Review of The Super Natural – A New Vision of the Unexplained by Whitley Strieber and Jeffery J. Kripal

Library ascending into the heavens

The Super Natural – A New Vision of the Unexplained

There are two things about the UFO controversy that make it uniquely interesting. The first is that it is probably the deepest mystery that mankind has ever encountered. The second is that it has been the object of so much denial despite the fact that it is certainly a real phenomenon. At the very least it is a social issue of the utmost importance, because it has all the potential of a truly powerful idea to enter unconscious mythology and there to generate beliefs so broad in their scope and deep in their impact that they emerge with religious implications for the surrounding culture. – Whitley Strieber from the foreword of Jacque Vallee’s Dimensions: A Casebook of Alien Contact

The Super Natural: A New Vision of the Unexplained is a book that will expand your current perspective on the visitor phenomenon if you let it. Much of ufology is still dedicated to the nuts and bolts, flying saucers are from space viewpoint. It is exactly where many of us start when we become interested in the topic of “UFOs”. The trouble with that viewpoint is that it leaves out much of the weirdness that many of us experience.

I’ve seen many “UFOs” up close, here in what appears to be a local hotspot, and I can’t easily put even one of those sightings into the simple extraterrestrial craft category. The closest thing to a mechanical, physical craft was the sighting I mentioned in my review of Ingo Swann’s Penetration. The bizarre synchronicity of getting a phone call about a ufo sighting in another state, currently on the television news, immediately after an already impossible experience puts it firmly into the weird basket for me.

The weirdness of the phenomenon is what this book is about. When you really start to look at what is happening to many of the witnesses it becomes clear that things no longer fit easily into tiny boxes. There are no easy answers here and that is precisely where some readers may get hung up. Do not go into this book looking for the big answer. What you are going to find is some interesting new ways to look at these experiences in our quest to start asking the right questions so we can find that answer. If finding an answer is even possible at this point.

Whitley and Jeff do a fantastic job of holding up the different aspects of the phenomenon and looking at them in new ways. It is terribly important that we do this. Something powerful is happening to people. Lots of people. Getting to the bottom of it would seem like a great idea. But that doesn’t seem to be what’s happening in the mainstream. It seems like we are stuck in a quagmire of government-sponsored disinformation campaigns, corporate brainwashing, and short attention spans. The Super Natural reminds me so much of the roundtable discussions I get into with other experiencers. When you have more than one mind working towards solving the ineffable equation of what the hell is happening to us.

Profound Experiences

I’m grateful for the contributions of Jeff Kripal in this book and also his contributions to The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick which is another important book on this topic. Jeff provides not only a unique viewpoint but also a reminder that these sorts of experiences have been happening for a very long time. Entire religions have been built around them. I think religious experience, an illumination, or a shamanic journey would be a more accurate choice to describe my own experiences. It changes you. The way you look at things. How you think.

There have been profound effects on everyone that I know that has encountered it. Sometimes constructive and other times destructive depending on the person. There were a few mental doors that got pried open that never quite closed correctly again. I think the discussion about the role of ego in these outcomes holds an important place in this book. In my opinion, the visitor experience is quite similar to the psilocybin experience in this way. You have to let go of your self and all the answers you think you have.

Think about it for a second.  This book review, the book I’m reviewing, even all the books and experiences that influenced it, are all byproducts of the phenomenon. It’s driving the bus as far as I can tell. You might be sitting around your house watching Finding Bigfoot or Ancient Aliens right now. Jeff and Jeremy on Paratopia used to talk about the idea that whatever the phenomenon is, it’s sort of like fishing, in that it’s trolling this hook along waiting for someone to take the bait. I think it’s a good metaphor for the experience although it doesn’t seem random to me. It seems more like each hook has somebodies name on it.

If you haven’t read Cosmic Trigger by Robert Anton Wilson I strongly recommend that you do so. It helped me move back a little and look at the larger picture. What I found was numerous instances of this unknown force inserting itself into the lives of various people and then expressing itself out into the world. Bizarre light balls, pet cancers, odd webs of synchronicity, psychic powers, information downloads, profound literary output, radical evolutionary changes, and infectious culture-altering ideas were some of the earmarks. Let’s take a look.

R. Crumb did a great job of putting some of the mystical experiences of Philip K Dick into comic book format. You can find the entire thing here and purchase a copy for yourself here.

