Thursday, February 16, 2012

audio conversation with Whitley Strieber

Yes, him!

If anyone has made it to this site, there shouldn’t be any need to introduce Whitley Strieber.

Whitley said this when attempting to define the overall phenomenon: This might be what the force of evolution looks like when it is applied to a conscious mind. This quote might seem like a clever mind-puzzle, but it forms the foundation of his recent book, and this interview.

one-click audio download HERE
57 minutes long

His most recent book is titled SOLVING THE COMMUNION ENIGMA. During our conversation we attempt to articulate what it might mean to SOLVE this elusive enigma. In this book, and in the original COMMUNION from 25 years ago, there is a relentless kind of thoughtful questioning. It is both wide-ranging and deeply personal.

At the end of this podcast, I’ve included a short clip from an audio interview from 1987. Whitley was on a radio show with host Don Swaim talking about his new book at the time, COMMUNION. It’s been 25 years since that book exploded into the popular conciousness, and you can still hear that same thoughtful and questioning voice.

And sadly, one thing that we didn’t cover was his book THE KEY, perhaps the most important book of my life.

Here’s a link to his web-site, UNKNOWN COUNTRY.
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NOTE:
This was originally posted on Jan. 20th, but I moved it back up to the top of the list. This was a good interview, and I feel it should be appreciated.
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33 comments:

Red Pill Junkie said...

WoooOOooww!!

The only thing I hated about this interview was it's length —far too short! :)

I too have always paid attention to Strieber's opinion. His some-what ambivalent attitude toward the overpowering force that irrupted into his life and his mind is precisely what convinces me that his experiences are real.

In retrospect, after 25 of living with the notion of the visitors, I'd say he's fared extremely well. He's still joined by his loving wife, which certainly proves their relationship is made of sturdier stock than most :)

Keeping the question open is definitely a challenge. But it seems that's it's worth it.

PS: I gotta get me that audiobook with Roddy Mcdowall. I remember him in that 80s flick Fright Night. As a child with a big imagination —both my greatest asset and my deepest flaw— that movie scared the living daylights out of me; remembering how his character —also a cowardly individual— managed to overcome his fear and face the monsters was... comforting :)

Mike Clelland! said...

The audio book of the original COMMUNION is available for download (for free) at whitley strieber's site (for a membership fee).

It's amazing, and well worth the fee.

Red Pill Junkie said...

Oohh... tempting!

I think I once tried to become a member of Unknown Country, like in 2006 or something like that. And I couldn't because they didn't allow members outside the US. Hopefully that changed.

Mike Clelland! said...

The whole website has been revamped recently.

THere is a webmaster who can deal with any issues - so it should be a shew-in.

M!

Red Pill Junkie said...

I'll check it out this weekend then :)

...Even though I made the resolution to try to save money this year, because I want to attend that symposium Micah is organizing in Minneapolis on October ;)

Raj said...

An awesome interview, Mike. Your podcasts are full of exceptional lucidity, humility and honesty. They really resonate. You're doing great work.

Anonymous said...

~ Lucretia here:

Agreed on the WOW!

I know what he means about the support groups being taken over by people with agendas and explanations. TOTALLY!! Anyone who comes at this with faith and true belief instead of curiosity and open-mindedness is apt to mis-step. I mean, I have found patterns, certainly-- and I have some tentative conclusions. But I have had to learn to embrace the idea of uncertainty.


The dead showing up with the aliens? *nods* Yeah. There's something to that for sure.

I commented about Anne Strieber's essay regarding the idea that the state of utter curiosity and not believing actually increasing intelligence in my own blog. I don't think that means there are no answers-- but certainly, there is value in this way of thinking.

