Exo Studies Institute

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I mentioned this paper in another post on spirits, but I think it's connection to both spirits and UFOs merits a thread on its own:

OUR WILD KOSMOS!: An Exo Studies Exploration of the Ontological Status of Non-Human Intelligences

Sean Esbjörn-Hargens

Quote:Thus, in its broadest conception, Exo Studies is the metadisciplinary study of all anomalous phenomena that lie outside our current models of explanation and views of reality. The existence of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) (also known as unidentified aerial phenomena [UAPs]) and their extraterrestrial (ET) or extradimensional (ED) occupants is arguably one of, if not the most, heavily researched and well documented of all anomalous phenomena. Thus, UFOs serve as a focal point within Exo Studies to develop an integrative metascience that can be used to investigate and make sense of a wide range of other anomalous and paranormal (i.e., “exo”) realities. The study of UFOs has a particular relevance to the effort to usher in a new story because they so directly challenge the national security state, our sense of anthropocentric sovereignty, and demand that our scientific and spiritual beliefs evolve and become more integrated and sophisticated. Also, UFOs are associated with every form of anomalous phenomenon imaginable. Jeffery Kripal (2016a) calls this the “waste bucket problem.” As a result, UFOs provide a necessary albeit unwieldy meta-context. UFOs also have a wide range of qualitative and quantitative data associated with them. And they occupy and enjoy a unique position within public awareness and cultural discourse in spite of (and likely because of) the social taboo surrounding them. For these reasons, I believe the study of UFOs more than other fields of anomalous research stands the best chance of piercing the modernist stronghold and postmodernist paralysis, thus opening the floodgates for other types of anomalous realities that deserve a place at the table of ontological consideration

Quote:This undecidable doubleness of UFOs (and I would add NHIs), for Banias, makes them a perfect illustration of what Derrida has in mind: “An undecidable is that which cannot conform to a side of a dualism—something that can be both fact and fiction, or subjective and objective, or present and absent simultaneously” (p. 101). The power of the undecidable is that it challenges tired binaries and can carry us—if we can learn to tolerate their ambiguity—into new understandings of the world around us. Banias points out that one of the common undecidables that Derrida pointed to was the ghost because “…it is impossible ontologically to know the ghost; it is both real and not real, present and absent” (p. 102). Banias concludes the chapter pointing out how UFOs are ghosts haunting both their witnesses and the culture at large and the UFO community is a ghost haunting “the social world we take for granted”

Quote:Over the past 50 years, postmodernism and more recently fields such as Science and Technology
Studies have been quite successful in exposing the cracks and contradictions in the Enlightenment’s materialist foundation. And the last decade has seen a growing dissatisfaction in many disciplines with our Kantian heritage resulting in what is often dubbed an ontological turn. At its core, this ontological turn is a return to questions of ontology and what we can and what we cannot say about reality. This is one signal that we are entering into a post-postmodernism or a metamodernism.42 In short, what this trend indicates is that professional researchers are increasingly challenging the postmodern view that we cannot say anything meaningful about the ontological status of things, processes, and phenomena that have traditionally fallen outside of what is viewed as real in contemporary Western secular society. This is an exciting time for studies of the anomalous variety because there are new methods, conceptual distinctions, and models of reality from which to reconsider and investigate anew the ontological status of a wide range of paranormal and transpersonal phenomena.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell

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