In a previous piece I explored the idea that the majority of UFO/contact encounters resided in the psychic state-realm of being. I came to that conclusion by applying the traditional spiritual description of three worlds, known in the Eastern traditions as gross, subtle, and causal (and called by other names in other traditions with the same basic threefold structure). Within that framework the psychic is the mystical version of the gross material realm or said slightly differently it exists in the borderland between the gross earthly realm and the subtle heavenly realm.
I detailed a number of data points to establish the claim that the majority of the UFO/contact experiences took place in that liminal psychic space (emphasis on majority). I argued that by “locating” the conscious state and realm of the phenomenon it would allow for a deeper appreciation of how to measure the truthfulness of the experience, how to discern it’s nature, and how also to integrate and embody the process. Subsequent pieces explored that framework in relationship to the abduction phenomena, exploring the interplay between the psychic realm and trauma, as well as the possibility of the psychic without the traumatization element.
In this piece I want to pick back up the point about why I said the majority of such experiences align with the psychic state-realm. By using majority I left some wiggle room for UFO/contact encounters not (principally) of the psychic variety. Is there evidence of any such encounters and if so what domain and state would they belong to?
I do believe there is evidence that there are other classics forms of the UFO/contact experience that are not primarily of a psychic nature. I’ll argue in this piece that they are of a subtle nature. In so doing, I posit that these particular experiences need to be viewed in light of the subtle domain which has it’s own logic, boundaries, entities, and specific types of phenomena which are related to but ultimately distinct from the psychic state-realm. If there are subtle realm contact experiences then they would have their own specific truth claims, ontology, dynamics and the like and those would need to be held in mind when trying to understand and make sense of this specific slice or variant of the wider UFO/contact phenomena. It's important in so doing to keep in mind of course that the psychic-subtle division is not a completely hard and fast one; they are fluid boundaries between the two domains and as I'll argue many of these experiences blur the lines.
To preview the argument, I believe that the subtle "alien" texts and experiences (at their best or most genuine) are a species of a wider phenomena of subtle mysticism. The texts I’ll by exploring in particular will be those of a largely channeled variety concerning what are perceived to be higher dimensional intergalactic/alien beings. Classic texts in this line would be those of Barbara Marciniak and Barbara Hand Clow concerning the Pleiadians or The Sirian Revelations and The Law of One.
I’ve written a separate piece examining the subtle realm as well as the classic form of mysticism in that domain, which is known as deity mysticism. That piece is really necessary background to this one. I won’t rehash all the ground covered in that prior piece. But for an extremely condensed summary version in the subtle mysticism piece this paragraph should suffice:
In sum, the subtle realm is the first “stepped down” realm from the Causal Source. It is a realm of transcendental Light, Vibration, and Sound. Consequently beings of light populate this realm. Time and space radically alter and expand in this world. Information received from this realm tends feel like a “download” or revelation or transmission which might then be “channeled” into the material realm (say by writing down the subtle communication). That communication generally takes the form of messages of large scale compassion and love as well as critiques of the existing social and political order as out of alignment with the ultimate Light and Love at the heart of Life.
There I defined deity mysticism as the experience of communing with and ultimately seeking to unite to an archetypal form of the Divine under the form of a being (or subtle reality) of Light. Kabbalah, Sufism, Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism, Christian mysticism, as well as Yogic and shamanic traditions all have some version of this process. The deities, angels, and entities change in each while the underlying structure remains very similar (if not basically identical).
I could also include in this list various New Age and particularly Theosophical traditions, particularly those that speak of Ascended Masters. Ascended Masters are another version of the subtle archetypal deity (or God form) that one can unite with which can be treated both as somehow separate from oneself and yet united with one’s Higher Self.
And it’s through this line that we come in contact with the specifically Alien/ET/Intergalactic/Star Beings version of subtle mysticism. In these texts these star beings/hyperdimensional intergalactic entities are similar to angels, demigods, and deities from traditional religious and spiritual traditions. They certainly have a different outer form from say an angel or a Great Ancestor or a god or goddess but express much of the same basic reality (subtle light) and function in much the same way, i.e. as sources of subtle information and blessing.
A bit of historical spiritual context is helpful here. Claims of mystical encounters or contact with beings from the upperworld, the heavens, or the stars is a very ancient human phenomenon. Or to say the same thing in a slightly different way, contact with the conscious intelligence of stars under the guise of an archetypal entity is a very ancient human phenomenon having deep roots in aboriginal spirituality in much of the world. At the core of astrology, for example, is the belief that different planetary bodies have different forms of consciousness and that these forms of consciousness can affect life on Earth at various scales (collective human, geographic regions, families or individual). This is the basis of astro-theology.
