The Collective Unconscious and Engaging A Non-Human Intelligence
In a recent interview with UFO writer and researcher Greg Bishop on his show Radio Misterioso, he and I speculated about the Co-Creation Hypothesis and some possible answers to how a non-human intelligence (hereafter referred to as NHI) would possibly interact with human observers.
As Bishop and I engaged in this conversation, I had an idea that, to those who were unlucky enough to listen to the podcast, caused me to ramble on incoherently for some time. I’d like to expand on that idea here, and to provide a clear explanation of it. The purpose of this article is twofold; first, to provide a brief description of the Co-Creation Hypothesis, and second, to target a key argument against it, physical evidence.
I appreciate the speculative nature of this hypothesis. However, all of Ufology is basically speculative. It must be noted that the two current prevailing Ufological hypotheses, Extraterrestrial (ETH) and Psycho-Social (PSH), have definite problems.
The ETH begins to fall apart when variations occur within the UFO narrative as a whole. From the descriptions of flying objects to contact events, the pieces do not fit when the researcher takes a step back to examine the entire puzzle. Why would ET be flying in black triangles today, and gas filled airships in the 1890s? Why do reports of beings range from English speaking humans to mini-goblins to Greys? Why do experiencers report being stuck with needles, a relatively rudimentary technology, when the craft they are aboard can navigate the entire galaxy in moments with simple telepathy?
The PSH is not much better when it claims that all UFO phenomena is a modern myth, hinging upon delusion, socio-cultural anxiety, and a touch of whimsy. While this hypothesis “feels” right because it tends to have common sense on its side, it does struggle to cope with physical evidence, such as radar tracks, or UFO sightings with multiple witnesses. It chalks all UFO evidence up to coincidence, an ineffectual negative approach upon which hangs about the same amount of evidence as the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis.
This thought experiment will propose a third hypothesis, and explore a possible idea that alleviates objections to the hypothesis of Co-Creation. Those objections being that if the human observer generates a forged reality when interacting with the NHI, how then do mass sightings occur (such as the Phoenix Lights or the 2007 Alderney Sighting) as well as physical traces such as radar echos and tracks? To put it simply, a human observer would generate their own subjective reality; therefore, the UAP would look different to each of the human observers and never take on physical form since it all occurs within the observer's mind. Furthermore, how would radar be able to track such a mental image, and how would a camera be able to snap a photo?
A Quick Explanation of the Co-Creation Hypothesis
The Co-Creation Hypothesis attempts to forge a link between the nuts and bolts Extraterrestrial Hypothesis and the Psycho-Social Hypothesis. Co-Creation assumes that a contact event with the NHI is so totally alien that the human brain cannot comprehend the event in an objective way. What occurs instead is a sort of experiential analogue; the human brain generates a working, albeit false, reality to understand the NHI encounter event. Strange lights in the sky, flying saucers, orange orbs, Greys, Reptilians, abductions with needles, hybrid babies, and the other aspects of the UFO narrative are generated by the brain in an attempt to compartmentalize an experience with a completely alien and incomprehensible Other.
We must first assume that there exists a NHI. Whether it is from another planet, dimension, state of consciousness, vibration level, or some other mysterious dwelling place is not relevant at this point. We must simply assume it exists as a thing in the cosmos. We must assume that this NHI is able to interact with human beings in some way, but that interaction is incomprehensible to the human contactee/observer.
We must assume that this NHI does not necessarily possess a physical “meat” body like you and I possess one. In simple terms, its physicality does not have a reference point within the biological evolution of life on earth. Neither does it have a technological or artificial body that would fit a human frame of reference. This NHI may be “a force” as well, or simply exist within some realm or state that only speculation can fathom. In other words, it exists, but as what, we do not know.
Due to this total 'alienness', the human mind is unable to observe and/or remember the NHI in its objective sense. That is, when a human “lays eyes” on the NHI, or experiences the NHI, the brain is unable to process the reality of the event or being as it is. Instead, the mind generates a forgery. It replaces the objective NHI with a simulacrum, or a hyperreal conglomeration of psychological, social and cultural ideologies that “create” a false reality and memory of the being, event or thing. This would be similar to the NHI in the film Contact (1997).
