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John E. Mack – 2
there are such organized rings in this three-dimensional world that we inhabit, but I could be wrong. I think it’s a daimonic reality par excellence.
David: Years ago I worked with a woman who suffered from multiple personality disorder, who told me highly detailed, extremely compelling stories about being raised in a Satanic ritual environment. She was a very intelligent woman, and she had me completely convinced.
David: I mean, this woman was truly traumatized, and she was in a hospital at the time.
John: Yup, yup, yup. They’re honest people, and they’re not dealing with some false memory, something that they’ve made up, or anything like that. It’s a mystery. Maybe it’s some kind of interdimensional consciousness, but we don’t have a framework for that. So we tend to think it’s either literally true or it’s made up. Those are the only choices we have, because, I think, that’s all that Western consciousness in its narrow sense admits.
David: What are your plans for the future?
John: I’m continuing this work, and I’ve had many more cases. I’ve gotten more deeply into the consciousness aspect and spiritual meaning of this, and I’m very interested in the cultural changes around it. In other words, what is the resistance to it? The kind of questions you’re asking. Why has it created so much controversy? Why is it hard to accept this? When I travel around the world, I see that people in other cultures that are not imbued in the Western Cartesian-Newtonian-
David: Do these cultures report the phenomenon as often?
John: In different forms, and not always in the literal physical way that our classic abduction cases here are. Sometimes they’re quite physical, and sometimes they’re less. Often the beings will communicate to people that they’re not really like how they appear, but they have to show up in a certain material form for us to perceive them. If they showed up as they really are, you’d either be disturbed, or you couldn’t recognize them.
If these beings actually are many thousands of years more advanced than ourselves, it’s very possible that the way such entities would naturally appear would not be familiar to us. But these other cultures that have these cases don’t find it as shocking to their world view as we do. This is because they haven’t set up this dichotomy to the same degree as us between the material world and unseen realms, and that there shouldn’t be any crossover between them.
In the nineteenth century there was this fad of mediumship, and access to other realms by different seers. In particular there was a renowned spirualist named Home, and the British Academy set out, as they would, to debunk him. They sent a leading scientist by the name of Sir William Crookes to visit Home, and to look into all these claims of visitations from the other world, etc. So Crookes soaked himself in this, and came to the conclusion that it was real, that he couldn’t debunk it. He couldn’t show it all to be fraudulent. So he came back to the Academy and reported what he had found. Needless to say they were quite irate, and they said to him that it is not possible, and he said, “I never said it was possible, I just said it was true.”
David: How has your study of shamanism helped to shed light on the alien abduction phenomenon?
John: I noticed two things. As I worked with the experiencers in this country, and in Western cultures, they seemed to be personally drawn to shamanism. The reason for that has to do with the fact that many of the animal forces that they encounter, and many other aspects of the experience seem to them to have similarities to shamanic initiation and journeys–such as the representations of beings in animal form, and the initiatory aspect of it. So they become interested in this. The other aspect of this has to do with the work I was talking about earlier that I’d done with indigenous people, especially medicine people, who very often, if not virtually always, can report some kind of encounter with strange beings, or with what we call UFO’s. So I saw this from both directions. It seemed to me that the consciousness that is associated with the shamanic education, shall we say, admits of the phenomenon and it’s part of that consciousness. So one is naturally lead into that world. Sue Jamieson and I wrote an article that appeared for the magazine Shamanism in the last year or so, where we compared UFO encounters and shamanic initiations and journeys as two ways to enter into a