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Suzanne writes to Daniel...

What a surprise to see a piece in a serious magazine that doesn't make fun of the crop circle phenomenon. I greatly admired how you packed so much information in, and how accurate it all is – quite a nice juggling job (although the brilliance of Michael Glickman got short shrifted – he's the smartest one of all, and I hardly recognized a few of his more off the wall observations that you picked to tell about). You know, if the public becomes aware that we are being visited – and we are – that's the best chance humanity has for a shift of consciousness, which God knows it needs in these perilous times.

I'm the person that got Crop Circles: Quest for Truth to happen – I'm its Executive Producer. I have a most intelligent conversation underway about the state of the world and the impact the circle phenomenon could make, that's on my post 9/11 site – along with the most intelligent gleanings from progressives in the media. I think it would be something worth exposing to a wider audience. Perhaps you would have a look and tell me if you agree: Conversation with Walter Starck.

Gawd, this is my week for psychedelia folk. I had dinner with Charles Grob and went to his bookstore presentation for Hallucinogens: A Reader, and went to see old friend Allan Hunt Badiner for his bookstore presentation for Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics. Your book, Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey Into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism, sounds great. Good luck. Too bad we can't dose everyone with something – it would be a good combo with a dawn of circle awareness.

Daniel replies:

Thanks. I look forward to checking out your sites. Also there is a site for my book up at www.breakingopenthehead.com. I went through an African tribal initiation in Gabon, visited shamans in the Amazon and in the mountains of Oaxaca, entered extraordinary and sometimes terrifying alternate dimensions via DMT and DPT, and had the most occult experience of all in my New York apartment. I suspect that my book could be the basis for a film on psychedelics, shamanism, and the modern world. Hopefully you will have a look in September. Also, I will be reading in Los Angeles in early October, perhaps we can meet and chat.

In fact, I got so interested in the circles that I am leaving for Glastonbury tomorrow, and I just spoke with Glickman, who told me about your email before I saw it.

Suzanne replies:

Thrilling that you are turned on to the circles – and God love that you're taking Michael seriously. This just made me cry.

I have no penchant for woo woo, but these circles just can't be made by us – my Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude mind knows that. And it would blow the lid on this deadly box we are in if everyone knew it. You are such a good person to join the army, which needs better soldiers. Funny you think of the ranks as New Agers – well, I see where you'd get that, from a sort of Glastonburyness that surrounds the croppie community, but they are something else. They are a motley crew, who for whatever reason just tuned in to the miracle going on.

I emailed Allan Hunt Badiner and Charlie Grob, introducing them to you:

Hi you two. Funny to have seen you a few days apart at the Bodhi Tree. In case you don't know each other, Hallucinogens: A Reader, meet Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics. And both of you meet a third brother who drifted into my life this week: Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey Into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism. Daniel Pinchbeck's Website – www.breakingopenthehead.com – says, "He supports the perspective of Christ in the Gnostic 'Gospel of Thomas,' who said: 'Open the door for yourself, so you will know what is.'"

Here's another choice piece of his writing – from an essay on the site, "Walter Benjamin and the 'Dialectic of Awakening'" (read the whole thing at

"Intoxicated, entranced, by the new world of commodities, the West lost its contact with the communal 'ecstatic trance,' those archaic Dionysian festivals and annual Mysteries celebrating the transformation of primordial chaos into order. The loss of rituals that compelled 'ecstatic contact with the cosmos' posed a threat to humanity: 'It is the dangerous error of modern men to regard this experience as unimportant and avoidable … it is not; its hour strikes again and again, and then neither nations nor generations can escape it.' Humanity needed such periodic rites of regeneration – to avoid hypnotic episodes of feverish destruction, which served the same purpose at a much greater cost."

Your Kerouac piece also is real nice. Your whole Website is great – good looking and good writing.

"My perspective is that all of these subjects are inextricably related, and that the contemporary situation drastically confirms Andre Malraux's dictum, 'The 21st Century will be mystical, or it will not be.'" We are very simpatico. I keep tracking the circles, intertwined with the world situation, on my post 9/11 Website, TheConversation.org. Every few days I send out an Update of what's new on the site. Tell me if I can put you on the list.

