Tuesday, October 13, 2015

SLOW SWAN SONG, Part Four


Walking far Out Proctor on the last foggy path ..............

There are a lot of anomalistic claims out there, and several whole categories of claims explored by the blog but not yet commented upon in this swan song. I'll try to wrap some of that up here before saying Goodb'ye {God Be With Ye}.


Our academic leaders don't have much courage, sadly. They tend to "expand" only in already tight restricted patches of reality. One simple place where they should have long "expanded" is the phenomenon of strange falls of things from the skies. These clearly happen, and have the utterly mystifying characteristic of having large numbers of "units" of things falling which are sorted by size and type. I don't know what causes this, but I know that the data says that it happens. Is the phenomenon based on some ultimately "trivial" natural effect, or some astonishingly strange one? My confidence in "serious researchers" ever doing serious research on this [at the level it needs] is right around zero.

Another such thing is dowsing. Despite aficionados coming up with all sorts of theory about electromagnetic fields, there remains, in my mind, a huge disconnect between what I know about such fields, and the human ability to not only be able to sense them but be subconsciously affected by them to respond with muscular action, that I remain in a state of profound mystery as to what dowsing is. BUT IT IS. Studies and experiences [including those of my best academic friend] make that solidly obvious.

One more thing roughly of these types: The Spinning Sun phenomenon. This happens. My best friend and one of my house buddies has had a dramatic Spinning Sun experience. So did one of the most "academic" Popes. What is it? Does it have revelatory meaning? {My buddy, a retired Catholic priest DIDN'T think so; and Pope Pius was not convinced that his did either.} Is it a "SIGN" of anything? A "product" of a mind state? A "product" of rare atmospheric situations which somehow are coincident with pilgrimages or meditative states? Another real but neglected anomaly.



Andre Gide's quote applies in the poetical abstract to all of these anomalies that fascinate us. It's only those who feel that they must conform to keep what they have going in their comfortable lives who are unwilling to travel beyond the sight of home shore.

Concretely, MANY olden peoples traveled well beyond their home shores, and a bunch of them landed [and fooled around for a while] in the Americas long before our favorite Italian Navigator got here, and even well before our intrepid Vikings made the trip. There is a mountain of bits and pieces of things which don't fit the established cant which indicate this. But it's deny, deny, deny even the reasonable possibility of this in academe's anthropology community --- to their shame.

On the other hand, try as I might, I've found nothing to convince me that things like "Atlantis", "Ancient Astronauts built the .... fill in the blanks", "Shamballa/Agharti" [really too bad about that one; I just like it, but as you know, we tried for about a half dozen posts to find it and failed totally], "Face-on-Mars" [there COULD be artifacts on Mars, but the "Face" ain't one], or "Noah's Ark and a Universal Flood" were/are real. .... really would like to find a "romance" like an underground "paradise" country, but I'll be content with fiction.

I'm not violating my typical griping about the need for openmindedness here, in my opinion, as I have tried really hard to find these things, evidence-wise, and have not. On Atlantis, what I think that I've found is that Solon was told [by Egyptian priests in Alexandria-to-be] the famous Platonian tale from the Timaeus/Critias [for political allegiance reasons], and that they based it on two things: 1]. old tales of the eruption of Thera and the damage done to the Sea-Kings Empire [Minoa] overlain with 2]. the just-happened return of the circumnavigation of Africa ships, who either on that trip or in the preparation for it became aware of the Sargasso Sea in the mid-Atlantic. {i.e. the "remains" of a sunken continent.} Thus, an old disaster plus the Sargasso Sea =s the sinking of Atlantis beyond the Pillars of Hercules. That speculation fits all the confusing bits better for me than alternative thinking. .... but what do I know?


Last anomalistic stuff: the Spiritual and the "Other Side".

Readers of the blog know that after both my parents' deaths there were signs, what Larry Dossey calls "Messengers" experiences which came to me and my brothers and sisters. I have been told similar things by friends, and recently we had the "dancing fairy light" on the ceiling of a friend's daughter's bedroom after the death of her twelve year old son. When my Dad "sent" his deer to stare into our living room window at us after the funeral, our family sense was that he was saying, one last time, to all of us what he used to say when we thought hard times were here: "It's all right, gang." I believe that there is another mountain of evidence, multiply witnessed and often spectacular, that astonishing things occur just post-the-death of loved ones. EXACTLY what these are I of course will not know until "later." But they happen.

Near-Death Experiences also happen. My colleague, Ken Ring, essentially put this beyond doubt for reasonable people, and when combined with the work of Michael Sabom [and a few others] it gets very hard to deny. Debunkers such as Susan Blackmore have counter-arguments that, for me, don't come anywhere near meeting the facts of the phenomenon. Carl Sagan also made really stupid statements trying to debunk this ["they're just pre-birth memories of the birth canal"; now THAT's a guy who really is needy to get some personal mental voidance to come up with that sort of baloney.]

