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I have never thought much about alien abduction- but I do have familiarity with OBE and NDE.
Might someone describe an OBE as an abduction?
I think you are onto something here.

What little reading I have done on abductions and my research into OBE’s suggests to me they are different phenomena entirely. The abductions that I have read or seen on TV tell different stories then of OBE’s about what they experienced.

I do believe in alien abductions because it makes sense that they would be interested in us. Maybe we are one of their college student’s master’s thesis. I doubt we rate at this stage of our evolution of consciousness process a PhD dissertation.

To believe we are alone in the universe and that other species are not that far advanced of us is the very definition of arrogance or something. It appears we are being watched by not only earth bound spirits but aliens.

I do not believe that all that claim to be abducted have been abducted; there are lots of attention seekers and people with psychological problems that will tell just about any story for attention.

"It may take in not only "ordinary" OBEs, but "alien abductions," as well, and perhaps even the curiously persistent legends of "little folk" of various kinds who have a penchant for carrying off unwary mortals."

Interesting post, Michael, as always. Mack was an amazing and inspiring guy.

A book that explores the connection between alien abductions and "little folks" is Supernatural, by Graham Hancock. It's a mammoth book that has completely captivated me on two recent readings.

Hancock begins in seemingly different territory altogether, with a look at cave paintings and the likelihood that they are records of journeys in altered states. Along the way, he also discusses Rick Strassman's work (I believe Strassman was brought up in this blog recently) and lots more.

In Hancock's words, the book is about "the three specific manifestations of the supernatural—spirits, fairies, and aliens—and the common themes that seem to be expressed over and over again."

It's the only book of his that I've read, and I love it!

Jacques Vallee has done some research on the parallels between alleged alien visitations and folklore creatures.

I find it unlikely that we're alone and I'm open to the possibility that UFOs might very well be ET spacecraft, but when I read up on the research conducted by Jacques Vallee and the late Mac Tonnies, I'm not really so sure. I find UFOs really interesting nevertheless.

I think Vallee's theories would resonate with yours, Michael.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Vallee#Interpretation_of_the_UFO_evidence

Jacques Vallee has done some research on the parallels between alleged alien visitations and folklore creatures in his book, Passport to Magonia.

I find it unlikely that we're alone in this vast Universe, and perhaps UFOs may very well be ET spacecraft, but I tend to lean more towards Vallee's interpretations of the phenomena:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Vallee#Interpretation_of_the_UFO_evidence

I'm pretty sure Vallee's theories would resonate with yours in some sense, Michael.

Wow, I'm really sorry about that, I refreshed the page after my first comment and I didn't see it so I thought it wasn't published.

The wikipdeia article on Vallee has a bad link to a paper by him, the correct link is:

Five Arguments Against Extraterrestrial Origin of Unidentified Flying Objects

http://www.scientificexploration.org/journal/jse_04_1_vallee_2.pdf

He concludes:

"The arguments raised here are not intended as a complete refutation of
the ETH or the natural phenomena hypothesis. Until the nature and origin
of UFO phenomena can be firmly established it will naturally be possible to
hypothesize that extraterrestrial factors, including undiscovered forms of
consciousness, are playing a role in its manifestations. But any future theory
should constructively address the facts we have reviewed. At a minimum,
the idea of extraterrestrial intervention should be updated to include current
theoretical speculation about other models of the physical universe."

It reminds me of the ambivalent conclusion by another Frenchman, Charles Richet to his book

Thirty Years of Psychical Research

http://survivalebooks.org/#Thirty%20Years%20of%20Psychical%20Research

"To sum up: There are three hypotheses in the field.

1. The phenomena are due to the dead, whose consciousness still persists without any material substratum. This is the spiritist theory which seems to me the least likely of any.

2. There are angels, spirits (Sazpovfs) who can act on matter and on human minds, and intervene in human affairs.

3. The human intelligence (body and soul) is sufficiently powerful to produce both material manifestations (ectoplasms) and the subjective manifestations (cryptesthesia) that amaze us.1

If I admit this third hypothesis as obviously superior to the others, it is not that I believe in it very strongly. Far otherwise. I am well aware how frail it is, how incredible, almost as incredible as the two former. But can anything better be put forward?

Perhaps; and I adopt without reserve a fourth proposition which has every chance of being true-we have as yet no satisfactory hypothesis to put forward.

