ecstatic experience

August 20, 2008

Lately, on episode 64 of International Detective Dragons from Outer Space, Anim5 discussed the possibility of doing a show on UFOs and the multiple conversations surrounding the subject. At first, I was disappointed, thinking this guy who I sorta look up to as a thoughtful and humble person starts going on about how they used to think the UFO question was a legitimate one. It’s not that believing in such things is a mark against your humanity, but the idea that you one could go on believing something when the hard evidence is in the contrary, or when the burden of proof has not been met.

He just released episode 65, and it looks like UFOs are a topic. I will listen, and give it careful consideration, however, his show description on iTunes says he wants proof or silence on the question, essentially. I think I can live with that.

I’ve been tossing around the skeptic question in my own head for several years now, and I have sorta settled on an answer. Any of you who read me regularly know this. I want concrete evidence of the phenomena that escape description or possibility. It’s not that I refuse to think they are true outright, its just that evidence is important. There are several things I can’t prove, and I may go into that at some point. Hell, why not now?

Let’s talk about the fanatic mind, or the ecstatic experience again.

When you find yourself in a crowd at a professional or college (or even high school) sports game, barely holding personal interest, yet you still get caught up in the high-powered moments, that’s fanatic mind. Group mind. Mob mentality. Going with the flow. Getting caught up in the moment.

When you are sitting at home alone, drinking a class of wine, and you look out the window just in time to see that bird land on the windowsill, and there is something in the way it all looks, or the way the air is brushing your skin, or the way the wine hits your mouth that makes you lose a little time, that’s an ecstatic experience.

You are listening to that great piece of music that you’ve always loved, and it gets quiet around you suddenly, and your arm hair prickles and you feel that chill to which the only reaction is to open your mouth and let it all, all rush into you, that’s an ecstatic experience. You are moving beyond yourself.

Can I prove any of these things exist? Can I prove how much they affect us? Can I prove they are a consistent phenomena? No. Do they exist? Yes.

So where is the correlation between UFOs and the ecstatic experience?

When you search for the unknown, and you think you might have found it. When you read a book and find yourself lost in that world. When you catch something from the corner of your eye and it gives you the willies. Well, that’s an ecstatic experience too, and I’m hard-pressed to begrudge anyone of their moments.

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