TOUCHED premieres at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts: film documents lives ‘touched’ by alien encounters

January 15, 2003

A new film by Emmy-nominated filmmaker Laurel Chiten, TOUCHED, premieres at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts on February 20. TOUCHED is much more than a look at alien encounters. It is about the human condition – about longing for connection and fear of separation.

Dr. John Mack, the founder of the Center and a leading authority on the traumatic and transformational elements of alien encounters, invited the Emmy-nominated filmmaker to document the lives of several “experiencers” in the faith that she would see that the phenomenon – regardless of whether aliens are as real as they seem – is ultimately one that profoundly affects people’s lives.

“Following the lead of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell the audience will witness an archetypal ‘Hero’s Journey.'” Chiten explains. “For the subjects of our film, their experiences have resulted in a kind of Holy Grail search for truth. Beneath the sensational aspects of alien encounters, these are real people looking for answers. TOUCHED will follow a human quest to solve a mystery – perhaps only to find that the answer is the quest itself.”

The experiencers, Mack observed, were being forced to reevaluate their sense of the world, and how they relate to it. As one put it, “It makes you feel. It makes you move – sometimes violently – through things you don’t want to move through in your psyche and your ego and any of the other words you choose to call yourself.”

At a Center event in 1999, an overwhelming majority of experiencers supported the position that their alien encounters are acting as a catalyst for their own – and humanity’s collective – evolution. The personal challenges that such an evolution entails for four experiencers, their friends and loved ones, are in evidence in Chiten’s new film.

Chiten’s earlier films include The Jew in the Lotus, which explores the intersection of Buddhism with Judaism, and the Emmy-nominated Twitch and Shout, which focuses on people with Tourette Syndrome. Both of her earlier films have been shown nationally on PBS; TOUCHED is now on offer.

TOUCHED premieres at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts
Thursday February 20, 2003 at 8pm
with reception following. The filmmaker and Dr. John Mack will be present.
Three additional screenings of TOUCHED are planned:
Sunday March 9 at 12:20 (film only);
Friday April 11 at 8pm (filmmaker and Dr. Mack expected); and
Wednesday April 16 at 6pm (filmmaker and Dr. Mack expected).

For advance tickets and for more information visit

Touched will be released on home video after being screened around the country. There are no plans to release this documentary to television.

Boston’s Weekly Dig
April 2002

Touched, a documentary by Laurel Chiten, offers a uniquely contemplative perspective on the alien abduction phenomenon. It avoids cheesy flying saucer footage and tabloid hyperbole to focus on real people looking for the truth behind their unique experiences. Chiten presents the “experiencers” and their stories with sensitivity and without judgment, and does not attempt to prove or dispove their theories. She was introduced to their world by John Mack, M.D., a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Harvard Medical School professor whose research into alien abductions has brought him professional ridicule. Initially uninterested, Chiten became intruiged once she met the human beings behind the wild stories. Mack is an eccentric presence throughout the film, which allows him a dignity he doesn’t often receive in the press. Along with Harvard colleague Alan Dershowitz, he provides some amusingly outspoken commentary on the university’s academic politics. Brazilian experiencers and a surprisingly open-minded Vatican demonologist also provide intruiging commentary. Screening at the Museum of Fine Arts on April 11 at 8pm and April 16 at 6pm. See for more information.

Imagine Magazine
Feb 2003
Close Encounters with Laurel Chiten
by Erin Trahan

One snowy Boston evening changed the course of things for director Laurel Chiten. “I feel like John Mack abducted me,” she laughs.

“I don’t know what was going on that night, I was being so goofy, making everyone laugh.” The snow prevented a colleague from introducing her film, THE JEW IN THE LOTUS. So she arrived at the MFA, appealingly disheveled, to take his place. It was her sense of humor and her edge that prompted John Mack to seek her out after the film. “I didn’t even know who he was. He wanted me to make a film about alien abductions.”

So who is John Mack? Though a professor of psychiatry at Harvard and a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, his celebrity is arguably more attached to his research on alien encounters than more “suitable” subjects for a person of his ilk. Since publishing the best selling book Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens in 1997 (and outing him as a presumed extraterrestrial “believer” on shows like OPRAH and the TODAY SHOW), Mack grew frustrated, even bored by the predictable questioning of whether accounts of abductions were true or false. His next book on the subject, Passport to the Cosmos, is meant to move beyond the question of “if” and to a question that he believes is more relevant to earthly life “what do alien abductions mean for us?”

