Can we find radical, empirical confirmation of Mystery? Perhaps not, but we can still seek integration, contemporize our metaphors and liberate knowledge from the branding of religions and corporations.

Sometimes we are forced by circumstances to simply stand in the Mystery, in awe and wonder. Events beyond our control can lead to sudden, profound changes in our being. Sometimes we struggle to articulate our response. Emotions underlie our unique autobiographical experience.

We are compelled to share our stories through a meaningful narrative to validate ourselves and express the reality of the psyche. Healing meaning embodied in our personal tales speaks from the soul of the resilience of human spirit. Restoring order to life necessitates reworking understandings of the self and the world, redefining the disruptions and life itself.

To heal originally meant to make whole. Entering our interior story takes the same courage as starting a novel. Perhaps we do not create our stories; rather our stories create us! Creative narratives flow from our challenging experiences as both healing fictions and historicities. Broadly, poetics means an expression of the movement of the human spirit. It details chaotic change, which profoundly moves our psyches as well as our bodies.  Psyche connects us with the larger process and purpose of life and forces us to pay attention.

People choose how to plot their autobiographical narratives, which unify the chronological and nonchronological. This interweaving of non-linear narrative time is not reducible to linear time, and the beginning and end are often confounded with significance and explanations. We weave convoluted tales of stories within stories, shaping memory and events.

Narratives are a way to articulate and resolve core issues, or universal problems and paradoxically a way to either avoid or heal biographical discontinuities. In storytelling, we organize, display and work through our experiences.  Narratives can be a potent force mediating disruptions.  Experience is reframed and reshaped in the narrative process.

Symptoms belong to the embodied soul. The metaphorical reality of the psyche is more than mere fiction but less than literal. Metaphors are more than symbolic ways of speaking.  Metaphors facilitate thought by providing an experiential framework in which newly acquired, abstract concepts may be assimilated.  They are ways of perceiving, feeling and existing.

Through this imaginal reality we find soul, meaning and significance in our suffering. In story we develop creative ways of interpreting disruption and draw together disparate aspects of the disruption into a cohesive whole.  

There are many allusions surrounding the metaphor that “life is a journey.” It implies that purposes are destinations, means are routes, difficulties are obstacles, achievements or catastrophes can be landmarks, and choices are crossroads. Our “healing” stories all have a common plot: a disruption to life is followed by efforts to restore life to “normal.” There are many journeys, yet just one road.

Disrupted Lives

Our stories spontaneously become bigger than our puny selves when destiny pulls the strings in this process. Our perspective can enlarge instantly, even violently, as the personal is engulfed by the universal. Our struggles to deal with that embody those of collective mankind. Chaotic twists and turns mold our lives. The “journey” is a core guiding metaphor for our multifarious experiences. It is a poetic journey of self-discovery.

The spiritual path is a deeply experiential journey to wrest one’s consciousness from the purely collective, to own one’s particular bit of history. The rupture that leads to the adventure can come from within or without oneself. It means surrender to the Great Unknown, which overwhelms the ego and rational comprehension. It repeats the classic theme of archetypal death of the old rigid self or ego and rebirth as a transformed individual with a more inclusive consciousness.

This is a story of integration, of making a work of art of one’s fate, of not only finding but also creating the Self, the holy sense of Wholeness. The Kabbalistic worldview is the backbone of this book on the Phoenix Lights. It is a dynamic system, a Whole that differentiates itself into parts, which then integrate back into nested resonant wholes.

Synchronous Sightings

In this report, the perception of UFO sighting events is indisputable. It was a communal experience, covering several states, with multiple sources of video coverage. Only its interpretation is in question. It wasn’t a waking dream, magnetic disturbance or temporal lobe seizure. Video cameras don’t have hallucinations. You can see for yourself:

Whether military flares, earthlight plasmas, classified technology or ultraterrestrial visitors, the glowing unidentified objects stir the imagination. If aliens haven’t invaded our air space, they surely have invaded our cultural consciousness.

Yet, Steven Blonder’s response remains unique among all those who saw this event. Some will meet such an experience with skepticism, or fear, denial and suppression. Others will answer the call to adventure by plunging more deeply into themselves to find universal answers within. A sighting and its repercussions can cascade into even more soul-searching.

At first it may seem strange to link UFOs – in this case anomalous vortices of light at some distance – with the ancient metaphysical initiatory current of Kabbalah and other Hermetic arts, such as astrology or alchemy. But the spheres of the main Kabbalistic glyph, the Tree of Life, are described precisely as vortices of light.

Kabbalah deals specifically with the esoteric nature of Light as it becomes “frozen” in matter. Further, there is precedent for linking UFOs and Kabbalistic tradition. The Bible recounts the visions of Ezekiel and Enoch, who describe flying vehicles of light. The Vedas also describe such phenomena.

Light itself is the universal symbol of Spirit. When it appears as a visitation from the heavens, it trails Mystery in its wake. When we learn to use Light as a massless vehicle for our consciousness, we embody that Mystery, closing the gap between sacred and profane. In the wave mechanics of metaphysics, every intention, decision and action resonates, reflects and echoes throughout the whole of creation.

