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John E. Mack – 2
are getting to be different. They’re not so much these traumatic, reproductive, hybrid-producing cases as people just being open to these other realities, and to the dimensions of knowledge of ourselves and of our role in the cosmos.
David: Why do you think that the experience is changing for these people?
John: I don’t know. I think partly the experience seems to transform as the person accepts it more. I think the culture itself may be more willing to at least be agnostic on the matter, and to accept that something is going on even though we can’t explain it.
David: Do you think that the alien abduction phenomenon itself has evolved or changed over the years that you’ve studied it?
John: That’s not a question that is possible to answer, because how it might occur to me does not necessarily reflect it, or how it has changed. It only reflects how it might be showing up to me, and that would be highly selected data. What comes to me in the first place, how I interpret it, and what maybe is happening to the phenomenon in a somewhat objective way could be different. What I see are people who are looking at its meaning for their lives, the way we live in this planet, treat one another and the Earth. The focus of the experiencers is moving in that direction. When I see new cases, they also tend to be focused more on the “light” elements, the luminous aspects of it, the so-called spiritual possibilities in it. This is not to say that these traumatic probing and seemingly reproductive-related experiences don’t occur, but I don’t see it as much.
You’d have to ask people for whom that’s the exclusive focus, whether the abduction phenomenon is changing, because my own interests have moved away from that, and so I’m probably less likely to see it. But I think there is some data, like a recent second Roper poll, after the more famous one, in which there seemed to be less of the direct alien encounter experiences in the kind of raw way that they were happening before. But I see many people who are experiencing a connection with a presence, or with beings, or with openings in the heavens, or to light, that takes them into another dimension, without necessarily the abduction. Or they see the entities, and they connect with it, but without necessarily having the experience of being bodily taken through walls of houses up into space ships. If that’s happening, or if people are reporting that a lot, they’re not to me. But that doesn’t say much, because that’s not where my focus has been in the last few years.
David: You mentioned in your book Abduction that the abduction phenomena has important philosophical, spiritual, and social implications. Can you explain what you mean by this?
John: This has to do with the notion that the whole Western scientific, philosophical and religious enterprise has been to eliminate unseen agency from the cosmos, to deny it, to isolate ourselves in what Tulane philosophy professor Michael Zimmerman called anthropocentric humanism–meaning that we think we’re the center of the intellectual cosmos.
That’s actually a terribly painful place to be. Maybe there’s a certain narcissistic pleasure in thinking you’re the top of the hierarchy in a Godless universe. This self-inflated, technologically-oriented culture that we’re in can provide a kind of egoistic pleasure, but at the same time it’s a terribly false and isolating state of mind to be in. So there’s a natural appetite–what Jung called a spiritual hunger–to feel some real connection with something beyond our material surroundings. So anything that suggests this will be attractive, particularly in a case with this much evidence, because it’s not just what somebody is saying in church–there’s actually something that frames itself at least in part materially.
This is very exciting, because it says that we are not alone. I mean, just look at all the excitement around this possibility of some sort of microorganisms from Mars. Stephen Jay Gould said that the leap from there to sophisticated complex beings like us is a vast one. Well, it’s also a pretty great leap from beings like us to the kind of things that I talk about, and yet there is some kind of psychological connection. I think that the excitement around all this is that it does hint that there is some kind of other intelligence. It reanimates the universe. It re-connects us to the divine, and potentially it may bridge us back to the daimonic world. There’s a deep hunger to be re-connected with, what my abductees call, “Home” or “Source”.
This phenomenon appears to require that we acknowledge that–if the universe isn’t intelligent in itself–it contains intelligences. Acknowledging that peoples’ psyches are opened to a much wider universe is very