticated electronic measuring devices) to view the skies, we are “looking outward” or “going outside ourselves.”

However, are we completely justified in cutting the consciousness cake only in this satisfyingly simplistic way?

I think not. Jung, of course, had us unconsciously projecting symbolic images of the divine Self into the physical heavens, even in a collective manner. Multiple witnesses may attest to its “reality,” or at least to its apparent presence—a kind of collective hallucination or mass mirage, that may even have, or yet develop, physical and hence objectively measurable, manifestations. This was his idea of the “psychoid,” or that which crosses the ontological boundaries between psychological reality, on the one side, and physical matter reality, on the other.

It’s a spirit, it’s a craft—it’s two mints in one!

On the other hand, for thousands—perhaps hundreds of thousands, or even millions—of years, we have had  experiential reports of shamans, dreamers, meditators, monks, and prophets who have visionary experiences that are similar or identical to the reports of other experiencers. In such agreement, there is a form of inter-subjective reality and validation that comes from this convergence.

But again, it’s as if we are saying that these experiences are inherently separable and essentially private and personal in the first place, yet subsequently comparable; and therefore, when viewed in the aggregate, suggestive of a non-idiosyncratic, “objective” reality. It’s sort of like the addition method of metaphysics: If Fred AND Wilma AND Barney AND Betty all separately dream of a magical land of pink dinosaurs and green skies, then we have some truly interesting data points to consider.

Jung, of course, understood that this kind of thinking belongs in kindergarten. So did Heraclitus (c. 500 BCE), one of Jung’s chief sources of inspiration. They both understood that falling down the rabbit holes of our “own” mind is like falling through a wormhole that will bring us face to face with the ultimate Powers that, in W.H.Auden’s verse, “we pretend to understand,” and which create and operate this thing we call “reality.” Because psyche isn’t something that exists inside our heads; it is, as Heraclitus opined, without measurable boundaries. What we perceive within “our” mind is but a pale reflection of Mind At Large. So when we naively look outward, at “the world,” in an effort to “just see” things as they really are, plainly and unvarnished, we are only holding up a reflecting glass that mirrors back to us our own peculiar foibles and limiting beliefs.

With these few preliminaries in mind, let’s go ahead and dive in—or is it out?

The Nancy Penn Center at the Monroe Institute, in Faber, Virginia


Starlines is a residential program at the Monroe Institute, a non-profit educational and research center located in  in the foothills of the spectacular Blue Ridge Mountains in central Virginia.

The Institute has been in existence since the 1970s. Its founder was Robert (Bob) Monroe (1915-1995), the author of the well-known and highly regarded volume, Journeys out of the Body (1971), and two other books dealing with his extensive out-of-body experiences (OBEs), which began seemingly by accident in the late 1950s. Monroe, who was a media executive and producer at the time, subsequently shifted his entire focus and interests as a result of his shocking spontaneous experiences. He created a research division of his media company in order to try and figure out what was happening to him when he found himself leaving his physical body. Along the way, he and his engineers developed a system of audio technology, which, when used in conjunction with meditative techniques in specially designed group programs, helped to facilitate  a variety of non-ordinary states of consciousness, including (but not limited to) the out-of-body condition.

I have written extensively elsewhere about my experiences in numerous programs there, and also about Bob Monroe and his development. Anyone interested may consult my two books, as well as various papers and links available elsewhere on this web site.

Here I wish to confine my discussion to an experience I have not heretofore written about, which occurred in the  Starlines program–one of the last programs that began development while Monroe was still alive in the mid-1990s. The opening paragraph of a current description of the program taken from the Monroe web site (https://www.monroeinstitute.org/) reads as follows:

“In this fascinating program, you will move into profound states of awareness, experience galactic and intergalactic exploration, and gain a deeper understanding of your role and place in the universe.”

This description is a trifle opaque. And here I do need to give a little background.