In fine, I believe that future hypothesis that I cannot formulate because I do not know it."

Richet also wrote in that book:

"If it be admitted that in the universe, under conditions of space and time of which our rudimentary psychology is unaware, there are intelligent beings, interfering at certain moments in our lives, we have then a convenient hypothesis explanatory of many of the facts detailed in this book.

Mysterious beings, angels or demons, existences devoid of form, or spirits, which now and then seek to intervene in our lives, who can by means entirely unknown mould matter at will, who direct some of our thoughts and participate in some of our destinies, and who, to make themselves known (which they could not otherwise do) assume the bodily and psychological aspect of vanished human personalities-all this is a simple manner of expressing and understanding the greater part of the metapsychic phenomena.

This is the more plausible, seeing that under a close analysis of monitions and premonitions there seem to be vague intentions beyond and outside us, which transcend human concepts, as if the intelligent forces chose to stop on the threshold of the mystery, unwilling to tell everything, speaking in symbols and enigmas, outlining misty affirmations when they might be more explicit; moving plates, tables, and wooden logs, when they might (at least according to our normal thinking) operate in a chemical or physical laboratory, or at least tell us something of the mysteries of life continued after the death of the body. But they deal in a verbose theosophy; they tell us nothing useful, and do not even indicate with any precision favourable conditions for experiment."

My out-of-body experiences took place many years ago. I have been 'out-of-the-body' on earth, in space and in the Spirit World.

I still remember how beautiful the Earth looked from space (long before the first photographs were published) and the incredible silence. I 'knew' someone accompanied me but never saw them. I only sensed their presence.

The Spirit World was different from what I expected from my reading. It was very similar to Earth but everything was heightened - brighter (but no visible sun), more colourful and so on.

My OBE on earth was also interesting in that I found myself walking down a road I knew very well. People were hurrying to work but couldn't see me. I glanced at the City Hall clock and suddenly realised I would be late for work if I didn't hurry.

Immediately I found myself at my front door and thought 'how am I going to get in?' Oh yes I can walk through doors put my hand out and instantly found myself back in bed.

I looked at my clock which showed the same time as the City Hall clock, leapt out of bed and prepared to go to work.

I walked down the same road as I had done earlier, this time in my physical body. The main difference I noticed between the two journeys was that, when out-of-the body, the world seemed greyer whereas in my body it was much brighter.

These experiences happened at different times and I have often told them on television.

I have never had an UFO experience nor a NDE.

Charles Richet returned through the mediumship of Lesle Flint and I took the opportunity of asking him if he knew whether flying saucers existed.

He said 'of course, and many have landed'. He went on to say that man was 'so stupid' not to realise that there were other intelligences in the universe far more advanced than we were.

This was in 1972.

If you get a chance have a read of "Daimonic Reality" by Patrick Harpur,its certainly the most thorough treatment of this subject that I have read.

"Charles Richet returned through the mediumship of Lesle Flint and I took the opportunity of asking him if he knew whether flying saucers existed."

Did he have anything to say about his reluctance during his life to accept mediumship as communication from the dead?

I wonder if he felt it is also 'so stupid' for people to believe that the super-psi hypothesis explains phenomena caused by spirits.

"The Spirit World was different from what I expected from my reading. It was very similar to Earth but everything was heightened - brighter (but no visible sun), more colourful and so on."

Some of the early contactee's reported civilizations on other planets and the moon which our astronomers have falied to observe. One possibility is that those civilizations are in another dimension in the way the spirit world is not visible to our senses or scientific instruments.

Zerdini,

Have you written about your experiences, either in print or on the internet? I think I would enjoy reading about them.

Thanks,

Zerdini,

Have you written about your experiences, either in print or on the internet? I think I would enjoy reading about them.

Thanks,

The three authors raise serious questions about Hopkins' investigative skills and even his basic contact with reality. (The fact that Mack relied pretty heavily on Hopkins as an authority is another reason to approach Abduction with caution.)

Winston Wu just updated his "Debunking the Arguments of PseudoSkeptics and Debunkers" but the article is still very flawed from the beginning to the end. In the very beginning he wrote in "extraordinary evidence" section:

http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/Page2.htm#ExtraordinaryEvidence

And after years of extensive investigations and interviews with Alien Abductees by Budd Hopkins and John Mack, who wrote books on the phenomenon, they concluded that there was more to the abduction experience than mere hallucination or sleep paralysis.

