Monday, June 26, 2017

Have you ever wanted to go "off planet?" Here's what it might be like, with an Alien friend- showing you his technology. Excerpt from E.T. Marshall's CONFESSIONS OF AN ALIEN, based on science fact, invites you to consider the probability of "contact" and evolving technology

Confessions of an Alien: Vol 1 of Mythology for The Third Millenium by E.T. Marshall was inspired by Campbell's call for a new mythology.

“And so we have…this critical problem as human beings of seeing to it that the mythology—the constellation of sign signals, affect images, energy-releasing and -directing signs—that we are communicating to our young will deliver directive messages qualified to relate them richly and vitally to the environment that is to be theirs for life, and not to some period of man already past, some piously desiderated future, or—what is worst of all—some querulous, freakish sect or momentary fad. And I call this problem critical because, when it is badly resolved, the result for the miseducated individual is what is known, in mythological terms, as a Waste Land situation. The world does not talk to him; he does not talk to the world. When that is the case, there is a cut-off, the individual is thrown back on himself, and he is in prime shape for that psychotic break-away that will turn him into either an essential schizophrenic in a padded cell, or a paranoid screaming slogans at large, in a bughouse without walls.” 

― Joseph Campbell, A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living

Have you ever wanted to go "off planet?" Here is what your experience might be like with an Alien living on Earth, who's a friend--showing you his technology. Excerpt: E.T. Marshall's CONFESSIONS OF AN ALIEN: A Mythology for the Third Milennium Book 1. Red Coaster Press.

Some years ago, Harold Pebbles introduced me to one of his Philadelphia classmates. Rita Goldblatt and I found that we had a mutual interest in dream interpretation. Rita introduced me to the Nova Dreamer. It looks like a sleeping mask that covers your eyes. Batteries operate small sensors that detect rapid eye movements, REM, that indicate a dream state. The machine can be programmed to have its sound and lights activate when a REM state is detected. The sleeper is gently awakened, to be lucidly aware of his dream state. This machine helped me remember my dreams, which, after I had fully awakened, I wrote down on a legal tablet kept on my nightstand. The machine later facilitated my ability to create my own dreams and to be an active participant. Rita took a great interest in my dreams and their meaning over the years.
I related this to Vlad, who listened keenly. “Then you know,” he said, “when you are in a dream state, it is often difficult to know that you are dreaming and not actually experiencing the real world. That is what I want you to do, before you go to sleep, simply say aloud that you would like me to come visit you in your lucid dream and show you the alien world I live in. At any time, you can ask me to awaken you, bring you back, and that you want to vividly remember your entire dream after you awaken. What do you have to lose, Donald— a good night’s sleep?” I decided to give up my efforts to get Vlad off his alien theme and go with the flow. “It seems harmless enough. Are you going to hypnotize me or give me some suggestions on what to dream about?”
“No, none of that.”
“Well, Dr. Comsky, I am comfortable right here in this lounge chair. What if I just leaned back, put my feet up and dozed off right here?”
“That would be fine, just say the things I've asked you to and off you go,” Vlad said reassuringly.
I thought this might be something good, or at least new. There was not a thought in my head that Vladimir would do anything to injure me, nothing to even upset me. I believed that he would have some sort of suggestive power to influence my dream state. I was definitely up for something new. I felt a little sporty, as if I were a trout being pulled in on a very light line. Whatever was on the other side of the line, I decided to allow myself to be reeled in. I leaned back in the chair, kicked off my shoes, loosened my belt buckle two notches and unbuttoned my top shirt button.” I murmured, “I want Vlad to visit me in my lucid dreaming state. I want him to bring me back at my request. I want to remember this lucid dream vividly when I awaken.” I added as a joke, “I want him to show me his planet.”
With that I closed my eyes, let out a sigh and repeated my last words silently, and could not help thinking of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz saying, “I want to go home” and clicking the heels of her red magical shoes. CLICK
When I opened my eyes Vlad was still seated in the chair next to me. “What happened?” I murmured. “I don't remember a thing.” “Oh ye of little faith.” He smiled as he said this; I looked around the room. The walls were disappearing. It was dark out and the sky was full of stars.
I felt a chill and started to shake a little. Then, as if someone had once more pushed a button on a remote control and changed channels, the stars in the sky were different, and there was no ground below us. We were still in our chairs and the chairs were still on the floor, but that's all there was. I was wondering how we could breathe, but I remembered this is a dream and I am letting Vlad control it. Mercifully, the wine and cheese were still between us. I popped a large black olive in my mouth. So far, the dream was damned good. Looking at the black sky around me and the pinpoints of the stars that were both above and below, I felt like I was in a planetarium.

