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Unfair Practices On Paranormal Claims
10 Signs Of Intellectual Dishonesty
*What Is Pseudoscience?

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UFOs At The Edge Of Reality

A Lecture by Jim Keith

(The following talk was delivered by the late Jim Keith in Atlanta, Georgia in November, 1995 and was published in Paranoia's special 'People's Think Tank' Issue 17, in Fall, 1997).


What I intend to explore today are some of my own thoughts and opinions about the nature of UFOs and aliens and reality, based upon an interest that goes back to about 1957. I'm going to focus on some material suggesting that UFOs and ETs walk a fine line between reality and thought (or awareness). This is not to suggest, however, that this is an illusory experience. I don't believe that the UFO experience is illusory. I want to explore what you might call the edge of manifestation of this UFO phenomena.

I'm not suggesting that UFOs and aliens are imaginary, nor will I pledge that they are always completely, materially, solidly "real." Actually, I think that their existence challenges the tightly-formulated definitions of reality and imagination, and points up the limitations of those definitions. It seems to me that UFOs sometimes happily cross these lines of demarcation, and defy the definitions.

The way they do this gives us some clues to the something else, to the nature of reality, what is really real and what is possible, in terms of the understanding and potential expansion of awareness.

Reality is an amorphous concept. My experience suggests that there is an in-between realm in this universe or omniverse where thought and matter meet, like one of those paradoxical graphics by the Dutch artist M.C. Escher, where thought and matter coalesce and partake of each other, where matter manifests from pure awareness, where reality takes form... and that the nurturing bed where matter, reality and, incidentally, where UFOs and ETs manifest, is what we might loosely call awareness, or the mind.

When I say "mind," I'm not limiting that to the purely physical conception, to the computer which resides behind your forehead, the electrical activity sparking in your brain pan, or whatever, because that is a limited and limiting conception. If we stick with that, we're not going to accomplish what I want, which is to provide a little more familiarity with this borderland reality, with the interface between thought and material solidity.

When I use the term mind I am talking about awareness in a generalized sense, in a theoretically absolute sense. My own belief is that awareness is not necessary limited to an awareness resident in the body, in a meat body. You can believe anything you want, but anyone who has any experience with meditation, with hallucinogens, or with ritual magic is going to have a sense of what I'm suggesting. Awareness, as far as I am concerned, and in my own experience, ultimately has no limitations whatsoever, beyond the limitations which it conceives for itself. Awareness is potentially a creator, and it can create freedoms and it can create limitations. Awareness, interestingly enough, creates its own conception of itself, which is what it then proceeds to be.

I just want you to try on the concept that awareness may not proceed from solid reality. In fact, I'm not certain that I could prove this to you unless you were willing to entertain this possibility and play around with it a little bit yourself.

If you think that the possibilities which I have mentioned are absolutely impossible, then you are maintaining that the beliefs and knowledge of this insignificant tidepool of awareness, the planet Earth, determine the possibilities of the entire universe. This has a corollary which UFO aficionados are often vocally decrying; the absurdity of people who believe that life could only exist on one planet in this vast universe.

I'm also saying that awareness, very loosely defined, is senior to solid matter. It stands above solid matter. Awareness creates thought and belief and, ultimately I think is the creator of solid matter.

Reality, I believe, is defined and created from this immaterial plane of thought and mind. I think that you create the entirety of your physical reference, and the only reason this isn't obvious to everyone is that one also creates the belief that one can't create or even influence physicality to the slightest degree with the mind.

You create your own reality entirely.

In addition, you create yourself according to whatever template you choose, in whatever body you choose, on whatever planet you choose, based upon your belief structures.

It follows that if you create your own reality, you change your beliefs about what you can and can't do, can and can't experience, can and can't see, and you can change your reality.

You can re-structure your own experience entirely, change your identity entirely, and experience anything whatsoever that you wish. This is perfectly true, at least in my own experience and belief structure.

Reality . The word is a semantic absurdity. Reality, according to my American Heritage dictionary, is "the quality or state of being actual or true." When you look up "actual" or "true" you find that defined as "consistent with... reality." The definition goes in circles, and is never grounded in anything that is separate and verifiable. The problem is that the concept of reality is indefinable, and the concept of something being "real" is dependent upon proving that something is "real" with a verifiable existence which is apart from some subjective belief or illusion. Something that can be nailed down using a disinterested measuring stick of comparison.

So far as I know, it is impossible to do this with any aspect of reality or of thought. The reason for this can be exhibited by hauling forth the standard argument one encounters for the existence of something called "reality." I don't know how many times I've heard this one. You're talking to the guy at the party and presenting your crazy ideas about how reality isn't real, and the guy stands up and [bangs on the podium]. "See," he says, "this is real. This is solid. This is reality! Try and disprove that!"