Chiten’s immediate reaction to exploring the topic of alien abduction was to push the project away. “I knew absolutely nothing about the subject, and more importantly, I didn’t care about it.” Her other films like TWITCH AND SHOUT and THE JEW IN THE LOTUS came from her kitchkes, they were personal to her. When she finally started sifting through the first-person accounts of missing time, bodily probing, sperm extraction, impregnation, and apocalyptic warnings, Chiten reacted like most first-time abductees: she was frightened. She acknowledges that the topic called up her deepest fears, fears she cannot necessarily name. “I was emphatic about not making this film,” she reiterates.

But Mack’s persistence led to an encounter at the Harvard faculty club, where Chiten first heard “experiencers” (as they call themselves) speak. She was struck by how sane the speakers appeared. “One woman reached out her hand to describe how it felt to be touched by an alien . . . and she started to cry. Forget aliens, it was so human to me, this longing to connect.” It is the translation of ostensibly inhuman experiences into unavoidably human terms that Chiten explores in TOUCHED.

TOUCHED is Chiten’s third documentary. For someone who never set out to be a director, she’s developed an impressive niche. She started with two series: TWO IN TWENTY, a five-episode satirical soap and a ten-part video series based on Robin Casarjian’s book, House of Healing. Would-be-directors may not want to hear Chiten’s thoughts about joining her ranks. “Don’t become a filmmaker unless you have to. It is extremely hard work.” And has she made money from her films? Not really. Yet every time she engages a new subject, she falls in love, only to revisit the stress and anxiety of wondering if the film will ever be seen or appreciated once completed. Since she is just wrapping production on TOUCHED, in preparation for its February 20 debut at the MFA, she admits to being stretched a little thin.

Fortunately, she surrounded herself with a great crew: “I attract people who are much smarter than I am, they make me look really good.” Perhaps too modest, Chiten has had colleagues claim that it is her credibility as a filmmaker that will get them through the door of seeing her latest, potentially controversial film.

TOUCHED has been unique for Chiten because it essentially has three coproducers: Chiten along with editor Sabrina Zanella-Foresi and DP Andy Abraham Wilson. Even with their camaraderie, the crew approached the subject matter with differing philosophies. “Let’s just say I was Scully and Andy was Mulder. We actually called each other that.” Apparently “Mulder” was eager to experience his own UFO ride.

One unexpected (and still highly confidential) occurrence dramatically affected the film at its zero hour. Let’s just say something happened to a character that in Chiten’s words “had a ripple effect on the entire film.” She promises the newly integrated material makes for an even more intense ending.

“TOUCHED is really the most provocative film I’ve done.” Chiten wishes the film could tour the world, with she and Mack answering Q and A. Not that the film is about answers. But it opens up questions about the reorganization and reevaluation of strongly held beliefs about the cosmos, the divine, and the ever-pressing need for human connection. Chiten calls it a “launch pad” for discussing the pain and healing of transformation, inevitably and ultimately human.

Chiten’s next projects are in various stages of production. She is working on “Freedom Behind Bars”, in collaboration with The Lionheart Foundation, about a ten-day meditation retreat inside a maximum-security prison in Alabama as well as “Twisted” about a neurological disorder even more unknown than Tourette’s Syndrome. Chiten describes, “like a TWITCH AND SHOUT two.” Both of these have footage shot and she is looking for funding.

Chiten chalks up her chance meeting with Mack as serendipitous. But when asked about how she chooses her next film project she says, “Most of the time I don’t pick a project, they pick me.” Maybe TOUCHED will explain exactly who “they” are. Or maybe it’s more exhilarating not to know.

TOUCHED premieres at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston on February 20th at 8 pm. Both Laurel Chiten and John E. Mack will be present.. And will screen again on March 9 at 12:20 pm, Friday, April 11, at 8 pm with John Mack present, and Wednesday, April 16, at 6 pm. For more information about TOUCHED or Laurel Chiten, visit

Erin Trahan is a freelance writer who frequently contributes to Imagine Magazine. She is a member of the Board for Women in Film/Video New England and lives in Jamaica Plain, MA.