The basic focus of Starlines, at least when I attended the program maybe fifteen years ago, was, frankly, communication with the supposed sentient, intelligent inhabitants of those galaxies, i.e., “extraterrestrials.”

UFOs and their occupants, or what I would prefer to call “nonhuman intelligences,” were not a prime focus of Monroe’s three books. And yet, perspicuous readers can discern oblique references to these themes, as far back as the initial Journeys Out of the Body. There he described the initial stimulus to his wild talent of leaving his body as a “beam of light” that struck him from above, and initially triggered the vibrational experience which is typically the prelude to full separation. There are other references, both subtle and overt, to UFOs and their occupants, in in his second and third books, Far Journeys (1985) and Ultimate Journey (1994).

Monroe intuitively grasped that our usual method of carving up phenomena and assigning them to distinct, self-contained fields of inquiry (Ufology, parapsychology, psychology, thanatology, reincarnational studies, energy healing, etc.) has been counterproductive, and has, in fact, distorted and even falsified our actual experiences, which never quite fit neatly into such tight and confining “reality boxes,” as Ingo Swann aptly named them. There’s always spillover, simply because consciousness cannot be contained.  (As I suggested in previous posts, numerous current researchers are now coming to this same conclusion.) In the early chapters of Far Journeys, for example, Monroe mentions having unusual experiences (e.g., apparent levitation) that would seem to have absolutely nothing to do with OBEs. But once you stick your toe into the sea of consciousness, you’re in all the water, and that’s it. Thus, what might seem “woo-woo” to outsiders was all in a day’s work for Monroe. Starlines was not by any means, an outlier. As any program attendees who had carefully read his books would have known.

And many did know.

I do not recall if I then was aware of the term “CE-5” (“Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind”)—protocols for initiating contact with Others through the use of consciousness itself. This term had been coined by the controversial Ufologist, Dr. Steven Greer, of whom I had only passing knowledge at the time. Starlines was, in a sense, a modified five-day CE-5 course, employing Monroe sound technology, program exercise structures, and processes to facilitate entering those deep meditative states conducive to exploring consciousness, and, perhaps, direct (is telepathic the right term?) communication with Others.

I say “modified” because, unlike the aim of many, or perhaps most practitioners of CE-5, the professed aim in the program was not to invite “craft,” or intelligently guided lights, to show themselves in the skies; although I believe there were at least several attendees who were indeed hoping for such an outcome. But I don’t recall that any significant time was spent outdoors during any of the formal program exercises, though it’s possible that individual members of the group did do this, especially at night, after the scheduled daily activities were over.

One of those activities was the group viewing of a video in which Dr. Greer was prominently featured. This proved to be a turning point in the program, and–at least for me–not a happy one.

My impression of Greer and his claims was less than enthusiastic, and I openly expressed my views  in the group. At least some other members seemed to share my misgivings, although Greer had his defenders as well. It turned out that one attendee was a Former Government Official who, from what I could gather, had known Greer, and might have been instrumental in facilitating Greer’s participation at certain White House briefings on the subject of UFOs. His own opinions on Greer’s claims, and on Greer himself, were now apparently quite mixed. The film and subsequent discussion had injected a measure of disharmony into the program, as the whole UFO subject is apt to do. At least that’s how I perceived it. My own mood was certainly somewhat disgruntled.

I mention all of this because, at this point, I was not expecting much in the way of “results.” And indeed, in many of the exercises, I seemed to be drawing a huge blank. Back in my personal isolation berth, which is used both for sleeping as well as for listening, through headphones, to the special audio signals during the exercises, I would relax into the requisite state of awareness, and mentally welcome—nothing.

Just blackness. Time after time.

Then, suddenly, out of the blackness, I was startled to perceive something. It reminded me of a huge, black manta ray.  It was just hovering there, in the blackness, in front of my nonphysical “face,” staring me down–or checking me out. I couldn’t tell which. It was just floating there—quite rudely, I thought. It was confusing because it looked like a sea creature; but my awareness had been directed up and out to the heavens, not down and in to the sea.