Some people again will accuse me of mindless Catholicism. I doubt it. I don't find evidence of anything of interest in "incorruptible saints", nor "weeping statues", nor the face of Christ on a barn wall. Even the face of Christ on the Shroud of Turin is completely gray basket material for me --- just get a real non-debatable piece of the thing and carbon-date it!!! Then I'll make a decision. I've looked at lots of these "spiritual" things in some depth. Sometimes I'm impressed, usually not. Sometimes I see them as real, but not necessarily being particularly "religious" --- I've mentioned the Spinning Sun above, and the apparition at Knock Ireland is another real-but-why situation.

Tricksters: utter puzzlement. I know that the phenomenon happens from both my own and family members' experiences [plus the mass of anecdotes all over] but what-the-heck is it? And what about the seeming "time interfaces" that apparently can happen? And "who's there" in Ouija? We looked at two hundred stories of Ouija here, and the pattern was pretty strong.


It's out of my reach to construct a model of reality, but there seems to be more of it than everyday conversation in "advanced" civilization is willing to admit. It doesn't matter much, I suppose, just how each of us thinks about that expanded view of reality, only that we have one. And we are respectful of others' expanded views along with our own. It's really important that we keep these doors open and avoid the culture falling into mechanical constricted reductionism. Let's not kill our souls.


Here's our "patron saint", Catherine Crowe. She sensed the extermination of the "parallel reality" visions of the old culture by the "Enlightenment" and, in her style, was a spiritual Charles Fort in insisting that these things not be forgotten.

 

I found a charming fiction of this assault on the spirit in the world, the loss of its "Magic" and with that the loss of much of its intrinsic beauty and deep meaning, in a novel by Sheri Tepper, Beauty. If the details aren't taken too seriously, it expresses something rather close to what Catherine feared, as do I. 


The cartoon is true, but it speaks of something which plays us false. It's been "fun", adventurous anyway, trying to fight off those early warning limitations with you in the almost 500 postings on this blog. My truth isn't yours, but know that I've at least tried to help. 

John Locke said: A taste of every sort of knowledge is necessary to form the mind, and is the only way to give the understanding its due improvement to the full extent of its capacity. ... Bravo, old man.


So, we gave it an honest try. We left the sight of the home shore for sometimes very long times ... and occasionally, discovered new and often old forgotten lands. One last thing .......


Hopefully I'll see you sometime further down the Forest Path. Remember, if you want to visit the archives ever in Kalamazoo, e-mail me { mswords@att.net } and we can arrange something.

Peace, friends   ...   and Blessings. 


21 comments:

  1. Hi Professor! Thank you for sharing with everyone such a wealth of information. Your combined knowledge, personal experience and humor is uplifting. You have provided me with many fantastic reads and pointed to innumerable avenues for exploration. I am very grateful.
    All the best. Elissa.

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    1. Thank you. Happy adventures in your wandering wondering. It's a Big Beautiful World out there.

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  2. Somehow your "Swan song" put in mind of a poem I once read

    "I asked the boy beneath the pines.
    He said: the Master’s gone alone
    herb picking somewhere on the mount,
    cloud-hidden, whereabouts unknown." Chia Tao

    And peace be also with you.

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  3. Many thanks, Professor, for this most excellent body of work. It stands, for me at least, as a shining example of what research in these fields could and should be like, but sadly, almost never is. I believe this treasure-trove of reliable data, intelligent insight, rare documents and sensible conjecture will be of great value for a long time to come. Thanks for making it so easy to access.

    Peace be with you, too.

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  4. i hope you will check in occasionally if you got time , prof..

    this website and it's content should be preserved for it's value in UFOLOgy research material..

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  5. Blessings to you as well, Professor Swords. Thank you very much, again. /Bob

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  6. Thank you, dear Prof. We genuinely hope you will Please update us in the future.

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  7. Professor, I have long found your blog to be a source of solidly grounded and yet open minded research. It should be mandatory reading for all students of Out Proctor studies.


    Thank you for this wonderful labor of love. May the sun shine on your face, and the wind always be your friend.

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    1. It WAS a labor of Love --- unfortunately the workers of the fields get old and need to pass the spades onto younger hands.

      Hmmm... Jungian synchronicity... just noticed that "Spades" are the modern card equivalent for the Olde Tarot "Swords", my family name.

      Well, the Blog was meant to keep Magick alive --- maybe a little still leaks out now and then.

      The WONDERS are still there in this great Creation in which we're privileged to live --- don't let yourself drown in the noise and artificiality and they will still touch you. That's not gabble; that's something that I experience in small ways all the time.

