Sunday, February 21, 2016

Guides and mentors: Sten Lindgren

The famous Swedish philosopher Ingemar Hedenius (1908-1982) wrote a short autobiography with the pertinent title Varför blev jag den jag är? (Why I became who I am?), published posthumously in 1992. I have always been fascinated by this question, especially when studying the life of scholars, intellectuals, authors and of course esotericists. What decisive events, persons and ideas influenced and shaped their lives and worldviews?

Two profound interests or passions have been a part of my life since a teenager. The fascination and investigation of the UFO phenomenon coupled with an intense search for a tenable worldview. There have been several individuals whose influence have been of vital importance in shaping my thoughts and ideas on these issues. I plan to present a few of these individuals on this blog. Some I have met personally or by correspondence, while others have influenced me through their writings. The basic idea is not to present a critical analysis of the life and ideas of these people but simply to give biographical details and events that can help in answering the question - why I became who I am? These historical reminiscences will be recalled with a background perspective of the Esoteric Tradition.

Friends and collegues in the UFO community will probably be somewhat surprised to find that the first guide and mentor in my life was the wellknown and controversial contactee in Sweden, Sten Lindgren. My parents library housed books on Parapsychology, Spiritualism, Theosophy, Anthroposophy including the most wellknown UFO contactees of the 1950s: George Adamski, Daniel Fry, Ray and Rex Stanford etc. From the age of thirteen I became an avid reader of these books which fascinated me immensely. By the time I was eighteen my friend Kjell Jonsson and I decided to contact some of the UFO groups active in Sweden.

Sten Lindgren (right) with a friend in 1971

In November 1970 a letter arrived from Sten Lindgren, founder and director of Inter Galactical Federation (IGF) in Stockholm. Here is an  English translation:
"Best Cosmic Greetings, Håkan,
Thank you for your letter of November 10. We are affiliated with UFO-Sweden. Regarding further questions: Suggest a meeting in Stockholm on the following alternative dates:
Saturday, November 21, 4 p.m.
Saturday, November 28, 4 p.m.
You decide whether one of these alternatives is ok. Send us an answer as soon as you have accepted. We will meet at the place you decide in your letter, e.g. train from Södertälje or by car.
Awaiting your answer
The Best Cosmic Greetings from
Sten Lindgren"

The first letter from Sten Lindgren

On November 21, 1970 my close friend Kjell Jonsson and I went by train to Stockholm where we were picked up by Sten Lindgren och his co-worker Bjarne Håkansson. We were taken to Sten Lindgren´s apartement at Lidingö. Arriving at our destination we were soon made aware of that this was no ordinary Swedish home. In the hallway a quote, pinned on the wall, taken from Howard Menger´s From Outer Space To You (p. 48) read: "We have much work to do on your planet among your people, and we must do it quickly - while there still is a planet and a people to work with". The walls of the livingroom were filled with photos, illustrations and charts all relating to UFO sightings. The books in the bookshelf were a mixture of contactee literature and metaphysics.

Kjell Jonsson and I were seated on the sofa, nothing was said, and the lights were turned down. Sten Lindgren started playing "cosmic music" on a light-organ (Clavilux). After this introduction we were told that our meeting was arranged by the Brothers from space and that Sten was in both physical and telepathic contact with an extraterrestrial group. We were also requested to start a local UFO-group in Södertälje, affiliated with UFO-Sweden, as this national organization was supported by the Brothers.

Sten Lindgren playing on his light-organ in 1971

As a naive and idealistic teenager I felt this was like entering Shangri-La. Meeting a man who, not only had observed flying saucers, but was in contact with the visitors and working with them. The meeting with Sten and Bjarne worked like a salvation experience and left me "high" for weeks. Kjell Jonsson and I founded our local group UFO-Södertälje with constant advice from Sten, who claimed telepathic information from the Brothers. For about two years we worked with all the many and unusual projects initiated by the IGF group, like going into some forest, holding hands and waiting for a flying saucer to land.

In the Autumn of 1972 I had become increasingly critical of the many claims and activities of Sten Lindgren and his group. Years of research and investigation later made it clear that many of the observations and contact experiences that he referred to had mundane explanations. I never found any concrete evidence that Sten was in physical contact with an alien group. But there were a few UFO observations with group members that are puzzling and not explained. Still I can to this day wonder whether he was, in spite of all misinterpretations and wild stories, really involved in some hidden activity? Here is an example:

In the autumn of 1964 Sten Lindgren together with his friend B.J. (known to me) went by car to a mine called Yxkullsgruvan in Västmanland, Sweden. The reason for this excursion was to find Lapis Lingua, sometimes called the psychic stone. The mine was closed and they didn´t find any Lapis Lingua but on their way home a cigarshaped mothership and several small bell-shaped craft appear over the car. One of the small craft makes a landing close to the road and Sten and his friend are led aboard and are then taken to the mothership. Here they meet a group of five or six people, among them two women and a man dessed in a suit. The spacepeople ask Sten if they are allowed to erase his memory of this visit. He believes he was somehow programmed on this occasion. Sten and B. J. are then led back to the car and continue the trip to Stockholm. According to Sten there were several hours missing in their journey. They came home very late. This is corroborated by B. J. but he has no memory of any UFO observation or contact. Sten was later put under hypnosis by an unknown physician and then became aware of what had happened during the missing hours.

Book written by Sten Lindgren (1997) - Dialogue With a Cosmic Culture

Looking back today on my involvement with Sten Lindgren and his group I feel priviliged for the experience. It was en excellent lesson in what esotericists would call "discrimination" or development of the critical faculty. Sten Lindgren was, and is, a gentle soul, a mystic, idealist and a man of goodwill. Even if his physical contact claims were fantasies his philosophy was a worthy mixture of contactee philosophy and esotericism. In 1972 he led a study circle in Parapsychology which was actually a course in esotericism, with a.o. material from the books by Theosophist Charles Leadbeater. Today I have no contact with Sten Lindgren but he was a catalyst in my life, in his own special way a guide and mentor that put me on a quest that still continue. For this I will be ever grateful.