The point is that knocking on something, feeling something, feeling the weight of something, does not prove its existence, because you are proving its existence with something which is essentially identical, that is, a solid hand is impacting with a solid podium.

You have not removed yourself from the context of that existence and compared it with "reality."

It might as well be meaningless babble that takes place in a dream. You might as well be dreaming that you're banging your hand against a podium and hearing the rap in the dream. In fact, every time you do that, pound on the podium, you are dreaming in a sense, because solidity, solid reality, is not the basis of reality.

You can dream that you're touching solidity, you can imagine it, and in fact, once you start working with this thing called imagination, once you regularly exercise your ability to dream up realities and all of the perceptions which are allied with them, you'll also be exercising your ability to mold and transform this one, that which you've considered to be your original reality.

You'll be able to change your reality and everyone else's in any manner you wish.

That might seem like a contradiction, but I don't think it is: that you can change another person's reality.

The reason it seems like a contradiction is that you are identifying your awareness with the limited definition of being fixated in a single physical body. You're really not stuck. In my experience, there really is no "other" whose reality toes you're going to step on if you get a little too frisky with your awareness play, but it is one awareness inhabiting a multitude of bodies. At least until you change that conception.

So the "truth" about "reality," bottom line, is that there ain't no such beast.

Reality is only what we believe it to be.

Reality is only a contingency of awareness.

The fact that ten people or a thousand people believe the same thing, does not render the thing any more real in an absolute sense, but it does point out the structural underpinning of the determinant of this illusion called reality, what causes it to manifest in the shapes and forms that it does; and that determinant, that reality-shapers called 'belief.' What people believe down deep is what they consider to be reality, and also what they experience. Sometimes this can be different from what they say they believe.

The existence of UFOs can be voted down due to the relative rarity of the experience and its sometimes insubstantial character. It's the same thing with people who study conspiracy politics. You look into this subject and it becomes quite apparent that the world is run on conspiratorial lines: Rockefeller, Rothschilds, regardless of what Rush says. But the conspiracy is outvoted by the pundits in the media who know better without having actually researched the subject, and so it's not true, it's not real.

What can be accomplished by playing around with belief systems? I think that we can remove finally all barriers to perception, to creation, and theoretically come up with an unlimited awareness, capable of knowing anything, capable of doing anything, and one which is totally free of limiting definition. This naturally smacks of conceptions of godhood, but I'm not trying to get religious here. I'm saying that this is part of the spectrum of possibilities of awareness.

Human beings are part of the spectrum of possible awareness manifestations; snails are another. And in this latter portion of the 20th century, mankind has come up with enough smarts where it is possible to attain states of awareness which were hitherto unimagined, at least by the majority of awareness points on the planet. Of course, this is a belief structure in itself that I am communicating: that we are on this planet, that we are human, that we have certain awareness characteristics, that we possess bodies, that there is such a thing as time and human evolution.

Awareness is a fascinating thing and in my belief, if consciousness, which has been localized on the planet Earth, would finally begin to flow a little it would be liberated from some of its former boundaries and self conceptions. Awareness just won't stay in a localized, fixated condition and position forever. That's its nature. The human condition is an interesting thing. I thought about just what the human condition is, what a human body is, what this fleshly container for our awareness is, and I think I've had some insight on this. It occurred to me that a real reality, something that you know is true, is more satisfying to awareness than simply a dream or a work of art or a movie, let's say. It's far more interesting to an awareness to be involved in something which is real, something unchangeable, something which cannot be denied, a true story, let's say. And that's what the human body is all about. It is the awareness creating itself solidly inside of the drama, the awareness play, making itself a solid portion of the play so that the drama is real!

The awareness of death even creates itself within the illusion that when the reality creation ends, when the structuralization ends, the awareness ceases to exist, This doesn't actually seem to be the case. But the solid creation of the human body, pinch me so that I know I'm not dreaming, is based upon interest. So long as you are an omniscient awareness which exists outside of its creation, knowingly having created or creating that reality or game or whatever, it's not half as interesting. You know that it's illusion, it's a game, a movie, it's pretend. You, the awareness, know that it's a form of play that you're experiencing and that it really doesn't ultimately matter. But to pretend that it's real, true, that its reality, to put yourself in the 3-D holographic picture and say that you had no hand in its creation and that the physical creation in fact was responsible for creating you, that you were born into it and had no hand in the creation of the drama, now that makes for some real involvement, some real fun even if it's only of the tragicomic sort!

