Who is the Master that makes the grass green?
~ Zen koan
If you're interested into the (so-called) alien abduction phenomenon, then I *guarantee* you know who Whitley Strieber is. Although there had been previous books that started to publicize claims of other-worldly encounters that surpassed Hynek's original classification, it was Strieber's Communion the one that broke through and brought the subject to the mainstream —alas, unwittingly spurring a deluge of 'anal probe' jokes.
I remember when I finally had the chance to buy a Mexican edition of Communion. I had to sleep with my table lamp on for 6. Whole. Months! I also used to bury it under a pile of magazines, because I could not endure the sight of those hypnotic black eyes while trying to sleep, much to the hilarity of my 2 big sisters. No, I seriously doubt I've been the recipient of the splindy interlopers' visits, but my imagination has always run on overdrive during the wee hours of the night.
My friend Mike Clelland recently had the chance to have a little chat with Whitley, and they discussed his latest book Solving the Communion Enigma. What Strieber seems to suggest is that we stop looking for an easy answer for UFO enigma, which inevitably collapse to a rigid belief system (BS, as Roger Anton Wilson used to call them) and that we dare ourselves to live with the question open.
Not an easy feat, obviously. We humans are often uncomfortable with ambiguity, and demand quick and simple answers to our problems —did I get the job? is he lying to me? does she love me? am I going to die?
But ambiguity does have its benefits sometimes, if we are smart enough to use it. Throughout history many mystic traditions have resorted to several different methods that seek to 'shut down' the analytical part of the human mind in order to expand or shift the normal cognitive perceptions. Practices like meditation have been shown to produce actual physical changes in the brain, and even short exercises in which test subjects are exposed to short novels by Kafka seem to conduce to an improvement in cognitive mechanisms.
So in the end, it might just be that the UFO phenomenon is nothing but an enormous, incredibly complex multi-generational Zen koan, and that It —whatever *It* is— wants us to stop being passive observers and turn instead into active participants of this uncanny contact. Then, and only then, will it become a true Communion.
Click here to find the audio conversation, and enjoy.