Monday, October 12, 2009

To Joel (and others) With Respect

I was going to continue the series of blognesses on "what will they be like" today, but other stuff, more sociological in nature, arose. When I started this thing, I didn't think it would be necessary to explain everything ahead of time, but sometimes, I guess you need to do that. Due to the well-meaning offices of some of my UFO friends, the existence of this blog has gotten far wider awareness than I thought it would. Along with that "coverage" come diverse responses, including even alarm. My buddy, Robert Powell, passed the word, that UFO researchers who I respect are concerned that the fact that spirituality means so much to me and this will prejudice my ability to objectively view anything, especially UFOs. So, because I admire and respect these fellows, I guess I have to say a few words. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Firstly, we should all dump the facade of our "objectivity". We all have things that we "hold close". These things comprise our "religion" whether spiritual or not. That is, afterall, what "religio" means [hold tight]. Having said that, we can still try hard to act like empiricists when it comes to building theories and accumulating knowledge. Science itself is no person nor persons. Science is the communal method whereby flawed humans share information and discussion and, through certain criteria of test and acceptance, tentatively, and humbly, accept certain assertions as having a probability of being true. Through that method, which I am personally undergoing right now in the writing of a very large book [with others] on the UFO phenomenon, each of our "subjectivities" should be tested and our prejudices moderated if not expunged. An intellectually honest scholar tries to do that whether he has an "editorial team" or not. I do. But I understand if one wishes not to simply trust that assertion. A blog, however, I viewed as an opportunity to stretch one's writing a bit beyond the hyper-conservatism of the scholar and tell people what you really think, even if you can't "prove" it [by the way,we're almost always kidding ourselves when we think we've proven anything]. But, back to concrete blogness: what is happening in this blog?---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I stated that way back in entry #2. My main motivation for writing the thing was to bring [to some] some hopefully welcome information which pointed towards the neglected spiritual realities which I believe are all about us but from which we are distancing ourselves . Naturally, this aspect of the blog will not sit well with UFO researchers, who, as I have found, do not value that possible aspect of reality much. [there are several exceptions to this generality]. I understand the concern of "mixing" UFOs with spirituality and, surprise(?),I don't either for 99% of my evaluation of what's involved in our subject. The reason that UFO topics show up in this blog at all is that [maybe my colleagues will grant me this much] I am a bit of an expert on some aspects of the field, and I just thought that since I know a lot about them, I should share what I know [and think] such as it is. UFOs have almost nothing to do with spiritual matters [with a few exceptions that I'll elaborate on in the future]. They have [almost never] nothing to do with the Loch Ness Monster, poltergeists, demons, or spirits back from the dead. This is my opinion of 50 years of interest, the last 30 or so of which have been rather intense. For the first decade-plus [1945-1960 or so], the phenomenon had the overriding feel of a high-flying aerial technology more analogous to a military activity than anything--about as concrete right-out-of-our-physical-universe as you could get. The great exception to this was the 1954 wave which was, frankly a bit whacko, and tough to understand. Even in the High-Strangeness years of 1964-1978 or so, the phenomenon still had the feel of ET technology of a very advanced sort [if you disagree, get your own blog]. UFOlogy for me is THIS world. Most of the other stuff on the blog is the SPIRITUAL/PSYCHIC world. I see no reason why I can't believe in more than one thing. I believe both in GOD and Apple Pie. They seem to be different to me. GOD is not Apple Pie, but every day I thank GOD for the Possibiilty of Apple Pie. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Concerning reasoning processes and honesty. I try to go into these things with as much of an open book as I can. The three cryptozoological posts should illustrate that. In both the SET and the Wasgo case, the evidence that I could marshall led me not to Magonia but to the preferred hypothesis that these are or were biological entities and thereby parts of the physically-law-abiding universe. But the information about the Loch Ness monster did not. I went into that influenced [prejudiced?] by the ideas of a great friend who is both smarter and more intelligent than I am [Henry Bauer]. But I didn't come out of the research process with that answer. Instead I found myself faced with Magonia on that one so that's the way I have to call it. When I run into something going under the rubric of UFOs but it doesn't seem to fit--AND it seems to fit better somewhere else [even if that's something distasteful to my UFO colleagues: like leprechaunish mischief (Rosa Dainelli?) or spirit channeling (Betty Andreasson?) ], That's what I'm going to hold as a primary hypothesis on that case---I'm not a big fan of Universal theories. There will be a few uncomfortable moments where I bring a spiritual element into a discussion about UFOs. Hopefully the angst will be at a minimum. I cannot, however, be talked out of my Catholicism even though it's so radical that the Pope would think that it might in this case be a good idea. And I can't write a non-authentic blog. I just hope that people who I occasionally work with can deal with that. By the way, the main "method" I have of keeping UFOs separate from spiritual matters is that, when compared to spiritual matters, UFOs aren't very important [as I say, get your own blog]. Remarkable how much your objectivity improves when you can honestly take-it-or-leave-it on any given bit of a subject. [I didn't say it wasn't REALLY interesting].

1 comment:


Blog Archive