Ultimately, consciousness has to flow. It works like a rushing stream of events. No single, localized event ultimately has any meaning; only its localized meaning. It draws its meaning from the larger context. As we expand in terms of our own self conception, as we free ourselves from self created barriers and limitations, you might say that we are refamiliarizing ourselves with the energy of the ocean of awareness, rather than fixating on the energy swirlings locked in the little tide pool, the tide pool of Homo Sapiens conception and delusion at the tail end of the 20th century.

There seems to be a cover-up going on about the fact that awareness creates reality, is actually in charge of reality, and that awareness has the capability of creating a belief that something is solid and then perceiving it that way. Who's doing the cover-up? Well, scientists I suppose, and the guys who don't believe in ESP and the paranormal, and of course if people believe this there wouldn't be any religions, so I guess the priests are covering this up, and maybe the societal structure, the elitists who don't want the commoners getting any delusions of grandeur that they can do anything they want and throw the bums out of the Federal Reserve or whatever... There really is a reality monopolization going on, and a continual indoctrination that is forever insisting on the limited nature of awareness.

"I'm only human, it's human to err, you only go round once so grab all the gusto you can..." This is the tree of knowledge of good and evil that we're not supposed to pick from. Knowledge which, you might note, is proffered by the phallic serpent. Pandora's box (a cteic symbol), Tower of Babel (another phallic symbol), the Frankenstein story where the moral is that you shouldn't muck about too much with reality because it's likely to bite you if you do.

The antidote to all this is the Wizard of Oz, written by the Freemason L. Frank Baum, where some upstart and her dog stop trembling for a moment and she gets up off her knees and sneaks away from the Scarecrow (Christianity, perhaps, with the crucified scarecrow?), the Tin Man (mechanistic science, perhaps?), and the Lion (animal impulses, perhaps), and this person peers behind the emerald curtain (the green coloration maybe signifying life) and peering into the meaning behind this life. And then the deception becomes apparent.

Who ultimately, is responsible for the cover-up of the centuries, the cover-up of the unlimited nature of consciousness? I would guess that it is awareness itself, the mass consciousness behind all of the mobile meat bodies, the mass consciousness itself, which is covering this possibility up through its subservient minions like the priests and the scientists and the hack storytellers at NBC and so forth.

What would be the reason that mass consciousness, possibly the closest thing to God that we have located in this sector, has been covering up these cool abilities and transcendent possibilities?

Possibly for fun.

Possibly to create a game, because games have both freedoms and barriers resident in them, and this makes for interest because if you can do anything whatsoever, then you create a completely non-challenging state.

Superman, actually, would get pretty bored on Earth, because he wouldn't have any challenges. That's why the authors of that comic strip had to invent Kryptonite, to give Superman a challenge with which to create a story. Another reason for the enforcement of limited states and the cover-up of the real possibilities is that there is a gradual unfoldment taking place in which this physical reality, bodies and so forth, is being evolved from non-existence or potential into a state of pure awareness. "God," let us say, is taking part in a continual enlargement of its awareness and manifestation.

Reality is based solely and entirely upon the belief structures which awareness holds. Change the underlying beliefs and you will change the perception of reality. One of the time-honored methods of reality manipulation and creation is ritual magic. Ritual magic, at least according to the more intellectual magicians, is simply the channeling of attention through ritual and symbology, concentrating attention in a certain direction so as to achieve a certain result. The channeling of thought so as to create a certain physical manifestation. Basically the imagining of something purely conceptual into reality. Ritual magic as reality creation.

I don't mean to defame any ritual magicians in the audience, but it's obvious that engaging in magic is giving some of your power away. It's based upon belief in the limitation of your own power, and that you have to access some higher conception or entity or universe energy channeling device like a symbol, or whatever. You have to go through certain incantations and steps and buff your body with lambs wool, or whatever. It's based upon the belief that you need a servo-mechanism or to channel a higher power in order to manifest whatever you want in this world. More to the point, would be to locate the limiting belief you love in your own power and ability, deconstruct that belief by realizing that you created it in the first place, and then to manifest directly whatever it is you want without employing a go-between. Cut out the Baphometic middle man.

It's interesting to note the interplay of the psyche with the techniques of ritual magic and religion. Both religion and magic, these techniques of creating or influencing reality, can be seen to derive at least in part from a hierarchical vision of reality, to contain trappings in their rituals and literature if only subconsciously dramatizing a subjection to kingly and noble forces. In other words, I think that ritual magic and religion both have inherent in them the presumption of control by the nobility and a ministering court... if only in hierarchies of angels. Or the Wizard of Oz. God as king, as above so below, regal robes, and the altar as the throne of the almighty. Jesus is coming, everybody look busy. Actually, the study of reality creation, in my opinion, has been greatly furthered by the ritual magicians of this century. In terms of the study of the creation and manipulation of realities, there is a succession of people who have contributed to this evolving field of study.

