Alien Thinking

by Angela Hind, Pier Productions

BBC News, June 8, 2005

Not many scientists are prepared to take tales of alien abduction seriously, but John Mack, a Harvard professor who was killed in a road accident in north London last year, did. Ten years on from a row which nearly lost him his job, hundreds of people who claim they were abducted still revere him.

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The Aliens are Always with Us

by Bryan Appleyard

A Harvard professor killed in London last week had been vilified for his belief in the ‘third realm’. His theories may not be as mad as some think says Bryan Appleyard

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John Mack’s Transpersonal Journey Continues

by Bill Chalker

Like all of us I found the news of John Mack’s untimely passing very saddening.

While some of us might not have agreed with some of the directions John was taking the subject in, I think the field has been enriched by his involvement. When he was in Australia I supported his research into indigenous aboriginal abduction & UFO experiences — an area we both had a strong interest in, particularly its shamanic dimensions. On the hurdles he often encountered, particularly from mainstream academia, he once told me what he felt. Maybe his response was coloured by spending too much time in Australia, but clearly he enjoyed his time down down under. His response: “Fuck ‘em”. I smiled and wished him well. He was always a courageous and wonderful researcher. Full speed John on the rest of your transpersonal journey.

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Dr. Mack Responds to Psychology Today Article

by John E. Mack, M.D.

Dear Friends/List,

I cannot comment directly on what was said in the Psychology Today article, for, like many people in this and related fields, the distortions of positions and outright misquoting is so rampant in most mainstream articles on these subjects that it is impossible to “set the record straight.” It may be unwise to give interviews at all, but there is always the hope that something useful may get across — the reporters always assure you of their openness (they may be sometimes; editors and executives is another matter). There is also the damned-if-you-do damned-if-you-don’t problem: if you give an interview you’re likely to get distorted or boxed by a twisting context; if you don’t they sometimes get downright nasty.

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Witnessing: Abductees as Sacred Truth-Tellers

by John E. Mack, M.D.

ABSTRACT — The scientific method has been highly successful in giving us reliable ways of knowing about the material world as we know it. But we have yet to develop methodologies that are as reliable with respect to matters that are not clearly in the objective or the subjective realms but seem to partake of both. In this paper I will consider the elements of an expanded epistemology which might help to legitimize experiences that are giving us vital information about the cosmos but which cannot be substantiated by the ways of knowing now considered reliable in Western culture.

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The Environmental Message of the Aliens

by Robert J. Begiebing

Are we ready to admit this lesson of the Rio+5 and Kyoto environmental meetings: that we must finally give up hoping for environmental wisdom and political will from political leaders and their conferences? Perhaps we need to look elsewhere, to reconsider those visionary, religious traditions that would transform us. Certainly, by now there is a growing scientific consensus to help us along: if we value life on Earth, we must change our lives.

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On Human Identity

by John E. Mack, M.D.

The most important change that is needed by humanity now is to move beyond the boundaries of a limited group identity to a larger sense of being human.

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Dr. John Mack at the Seven Stars Bookstore

Harvard psychiatrist and Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer John E. Mack, M.D., spoke at the Seven Stars book store in his hometown of Cambridge, Massachusetts, earlier this spring (March 2000). Dr. Mack talked about his new book, Passport to the Cosmos, and shared where his journey has taken him in his understanding of the relationship between alien encounters and human transformation.

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Aliens: A Positive Experience

by Deborah Warren

What do people really want when they think about UFOs?

According to John Mack’s newest book Passport to the Cosmos, the first thing they want is for their experiences to stop. Only after they realize they have no power to stop the experience do they begin to accept a process that is informative and transformative — a process that propels them out of their narcissistic concerns and towards active involvement with environmental values, the survival of humanity and an exploration of spiritually-based consciousness. The Harvard psychiatrist also includes three other perspectives of contact with the “Star People.” These perspectives include those of a Native-American healer, a South African shaman, and an indiginous anthropologist from South America. The same themes continue to resonate through all perspectives.

