Supernatural beings, therianthropes (see post: What Did They See?), alien abduction, kidnapping by fairies…Are these beings and events real or they just due to very vivid imaginations? If they are not real, why is it that the ‘theme’ of other-worldly beings and kidnappings (whether in the modern world, by aliens or, as in the past, by fairies) keeps on recurring in different epochs and in different cultures?
In 1918, Carl Jung, Swiss physician and father of modern psychotherapy, wrote a paper entitled ‘On the Unconscious’. In this work, Jung suggested that all human beings ‘stood between two worlds’: the world of external perception and the world of perception of the unconscious. For Jung, the bringing together of these two worlds was through symbols, these symbols created by the unconscious; symbol creation being the most important function of the unconscious; symbols often seen in our dreams.
The concept of ‘two worlds’ was not unique to Jung. A similar idea had been followed for centuries by Sufi mystics, a splinter group of Islam which gave great importance to the imagination. Researcher, Jeffrey Raff suggests that Sufi mysticism is a type of alchemy or transmutational process that unites a theory of imagination with the goal of creating subtle bodies and of seeing into the heart of the universe. The Sufi ‘alchemists’ believed that the matter on which they operated was not purely physical in nature but belonged more to the ‘World of Paradise’. Two ‘worlds’ once again, each one as real as the other. For Jung, the second world was the world of dreams. For the Sufi mystics, the second world was arrived at through dancing, imagination and trance.
But how real is/are these ‘second worlds’? Whether through the use of drugs, trance, injury or even neurological disease (see post: Epilepsy and the Divine), people have experienced ecstasy, seen visions, been kidnapped by fairies and met with aliens. Some have had these experiences without any of these mind-altering conditions (see post: Altered States of Consciousness). Surveys have suggested that about 2 percent of the general population of modern adults seem to be born with the ability to fall spontaneously into deep states of hallucination. Are the people who make up this ’2 percent’ simply those whose brain chemistry is slightly different from the norm? Does this special brain chemistry enable these people to see visions and encounter spirits? Is this brain state achievable in the remaining 98 percent of us through the use of drugs or by entering a trance state? And are any of these visions, encounters, strange beings real? Are these entities ‘symbols’ of our dream world (Jung)? Do these creatures belong to the ‘World of Paradise’ (Sufi)?
But these visions, these experiences are so common and seen in so many cultures over so many time periods. In Ireland, the fairies were called the ‘Sidhe’ in Wales, the ‘Tylwyth Teg , the ‘lutin‘ in France. Melusine was the name of a half-woman-half-serpent fairy (a therianthrope), known to steal young children in Northern France. The names may have changed but the entities remain the same.
In the past, it was the fairies, the jinn or angels which took you away. Today, this is done by aliens. Today, the aliens have spaceships but perhaps they did in the past, as well. There is so much consistency in these stories over so long a period of time that it is difficult to argue how these recurring experiences can be anything but real. But ‘real’ in what sense? In the sense of Carl Jung’s symbols of the unconscious? ‘Real’ in the sense of the Sufi mystics where these entities are from the real ‘World of Paradise’?
There is one line of thought that our minds are not just the conscious representations of our organic brains, not simply generators of consciousness but are actually ‘receivers’ and that the ‘otherworld’ experiences we find ourselves in and the supernatural beings we meet are indeed objectively real and exist independently outside of our brains, outside of our minds. Aliens, fairies, jinn, dead souls…Are these ‘real’ things in other ‘real’ worlds? Things that only a very few of us can see or can be seen only under very special circumstances?
Some believe all this to be real. Some just simply want to believe that this is indeed all real. To quote John Lennon: ‘I believe in everything until it is disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?’
No matter what the answers to these questions might be, it would be wise to proceed with caution. In the past, the fairies danced in their circles (ring portals? some type of alien ‘transporter’?) before they disappeared and anyone caught or pulled into the circle, anyone who wanted to join in, would disappear in their last dance with the fairies.
*Ghosts, fairies, unexplained phenomena: subjects of research for the novel: The Tao of the Thirteenth God – Amazon Kindle.