January 2003

Drawn to Human Drama
Director Laurel Chiten delves into the world of alien abductees in her latest documentary “Touched”
By Amy Roeder

Director Laurel Chiten says that she “keeps making the same film over and over again.” Of course, the parallels between Chiten’s stories of alien abductees, individuals with Tourette’s Syndrome, and a Jewish writer and group of rabbis on a trip to meet the Dalai Lama may not seem obvious, but each is driven by the search for a sense of connection, Chiten explains.

Chiten recently completed the documentary, “Touched,” which will premiere on February 20, 2003 at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The film focuses on people who believe that they have experienced alien encounters. This is not the typical tabloid treatment of the topic, but rather an exploration of real people looking for answers. Whether or not the subjects’ stories are real, it is clear that each individual’s life has been irrevocably transformed by their quest to solve the mystery of their experience.

The central figure in the story is John Mack, M.D., a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Harvard Medical School professor who suffered public and professional ridicule when he became a “believer.” Mack approached Chiten about making a film based on his research. She initially had no interest in the subject, but agreed to accompany Mack to hear some alleged abductees, or “experiencers,” speak. Chiten became intrigued once she met the human beings behind the wild stories of bodily probing and alien/human-hybrid breeding programs. She wondered, “What happens when the unexplained intrudes into our lives, and how do lives and relationships respond when credulity is strained to the breaking point?” The resulting film is “not really about aliens,” Chiten said. “It’s about what people do when they’re dealt something difficult.”

“I’m interested in underdog stories,” Chiten said, “giving a voice to people outside of society’s norm. The films are all about going on a journey. And they all have a spiritual underpinning, and a similar sense of humor.”

Chiten finds storytelling to be the most compelling aspect of filmmaking. A certified American Sign Language interpreter, she started her career writing and directing deaf theater productions. She was drawn to film as a way to use her own voice. Her first major project was as producer, director and co-writer or the 5-part satirical lesbian soap opera, “Two in Twenty. ” Originally shown on public access, the series has attained cult status on home video.

She created her landmark documentary about people living with Tourette’s Syndrome, “Twitch and Shout,” with the intention of following it up with a narrative film. Diagnosed with a mild case of Tourette’s herself, Chiten hoped to raise awareness about this often misunderstood genetic neurological disorder which can cause uncontrollable muscle tics and vocal expressions. The film “put Tourette’s on the map,” Chiten said, and eventually garnered nationwide airplay on the PBS series “P.O.V.,” in addition to an Emmy nomination and numerous other honors. However, after five years in production, she was left debt-ridden, exhausted and vowing never to make another film.

But Chiten did not keep that vow for long. Looking for spiritual solace on a Buddhist chat room one night, she discovered the book “The Jew in the Lotus” by Roger Kamenetz, a best-selling account of the 1990 visit of eight rabbis to India to meet the Dalai Lama and share “the secret of Jewish spiritual survival in exile.” Kamenetz, who was recovering from the death of his baby, tagged along to chronicle the event,
and was transformed by the experience. Chiten was inspired to take on the difficult task of translating a book with very little narrative into a film. Over the course of production, the theme of the film evolved into an exploration of the ways in which spirituality can help people deal with suffering.

“Filmmaking is a lot like falling in love,” Chiten wrote for the premiere of “The Jew in the Lotus” at the 1998 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. “We have no control over who we fall in love with. … I never look for a story but wait until I ‘fall in love’ with something that I simply cannot say no to. Then I become elated and driven totally amnesiac, forgetting how difficult the ‘relationship’ can be.”

“The Jew in the Lotus” was broadcast nationwide on PBS’ “Independent Lens,” and has screened around the world. It was honored with the Most Outstanding Personal Vision award from the New England Film and Video Festival.

Among Chiten’s other projects is “Houses of Healing,” a 10-part series she produced based on Robin Casarjian’s emotional awareness course for prisoners. Chiten also is a frequent public speaker, and a teacher at the Boston Film and Video Foundation, Maine Photographic Workshops and the Digital Media Workshops. An artist-inresidence at several prestigious artists’ colonies, Chiten was honored with the Artist’s Fellowship for creativity in video production from the Massachusetts Council for the Arts and Humanities in 1987. She served as a documentary juror at the 2001 Florida Film Festival.

Chiten said that she still hopes to make a narrative film some day, but says, “Documentary ideas keep presenting themselves to me. Who knows what I’ll do next?”

