Remembering (Again) Who We Are

by Richard Thieme (


Why do we so often forget the important things and lose ourselves in trivia? Why do we need to be reminded, again and again, what matters most?

We’re built for the mundane, I guess, but I recently had one of those reminders and I can’t put it down.

Twenty years ago I wrote in “Ferg’s Law,” an “Islands in the Clickstream” column, that “we are built to live in space that is gateless, unbounded, free.”

Ferg’s Law was simple: “when things can go right,” Ferg said, “they will, and at the best possible moment” — a good antidote to Murphy’s more pessimistic law.

Five years ago, I wrote “Remembering Who We Are” (see The Second Edition section and then find “Ferg’s Law” in the Islands in the Clickstream section). It was about a psychic event that illuminated something of the hidden universe, The friends involved in that event are involved in this one too.

That column was about getting “distress signals” from a friend, a married woman I wasn’t seeing much anymore as our lives took different paths. This time it was about both husband and wife instead of the wife alone. Out of nowhere, the names of the couple came into my awareness with intensity. They seemed to come in waves: “Bob and Alice … Bob and Alice … Bob and Alice …” (not their real names, of course). The “probes” were strongly felt, kinesthetically perhaps, then articulated as I said their names aloud. Something was seriously wrong, I felt.

Those “pings” are always an invitation to action. The need to respond is a mandate of the fact of the happening itself, not added. “Incident response” is inherent in the incoming communication.

After seeing them five years ago, we did go separate ways again and we had not talked in many months. So when I felt that distress it was an anomaly and a message, not something imagined or thought.

I have learned over the years to distinguish often between my thoughts and feelings and that “ping,” that communication, which must come into a different part of the brain than that which generates the stream of consciousness we call “our waking self.”

But I hesitated to respond, again, because it had been such a long time. After three days, however, the “pinging” had not decreased. I told my wife what was happening, wondering if I should call. She said, wouldn’t it be odd, given how long it’s been, only to call when you think you’re “getting a message?”

“I guess,” I said, choosing the more “appropriate” option. I did nothing.


The next morning I met a different friend for coffee, and after talking for an hour, he said, I saw [Bob] last night. Did you hear what happened?

I shook my head, feeling that twilight zone tingling.

My coffee pal said he had even asked permission from our mutual friend to tell me the details of his crisis. Bob said yes, he should tell me, and when I heard the details, my heart went out to him.

So this is the sequence of events: (1) I felt those pulses; (2) we had not been in touch for a long time so they came out of nowhere, so to speak, not related to external events or conscious thoughts; (3) the names of both husband and wife came in, whereas the first time it had been the wife alone; (4) I stated what I experienced when I discussed it with my wife the night before I met the man who told me what happened; (5) when I called my distressed friend, he spoke of a second crisis as well that compounded his distress.

“You nailed it,” he said, deeply touched by my genuine concern.

You can call it coincidence if you like, but I can’t. In the domain of UFOlogy, we joke that there are skeptics and witnesses. It’s the same when we discuss these kinds of things. I often know the difference between “waves of communication” pinging me and my own feelings and thoughts. The pings translate into thoughts and feelings and then spoken words; they do not occur in the same stream that my brain is generating all by itself. There is a palpable difference.

Many people have similar experiences, often when a strong emotional charge is present. The point is not that I have a special ability, but that this is the condition of humanity. Like personal power, it is axiomatic to our human condition, and the only way we can lose it is if we are convinced we don’t have it, so we don’t cooperate with it and nurture it. Then we will stop being aware of it and it will not happen. The “executive function” of intentionality still seems to drive much of what we allow ourselves to experience.

We are like cells in a single body. That body extends throughout the universe. What we think and feel and do affects the whole body. The universe has come alive, in other words, it is a form of forms for energy and matter which is shaped by ourselves in turn. The modern cult of individuality emphasizes “cellness.” These events emphasize “bodyness.”

We are bound to one another deeply and inextricably, and the matrix of our mutuality is the most expansive meaning of “love.” We may be apart but we never really leave one another. The links between us are energy and information framed by our attitudes, beliefs, and feelings. This is simply how the universe works.

We quickly arranged to have dinner with our friends and talk about everything. “Alice” – when I asked if she knew what this experience was like – said, “Yes. When it happens, we’re home.”

We’re home.

I can’t say it better than that.

So when it happens, our obligation is to respond with generosity of spirit, and concern, and love. And if we’re wrong, and are just reaching out without a beckoning, what do we lose by doing that?

The universe cannot be half meaningful and half meaningless. It is all one or the other. And when we realize it’s meaningful, we have a deeper obligation to ourselves and others to construct our lives so we are reminded to remember, again and again, that this is simply what’s so, and act on that awareness. Then reciprocity becomes a feedback loop in a continuously spiraling upward call … to live in a space that is gateless, unbounded, free.

My novel “FOAM” is brimful of instances of non-local consciousness and psychic connections. It is an imaginative way to say that we need a “physics of information” to understand how meaningful information traffics through consciousness and seems to do so on behalf of the progressive need to learn to love rightly.

The universe is more mysterious than we can imagine, and the world of the spirit permeates energy and matter and consciousness. The aggregation of collective awareness in all the habitable domains of all the galaxies and planets tie into a skein of intelligent sentience which challenges our simplistic provincial notions of who and what we are. Daring to know that is a challenge – a challenge to leave our comfortable rooms, as Rilke wrote, every corner of which we know, and venture forth into the universe.

March 4, 2016

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