Monday, November 9, 2009

head vs heart

A small painting of myself on brown cardboard. This wide-eyed expression of intensity is typical of all my self-portraits. During the process of drawing myself, I get weirdly focused on my reflection in the mirror.

I had a conversation with a friend from college. He knew I was writing a blog on the topics of UFOs, and he read thru a handful of posts, and he found the content different than he expected.

He said, “It reads like you are on a spiritual journey.”

I replied, “I know, because I am!

I feel like I’ve been exploring my oppressive self-doubt throughout the short history of this blog. I’ve been earnestly looking into myself, and it’s been VERY interesting, even if only to me. This on-line format, to me, needs to remain deeply personal. Am I wallowing in the self-reflection of my own inflated ego? Maybe. Probably.

When I started this blog, the first bunch of postings were just nice stories with pleasant synchronicities. I was afraid to share the really weird stuff. The first really hard post was an experience in 1974 that involved a two hour missing time event with an odd orange flash in the sky.

At first I wasn’t brave enough to post it on line, the implications of that story just screamed UFO abduction. It was all written up, just waiting until I could muster up some courage. It took an unbelievable event to get me to take the big dive, and it happened when I received an email from an elementary school friend from named Cindy, and her reappearance in my life was absolutely magical. The timing and the relevance to the events of 1974 were too intense to be just a coincidence.

The logical side of my brain was telling at me NOT to post that story. It screamed at me: What about the implications? You have no proof, and anyway - it’s impossible!

But, my heart was telling me that something miraculous had happened. My heart won out, and I posted that story, and a whole bunch of equally impossible stories unfolded in the following months.

I’ve been able to talk about some of my memories for a long time, maybe ten years or so. But I didn’t truly believe my own story and it’s implications. I could discuss each event in a logical framework of other experiences reported in literature, and I could remain cool and level headed. But after some point, it felt like my personal disclaimer was wearing thin. This denial has created some very real tensions, and something had to snap.

The best advice I've ever gotten as I've descended into this nutty realm of paranormal weirdness was to KEEP AN OPEN MIND. And lemme tell you, my mind has been stretched in the last three years.

I am skeptical and cautious about the the core paranormal subjects that make up the content of this blog. I’m grappling with UFOs, vivid dreams, synchronicities, channeled information, psychic readings and foggy memories. I’ll also add that all these topics have an element of fun to them, and the mystery is so interesting that I get seduced. I know that.

Here's where I get lost. Is it literal truth? Or is it a metaphorical truth? I have no idea. I can’t define what “it” actually is, but I can say, from my gut, that I know that “it” is real.

Personally, literal truth is like trying to look at a locomotive train under a microscope. Metaphorical truth is like the rainwater in a forest. I am an artist. I am NOT a scientist. I'm learning to trust my gut, even if the pragmatic side of my brain is in revolt.

I am dealing with paranormal experiences, and if I try and scrutinize them with the pragmatic side of my brain, I get stuck and distressed. It hampers me, and it makes me miserable.

It has been much more useful to deal with this stuff from my heart. Whenever I do, I benefit enormously. I've learned to trust my heart (or gut).

I can't define or defend my gut feelings on this. All I can say is that the feeling is real, and I can’t ignore it. To dismiss these paranormal experiences makes perfect sense logically. But logic is a tool that can only take you so far, and then you stall out in a place of confusion.

I find my heart simply won't let me dismiss the really strange stuff just because it's really strange. Something is VERY real is happening, and it’s entirely beyond logic.

That said, my logical side is still absolutely perplexed.


Addendum added Sept 1st 2012: This post was written after the heady month of October 2009. This 31-day stretch was absolutely life altering for me.


James said...

Wow... the painting is very evocative. Its almost as if you have something you are about to say and the painting has caught you in that moment, before the utterance itself. Kind of curious... and strangely reminiscent of what you are trying to do in your blog.

You have been posting quite a lot recently. I cant keep up... the dreams are fascinating! I wonder if the dreams had a quality that distinguished them from more prosaic ones..?

I know there is a quality some of mine have, difficult always to find words for, that places them in a different context. In particular a contact dream I had with some green skinned beings stood out, I knew it wouldnt fade, but beyond that I dont know why. I can still recall it easily.

Really I would like to know what is going on... perhaps even the desire is somehow mis-directed!? We cant even seem to articulate the question very well.

Is the question, for instance, are we being contacted by another form of intelligence? If the answer is yes that question becomes what are they trying to say? We cant seem to decipher readily their message(s)...

If the answer is no, the question itself being less obvious, perhaps something more akin to are we still on the path? There is obviously a spiritual dimension to what is going on- I think the nature of contact would inevitably bring us to a spiritual crossroads whatever its real nature.

I have no answers. What is really going on may be beyond our imagination to fathom in its entirety. That may be the only answer for now... we will have to be content with the uncertainty it brings us.

Anonymous said...

Have you read Robert Anton Wilson's Cosmic Trigger Vol. 1? If not you really should. It's a great portrait of someone dealing with multiple "reality tunnels" and remaining sane in the process. It has certainly helped me with some crazy stuff I've been though.

I think the trick is to avoid eithor/or thinking. Both/and is much more effective.

Great painting by the way.

hunter said...

hi mike!
i wish i had something insightful to share about all this. alas, i am just as confused by it all as you sometimes seem to be. i agree with you that this clearly appears to be a spiritual journey and, though i am no guru, i believe that any spiritual journey worth its salt has no clearly defined path or destination and therefore requires one to simply trust the process and remain open. some might call it faith.
at any rate, here is what i can offer - complete non-judgemental support and love.
thanks for sharing.
ps. i appreciate the lil' boing marks on the info cubes being funneled into yer head!

Mike Clelland! said...

Thanks for the replies everyone.

This was a hard won for me to write. And it ended up as a long rambling post, but I felt I needed to say what I said. I've been reflecting on the evolution of this blog, and my unloading in such a public way.

peace to everyone who's followed me this far, I appreciate it!

Red Pill Junkie said...

This is definitely not a rambling post. On of the reason I got so caught up with this blog is because your honestly towards your experiences.

Are you on a spiritual journey? most definitely!

Are "they" trying to say something? possibly.

Or maybe they are just putting a mirror in front of you, so you can take a long look at who you truly are —maybe that explains the stare fix in your portraits.

Ankka said...

"A mind once stretched to a new idea never returns to its original size."
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Marla Frees said...

I like this

Peter Bernard said...

1. Have you ever seen the episodes of "Northern Exposure" when Ed the shaman-in-training is haunted by his own self-doubt, personified as a small green man?
2. You speak about your "gut" a lot here. Have you ever read about the "belly brain?" The other nervous system located mainly in our belly.
3. In addition to "Cosmic Trigger" that anonymous suggested, RA Wilson's "Schrodinger's Cat Trilogy" might help as well. Sometimes, the cat is both dead AND alive! Sometimes reality is a percentage chance, not a yes or no. The universe does not seem to be binary.

Brizdaz said...

Another sync...for me,anyway.
"I can’t define what “it” actually is, but I can say, from my gut, that I know that “it” is real."

I've just started reading Stephen King's "IT" (only about 100 pages in),a book I've wanted to read for a long time,but just couldn't get started on.I've always found the movie a bit strange,but I like the psychologically dark imagery,and thought maybe the novel could shed a bit of light on to the movie storyline (pardon the pun).-)