Amy Roeder is a Boston-based freelance writer.

Symposiums with Mack, Vallee, Kaku, Hopkins, and Jacobs to air on SciFi Channel

December 5, 2002

Those interested in our research into extraordinary experiences may be pleased to learn that an hour of highlights from the SciFi Channel’s two recent symposiums on alien encounters (in NY and Washington DC) will be aired at 3AM, late night of Friday December 13 (technically that is the morning of December 14).

Included are excerpts from presentations by Dr. John Mack, Dr. Jacques Vallee, Dr. Michio Kaku, Budd Hopkins, and Dr. David Jacobs.

This special will be repeated Sunday, 12/22 at 2:00 a.m., Friday, 12/27 at 7:00 a.m., and Saturday, 12/28 at 5:00 a.m

Alien Abduction Diaries documentary presents “an intimate look at otherworldly encounters”

November 6, 2002

On November 21, the Sci-Fi Channel is presenting THE ALIEN ABDUCTION DIARIES, an intimate look at otherworldly encounters, their aftermath and the unexpected impact on human lives in this production by award-winning documentary filmmakers Tina DiFeliciantonio and Jane C. Wagner.

Kathy, one of the experiencers who braved the media exposure recently shared her impressions of the filmmakers: “Their approach towards the subject of contact impressed me. They were much more open to the perspective that contact could be a positive experience, that aliens weren’t necessarily bad guys and a threat to humanity. And they abhorred the traditional sensationalism that tends to be portrayed in such programs.” “I realize that working on this major media project is a risk,” she continues, “but I felt participating in this might be an important and hopefully positive contribution to educating the public about UFOs and contact experience, which is why I went ahead with it.”

Airs Friday, November 22, at 10PM
Saturday, November 23, at 4PM
Tuesday, November 26, at 8AM

In related news, Dr. John Mack’s first-ever online LIVE CHAT about alien encounters was held by the SciFi Channel a couple weeks ago; the transcript is available on our website:
Click here

Both of the above events are part of the launch of Steven Spielberg’s upcoming epic miniseries, TAKEN, which airs this December on the SciFi Channel in the US, and early next year on the BBC.

Clinical Approaches to Unusual Experiences: Grand Rounds at Cambridge Hospital with Dr. John Mack

February 2, 2000

Psychiatrists and other mental health professionals often see clients whose experiences seem unfamiliar and do not fit the categories of the DSM-IV, the standard manual for psychological diagnoses. Our tendency in such cases may be to treat the experiences as pathological or to force them into categories to which they do not belong.

On February 2nd, Dr. Mack and Roberta Colasanti, LICSW, spoke at the psychiatry Grand Rounds of the Cambridge Hospital (a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School) to address how worldviews shape how we think about cases, and what clinical approaches may be more helpful to people who bring their unusual experiences to therapists.

Dr. Mack’s newest book published

December 31, 1999

John E. Mack’s newest book, Passport to the Cosmos: Human Transformation and Alien Encounters, is the culmination of five years of additional research (since 1994’s Abduction) with more than 200 people who have reported encounters with beings often described as aliens (“experiencers”). A trade paperback edition is being released in November 2000. The book is dedicated to the experiencers with whom Dr. Mack has worked over the past ten years.

“I am interested in the meaning of these experiences for the so-called abductees and for humankind more generally,” Dr. Mack, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, writes in the preface. “In that sense, Passport to the Cosmos is not simply about abductions but has to do with what such anomalous experiences and related phenomena can tell us about ourselves and our evolving knowledge of the nature of reality.”

Dr. Mack presents common themes that have emerged in his work with experiencers from the West, as well as experiencers from indigenous cultures from northern Brazil to South Africa.

In an interview soon after publication, Dr. Mack said, “I have come to feel this phenomena is a very complex engagement of a larger intelligence (‘Source’ is the word most often used) through perhaps intermediaries (the ‘aliens’), towards some apparent end, which is the evolution of consciousness and the preservation of this planet.”

“The people who have the experiences move. They change. They grow. They transform. They become Earth-conscious. That is why I seek to give them voice, for they become passionate on behalf of the stewardship of the Earth.”