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Contact Experience and Ancient Traditions

by Veronica Goodchild, Ph.D.

One of the difficulties of the alien encounter experience is trying to convey to others the kind of “place” or “landscape” of these anomalous visitations. Because in the West we are so used to restricting our experience within an empirical scientific worldview, things either happen in a world outside, or we have thoughts or feelings in an interior world.

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Remembering the Eternal: Plato’s View of Education in Anomalous Experiences

by Michael E. Zimmerman, Ph.D.

People describing the alien encounter experience often say that they receive information of some sort, as if they were being educated about complex topics that may seem crystal clear during the experience, but that may become cloudy or may even seem trivial afterward. The topics are frequently momentous, such as impending environmental calamity, whether brought about by human behavior or by some other cause, perhaps unknown.

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Integrating Extraordinary Experiences

by Roberta L. Colasanti, LICSW

At a mutidisciplinary meeting of academicians convened by the Center’s Program for Extraordinary Experience Research (PEER) in April 1999 at the Harvard Divinity School, PEER’s former clinical director Roberta Colasanti, LICSW, spoke about the people who seek clinical assistance in dealing with life-long alien encounter experiences. This transcript is excerpted from her presentation.

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Science is Humbled

by Reverend Jeffrey L. Brown and Janis A. Pryor

The Reverend Jeffrey Brown is pastor of the Union Baptist Church, Central Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Janis A. Pryor is an author who lives in Cambridge.

Perhaps the most significant consequence of John Mack’s work with abductees (those who believe they have had an encounter or encounters with alien beings) is forcing the scientific community to grudgingly accept that there may be a reality that cannot be measured in the material world; a reality that transcends the scientific process. Mack says that “the [west believes] that the only intelligence that exists in the universe comes out of the human brain, not God.” [But] this phenomenon, according to Mack, “opens us to a different sense of ourselves,” and “gets the western mind right where it lives.”

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Faces of the Visitors: Stranger Than Fiction

by Michael Lindemann

Given the incredible diversity of reported human experiences with alleged [alien] visitors, is it possible to say who or what we are dealing with? Perhaps the closest we can get to the truth is an idea that confounds and infuriates literalists everywhere: the nature of the visitors is in the eye of the beholder. They are real, but their perceived character is dependent upon the quality of individual perception.

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The Moral Truth is Out There

by Theodore Roszak

By definition, folklore is that which cannot be destroyed by mere facts. So it is unlikely that the Air Force’s latest effort to convince UFO enthusiasts that aliens did not crash at Roswell, NM, in 1947 will have any effect beyond feeding the voracious paranoia that now surrounds the story. As the public is leaning from The X-Files, the truth may be “out there,” but the main purpose of the United States government is to cover it up.

I began regarding the UFO fascination as something between a hoax and a fad the first time I was told the “truth” about Roswell by members of my own family in the late 1940s. I continued to view the matter with perfect skepticism until about four years ago, when I developed a rather different perspective.

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The Alien Abduction Phenomenon: Trauma or Transformation?

by John E. Mack, M.D.

The majority of “abductees” report some degree of trauma in connection with their experiences. The intrusive events themselves may be terrifying. Experiencers feel afraid to talk about what they have undergone lest they be ridiculed and further isolated. The experiences shock their ideas of reality. Finally, they feel helpless to predict or control when the experiences will occur again or befall their children and other loved ones whom they cannot protect.

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A Science of Not Knowing

by John E. Mack, M.D.

Despite official skepticism and even cynicism in media, government, and scientific circles, it must be evident to many Americans that something extraordinary – at least from the standpoint of the Western worldview – is going on. No conventional explanation for the thousands of reported cases of encounters with alien beings has been sufficient, and this remains true in spite of the fact that the experiencers themselves would, with rare exceptions, welcome any explanation other than that they are being visited without their permission by humanoid creatures from another place.

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Studying Intrusions from the Subtle Realm: How Can We Deepen Our Knowledge?

by John E. Mack, M.D.