Shame on Wu, and my congratulations for M. P. to have more critic sense than Wu.

Zerdini,

is there any publication about the experiments with Leslie Flint in a scientific journal? I only found books about him.

Not to my knowledge, Vitor.

Not to my knowledge, Vitor.

"Zerdini,

Have you written about your experiences, either in print or on the internet? I think I would enjoy reading about them.

Thanks,"

Yes, some can be read on the website:

http://spiritualismlink.forumotion.com

I know very, very little about this, but.....I did see an interview a while back with Lloyd Auerbach (sp?) the "ghost hunter" who has some credibility in lots of seemingly disparate circles,( no pun intended..:-) and one of the things he spoke at length about, was the relationship between poltergeist style cases, and similarity to UFO abductions in terms of the mental makeup of the folks who had experienced the phenomena, AND, if I'm not mistaken, some relationship to magnetic fields, or something enviormental that was pretty compelling (and coincidental) that cast a common thread between these style experiences.

My sense is that the abduction stories, are....mas or menos - personality driven and probably, largely related to some sort of temporary (or even long standing) abnormal psychology or internal strife. I read Whitley Streibers book's a while back....and then watched a whole hodge podge of his video interviews, and it just didn't ring true for me.

I think the OBE relationship is definitely an interesting one, and am pretty sure there has been a fair amount of "research" into this already, as a matter of fact, I want to say the South American OBE researcher (Carlos Alv -something or other..:-) has written some stuff about the psychological similarities between OBE experiencers, and abductees.

(all very interesting stuff by the way...and may in fact point to much of this being, not going to be very popular here, I understand, but a brain generated and subjective event - much the way lots of Robert Monroe's experiences seem to suggest as well)

I know a bit about this subject thanks to growing up around it.

- My brother often experimented with OBEs. During OBE 'trips' he and his wife have both encountered the little grey men. His opinion is that yes, it's entirely an OBE-state experience. He feels the 'greys' are real creatures that exist in this alternate plane and come to 'analyze' humans, as they are fascinated by those who can enter their domain.

- I find it highly unlikely that you can be poked, prodded, and probed from an astral consciousness state. Unless, these realms are more physical than we realize.

- My brother is not the first person I've read heard accounts from who have experienced the greys during OBE experiments.

- Yet, despite all this, there are many accounts of completely physical, 'this world' abductions, such as the Travis Walton incident-- which again features accounts of greys.

- One thing in common is both types are usually intensely negative. They're not fun creatures. They are generally nightmarish in nature.

THEORIES:

- Greys are a figment of our minds. Since we are all programmed in similar ways, our brains have created this hallucinatory boogeyman based from primal fears. Their insect-like nature may resemble a predator from caveman like days. (However, greys have been likened far more to being Cetacean, or related to Dolphins, than insects based on a number of factors).

Likewise, I am not convinced that OBEs necessarily involve extra-dimensional travel. The subconscious mind and dream-like states are so powerful we can easily create such worlds in our own heads. Reading on Monroe's work (with one OBE account of entering a spaceship with an anthropomorphic pig character. What?) are so abstract that I do not believe they are real. So this would be a perfect place for the mind to conjure something like this.

THEORY 2

The greys are real critters who live in an alternate plane, AKA the 'hades' realm of the OBE.

Reading up on spiritual lore and research, you may come across reports of a near-Earth realm, a dwelling place of consciousnesses. A sort of shadowy dimension that exists between the solidified realms of Earth and the Summerland (or realm of light).

This would explain the weird, subjective experiences of OBEs if it involves travel in this rather bizarre dimension. The greys may call this place home, or at least a nexus to travel from point-to-point, and they "beam in" on humans entering their domain--perhaps out of curiosity, or something else.

THEORY 3

Greys are both physical and non-physical monsters. They can get us out of the body, they can get us in our bodies, they are so powerful that they can go between dimensions and do whatever they please. They may be extraterrestrial of origin.

I could certainly do without this theory being real. But, there's some evidence to support it (the Travis Walton case, other eyewitness accounts of 'physical' abductions). Not to mention the UFO thing. As a UFO eyewitness myself (I've seen some things which could not be man-made) it lends some credibility to this idea.