Daniel replies

Yes, add me to your list – although with some trepidation on my part as I feel a bit overswarmed with info-fragments and know that the most important knowledge I want to extract right now is from immersion in certain books, not fractal swirlings of Internet text.

After writing the circle piece and thinking about the "Arecibo response" glyph, I read about the UFO and abduction phenomenon. Do you know Passport to Mangonia by Jacques Vallee? Also, I emerged from the writing of my book with an incredible appreciation for Rudolf Steiner. His lecture on Ahriman and Lucifer is perhaps an important clue for understanding some aspects of the phenomenon.

Daniel writes:

I just came back from a crop circle conference in Glastonbury, which was fascinating - I saw some of the formations for myself, and was suitably in awe. If you were to ask me who I think is making many of them, my answer might be: Hermes.

My suspicion is that the Arecibo reply and the humorless Face were created by a different agency than the witty and allusive makers of the many harmonious geometric puzzles. Since writing my piece for Wired, I spent a long time trying to understand who might have constructed those particular messages, and to what purpose.

What follows is a letter I sent to David Jacobs, author of The Threat. His book presents the thesis, based on hypno-therapy sessions with alien abductees, that the "Greys" are extraterrestrials engaged in a hyper-advanced breeding program with the eventual project of taking over the earth. I suspect that his thesis is wrong, although I do think those same entities were responsible for the Arecibo reply.

Hi David,

I have worked out, with the help of some friends of mine, a theory about the abductions that is related to but different to your theory. I believe it makes more sense. It also explains to some extent the reason for the formation that was put down at the end of last season. Ready?

Before I write this, I want you to know that I come from a fairly rational and originally atheistic perspective. I have written features for Esquire, Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, etc. I have also written a book on psychedelics and shamanism that is coming out in the US in the fall. The book is titled Breaking Open the Head (some sections are posted at www.breakingopenthehead.com), and it includes my voyage to Gabon in West Africa where I went through a tribal initiation, then a visit to the Amazon to work with shamans and take ayahuasca, a visionary medicine. I started out the book cynical and jaded. I ended up completely convinced of the existence of spiritual dimensions and the accuracy of the shamanic conception of a "World Tree," with ghosts and evil demons down below and higher beings and powers up above, and human beings squarely in the middle.

A very interesting book you might want to check out is DMT: The Spirit Molecule by Dr Rick Strassman. It describes a study of the effects of DMT (dimethyltryptamine), a fast-acting completely immersive hallucinogen that lasts 5 - 10 minutes and often leads to experiences that are almost identical to "alien abduction" scenarios. I assume, also, that you know about the "holographic universe" perspective of Michael Talbot, a concept originally developed by the physicist David Bohm?

Writing my book, I began to reach an esoteric or occult perspective on reality - writers such as Castaneda, Gurdjieff, Dion Fortune, William Irwin Thompson became increasingly important. I was also introduced to the ideas of Rudolf Steiner, who I now think offers the most essential of all Western esoteric perspectives. Steiner believes that different types of spiritual beings act on humanity all the time, negative and positive and neutral ones. The most dangerous and important ones include "Lucifer" and "Ahriman." Lucifer (the name means "light bringer") is the being that draws us up towards escapism, imagination, fantasy. Ahriman (called Mephistopheles in Faust) is the being that drags us down towards the material world, the mineral realm and death. Ahriman's goal is to enslave us in matter. For Steiner, the goal of human evolution is to find a balance between these different forces. In earlier stages of human development (Egyptian, etc.), we tended towards the Luciferic realms. Right now, Ahriman (materialism) is in absolute ascendance, and is the greatest danger that humanity faces. (Lectures by him on Ahriman and Lucifer can be found at his e-library). Our "rational" science is completely Ahrimanic.

Okay, let's look briefly at the UFO phenomenon. I see it as a kind of theatrical staging that has been organized in phases. First of all, 1947, thousands of UFOs seen all over the world. Then in the next years, people saw spacecrafts landed, and aliens working on the outside of the ships. Roswell happened (whatever actually happened, I have some ideas). Then the abductions started in the 1960s, and those events have become increasingly specific in form in the decades since. Now the crop message, which seems to annouce a new act in this 50-year production.