Passport to the Cosmos is arranged in topical chapters that explore the emergent themes through the lenses of philosophy, anthropology, theology, developmental and transpersonal psychology, trauma theory, consciousness research, and physics. These explorations are laid out in four sections. The first one introduces the phenomenon and asks the reader to question the way in which one’s worldview affects the ability to integrate new information.

Next, Dr. Mack explores the theme of “protecting the Earth”, an environmental message many experiencers receive, and examines reported reproductive procedures that seem to suggest a “hybrid project” has joined humanity and the alien beings in a sense that may be both literal and symbolic.

A cross-cultural perspective is explored at length in the third section. The experiences and philosophies of experiencers who have lived in indigenous cultures — including Native American Choctaw member Sequoyah Trueblood[1], Brazilian shaman and anthropologist Bernardo Peixoto of the Ureu-eu-wau-wau (“People of the Stars”), and South African sangoma Vusumazulu Credo Mutwa — are compared and contrasted with those of experiencers whose upbringing has been solely in the Western worldview. Dr. Mack suggests that much can be learned from indigenous cultures about ways to approach this phenomenon that may enhance both the acquisition of information and our integration of it.

The final section of Passport to the Cosmos explores the trauma and transformation that experiencers go through as they enter into a relationship with their experiences. The experiences, Dr. Mack concludes, ask much of the participants — experiencers, researchers, and the greater public alike. However, Dr. Mack believes that if humanity can successfully move beyond the terror of the unfamiliar on both an individual and institutional level, we can learn much more about humanity’s relationship to the cosmos in which we live.

During an interview on NBC’s The Today Show, host Matt Lauer asked Dr. Mack, “Why would it benefit me to read these people’s stories in this book?”

“The purpose of doing this work,” Dr. Mack replied, “is to open us to the idea that the universe may be vastly more interesting, containing entities, energies, beings that we did not know existed. When we open that consciousness, we open to a larger reality. We’re not simply Earth-bound in our consciousness as if we were the top intelligence in the cosmos. We come more modestly to realize we are in connection with energies, beings, whatever it may be that is beyond ourselves. And that would be a very healthy development for this species, it seems to me.”

On that theme, Dr. Mack replied to radio host Bob Hieronimus’ inquiry about why he chose the title Passport to the Cosmos. “Passport is a word used to maintain borders between countries. These experiences, by cracking open that ethnonational bias or restricted consciousness, if you will, that mistaken identity that we are simply members of a certain country, people discover they are citizens of a much larger reality, of a cosmic reality. They are citizens of universal experience. And the universe is not particularly concerned with white people, black people, Americans versus Russians — the universe as far as I can tell is not dividing itself that way. The idea of the title is that this experience can expand our sense of who we are beyond our national prejudices.”

Soon after the hardcover’s release, calls and letters from the public were arriving at PEER daily. A stockbroker from Cocoa Beach, Florida, wrote, “Why do we pick up books we have never heard of, and then are tremendously influenced by them forever? Yours has done that to me. Passport to the Cosmos has opened up an entirely new perception of the universe for me.”

[1] A note from the editor of the JEMI website: Sequoyah Trueblood’s (Dec 15, 1940-) assertion of Native American heritage is disputed; the Trueblood line from which he is descended were Quakers who came from England in the late 1600s. Census records identify various descendants by the early 1900s as Native American (referred to then as “Indian”), and the Trueblood surname appears as being Choctaw in the Dawes Roll. His belief that his father (1921?-2006) was Choctaw may be sincere but definitive documentation about his actual percentage of Native American heritage seems to be lacking.

PEER Visits New York

November 17, 1999

The Program for Extraordinary Experience Research (PEER) visited New York City in mid-November to formally introduce Dr. Mack’s new book, Passport to the Cosmos, and to present to the public a summary of our current understanding of the nature and meaning of the alien encounter experience. The event was held in the main auditorium of the New York Academy of Medicine on Fifth Avenue.

Before the evening’s presentation, a prototype of a musical piece by composer David Ison was played. Mr. Ison’s composition for PEER, “Voices of the Experience”, features the voices of experiencers excerpted with permission from PEER’s clinical sessions. The music moves from rhythms of fear, to a place of unknowing, to reconnection. The excerpts from experiencers were selected to reflect these stages.

Beginning the presentation, PEER’s clinical director Roberta Colasanti, LICSW, provided an overview of the stages of evolution from trauma to transformation that PEER’s clinical team has seen in working with experiencers.

