Of course, all of this commentary assumes that Mrs. Hingley hallucinated. The strange 'alien fairies' she encountered had no physical or otherworldly reality, only a symbolic significance peculiar to her. If this is the case, the irony is cruel, because she appears to have completely missed the allegorical message as far as we know.
Before going any further, there is a morass of 'fortean politics' that is revealed to us. We can have a great deal of sympathy-even enthusiasm for the psychosocial interpretation of fortean paranormal phenomenon. This is because it sometimes is more fortean than forteans and as unabashedly sceptical and ill-informed as a man like Professor Richard Dawkins is on matters of religion. It is a given of fortean scholarship that one can, given enough intellectual gymnastics, have it both ways, or any way you like as long as you let the possibility of the reality or at least a small trace of true strangeness to remain roaming about the world. The psychosocial faction is always very articulate and truly insightful when giving its special combination of prosaic explanations and symbolic, social, or psychological interpretations of events as reported, or events-as-psychologically reconstructed.
On this path, however, the apparent focus of study, that is, the witness or experiment of the event, may disappear. This is because very few psycholsocial theorists ask the witnesses themselves, what they think of such 'alternative' analyses of their experiences. Of course, some witnesses may have passed on (Jean Hingley died in 1982). This can make verification as difficult for these analysts as it is for the die-hard belivers of government cover-ups of UFO crashes and retrievals who have a knack for relying on death-bed testimony.
Sometimes visionaries and channels of otherworldly realities are just crazy, and it is only a question of their abilities to use public relations and the character of their times and culture as to whether their strange ideas are made to have any practical effect. 20th century history gives us some negative examples of this with men who had a liking for grand parades and odd facial hair. Perhaps souls such as Jeanne d' Arc and Bernadette Soubirous of Lourdes could be considered visionaries on the more positive side.
The ground-breaking work of psychologist R.D. Laing, maintains that visionary psychosis is the outcome, not the cause, of a misunderstanding of the capability for perceiving other realities. The Jungian psychoanalyst Anne Baring seems to agree with this when she writes: "There are many kinds, levels and degrees of visionary experience. Such an experience. Such an experience is an encounter with the numinous and can be overwhelming and terrifying as well as exalting and inspiring. The line separating the visionary, the genius and the psychotic is very fine. All three have a psychic threshold which is permeable to deeper levels of experience, to non-ordinary states of consciousness. A culture may confirm or deny the validity of this kind of experience and it may be the fear and denial of it which may actually drive certain people into psychosis who in other cultures would be confirmed and supported in their calling as a healer and spiritual guide to the community...There is [in our society] no deep and sacred relationship with life, no sense that the life of the individual has meaning and value beyond achieving a position of power and influence in society...If William Blake had lived today, he would undoubtedly have been classified as insane and given drugs to bring his visions under control or get rid of them altogether. "What is missing and has been repressed for a long time in Western culture is the connective principle of soul. It is the feminine principle that carries our deepest longings, our deepest instincts. It is, in essence, the root of the visionary imagination. It is this special faculty of the imagination that seeks relationship with the invisible, that can connect us with the unseen face of spirit. Like the thread of Ariadne, it can guide us through the bewildering labyrinth of life. We know that if we are deprived of sleep for too long we become disoriented. Perhaps it is the same if we are deprived of the visionary imagination".
"What is missing and has been repressed for a long time in Western culture is the connective principle of soul. It is the feminine principle that carries our deepest longings, our deepest instincts. It is, in essence, the root of the visionary imagination. It is this special faculty of the imagination that seeks relationship with the invisible, that can connect us with the unseen face of spirit. Like the thread of Ariadne, it can guide us through the bewildering labyrinth of life. We know that if we are deprived of sleep for too long we become disoriented. Perhaps it is the same if we are deprived of the visionary imagination".Sorry it took me so long to get the conclusion to this series here! The idea and most of the information for this short series came from "The Fortean Times Random Dictionary of the Damned" compiled by the Hierophant's Apprentice, in issue number 234 from May 2008 of the Fortean Times magazine. Thanks again for all of your thoughtful, creative and intelligent comments! Peace and be well anyone stopping by or passing through.