Spiritual Abduction: The surprising semblance betwixt spirits and aliens, near-death and extraterrestrial experiences
The relationship between near-death experiences (NDEs) and death/dying is evident. The connection between the psychedelic DMT and the alien encounter similarly so. The resonance between NDEs and aliens, however… less so.
What could be the possible interlacing between NDEs, ETs, UFOs and DMT? Some may be surprised to hear of a phenomenological space-sharing between the experience of dying and that of alien abduction and other UFOlogical motifs, the sometimes reported presence of the deceased during such ET encounter events, and the generally unemphasised (at least in certain discourses) but fundamentally spiritual nature of “alien” beings. This echoes such controversial topics as ancient astronaut theory, and the divinisation of ‘star beings’ – the ‘Aliens as Angels’ analogy – as well as the shamanic, entheogen-ocassioned communing with these entities.
But the most pivotal question in this context remains – Do what we refer to as ‘aliens’ have something to do with human death?
While this subject is firmly within the realms of high weirdness and is of ontological implications – the experience of having a loved one die and the subsequent grief is unavoidable. As such, it simultaneously becomes a subject of the most intimate nature one can explore. In this vein, a personal experience of recent grief will be shared – to complement the far out with the fundamentally deeply within.
Pascal Michael BSc, MSc is a Psychology PhD candidate at the University of Greenwich, comparing experiences from the first DMT field study to the near-death experience (NDE), with a view to establish the NDE as a psychedelic episode – indicated by their phenomenology and neural correlates, as well as their transformative and parapsychological effects. His interests lie in death and dying as an entangled continuum – existing at the levels of the molecular, humanistic, and transpersonal. He has presented at Breaking Convention and the Oxford University Psychedelic Society, and published in Frontiers. He is a coordinator for the ALEF Trust’s certificate in Psychedelics, ASCs and TP, and the 2020 recipient of the Schmeidler Outstanding Student Award.
This Psychedelic series is Curated by Maya Bracknell Watson and Dr David Luke
Maya Bracknell Watson is an interdisciplinary artist, poet, performer, retired cult leader and psychedelic and parapsychology researcher. Having just graduated from Chelsea College of Arts, her work over the last six years has been informed by her concurrent shamanic training, work with the Wixárika (Huichol) tribe from Mexico, and role as a research assistant under Dr David Luke of Greenwich university in the study of the psychedelic compound N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and other worlds. Walking between the worlds of the arts, science and the occult, she combines media and investigative techniques from each to inform and articulate one another in the exploration of ontology, consciousness and altered states, mytholopeia and mythology, ecology, the human condition and its relation to the environment, otherness and mortality. She describes her practise and research as contemporary Memento Mori (‘remember you will die’), and explores what that means in a time of mass ecocide and species extinction.
Follow her on the crooked path on Instagram @maya_themessiah
Dr David Luke is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Greenwich, UK, where he has been teaching an undergraduate course on the Psychology of Exceptional Human Experience since 2009, and he is also Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Psychedelic Research, Imperial College London, and Lecturer on the MSc Consciousness, Spirituality and Transpersonal Psychology for Alef Trust and Liverpool John Moores University. His research focuses on transpersonal experiences, anomalous phenomena and altered states of consciousness, especially via psychedelics, having published more than 100 academic papers in this area, including ten books, most recently Otherworlds: Psychedelics and Exceptional Human Experience (2nd ed., 2019). When he is not running clinical drug trials with LSD, conducting DMT field experiments or observing apparent weather control with Mexican shamans he directs the Ecology, Cosmos and Consciousness salon at the Institute of Ecotechnics, London, and is a cofounder and director of Breaking Convention: International Conference on Psychedelic Consciousness. He has given over 300 invited public lectures and conference presentations; won teaching, research and writing awards; organised numerous festivals, conferences, symposia, seminars, retreats, expeditions, pagan cabarets and pilgrimages; and has studied techniques of consciousness alteration from South America to India, from the perspective of scientists, shamans and Shivaites. He lives life on the edge, of Sussex.
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