There is, really, no evidence that these aliens are extraterrestrial, and many suggestions that they are in fact subterrestrial or intraterrestrial. There is a strong similarity between these events and goblins and fairy encounters from pre-modern cultures around the world (Vallee's Passport to Mangonia and Evans Wentz The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries). Even the Men in Black had medieval precedents. The silliness and inexplicable weirdness of many of the encounters must be noted. Sometimes, when asked where they are from, they have taken out a paper star map and pointed "There." This is ludicrous if they are really so highly technologically superior. I think it is important to recognize the theatrical character of the entire enterprise: It is very much like they are putting on a "Show" for humanity, trying to convince us of a certain scenario that started out a bit indeterminate but has become more specific as we have given more energy to thinking about it. Our thought-forms feed the phenomenon.

The Islamic tradition also recognizes these beings as "Djinn." They are soulless and "pre-Adamic" entities that exist on the boundary of our reality and are desperate to enter into our realm so that they can incarnate as real beings. This seems to be, in some way, not precisely a physical process, but one that draws on our psychic energy to help them will themselves into reality.

So, the thesis is that the aliens are subterrestrial Ahrimanic or Mephistophelean beings who are seeking to incarnate into human bodies and enslave us in materiality. Somehow the process involves their technology and our belief in them. According to Steiner, writing in the 1910s, Ahriman would incarnate as an anti-Christ around the end of the century. It seems these aliens are attempting to do just that.

According to Steiner, Ahrimanic spirits are much more cunning and clever than human beings. Clearly, they have their own technology that is more advanced than ours in many ways, utilizing subtler levels of materiality. But their inner realm is entirely barren, and in fact they are suffering horribly for their inability to feel, for being desouled. That is why they have need of human beings - that is why their children are trying to learn how to feel (and failing). (Jacobs describes abductees brought on board the UFOs to play with alien-hybrid children. The children play with toy blocks that do not have colors or letters on them; instead, they radiate different emotions when they are touched. The entities are seeking to teach feelings to their progeny.)

What is hard to comprehend because it bends our dualistic categories is that, in some way, these beings are both "imaginal" (in a sense created by us) and real, in that they possess an independent existence. Do you know about the Tibetan Buddhist conception of a Tulpa? It is a thought form that a magician or a lama concentrates on until it begins to take on independent existence. Golems were such Tulpas, created by Kabbalists. Some writers believe that Neolithic giants were also thoughtforms of druidic mages (the writer John Michell thinks that these thoughtforms became solid enough to move huge rocks to Neolithic sites, and that later heroes had to dispel them through further acts of magic!). What I am telling you here is that magic is real – a new English book titled Where Science and Magic Meet lays down a good scientific framework for understanding this.

We now come to your book, The Threat, and my criticism of your perspective. The problem is, because you do not understand the deeper nature of the alien phenomenon and have concretized events that are happening in an "imaginal realm," you may actually be feeding the alien agenda. It seems to be the case that our thoughts or beliefs are actually a form of energy that beings in the nonphysical dimension can consume (Gurdjieff said that human awareness, when it was not developed to a high level, was food for spirit beings.) These "Greys" are clearly feasting on our fear and our belief in their extraterrestrial technological power, and they are utilizing our ignorance as a means of entering into this world and taking root here. (As you say in your book, right now they can only do this for a few hours at a time.)

I have to add that hypnotic regression seems to be a dangerous field, and much more similar to "black magic" than we yet realize. You will never be able to say how somebody in the hypnotized state is producing their information, whether they are channeling information that is coming off of you in some way. Without meaning to do it, with the best will in the world, you may have somehow tipped the narratives of abductees in a more specific direction simply by your own thought-forms and thought-patterns. In other words, it is possible that you are also being used by these beings. Last week I saw the hypno-regression therapist Delores Cannon speak, and I could actually feel (because shamanic work has made me sensitive to it) waves of evil coming off of her. She spoke in a numbing tone of voice and I realized she was entirely working for these aliens, trying to numb people’s suspicions so that the entities could attempt to penetrate into their minds. (Remember also that some abductees have been told they "agreed to" the abductions in the pre-life state between incarnations). I suspect that Cannon is fully aware she is working with these beings, and is in fact a wicked black magician engaged in creating a powerful and dangerous Tulpa.

This may sound nuts, but I don’t think it is. I really would like you to consider this perspective. You want to make sure you are working against this phenomenon, not aiding and abetting it in some way. You need to look into the shamanic perspective. There are so many great books that might be instructive.

