1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Thoughts on the Trickster

Discussion in 'General Freewheeling Chit-Chat' started by Christopher O'Brien, Nov 30, 2010.



  1. Christopher O'Brien

    Christopher O'Brien Trickster Apologist/chopped liver specialist Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,130
    Likes Received:
    2,103
    Occupation:
    videographer/author/synthesist shaker guide
    Location:
    Red Neck, AZ
    Home Page:
    [Modified from the foreword to Stalking the Tricksters]
    I have consistently cautioned proponents of the extraterrestrial hypothesis that we must first be able to rule out the possibility that UFOs are part of a “closed system” before we can leap to the conclusion that they are extraterrestrial in origin. An example of a control system is James Lovelock’s Gaia Hypothesis—the earth as a living superorganism and a dynamic closed system maintained by feedback loops. Scientists uncomfortable with the personified, mystically-tinged Gaia terminology now call this earth system science.

    In a 1978 interview by Jerome Clark for Fate Magazine, Dr. Jacques Vallee offers a daring proposal: “Assuming that there is a feedback mechanism involved in the operations of the control system; if you can change the information that’s carried back to the system, you might be able to infiltrate it through its own feedback.” [I have] been saying this for years…“Let’s get proactive on their ass.” [I asked Vallee about this particular observation during his recent appearance on the Paracast and he artfully dodge answering the specific question.]

    [During the summer of 1998 I was been asked to help on a case that featured apparent Dine' witchcraft. Some months later, after I had completed my investigation--and hadn't thought about it in several months--] I was looking out my window while taking a shower and witnessed a six foot tall human figure with deer antlers on its head gliding furtively in the shadows outside the house. [I didn't know it at the time but] this is a classic skinwalker description... [What is a skinwalker? Google it. This experience suggested to me that] we may be locked in a complex symbiotic relationship with our trickster “friends.”

    If you think Valle’s focus on the fairies, leprechauns and wee people of Celtic lore is far afield, how about my investigations of multiple witness reports of leprechauns and “trooping fairies with [an] attitude” in the San Luis Valley, Colorado? ...

    Paranormal investigator John Keel, is often mentioned in the same breath as Vallee. Keel’s 1970 book UFOs—Operation Trojan Horse marked his own departure from the extraterrestrial hypothesis. After four years of intensive research and field investigations, Keel came to the conclusion that UFOs were “paraphysical” in nature. He coined the term “ultraterrestrials” to describe the “transmogrifications” which had been “frightening, confusing and misleading” humans from the beginning of our history. Familiar with the work of Jung and Vallee, Keel found the descriptions and actions of modern ufonauts to be identical to the “elementals” described in the fairy lore of northern Europe and the ancient legends of Greece, Rome and India. Although he makes reference to the vile stunts of “the tricksters,” he never puts “the cosmic jokers” into an archetypal classic trickster frame of reference. To Keel, “the damnable things” included every manner of demon, angel, alien, fairy, ghost and phantom. Only half-jokingly, he referred to himself as a “demonologist” and said “ufology is just another name for demonology.” In Trojan Horse Keel makes mention of the “thousands of reports of UFOs hovering above microwave relay towers.” He rejects the idea that “the objects were tapping the power from power lines and telephone systems.” Instead he felt that the ultraterrestrials were using electromagnetic frequencies for the “transmutation” of any kind of object into existence on our plane. He speculated further that the elementals somehow used EM energy to manipulate the circuits of the human mind and “make us see whatever they want us to see.” Keel’s investigations had led him to believe that the tricksters were essentially negative if not downright evil. Rarely did he see any evidence of their benign or, at best, amoral nature. His riveting book The Mothman Prophecies (1975) details how people were driven insane or even died as a result of trickster “infestations.”

    Jacques Vallee posited the idea that a control system “needs two opposite principles for its functioning.” According to his reasoning, a control system needs the equivalent of a thermostat so that the system that is being regulated doesn’t run too hot or too cold. If one accepts Vallee’s thermostat analogy, is it possible that “the phenomenon” presented its more destructive side to Keel knowing that his work would serve to counteract the warm and fuzzy “Space Brother” mythology which had been a major part of ufology since the contactee movement began in the early 1950s? Tricky business indeed.