However, I will say that given how few people have these experiences, it doesn't make sense that simply tormenting people with this stuff, it seems highly doubtful that we few are moving the rest of the human race into anything truly useful. I don't think we have that much influence, frankly. Even so, for those of us undergoing this, there is something gained of value-- IF we refuse to adhere to a true belief to explain it. And for those who even manage to remember anything-- most still struggle through beliefs and the need to label to have one true answer. Only a few of us seem to reach a point where we can withstand uncertainty and just go with it.

So I don't think that's the main agenda behind all this activity.

Anonymous said...

~ Lucretia here:

Regarding shadowy government interest and alien abductions. I tend to think so far that-- at least in MY case-- that the quasi-military stuff came SECOND after the alien interest. Still, until I remember more I couldn't say for certain. My best guess is that someone wants to keep track of things. I do not have obvious early government stuff going on like Whitley or Andrew Basiago (I think his name is) does.

Regarding immune system issues: yeah, I've have total immune system crashes. Weird bloodwork, etc. Also unexplained healings and remissions.

Re Reality Distortion: *nodding* This is one reason why I started to do experiments with my environment. Scratching my arm or writing on the wall -- to see if those changes remain later when I'm in a normal mind state. Because is it my MIND that is different or actual physical reality? So far I'm waking up the next day with scratched arms and drawn on walls.

Re "sexual material" being taken away. After all the hybrids I've seen-- I think the answer is pretty much right there. I mean, the aliens themselves don't seem to be that secretive about it. Hybrids are a part of the answer. I don't know that I trust how far that could be the ultimate answer-- but certainly its a part of it.

Re "Structured Process of coming Closer." YES. Exactly.

Re aliens coming thru into our reality to increase our belief in them-- so they can come thru even more, etc.

Um... no.

They HIDE. Even when they can show themselves obviously (and do sometimes 'put on a show' for some people to witness) they mostly prefer to stay discreet. It can't just be about belief-- like OUR minds are so powerful they need US to manifest. I feel quite sure they manifest as they like when they like and how they like. But its an interesting idea to consider. After all I've been through, however, that explanation doesn't seem to fit.

Brizdaz (Darren) said...

A Wow!!! from me,as well.
You're batting in the big leagues now.But I'm not surprised at all really.I think this is just the beginning,as long as you do it on a gut level and not because people like RPJ and me throw names out at you in the hope of hearing you in conversation with them...like
DAN AYKROYD for instance .-)

I read "Communion" when it came out (the alien face on the front cover was like a magnet to me when the book came out...although a bluey grey skinned one would have been more appealing to me,I've always thought,for some reason) and I have just bought it again,along with "The Key" and "The Path".I bought it direct from Whitley's store and have had them on my bookcase for about two weeks,but am yet to read the other two.

Great interview Mike and may the compelling force be with you to compel you to do more gems like the last two you've done.

Brizdaz (Darren) said...

It's funny you mention Roddy Mcdowall.I've always been fascinated by Jake Kotze's Synchromysticism where he links movie stars paths through life with movies and real life events.At first I thought it was just a bit of novelty,but lately I am truly amazed how some actors paths seem to have been guided by a hidden synchronistic hand throughout their careers.
And there is no way any human,or group of humans could do this.
It is truly amazing after a while how events,actors,and themes line up when you view their careers in hindsight.
Anyway I just did a post on my blog about Jake Gyllenhaal and the movie "Donnie Darko" and a real life guy by the name of Ben Breedlove who used the music from "Donnie Darko" to underscore his last You Tube video before passing of a heart-attack on Christmas day last year.
"Donnie Darko" is about a time loop in a temporary alternate universe.In the movie;

Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhall) is a troubled teenager in suburban Maryland. A schizophrenic with a history of violence, he has recently stopped taking his medication and as a result is sleepwalking. His parents, Rose and Eddie (Mary McDonnell and Holmes Osborne) and his sisters, Elizabeth and Samantha (Maggie Gyllenhall and Daveigh Chase), worry about him and, after snapping at them profanely over dinner one night, Donnie resumes taking his medication
on October 2nd, however, he sleepwalks and meets Frank, a man in a menacing bunny costume. Frank tells him that in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds, the world will end. That night, a jet engine mysteriously crashes through the roof of the Darkos' house, destroying Donnie's room. Had he not been sleepwalking, he would have been killed.
The remaining time added together add up to 88...or a symbol for parallel infinite universes maybe?
Eights play a big part in the movie's script.