I sat up from my reclining position and asked, “Why did you bring me here?” “I thought you might like to see another planet,” he said, pointing his thumb behind him, as a hitchhiker would. I turned to look, and the chairs and floor, or what was left of it, swiveled around so that we were gazing down on the top of an enormous blue-and-white sphere. The view reminded me of Earth as seen from the space station. Slowly the view changed so that I was looking straight at the planet and no longer down on it. Like my experience on the roller coaster, this made me feel as if any moment I would fall out of my seat and down to my death on the planet’s surface. I could see large landmasses and oceans, but knew that this planet was considerably larger than Earth and had entirely different-shaped continents.
I finally said, “It’s awesome.” “Yes, I thought you'd like it. Its name is Paucri. Can you see it clearly? And do the stars look like pinpoints? And does my voice sound natural?” “Yes, of course, why?” I asked. “You know this is a simulation. It is not real. But does it seem real to you?” “Indeed it does.” Except for the disappearing walls, it seemed totally real. I sat there for a while trying to take it all in: Paucri, the stars, my alien friend and the non-reality of this reality. I thought of a chimpanzee looking at a television set. I thought of an alien looking at a chimpanzee. I thought of an alien looking at me. I don't know if it was the height, the new experience, or the chimpanzee, but I felt strange and uncomfortable.
Vlad, sensing my discomfort, asked, “Would you like to go someplace else? Somewhere more familiar to you?” Gratefully I assented, then added, anxious not to give the impression that I didn’t trust him, “What do you have in mind, Vlad?” “Where would you like to be right now if you could pick anywhere on Earth, at any time, and while we are at it, you can pick the weather, too.”
I thought for a few moments of the pleasant times of my life. The movie City of Angels, with its vivid sunset scenes, flashed into my mind. More than once at sunset time I would find myself at a beach— Malibu, Santa Monica, Huntington, Redondo— but it was Venice Beach that called to me now. A place of warm memories of ice cream cones, hot dogs, cotton candy, roller skating and watching the sun go down with the woman I loved.
“How about Venice Beach today an hour before sunset and 80 degrees?” He nodded and somewhere, a button was pushed on a remote control.
CLICK we were sitting on beach chairs facing the Pacific Ocean.
There were many clouds in the sky but no sign of rain, and it had all the makings of a beautiful sunset. I watched the bright reds, reflected on the clouds above the glow, softly and slowly transform into a deep purple. A dozen squawking seagulls were flying overhead; sandpipers were darting in and out of the surf line.
I took my shoes and socks off and rubbed my feet in the warm sand. I thought how easily my mind could be fooled. One minute in space and the next at Venice Beach. As I looked around, it sounded and felt so real. I could hear the waves breaking gently on the beach, the tender wind moving through the palm trees behind me. Vlad refilled my wine glass.
“But Vlad, where are the people?” I asked. “Venice Beach at this time of day is full of people.” CLICK As if a thunderclap blasted behind my head, my body uncontrollably jumped back into the beach chair. In an instant, the sound of hundreds of people surrounded me, as if someone had turned on the speakers of a stereo system. All the people were moving as if they had always been there. I looked around from my beach chair at the sidewalk behind me and saw dozens walking, a few roller skaters gliding between them, and of course, cyclists.
There were children playing in the sand on the beach, people eating pizza and hot dogs, and lovers sitting on blankets looking dreamily in each other's eyes, arms wrapped around each other’s shoulders.
Then I noticed the smells of those hot dogs, and somewhere down the beach, someone was barbecuing pork ribs and hamburgers, and everywhere there was the smell of suntan lotion. I inhaled deeply, trying to see if this was real or not. I put my hand in the warm sand, rubbed the fine grains between my fingers, and sniffed it.
The simulation was outstanding, and the thought shook me. What if we went back to Van Nuys, and it’s actually a simulation? I believed I wouldn’t know the difference now that I could feel the sand on my fingers. But Vlad did promise to take me back at my request, and I did believe him. After all, he was the man who cured Ann. I trusted him then, I had faith in him, so why should that change now? I questioned my own judgment and reality. I admitted to myself that I was afraid.