    Worth a mention in this list of precursors to Stalking the Tricksters is Lewis Hyde’s Trickster Makes This World—Mischief, Myth and Art (1998). Exquisitely written, (Hyde is a former director of creative writing at Harvard), his book brims with pointed insights about the nature of the trickster. As might be expected, coming from the depths of academia, the book is heavy on the folklore and mythology with no mention of the trickster’s links to paranormal studies. Academics don’t want to get “slimed” with this kooky stuff. Biologist Rupert Sheldrake has called the paranormal “intellectual pornography.” As to the key question of whether the trickster is alive in the modern world, Hyde hedges his bets: “Outside of traditional contexts there are no modern tricksters because tricksters only come to life in the complex terrain of polytheism.” Without his “sacred context” and “ritual setting” the trickster is missing. Later in the book Hyde says: “If [the] trickster is the boundary-crossing figure, then there will be some sort of representative wherever humans invent boundaries, which is to say, everywhere.” He adds: “When the culture itself becomes a trap, the spirit of the trickster will lead us into deep shapeshifting.”

    The last entry in our trickster hall of fame writers is George Hansen. In The Trickster and the Paranormal (2001) Hansen brought the relationship between the trickster and the paranormal into its sharpest focus yet. [My good friend and mentor David Perkins who has written the forewords to all four of my published books] wrote for the British publication Magonia (Jan. 2003), [where he called Hanson's book] “one of the most relevant and thought provoking books in recent memory.” Since that time David’s and my appreciation of Hansen’s break-through insights have only grown. What started out as a study of the problems of deception, fraud and hoaxes in parapsychology turned into a seven-year project that covers nearly every aspect of the trickster/paranormal connection. Hansen had worked for seven years as a professional parapsychology/psi researcher at two of the country’s most prestigious labs...Make no doubt about it, for Hansen the trickster is a living thing! When David was writing his review he asked Hansen if the trickster could be a "personified biological mechanism whose therapeutic function from an evolutionary view is to confer survival value on the human species." Were the tricksters part of a control system for human society or even Gaia itself? I suggest that it is possible that the trickster may be “altering the very nature of Gaia itself.” To David's way of thinking, tricksterism seemed like a dynamic control system device to ensure a robust homeostasis or tension of opposites in society. The trickster’s role was to bring novelty, vitality and change as needed. Hansen’s response was: “Leave it alone, don’t be a reductionist. You’ll only contribute to the process of driving magic from the world and further dis- enchanting it.” David thought this was a curious response from someone whose profession demanded a strict use of the scientific method.

    Hansen’s advice was reminiscent of Jung’s admonition that further speculation about materialized psychisms was pointless. Despite all their brilliant insights, both men left us with an unclear picture of how to proceed. Indeed they seem to question whether we should proceed at all. Hansen ends his book with the observation that our thoughts, both conscious and unconscious, “move of their own accord and influence the physical world.” He cautions us not to become victims of our own “rationalistic” thinking.

    We have two sides to our brains. By nature we are both rationalistic and emotional/intuitive. Can’t these two parts of our being “just get along?” I’ve never been a good one for simply accepting things that I don’t understand. Maybe there has been too much scientism pounded into my brain over the years to ever overcome it. Is George Hansen right? Perhaps my English crop circle researcher friends have a point when they say: “when you go into a crop circle don’t over-think it." In Carl Jung’s assessment, “all mythical figures correspond to inner psychic experiences and originally sprang from them.” They are not something “other.” If true, this means that all the tricksters, skinwalkers and shapeshifters on parade in this book were born somewhere in the depths of our own psyches. On our road to greater self-awareness and self-realization we should inevitably gain a clearer understanding of the tricksters and their kin. The shamanic tradition [that stretches back tens of thousands of years] teaches that there are ways of “knowing” which do not rely on either the senses or the rational mind. If we need answers, it is our job now to discover or re-discover these ways.
     