Certainly a lot of people contributed to this line of thought, but the most distilled transmission, as far as I'm concerned, began this century with Aleister Crowley, who of course was also one of the first ET contactees with his channeling of the "trans-mundane" intelligence, Aiwass, in Cairo , in 1904. Several have commented that Crowley 's Aiwass bears a close resemblance to a grey alien. Was Crowley a black magician? Did Crowley engage in human sacrifice? I frankly don't know, but with his synthesis of Eastern and Western magical thinking, you can bet that Crowley knew that these systems are basically symbolic interpretations overlaid on and hopefully accessing something more amorphous, and that this, not the symbology itself, is where the power derives from.

I'll put it another way. I get the impression that Crowley knew that all of this stuff comes from unmanifest, or non-awareness, and that there is a stepping down which takes place from pure awareness by which symbols and reality ties are created. The next guy in line in this transmission might be Jack Parsons, head of the Pasadena Ordo Templi Orientis in the 1940's, who I think if he didn't teach L. Ron Hubbard everything he knew, at least he quickened Hubbard's quest.

From what I can tell, one of the things that makes the UFO/ET experience difficult to define and understand, is that it is a multifaceted phenomena, and there are a number of different origins for the experience. People assume that there is one explanation for UFOs/ETs, they latch on to the one they are most comfortable with, and they insist that that one explanation explains all incidents.

I think there are at least five different explanations for UFOs and ETs, in the following suggested categories:

(1) Encounters with aliens. People may have had encounters with extraterrestrial craft and their occupants, or with unexplained denizens of this world which seem to fit this definition; i.e. inner earth dwellers, or pixies or fairies, or whatever. Non-human encounters, let's say. This is an unproven possibility.

(2) Spiritual or non-material entities. This is the crossover dimension which I have been discussing, where reality slides in and out of thought and imagination and possibility.

(3) Government military operations involved with advanced craft and/or disinformation and/or psychological operations in which people are led to believe they have had encounters with aliens. I have the feeling that this is the source of some, although not all, of the more elaborate encounters over the last 45 years.

(4) The work of hoaxers.

(5) Misperception and delusion.

Depending on the incident, there are at least five possible evaluations and categories of experience.

UFOs and ETs cannot be explained with only one explanation, and once you start compartmentalizing the experience this way, things become more understandable.

Understanding the UFO experience has been confused by the propagation of hoax material, by the deluded and the true believers, and by the military trying to cover up its little schemes. One proof of the unreality of reality is that so many totally unreal things continue to happen, regardless of how much government funding the materialists get. My own beliefs about UFOs and their inhabitants are perhaps influenced by two close encounters which I have had this lifetime, which I'd like to describe to you.

I was describing some LSD experiences to a friend back in the late 1960s, and I said something to the effect that the hallucinations I had had were incredible. My friend responded, "They're not hallucinations." That struck me as a profound insight at the time, and still does.

LSD and other hallucinogens do not so much cause hallucinations as they cause a relaxing of one's barriers to experience, and then the whole strange world rushes in. By the way, I'm not recommending LSD or other drugs, I personally stopped this line of inquiry before 1970. But, the time of this anecdote is 1968, and I was tripping on mescaline in the San Bernardino Mountains outside of L.A. I wandered off from the group I was with and climbed to the bed of a pristine canyon, and perched on a boulder amidst a trickling creek. I relaxed in order to ponder the fate of the universe. And that was when I saw her, or perhaps just felt her with a complete perceptual clarity. She didn't have a body, but my sense was that the stones, the water, the trees, the air... these things were her flesh. It was, maybe, the Mother, the Mother Goddess who manifests this world... at least I thought so at the time.

This was apparently the same entity who has been worshipped since ancient times via such vehicles as the Mystery Religions, perhaps the same being as seen in Virgin Mary manifestations, Isis, Astarte, the White Goddess... but I was awe-stricken with the sudden realization of what was what, and an amazement that I could have ever forgotten that the world was the flesh of the Mother, my Mother. And that was when she noticed that I was sitting there, and I thought I perceived surprise. She vanished out of there at warp speed, and I was left in shock assuming, what could I assume? That I was profane and undeserving of seeing her and touching the hem of her garment if she had worn one. Remember, she didn't have a body, but she was perfectly perceptible and understandable to me. So that was my first encounter with an uncommon being.

The second encounter was about 4 years later, in 1972. By this time I had laid off the mescaline and LSD.