Kabbalah Worldview

Kabbalah is a spiritual technology for becoming more fully human, for decoding the mysteries of the hidden environment that bring depth and meaning to our existence. It answers the Grail Quest question: “What do these things mean?” It is a psychosensory gnosis that imparts participatory wisdom. Its secrets cannot be told because they are a unique experiential fusion of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual dimensions. Kabbalah informs us about nature and our nature. Inner space has as many or more dimensions than outer space. The Kabbalah teaches us the art of living well instead of living better. The secret is in the power and the power is in the secret. It helps us rip through the veils of personal and cultural illusion to glimpse the eternal essence of Being. The Tree of Life is a spiritual circuit diagram or mindmap to connecting with primordial Source. It shares much in common with the symbolism of the eastern chakra system.

Mythopoesis means literally, “myth-making,” the natural expression of the visionary wisdom inborn to the human species. It is a creative act of story telling or narration, by which human beings “track” their experience and orient themselves to the cosmos at large. The mystic Void becomes the womb of creation.

Nature rejects the naiveté of absolute truth. Realities are all human constructions. The task becomes one of “catching ourselves in the act” of creating our own “reality” from the flow of events. Human truth is always an engagement of mind with experience.

Metahistory is a guiding narrative for human potential, rather than an interpretation of events. The cross-cultural metastory of the human species is an overarching view of past, present and future. It opens a path toward participation in a story that leads beyond history, a mythos to guide the species.

Meaning & Mystery

The UFO as a metahistorical phenomenon is the mandala, the major mystery symbol of our times. In Kabbalah, we invite the vision. In UFO sightings, the vision imposes itself on us. When they appear, they instantly create a counter-environment, an altered state.

They impel us into a different reality whether we are ready for it or not. They stop us in our tracks, compelling and commanding our attention, bringing us to the omnipresent Zero Point of Being, beyond ordinary time. We move instantly beyond narcissistic self-absorption and beliefs into the mystic through direct experience.

Especially when they appear as communal experience, UFOs have inherent meaning. They are psychotronic, resonating with and awakening deeper layers of the psyche. In an incandescent moment, we stand enraptured in shock and awe before the truth that defies belief, in aesthetic and conceptual arrest. Some people require something extraordinary to rip them from the fabric of conventionality. Others suspected or intuited as much all along.

The UFO experience forces us to make a quantum leap. They challenge our concepts of our existential and physical nature. Truth is stranger than fiction and more than a metaphor. Ultimately, it is our sense organs, which help us interpret the world and our experience through our perceptions. They help us make a distinction between what is “real” and “unreal.” But when our senses are confounded, the seeds of transformation have been planted.

Whether you believe in them or not, the UFO is metaphysically significant. The emotional part of the brain, (the right, spatial hemisphere), cannot analytically distinguish a symbol from a symbolic representation. What we see in UFOs reflects what is within ourselves from the shadowy and sinister, to the violently irrational, to the most universal. It can be seen as alien or sacred, or a fusion of both.

We are modified unpredictably by this cosmic feedback. In imagination – nonordinary or virtual reality – real/unreal becomes a moot point. Fantasy, in fact, animates both our inner and outer worlds, and creates meaning. The ongoing imaginative process of the psyche is the Ground of Being. Does it matter in the end what the “explanation” is if the phenomenon excites, feeds and transforms the soul?

Change is Stability

The tension between continuity and change is not simply an ancient philosophical conundrum. It is also at the root of the most pressing questions of our time. Scientific theories in physics and cosmology; in biology and evolution; in psychology, neuroscience, and studies of consciousness and personal identity are all informed by questions of change and continuity.

Uncertainty is the zeitgeist of our day. We are anxious and unsure. We face global warming, economic and environmental deterioration, emerging infections and incurable viruses, pandemics, bioterrorism, wars, urban violence, soil and water depletion, rampant population growth, genetically engineered food and organisms, hazardous waste, and profound doubts about our earth’s ability to continue to sustain life.

Much of Earth’s life is already going extinct, and we wonder about our own and our grandchildren’s futures, health and well-being. Many of us feel the impact as loss of our cherished dreams of a better future, the utopian ideals of our youth.

Despite all our knowledge we have not been able to control or dominate our environment successfully. Knowledge is not wisdom, or even understanding.  Still, we have no choice but to be optimistic because it makes a difference to our souls. There is a deeper current in life and it is embodied in Mystery – the unpredictable, the unknown, and perhaps unknowable.

Continuity is an illusion. Disruption to life is the real constant in human experience. The only continuity that has staying power is that of the body, and even that is vulnerable. But this fact is too unsettling for us to live with consciously. It becomes the motivator of faith.                              

Iona Miller, 7/2007

                            IONA MILLER is a consultant, nonfiction writer for both academic and popular press, hypnotherapist (ACHE) and multimedia artist