Projection Of Thought/Hope Into Physical Manifestation: Any Examples?

Discussion in 'General Forteana' started by Ermintruder, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. Ermintruder

    Ermintruder Existential pixelfixer

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    In "The Mission", a 1985 Spielberg 'Amazing Stories' tv mini-series episode, a WW2 USAAF bomber crewman is doomed to die, trapped in the underside glass gunner's position (because the pilot has to perform a forced belly-landing: the undercarriage is either jammed or shot).

    To save himself, the crewman gunner (a cartoonist by profession) manages to draw a replacement wheel assembly on a sketch-pad, and believes so strongly in his paper creation that it is projected, physically, onto the aircraft, and his life (and those of the whole crew) is/are saved.

    I clearly remember watching this episode (just once, over 30yrs ago) and being utterly-entranced by the whole concept.

    Does anyone know of any real-life examples of such a phenomenon, in any sense? Or was this story, in itself, entirely a work of fiction, without any reference to reality?

    It just seemed so gripping a concept: hugely-improbable, of course, and yet somehow not entirely impossible.
    2018-01-11 05.59.08.png
     
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  2. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...

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    As far as I know, The Mission was entirely fantasy. Spielberg wrote the story.

    I recall seeing it when it was first broadcast, and I recall it being a tense drama ruined by a gratuitously ridiculous ending that I couldn't convince myself represented anything other than a virtual insult to the audience.

    The dangers of the B-17 belly gunner position were real, though. The late American journalist Andy Rooney wrote of an actual belly-landing-with-trapped-belly-gunner incident he witnessed during his time as a WW2 correspondent. This was in his 1997 book My War (which, of course, couldn't have influenced Spielberg).

    Rooney's account is excerpted and accessible at:

    https://www.snopes.com/glurge/military/ridedown.asp

    ... a Snopes item concerning Ronald Reagan's penchant for telling a tear-jerking story of a bomber pilot who stayed onboard a doomer WW2 bomber along with an injured / trapped gunner after ordering everyone else to bail out. Some versions of Reagan's retellings refer to the belly gunner. However, the consensus at the time seemed to be that Reagan was relating a tale based loosely on the WW2-era film Wing and a Prayer.

    My point is that Reagan's widely-publicized retellings of this tale (1980 campaign and afterward ... ) meant this sort of scenario was 'in the air' during the years Spielberg was developing Amazing Stories. In addition ...

    Spielberg was a big fan of classic cartoons. Such impossible realizations of character-generated graphics (etc.) were a common trope in cartoons. Two examples that come to mind are the various versions of the 'portable hole' in Looney Tunes and similar cartoons of the 1950's / 1960's and the fake tunnel Wile E. Coyote occasionally drew on a rock face only to have the Roadrunner sprint into it and escape his clutches.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
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  3. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...

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    As far as connections to Forteana ...

    It strikes me that such physical manifestations generated by thought / mental 'force' are closely akin to, if not subsumed within, the notion of a tulpa or thoughtform. Nowadays we usually encounter the term 'tulpa' used solely to denote a manifest entity that's animate and / or has a will of its own. However, the original concept (from Tibetan lore) encompassed objects as well.

    I wouldn't think ectoplasmic emanations / exudates in classic spiritualism fit into this sort of category, insofar as they are 'received' rather than 'created' by the medium.
     
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  4. Bigphoot2

    Bigphoot2 Justified & Ancient

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    I'm working on that idea so if a rabid and very angry Tasmanian Devil appears in Piers Morgan's underwear during a live TV broadcast you'll know it's worked.
     
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  5. Swifty

    Swifty The Great Glass Elevator

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    I'd always assumed there was already one in there.
     
  6. Ermintruder

    Ermintruder Existential pixelfixer

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    Yes, in a direct sense I entirely agree with you. But...

    I was just fascinated by the concept, in my younger impressionable years, right through until now. Of course, we cannot create from nothing that which we need, to survive...in any conventional sense.

    But I'm intrigued by the raw audacity of the plot-line of "The Mission". It pulls no punches with it's unashamedly-implausible suspension of reality, an inserted impossibility which seems (somehow) not to be much commented upon within the storyline. It is just substantially-accepted as an atheistic miracle, for the purposes of the tale.

    I had no idea until now that this episode actually starred Kevin Costner and Kiefer Sutherland (although I believe he has happily played parts in a number of supranatural movies, including one of my all-time favourites 'Dark City').