  2. Similar Threads
    Forum Title Date
    General Freewheeling Chit-Chat Thoughts on conscience, entities, ufos plus AYAHUASCA Aug 30, 2014
    General Freewheeling Chit-Chat John Titor: American time traveler. And other thoughts. Jul 25, 2013
    General Freewheeling Chit-Chat Thoughts on lightworkers Mar 29, 2013
    General Freewheeling Chit-Chat Thoughts Jul 23, 2012
    General Freewheeling Chit-Chat thoughts on religion Apr 24, 2012

  3. Xzorter

    Xzorter Paranormal Maven

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    1
    Occupation:
    Paintining contractor
    Location:
    Lancaster Ca.
    As a novice on these thoughts, the culmination thus far on what I have read seams to me to be almost some sort of "literal creation through one's thought process".That famous quote" what the mind of man can conceive and believe ,he can achieve ..." by Hill. Then the idea that our private inner torment or terror is destined to come back on us.The strength and awesome creative power of thoughts manifested in spoken "words" that "create a reality" has been scratched on the surface.
     
  4. CapnG

    CapnG Devil's Advocate

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Messages:
    2,866
    Likes Received:
    14
    Still not buying it.

    But thank you for sharing.
     
  5. Christopher O'Brien

    Christopher O'Brien Trickster Apologist/chopped liver specialist Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,130
    Likes Received:
    2,103
    Occupation:
    videographer/author/synthesist shaker guide
    Location:
    Red Neck, AZ
    Home Page:
    That's OK, maybe if you ask my publisher nicely, they'll send you a copy for free. Uhh, maybe...
     
  6. Facius_Cardan

    Facius_Cardan Paranormal Adept

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    7
    Occupation:
    Quality supervisor/ Religious History and Culture
    Location:
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Home Page:
    I haven't read your books (yet), but the summary of your take on this phenomenon surely seems interesting. One of the main questions that erupts when approaching the unknown is knowing what instruments you can take with you to the "battle". Should we be strictly scientific and rely on rationality, observation, experience, repeatability and testability? Science has often been called and even defied to take on that job and, except for a few notable individuals, the establishment has simply disregarded such task. That says more about academia and the way investigation is organized nowadays than anything about science itself. For now, the methods of science in all its scope are the only ones we can rely on to obtain some recognizable results.
    As I've mentioned in previous posts, the UFO phenomena makes us think about the nature of the world we live in but also about the workings of human consciousness. Everything that came out of science until now has been the product of hard work relying on the abilities of our conscious mind. Is it possible that to obtain real results from paranormal investigation we need to take a step further and start using the instruments of our unconscious or even subconscious minds? Maybe so but, for now, that's such a murky area of knowledge that, I think, few credible evidence can be obtained that way. We should take one step at a time and avoid the temptation to present explanations before we really understand what the phenomenon is and what tools can be used to study it. Many have incurred in the terrible mistake of creating a theory and then filtering the available evidence to choose just what fits their pre-conceived ideas. No results can be achieved following that path.
     
  7. Angel of Ioren

    Angel of Ioren Friendly Skeptic

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Messages:
    3,821
    Likes Received:
    743
    Location:
    Montreal
    Chris, the Trickster idea is interesting, but it is ultimately impossible to prove as an actual phenomena, say like the wind or gravity. I place it up there with stuff like the Fatima and Garabandal miracles. Interesting stories.

    Thanks for posting that though.
     
  8. trainedobserver

    trainedobserver Paranormally Disenchanted

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Messages:
    5,264
    Likes Received:
    2,426
    Occupation:
    Licensed Interocitor Operator
    Location:
    Dallas
    Well, there is another one going on my reading list. Thanks for posting the bit from the forward to the book.

    I think you're right about needing to come up with another term for it though since "Trickster" is probably as loaded as "Alien" or "Demon." I automatically think about the Raven from Native American lore and Jungian mental machinery (so to speak.) I've never seen it as existing anywhere outside of individual human skulls though.
     