Roddy McDowall passed on the 3rd Oct 1998.He was born on 17th Sept,1928.
192(8)-199(8)

"Donnie Darko" is meant to take place in the year 1988.It was released in 2001.

Red Pill Junkie said...

And I was born on Oct. 3rd ;)

Tristan Eldritch said...

I have an inquiry about Communion book covers which is a little frivolous, but something I've always wondered about. The one and only copy of Communion I own is a second-hand paper-back I picked up a couple of years back. I'm very fond of this copy because of the cover: there is no writing (whatsoever)on the front cover, just the iconic alien portrait with no borders. It says Communion by Streiber on the back, but no writing on the front cover at all. I've never seen another copy like this either in stores or online, so I've always wondered was a specific line printed this way, or is mine some kind of printing anomaly? Anybody know?

Red Pill Junkie said...

Tristan, I think that was something Whitley specifically asked for to the publisher. I remember when I first saw an imported paperback edition of Communion in one of the shelves of a store in Mexico. I automatically grabbed it and saw that the title was in the back. Back in those days my English was not very developed (plus, imported books back then were very expensive) so I passed it and didn't buy it. A few years later (1989?) I found me another copy of Communion, this time translated and printed by a local editorial company; and it was the same: no titles, just that image with the hypnotic eyes --that time I bought the book immediately.

I remember that when I started reading the book I had to sleep with my lights on for 6. Whole. Months! I even had to cover the god-damn book because at nights I couldn't stand looking the cover --my sisters kept making fun of me :(

Then I saw that newer editions dropped the iconic image in favor of a more generic (and lamer!) art cover. Big mistake IMO. If I get to buy another copy of Communion in English, I'd search for an used copy of the first editions.

Kephas said...

hi Mike

I'd say Whitley actually sounds a lot calmer and more grounded 25 years ago than he does now.

Thanks for pointing me to these old interviews.

Trish said...

Can't wait to hear this one!

Tristan Eldritch said...

Red Pill - Thanks for clarifying that! Yeah, I love the edition without the titles. From a design perspective, I think it was far better to let the image speak for itself. Also, it really added to the spooky hypnotism of the reading experience; I'd find myself alternating between reading, and contemplating the image and those hypnotic eyes! Made the book feel almost like a kind of mass market grimoire of sorts, designed to transmit the Visitor presence into the reader's mind through both text and image.

Tim Brosnan said...

I agree with Kephas' assessment that Strieber sounded more grounded 25 years ago than he does now. That aside, I'm troubled by the fairly strident commercialism at Unknown Country. Strieber is perfectly entitled to make a living, but any mixture of cause and consumerism inevitably is going to smell a bit like snake oil. The fact that he's doing so in the context of ufology only compounds the effect.
I'm grateful to Strieber for "Communion." A seminal work. Likewise, I'm grateful to Stephen Greer for The Disclosure Project. Since making their initial, important contributions to the field, however, both men appear to me to have become unflattering caricatures of themselves.

Different Mike said...

Firstly, hello!

I really enjoy your approach to this entire subject, Mike. You manage to balance enthusiasm with skepticism is a manner at once thoughtful and gentle, and that's a rare blend, especially as it relates to 'high strangeness' as it were.

Excellent interview. I can't get enough of hearing Whitley's thought's on the matter.

I wanted to take a stab at the observation of his 'groundedness'. Clearly I am guessing, but perhaps it's related to the wear and tear of fighting this battle for 25 years. In a couple of different interviews I heard hints of anger and hurt come through - bitterness perhaps. And why wouldn't it? 25 years of society laughing at you and accusing you of lying, when you're trying to share deeply personal, deeply challenging experiences?