The image was so ridiculous, nearly absurd, that I had chalked it up to my imagination trying to entertain me.

Later that day, I struck up a conversation with one of the other participants, a fellow I’ll call “Grant.” Grant and his wife were local goat farmers who struck me as well-grounded and not prone to excessive flights of fancy. I told Grant that I hadn’t been getting much in the way of results from the exercises, and, just as a lark, mentioned my “manta ray” encounter.

“Oh, yeah,” Grant said casually, not suppressing a chuckle. “We see them all the time.”

I was floored. I told him about this thing getting up close and personal, invading my personal space. It seems like this was their signature method of introducing themselves. I hadn’t found it genuinely disconcerting because I hadn’t even been convinced that this was a real entity. It was sort of comic. But now I was weirded out. Had I made “contact”? Had they contacted me? Who were “they”?

Subsequent contact with the manta ray entity did not satisfy my curiosity about these matters, probably because, once again, I didn’t trust that my imagination wasn’t filling in the blanks. One of the things that it told me was that I had been one of them, and had lived a life in another part of the universe as a manta being. This crossed my “boggle threshold” on so many levels. At the time, I wasn’t even sure that I believed in multiple lives or incarnations. And while I dutifully recorded the “conversations” in my journal, I didn’t give them much credence. The skeptic in me wouldn’t accept the “high strangeness” or ridiculous factor of the whole episode.

But here’s the thing. Ever since St Augustine of Hippo (354-430 CE) lambasted and slandered the imagination as “fantastica fornicato,” the prostitution of the mind to its own fantasies—i.e., mental masturbation—we, in the west, have largely looked down upon the imagination as an endogenous source of merely subjective and deceptive fancy; the department of distraction and entertainment, the Scheherazade of mental faculties. Of course, Augustine was afraid of perspicuous observers comparing the iconography of Christianity—The One True Religion, after all—with all those other, “demonic,” “pagan” symbol systems and stories, and thereby catching all the essential and undeniable similarities. Moreover, since he invented the doctrine of Original Sin, which held that human nature has been utterly corrupted by the Fall in the Garden, when Eve and Adam disobeyed God and ate the fruit, this corruption would include the faculty imagination, which is our innate capacity to form images—the original, primary language of the human psyche, after all. We dream in images, not words.

Yet, from Plato onward, straight through Neo-platonic and the esoteric traditions of the ancient Hermeticism to that of Carl Jung and Henri Corbin, the imagination, in its primary usage, has been properly understood as an organ of perception of reality rather than a weaver of auto-erotic illusions and pathological delusions. Yes, of course, there must be discernment. But we need to struggle hard in order to overcome our culturally conditioned prejudices against the imagination, and our reflexive, habitual disdain of it as an epistemological lowlife.

More to come.


Although I haven’t had one in a while, for many years I had a periodically recurring dream that I called my “Starfield” dream:

I’m standing outside at dusk, in a park, or park-like setting. There is a huge open expanse of lawn in front of me, with a line of tall trees off in the distance. People are milling around, and some are looking up at the early evening sky. I, too look up, and it seems as though the sky is absolutely teeming with stars. I’ve never seen it quite as crowded as this. Then, suddenly, the stars begin to move across the sky at high speed, in all different directions, scattering like celestial bugs! Just watching them makes me dizzy, but it is only in part their physical movement that is responsible for my vertigo. For I know that real stars can’t move in this way, and that these globes of light are not stars, but rather, UFOs, in the shape of luminescent orbs. And they will shortly be landing on earth! I feel as if I’m about to faint.

It was always the same, every time.