The adventures Vlad takes Donald on in Confessions are simulations created by alien technology.  How Elon Musk's Neuro-link works is similar. Here's an article that gives an idea of how this might work.

Elon Musk's Neura Link is a step toward the simulation technology in Vlad's world in Confessions of an Alien

Here is a link from SETI about a space entrpreneur, who think aliens are already here, Confessions of an Alien, ET Marshall's book anticipates contact.

"Confessions of an Alien is a compelling narrative that invites us to consider the possibility of extra-terrestrials living on Earth, while at the same time putting forward a mythology for the next 1000 years. Fascinating, entertaining and thought-provoking, this is a good fast read that is definitely worth your time. I can't wait to see what E.T. Marshall has in store for us next in this series." --Curt Kinkead, author of Eureka: The Door to the Stars

Confessions of an Alien is a book about an alien who confides his true identity to a human, a work friend he trusts with his secret, as well as the experience of his technology. The book anticipates an experience that will awaken humankind, says E.T. Marshall, probably in the third millennium, if not before. Even now we are developing technology akin to that on Vlad's planet, new interfaces such as Elon Musk's Neuralink and simulations as familiar as cochlear implants for hearing. The book may be science fiction but it's based on science fact.

Who is Vlad, DARPA's miraculous star surgeon, wonders Donald, a grant writer working with a government-funded program that enables veterans to get new "smart" limbs. And who is that strangely dressed janitor so vigorously pushing a broom, he wonders late one night alone in a LA medical facility.

So begins a mythical relationship between an alien and a gifted "lucid dreamer," in Confessions of an Alien (Red Coaster Press, 1/2017), the first volume of E. T. Marshall's Mythology for the Third Millennium. The meeting is about human and alien perception of reality. And, as the friendship deepens, the alien's simulations profoundly change Donald's experience of life. Few other novels explore  consciousness with this depth,  except perhaps Carlos Castenada's classic novel, The Teachings of Don Juan.

Without dramatic formulas or cliches about human-alien behaviors, Confessions of an Alien is a pragmatic investigation of how humankind may take its place in a changed world of the Third Millennium and  as citizens of the universe. The first volume delineates the challenges humans face in their evolution, as well as technological advancement.. Donald's, curiosity,  good will, fortitude and insight, make him a fine hero in the Joseph Campbell tradition. Yet, while the perceptual experiences he undergoes are heroic, they are grounded in real science and engineering. This visionary book easily melds philosophy, science, and science fiction. It gives a convincing and welcome taste of the future.


An Interview with E. T. Marshall about Mythology for the Third Millennium

Q. Why do you call your series Mythology for the Third Millennium?
A. This mythology was inspired by Joseph Campbell, a prime motivator to write this book. He believed what humanity was looking for in this age of technology was a new mythology. I had a vision, a mythology I believed in, and was driven to write this book and share it.

Q.  How is mythology, as you say, "Somebody's truth?"
A.  In a broad sense, myths are ideas people believe in as truth and cannot be proven. Believing in myths helps people get through life and understand this existence.  Campbell explains what mythology is in a broader sense. My intention, in future books, is to make predictions for this future mythology that may or may not be proven true.

