Herein we continue, from part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, considering Whitley Strieber who has been the poster child for UFO and alien related subjects of decades just as much as the grey/gray alien has been the poster child for the same. We will consider statements about Strieber made by his acquaintance the self-professed possessed professor Jeffrey Kripal’s book Mutants and Mystics: Science Fiction, Superhero Comics, and the Paranormal (a book which I reviewed here).
Kripal notes that Strieber authored works of fiction that were actually based on that which was occurring within him; something which did not manifest until the visitors visited (pp. 203, 296-297):
“Strieber confesses, ‘I believe my whole body of work-my whole life-has been an unconscious effort to somehow overcome my fears and reach back to the secret school’ of his childhood occult encounters’…
Here are the barest outlines of Whitley Strieber’s life and nonfiction work. From 1977 to 1983, the author wrote bestselling horror novels like The Wolfen (1978) and The Hunger (1981). Horror, of course, with all of its depictions of the dead and the monstrous, is a profoundly religious genre, even when it is not explicitly religious, since terror, a close cousin of trauma, can also catalyze transcendence.
Strieber then collaborated with James Kunetka and wrote two works of social criticism, one about limited nuclear war, Warday (1984), and one about environmental collapse, Nature’s End (1986).”
Moreover, Strieber thinks that his perception of the visitors was influenced by fiction and recommends what we may term predictive programming or, otherwise, infuse supposed fiction with the author, director, screen writer, etc.’s actual worldview—which is what everyone is already doing, of course (p. 304):
“he is absolutely certain that his visitor experiences appeared the way they did because of the sci-fi movies that he watched as a kid and young adult, and that if we could create more accurate metaphysical films (‘manipulations of light,’ as he poetically calls them), future generations might have more accurate visitor experiences.
In short, if we could recreate ‘the actual energy of the close encounter’ on film, this would definitely advance both consciousness and culture, but only if we are willing to abandon our rational denials and current cultural beliefs about invading space aliens.”
With further relation to that which we covered in the segment titled Whitley Strieber and the (alien) goddess; we will now consider further correlations between Strieber’s experiences with an alien/visitor female whom he correlates with Ishtar and I correlated yet again with the Catholic “Mary” the Queen of Heaven (pp. 306-307):
“The first thing to note about Strieber’s Communion is that it is an expression of a long and sophisticated spiritual quest. The author tells us, without reservation, that ‘my faith was a burning fire in me,’ and this despite the fact that he was deeply conflicted about his Catholicism.
And had been so for some time, at least since his childhood, when an essay on the existence of God that he wrote for a catechism class was ‘declared to be a demonic inspiration.’ It is hardly surprising, then, that Strieber ranged widely in his spiritual quest, always looking for new resources, new insights, and less conflict.
‘For half my life,’ Strieber writes, ‘I have been engaged in a rigorous and detailed search for a finer state of consciousness.’ He notes that he was reading the fourteenth-century Dominican preacher and theologian Meister Eckhart at the time of his abduction (Eckhart’s sermons are easily among the most sophisticated, and difficult’ mystical texts one can read).
He also repeatedly refers to Zen Buddhism and notes that he had made a meditation room in the upstairs of his cabin. Indeed, it was there, while he meditated, that the visitors would come as the encounters developed and deepened. He could hear them landing on the roof, like some sort of occult Santa Claus. He would go upstairs to meditate at around 11:00 each night: ‘A few minutes later, usually with a great clatter and thudding on the roof, they would arrive….Night after night. I meditated with them.’
They entered his mind. They conjured memories. And they left him with two clear happy words: ‘have joy.’ Strieber also describes a vision of a brilliant sphere in the sky just outside the cabin. Note the explicitly religious and vaguely sexual nature of his response: ‘This light had rays that I could feel penetrating my skin with gentle pinpricks….I had something close to a seizure, a paroxysm as my body responded with fearsome, tingling pleasure to the most intimate touch I have ever felt, and I knew then utter compassion and an ancient love.’
Hence the title of the book, Communion. This was not the first title. Strieber wanted to call the book Body Terror, for that was the defining feature of his initial abduction: pure biological terror. But one night, while he and his wife were in bed, his wife spoke to him in a deep voice: ‘The book must not frighten people. You should call it Communion, because that’s what it’s about.’ He looked over to argue for his own title again.”
Note something that is commonly reported with alien abductees, et al.; the visitor/aliens rape him mentally and physically, “They entered his mind. They conjured memories” and they leave him in a stupor by leaving “him with two clear happy words: ‘have joy.’”
How many people out there are having demonic possession experiences of all sorts but end up referring to benevolent higher selves, spirit guides, ascended masters, etc. all because after they were tormented they were hypnotically triggered, as it were, to dissociate from the experience by screening it with a happy, happy, joy, joy label.
Moreover, besides the obvious occult connections with all of this note something of numerological interest: 11 is an important number in occultism and was a favorite of Aleister Crowley, for example. For whatever reason, Strieber chose, specifically, to meditate (with alien/visitors no less) at 11 each night.