She stated that the reactions of fear, denial, compartmentalizing, depression, and intense questioning are all parts of the process of adjusting one’s worldview in the face of conflicting information. Using data from PEER’s 80-subject comparative personality study, she examined each of the diagnoses that are typically suggested as explicatory of these experiences, and explained why they fail to adequately account for the phenomenon.

A central question arose from her presentation, namely, “After we have faced the reality of these experiences, what do we do next?”

Dr. Mack then spoke at length about where his exploration of this phenomenon has brought him, and where it may lead our Western culture. Later in the program, they were joined on stage by a woman whose recall of her alien encounter experiences began unexpectedly while she underwent a routine acupuncture procedure.

Rising enthusiastically from the audience at the start of the question and answer period, actor Dan Aykroyd asked how many members of the audience would try to prevent having further experiences if it were possible to do so, and how many would choose to continue having them. Amajority raised their hands in favor of continuing to have such experiences.

An experiencer in the audience spoke of heightened compassion for humanity that arose from having interactions with beings whose telepathic communications seem to flow into her body. She asked the audience to consider how we as a culture could communicate with each other and diminish our isolation from one another — an isolation which, like many experiencers, she feels quite profoundly and is painful for her to see around her. She spoke of the difficulty of living in a culture that does not value or trust other people, let alone visitors from afar.

Pioneering researcher Budd Hopkins joined the conversation to suggest that until we are able to interact with the beings as equals, we should hold them with the same distrust that some people hold the United States government.

The event drew a lot of interest from the media with coverage from Jane Hanson of NBC television, the New York Times, and the Boston Globe. An audio excerpt of Jane Hanson’s interview with Dr. Mack (which was not aired) is available:

Listen to Jane Hanson of Today in NY (7 min excerpt of an unreleased Nov 17, 1999 interview with Dr. Mack)(mp3)

State of the World Forum, San Francisco hosts Dr. Mack and an “experiencer”

October 1999: State of the World Forum, San Francisco

The State of the World Forum, held October 1 to 6 in San Francisco, gathered more than 800 luminaries, leaders, and futurists from around the world to develop and examine systemic solutions that impact business, politics, and human development into the next millennium. It is in a spirit of mutual respect and inquiry that discussions are held, accentuating the ethical and spiritual aspects of the issues as they arise. The annual conferences seek to quite literally explore the “state of the world” in all its multidimensionality. This Fifth Annual State of the World Forum was a special anniversary event launching the forum’s millennium programs.

Dr. John Mack and Dr. Michael Zimmerman (see p. 3), participated in “A Conversation at the Edge of Human Knowledge and Experience” with philosopher Rick Tarnas, author of Passion of the Western Mind, and transpersonal psychology advocate Georgia Kelly. They were joined by an experiencer who shared lessons she feels we are expected to learn from alien interactions with humankind. Dr. Mack also contributed to a forum moderated by Daniel Sheehan featuring Donald Beck, Guru Charan, Brian Greene, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Ralph Potter, Beverly Rubik, Brian Swimme, Richard Tarnas, and Marianne Williamson.

A high level of engagement was reported during this and many other conversations that addressed the edge of humankind’s understanding, and PEER is looking forward to continuing relationships with many of the people who shared in this dialogue.

Dr. John Mack in Dharamsala, India

September 1999: Dharamsala, India

Dr. John Mack traveled to Dharamsala, India, where he was part of a symposium invited to meet with His Holiness the Dalai Lama to explore how to create a culture of peace. The convener of this meeting was the Association for Global New Thought, with co-direction from the Synthesis Institute and the Dearborn Institute.

In an interview with New Dimensions radio, Dr. Mack was asked what came into focus from being in Dharamsala.

“What I take from this is a skillful means of interrupting cycles of violence. The strategies, or new forms of power, have to be much more imaginative, inventive, and powerful than ever before.”

“Power is the latent, creative energy in the universe. Power is not dominating another person, or conquering another nation.”

“The problems in the world, in a large part, derive from the fact that the people who are willing to use that power destructively are less afraid to use it, than those of us that seek a higher level of consciousness. It’s as if a higher level of consciousness is synonymous with a retreat from power. But it must not be that way. We must use new, imaginative ways of compassion, persuasion, influence, saying no — All kinds of things which are non-violent, but are also powerful.”