  9. ufology

    ufology USI Calgary

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    5,336
    Likes Received:
    3,314
    Location:
    Calgary Canada
    Home Page:
    Ufology & The Trickster

    Until recently I hadn't given the Trickster angle any thought at all. I don't see the Trickster phenomenon as representing any particular being, but more a symptom of something larger that manifests itself as a personification of elements within particular world views.

    In ufology who is the trickster? The UFOs themselves? The aliens? The MIB? All of them? One thing we can say for sure is that if there is a Trickster involved, the targets of the deception are both the believers and non-believers. Yet the tendency is to view only one or the other as the victim. How does the trickster manifest itself to these groups?

    The Trickster's most conspicuous modus operandi is the suppression of definitive evidence. From the evasive behavior of the UFOs themselves to the spooky workings of the MIB, to the the missing time phenomenon in alien abductions, the whole field is full of elusive Trickster like behavior. Consequently many of us have no doubt that UFOs ( alien craft ) have been present here on Earth, but none of us has any real proof. But what purpose would creating this circumstance have?

    In the context of a Trickster element, I think it is fair to say that the trickster has perpetuated the great divide in awareness between the believers and critics. The difference in world views between those of who know UFOs exist and those who think it's all nonsense is so wide that there is simply no way to convey it in mere words and pictures.

    It cannot be simple coincidence that some people have so many strange experiences that they think this stuff is all perfectly normal, while other people have none ... zero ... and go so far the other direction that they think people who have had such experiences are hoaxers or mental cases. With so many events happening over so many decades, if there wasn't some effort to suppress the evidence, one would expect there to be a lot more evidence out there. So ironically it is this glaring absence of evidence that becomes evidence itself.

    Perhaps our recent guest John Alexander was an unwitting victim, roaming the halls of the establishemnt looking for a door that says "Department of UFO Investigations", only to find nothing. In my view he just couldn't see the forest for the trees. In other words, the National Defense system is the Department of UFO investigations. They just don't put that sign up for everyone to see. They also happen to do a lot of other stuff as well. But perhaps most disturbingly, what if Alexander is right? What if this trickster element has infiltrated those systems to such a degree that even they have no idea what's messing with them? Now that's scary stuff.

    Please ... some comments on this. Is there a thread here we can unravel? What about that comment Chris had about somehow feeding the phenomenon back into itself to generate some kind of change? How do we do that? What about a united effort between witnesses like what USI is trying to do? The challenge of this puzzle seems to be, "How do we get around this isolating influence and unite our efforts to reach some common understanding?"
     
  10. Snidely Whiplash

    Snidely Whiplash Paranormal Adept

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Messages:
    298
    Likes Received:
    116
    Occupation:
    graphic designer
    Location:
    michigan
    Ufology & The Trickster

    I would love to you and Gene to do a shop talk episode where you to discuss the trickster. Chris I know you put a lot of work into this and I plan on asking my wife to buy be the book for christmas.
     
  11. Christopher O'Brien

    Christopher O'Brien Trickster Apologist/chopped liver specialist Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,130
    Likes Received:
    2,103
    Occupation:
    videographer/author/synthesist shaker guide
    Location:
    Red Neck, AZ
    Home Page:
    Ufology & The Trickster

    Thanks for asking, and I'd love to devote an entire show to presenting new theories and out-of-the-box thinking. However, there are some here that complain that every other word out of my mouth is "trickster" and that I "believe" that the trickster is the answer for everything (not true). Of course their complaint is not even close to being true (and actually its rather laughable) because I rarely mention the trickster on the show -- unless I'm being baited by Gene.

    BTW: I love the Eno avatar (Energy Fool's the Magician, indeed!) -- I'm a big fan of Before & After Science, Taking Tiger Mtn, HC the Warm Jets, Another Green World, etc...
     
  12. ufology

    ufology USI Calgary

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    5,336
    Likes Received:
    3,314
    Location:
    Calgary Canada
    Home Page:
    Ufology & The Trickster

    Chris ... I'd appreciate some comments on my post above. You were the first person who got me thinking about this Trickster element. It has an almost spooky aspect to it when you get contemplating it. But is suggesting that the elusive nature of UFO proof ( especially the more bizarre aspects like MIB ) appropriate? Could the curious lack of proof after all these years be a manifestation of the Trickster element in ufology? By all means use the word Trickster all you like ...
     
