About the psychosis of crop-circle hoaxing
Written for the brochure for the 1994 Glastonbury Crop Circle Symposium
by Palden Jenkins
Many people believe that the crop-circle phenomenon is separate from themselves – 'out there'. More than this, there is something of a neurotic need to maintain such a position: acknowledging the wispy intimations which the circles raise within us activates not only bright-eyed excitement but also a deep fear of stepping out of line, of losing sanity, of being ostracised or found irrational – as if guilty of a crime.
And while we imbibe cereological energy as if it were the elixir of life – which some of it might be – we also fear that it might penetrate our own personal lives, taking us beyond our control, affecting our relationships, security, respectability, career or income. Sure it will, and if you fear that, you'd better leave now before it's too late! For the Big One is yet to come. Yet, the very interest in cereology, and, more specifically, in the circle-makers, is an osmotic admission of this energy into ourselves – whether this is conscious or not. It starts off a growth process. The rot has set in! Aaargh!
We have an invisible cereological mentor, whose motivations are unclear to the thinking mind, yet who is capable of awakening a deeper knowing within us, of the kind that scares the 'rational' part of ourselves. There might actually be several mentors – and, to make things worse, some might be acting to befuddle and obstruct what the more genuine mentors are communicating and demonstrating. In other words, they are setting out to confuse and divert us, in league with the people who want to throw the hoax shroud over the matter. And we are tempted to obey, programmed with fear, doubt, distrust of our judgement and insight. We have been trained to stay within the safe community of 'conventional wisdom'. Were that it were wise! Yet the invisible mentors pull us beyond this, in surprise rushes which drown doubt in a rush of mind- broadening and heart-opening energy.
We are presented with a choice. After three bumper cereological harvests (1989-91), our compulsive curiosity has been aroused, yet more conceptions have been taken away than have been given. We're left somewhat empty. And now we are being tested. On our commitment to what we perceive or what we might believe. After all, why should circle-makers give us priceless gems if they are to be wasted on people easily led off-track by hoaxers, critics, 'brain-police', telecom bills, spouses or past-rooted fear? The circle- makers are not fools – most of them. They're not just doodling in the corn. We know we're being given a great gift. Or do we?
Society too is being presented with a choice: to take it all seriously – to be brave enough to entertain a widening range of working hypotheses to research the phenomenon – or to obey central command, the Supreme Soviet of acceptable public thinking – to pass off these formations as insignificant, unreal, inexplicable. If the former path is taken, we will at least be addressing reality more open-mindedly than we currently do. Which, when applied to the wider world situation, could become a saving grace. If the latter path is taken, ideology will continue to override reality, to our peril. It is in this choice that the circles truly are harbingers of world change. The big choice for us is whether to go willingly or fighting into a new and very real world, expanding ourselves out of a world of excuses, artifices and lies – the Doug'n'Dave tabloid world, the world of doubting scientism.
Our habitual frame of mind is being confronted. A mind separated from feelings, a rationality separate from sense, a science separated from data. A mind which endlessly discusses phenomena out there, without identifying what's going on in here, in parallel to happenings out there. Intellectually, it is accepted that there is an interactive connection between people's thoughts and the circle phenomena – as long as it makes no difference in MY LIFE. Above all, rapturous joy or flooding tears are disallowed. I am detached, just observing. I'm measuring and studying the lay of the corn, the patterns. And if this is all an illusion, I can thus dip out of the back-door, anonymous, untainted.
The circles are showing us how our minds are managed, programmed to doubt our experience, to complexify, to scupper knowingness, to miss the hidden messages. The circles challenge us to see things as they are, without prejudice – yet we find difficulty with this. Seeing things as they are is the precondition we have been set, the entrance-examination which we are set before we can receive more. Meanwhile the circle-makers wait, dealing an occasional ace card to keep us awake.
