Communion (1987) – Whitley Strieber

Whitley Stieber experienced something. In fact, according to his writing, he’s been experiencing something all of his life. It’s influenced him, his writing, and the events and those around him.

Strieber, like countless others, believes he was abducted.

He doesn’t use the word aliens, he uses the word visitors. Because he doesn’t claim to know where their from, and even wonders if we can understand their origin. And that to me is a fascinating aspect of his case.

I’ve been intrigued by abduction stories, and UFO tales since I was a child, staring into the night sky and imagining other forms of life – what would their history be like? Their literature? Their art? Do they have such things? And when I first read Communion as a teenager, I recall enjoying portions of it, but then feeling it got to heavy in philosophical discourse.

Lately, the phenomena has been lurking around the edges of my subconscious again, so I though a revisit of some of Strieber’s writing on the subject would be interesting. And this time around, I enjoyed it a lot more. I think as a teenager, I wanted solid answers, but so far, the phenomena, no matter what it is, and it is something, defies that search.

Strieber relates incidents from his life, through recall and hypnosis (and witness reports), that reveal strange encounters with something. Yes, the image on the book’s cover has now very much become the iconic image we associate with aliens, but at no point does Strieber call them that. In fact he posits what else they could be, and their possible connection with our own selves and history.

The encounters are by turns interesting and terrifying, simple because they are beyond Strieber’s (and the reader’s) possibility to truly comprehend, these encounters can be steeped in symbolism, filled with examinations, or interactions. They are not easily definable, and can’t be placed and categorized in a box.

The subject matter, to me, is endlessly fascinating, and I try to keep an open mind on the subject, walking the very fine line between healthy skepticism and wanting to believe.

Strieber writes honestly, and openly, sharing as much as he can with the reader, admitting that he doesn’t have answers, that he doesn’t know who or what they are, but he is adamant about one thing, they are here, and they may have been here for a long time, being the basis for countless myths and legends of gods, goddesses and fae folk.

Perhaps they change to reflect the times as they interact with us, whatever they are.

It’s a mysterious subject, and one I think I may dive into again, or at least follow more of Strieber’s involvement in it. He’s penned a series of books about his encounters, so I may dig into another one of those soon.

If you haven’t read it, check it out, it may raise some questions about the subject matter for you.

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