Friday, June 15, 2012

TRICKSTER, or just a Fool?

This is a brief thing that I'm going to apologize for first off. I had a, to me anyway, mysterious thing occur, which resembles on the first glance a "trickster" event. Now these are things that happen to other members of my family --- members who are VERY careful about how they evaluate things --- but do not happen to me. Yes, I had a very nice CE1 UFO incident once, but UFOs are denizens of this common old physical universe [most of them] and don't count as paranormal. So my feeling about this story I'm about to relate is: I'm probably wrong and don't know what I'm talking about. But here goes nothing....

Long ago I broke the band on my watch, which was OK by me since I didn't like it on my wrist anyway. I just carried it around in my pocket [it's on the right of the picture above]. On June 7th I went to my quarterly doctor's appointment, and before going in, since my back was feeling a bit "out", I lay down on the lawn and "popped" it. After the appointment was over and I was back home, while unloading my pockets I saw that my watch was not there [and I had dutifully loaded it pre-visit]. Well, I went through the normal routine anyone would --- checking all pockets everywhere multiple times, looking microscopically through the whole area where it would normally be lying on the kitchen counter [multiple times], checking my "soft" chair and even the bed [in case I had lain there a bit before], etc etc. Coming up empty over and over, I thought that it probably had dropped out during the back popping, or in the MDs office somehow, or in the cab. It was likely a lost cause.

On Monday June 11th I went shopping with a friend, and the watch not having appeared either in the pants or shirt pockets or on the kitchen counter in those four days, I decided to take the opportunity and buy another watch [the one on the left of the picture above --- $14, cheap.]

On Thursday June 14th, as I was getting ready to go to lunch with friends and was beginning to fill my pockets ..... there was the old watch just sitting there completely in the open view on the countertop exactly where it should have been all along. This was one of those surreal moments where just for a second you believe that what you are seeing is impossible, so you must not be seeing it. But there the thing was. And there they both are as you can see in the picture.

I've been trying to imagine a sequence of events wherein this was just all a mistake. I searched that countertop a lot and thoroughly. I searched those clothing pockets many times. I filled the same pocket that I always stow the watch in several times and unloaded it in the meantime. I can't come up with a mundane pattern-of-action. To have happened without some "tricky help", that watch would have had to become sequestered in some twisted way down in the pants pocket such that multiple intent searchings did not sense any odd lumps to give away its presence and this continued for several days actions until the thing finally unravelled out of its astonishingly successful stealth cave at the bottom of a pocket, and I unconsciously unloaded it and other things on robot control. Then there it was later, where it should be. Frankly having lived through the searchings, I don't believe a word of that.

But things like this don't happen to me, so ....

Go away and mess with some other folks. You just cost me fourteen bucks.


  1. Prof I reckon there's always a Tarot Cardy aspect to these things and SOMETHING seems to be making a comment on YOU and TIME.

    Normally I'd say it was advising you to be less attached to the mechanical idea of inelastic unidirectional time our civilisation currently robotically adheres to but that attitude doesn't somehow strike me as applicable to you (like myself you don't like wearing wrist watches and only carry them round in a pocket when you have to [ditto your heedlessness of the opinions of others when you popped your back back in on the lawn]).

    Nor do I think it's saying your time's up (or indeed any other party's) because clearly your watch was returned.

    The clue might be when you say you don't normally have such experiences (unlike other family members)...


    As a clue to how significant it might be when cups etc we've just put down 'seem' to vanish out of existence read On the Lunar Effect in the Lab on the letters page of the free online version of EdgeScience #11.

    1. alanborky
      nicely said. Nothing worth adding except, Professor, you are no fool, because you are able to entertain that possibility. Fools are not able to do so.
      Also, obviously, things like this now do happen to you. Join the club of utterly bemused experiencers. Take it from a Geophysicist/lawyer, the rational mind goes to war quickly when slammed to the mat by a great experience like this.

  2. One more thing.
    Lunar effect and the "Pauli Effect" are closely related. Many a very bright quantum physicist was haunted for over twenty years by Pauli effect, too many to write it off as "anecdotal hearsay".

  3. I doubt that this has much to do with me at all. The thought that any old experience is of great significance because it happened to "me", is verging on the egocentric and beyond that to the mad --- I've known for quite some time that "it isn't all about me". My guess is That Tricksters just like to Trick. They might need the proper environment to facilitate that but they don't specifically need me. [unless I provide particularly good "Punkt" responses --- as my sister doubtlessly does]. I particularly don't buy anything smacking of premonitioning the future. Anything which implies a determined future state is directly antagonistic to choice and freedom of the will, which are to me one of the few non-negotiables. And if I bought the idea that anything appearing in my life was of profound meaning to what direction my life should be taking, I, like George Hunt Williamson, could begin believing that the license plate numbers on the truck in front of me held coded meaning. If what are for me "random" elements of experience become the occasions for me to sit back in reverie and contemplate the wholeness of my life, then fine... but I could have used anything, a dream, a Tarot layout, a license plate number, a passing bird to do that, and equally so. The point being, it would be the meditator [and perhaps some attending person of good counsel] who "did the work", not the cards nor the numbers. All forms of "divination" are to me either occasions for personal meditation on one's life or something that one should do, or in rare instances the ritual which might bring forth some clairvoyant seeing of something which already exists --- not something which does not yet exist but is deterministically set in the "future".

