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John E. Mack – 2

we’re working on at the Center for Psychology and Social Change.
Here in Cambridge we’re also developing an Institute for Psychological and Spiritual Development. I’m working with colleagues on this project, which will be a place for people who are having extraordinary experiences to come–where they won’t be diagnosed with some sort of psychopathology–and to educate and train healthcare professionals in the spiritual dimension of human illness, both physical and mental. This is the practical application of the research that I’ve been doing with the encounter phenomenon. I’m still seeing those individuals, but that’s more like the esoteric part. The application of that work, in the mainstream, is to to create this Institute of Psychological and Spiritual Development.

David: Is there anything that we haven’t discussed that you’d like to add?

John: I know that because I’m associated with the so-called alien abduction phenomenon your focus with me is going to be on the literal reality of it. Is it real? What’s going on here physically? That’s what we do in our Western ways, and that’s what I’ve done for much of this. But I want to stress that I think it’s more important to see that this phenomenon is one of a variety of phenomena that we call anomalous or extraordinary, all of which have in common that they are gateways, or avenues, to another level of being or consciousness, and that other level, higher consciousness, whatever you want to call it, is what we have cut ourselves away from. This is why this is so strange for us, and so familiar to cultures that have remained closer to nature or closer to the creative principal.

So my greatest interest at this point is opening up our intuitive knowing, or to overcome that atrophy Rilke spoke of, and open up those senses by which we can know the divine, and to reanimate the capacity to experience that intelligence you were referring to. The alien abduction phenomenon is just one of the ways to do this. It’s one of the fast and rougher ways to get there, but there are others–psychedelics being one that you mentioned. Near-death experiences are another, but you can’t really recommend them. Meditation practices can get you there, and any sort of conscious spiritual living may get you there, but that’s a slower way. But the important thing is to transcend this box, grow out of this materialist box we’ve stuffed ourselves into, and which has so separated us from nature that we treat all of nature as just a commodity to be sold at the market, on television or on billboards.

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