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  8. Hello Prof. :)

    I wanted to pass by and say Merry Christmas to you in particular and to your readers too. Your ruminations have altered my own perceptions of the numerous phenomena that attract our attention. By extension, it's reasonable to say that many other readers (and commenters) feel the same way. Congeniality and sharp wits needn't be at odds with each other and you've proven this in every post.

    May the small gods of knees and backs smile kindly on you this Christmas and into the New Year.

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  9. Hello my friend, and very blessed holidays to you.

    Life here at Kalamazoo goes on well, I believe, and health seems to be OK.

    I still have a bit of trouble revving up for "new" research/writing, but I've made an "inspirational"{?} picture showing an old druid-like person walking with a lamp on a dim forest path. It's titled "STUDY". ... still a happy worthy activity at age 75.

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  10. I just discovered your blog and was dismayed to see that the most recent entry is almost a year old. I hope that you are well and will add new entries at some point.

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    1. Ain't gonna happen. I'm retired.

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    2. While realizing the somewhat bleak nature of the question (I'm not exactly a young one myself), I wondered if you've made any preparations to pass on your research material when you're gone? I'd particularly hate for all the SITU material to vanish (I'm an old fan of Sanderson's) after all the trouble you and others have done to keep it intact.

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    3. Of course I have. I think about this continually. No proper depository has indicated a willingness to store such files in an era of zeroing library budgets and "dreams" (nightmares) of a book-less future. ALL the big file holders face this --- CUFOS, Aldrich, Greenwood, you name it. I have 60 gigs of personal files scanned, zero of which are Sanderson's (for good reason: his are in old-tape-flyaway condition requiring attention to each page --- a scanning nightmare.) My best shot at "success" is to scan all my own more orderly stuff, and not sweat that anymore, but try to give someone the SITU files.

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    4. I'm sorry to hear that, though I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. I'm a one-time library paraprofessional, so I'm all too aware of the issues both with storing older materials (and some of these must surely date back to the 50's) let along get them into digital form. I wish you best of luck in finding a good home, and if anything ever come to my attention, I'll try to bring it to yours.

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  11. I have only very casually dipped into this blog of yours but long ago- several years ago- was quite convinced of its worth and profundity. At least you are still leaving this out there. It is unlike just about everything else out there that tries to chase this subject down. Your personal touch in these observations and ruminations are invaluable. So is your library... cant believe you haven't found a place for it... but isn't that the way things seem to be going now... an indescribable loss... several years ago put a link to your site on Tormance and haven't even visited my own stuff in awhile... anyway I really only want to say two things ... GOOD JOB! An incredible legacy... and just thanks!!!

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  12. Given the tone of your last response a couple of years ago (in relation to your digitization project), I'm rather hesitant about posting here again but - for what it's worth - I thought I'd give some thoughts on possibilities in relation your comment that no "proper depository" has indicated a willingness to store your files:

    (1) The AFU in Sweden.

    I've taken the liberty of asking Clas Svahn and, as I expected, the AFU "would be proud" to take care of your files.

    I think the AFU is probably currently both the most stable (and hence the best bet for a long-term home) and the largest UFO/fortean archive in the world.

    As I'm sure you know (but some of your readers may not), the "AFU" ("the Archives For the Unexplained") is a non-profit foundation in Sweden which has become an international repository for UFO / fortean / conspiracy material.
    http://www.afu.info/afu2/

    The AFU has over 50,000 magazine issues and some half-a-million clippings in its archives (plus a huge collection of UFO/fortean books in various languages). The AFU has a few advantages over UFO/fortean groups here in the UK and most other places, not the least of which is that it has some personnel funded by the Swedish government as part of some sort of training scheme for the unemployed. The AFU has recently worked with me in recent months (and some others, including Barry Greenwood and CUFOS) to get about 40 or so collections of defunct UFO/fortean newsletters from various countries scanned and made freely available online - after getting relevant permissions.

    The AFU is also in the fortunate position of being to pay for (or at least make contributions towards) international shipping of some material.


    (2) Several other countries in Europe also have significant archives and place considerable emphasis on preserving ufological material. Although not quite on the scale of the AFU, I have in mind in particular CISU (led by Edoardo Russo) in Italy and SCEAU (led by Jacques Scornaux) in France.

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  13. (Post continued...)

    (3) While you refer to "zeroing library budgets", it seems that the libraries of some universities in the USA are currently actively seeking UFO material. For example, as you may know, Jeff Kripal (a historian of religions teaching at Rice University in Houston, Texas) is currently seeking to build up an archive on UFOs and "related subjects" at Rice University. I'm not sure whether Ohio State University is still seeking contributions to the substantial UFO collection there started by William E Jones.


