Transformation Key to a Mack Extravaganza, UFO's & ETI's
Recently I read a 2013 Vanity Fair article on the now deceased Dr. John Mack. The distinguished Pulitzer Prize winning author (for his biography of T.E. Lawrence) and professor of psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School's Cambridge Hospital left quite a legacy. I am mesmerized by this incredible human being, and have a deep and profound admiration for his work. In the event that you don’t know Mack’s work, as a recap, he became known for his public support and his work with patients who believed they had been abducted by aliens. After working with over 200 patients, John Mack stood up to Western traditional medicine and stated that his patients were not mentally ill, but normal everyday people that had experienced something profound.
Under hypnosis, he opened the door to his patient’s subconscious stories, their histories, and he held the trauma while treating their ontological shock. He also went on public record, putting his reputation on the line in the 90’s, by being interviewed by Oprah and others on the subject. During this time, he wrote two books on the topic, Abduction and Passport to the Cosmos. These best selling accounts of the experiences of his patients and his work with them are now a classic on the subject of UFO’s and extraterrestrials.
Unfortunately, a drunk driver tragically struck down John Mack as he stepped off the curb in London after presenting at a symposium. Ralph Blumenthal, writes in the Vanity Fair article that at Mack’s funeral, many recalled one of his favorite quotes, from Rilke’s Letter to a Young Poet (as translated by Stephen Mitchell): “That is at bottom the only courage that is demanded of us: to have courage for the most strange, the most singular and the most inexplicable that we may encounter. That mankind has in this sense been cowardly has done life endless harm; the experiences that are called ‘visions,’ the whole so-called ‘spirit-world,’ death, all those things that are so closely akin to us, have by daily parrying been so crowded out of life that the senses with which we could have grasped them are atrophied. To say nothing of God.”
In thinking of this quote, it seems that as a culture, we are splintered in different directions, our spiritual lives on hold, as we try to find balance and meaning in the meaningless. Some put their time and energy into things that fill their lives with energy, and material things, but the only thing that is real is the positive energy we get from the people we love and the things that bring us peace or bring peace and service to others. At the end of the article, Roberta Colasanti, one of Mack’s research associates, said he communicated to her a cryptic message on the abductions they had been studying: “It’s not what we thought.” Colasanti waited breathlessly for the solution to the mystery, but it didn’t come. Mack promised to return with more information. So far he hasn’t. But then, timing is everything.
John Mack vacillated between the physical and non-physical, the literal and figurative meaning of the “encounters” (his preferred word for abduction) that his patients were experiencing. Mack wasn't alone in his discussion regarding the UFO/ETI phenomenon as a catapult to a spiritually transformative movement, launching us to otherworldly dimensions, and straddling the fence between the physical and the nonphysical. Carl G. Jung, psychiatrist and prolific writer of phenomenology, ontological shock and the UFO/ETI phenomenon in the 50's wrote that UFO's are a projection of our collective unconscious. He wrote the book, "Flying Saucers" in 1959, Jung's attempt to tackle the UFO phenomenon. He felt that Western man has lost his belief in the God of Christianity. However he believed that the human psyche has a religious, myth-making function, which simply cannot be turned off, and that UFOs become a psychological substitute for God. Jung connects the UFO phenomenon with universal anxieties, connecting UFOs to his ideas about a (literal) collective unconscious, its "projections" and its "archetypes” envisioned as a living mandala of sorts, leading to a spiritual transformation. Jung and Mack seemed to be saying similar things.
Perhaps we are all opening new doors, searching for new answers to old ways of viewing the world. Certainly Western science needs a tune up to fix outdated ideas, to rewrite history, science, medicine and reality itself to an updated version. We are a humanity looking for the answers to an old song, but what if we write a new song? Will we elevate ourselves; evolve to a new way of viewing the world? It can be done, one person at a time and in fact, only through our personal inner work will our amnesia dissipate, allowing our personal transformation to part that illusive veil between us and all else. This is work worth our effort, the key to deep meaningful transformation, to a “Mack” extravaganza of remarkable proportions. Opening the door to the inner world is never easy, but you will be glad you did.
Ralph Blumenthal Vanity Fair, May 10, 2013