By the way, my hypothesis is that only a few of the crop formations are created by these malevolent "Greys." If you take the time to investigate it and look at the images of the recent glyphs, you might understand that other beings – I suspect, highly benevolent ones – are working in those fields as well. The "Greys" of course want to take credit for the entire phenomenon so we will once again think they are super-powerful and destined to take-over the earth. In fact, they are Ahrimanic parasites from the imaginal realm who we must overcome through power over our thoughts and thought forms.

Let me know what you think of all this. Daniel

Suzanne replies:

Gawd. Always a pleasure to hear from you, Daniel. The webs we weave...!!!

Having dipped into shamanic realms, I can follow you. Anyone who hasn't can't be in the conversation. Having said that, I would quickly add that I think – only think, not sure – that each person creates theater, translating the ineffable into a recognizable symbology. You may know more – like realms inhabited by beings everyone finds when that door is open...???

But your scholarship and your personal experience make you a worthy discussant, and that's thrilling. I am open to your being absolutely right, but that would be a conversation. A great one to have.

I tend to read worldviews through my favorite lens, Brian Swimme's work, most particularly in The Universe is a Green Dragon. The cosmos evolves itself as a developing organism, with mythic aspects concretized by a physicist's understanding of the material realm. Both stories – his and yours – could be true. His has the added virtue of instilling a passion for life that could heal the ills of the world – you get the glory and the responsibility of your incarnation, and all you want to do is serve that.

My touchstone for the panoply of everything is the crop circles. However you account for them has to include a very complex design process that lays out a geometry that is meticulously configured – not only in draft form, but that compensates for terrain that would distort the impressions from the air if drawn in the fields like their design blueprints. Calculations also are made to fit the design to the broader landscape, with juxtapositions to ancient sacred sites, and in parallel relationships to each other where circles are miles apart. Then, the precision of the delivery, with woven as we'll as flat elements, has some incredible engineering going on. What can do that? Forces that you describe would work at more subtle levels, where matter isn't the issue, would they not?

Another thing. Speculation about who or what is doing this is all just that. There is NO WAY to know. Something that we can't know the reality of is on our scene. It will have to reveal itself to us. Why waste time looking to see in closed containers? (Actually I think we'll never meet or maybe even know where it comes from, but that we are just to understand that intelligence is communicating. There IS another one besides ourselves. That's enough. If it gives us formulas for advanced technologies, or translatable messages, that would be something else, but not vital to impact us mightily.)

Great if system thinkers would engage each other. Will try to pull Brian Swimme – and Walter Stark – in on our exchange.

Daniel writes...

Did you see the massive new crop formation with a "grey" alien head and some kind of disk with a spiral that could be a message in binary code? http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/2002/Crabwood/crabwood2002a.html . It seems to be a direct continuation of the communications of last August.

Please check it out, and let me know what you think!

Suzanne replies...

Much buzz going on. Strange suspicion of hoaxing from legitimate croppies -- but never any indication of how it could be done. Vote's not in.

Daniel writes...

Did you see the transcription of the message? You can find it on Earthfiles.com. I take it as a support for my perspective: I think this glyph is a warning about the 'Greys' who are practicing deception in an effort to enter the stream of physical incarnation and ensnare humanity in a trap. Very interesting, also, is the last words in the message: 'Conduit Closing,' which suggests what? That the crop circles are ending? Or that the circlemakers only have a limited window of time to get a message through the 'dimensional gateway'? Very intriguing stuff.

I don't see any way that formation was made by humans, working on the ground.

Suzanne replies:

Much controversy about that face formation being real, even though evidence that points to hoaxing is always of "stuff" without the missing link of "how." But still, some reputable croppies smell hoax. And the croppie community doesn't have a common place to dialogue to thrash things out – a great shortcoming that I keep trying to do something about.

Did you see the email that Palden Jenkins sent out about the face? Palden and I have been talking about the lack of ideational interest, where his piece didn't stir up feedback. Here's his email.

Here's more on the Net:
http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/2002/Crabwood/crabwood2002a.html reports it as sinister. Hmmmm. And then Eltjo, respectable scientist and crop circle researcher that he is, chimes in with fakery opinion: http://www.dcccs.org/the_alien_at_crabwood_farm_house.htm and some conversation on his site: http://www.dcccs.org/crabwood_discussion.htm. Also, another respectable researcher, Paul Vigay, has doubts about it being genuine: http://www.cropcircleresearch.com/articles/alienface.html.

