Jacques Vallee is a venture capitalist, computer scientist, author, ufologist and former astronomer.
In mainstream science, Vallée is notable for co-developing the first computerized mapping of Mars for NASA and for his work at SRI International on the network information center for the ARPANET, a precursor to the modern Internet. Vallée is also an important figure in the study of unidentified flying objects (UFOs), first noted for a defense of the scientific legitimacy of the extraterrestrial hypothesis and later for promoting the interdimensional hypothesis. [Lifted without shame directly from Wiki.]
I got interested in the writings of Vallee when I was reading Daimonic Reality. I think of UFOs, crop circles and the concept of consciousness as all varying aspects of the same conundrum. What are they? Where do they come from? I don’t for a minute believe that UFOs are interplanetary space vehicles piloted by extraterrestrial creatures, but I haven’t got a clue as to what a rational explanation might be for the phenomenon, nor for crop circles, nor for consciousness.
I found Harpur’s suggested explanations in Daimonic Reality intriguing, and as I posted in my blog entry about that book, one of the more compelling and fascinating concepts for me comes from Jaynes’ The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind wherein he posits the notion of a split brain giving the illusion of voices and personalities that are separate and apart from the individual experiencing them. He suggests it is the result of a brain not yet completely incorporated, still evolving.
Vallée proposes that there is a genuine UFO phenomenon, partly associated with a form of non-human consciousness that manipulates space and time. The phenomenon has been active throughout human history, and seems to masquerade in various forms to different cultures. In his opinion, the intelligence behind the phenomenon attempts social manipulation by using deception on the humans with whom they interact.
the things we call Unidentified Flying Objects are neither objects nor flying. They can dematerialize, and they violate the laws of motion. He says that the phenomenon has so far posed no apparent threat to national defence, and seems to be indifferent to the welfare of individual witnesses. But its impact in shaping man’s long-term creativity and unconscious impulses is probably enormous.
This book was written in 1975, at the height of the UFO phenomenon. I use the word phenomenon for want of a better term. Since then, the media emphasis on it, with the exception of crop circles which have been suggested to be the work of our space brethren, has diminished if not almost totally disappeared. It was during the Cold War, and I think is a pretty good representation of the national hysteria of the time. (That other Alternate Reality known as the Kardashians/Jenner has taken its place.)
He then goes on to claim that
We are faced with a technology that transcends the physical and is capable of manipulating our reality, generating a variety of altered states of consciousness and of emotional perceptions. the purpose of that technology may be to change our concepts of the universe.
Because I lean more towards Harpur’s ideas of Jung’s Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious, I find this notion of a higher Something-Or-Other manipulating our psyches just too woo-woo. He lost me at ‘technology’. I lean towards the ‘there is no there there’ philosophy; I don’t believe there is some ‘technology’ transcending anything, and unless we care to take another look at Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s notions of a noosphere and the emergence of human cognition which fundamentally transforms the biosphere in his The Phenomenon of Man. Perhaps we might think of this as a technology.
Vallee proposes that there is a control system for human consciousness, of some sort. However, he goes on to explain that when he speaks of a control system for the planet, he does not mean a high order of beings constraining man with psychic entities we might call angels or demons. He says he means that mythology rules at a level of our social reality. He posits that
perhaps the UFO phenomenon is a result of the shifting of our mythological structure, the human learning curve bending toward a new cosmic behavior. When this irreversible learning is achieved, the UFO phenomenon may go away entirely. Or it may assume some suitable representations on a human scale. The solution is within ourselves. [italics his]
“Mythology rules at a level of our social reality.” I don’t think I even know what that means.
I plan to take a glance at some of his other writings. He is quite readable, if not quite fully believable, but an open mind is a beautiful thing, is it not?