How easily we are diverted! 'Divide and rule' is the way empires have survived – for a time. Hit all dissenters, so they realise that autonomous thinking isn't worth it. Get them to doubt others, to doubt themselves. Throw enough mud at reality-speakers, and some will stick, devaluing what they say. Corner them, so they cannot lean on simple basics, finer considerations, commonsense or imagination. Like overwhelmed Bosnians, cereologists run for cover or get sniped. Academia and the media have, to their eventual cost, taken the wrong side – this they will regret one day. The circles have come to address them too.
Yet what are we doubting? It isn't crop-formations, and their authenticity: in perhaps 80% of cases, there's no doubt they're really real. The Big Question – what they are, and what they are here for – isn't answered, but the evidence is sufficient to demonstrate the seriousness of the question. It is ourselves and our integrity that we doubt – our respect for our perceptions, our hunches, our gnosis, even for our deep-memory of hazy, distant realities we might once have known. What does doubting do? It makes us lose energy, take sides, straddle a painful fence, anchor ourselves to fixed positions – either intellectual-rational or imaginal-poetic-intuitive positions. And the joke is that, by taking one or the other position, we rob ourselves of full perception. We deprive ourselves of answers. For the circles are challenging us to bring the rational and the intuitive together. The circle-makers are clearly pointing at all of ourselves, posing us questions which can never be answered one way only.
Society has a taboo against acknowledging intelligences higher than ourselves. God and the angels have become a medieval fantasy of the past, relegated to the coffers of false, blind belief. Thus, rationalists, obeying the taboo, frequently fail to investigate circle-makers' motivations and innate intelligence, treating the circles as a meaningless phenomenon, made by means which surely are rationally explicable. And since the explanation cannot be found in meteorological or other reductionist factors, we might as well forget it. And meanwhile, visionaries, rebelliously bucking the taboo, lack a means of common calibration of energy-evidence, and thus are easily marginalised out of the domain of serious debate – 'mystos' are, after all, just cranks. By both rationalists and mystics, the circle-makers are seen as different and distant from us – whether we see them as superior to us (like gods) or inferior (we humans being the pinnacle of evolution). We are intellectually dissociated, yet semi-consciously emotionally involved.
The circles talk to a lost and forgotten part of our psyches which gnows. Hence our obsessive preoccupation with them – this part pulls us obsessively, wanting to emerge from hiding. For educated men in particular, this is uncomfortable, due to difficulties arising from interfacing different levels of being – men don't menstruate. So we have to set up a battle, within and between people, a holy war of ideas, unconsciously seeking a showdown with reality – it's the male way of changing. And subliminally, the more charged and fixed one's position, the more likely the confrontation is close – confrontation with truth in ourselves. Meanwhile, many women stay quiet, daunted with the prospect of challenging the mind-set of mechanistic males, themselves scared of sorting their feelings into some kind of order or terminology.
A courageous person is capable of entertaining all plausible working hypotheses – or at least, they might be capable of happily allowing others to entertain them. Open-mindedness requires courage – we need to become more happy with the prospect of living contentedly with unanswered questions. A truly rational person follows up all lines of enquiry, or allows others to do so, without making a priori decisions as to what is real and what is not. If data confounds theory, then there isn't anything wrong with the data – there's a fault with the theory! It is painful and challenging to leave things open! It's like bleeding – except psychologically, bleeding can be healthy. Odin did it for aeons.
It is also difficult for us to acknowledge our fears, our intellectual vested interests and myopia, or to grasp that we have entered into a deep, personal involvement with change and forces beyond our control. It's a 1990s syndrome. The rapidly-changeable humours and states of mind arising amongst cereologists are symptoms of a deep psycho-spiritual growth process. We're being led into it, kicking and screaming, toward a larger reality that we fear, yet we yearn for it – whatever that reality truly is! This growth-process has recognisable spin-offs and pay-offs to it though: it brings a gigantic inner and outer reconciliation of many different parts of ourselves. Even, dare I say it, it can bring happiness!
A time of quiet, listening certainty is now called for. Stay on the case. There is no right or wrong – there are but outcomes. The next step in the evolution of the circles is our evolution.
© Copyright Palden Jenkins 2002.
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