I know that my own confidence is weaker than it was 15 years ago when I had my reality shattered (not an abduction by grays, but rather a spontaneous healing/awakening by 'light beings'). Part of that comes from the learning frenzy, which took me into dark matters; part of that comes from the personal issues I was forced to confront; part of that comes from the reactions I get from other people when I share this stuff - even from my wife, who is a wonderful person, but just doesn't 'get it', and MAN that is hard.

I can't even imagine being in the public like Mr. Strieber is. There's no way I could take that kind of pressure. I'd wind up in a loony bin. I really would.

The word I'd use for him is 'weary'. He's been fighting the good fight for a long, long time, and I salute him for it. Oh - and if selling a few coffee mugs makes his life a little better, so be it. He could have made more money sticking to his original literary trajectory. I don't see 'commercialism'. Anyone who so fully dedicates their life to being a spokesperson on this subject deserves to make a few buck on it. I'd do it to, if I had his guts or his talent.

*Synchronicity moment.... a few weeks before I had that visitation by light beings that cracked open my head like an egg, Mr. Strieber came to speak at the book store where I was working at the time. I wasn't into the UFO subject at the time, but I found his presence most compelling.

Brizdaz (Darren) said...

Re:
"And sadly, one thing that we didn’t cover was his book THE KEY, perhaps the most important book of my life."

Maybe a part 2 to this interview would be the "key" to solving this regret .-)

P.S. I finished reading it about a week ago and I found it a fascinating read.Although,like Whitley,I don't know what to make of the visitor either.

Anonymous said...

Hello,

Whitley's thoughts about the evolution of consciousness are completely wrong according to modern evolutionary theory. Acquired traits (increased left brain activity within a lifetime) are not "injected into the DNA" and passed to future generations. That is Lamarckism and and has been disproven for over a century. It is similar to saying that if I work out, then my offspring will have larger muscles.

There are many basic biological flaws (to go along with the evolutionary flaws) in Mr. Whitley's thinking.

Thanks

Red Pill Junkie said...

To Anon,

In case you didn't notice, Lamarck kinda had the last laugh, with the new focus in Epigenetics ;)

Anonymous said...

To Red Pill Junkie,

I am very aware of epigenetic effects. Do you actually know what they are? Whitley's example does not fit. Whitley is saying that experience will "change DNA" and that this change can be passed to future generations. This is not an epigenetic effect. An epigenetic effect is when the environment changes or has influence on an expressed trait (a female bird regulating the production of different hormones in an egg by differing incubation periods).As far as epigenetic effects- no biologist thinks that all traits are based solely on DNA. That is very naive. The environment has a major contribution to an individuals phenotype. All this said- Lamarckism is wrong. period. Ask any 1st year college student.

For Whitley to be correct, the dna in female gametes would have to be altered by thinking. That is ridiculous.

Red Pill Junkie said...

"An epigenetic effect is when the environment changes or has influence on an expressed trait (a female bird regulating the production of different hormones in an egg by differing incubation periods)"

True. But have you stopped to consider that humans have the freedom to choose or manipulate their own environment? In that sense, epigenetics is, like DNA itself, not that deterministic.

Anonymous said...

RPJ

I don't understand your point. "epigenetics is, like DNA itself, not that deterministic."

My contention is that thinking about something will not alter the DNA in your gametes.

Red Pill Junkie said...

"My contention is that thinking about something will not alter the DNA in your gametes."

No. But *maybe* thinking about something might alter how your gametes express themselves.

Brizdaz (Darren) said...

Re:
"My contention is that thinking about something will not alter the DNA in your gametes."

...or so you think.-)

Anonymous said...

Brizdaz-- are you serious?
"or so you think"

Anonymous said...

RPJ,

"*maybe* thinking about something might alter how your gametes express themselves."