Developed from a talk given at the International Association for New Science Conference, Fort Collins, Colorado, September 16, 1995

I want to talk with you about what I have been finding over the past now nearly six years in studying the alien abduction phenomenon. In the context of this meeting I wish to talk particularly about the ways that we know, how we actually know anything. What is the appropriate epistemology for a particular subject? It seems to me that all science, all knowledge really, is about the discovery of patterns, and that includes patterns of meaning. But how we know, the approach that we use, depends on what the matter at hand happens to be. For the sake of clarity, I would divide the realms that we are considering here between what has been called the gross material world on the one hand and the subtle realms on the other, or, in [psychiatrist] Stanislav Grof’s language, the hylotropic versus the holotropic world, or in [physicist] David Bohm’s terms, the explicate or manifest order or the implicate, or hidden, order, by which he means the structures, deeper reality and meaning in the universe.

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Harvard vs. the Space Aliens

by James Smart

A committee at Harvard Medical School is investigating a prominent professor because of his research about people who say they have been abducted now and again by little gray folks from outer space.

The medical school is part of Harvard University, which was founded in 1636 at Cambridge, Massachusetts. In those days they had their witch hunts farther north, up at Salem.

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Are Aliens Trying to Save Planet Earth?

By A. Robert Smith

A half dozen years ago, Harvard psychiatrist John Mack thought anyone who worked with people who claimed they’d been abducted by aliens from outer space must be crazy. A year later his whole frame of reference changed when he met Budd Hopkins, a pioneer in alien research who had worked with some 200 “abductees.”

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Exploring African and Other Alien Encounters

by Dominique Callimanopulos

John Mack and I were at the Ariel School, a small elementary school outside Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, listening to Elsa (not her real name) describe her encounter last September 16 [1994] with an “alien” being. In all, sixty children, ages six through twelve, reported seeing one large and several smaller “spaceships” land – hover, really – over the scrubby bushland adjoining their playground.

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More On John Mack’s Abduction

by Andrea Pritchard

“DO ALIENS EXIST?” This is a standard question for abduction books, but it is not the question addressed by John Mack in his book Abduction. He considers a question with more far-reaching consequences: “WHAT IF ALIENS EXIST?” The answers he gets from speaking with a number of experiencers is a positive, energetic portrayal of hope, spiritually fulfilling goals, and an indication that the individual and his or her choices may matter in the grand scheme.

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My Favorite Martians

by Kathryn Robinson

The other night I was reading along in Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens, the much-discussed new book by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Harvard psychiatrist John E. Mack. I was right at the part where Mack explains that right before people are abducted by aliens mysterious electrical malfunctions often occur. It being nightfall, I reached up to turn on a lamp. Sparks flew and the lamp suddenly burst into flames.

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The Outer Limits of the Soul

By Mark Gauvreau Judge

Increasing numbers of UFO abductees, as well as the experts who treat them, say their experiences have as much to do with inner as outer space.

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The UFO Abduction Phenomenon: What Does it Mean for the Transformation of Human Consciousness?

by John E. Mack, M.D.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally presented at the International Transpersonal Association Conference on “Science, Spirituality, and the Global Crisis: Toward a World with a Future,” which was held in Prague, Czechoslovakia. It was delivered on 25 June 1992. It was subsequently published in Primal Renaissance: The Journal of Primal Psychology, Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 1995, 96-110.

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Blowing the Western Mind

by John E. Mack, M.D.

We hear the expression “consensus reality” used more and more often to distinguish the conventional Western/Newtonian/Cartesian world view from other possible philosophies or frameworks of thought. The frequent bracketing of these words in writing and conversation implies that there is one accepted version of reality that includes a social agreement about what the mind may or may not legitimately countenance, if its owner wishes to remain within mainstream discourse. Yet there is also a connotation of questioning or doubt in the use of the modifying adjective “consensus,” even a certain defensiveness. It is as if the speaker, who may generally accept the prevailing paradigm, does not completely agree that what we have been acculturated to believe is, in fact, the only reality.

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