The Nightshirt Sightings, Portents, Forebodings, Suspicions

Category “Uncategorized”

Zen, Signs, and the Arrival of Meaning

Monday, 2 January, 2017

Even though they were widely panned when they came out and have now been mostly forgotten, I have a soft spot for M. Night Shyamalan’s films from the early 2000s—Unbreakable, Signs, and The Village. Signs, especially, I thought was a satisfying, intimate-scale sci-fi film about alien invasion, but it lost many of its viewers by […]

Stories Latent in the Landscape: Spirits, Time Slips, and “Super-Psi”

Saturday, 25 June, 2016

An alternative explanation sometimes given when mediums provide veridical information about deceased persons is “super-psi”—the idea that the medium is actually obtaining the information clairvoyantly and/or telepathically (i.e., from the heads of their sitters). Super-psi has also been used to account for cases of apparent reincarnation: A child psychically acquires information about a dead person […]

The Wyrd of the Early Earth: Cellular Pre-sense in the Primordial Soup

Sunday, 22 May, 2016

Stand brave, life-liver, bleeding out your days in the river of time. Stand brave: Time moves both ways … —Joanna Newsom, “Time, as a Symptom” The philosopher Alfred Korzybski, who influenced Phil Dick, Frank Herbert, Robert Heinlein, and other science-fictional minds of the mid-20th Century, named “time binding” as a characteristic human activity. He was […]

Altered States of Reading (5): Kirk Allen of Barsoom

Sunday, 24 April, 2016

What could any Other know of the up-and-out? What Other could look at the biting acid beauty of the stars in open space? What could they tell of the great pain, which started quietly in the marrow, like an ache, and proceeded by the fatigue and nausea of each separate nerve cell, brain cell, touchpoint […]

Psi’s Big Guns: Sleep Paralysis and Astral Time Travel

Saturday, 16 April, 2016

A year ago I wrote at length about out-of-body experiences (OOBEs) in the context of alchemy and the hermetic tradition. I confessed that I was a fence-sitter on the question of what they are—lucid dreams that just feel more real than most (i.e., corresponding to real physical environments) or actually what they feel like, some […]

Altered States of Reading (4): Ginsberg & the End of the Bookstore

Saturday, 9 April, 2016

Ralph Waldo Emerson warned, in his essay “Self-Reliance,” about the failure of most people to notice and follow their inner light or spark: “A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he […]

Some Thoughts on the “Blackstar Working”

Tuesday, 12 January, 2016

When Bowie’s Blackstar album came out last Friday, and the title track was finally heard in context with the other six (mostly, equally stunning) songs, there was something truly weird about it all. This was no mere album, and no mere concept album. The last two hauntingly beautiful tracks, “Dollar Days” and “I Can’t Give […]

The Phil Dick Circuit and the Future of Precognitive Technology

Thursday, 3 December, 2015

Much of the skepticism surrounding quantum neuroscience is that its aim is generally to explain consciousness—a tall, confused, and some would say impossibly misguided order. Quantum explanations for consciousness invariably require large-scale coherence—that is, entanglement—across the whole brain or at least between large populations of neurons. Quantum wet blankets point out that this can only […]

Quantum Psychoanalysis: Interpreting Precognitive Dreams

Monday, 16 November, 2015

Near the end of Christopher Nolan’s 2014 film Interstellar, astronaut “Coop” is able to communicate with his younger self (as well as his daughter) decades in the past using a tesseract, a theoretical multidimensional portal created by our descendents thousands or millions of years in the future. Coop’s messages are oblique—he can’t address his younger […]

Destination Pong (Precognition and the Quantum Brain)

Monday, 26 October, 2015

For decades, parapsychologists have been looking to quantum physics as the cavalry that might rescue them from their scientific exile by providing a theoretical justification for psi phenomena. Particles in quantum systems can teleport, become entangled so they behave in unison (no matter how far apart they are), and exist in multiple states simultaneously; also […]