    (4) My impression is that most UFO groups in the USA place a lower priority on archiving UFO material than the groups in Europe that I mentioned above. The obvious exception is CUFOS - although I infer from your comments above that either CUFOS could not take all your material or you have some concerns about the longevity of the holding of material by CUFOS. I'm not sure what other UFO groups in the USA would look after, and allow access to, your material. I doubt the various "Disclosure" groups that currently seem so popular in the USA would know what to do with your files... Contributing your collection to MUFON's "Hangar 1" collection might mean that your material gets featured on that TV show - although sadly it seems that your material would become largely inaccessible to UFO researchers.


    (5) There are also some private libraries in the USA that hold collections of UFO material. One relatively new (and still growing) private UFO archive in the USA which offers access to material is the "Anomaly Archives" (the lending library of the Scientific Anomaly Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization) founded by Stephen Miles Lewis. I've been in contact with Stephen Miles Lewis and this new(ish) archive is not presently in a position to take care of your collection. Another new(ish) archive was recently mentioned to me by Alejandro Rojas when discussing your post above. Alejandro commented to me that another place to keep in mind in these situations is http://www.rvml.org/. He said that the owner there is committed to making materials available and he has a bit of a budget if needed. I don't know much about that library - which seems to be geared towards lending material rather than wider dissemination.

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    1. Well, Isaac, your inquiry is many-sided. I'll respond with a list:

      A). My UFO files are almost entirely digitized and have been dispersed as "seeds" to the UFO History Group members. Perhaps later they'll be dispersed more widely. The scanning netted 60 gigs of materials.
      B). In my opinion, this fact markedly lessens the seriousness of not having a depository for the hardcopies. The data will be preserved.
      C). Other elements of my archives are more diverse as to how the hardcopies should be handled (i.e. not all things have the same ownership standing).
      D). I archive several CUFOS-owned things (I am a longtime board member of CUFOS and am in a high-trust position.) Certain boxes of materials such as old NICAP files, Bloecher files, Hynek books, Timmerman files, will all go to Mark Rodeghier.
      E). Other materials such as Paul McCarthy files, Ruppelt files, and maybe GHWilliamson files will also go there --- The GHW files might better go to Kripal, as they actually are in line with that Department's research interests.
      F). Masses of books and monographs, and journals and newsletters are not needed at CUFOS, but may well be welcomed by personal UFO friends, most prominently Bill and Linda Murphy and Will Matthews. I doubt anything in the rare area will go to a dumpster.
      G). That leaves three categories of paper materials: my personally-created files (most of which are in the seeds), the Ivan Sanderson files, and non-UFO materials focussed upon other anomalies and mysteries.
      H). My personally-created files may find their way to CUFOS, but more likely will be wanted by the Murphys. Even in the worst case scenario, they are the things (90+% anyway) already digitized, so if they disappear into recycle bins, nothing information-wise is lost.
      I). The anomalies stuff isn't UFOs so it doesn't come under your or Clas' primary concern. Even there, the cryptozoological part would be desired by Will Matthews, as well as the related Faerie materials (Simon Young might want those as well--- I haven't asked about that yet, as they are the part of my library that I still am intensely using). Western Michigan University might take the paranormal stuff, or even the Fetzer Institute. AND, many of these things can be rationalized as having enough general public interest to stay in the 818 South Park library after I pass on.
      J). That leaves Sanderson. This is my current conundrum. The SITU books etc are utterly common, but the Sanderson notebooks need to be preserved --- and their state/condition makes them a scanning nightmare. I'll figure something out.

      Thank you for your concern. I am not idle on this. I also know John Reed extremely well, and as he is the Vacuum Cleaner of anomalistic materials I doubt that he'd let me get away with tossing anything away.

      Mike Swords, 818 South Park, Kalamazoo, MI --- a repository for many strange and wonderful things.

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    2. Oh, I have a copy of your 60 Gb of scans. I've kept them separate from my own set of approximately 2.5Tb (2,500 Gb) of digitised UFO/fortean material until permission/etiquette issues are clarified. I've seen a few other researchers referring to some material in those scans but have refrained from doing so myself as I'm not sure about the etiquette of doing that. I've found your scans very interesting and helpful, particularly once I made the collection searchable and searched it in conjunction with other material.

      I agree that such digitised material reduces the priority of finding a repository for hard copy files. That's one of the reasons for my pushing for more digitisation before hard copy files are lost. The other (and probably main) reason for such digitisation to me is dissemination of the material - in the fond (if possibly optimistic...) hope that it _may_ improve standards of modern ufological discussions.

      Anyway, I'm glad that it sounds like all the important information/material will be preserved.

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