    I also realise that in all probability there will have been recycling of sets/props/costumes by the studios, which will have been grabbed by producers and married to a story, so as to roll-out another hour of entertainment (similar to the way in which 'Dark City' itself re-used sets and mattes from 'The Matrix').

    It's also that the juxtaposition of a fantasy element within a WW2 framing was a very-unusual blend for Hollywood in the mid-80s (pre-dating the current DC/Marvel comic-book-to-screen trope by many decades, which has no hesitations in using such a combination of themes).

    Yes, precisely...but never elsewhere in a 'straight' movie or miniseries.

    I was also very-much struck (at the time, I think, but certainly afterwards) by the resonance between this WW2 story, and the blend-bridging seen within 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?', a hugely-clever and skilfully-created mix of live footage and animation. It was credited as the last-ever analogue rotoscope/overpaint animation movie to be screened, before the advent of CGI/early digital compositing.

    Yes!! Exactly. And I had always just assumed that inanimate objects might be conjurable, in a tulpa sense, perhaps even more easily than living entities.
     
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  7. Swifty

    Swifty The Great Glass Elevator

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    Kenny Everett's late 70's human mime character was possibly the first to draw his own reality and interact with it in fictional entertainment ? .. it wouldn't surprise me to hear about earlier examples though.

     
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  8. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...

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    Rod Serling set multiple classic Twilight Zone episodes in WW2 / Korean War scenarios. Those two wars provided the settings for a number of American TV dramas in the 1950's / 1960's. This largely disappeared during the Vietnam era and the rest of the 1970's. In the early 1980's WW2 nostalgia / settings became popular again. It's noteworthy that two of the movies illustrating this resurgence were directed by Spielberg - 1941 and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
     
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  9. blessmycottonsocks

    blessmycottonsocks Abominable Snowman

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    Reminds me a bit of the hype surrounding "The Secret" aka the law of attraction.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_(book)

    This hefty dose of pseudoscience would have you believe that if you focus on and visualise something sufficiently (typically wealth, happiness, new career, new partner, new car etc.) it will somehow be attracted to you and eventually materialise.

    I would call that simply having aspirations and motivating yourself to achieve them. Trust the Yanks though to tart it all up in new agey bunkum!
     
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  10. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...

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    The Yanks bear the burden for the recent resurgence of this stuff, but ...

    The law of attraction term / concept traces back to Madame Blavatsky in the 19th century.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
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  11. Dr_Baltar

    Dr_Baltar Justified & Ancient

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    And not forgetting the grand dame of all Word War II/fantasy crossovers, Powell and Pressburger's A Matter of Life and Death.
     
  12. Bigphoot2

    Bigphoot2 Justified & Ancient

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    I seem to recall an old movie - I'm sure it was a Laurel and Hardy one, where Stan puts a door up against a solid wall, opens the door and walks through. Ollie tries the same and walks into the wall.
     
  13. dreeness .

    dreeness . from the Haunted Swamp

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    "Belief Made Manifest"
    http://ghostbusters.wikia.com/wiki/Sherlock_Holmes

    see also
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mythago_Wood

    ...

    A very long time ago, I wrote an X Files fanfic called "Urban Mythago" in the first draft, and (I think) "Night Life" in the final draft. It was about entities that could only exist through the perceptions of others.

    It began in a busy metropolitan subway station in the early evening. Someone entering a train car thought they maybe felt someone brush past them, then someone else catches a glimpse of someone out of the corner of their eye, someone hears the click of shoe heels on the pavement, etc. The "noticings" become increasingly vivid and frequent as evening turns to night. As the last rays of sunset fade, the entity becomes completely manifest, a pretty young girl, just an ordinary normal university student walking along a city street without a care in the world.

    She walks into a fashionable coffee shop, and starts looking at the various cakes and biscuits behind the glass of a display counter. She notices a man (Mulder) attempting to carry four large styrocups of coffee he has just purchased.
    She says "Here, let me help" as she takes two of the cups. Mulder nods and thanks her. Mulder leads her to a table around a corner, she sets the cups down, and looks puzzled as it is only a single table with one chair. Where are his three companions?

    "Are you going to drink all think this yourself?" she asks.

    Mulder shrugs and looks sheepish.

    "You know, I bet they could get you a bucket if you asked." she says.

    "I've been awake for a very long time." Mulder says. Then Mulder glances at his watch, when he looks up again she is back at the display counter, looking at biscuits.