Moreover, something that some might miss is that on two occasions Strieber experiences visitations of sorts at, specifically, “3:00 a.m.” Well, this is the specific time known as the witching hour when the spells cast and the demons summoned by late night magickal workings are put to work (makes you wonder why American’s are asked, at each presidential election, whom they would want answering that, specifically, 3:00 a.m. call).
We will leave off with an elucidating quote which plays off of the fact that “Strieber traces the origins of the alien and the UFO back…[to] possible memories of a past life” (p. 310) and thus, asks (p. 311-313):
“‘Do my memories come from my own life, or from other lives lived long ago, in the shadowy temples where the gray goddess reigned?’…Strieber often compares the old bald gray goddess who could both inspire and sexually arouse him to a bug, and, later in his work, to a spider.
Enter the insectoid theme…Maybe, Strieber speculates, the visitors are our own dead. Maybe they are us in more perfect form: ‘Maybe we were a larval form, and the adults of our species were as incomprehensible, to us, as totally unimaginable, as the butterfly must be to the caterpillar.’
It is here, with the ancient gray goddess Ishtar who looked like a bug or a spider, that the iconic almond eyes of the alien find us again….Strieber traces the first appearance of the standard alien form back to June of 1957 and the cover of a sci-fi pulp digest, Fantastic Universe. His own mystico-erotic experiences of an ancient goddess, however, point much, much further back and recall, in striking detail, my own speculations linking the classic alien eyes to Indian art and Tantric goddesses.
After all, much like Strieber’s erotic union with an alien Ishtar, the Tantric aspirant in South Asia traditionally unites, sexually or symbolically, with a Tantric goddess like Kali to obtain spiritual insight, cosmic visions, and yogic superpowers. I am hardly projecting here, as Strieber himself is clearly aware of these Tantric resonances. Indeed, he points them out himself to illustrate what he calls ‘the mystery of the triangle.’
Here Strieber turns explicitly to Indian Tantra and the goddess Kali, and especially to her yantra or down-turning triangle, an abstract symbol of her genitals, with a bindu or ‘seed’ in its center: ‘The object of the worship of the Yantra is to attain unity with the Mother of the Universe in Her forms as Mind, Life, and Matter.’
Strieber, in other words, imagines his visitor experiences as a kind of Tantric yoga or spiritual practice on the way to ‘union with Her as She is in herself as Pure Consciousness.’ Sexually uniting with the Mother of the Universe: the oedipal dimensions return, again. But he is also, at the same time, sexually uniting with his wife as Lover. This is how he put the matter to me in a letter: ‘In some way, she and Anne [Strieber’s wife] are the same person. She is with Anne and within Anne, but at the same time free in ways that no one of us have been free.
My sensual relationship with her and my sensual relationship with Anne are profoundly intertwined. This is why, when I tell Anne of my liaisons with her, she is never jealous, for they are also happening within her.’ But, at least in Communion, it is finally not Kali but Ishtar to whom Strieber feels the most drawn. It is ‘Her,’ he senses, with whom he had really communed. He tells us that her name means ‘star.’ And what happens to a human being who unites with a star? He becomes that divinity. He takes on that stellar or astral nature.
Hence the wonderful Ted Jacobs painting on the cover of Conroy’s commentary and study, which imaginatively portrays the metaphysical effects of Strieber’s erotic communion with Her. Those black cosmic eyes, slightly almond shaped and filled with stars, are now his. As in the Catholic eucharist, the author has been consumed by that which he has consumed…
Early in Communion…Strieber describes having the impression that one of the visitors was wearing ‘a face mask.’ There is also that odd, never really explained moment in the book where Strieber sees a visitor rush by wearing a hat, a blue card on the chest, and a mask with eye holes and a round hole-in essence, a superhero costume.
Weirder still, there is what I would identify, inappropriately no doubt, as ‘the Ghost Rider scene.’ Strieber sees what he thinks is a skeleton on a motorcycle with ‘great big eyes that just scare the hell out of you.’ He realizes later that it is another bug like visitor, a visitor who resembles a praying mantis, which resembles a skeleton on a motorcycle. This is just a bit too close to the Marvel Ghost Rider character of the 1970s. All we are really missing is the flaming skull.
Except that we have that too-sort of. Strieber called his sister and asked her what her strangest childhood memory was. She told him about ‘the time we were sleeping out in the back lot and the fireball came across the lot.’ It was big and green. Strieber remembered no big green fireball. But he did remember Ghost Rider ‘All of my life I have had a free-floating memory of a skeleton riding a motorcycle, a frightful effigy. Now I know the source of that image.’ Strieber also shared, in person this time, his vision of a Gray rushing through the forest behind his New York cabin. As he described the being zipping in and out of the trees, avoiding each tree trunk as if it too were physical, with ‘blinding speed.’”
As for when the standard alien first appeared, as you can see from the attached slide show, via pop-occulture we can go back to 1950 AD and 1955 AD for large headed aliens. Further back still to Aleister Crowley’s LAM with its hidden large eyes and hinted at by HG Wells in his concept of the Man of the Year Million.
One can suppose that they have a solid marriage, or something, when Strieber’s wife Anne accepts his sexual liaisons with the spider bug-alien goddess Ishtar/Kali-Mother of the Universe.
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