In its more modern incarnations we can look to a figure like Giordano Bruno who claimed to astral travel and in his cosmic journeying encountered multiple Earths, Suns, and other worlds in the Cosmos. Bruno argued that any beings from such worlds would be equally children of the Divine Creator. Though Bruno never claimed specific contact with such entities, the esotericist Emmanuel Swedenborg (who was deeply influenced by Bruno) did make precisely such a claim in the 18th century. Swedenborg believed he astral traveled to other planets and communicated with beings from these other planets. Swedenborg was a major influence on the 19th century movement of Spiritualism with it’s emphasis on mediumship, communication with the dead, and explorations of the afterlife (a kind of precursor to the Near Death Experience movement of today). Out of that brew arose the religion we now know as Mormonism, which as Peter Levenda correctly argued, could be considered a kind of proto-UFO religion. (The Nation of Islam would be another). Apparitions of The Virgin Mary, especially those claimed at Guadalupe (16th century) and Fatima (early 20th century), as Jacques Valle pointed out, are yet another variation of a UFO-type phenomena.
Growing originally out of Spiritualism, Theosophy’s founder Helena Blavatsky claimed to have contacted hidden adepts with a message for humanity. Later offshoots of the Theosophy movement like Guy Ballard’s I AM Movement claimed contact with Ascended Masters, including ones of a specifically cosmic nature. (Ballard himself had connection with a number of key figures in the early contactee movement.)
By the 1950 individuals started claiming to be contacted by ET beings and taken up into the heavens in a craft and given revelations from these beings for humanity, including often dire warnings of coming disaster. In this regard they remind us of ascents to heaven in vehicles (“craft’) by the Prophets Elijah and Muhammad, as well as being given apocalyptic revelations (like Enoch or the Apostle Paul). These contactees played out in their time and in their own way one of the most original spiritual dynamics of humanity: learning to connect to the heaven world above through the medium of traveling to the stars. Stars, in this sense, being doorways or portals to what shamans would call the upper worlds aka paradise or heaven, aka the subtle realm.
Graham Hancock’s recent book America Before: The Key to Earth’s Lost Civilization explores mound culture builders in ancient America and the practice of learning how to journey at death through the star system Orion as the doorway into the Otherworld, just as the ancient Egyptians (among others) did. As Jacques Vallee has repeatedly said, there is nothing new (structurally or thematically) in the experience of the contemporary UFO phenomenon that isn’t already visible throughout the world’s spiritual historical heritage.
To bring that up to the present, as the counter-cultural revolution of the 1960s and 70s hit, New Age religion really started to come into another strong flowering. Channeled texts became a key element in the New Age, starting back with Joseph Smith, through the mediums of the 19th century Spiritualist craze, through Aleister Crowley and The Book of the Law (1904) to the early contactee movement like George Van Tassel (1952) eventually to it’s explosion in the 1960s/70s. A Course in Miracles (1976) is one of, if not the, most famous and influential channeled texts of the era, which doesn’t involve space beings but comes from the same milieu that gave rise to channeled hyperdimensional/intergalactic texts. Here’s a list of some influential channeled texts.
That bit of a historical country road is important for two reasons. One: To establish that the ET channeled text phenomena is not a new thing. It’s a variation on a very ancient process. Two: It clarifies the background worldview of the adherents that will profoundly shape the communication that takes place (more on that point in a bit).
What are we to make of all this? How does this relate to the wider UFO phenomenon?
Stars in esoteric lore represent the point of contact between the subtle and the psychic. When the subtle archetypal deity realm first comes into contact with the numinous psychic quality of manifest creation it is said to do so through a cosmic gateway or opening (“cosmic consciousness"). Stars and constellations (as well as other planetary bodies) are most often understood to be that direct point of contact for the energy flowing from the causal through the subtle into psychic materiality. In a number of traditions (e.g. yogic) one meditates with the symbol of a star above one’s ahead. The star being the last point of contact of the psychic energy rising up the spine (kundalini) and then the doorway into the fully subtle reality (up above the head and beyond). Think also of the star that the Magi follow to locate the baby Jesus.
As Peter Levenda has pointed, we’re here back to Terence McKenna’s observation that the ascetic regimen of an astronaut training to go into space is eerily similar to that of a shaman preparing to travel to the upper world–both are headed to the stars.
Hyper dimensional star beings then are intelligences or forms of consciousness cohered in human consciousness (imaginally) as taking on various shapes, forms, and characteristics depending on the star systems involved. Arcturians, Pleiadians, Sirians aren’t literal gross-manifest biological entities. They aren’t even necessarily exactly the same as the jinn, the fairy folk, or the greys (which are more on the psychic side of the street). This is why there are many points of contact but also pretty significant differences between a classic “alien” channeled text and stories of abductions, strange encounters in the woods at night, etc.