  4. The Professor wrote in his comment above: "My guess is That Tricksters just like to Trick. They might need the proper environment to facilitate that but they don't specifically need me." - - - Prof, If you should ever find the time, I'd be very much interested in reading your opinion of what the "trickster" or a "trickster" is. I've read George Hansen's The Trickster and the Paranormal, but it didn't seem to explain what/where 'it' or 'they' originate from, not to my satisfaction anyhow [or maybe I'm just thick-headed ;-)]
    ~ Susan

    1. Dear Brownie, I think that the Tricksters and you share the same name. My opinion isn't worth much, but everything about this tricking phenomenon is so "Neutral Angelic" that it screams that out to me. The Leprechaun tricks; the Will-of-the-wisp tricks; Puck tricks; Coyote tricks. I've occasionally, with I hope due humility of admitting my profound ignorance of REALLY what's going on, said that I think think these denizens of the world of anomalies are what the Olde Irish [and Christianized Celts in general] called the "Middle Angels"; those who refused God's choice either way. Their paranormal but neither seriously bad nor good natures required God to banish them to a peculiar "now here, now not" relationship with our old mundane Earth in the parallel near-twin of Faerie. Their reality and ours slip together now and then and they manifest. As non-determined entities, some will be mainly "good", some mainly "bad", and some sort of in-between. The Trickster class among them are "mainly in between" and doing their thing amusing themselves without doing any real harm, at least intentionally. So is my speculation on this day of June 18th, 2012. Come back next week for an entirely different spouting of like-minded BS, doubtlessly.

      P.S. George doesn't want to say because he knows that there are a lot of his old enemies out there who would take any opportunity to try to embarrass him. So he stays on firmer empirical ground. I, by the way, am not one of those folks and would welcome George's theories collegially. We have had, to my knowledge, a fine working relation over the years.

  5. Occurrences like this are very common - several friends and family members have had similar things happen to them with objects such as keys and gloves.

    But it has also happened to me, and also with a that I took off and laid on the bathroom counter, from which I saw it fall off. I didn't see it land, but I assumed it fell into the trash can since that was right in its path - but I couldn't find it in there (granted, I didn't dig all the way to the bottom - some things are just not worth it! - but the next time I emptied the trash it wasn't in there) and it definitely was not on the floor.

    Several months later I found my watch hanging on the doorknob of my spare room closet. I live alone (and had had no house guests between the time I lost the watch and it turned up), so there's really no rational explanation.

    This happened several years ago and I still wonder about it. I'll never forget the stunned feeling I had when I saw it hanging there as if to say "Hey - here I am!"

  6. Prof, Thanks for answering in such detail! I've read parts of the Secret Commonwealth of Elves Fauns and Fairies by Rev. Robert Kirk.

    I've thought for sometime now that these beings who live alongside us, flitting in and out of our reality, might be the same as the occupants we associate with UFOs. But, I still haven't completely discarded the ETH. I strive to remain openminded as to what/who is behind UFOs and where they originate from.

    ~ Susan

    1. Dear Susan, the reason that I decided to make a fairly intense armchair-scholar's type of exploration into the "little people" topic was that I felt that I could not in conscience be evaluating UFO occupant type cases unless I knew a lot more about alternate hypotheses than I did. I, of course, knew about Jacques Vallee's Magonia theory, but that wasn't the main reason. My "Irish ancestry" [half Irish anyway] played some role in the intrigue as well, but again, the main idea was to be able to compare the allegedly ET-encounter cases with other ideas.

      My VERY soft conclusion on this is that the core UFO phenomenon and the core Faerie phenomenon are two different things. There is a huge pile of "UFO" cases which screams mundane [i.e. this-universe "lawful"] albeit advanced physical technology. There is a huge pile of Faerie encounters which screams "PARANORMAL"[ NOT physically lawful]. Think of it as "mapping" on a flat "plane" of characteristics: Here's a mountain sticking up one place, and here's another one sticking up another. In between, just to make life difficult, are a much slimmer pile of muddled cases where it almost looks like one or the other of the two creative agencies have deliberately confounded the appearances. That is why in a few past blog entries I've tried to focus on that muddled middle. [With not much success, but since I believe that the muddle is deliberate, it's what I expected].

  7. Mike,

    Here's my own somewhat comparable experience, as related in my forthcoming book (due out in September):

    The author of this book has his own puzzling experience to relate. I do my writing in an office in my home, surrounded by large numbers of books, magazines, and files. I also share space with most of my extensive CD collection and usually listen to music as I write. Several years ago, I decided I wanted to hear something from the Watersons, a venerable English family group whose repertoire consists of traditional British folk songs. Arranged alphabetically, my CDs are easily located. When I went to retrieve the desired disc, I was taken aback to discover that most of my Watersons albums were missing. My first thought was that, since they were at the end of the shelf, they must have fallen onto the floor. They hadn’t. I then began to search through boxes on the floor near the shelf, removing all their contents and sorting through them. No luck. I was frustrated and bewildered. Finally, some instinct told me that further effort was useless and hopeless, but that the CDs would eventually show up.

