NonOrdinary States of Consciousness and the Accessing of Feelings

by John E. Mack, M.D.

We are seeing lately an expanded interest in psychotherapies, human growth-promoting workshops, and spiritually focused methods of inner exploration, which have in common the use of nonordinary states of consciousness to access deeper and more intense experience and emotion. At first glance, these approaches may appear new, deviant, or even radical. In actuality, however, they represent means of rediscovering access to realms of the psyche that have been familiar to ancient peoples and non-Western societies from the beginning of recorded time. Shamanic healing, mysticism, kundalini yoga, naturally growing hallucinatory plants, meditation methods, and ecstatic religious experiences arc but a few of the ways that human beings throughout history have opened themselves to the deeper regions of the psyche.

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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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