What is your first reaction when a velociraptor crosses the road? Am I seeing things? Oh, no, not again? Am I time-traveling again? Perhaps reality is a lot more flexible than we think.
What would happen if you came upon this while driving? Would you simply ignore it, think it was an illusion, or would you slam on the brakes and stop? All good questions.
You See A Dinosaur Crossing the Road
The question is, is it real, a mirage, or my imagination? Would we see a dinosaur cross the road if it existed, or would your mind ignore it? If you’re a fan of people like Carlos Castaneda (1), then you probably would answer yes! Carlos Castandea’s teacher, Don Juan, would use an apparition like this to create a shock. This would cause a shift to the next level of consciousness.
Whether the Velociraptor is real isn’t the issue. Maybe you see different types of dinosaurs? The question is, how do we know what is real and what is not? Does it matter? Maybe what we see isn’t a dinosaur but something else that doesn’t fit within our worldview. Perhaps it’s a Chupacabra or an optical illusion? (2) Some think these creatures, like the Chupacabra, are just leftover dinosaurs.
When we see something unusual, our mind tries to find the most reasonable explanation. It needs to fit somewhere in our belief system. In this case, it is a dinosaur. Why do we do that instead of just perceiving what is actually there?
“Occasionally, the impossible happens; this is a truism that accounts for much of what we call good luck; and also bad.” — Faith Baldwin
What do you do when you perceive something? You automatically categorize it. If it is something that falls into the normal range of experience, it is no big deal. We either forget it, or we file it away as a daydream. So, when a velociraptor crosses the road, it is something we believe is possible. If something falls outside our normal range of perception, we ignore it or reclassify it. We must decide if what is happening is ordinary or a glimpse of a non-ordinary reality. This can cause us to engage our the fight, flight, or freeze response. It’s the most common response because most people are unaccustomed to non-ordinary reality.
Okay, maybe we saw a dinosaur because we fell asleep at the wheel and were dreaming of dinosaurs. A dream would explain this apparition, or perhaps it was a mirage, an optical illusion. If we are alone, we don’t have anyone else to verify this.
What actually makes something real? Since we experience everything within the mind because reality is a construct of our expectations. Our ability to perceive is only limited by the boundaries of our expectations. Expectations determine the boundary between reality and fiction, between ordinary and non-ordinary reality. So, what is the distinction between ordinary and non-ordinary reality? Is there a set standard, and if there is, who gets to set it?
We know the programming of the dominant cultural narrative sets the parameters for what is acceptable and what is not. Yep. They program you to see what they want you to see, so if they do not want you to see dinosaurs, then you simply do not see them. Instead, you might see an alien or a Chupacabra.
“We should always keep an open mind about any new phenomenon in nature. To merely say that’s impossible, therefore it doesn’t exist, is to commit a serious error. A much better approach would be to say That’s quite unlikely, but show me the evidence you have that says that it may be so. It would be the height of arrogance to think that man knows everything possible about the Universe or the Earth. There are many things yet to be discovered, and that is why we have scientific research (or any kind of research). That should be the rationalist’s approach to parapsychology and the occult.” — Gordon Stein
When A Velociraptor Crosses The Road, What?
What do you think is real? Techniques like Japa meditation and the Shamanic Journey change the bandwidth of perception. Then, you realize you can’t answer the question with a simple yes or no. The boundaries between ordinary and non-ordinary experiences are not static boundaries. We can prove this from our practical experience with sleep.
We do not notice the transition from waking to sleep unless we train our attention. When we meditate regularly, we expand our awareness and become more aware of this transition. We see it happen. We know other levels of perception make it possible to see what others do not.
A more accurate answer about our dinosaur crossing the road would be that it depends. When a Velociraptor crosses the road, it is like any imaginary friend in any popular religion. However, our cultural narrative tells us what is acceptable to expect and what is not. We know for sure that these creatures existed. There is actual evidence of their fossils. It’s more than we can say about most religions.
We believe that time separates us from the dinosaur depicted in the photo. However, we know time is not a constant. We know speed and gravity can bend time. So, is it a possibility? Does our cultural narrative close our eyes to this and other opportunities?
Phenomenology and Different Types of Dinosaurs
Being blind to reality would be seen as a necessary tool for those of the name-it-and-claim-it persuasion. They would say seeing dinosaurs is possible, but would it be prudent? If it does not align with our beliefs, then we would ignore it. The Word of Faith Movement (3) is a later revision of Edmund Husserl’s theory of phenomenology (4).
The primary goal of phenomenology is the investigation of “experience.” That is to examine what we experience apart from any theory or limitation on the cause of the experience.
So, proponents of phenomenology would say it is certainly possible to see a dinosaur. If it can be perceived, then it can be achieved as an expression of reality. When a velociraptor crosses the road, it is a glimpse of another aspect of reality. All possibilities are available to us through the subjective structures of consciousness. The fact is other people and things only exist in my presence.
Science and Velociraptors
We can’t argue against the fact that everything we have created was first a thought in our imagination. Our thoughts bring everything into existence. To find a unifying theory (5) that explains the connections between the various physical sciences was the goal of Albert Einstein (6).
However, science has run into dead ends investigating particle physics (7) and DNA (8). These only contain the raw materials but not the answer to how they might fit together. We do not know what is telling the energy to form into specific patterns we recognize as matter. We do not understand what is directing these complex molecules to arrange themselves.
It’s like taking apart a radio to find the music inside. The music isn’t on the inside of the radio. Because the radio is just a receiver, the intelligence that is creating the music comes from other sources.
The radio, our DNA, and consciousness are only the materials that make up the receiver. There is another force at work beyond this dimension. There must be some intelligent force ordering the raw materials into specific wavelengths of matter.
The intelligence that can order reality is something Rupert Sheldrake calls Morphic Resonance (9). Mr. Sheldrake postulates that this Morphic Resonance is the unifying field. This is what Einstein sought to articulate. It is this mysterious force that eluded his ability to quantify and communicate. Like many of his other theories, he had confidence in their viability before proving them, so he was sure it was there. It’s the supreme force that philosophy and religion have given various names, including God.
“The morphic fields include all kinds of organizing fields: The organizing fields of animal and human behavior, of social and cultural systems, and of mental activity can all be regarded as morphic fields which contain an inherent memory.” — Rupert Sheldrake
Is this force something we can manipulate or influence, and if so, are there boundaries to our influence? All of this begs the question, what is reality? Can we change our experience of reality? Doesn’t our intent, faith, or some combination of ritual or process affect perception? Yes, they do. So, is it, or could Velociraptor Canyon be a reality? It all depends upon where you draw the boundary between imagination and creation. What else can we expect? It all depends upon how much of a freethinker we are.
It prompts other questions. Are we alone in the universe, or are we not? What other possibilities could there be? What discoveries await us?
We only perceive what we expect to see. The more open you are, the more you can see. A dinosaur crossing the road isn’t all that different from the deeply religious who see apparitions of the Virgin Mary. There’s one big difference. The fossil record gives us substantial evidence for many kinds of dinosaurs.
(1) Carlos Castaneda, A Separate Reality: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Separate_Reality
(2) Chupacabra: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chupacabra
(3) Word of Faith Movement: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Word_of_Faith
(4) Edmund Husserl, Phenomenology: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenomenology
(5) Classical Unified Field Theories: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_unified_field_theories
(6) Albert Einstein: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein
(7) Particle Physics: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Particle_physics
(8) DNA, Deoxyribonucleic acid: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA
(9) Rupert Sheldrake, Morphic Resonance: https://www.sheldrake.org/research/morphic-resonance