Certainly, 98% of abductions seem to be mental-- but that does not mean these greys are not operating from a different plane and taking us from this vantage point. And, perhaps as we tune ourselves to travel to the OBE realm, they can tune themselves to travel to the Earth realm, where they can be observed in a physical sense.

And, having mastery over dimensional travel would explain how they could travel light years. Simply go into one dimension, travel instantaneously through mental processes, and then 'pop out' back in the physical realm wherever you please.

CONCLUSION

I have stories about this subject which I wouldn't even share on this forum publicly. Yet, even still, I want to lean toward the first theory as being the correct one--it's all in our heads.

Maybe there's something defiling about the idea of a less-than-benevolent creature of nightmares invading the usually benign subject of extra-dimensional realms which I enjoy studying.

I assume that the 'UFO's' I've seen are related to technology which our government keeps secret from us--and is light years ahead of what we think is possible.

And, that the 'greys' tormenting friends and family are just apparitions in our own minds.

I'll keep my fingers crossed.

"Did he have anything to say about his reluctance during his life to accept mediumship as communication from the dead?

"I wonder if he felt it is also 'so stupid' for people to believe that the super-psi hypothesis explains phenomena caused by spirits."

Many people often change their previous views once confronted with the reality of survival.

"may in fact point to much of this being, not going to be very popular here, I understand, but a brain generated and subjective event - much the way lots of Robert Monroe's experiences seem to suggest as well"

This is not necessarily an unpopular notion here. I speculated the same way in an older post:

http://snipurl.com/j7ode

Some of Monroe's experiences were so bizarre, I just can't believe they were "real" in any meaningful sense.

"http://snipurl.com/j7ode

Some of Monroe's experiences were so bizarre, I just can't believe they were "real" in any meaningful sense"

Wow! I forgot JUST how kooky some of these were..:-)

They're just not credible, I agree -it's tough to take seriously, simply because of the fantastical imagery and almost funny farm sort of nonsensical screenplay esque feel.

(oddly enough - there is a movie I watched not too long ago with Jennifer Lopez and Vince Vaughn that has sort of had the same feel to some of Monroe's experiences - I forget the name of it - but it's actually a kind of an interesting opening into some of this sort of stuff as well)

Altogether, Robert Monroe has clearly made a huge contribution to this whole field - it's just kind of hard to separate his personal experiences from the seemingly more benign (and beautiful) ones that many who participate in their programs report coming back.

I think the JLo movie is "The Cell." It was kind of interesting, as I recall.

This paper is a good discussion of obe experiments done by the scientist, Charles Tart..

Six Studies of Out-of-the-Body Experiences by Charles T. Tart
http://www.paradigm-sys.com/ctt_articles2.cfm?id=50


"So what is an OBE? Does the mind or soul really leave the body and go somewhere else, “out,” or is the OBE just a special ASC that is basically hallucinatory in nature, i.e. that the feeling and conviction that you are elsewhere than your physical body’s location is an illusion?


After decades of reflection on the results of my own and others’ research particularly in the light of my studies on the nature of consciousness and ASCs, I have a more complex view of OBEs that includes both of these possibilities at different times and more. I believe that in some OBEs, the mind may, at least partially, really be located elsewhere than the physical body—this may have been the case with Miss Z. At the opposite extreme, as with my virtuoso hypnotic subjects whose experience was vivid and perfectly real to them but whose perception of the target room was only illusory, I believe an OBE can be a simulation of being out of the body, and mind is as much “in” the physical body as it ever is. In between these two extremes, I believe we can have OBEs which are basically a simulation of being out, but which are informed by information gathered by ESP such that the simulation of the OBE location is accurate and veridical."

It also discusses some experiments done with Robert Monroe which might be interpreted as providing weak evidence that he could obtain veridical information during the obe but the results were not conclusive and were "unsatisfying".


I agree near death experiences are pretty common indeed. Keith Augustine's theory that near death experiences that just hallucinations brought on by a dying brain. Has many problems for example how does he theory account for people who blind in life can see when experiencing an out of body experience?. Also people born deaf can hear again when having an out of body experience as well. Also the physiology of the brain completely works against his theory based on the fact that the cortex of the brain is no longer active in a lot of these cases. For his case to work he would have to show that lower cortical processes in the brain can somehow take over the function of higher ones in cardiac arrest. However that has never happened. Yes their is no doubt their is undetected brain activity that can't be picked up by EEG however those have been discovered in deeper areas of the brain that are not of that of the cortex.

