Thursday, November 8, 2012

the limitation of assumptions

I think the reality of what is going on is FAR STRANGER than the theories we've come up with. I think the idea of extraterrestrials is nowhere near as strange as what actually is.
      — Meghan

I agree completely. This quote arrived as part of a comment on a recent post about owls. It came from a young woman who has had her own set of very confusing experiences, and she managed to sum up this collective weirdness in two shining sentences.

I struggle with the tiny box that the ETH (Extraterrestrial Hypothesis) creates. Every time I use the word alien I feel a need to follow that up with a long-winded multi-sentence declarative statement like this:
That word implies something that may or may not be accurate, all the collective issues surrounding that feeble term are far too simplistic. We are trying to define what is probably undefinable. We are only getting fleeting glimpses from something behind the veil of the unknowable. We are doing a terrible disservice to our own fragile ideas by assuming that what is reported is an alien in the pop-culture sense of the word.
Instead, I just type or say alien and continue on. This always feels like a cop out.

Websters definition sez nuthin' about beings from another planet


Brian Short said...

Aside from my own involvement with this – whatever that may or may not amount to – it is exactly this quality of strange beyond strangeness that has me so fascinated by the phenomenon. Any attempt to describe it brings me right up against the limits both of language (insofar as I have any command of it) and of my imagination; which senses its own finiteness, and which strains to expand toward this thing.

Mike Clelland! said...

Yes- What Brian sez!

I struggle with all this because I feel LAZY whenever I shy away from interjecting with a caveat.

Anonymous said...

I do cringe a little when you say “alien”, Mike, but I understand you are referring to particular experiences that reflect what you have gone through yourself. I try to substitute “alien-like”, but I negate what is nonnegotiable in my frame of reference. I still get that you are maneuvering through your own path of experience.

You've done a good job of laying the groundwork in your podcasts as well as in essays.

Mike Clelland! said...

I cringe when I say it too!

Suzanne said...

Love it, Mike. I have to agree with you wholeheartedly. As I have "grown up" from the wee one who was just beginning this very alien experience, I have come to realize that there is definitely more to this whole thing than meets the eye, and has made me question what is real, or if it's just an illusion...

Jack Jawczak said...

Maybe we should use the term "unknowns" or "unrecognized", seems to me "they" have been around us for a long time, more than likely well before our beginnings.

Think of it this way, when we are born and up until the time we start to be able to form thoughts and are cognizant of the world around us we have no idea who, let's say our grandparents are. We just know they talk to us, pamper us and interact with us. We have no words yet and have no idea who they are we just know they are there.

So as of yet we have no words or concept of who they are because we are still infants who haven't developed the capacity to understand what's going on all around us.