I wouldn’t call it a nightmare, but it wasn’t exactly pleasant, either. The sense of anxiety and foreboding at the end of the dream was very strong and uncomfortable, as was the sensation of vertigo itself. (I don’t have vertigo in my waking life, except that I’ve never been overly fond of going up on ladders). Years ago  I read a book on recurring dreams, in which the author suggested that a dream will recur only when we don’t “get” its symbolic message. But I couldn’t figure out what the underlying message was, if indeed there was one.

I’d pretty much forgotten all about the dream, because, as I say, I haven’t had one in a good long while—years, even.

And then, only a few weeks ago, I started reading a book I’d recently ordered on Amazon, Inside UFOs: True Accounts of Contact with Extraterrestrials (2017), by UFO researcher Preston Dennett. In Chapter Four, Dennett examines the case of a woman named Jeannie Noble, who had had vivid dreams about UFOs for as long as she could remember—but never, to her conscious knowledge, had she “actually seen” a UFO. One of the themes of a recurring dream she had involved “humanity’s imminent contact” with ETs:

“All through my childhood and into my adulthood . . . I would have the same dream over and over again. And as I grew older, I was always age appropriate in the dream. And the dream was: I was in a park. It was nighttime, and there were lots of people around. All of a sudden, the night sky filled with all kinds of saucers, or flying machines. They were filling the sky and everybody was panicked and running. So because they were running, I was running. And all of these people were scared to death. But I was never afraid. I’ve had this same dream over and over” (p. 72).

When I read this it was absolutely stunning: it was virtually the same dream as mine. Or close enough. It was as if we had seen the same movie, and while there were a few minor variations, most of them could be chalked up to a difference of perspective and interpretation. For example, in my dream, I took no notice of what the other people around me were doing. But perhaps this was because, unlike Jeannie, I found the entire experience disorienting and disconcerting. And the other difference is that I did not have my dream until I was well into my 30s. I don’t recall any specific UFO dreams from my childhood, although I had other very powerful and memorable dreams.

Well, what does this mean, you ask?

Are Jeannie and I both seeing into an actual or possible future mass event? I cannot offer evidence either in favor or against such an hypothesis. Or perhaps we are both tapping into some sort of collective dream, or nightmare, that reflects certain anxieties and fears about the future and hypothetical contact. Could it be merely a coincidence that we dreamed something so similar? After all, there are billions of people dreaming many dreams every night, and surely by chance it must be conceivable that two random individuals, otherwise not in any way connected, could possibly dream something nearly identical. Well, I can’t refute this, either.

Or another possibility is so-called backwards or reverse causation, which is being talked about more and more in quantum physics, and in some cases is being advanced as an alternative account of precognition, where a future event reaches back into the past to insert an idea of itself into the consciousness of humans. In this case, if I understand it aright, the conjecture would be that my reading of Dennett’s book was the cause of my having those specific dreams in the past. In other words, in simple terms, “B” causes “A”, instead of vice-versa, which reverses our usual thinking that a cause must precede its effect in time. I won’t even attempt to deal with this from a theoretical standpoint, because again, I wouldn’t even know how to support or negate it, even if it was an abstractly conceivable theoretical possibility.

What I will say is that it strikes me as an exceedingly complicated explanation. And while I do not believe that applying Occam’s razor is necessarily justified or wise as a general principle,  here I find in practice that the reverse causality principle really doesn’t explain anything–except in the sense of explaining away precognition or premonitory warnings. For why (not to mention how) of all the multitudinous UFO stories and anecdotes that I have ever read—even if we were limiting the pool just to the other stories in Dennett’s book—would this particular account have inserted itself into my past dream life? Especially if I had no previous special or personal connection to this dream, or to the individual who dreamed it? It just doesn’t seem very plausible to me. It’s one of those types of explanations that promises to remove the mystery from something, but in fact leaves a greater mystery in its wake.

Where does this leave us? I am still stunned by the similarity of the dreams, and the fact that they were recurring dreams for us both. I don’t know how to explain this.