I think your speculation that alien abductions and OBEs are related may be plausible. It may not always be the case, but I could see how it may at least sometimes be the case. Even in cases where some sort of metal foreign object was found in a person - perhaps the entities attached something to the astral body that is capable of materializing into a solid metal in the physical body.

Another thing to consider is that some alien abductions are physical, and others are OBE. Similar to the commenter Cyrus' theory 3, perhaps the entities are physical beings, yet they are also capable of interacting on the astral level. If some humans are capable of not only interacting in the physical world but the astral/spiritual world also, then isn't it likely that alien entities could do the same? Not only that, the alien entities may have a stronger presence and conscious awareness of the astral realm, enabling them easily communicate on both levels. With that in mind, you can consider that alien abductions could consist of both physical abductions and OBEs.

Otherworld contacts and interdimensional interactions are frequent experiences for numerous people from every walk of life. These encounters are not unusual. They only seem that way because people don't talk about them openly because they’re frightened to - scared of ridicule mainly these days, of the fire in times past. I have got to know countless people who juggle ordained reality with the vociferously condemned other- way. It isn’t easy.
My own personal adventures have ranged through landscapes of every description - from the everyday world to outer space to inner and outer silent worlds, tunnels and chambers, and to other lives. I’ve had ‘missing time’ several times and met all sorts of bizarre and human-like beings. I’ve watched as beings shape-shift, materialise and de-materialise. I’ve woken up with finger-marks, drawing and strange designs on my body - and got the photographs to prove it. I’ve had surgery on my earlobe. I’ve been photographed in the process of ‘disappearing’ and being accompanied by things and entities that weren’t there - these things happened during my talks, and the photos were taken by mediums who were in the audience. I made a video that shows some of these things. Very many of my experiences have been while in the company of others. Lots of my friends when I grew up had their own supernatural experiences, sometimes we had them together, and so we just took them for granted, just a normal part of life. That is still my view.

I began having OBEs at the age of 3. At the time we lived on a farm, no other houses around, in the middle of nowhere. I awoke one night to find myself paralyzed, unable to utter a sound & the room somehow brightly lit (no electricity those days). There was something above me near the ceiling. To my 3-yr old mind it all spelled monster! I think it was a ghost. The house was not old. It was new & small but I had a 16 year old uncle who had died 2 years earlier. When the paralyzing effects wore off I ran to my parents' room screaming. Soon after that I began having OBEs.

For 31 years they happened purely by accident and were a source of a lot of fun for me--the flying, seeing new & strange places, some really strange, some really beautiful; but mainly I just loved the flying.

And then my 16 year old brother died when I was 34. I was heartbroken--& I became obsessed. Quickly I learned precisely how the OBEs were occurring & I learned how to invoke
them. I became quite good at it. I found any excuse I could to miss work or whatever. Then Finally the last few times I tried it 2 men appeared beside me & when I tried to get out of my body they pushed me back in.

I recognized their intent. I knew they were doing it for my own good & I stopped trying but still, it frightened me so badly that I haven't been able to do it since. I wish I could. There is nothing like an OBE. Your mind is so clear, so serene, free of bad feelings, at least mine certainly was, not that I ordinarily have many of those anyway but it sort of creates a state of ecstasy. It's wonderful & I really miss that.

I think the Monroe OBE state -- astrally traveling to the spaceship with pig-people, or whatever, can be argued as entering "another world".

Just like we enter other worlds when we're asleep.

But thankfully, there's a big difference between the verifiable objective world and inner-worlds we create without 'really' going anywhere.

Most nights I have unusual dreams with intricate storylines. Sometimes my dreams are even ironic and funny, and seem to be teaching me lessons. So I'm convinced it's my subconscious (or "higher consciousness") plugging these events in for me to experience via sleep, usually to specifically tell me something. The characters and details are far too organized not to have intelligence behind the design of my dreams.

The OBE seems more to me like a type of lucid dreaming, or becoming independently conscious during the viewing of the dream images.

Again, nothing "out of body" about it--just the exploration of the realm of your own psyche.

