If there is an Unknown Power that interacts with us, it often does so by means of light. Strange lights turn up in spiritual visions, in near-death experiences, in dreams, in encounters with unidentified sky entities (UAPs), in works of art (Rembrandt, Caravaggio), and in other unpredictable circumstances. See, for many fascinating examples, Annekatrin Puhle’s (2013) Light Changes: Experiences in the Presence of Transforming Light.
I don’t know but it’s not inconceivable that an outside UAP intelligence is playing light games with my head. My first encounter occurred many years ago when I first got my Ph.D., in the form of lights in the sky that danced to the tune of music I was listening to in my apartment with my girlfriend in Greenwich Village. The message then seemed to me—“Got a Ph.D.? Figure this out, wise guy!”
I’ve in fact been having some queer celestial light effects very recently. Sometimes, after dark, I get the urge to step outside and look up into the night sky. Once I did that about a month ago and immediately noticed what looked like a star that was moving, so I assumed it was some kind of satellite. I kept watching it when suddenly it was somewhere else many miles away and sailing in a new direction. I observed all this and began to doubt it was a satellite but something hanging out with us and decidedly from elsewhere. Satellites, as far as I know, don’t carry on that way in the sky, quantum leaping from space to space.
The lamp that turned itself on four times. This next item in my little narrative about paranormal lights is again one from the previous month, early November. I was in a state of excitement over certain ideas about how to free up some of the more esoteric powers of the mind, sitting at my downstairs desk on a gray morning. Suddenly, the table with my computer becomes like brilliant daylight, just for a split second. Wow! What was that? How does it suddenly light up like that? Strange. Then it happens again, but this time I realize it’s the lamp beside me. Lights going on in haunted houses may indicate the presence of spirits. So I’m pondering this when the phone rings, and it’s my friend and colleague, Ed Kelly, who is radically open to the mysteries of the mind, and a serious scholar that explores them.
Well, after our telephone talk, I get back to my computer, and almost immediately my overhead lamp flashes on twice, very quickly. And that was it. The light never behaved like that before or since. The lamp is new and sturdy, all the wires and connections intact; and I have to press hard to turn the lamp on. In any case, there was no visible or tangible cause for those flashes of light that seemed to resonate with what I was thinking at the moment.
Light figures in my psychic life by it connection with painting, a visual art that depends on light. Without light there would be no color. Painting has always been a part of my life; one reason may sound surprising. When I neglect to paint she does two things to bring me back; she, the anima of my art, makes me nervous, and I get despondent and irritable, but at first have no idea why I’m feeling out of sorts. The second thing she does is haunt my dreams.
When I was a graduate student of philosophy, I was immersed in the intoxicating world of words and concepts, powerful abstract ideas and thinkers. After a while I starting having dreams of painting, big luminous paintings floating in space, and my dreams became an art gallery. Then one morning I said to myself: “Hey! Those amazing paintings! I created them—my subconscious, at any rate.” It then occurred to me that my subconscious self was telling me that I should resume painting.
And so it went, I painted and have rarely let up, though recently for a long stretch had grumpily withdrawn my attention from the anima of my art, and quite recently had a dream that beckoned me back, but it was pretty strange, and I’m not quite sure exactly how to take the message. I dream I’m in the presence of a bunch of paintings, mostly flat, hard-edge patterns of color (not my style). But the paintings were not the important part of the dream; the more I looked at them, the forms and color would change and give off flashes of light—not unlike the flashes of light given off by my lamp.
One more example of a dream encounter with the Light. But this one goes back a ways. It was a long complicated dream that culminated in a conversation with an old friend, an artist, whom I had not seen for some years. Then, in the dream, I experienced a heart to heart flash with the very Being of Light that near-death visionaries, shamans and mystics claim to encounter. Not that long after, I decided to look up my old friend, the painter, Mark Whitcombe, but sadly discovered that he had passed into the Unknown.