I can only offer what I recently realized could be regarded as a follow-up dream, and to see the “imminent contact,” “Starfield” dream as part of a possible narrative sequence. This next one, like the Golden UFO dream, was also from 1998 (May 6, to be exact), and in my journal bears the title of this long post:

“The Aliens Have Landed (and are eating breakfast on my front porch)”

A log house in the forest, somewhere

So, here is my dream:

I am inside an office or government building observing people watching news reports on television screens, as they get all excited about these flying globes of light all over the sky that are evidently UFOs landing. I’m puzzled by all the excitement, as there are Greys nonchalantly walking about all around us, and no one seems to notice or care. The scene shifts, and I’m in the woods, standing inside a huge barn of a rustic, screened-in porch, that looks very much like the one at the lake house, right down to the large wooden picnic table. Indeed, I know that we live here in the attached house. Evidently, we’re right next door to a busy restaurant; and occasionally, our porch handles the overflow customers. I am watching a bunch of Greys sitting at the long picnic table, apparently eating breakfast. They are making quite a racket, busily passing plates of pancakes and sausages, French toast and bacon, and pots of coffee, and they seem to be enjoying themselves.

When I awoke from this UFO dream, I laughed out loud.

“All in the Family”

The Greys at breakfast reminded me of a typical scene from the old television show, “All in the Family,” when the four characters, Archie, Edith, Mike, and Gloria, would be sitting around the dining room table, often after just having had a raucous verbal disagreement, and they would be silently but furiously passing dishes, with plates and silverware clanking and Mike chowing down.

My other association with the dream was one of the most famous, or perhaps infamous, cases of high strangeness in all of Ufology—one that also, coincidentally, involved breakfast food. I’m referring to the (still officially unsolved) Eagle River “pancake” case, that was investigated by Project Blue Book, led by J. Allen Hynek and Jacques Vallée. [For those who might not be familiar with this story, I would refer you to Vallée’s epochal work, Passport to Magonia: On UFOs, Folklore, and Parallel Worlds (1969), and also his more recent work, Dimensions: A Casebook of Alien Contact (1997). On the web, see “Pancakes in Magonia,” which reproduces Vallée’s text verbatim (http://www.ufoevidence.org/Cases/CaseSubarticle.asp?ID=972)].

Basically, Joe Simonton, a sixty-year old chicken farmer in rural Wisconsin, had a brief encounter with a landed, saucer-shaped object and its occupants, whom he described as dark-skinned humanoids who looked “Italian.” One of the occupants of the craft held up a jug, which Simonton interpreted as a request for water. He took the jug into his house, filled it, and returned it to the UFonaut. Simonton noticed that the other occupant was apparently busy frying food on a flame-less grill inside the saucer—items that have alternately been described as pancakes, cakes or cookies.  Simonton was given three of these by the being who had shown him the empty jug, evidently in appreciation for Simonton’s good neighborliness.

The Simonton Encounter

What is it with aliens and breakfast?

It was only in writing this post, that it suddenly struck me: “All in the Family.” Was that a clue to the meaning of the dream? The Greys are in my house. Are they family? Are they, in fact, coming home?

Now, a pancake—or a cake or cookie, for that matter—is basically fancy bread. Bread. “Breaking bread.” And who are the people we typically break bread with? The people that we eat with? Why, family, of course!

Once again: Are the Greys family?

What would this mean? One current theory holds that they are really humans from the distant future, who have survived atomic destruction and other disasters to evolve into large-brained, thin-bodied, bug-like time-travelers, who come back into the distant past in order to collect much needed bio material from ancestors whose gene pool hasn’t yet been corrupted by nuclear mutations, etc.

And yet, the Greys don’t act as if we’re their progenitors, or that they’re trying very hard for our own good not to let us know that they’re “us”—humans from the future, who are only very reluctantly subjecting people to very painful and invasive procedures by taking much needed genetic material. Indeed, it seems quite the reverse: they act as if they own us, that they’re OUR progenitors—or perhaps, our Creators—and therefore that they’re absolutely entitled to do whatever they want with us, because from their standpoint, we are theirs. We belong to them.

