Losing Awareness

David Tansley. Omens of Awareness; startling parallels between UFO Phenomena and the Expanding­ Consciousness of Man. Neville Spearman, 1977.
The first part of this book is an evaluation of the UFO phenomenon in terms of Theosophist philosophy I assume that this means something to the devout Theosophist, to the outsider it could as well be written in Venusian shorthand. Matters are made worse by a number of quotations from Alice Baily, a clergyman's daughter at the turn of the century who was approached, in true contactee style, by a mysterious oriental stranger who announced he was the Master, Koot Hoomi, and set Miss Bailey on a spiritual quest. Alas, the ability to write meaningful English was not one of her great spiritual gifts: "The subject is so stupendous that we cannot possibly do more than touch upon certain points, nor can we enlarge along the lines of mechanistic development of forms to utilise the force This is all hidden in the science of electricity..." Which is about the most lucid extract from a book published by the ill-named Lucis Press.

Additionally, there are references to Baron von Reichenbach, Edwin Babbit, John Keely, and Wilhelm Reich, whose ideas are quite unintelligible to mere mortals To captain this motley crew is trickster Castaneda himself, who would have made a good partner for Mme Blavatsky, as both lived their lives as living novels. Likewise, Tansley 's critique of von Daniken fails in much the same way as Christian fundamentalist critiques do, by dogmatic assertion of 'truths' that are unconvincing to non believers.

These failings are a pity, because when the author escapes from the Theosophical 'party line' he can have some interesting things to say, and he has a good grasp of UFO literature For example he argues that various UFO experiences are a kind of wish-fulfilment dream gone wrong in sorcerer's apprentice style, an idea worthy of further discussion, and the final paragraphs, where he argues that "UFOs are always one jump ahead of us enticing man to look at his world in different ways, triggering off new ideas and states of consciousness ..." are fundamental to the New Ufology However, few readers will be around after 300 pages of impenetrable jargon. – Peter Rogerson. MUFOB New Series 8, Autumn 1977.

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