Q.  Is your novel a fiction?
A.   Its characters are fictional, but DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and neural implants are facts. With the exception of the alien, Vlad and his “Buckyball simulation”, the book, and future books are based on existing technology.

Q.  What is lucid dreaming?
A.   Everyone dreams but not everyone remembers their dreams. Lucid dreaming is for people who want to explore dream states. They consciously work to remember dreams. On awakening, many dreamers write down their dreams and, with practice can remember more and more of them. Lucid dreamers in sleep states are conscious in their dreams.  Some can manipulate dreams and cause things to happen in their dream state.

Q.   Did this book come to you in that state?
A.  Yes, much of it did and it did not come in one piece.  Over many months, insights came from my lucid dreams. I wanted to get the material into a form that I could communicate. I wanted my vision on paper and understood and wrote this mythology.

Q.  Who is Vlad and how did Donald meet him?
A.   The book is written from Don's point of view. It is about Donald's frame of mind, how he reacted to the simulation, his own experience and having his world disappear around him. Don was at the nexus between medical professors and DARPA, when Vlad met him. Vlad was a surgeon contributing his skill for a DARPA project to help veterans with damaged limbs. This first book is entirely about their meeting and alien contact.  Donald, a lucid dreamer, was amenable to working with Vlad and open to the idea of alien simulations

Q. What was Donald's first lucid dream with Vlad like? Why was he scared?
A.  He was scared because he was with Vlad, an alien. What Vlad does seems like a lucid dream but it's a simulation with alien technology and it is fully immersive. With Donald's permission, he put him in a simulation more clear and vivid than a lucid dream. Don was in awe, when the room disappeared and he was off planet. Donald also knew he was not in reality.  In another instance, he put him in a scene from the past, so Donald could see the capabilities of the simulation. But it felt awful, like being restrained in Pilgrim stocks. Vlad didn't know exactly how it would affect him. It is important that he always asks for Donald’s permission.

Q.  Why would an alien be so altruistic as to go into the barrio to help drug addicts and take an interest in relieving Parkinson's symptoms in a stranger, Don's friend Ann?
A.  Donald does not completely know the alien's motivations. However, Vlad wants to show he's capable of doing good things. He has knowledge as a medical doctor and surgeon and wants to appear altruistic.

Q. Does the operation, where Vlad uses a microchip to ease tremors of Parkinson's, exist?
A.  Yes. A long time friend with Parkinson's disease went through this operation and it made a huge difference. People can have these procedures in our world now.

Q. Why did the alien suggest this story be told?  What is the Nova Dreamer?
A. Don was already a lucid dreamer. He has the ability to induce a dream-like state and change his perception of reality. It was less difficult for him to accept the alien's simulation and to return to the waking world with few bad side effects. The Nova Dreamer described in the book helps a person to not just wake up and write down dreams, but to participate in their creation. It is a real product, although it is no longer manufactured.  A face mask covers your eyes. There's a minicomputer that senses the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and flashes lights when you are in a dream state. The Nova acts like a crutch. It lets you know when you are in a REM dreaming state.

Q.  Is it possible for one person to come into another's  lucid dream?
A.  Debatable. Whether one person's dream can affect another's dream world and assume actual contact. Lucid dreaming trains a person to enter that state on command. It's scientifically verifiable. Vlad's simulation was two people speaking to each other but it was produced by technology. For Don, lucid dreaming comes from within his mind. But the practice explains why he has the mental structure to accept the alien simulation.  Hopefully, we accept that reality in the novel.

Q.  Explain the Rio scale?
A. The Rio scale is from a book about SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). Scientists agreed on what this scale, like the Richter, would measure.  The Rio scale gives the scientific community a predetermined way of dealing with alien contact. It marks the degree of contact and how real it is and how people would react at certain levels of alien contact. Vlad didn't want to disrupt what was going on in the world. He knew if people knew about him, they might feel less safe and panic, as in the government's concern in the David Bowie movie “ The Man Who Fell to Earth”. So he revealed himself as an alien to one person, Donald

Q.  Explain the purpose of a "You are not dreaming card" and whether it worked for Donald.
A. The card is part of some practitioner's lucid dreaming technique. If a person wants to know if they are in a dream or in a waking state, the dreamer can pull out the card and try to read it. For some reason, people can't read in a lucid dream. The card does not work in Vlad's alien simulation. There, you can always read the card.

