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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