  13. Christopher O'Brien

    Christopher O'Brien Trickster Apologist/chopped liver specialist Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,130
    Likes Received:
    2,103
    Occupation:
    videographer/author/synthesist shaker guide
    Location:
    Red Neck, AZ
    Home Page:
    Ufology & The Trickster

    In essence, yes..

    None of them. The "trickster" appears to be a mechanism that is somehow involved in the manifestation of the above phenomena (and lots of others (?)) The phenomena are the finger puppets---the trickster is the hand.... Who controls the hand? A Jungarian approach would suggest we--as "the collective unconscious" -- manifests the trickster hand in all cultures.

    Stop trying to personify a "trickster." I intuit the subject as a triggering mechanism that naturally supplies change into any static structure.

    Wrong. Apples and lemons. We are responsible for our own process.

    Yeah, maybe... people don't like to be different. So, acknowledging a "paranormal" experience is potential social suicide. This motivation to ignore social taboos may be key to understanding "the trickster."

    Uh, OK...

    On some level, I think Vallee got it right: we are dealing with a form of cultural "feedback loop." If so, let's program a subroutine to feedback into the phenomenal process and play trickster on the trickster's ass. And, while we're at it: I say--let's monitor our "hot-spots" 24/7 and finally compile a body of irrefutable data that will shut the naysayers up once-and-for-all already.
     
  14. Golemfrost

    Golemfrost Armchair hero

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2011
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    22
    Occupation:
    Industrial Mechanic/Precision Engineer
    Location:
    Germany
    What ?
    Wind and Gravity are impossible to prove ?!?
    O.k,... ::)

    btw Chris, would it be possible to get a hand signed copy of the book ?
     
  15. Christopher O'Brien

    Christopher O'Brien Trickster Apologist/chopped liver specialist Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,130
    Likes Received:
    2,103
    Occupation:
    videographer/author/synthesist shaker guide
    Location:
    Red Neck, AZ
    Home Page:
    Sure 'nuf --uh, who should I sign it to -- Golemfrost? Or armchair hero?
    *smile*
     
  16. exo_doc

    exo_doc Foolish Earthling

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Messages:
    1,502
    Likes Received:
    864
    Occupation:
    Mystical Opossum
    Location:
    Western North Carolina
    I have read quite a bit about the Trickster in books on Synchronicity, and I find a corrolation between "Thoughforms" and the actions of Tricksters.
    Thoughtforms go back thousands of years in Eastern cultures. They are literally creations of the mind that take corporeal form.

    Here are some things that the Tricksters do to me on a consistant (seemingly anyway) basis:
    1. When I am in a hurry to get somewhere, INEVITABLY I get stuck behind drivers who go at least 20mph BELOW the speed limit., AND I hit every red light.
    2. If I go to Bojangles, I'll see that there isn't a single car in line when I pull up to a stoplight near it. BUT, while sitting there at least 4-6 cars pull up before I can get there. Happens EVERY time.
    3. If I am driving and come to a very sharp dangerous curve, INVARIABLY a car comes from the opposite direction half in my lane!
    4. And every August 12-13 beautiful weather becomes completely clouded in and yet again I miss the Perseid meteor shower. 5 years running now.

    Do I do it to myself for some reason?
     
  17. ufology

    ufology USI Calgary

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    5,336
    Likes Received:
    3,314
    Location:
    Calgary Canada
    Home Page:
    Ufology & The Trickster

    Christopher O,

    OK, so in the Wikipedia article we see the Trickster personified. For example, "In mythology, and in the study of folklore and religion, a trickster is a god, goddess, spirit, man, woman, or anthropomorphic animal". But you're saying it's fundamentally deeper than that by suggesting they are all manifestations of the same process. To me, this would seem reasonable, and it is what I was getting at in my opening paragraph.

