Historically, science has been used to help prevent us from jumping to irrational conclusions, especially conclusions drawn about whether mysterious aircraft are controlled by extraterrestrial beings. Some would argue that the scientific method helps humans stay grounded in material reality and doesn’t lead to flights of fancy.
But in one of his lectures, ethnobotanist and mystic Terence McKenna shares a more controversial theory, asserting that “masculine” rationalism and science may have caused UFO sightings. He says UFOs could be hallucinations intentionally brought on by the “Divine Feminine” part of the universe, and this feminine entity wants to shake our foundations and challenge what we know. It wants to warn us, McKenna says, that being too “science-minded” is causing us to be cold, unfeeling rationalists who will continue to destroy our planet.
“What [UFOs] are doing is eroding faith in science, [a system] which has led us to the brink of global catastrophe,” McKenna says. “I really believe that we have moved so far from an awareness of the feminine portion of our psyche that now, the [Divine Feminine] must present itself in consciousness under the guise of an extraterrestrial or interdimensional invader.”
To clear up some of this counter-culture hippie-speak, the definition of “the Goddess” varies across religions and philosophies. But from McKenna’s point of view, the Goddess, sometimes referred to as the “Divine Feminine,” seems to function as an emotional, sensing and feeling archetype, whereas the masculine “God” is a rational materialist who considers personal and sensory experience to be unimportant. To upend the supposedly masculine scientific paradigm, McKenna suggests, the Goddess has taken on the role of a kind of court jester, poking fun at the masculine King Science, causing people to question what they think they know.
“The UFO is nothing more than an assertion of herself, by the Goddess into history, saying to science and paternalistically governed and driven organizations: ‘You have gone far enough. We are going to turn the world upside down. Your science is going to be shown for what it is, nothing more than a pleasant metaphor,’” McKenna says. “[Science] is not some metatheory at whose feet every point of view from astrology to acupressure to channeling need be laid, to have the hand of science announce thumbs up or thumbs down.”
McKenna says that when a society begins to evolve in a “lethal direction” as our world has, the “Overmind” (a term used in science fiction to refer to a hive mind or collective consciousness) will make the decision to corrode ideologies that are having a detrimental effect.
“Rationalism and scientific technology which began and came out of the scholasticism of the Middle Ages and the wish to glorify God turned into kind of a demonic pact leading to atomic weapons, male dominated organizations flying messages of lethal destruction and inevitable historical advance, and into this comes an anomaly which cannot be explained,” McKenna says. “I believe that is the purpose of the UFO, to inject uncertainty into the male dominated paternalistic rational solar myth under which we are suffering.”
McKenna, who claims to have seen UFOs up close and has met with entities from other dimensions, isn’t moved to take a strong position and say that aliens are real. He engages other possibilities, like perhaps we share Earth with alien beings, or extraterrestrial civilizations are visiting, or even that UFOs could be manned by Earth time travelers, our children from the future coming back to warn us to change our ways. But he sees these theories as unlikely.
He suggests, as a well-known proponent of psychedelics, that we use mushrooms to help distance ourselves from this materialistic, rational experience of the world. And in doing so, we will tap into the wisdom of the Goddess which will allow us to examine what UFOs really mean. He says that psychedelics could provide as much insight into UFOs and consciousness as a telescope provides rocket scientists, and that when scientists discount sightings reported under the influence of psychedelics, they’re crippling our understanding of the phenomenon and contributing to UFO hallucinations.
“The repression of those compounds and their use by science has created a neurotic energy dynamic in the mass psyche. And the mass psyche has begun to hallucinate because the destiny of human beings is to live in the imagination in the hands of the Goddess. And wherever that thrust is impeded, psychopathy will result,” McKenna says. “I believe that until we form a resolution to conduct an unfettered and mature exploration of human psychology, using all the tools available to us, that the skies of Earth will continue to be haunted by flying saucers.”