    She can move fast, Mulder thinks. Young and light on her feet. He had only looked away for maybe a couple of seconds. Mulder watched as she wandered along the counter. She moved like a dancer, subtle grace. Gymnast type. Small and energetic. Had he known any girls like that when he was her age? Mulder honestly couldn't remember. Obsession tended to blur the details, he thought.

    He looked down at the overpriced coffee on the table.

    "I have measured out my life in coffee spoons." he muttered to himself.

    "TS Eliot." she said.

    Mulder jolted with surprise. She was standing beside the table.

    "How did you do that?" he said.

    "I recognized the quotation." she said, with perhaps just the faintest hint of mockery.

    Mulder shook his head. "No, a second ago you were at least fifty feet away, and suddenly you're..."

    "Maybe you just weren't paying attention." she said.



    (etc.)
     
  14. GNC

    GNC King-Sized Canary

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    Chuck Jones beat him to it with Duck Amuck in the 1950s.
     
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  15. Mythopoeika

    Mythopoeika I am a meat popsicle

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    I saw that again recently (was repeated not long ago).
    Stuck in my memory.
     
  16. Ermintruder

    Ermintruder Existential pixelfixer

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    Really?!? What channel / network?? I've only ever seen it once, back in the mid 1980s
     
  17. Swifty

    Swifty The Great Glass Elevator

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    This one? ..

     
  18. Mythopoeika

    Mythopoeika I am a meat popsicle

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    I think it was Film4, but I can't be sure.
     
  19. Ermintruder

    Ermintruder Existential pixelfixer

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    Good answer...if it was Film4, it might be available on some reoffered timeslot repeat version of the channel
     
  20. JamesWhitehead

    JamesWhitehead Piffle Prospector

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  21. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...

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    I'm still struggling to come up with an example - no matter how obviously fictional - of someone 'willing into being' an object and having this manifestation attributed to a person's own psychic / mental operations as opposed to some extrinsic capability or power.

    One obvious example would be the fantasy trope of someone willing the instantaneous manifestation of an object or entity - a la Samantha in the Bewitched TV series. This and other similar examples are portrayed as innate or learned powers rather than the result of personal psychological operations.

    The physical manifestation aspect brings certain science fiction tropes to mind (e.g., Star Trek's replicators), but these similarly involves something other than personal psychic causality.

    Then there's the common scenario of a protagonist under duress seeing a significant person's projection / ghost at a critical moment to give the protagonist much-needed encouragement or advice. These scenarios are usually framed with respect to a ghost or a visionary experience rather than something the protagonist willfully 'conjured up' as needed.
     
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  22. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...

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    Agreed ... If one accepts the possibility of willfully manifested things the invocation of static / inanimate objects would seem more tractable than fully dynamic - much less independently conscious - entities.
     
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  23. Monstrosa

    Monstrosa Justified & Ancient

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    Forbidden Planet, the Monster from the Id.
     
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  24. Rosebud

    Rosebud Ephemeral Spectre

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    There is a thread on Mumsnet (I'm trying to stay away, but it's hard!!) at the moment, which describes how a woman saw her dad going into a fishmonger's and thinking: "He doesn't like fish...", before she remembered that he was dead. Some of the other posters have also had similar experiences - usually featuring people they were fond of.

    Although this isn't really a tulpa, I think it is a type of wishful thinking made manifest.

    https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/_chat/3135788-i-ve-just-seen-my-dad
     
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  25. blessmycottonsocks

    blessmycottonsocks Abominable Snowman

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  26. MorningAngel

    MorningAngel Abominable Snowman

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    I think there was a thread a while back where I considered if children sometimes managed this. Because there have been tales of kids seeing some weird thing/s like they would imagine. I really can’t remember any off the top of my head.
     
  27. PeteS

    PeteS Ephemeral Spectre

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    As far as the theme is covered by fiction, its central to Brother Odd by Dean Koontz. Quite an unusual and funny/macabre novel. Its story revolves round Odd Thomas a medium trying to uncover the activities of a billionaire scientist who has found religion and imagines "life forms" into existence to prove the truth about God. Clever book - get hold of a copy if you can.
     
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  28. Mythopoeika

    Mythopoeika I am a meat popsicle

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    There was also a film, IIRC.
     
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  29. Coal

    Coal Polymath Renaissance Man

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    I've read a couple of those and they're not bad at all.
     
  30. dreeness .

    dreeness . from the Haunted Swamp

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drop_Dead_Fred

    :nails:
     

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