Jodi Foster’s character, Dr. Ellie Arroway, after travelling through the wormhole, finds herself on a sandy beach from her childhood. The alien being that she meets is in the image of her father. This is a simulated reality, according to the aliens in the film, because humanity is unable to understand the objective reality in which the NHI truly dwells.
Now that I’ve reiterated the basic idea of the NHI in the Co-Creation Hypothesis, I’d like to address the issue of physicality. How does a personal generation of a subjective reality lead to a UFO or contact event that is witnessed by multiple people simultaneously? Furthermore, how do we also explain video footage, pictures, and radar tracks?
The Involuntary Shapeshifter and Jung’s Collective Unconscious
For these physical events to occur, we need to add one other “factor” to the NHI. The NHI responds to the human observer’s interpretation of itself by manifesting into that interpretation. The NHI, due to its alienness, may not exist as we exist within the physical confines of space and time. It may exist in Other states not yet understood by the human mind or by science. Ultimately, it may function like the processing of a quantum computer; the NHI is both a 0 and a 1 simultaneously. When it engages with a human observer or observers, it must defer to one stable state to exist within the observable realm. It becomes the simulated reality state generated by the observer’s mind via a co-creation process which happens instantaneously in zero time.
The NHI does not necessarily choose its state, but like a chameleon changing colours due to an autonomic response, it must become a physical representation of the forged reality to exist here and now with a human observer.
In regards to Dr. Arroway in Contact, the simulated father being did not choose its appearance, nor generate the sandy beach of its own accord. Rather, the NHI became that simulation because Dr. Arroway generated that reality herself. The NHI simply responded to her reality, and became what it had to in order to engage with her. It does not boil down to choice on behalf of either party. Rather, the human observer automatically creates the forgery, and the NHI responds automatically and instantaneously by becoming that reality; the forgery does not become authentic, the forgery is authentic.
While in the film, her camera failed to record the alien interaction, a camera held by a UFO witness would ultimately record what the witness saw. The NHI involuntarily shapeshifts, it becomes a physical thing, existing in space and time with the observer.
What this does not address is the issue of a mass sighting or radar echo for example. We must turn to Carl Jung for an answer here. The famous psychologist and student of Sigmund Freud, Jung posited that within the human mind exists a collective unconsciousness; a place where all instincts and archetypes dwell. According to Jung, this collective unconsciousness is shared by all humans, encoded into our species, and links us all together via a shared mental heritage.
“...there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals. This collective unconscious does not develop individually but is inherited. It consists of pre-existent forms, the archetypes, which can only become conscious secondarily and which give definite form to certain psychic contents.”
(C. G. Jung, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. London. 1996 p. 43)
If a real NHI was at play here, perhaps we could blend Jungian psychology with our mysterious shape shifter.
It would be reasonable to suggest that this forged reality created by the human observer receives its imagery, its archetypal ideas, from the collective unconscious. The NHI interacts with the collective unconscious of humanity itself, be it one observer or one thousand, it draws on the simulated reality of genetic human archetypes, instinctual feelings, symbols, and representations to become a thing, able to be physically tracked on radar or by a dozen cameras.
We must remember that Jung’s collective unconsciousness links all humans together in a sort of primordial web of knowledge. Jung would argue that this connection hails back to the very beginnings of our species. It functions like instinct. When submerged in water, we automatically hold our breath, even at birth. This automatic reaction is not learned via experience, it simply occurs without thought. The interpretation of reality via our shared collective unconsciousness is also automatic, an instinct, a part of our genetic code designed to keep us alive. What better way for a non-human intelligence to communicate than by interacting with the only universal communicative construct humanity has. The NHI mirrors the only thing that links us all together; our collective mind, our fears, our desires, our instincts, our universal archetypes and symbols.
Co-Creation establishes a middle of the road approach. It allows for the human observer to interpret the non-human intelligence, but allows for physical manifestations of unknowns that can be physically monitored. It clears up the variations in sightings, objects, and beings that populate the UFO narrative, as well as allows for such interpretations to occur. The UFO phenomenon is a complex one, and this hypothesis attempts to trim down some of the fat that seems to clog up the arteries of Ufological discourse.