I'm not sure what I think myself, but Rick Strassman's The Spirit Molecule details many DMT trips involving NDE-, OBE-, and, yes, abductee-like experiences. This supports MP's contention that there may be a connection. Strassman's book really blurs the line between the subjectivity and objectivity of experiences like these. Having our brains inhibited by the right sorts of molecules may provide us with an objective experience of an essentially subjective, or non-physical, reality. Very Jamesian. Saying a NDE is "just" a dream or a hallucination has lost some of its bite, for me, since thinking about it this way. All very complicated....

When I was in my teens, during the 70's, I had a dream where I floated from my bed, through a crack in the wall (no cracks there in 'real' life) out to the road which ran beside our house, and saw something like the greys there, several of them, but with nearly white skins and long, skinny limbs, doing something in the snow. And there was a bright moonlight illuminating the scene.

I call it a dream, but it all felt very real. Real enough that I went to look at the area the next day, to see if there was any tracks in the snow or anything. But there was nothing.

That's the only experience of that kind I remember ever having. It has always bothered me. It just didn't feel like a normal dream, at all.

im a back yard astronomer since my child hood days,im now 51, i do believe in our galaxy and others there are civilizations out there, but i believe we have never been visited by any of them, why would any highly advanced species with the know how to traverse such galatic distances to find us and just play games with us

"why would any highly advanced species with the know how to traverse such galatic distances to find us and just play games with us"

How can we judge whether a civilization that is so much more advanced than we are is only playing games?

"Strassman's book really blurs the line between the subjectivity and objectivity of experiences like these. Having our brains inhibited by the right sorts of molecules may provide us with an objective experience of an essentially subjective, or non-physical, reality. Very Jamesian. Saying a NDE is "just" a dream or a hallucination has lost some of its bite, for me, since thinking about it this way. All very complicated...."

The way I see it our brains have evolved to become what they are based solely on what is beneficial to our survival, not necessarily what's real. For example we only see a small portion of the full electromagnetic spectrum as light because it's all we need to perceive to function here on Earth. Seeing every frequency would just cause an overload of information.

So when you introduce a chemical in the brain such as DMT to temporarily alter your perception, I don't see why this perception of reality is any less valid than your everyday state of consciousness, as completely strange and foreign as it may be.

http://crooksandliars.com/bluegal/open-thread-276

this blog pretty much says it all with two simple pictures of the earth from outer space.

the type of people that see the earth in quotes are the same type of people that saw the earth flat and the earth the center of the universe.

old souls new souls thing.

all souls advance some just take longer than others

no soul is left behind like some religious books state

Sam said:
The way I see it our brains have evolved to become what they are based solely on what is beneficial to our survival, not necessarily for what's real.

You're in good company with this view. The cognitive psychologist Brain Witworth as put for a simular view about the nature of perception. It's ultimately a Virtual-Reality view like the one MP occasionally discusses. The authors of the Irreducible Mind also suggested that evolution serves to design the brain as an elaborate limiter/transmitter of conscious experiences, namely, only those necessary for survival in an objective seeming simulation of the physical world.

A philosophy professor of mine, Dr. Grossman, once pointed that while dreaming, we're fully convinced of the objective reality of dream-chairs, dream-rocks, or what have you, but when awake, we look back at these as totally subjective experiences, i.e., all in the mind. So, who's to say there isn't another perspective from which apparently objective psychical-chairs and rocks, turn out to all be mental simulations as well.

Thanks Hafiz I was hoping someone would bring up some names I could look into

Slight correction. Whitworth does have a Virtual Reality view, but it was Donald Hoffman's view that I had in mind. He is a cognitive scientist, whereas I think Whitworth is a computer scientist.

I had OBE experiences for many years before I decided to take them seriously, and only a few could have been classified as abduction events. I've felt those were related but not essential to the more important and independently controlled event. There were always two types of contacts for me, one of them powerful and crude and obviously linked to technology; and the other more subtle, linked to methods that were under my control if I chose to learn them. Now I look at many of these things as representative of something I'll probably never understand. I can look at and experience this in the way that Robert Monroe did, or the way that many ancient shamans did, and I seem to be confronting the same reality. It's still something that isn't within my ability to accurately describe, and whatever set of symbols I use to talk about it doesn't work as well as I'd like. I remember a story about three guys in France who saw something strange (UFO maybe) land in a garden. Each of them believed in what they saw, and each of them described something completely unique compared to the reports of the others. What do we do when we describe something that's beyond any normal experience?

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