Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Nightmares in Camelot: Sometimes We Can See Them


Perception has been a major part of what I puzzle over on this blog. Specifically, how perception determines reality or at least how we describe reality.

Perception is a very dangerous topic in some quarters, since defining reality according to a very limited sphere of perception is very much part of the social control apparatus. The All-Seeing Eye can't stand to think that something might lie just outside its field of vision.

At the same time we do need some kind of consensus (meaning "to sense together") as to how we define reality, if for no other reason than we need to be able to communicate with one another. This is why talking about dreams can be such a thorny issue- what we experience in our dreams is subject to a whole host of neural and emotional triggers which well up from the unconscious mind and may not be shared by your audience.

Perception and how it can be changed is a very important part of the Alien Dreaming narrative. Rick Strassman had patients who swore they were seeing all kinds of horrible aliens- reptilian, android, etc- that he couldn't. They were inconsolable- he couldn't convince them that they weren't there.

 We start to tread a very fine line between visionary experience and psychosis here, but we also find ourselves in the realm of speculative physics, in which there may very well be entities living in different frequencies or dimensions, that we may have access to in certain extreme states of consciousness.

Again- where do we draw the line?

"I've come to tell you what I see
There are great darknesses,
 farther than time itself..."

As usual lately, this brings me back to The Outer Limits. The second season saw a different producer at the helm, and you need to watch those episodes between the lines. You need to watch the story and the issues raised and project Joseph Stefano's vision on it all- his keen eye for noirish cinematography and musique concrete sound design. 

But the script here takes us back to an episode from the second series called "Beholder," in which a blind man has his vision restored only to be tormented by visions of an alien trapped in between dimensions. 

"Behold Eck!" (very strong shades of Eckankar, oddly enough) is essentially crippled by its production and directorial standards but the story that's buried under it all tells us a very important and strangely timeless message.

As with many episodes of this series, it tells us that while most of humanity sits back and waits for revelation to come to it, there have been those among us throughout the ages who took it upon themselves to seek revelation out on its own terms. And that more often than not required a profound change in perception. Which is why seekers (which means "to look for") would starve themselves or subject themselves to extreme conditions or even explore the botanical realms- to change how they see the world.

After all, if we can't be bothered to make that effort, why would entities from higher planes want anything to do with us at all?

Something to mull over. 'Tis the season, after all...