In other words, they are “from the stars” but not literally. They are from the conscious highly strange dimensions of energy whose manifest gross form (as humans understand them) is a star. Or perhaps most technically they are from the subtle realm altogether and manifest via star consciousness (psychic) into contact with humans. In the same way that one may contact the soul of a tree being, one may contact a star being (anima = soul = animism). It’s quite uncanny and telling in this regard that explorations in “free energy”/alternative physics typically revolve around the highly strange nature of stars and plasmas.
The channeled texts explore vast arcs of time and argue ultimately for a mythic construction of a long standing battle of light and darkness, of enlightenment and ignorance. This is characteristic of all vertically oriented (subtle level) spiritual teachings, “alien” or otherwise. Barbara Hand Clow’s book The Alchemy of Nine Dimensions lays out a vision of a series of ascending vibrational dimensions, each with it’s characteristic qualities and realities—just like most yogic traditions thousands of years old. The scientific-y language of dimensions and quantum reality and the like among the star being denizens of these realms might be different but the underlying metaphor of a ladder or world tree or stairway to heaven is most definitely not.
In that frame of reference encounters with different classes or grades of hyper dimensional entities would account for the vast difference in feel and context between these different forms of encounter. In other words, the boundary between the psychic and the subtle is not a completely hard and fast one. It’s not a fully constructed wall. There are plenty of points of overlap or gradation. Nevertheless there is a clear demarcation in the larger sense between the two.
This point is a very subtle (pun not intended) but crucial one. When an individual is translating the messages “downward” from the subtle then it will tend to reside much more in the psychic domain. The possibility of subtle mysticism resides not so much in the channeling per se as it does in the possibility of uniting with the transcendental Light-Vibration mediated through the archetype of a higher-dimensional being.*
Lacking an understanding of the three state-realms teaching, Ufology has typically and unfortunately conflated the more psychic and the more subtle streams of contact. While I’ve argued I think the majority lie more on the psychic side, I do think there are some that lie more on the subtle side.
Christian evangelicals read too much into the subtle angelic (or demon-like) tendencies, reducing all the interrelated but distinct contact phenomenon into that bucket. Fairy Faith Hypothesis (FFH) folks will tend to emphasize the aspects that correlate to the psychic and downplay some of the channeled text material (which doesn’t easily fit into that category). In contrast, Extra-Terrestrial Hypothesis (ETH) and Ancient Alien advocates reduce all the aspects of the phenomenon to the gross biological realm creating all kinds of confusion and misunderstanding. Or put more bluntly nobody ever confused the fairy folk for angels or vice versa.
The junction point (as it were) between the psychic and the subtle is sidereal. Individuals who claim they were taken by numinous entities, flown in spacecraft into outer space, see “down” to Earth from space, and given messages of apocalyptic import, shown strange sacred geometric shapes, etc. are showing the linkage between the two. It starts off more on the psychic side ("abduction") and then moves up (ascending) until transcending local space time and then seeing history from some higher perspective, along with archetypal geometric imagery (subtle).
In this way we can start to integrate and plot all the various interrelated though distinct forms of the encounter/contact experience. It also would make sense of the characteristic emotional moods of these various encounters.
When one reads a channeled “ET” text there is no sense of visceral heart-pounding fear or terror as is so common in abduction lore. In the channeled text the mood is much more serene and full of wonder at the vastness of aeons of time. That mood is characteristic of subtle mysticism in whatever form it appears. Whereas the holy fear/terror is much more the mood of the psychic. Hence if most of the encounters are occurring more in the psychic state (or at least beginning there) then that would explain the response of so many.
It also offers a window into the varying forms of truthfulness and epistemology depending on which side of the street we’re talking. Put simply the greater the degree of subtle realm expression the less trickster-y the dynamic will be. Conversely (for better and or worse potentially) the greater the degree of psychic-state expression the higher the degree of trickster dynamics will be in play (a la George Hanson’s research).
Channeled texts are not particularly trickster-y. They may be excessively verbose and shot through with Spiritualist, New Thought, and New Age metaphysics but not trickstery. Symbolic yes trickster-y not so much.
The danger with the subtle is the desire to ascend out of time and space and de-realize the world. The danger with the psychic is the highly enigmatic and potentially even dangerous and traumatic quality of it’s “hybrid” gross/subtle nature. But both ultimately have their valuable strengths (as well as limitations) to add to the overall mix.
* I actually don’t like the term higher dimensional being because as Vallee argued, dimensions are a human construct. The subtle—the creatrix of deeper information—is dimensionless.