Q.  Isn't a simulation a different experience than imaginative thought?
A.  The alien simulation is more vivid and real. Don experienced total immersion in a simulation of Venice beach. When he asked Vlad, "Where are the people?" they suddenly appeared. Disneyland showed what could be done with a simulation. It was the real world but technology was used within it. Don could understand other languages. A simulation could have partial effects, such as altering the taste of food. Don experienced Vlad's breakfast, as the best he ever had.

Q. Does your alien's technology already exist? 
A. Partially. There are now cochlear implants for hearing that use brain implant technology. It's being developed by DARPA and Musk's Neuralink. Simulation is being developed here and now.

Q. Explain the "Bucky Ball" interface of human technology with alien?
A.  That is the essence of Vlad's technology. Bucky Ball is a reference to a small object, a structural particle, which exists in sub-nano technology with a specific function. It sits at the synapse between neural connections in the cells. The Alien's technology is very small. It functions two ways. First it reads, transmits and records all electrical signals in synapses. Second, it can put its own signal, electrical impulses, into a synapse. In current medical technology, we can read and record what's in a synapse and also input a signal to the body to make muscles contract. But our technology is very big. It exists but not on a nano level.

Q. How did this work for language simulation in Disneyland?
A.  The Bucky Balls transmit the synaptic electrical signals from Don's auditory neurons to an enormous alien computer which translates language.  The Bucky Balls then receive the translated signal from the computer in English which is transmitted back to the Bucky ball in Don's auditory synapse which Don's brain interprets as English. That was easy.

Q. Donald did not know why Vlad wanted to have a relationship with another species, his agenda. Why did he not pursue that?
A. Don's in awe of the simulation and trying to digest it. In this book, he is also just observing this amazing Alien, an unexpected opportunity. For instance, Vlad takes him to the Academy of Magical Arts to expose him to another part of his life on Earth. Don is amused to see Vlad play the magician and the stymied members unable to figure out his magical technique. Don is pursuing the question of an alien agenda, but slowly.

Q  Do you see a new type of dreaming, one brought about by mechanical means, as a potential future? 
A. As a physicist said, "If it is physically possible, it will happen." It's very possible in the next years and a simulation is being developed by DARPA and Neuralink. 

Q.  The poem Ann reads to Vlad almost makes him a divinity on earth to save mankind. It's got a messianic tone. Do you think superior or advanced life forms can help humankind ?
A.  Vlad has no ill will toward anyone. He likes to do good things, like heal the homeless man, living in an alley under cardboard boxes. That intention is part of the mythological nature of the book. Can mankind be saved by advanced forms of life?  Vlad is trying.

Q. The book is astonishing. And no one in it is obsessed with making a fortune from technology. That is advanced. What is your thought about how such technology could further advance humankind?
A. Elon Musk's Neuralink project is magic happening here and now. Whether it's an advancement for humankind depends on how it's used. This book was written two years before the Neuralink project was announced. Advance depends on whether people change in positive ways and how they use technology. It is a dangerous technology.

Q. What do you see for the next book of the series?
A. I was dumbfounded when Neuralink was announced just months after my book came out. I feel I don't need to write the next seven books to explain simulation technology. I can next focus on Vlad's  time travel technology. Using contemporary physics and alien technology it's plausible.

To purchase Confessions

For more info:

 E.T. Marshall, philosopher, scientist and lucid dreamer, was born and raised in New York City. He graduated from C.C.N.Y.  and later earned a M.S. in engineering from U.S.C. Currently, he lives in the Redwood Forest of Northern California.