Monday, April 26, 2010

Strange Angels: Conclusion

This is a good point but we would have to know a lot more about Mr. Hingley, and his attitude towards his wife's religious convictions, her former church (was it his also?), and the couple's attitude to the place of the woman in the home before deciding that this was the main trigger or focus of the experience. Could her experience have been a metaphorical externalization of worries about the value and authenticity of organized religion? Bob Rickard and John Michell commented that "Jean Hingley was a deeply religious woman who saw continuity, not difference, between her faith, the psychic experiences she had experienced since childhood and her alien encounter."

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".

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.


Bruce Duensing said...

I think this is a wonderful series, and it had made some very good insights as well as discernment.I am adding this blog to my own site's links. Thanks.

Anadæ Effro said...

So, devin, have you ever heard the title cut from the 1989 Laurie Anderson Lp, Strange Angels yet? I love how you invoked RD Laing's perspective on this kind of præternatural experience. Too bad he wuzz always considered a maverick & is even now. Thank you, Devin, my little brother, for this wonderful series on Mrs. Jean Hingley's otherworldly visitors, as inexplicable as it might forever stay. It still demands our full attention. Namasté ~ (•8-D

Devin said...

Bruce -always happy to hear from a "new" person here!!
I am so glad you enjoyed the series -all the best to you!!

Anadae - that is how I came up with the name haha- I am a big Laurie Anderson fan - thanks again for the incredible linkage and everything else big bro-all the best to you!!

Above the Norm said...

Nicely done Dev; this was a terrific series on Angels.

Devin said...

Julie -I am so glad you enjoyed this short series!!
BTW congrats again on your anniversary and I hope you are feeling better!!
your friend always!!

Anadæ Effro said...

Bruce! It's really quite excellent to've made your acquaintance! I've just commented on a blogticle of yours that's already two years old & linked to it on my Facebook profile page. Thank you for having commented here & thank you, Devin, for having been the catalyst. Have an excellent Beltane weekend, all ~ (•8-D

Devin said...

Hey big bro- they don't call me the "catalytic converter" for nothing:-)
I am so glad you found Bruce's wonderful blog - i was over there about an hour the other nite - and found so much fascinating material -i will be back soon to Bruce's place - I was also going to ask him if it would be OK to print off some articles he did
all the best to you Anadae (Big Bro) Effro!!!!

Alex Robinson said...

"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"
My friend from West Africa says that although the male is outwardly more important in his culture, because they carry the family name, it is the female line back thro' the mother that carries what might be called the 'soul link' & the eldest daughter carries great significance - I thought that idea blended well with what the quote above from your article.

Thanks for this my friend :)
Very best to you xxx

Devin said...

Alex thanks so much for your "wise" comment:-)!!!!!!!!!!!
I couldnt agree more with your w African friend -
I hope you are doing great my friend and will check out your update this eve/morn
love yaxx!!!!!!

Autumnforest said...

You’re mentioned on my blog today

Middle Ditch said...

Excellent read Devin. Wonderful series. Thoroughly enjoyed the read.

benjibopper said...

I love the Anne Baring quotation. I'll have to look into her work more. Kind of a Jungian eco-feminist analysis there.

Lydia said...

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Justin Russell said...

A decent dose of deviant reality in this series Devin. Marvelous.

Middle Ditch said...

I loved what Alex wrote. How inspirational Devin.

Well written and interesting.

Devin said...

MD, benji, justin , lydia and autumnforest - please forfgive how late in posting your comments I am - been having some online connection problems - and I eventually stopped getting on computer because I would get too frustrated - thursday someone is coming to look at the computer -knock on wood!!
I very much apppreciate your kind words, intelligent thoughts and comments!!!!
I will try to read some of your new posts if the connection stays tonight/this am and then hopefully thursday it wont be a problem anymore!!
all the very best to all of you !!!!

benjibopper said...

Hey Devin, I hope you get the techy bugs worked out, good luck!

Devin said...

benji!! so good to see your comment and please accept my embarrassed apologies for publishing it so late!!!!
I may- just may finally be at 50 percent level -LOL - the coming days will tell -
I am going to try to finish an article here and if time permits say hi to you and other friends-and definitely tomorrow if not tonight!!
all the best in the world to you my friend!!