TSF Friday Roundup - 11/17/2023 Edition
Encounters, American Cosmic, The Pragmatic Dimensions of Religion, & a Couple of Ranches in Utah
Hey there TSF subscribers! As discussed in my post earlier this week soliciting more $5/month subscribers, I’ve decided to resurrect and regularize the Friday Roundup as a subscribers-only feature.
The Friday Roundup is a weekly post where I share with you some of the content I’m consuming that I find most thought provoking - books, shows, movies, articles, videos, the whole nine. I draw inspiration from many sources, and if you like this Substack, odds are good you’d enjoy the same source material I do. So without further ado:
I am currently 93% of the way through this book and it is not at all what I expected it to be.
It has me wanting to read Teilhard de Chardin and Jacques Vallée. I just read the story of a UFO experiencer who also had a vision of Archbishop Fulton Sheen the night that Sheen died. It has me chewing on Plato’s allegory of the cave in a way I can’t stop thinking about.
In 2021, when I first came across Pasulka’s original book on the intersection of UFO phenomena and religious experience, American Cosmic, I tried to tell some of my friends about how interesting it was — especially considering that Pasulka, a religious studies professor who stumbled into the UFO topic while researching a book about the Catholic belief on Purgatory — but it never caught on with anyone I was talking to. I was going through a lot at the time, and put the book down for quite a while, before finally coming back and finishing it earlier this year. It was full of interesting stories and discoveries, and if the way it told the story didn’t quite fit with the typical UFO experiencer stories, it was at least on a parallel path.
Encounters is something entirely different. It explores ideas about some deeper, meta-phenomenon of high strangeness and human connection to an organic network, and a hypothesized cosmic repository of embodied, extra-temporal intelligence or knowledge that allows people who are dialed-in to experience highly unusual events and access information external to their own minds, merely through the connections of consciousness. It looks at experiences and ideas about angels and demons and St. Michael encountered as a UFO and AI and visions and secret space programs and Rosicrucianism and synesthesia…and so much more. It is a perspective-altering book, and even as I’m rushing to finish it to catch up with Rod Dreher and Kale Zelden, who are both ahead of me on this one, I’m wondering how I can ever synthesize or summarize all that it contains.
One of the things that Pasulka talks about in both books is the concept of “synchronicity,” which she explains as follows:
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