Again- This is not what Whitley is talking about. He is talking about heritable mutations (and again, the mutations would have to be in gametes and not brain cells) created through thought.

Anyways, differential gene expression does not mean that DNA has been changed. You are still working with the same genome-- just different genes are expressed in different environments. I appreciate thinking about how the environment (the environment could be anything besides the DNA) shapes the phenotype-- this is what I have dedicated my life to-- but there are limits natural selection.

Red Pill Junkie said...

We basically share the same genome than our cousins the chimpanzees. The real difference strives not in the number of genes, or their sequence, but rather, how these genes express or suppress themselves --i.e. how the shut on and off according to different signals.

So, who cares if the genome gets changed or not, as long as the traits are inherited by the next generation? As long as they result advantageous of course ;)

You say the difference would have to be in the gametes and not the brain cells themselves, but isn't it true that gametes regulate the growth of gray matter and the like? And conversely, different aspects of the environment have an effect on the expression of the genes.

Some of those environmental effects are the direct result of our conscious decisions --e.g. whether we decide to live in a city or an agrarian environment, which makes us more or less exposed to certain chemicals that can even mutate the way our genes are regulated, like Bisphenol A and Bis.

But what I'm really interested is to speculate about the possibility that there might be a placebo-type effect in gene expression.

Skeptics love to dismiss alternative medicinal therapies by rounding them all by the concept of the placebo effect, while never trying to find out why the placebo effect works in the first place! Why is it that our mind can have such an effect in our well-being, or lack thereof?

No, I'm not talking about BIG effects, like changing my body-height overnight or anything ;) But *maybe* there could be minuscule --yet detectable-- changes in protein production or other metabolic interactions.

We already know, by scanning the brains of regular meditation practitioners, that their brains undergo a notable morphology change, when compared with non-practitioners. Furthermore, it also seems like their brains have a bigger stock of glial cells, which allows them to have more effective self-repairing mechanisms.

Is it such a preposterous notion to consider the possibility that being exposed to very odd stimuli --like the seemingly inescrutable conundrum of the UFO enigma-- might have a long-term effect in a population?

Strieber is not a scientist or an evolutionarist. He's just proposing avenues of research; what's so wrong with that?

Brizdaz (Darren) said...

"Strieber is not a scientist or an evolutionarist. He's just proposing avenues of research; what's so wrong with that?"

I've got to go the Red pill on that one.-)

James said...

This was a fascinating interview... I listened to it while watching my son in the play area @ a local mall.... I notice many of the same people visit this blog as several of the other ones I check into from time to time.

I tried making a comment by phone... that's always hit or miss...

You know Whitley has referred many times to the 'tormenting' question and living with the uncertainty provoked.

When I try to get to the bottom of my obsession too many things get in the way, too many tangents. It seems to be tangled up with so many things I cant quite do it.

Really I have a question for you Mike... you have been at this for some time now. And your reference to feeling somehow 'compelled' to continue this... investigation?... is intriguing.

Have you come to any conclusions... is it all still a mystery? Do you have a few things that stick out from this journey now...? What stands out the most... what is most shocking or intriguing or surprising..?

Anonymous said...

@Tristan - Sounds like you have the UK paperback of Communion which had the artwork completely filling the front cover without any text at all, the title on the back cover, and a different subtitle than the US. The subtitle in the US was simply "A True Story". The subtitle on that UK paperback was "Encounters with the Unknown: A True Story". I used to run BeyondCommunion.com, which had a gallery of the various covers of Communion from around the world. Many used the famous Ted Seth Jacobs painting. A few did not.

Mike Clelland! said...

reply to anonymous:

You ran Beyond Communion.com?

I have a few questions for you. Simple stuff, like do you have the archives of that site.

I ask because some little things have come up, and I wish I could still access that site.

please contact me
hiddenexperience@me.com

thanks,
Mike C