Daniel writes:

The people who look at the crop formations usually don't review the history of alien abductions described in books like David Jacobs "The Threat," CLR James "Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind," the books of Whitley Streiber and Dolores Cannon, etcetera. The "Greys" have appeared to thousands of people all over the world. They are nasty and mean-spirited beings who definitely have their own agenda. It is clear that they have some kind of design on the human species, engaging in some sort of extradimensional "breeding" program. They bring human beings to work with their kids who are trying to learn how to feel - they even have blocks that do not have letters or number on them, but emit feelings when picked up. These beings obviously have their own appropriate technology that is more advanced than our own in many ways. So what are these beings?

Cannon says they are extraterrestial "Watchers" who want to help humanity and have organized the breeding program in case we blow up the planet. The Chilbolton message seems designed to support this message: that they exist as a foreign civilization from another star.

More likely is the notion that they are subterrestrial Elemental Beings - like Gnomes or Goblins or Rumpelstiltskin. The esoteric perspective is that all these ancient legends do indeed have basis in fact. These beings are known in the Islamic religion as a type of Djinn - soulless entities that are "pre-Adamic." Most UFO sightings happen along Ley Lines, earthquake faults, once again adding to the idea they are coming up from underground. According to Rudolf Steiner and others, they have a real purpose - they may help to hold physical reality together on a quantum level. Steiner talks about them moving along veins of metal in the earth, and pulling cosmic information delivered by sun and star rays that trickle down into the roots of plants. They also hide the spiritual realms from us when we sleep at night - Steiner says if we could stay conscious while falling asleep we would be horrified to witness ourselves being "entombed by gnomes." They are far more cunning than we are, but they have no souls and no emotion, and therefore suffer, and yearn for what we have (there is poignant indications of this in the abduction stories -- the Greys being fascinated by a wrapped Christmas present for instance). They are purely materialistic, Mephistophelean (Steiner uses the word "Ahrimanic"). They seem to be trying to enter the stream of human incarnation or ensnare materialistic deluded humans in some kind of strange technological trap.

I suggest that the alien face formation is from other circlemakers who actually do belong to an extraterrestrial civilization, warning us of the Greys' deception. That is why they tell us, "There is good out there." Once we get past the 2012 Dimensional shift that Glickman, Arguelles, McKenna, and others predict, these extraterrestrial watchers may be able to introduce themselves to us. This interpretation also explains why they used a CD and ASCII code: part of what they are warning us about is the seduction of materialist technology, which may be on offer from the Greys. It is even possible that Roswell was a real incident, and that the rumors of the government having made some type of pact with these beings - getting technology transfer in return for allowing their experiments and abductions - might have some validity to it. That is why they are using a technological form to clue us into what we have to beware of. Arguelles argues in his book, "The Mayan Factor and Time and the Technosphere," that we now have to find the "path beyond technology."

Suzanne replies...

Well, you are a treasure trove of far outness, without being woo woo. Quite a gift you bring. All of this is so phantasmagoric that the temptation is to ignore it -- like people ignore crop circles. But it has a ring to part of it that is recognizable, as a doorway to letting the other parts in as viable considerations. The recognizable ring is a buzz which doesn't go away about the alien technology we got by reverse engineering the craft that crashed at Roswell. I am not a techie and don't remember all the categories where we had an inexplicably rapid advance in our know-how after that, but one was the development of the microchip. When you can't explain things in rational scientific terms -- like the crop circles -- the possibility is keen that we are dealing with things outside the rational Newtonian box.

One thing that keeps coming up for me, in terms of all the decoding and analysis we have to subject the circles to in trying to understand what is being communicated, is that the very act of analyzing is what we are being invited into, so that we are not exactly being handed gifts. Gifts have a way of being discounted or trashed, being unearned -- human psychological stuff -- but what we work for we do earn. This reaching we do to understand would be the work of humanity, not the saving of humanity, where we actually do become something else by our own bootstraps. I keep thinking this is in conformity with a law of the universe, where advanced beings are helping lesser evolved ones.

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