    A few days later, as I opened a drawer elsewhere in the office while looking for something else, I was surprised to find a plastic bag neatly wrapped around unseen contents. I knew I had not placed such a package – or any package -- inside that particular drawer, which was used for other purposes. On opening it, I found myself gaping at the missing albums. My wife denied knowing anything about it, and I believe her. Even now, the only “prosaic” explanation I can think of is that – though leaving no other evidence of his presence -- someone broke into the house simply to pull a pointless prank on me, and that makes no sense.

    As random events subject to other interpretations (valid or invalid), incidents like these do not constitute serious evidence for extraordinary conclusions about teleportation or other dimensions – though one cannot help being attracted to the implicit argument that such phenomena are part of the common experience of all of us.

  8. Hah!! Glad to know that when it comes to attracting weird things you are still weirder than I am!! But we both secretly knew that already.

    This "tricking" phenomenon, and I still like that sort of context since the events seem to be largely foolishness, seems to be robust enough to make one believe in some intelligent [but juvenile??] agency being behind it, and I can't locate a good place for "them" anywhere around here. What a clever convoluted Universe(+) we seem to inhabit. I recently told the watch story to someone and they immediately tossed me one of their own. It's almost like the Allen Hynek audience phenomenon where when he asks people if they think they've seen a UFO most of the hands go up, and when he asks if anyone reported it, almost every one goes down. One wonders how many of these sorts of "forbidden conversational topics" [containing mountains of experiences] are out there? LOTS of "unscientific" incidents; no talking about them except to rare friends.

    Great sociology we've created, eh??

    Looking forward as usual to your book. .... AND we MUST find a way to get together again. Maybe I can send you gasoline money. {I'm loaded just now for some strange reason, so it wouldn't hurt].

  9. b"h

    Hi Professor,

    Interesting watch experience.

    I was curious about a comment:

    "I particularly don't buy anything smacking of premonitioning the future. Anything which implies a determined future state is directly antagonistic to choice and freedom of the will, which are to me one of the few non-negotiables."

    I do also believe in human free will and moral responsibility. Yet as a theist I don't think knowledge of what is future, or communication of it, of necessity prevents or eliminates free will. Christ told Peter that before the rooster crows twice he would deny him three times. I don't think Peter's free will was in any way inhibited when he later denied Christ the third time just as the rooster crowed the second time. Peter certainly felt guilty enough to go and weep bitterly. He didn't rationalize that the universe was determined, obviously making it impossible for him _not_ to deny Christ.

    I am highly skeptical of typical premonitions but I have read of a few that have made me wonder. Scripture warns people not to engage in certain practices to try divine the future. That could imply that such practices might result in some knowledge of the future, but at the cost of contact with forces dangerous to humans and antithetical to God. I do think biblical prophecy does speak of the future but without preventing human free will and individual moral responsibility.

    I'd be interested in any elucidation of your view if you care to comment.

    Best wishes.


  10. This is a much too convoluted subject to discuss briefly here. Almost anything that I would say would have so little context and subtlety so as to invite dozens of different misinterpretations. If you will take that into account, I will say only this:

    If we actually know anything concretely [not just statistically likely or unlikely] about some significant element in our choose-Love-or-not-choose-Love lives, then absolutely that takes anything to do with that precise potential choice away. If the "revelation" is only one small matter, then one could say "well, God will be happy with how you work your choices given that already determined reality". If it stops there [i.e. with what one might call a life detail], then OK. But "seeing the future" isn't usually envisioned by people who believe in such things in such limited terms. They view those seeings as details in a future which is massively "there" to be seen. Such an already existent future, in detail, inexorably contradicts freedom.

    That's a crude outline of the first thing. Secondly, HOW [in what sort of way] is the future already there? One theory of Time was the BLOCK. All material things and their relations to one another co-existed and the only "action" which occurred was the movement of a Plane of Consciousnesses along the Time Axis of this already fixed Space & Matter Distribution 4-dimensional "solid". Everything was already "set", but we consciousnesses only became aware of "the next thing" as we moved forward along the axis. In that pre-existing future model, there is no freedom. Nothing that you can do can change any result, as there are no results but merely already existing situations.

    But if not that, nor any equivalent of such a model, and if the massively fixed future does NOT in fact exist [so that all such premonitionary visions are reduced to warnings], then that is not much different than someone telling you that if you don't stop smoking you'll get cancer. If one insists on making the premonitionary revelation a sure-to-be-true one, then, in my Cosmos, the only way that such could happen in that "warnings-of-possibilities" model is if the force behind the warning or revelation MADE that future happen by their own doing in regular present time, i.e. created a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    I've already gone into this thicket too far, and I am going to quit there. This is WAY subtler than this. For one thing, people don't use precise enough language to set a basis for discussion at all, and the world talks past one another.

    1. b"h

      Thank you Professor for your thoughts. I agree that "subtle" is a key word in such discussion.

      best wishes