    But then what exactly is behind it? And if we can't personify it, how do we "play trickster on the trickster's ass"? ( a rather colorful personification there ). If there is some sort of feedback loop through our conscious behavior, then it becomes a snipe hunt and the only way to win is not to play. Or perhaps maybe it's to play both sides of the fence ... for someone to attack it from the angle of empirical evidence, and someone else to say, "Who cares about convincing anyone else, we already know the answer."

    I've decided to go the latter route. If those who already know UFOs ( alien craft ) exist simply accept that it isn't relevant if anyone else believes them, then the Trickster will have to either concede defeat, in which case the whole house of cards may fall, or it will have to intervene ... in which case the group looking for the empirical evidence might get lucky. Either way it would seem that we come out ahead. Either the Trickster quits or is forced into playing, in which case we get us more witnesses, and maybe one of your cameras might catch him in the act. Comments?
     
  18. bbridges

    bbridges Paranormal Adept

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    87
    Ufology & The Trickster

    What would a subroutine to 'out-trick' the trickster be made of? A kind of "we see you" thing? A kind of acknowledging its operations, and by embracing it, alter its functional operations?
     
  19. ufology

    ufology USI Calgary

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    5,336
    Likes Received:
    3,314
    Location:
    Calgary Canada
    Home Page:
    Ufology & The Trickster

    bbridges,

    You've asked the 'trick question' ... I've been hoping our resident Trickster expert Chris O would comment more, but he seems to be busy with other stuff lately. If the Trickster element is a subroutine that reacts to conscious awareness, perhaps one way to trick it would be to create a hoax and see if the Trickster subroutine reacts to the belief of an unsuspecting witnesses. Of course this could also backfire badly, so I'm not about to try it out myself.

    Instead, if the trick that is being played on us involves the prevention of proof from being revealed, then one way to win is not to play. To do that we simply take a passive approach. Those of us who have seen UFOs ( alien craft ) or already believe that they're here don't need proof, and without the issue of proof to divide us we don't have to expend energy playing the Trickster's game. Using the subroutine analogy, this would equate to no useful data for the subroutine to process. So perhaps by forgetting about prying information out of the Government or convincing the non-believers, we might actually get farther by uniting the ufology community and avoiding external conflicts.

    www.ufopages.com
     
  20. boomerang

    boomerang Paranormal Adept

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    Messages:
    2,030
    Likes Received:
    1,469
    Occupation:
    electronics tech--unemployed long enough to claim
    Location:
    Still asking directions...
    Ufology & The Trickster

    Chris,

    I haven't read Hansen but have spent many hours attempting to penetrate the fascinating world of Jung. He does not "sound bite" well and much of what he says is not testable. But even a cursory grasp of his theories can give one a different view of what consciousness is and how it interacts with reality.

    The history of the ufo phenomenon veritably screams "trickster". It has always placed itself on the ragged margin of the real vs imaginary and refuses to budge to either side. When we take it seriously enough to attempt study, it slips into the shadows of imagination and psychic "noise". But when we collectively try to ignore it, something like the O' Hare case or Phoenix happens, and moves it back into that maddening niche of the consciously undeniable but unexplainable.

    I use to wonder why books on ufos were placed in the paranormal section of libraries and bookstores. But it now makes sense to me. I'm in the Vallee camp. If this turns out to be no more than aliens from across the galaxy here to take soil and DNA samples, I will almost (not quite) be disappointed. The history of ufos and other paranormal "stuff" seems that of posing a question to us by way of staging high drama: i.e. "What is real?"
     
  21. tyder001

    tyder001 Paranormal Adept

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Messages:
    2,294
    Likes Received:
    305
    Occupation:
    Social Worker.
    Location:
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    Ufology & The Trickster

    boomerang wrote: I'm in the Vallee camp. If this turns out to be no more than aliens from across the galaxy here to take soil and DNA samples, I will almost (not quite) be disappointed

    I absolutely agree. I have always felt that way. Can't say I "believe" anything ufo related. But, if there is something I'm in agreement with your sentiment.
     

Share This Page