Picture of Religious Experience of Philip K Dick for The Super Natural A New Vision of the Unexplained review

And here is his own words:

Here is a description of something that happened to Whitley, from his website:

One night, I saw a reddish glow coming from the living room. I ran to the balcony that overlooked it and observed a reddish-orange orb hanging just above the couch. Our Burmese cat Sadie was on the back of the couch and appeared to be moving toward it. By that time, I had a camera ready, but as I ran to the bedroom to grab it, there was a flash of light and when I got back, the orb was gone. Sadie was curled up in a ball on the couch. When I roused her, she seemed all right, so I went to bed. But the next morning, she came struggling down the hallway yowling. I could see growths in both of her eyes. When we took her to the vet, we found that she had suddenly gotten cancer. She died within a couple of weeks. Two years later the other cat, which had been asleep in our bed upstairs, also died of cancer.

Weirder still. I emailed Whitley about the plasma ball cat cancer connection involving Philip K Dick a few years ago. Whitley responded and said that they had both even shared a publishing house at one point if I remember correctly. Shortly after, my dear cat Sabrina, who always slept on my back at night, began to show aggressive fast-growing tumors. What I didn’t know at the time was that I was going to fight cancer also. We lost Anne Strieber to cancer. I have been close to those orbs more than once but can’t be certain that caused it. I don’t know what it all means but this website is a byproduct of a staggering series of weird events and synchronicities.

John Keel also saw the pink light at one point and received information downloads. At an early age no less, which is interesting, to say the least. He left us a staggering amount of information documenting the truly bizarre nature of the phenomenon.

When he was 18, he had a strange (but classic) illumination experience in his furnished room off Times Square. He remembered the room “filled with an indescribable light, a pinkish glow”; and his mind “flooded with a torrent of information.”

Is Scientology a byproduct of one of these energies? Because one of them struck L. Ron Hubbard in Jack Parson’s kitchen during the Babalon Working.

Not until 14 January was the frustrated magician able to report an encouragingly mysterious occurrence. ‘The light system of the house failed at about 9 pm. Another magician [Hubbard] who had been staying at the house and studying with me, was carrying a candle across the kitchen when he was struck strongly on the right shoulder, and the candle knocked out of his hand. He called me, and we observed a brownish yellow light about seven feet high in the kitchen. I brandished a magical sword and it disappeared. His right arm was paralyzed for the rest of the night.’

Here is Robert Anton Wilson’s unique perspective on all of this:

Plasma Balls

We need to figure out who’s driving this bus because it’s going places. One of my favorite parts of this book is the look at the plasma balls. I was completely unaware of the Condign Report which can be accessed here. The whole thing reminds me of the sky beings in Philip K Dick’s Radio Free Albemuth and the sky critter photos of Trevor James Constable. I have seen many of them. A few of them were very large. It’s not quite clear what they are doing, but as I’ve discovered here, it’s damn strange.

A friend and I were sitting at a gas station one night. Driving around looking for weirdness which was something we did regularly. A massive orange orb flew directly over the gas station and we took off after it. For some reason, it stuck close to the road the entire trip. It almost seemed like we were supposed to follow it. We eventually wound up out in a hotspot for these types of sightings. Smaller white orbs began coming out of it and swarming down into the trees. They were too numerous and fast moving to count. Eventually, all the white lights went back into the larger orange orb which then flew off very quickly. We were dumbfounded. One of the white lights had even flown over us while we were standing outside the car. I found a similar sighting recently while watching The Bridgewater Triangle on Amazon Prime.

Now for the really weird part. A few miles north of this sighting is what the local kids call “Ghost Road” where they all park to watch the strange lights in the woods. A few more miles north of that is where I had the sighting mentioned at the beginning of this article. What we didn’t know at the time was we were less than a mile from a church where people go to see lights come out of the ground. And you know what’s pictured on the sign of that non-denominational church? An orange orb. I have yet to find the courage for that sermon. And that is just a small portion of a much larger story.

The Super Natural – A New Vision of the Unexplained is a fantastic book that hopefully will inspire more of these types of conversations. Whitley and Anne Strieber have always opened the door for us to come and share their experiences with them. Collectively we have a much better chance of finding answers and this book is a step in the right direction. The poor health mentioned earlier delayed my reading of this book and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I listened on Audible because audiobooks are awesome when it comes to multitasking. It can get a little too academic at moments and I did get a little lost when it came to which author was speaking. Multiple narrators with distinct voices would have been a better choice. But on the whole, this is an outstanding book that provides a lot of food for thought on the strangeness many of us experience. I plan to go back and read all Whitley’s older books again, hopefully in audiobook format, when I get a little more caught up with things. If you want to support this website the book is available directly from Amazon here.

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