Thursday, July 22, 2010

Alien Encounters as Personal Deconstruction

If you want to feel better about not being able to afford or attend college, pause right now for ten minutes or so and educate yourself about the philosophy of famous 20th Century Frenchman Jacques Derrida, a philosophy more popularly known in academic circles as Deconstruction.

Just click the hot links in the above paragraph and start reading. Then come back.

OK, done yet?

No, it sure doesn't take long to have more than enough of that, thank you very much. In all fairness though, most philosophy reads like that, not just Deconstruction. The only differance between Derridian texts and other kinds of philosophy is sheer Europineal attitude, but then the guy was French.

He had a cultural standard to uphold. Not to mention a sartorial one.

Anyhoo, Derrida's big philosophy idea du jour was that the bit that's excluded or absent from any given text is what makes the whole text meaningful, and that if you locate that bit--that excluded bit that he referred to as differance--if you find that central differance embedded in any given text and invert it, you can then take apart the whole sense of the thing, as in, unravel the text completely (as in, literally de-contstruct it) and render all the meanings therein utterly nonsensical.


Start with Shakespeare. End up with overcooked spaghetti!

What could be better than that?

OK, a lot of things could be better than that. OK, ok.

But here's my point:

What if UFO encounters are personal, experiential deconstructive moments?

Think about what happens to an individual's view of reality and self after such an encounter. At first, the experiencer may just feel a bit stunned and awed by the whole incident, but as minutes, hours, days, and eventually months tick slowly by, more and more questions about the very nature of reality and self begin to present themselves, whether that person is ready for such questions or not.

Often, the experiencer becomes increasingly aware of a little glob of 'missing time', a break in the normal personal narrative of memory that seems to attach itself to other bits of existing memory that once seemed fairly solid, but now, not so much.

It's a contagious little bit of nothing, this 'missing time', and it seems to have a penchant for dissolving all the little certainties and assumptions that make life possible and pleasant. Gradually, lots of things the person thought he or she 'knew' for sure about the present and the past and about who he or she actually is seem to be up for grabs, interpretively speaking.

In the end, the contagion may spread to the experiencer's very sense of self. Many abductees eventually come to see themselves as having dual identities: one human, one alien; and they discover that these blank moments of absence stretch all the way back to their earliest childhood recollections.

When strung together, these deconstructive moments create an alternate history that is bizarre in the extreme, a sort of shadow self and shadow reality that looks like the direct inverse of this one. 'Real' life at this point becomes somewhat dreamlike and the dreamlike alien encounters become primary.

When things get to this stage, we pretty much have our pile of deconstructive spaghetti.

But why?

Well, that's the gazillion dollar question. Why indeed!

Here are a few possible answers:

(What? You thought I was going to give you the one right answer just like that, just off the top of my head? Au contraire, sugar bear!  Clearly you haven't been reading UFO stuff for very long if you actually thought that was going to happen...)

  1. Somebody is actually doing this on purpose to individual people: the government, evil magicians, aliens, guys who wear too much black clothing and smoke funny little cigarettes... who knows? The thing is, we know it can be done on purpose, so maybe someone or some thing is doing it on purpose for reasons we have yet to understand.
  2. The organizing structure of the experiencer's consciousness has lost all functionality, and the deconstructive alien encounter is a sort of massive spontaneous 'reset' experience; kind like rebooting a computer when it's all bugged up or frozen, or reinstalling the operating system. 
  3. The deconstruction of individual personality and personal history is part of an initiation experience similar to the kind of vision quest sought by shamans in premodern cultures. Post-experience, many abductees and contactees exhibit increased psychic abilities, and many also develop an acute awareness of how permeable the membrane that separates dream states from waking states really is. 
  4. The experience is exactly what it seems to be, and the whole of what we refer to as 'real' life is implanted into our consciousness by creatures with big eyes and suction cup fingers--kind of like in The Matrix. Sometimes I do wonder if people aren't actually larval aliens and the whole fabric of our lives isn't just one big pupated dream. We'll wake up one day on Zeta Reticuli.
None or all of the above could be true. We just don't know, really. And we aren't likely to find out any time soon. But since most of us are out of a job these days anyway, throwing out ideas is not a bad way to pass a Thursday afternoon. Derrida probably wouldn't like it.

But he's just another dead white guy now.


  1. I think this is a fascinating subject that I cannot get enough. Before I ever saw a real UFO I was open to the idea that alien life forms most likely do exist. Who knows we might be alien life forms transplanted to earth long ago, but we don't remember?
    I think I thrive with these type of questions. Thanks Pamela! :)

  2. Thanks for reading this, Ann! I'm the same way--I can't get enough of this topic. It seems like it's one of those things that if it hooks you, you're hooked deep, but if it doesn't, then you can't understand why anyone pays any attention to it all. Clearly I'm in that first category, just like you!