As Charles Fort observed in The Book of the Damned (1919), “I think we’re property.”

Although it never got a lot of his readers’ attention, Bob Monroe said something very much like this, in the Garden  story in his second book, Far Journeys, in which he got out of “local traffic” OBEs—flying around his bedroom and local, earthly environs—to travel what he called the far reaches of the Interstate of consciousness. It was in these more extensive forays that he bumped up against data that suggested to him that we are someone’s experiment. Ditto Whitley Strieber’s Visitors, who told him that they have every right to treat him like a lab rat.

So, if the Greys are “family,” the people that we eat with, then they–not us–would properly be seated at the head of the table.

Pass the maple syrup, please.

“Earth, to Joe”

You will notice that I have not exactly been making very clear or sharp distinctions between the psychological, sociological, and ontological dimensions of meaning. And that’s because I don’t think it’s possible, in the end, to make such distinctions stick. In truth, I’ve more or less been deliberately blurring those boundaries, or at least acting with an undisguised insouciance as I nod in their direction.

Nor have I been driving towards some overarching definitive conclusions. Shared dreams? Shared hallucinations? Shared anxieties, or premonitory vibes? Shared precognitive (or retro-cognitive) perceptions? Or perhaps,
collectively implanted or projected memories? Then the very provocative question would become: implanted or projected by whom—or what? And, for heavens sake, why? For what ultimate purpose?

Consider the following dream I had in 2003, which I titled “Earth, to Joe” in my journal:

I’m sitting at a small table by a window. Across from me sits a man dressed in a futuristic uniform, and we are having a lively discussion about the nature of reality. We know each other well and can speak frankly. Outside the window is the Earth, as seen from space. The planet is getting larger as we continue to talk. My companion tells me that the Earth is a living entity that has chosen to be exactly where it is. I agree with him, but point out that this idea would be anathema to most Earth scientists, who think of the planet as a dead ball of dirt that just happened to land in its present position. Evidently, as we speak, we have now landed, as the scene outside the window is a countryside scene. The next thing I know, a small, dome-shaped UFO lands on the ground, perhaps a hundred yards or so from us. It has “legs” that sink into the ground, and it stays put for only a brief moment before suddenly lifting off, and speeding out of sight. Watching this scene unfold, I feel very peculiar and profoundly unsettled.

When I awoke, it felt as if my body was vibrating. The dream had been spectacularly vivid, and charged with an unusual energy I could not describe. I realized that my companion in my dream was my senior and mentor, and that I was his student or subordinate. When, in the dream, I saw the small UFO that had landed across from us, I suddenly knew that we were also in a UFO, identical to the one I saw out the window. And I also somehow knew—or strongly suspected—that our human appearance was just that: a disguise, a costume, and that we were not really human. I was, from the standpoint of Earth’s inhabitants, an “alien.”

This idea was disconcerting to the point of utter creepiness, in a manner reminiscent of my discomfort in the Golden UFO dream, when my resurrected aunt suddenly transmogrified into the “Shadow Grey.” If followed down the rabbit hole through to its very roots, this notion threatens to upend virtually everything we have conventionally thought, and taught ourselves, about our human identity, our history, our biological evolution, and our place in this Earth and in the universe. Not to mention the nature of time and space, and Reality itself.

In other words, it’s nothing less than the epistemological equivalent of a black hole that will swallow everything solid and energetic. If the black hole should become a wormhole, we can have no clear conception of the world that awaits us on the other side.

There is an oft conjectured hypothesis that the government is reticent to admit openly that “the flying saucers are real” (to borrow the apt title of Donald Keyhoe’s classic tome), because then they would also have to admit that they can’t control our airspace, or prevent people from being abducted from the “safety “ of their bedrooms at night. But this is sort of like saying that we can’t tell the kids that Daddy is a cannibalistic axe murderer, because then they’ll be upset about not getting ice cream for dessert anymore.

