UFO Conjectures

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The "Trickster" as a anthropomorphized metaphor is for lunatics

Bryan Daum makes a slight, quick reference to The Trickster in a comment for the Jackie Gleason post here:

Are they time travelers, observers, tricksters, specters, or what?

This about the purported beings who show up in UFO encounter reports.

The Trickster is a categorized attempt by humans to explain the vicissitudes -- the ups and downs -- of everyday (human) life.

Life is a common struggle, with bad moments and good moments.

To attribute a mythical or mystical being to a human construct, without tangible reality make me intellectually remorseful, furious even.

Bryan's comment was judicious and sensible so I'm not citing him for errant thought. It was only an aside.

But the constant use of The Trickster archetype by UFO buffs is egregiously ignorant and causes those who take psychological and philosophical disciplines seriously to move away from the UFO topic.

Althought there is a raft of commentary about The Trickster in anthropological circles and among Jungian acolytes (Joseph Campbell, for one), the concept is seen as a fictive being, not a real thing.

Just as Christians and other religious aficionados think Satan or angels are real beings, ufologists like to use The Trickster as a real being, causing some UFO sightings or events.

It's an ignorant stance.

Even as God is an iffy reality, The Trickster is so much more so.

I would hope that readers here would refrain from stretching credulity to a breaking point by using The Trickster metaphor as an explanation for some UFO events.

Was this encounter a Trickster event or fictional account by a woman with an irate husband who was trying to abate any knowledge of a dalliance? [See previous posting here about that .]
This is not The Trickster or his minions. It's an attempt to ward off repercussions of an affair.

The Trickster does not exist, has never existed, and should be relegated to the fiction category. Please.



  • It always easier to blame some mythological creature for the foibles of human psychology.
    Same for Satan..Its incredible that this kind of flotsam is still around..Another favorite..a paranormal "vortex", whatever that is. Demon is another free floating non starter. The list is endless....

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Tuesday, October 14, 2014  

  • http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/oct/09/satanic-panic-british-agents-stoked-fears-troubles

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Wednesday, October 15, 2014  

  • RR,

    Thanks for the nod of "judicious and sensible."

    My reference to trickster came from my recall of the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS) reports of investigations being foiled by a "trickster" element evading observation by shifting its activities from day to day as they reportedly set up monitoring equipment. -I believe their reference was that it was toying with them.

    Later Kolm Keller and George Knapp wrote an unreferenced book on the subject. I corresponded with Kolm Keller a few times before the days of blogs and before the NIDS group disbanded. He actually seemed straight forward on the possibility of an "inside job" by one of the investigators.


    By Blogger Bryan Daum, at Wednesday, October 15, 2014  

  • I grant you, Bryan, that impish things happen to us humans that make no sense and seem attributable to something "tangible."

    But the codification of a Trickster is just looney talk.

    Glad you understood I wasn't picking on you or your comment.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, October 15, 2014  

  • ``[The trickster] is a forerunner of the saviour . . . . He is both subhuman and superhuman, a bestial and divine being, whose chief and most alarming characteristic is his unconsciousness.

    On the Psychology of the Trickster-Figure,” CW 9i, par. 472

    The so-called civilized man has forgotten the trickster. He remembers him only figuratively and metaphorically, when, irritated by his own ineptitude, he speaks of fate playing tricks on him or of things being bewitched. He never suspects that his own hidden and apparently harmless shadow has qualities whose dangerousness exceeds his wildest dreams.

    On the Psychology of the Trickster-Figure,” CW 9i, par. 478``

    By Blogger Parakletos, at Friday, October 17, 2014  

  • ``Jung's theories are about more than just characters. He argued that story patterns are also encoded in the human brain, and that is why similar patterns are found in mythologies around the world. For example, the myth of the Egyptian god Osiris involves his death, mourning, and seasonal rebirth every year. Similar patterns have been seen in the Babylonian god Tammuz, Greek Adonis, Heracles, Persephone, Jesus, Attis, and others.[1]. An etiological explanation for these similarities would point to the phenomenon of the annual cycle of the seasons. Nature has a cycle of death and rebirth, and these myths explain this natural phenomenon. For Jungians, these stories express the death-rebirth archetype, encoded in human minds before birth. Different Jungian scholars might apply different understandings of these archetypes, for example they may claim that this archetype is a “symbolic expression of a process taking place not in the world but in the mind. That process is the return of the ego to the unconscious—a kind of temporary death of the ego—and its re-emergence, or rebirth, from the unconscious”``


    I suppose the Trickster is no more and no less real than the Savior archetype. And so long as we recognize that this character is really code for 'symbolic expression taking place in the mind', and involves the ego -- I see no harm in its use. It may perturb you, RR -- but humans love their symbols. And all we have insofar as a 'causal link' in these matters properly belongs to cognitive science IMHO.

    By Blogger Parakletos, at Friday, October 17, 2014  

  • As Jung points out, based on an abundance of objective study, archetypes of the collective unconscious are extraordinarily powerful and flexable, capable of morphing into any form which best accommodates the mind of the observer. On occasion the form can become materially manifested, much like the Tibetan tulpa, or "Phillip", in the now famous "Phillip Experiment". Although Phillip was not seen, his "presence" was energetically, psychoanalytically observed by a number of witnesses.

    By Blogger Rip Parker, at Sunday, October 19, 2014  

  • Aaaah, humans forever in debate over what's true or false. Really no one knows crap, it is within their own struggles to make sense of life they would rather make others wrong..

    By Blogger guardian, at Wednesday, October 29, 2014  

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