Perhaps this vertiginous, disorienting effect–one that I actually experienced within several of these dreams–is deliberate, a part of the creative intention of the UFO phenomenon itself. Or perhaps it is just an accident, an unintended side-effect of “contact” in whatever form. Who can say for sure?

When, towards the end of the “Earth, to Joe” dream, I looked outside and saw the UFO land, I knew that I was looking into a mirror. And that what I just experienced—two men sipping coffee having a nice philosophical chat around a table you might find in IKEA—was little more than either an unconscious translation of something truly alien to my way of thinking, or else a so-called “screen memory,” implanted to hide the truth, or at least to disguise or cushion it– somewhat. For my inchoate sense that the window was more like a mirror might be a breadcrumb, subtly and casually tossed my way. If the Others are, to borrow that wonderful phrase from the title of Dr. Jacques Vallée’s book, “messengers of deception,”  then perhaps we are being encouraged, on some level, to stop deceiving ourselves. As Plato well knew, the greatest deception is the one inside of us—what he called “the lie in the soul.”

One last point:

When my mentor said that the Earth is a living, conscious being, he was basically affirming the late Dr. James Lovelock’s “Gaia hypothesis,” which has essentially been the position of the American Indians (one of our best UFO researchers, Ardy Sixkiller Clarke, prefers this term to “Native Americans” and so I will use it), and all indigenous cultures, for thousands, and perhaps hundreds of thousands—or maybe even millions—of years. I have consciously accepted this view for many years, well before that dream.

But what I hadn’t realized before, and what struck me, is the corollary, set out by my companion, that Earth is exactly where it (or, is it rather, She?) wants to be.

Now, the standard “Goldilocks hypothesis“ of  mainstream scientistic mechanistic materialism is that Mars was too far, and Venus too close to the Sun to facilitate the development of life; but Earth was, luckily, “just right”—just the right temperature for making good life-soup. And this, to them, was a “fortunate accident.” Fortunate because life just “appeared,” and here we are! Everything from amoebas on up to human consciousness is just one long chain of happenstance. It’s all the result of an unplanned accident of the solar system assemblage, including Earth’s formation some 4.5 billion years ago. This theory was, of course, set against the earlier religious (theistic or Biblical) view of Divine Creation, or, in its more disguised, slightly secularized version, Intelligent Design, which looks upon Earth as an artifact deliberately manufactured and planted in the right spot in order to produce felicitous results.

However, what my mentor in the dream said agrees with neither of these two conjectures. He maintained that it’s Earth’s idea to be exactly where She is. It’s neither an accident (fortunate or not, depending on how one looks at it), nor is it the result of Someone Else’s intention.

This would put a whole new spin on things, so to speak. If Earth is here because of Her intention, then what if we are likewise here because we want to be here, even if we don’t consciously know this to be the case? It’s not a cosmic accident, and it’s not the result of the intentions of agents other than ourselves, and this would be so even if we are forced by the data to radically revise our views of history, biology, physics, and metaphysics.

If Earth—Gaia, Erda, Hertha—is here, not because of a series of accidents, or because Someone Else told Her what to be and to do, but simply because She Herself wants to be here, then let’s use this idea as an invitation to think more profoundly about our own presence here, and what “being here” really means.

Much of the data of the UFO phenomenon is deeply disturbing and disconcerting, because it touches on the fundamental questions of existence: Who and what am I? Why am I here? What is my fate? What is reality?

But if we can accept, even if only as a working hypothesis, that, just like Mother Earth, we, too, at the deepest level of our being—in our soul, so to speak—are exactly where we want to be, then we may be able to embrace all the dark unknowns and the unsettling questions, and still find a place of peace and purpose within the maelstrom.

And, at least for the moment, I’ll quietly leave matters there.

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