As told by the Molly Lama: from the book:
THE SAGA OF THE MOLLY LAMA AND ST. PAULA OF GRAMERCY PARK
We only have John for a limited time during the lunch break and in record time we are ready. John
As told by the Molly Lama: from the book:
THE SAGA OF THE MOLLY LAMA AND ST. PAULA OF GRAMERCY PARK
We only have John for a limited time during the lunch break and in record time we are ready. John arrives and settles into his chair. Alan begins by asking, "What was your position about UFO's and ET's before you actually started investigating the field?" John explains that originally he was a friend of astronomer Carl Sagan, who was noted for his skepticism of the idea that aliens visit earth. It seems that Sagan is open to the idea that there is other life in the universe just not here, not now. So John took Carl's opinion as gospel until many years later when he heard experiencers give testimony firsthand.
Alan conjectures, "Your first response was maybe, 'Oh these people are hallucinating?'"
John: "No, not at all. They sounded very plausible. Everything was plausible except what they were saying." Alan laughs at the paradox. I can only imagine what that moment must have been like, a veritable Zen koan that bends your mind.
Alan asks: "So what's your conclusion? Is it what people say? What do you make of it as a psychiatrist?"
Deftly treading the razor's edge John says, "It's neither purely in the internal world nor is it purely in the external world, but it is something in another realm, another dimension." And although he doesn't come out and say it's real, John points out that, "If we define reality by agreement around experience, then it's real. The so-called scientific method, where something is only real if you can measure it, is really not the way most of the people throughout history and our time have determined what's real. What's real is what the community agrees is real."
And here I thought that we lived in a world dictated by science.
"And if enough people like myself are saying,
'Yeah, these people are talking the truth and they are describing something as best they can, this really happened to them.' So an agreement grows around the phenomenon. And when agreement grows around described experiences that's how we determine what is reality." This may sound like semantics until you realize that our worldview keeps changing with each generation and outmoded ideas seem absurd now but at the time they were facts. For example, once upon a time germs were not thought to be the cause of infection and surgeons would wipe their scalpels on their shoes to prove their point. So even with the scientific method available there has to be a certain amount of agreement within the society for new ideas to be accepted.
Alan takes this in and postulates, "So if we take this new understanding, this new accepted reality, along with the other phenomena that people are reporting: near death experiences, out of body experiences, telepathy...
How do you start to reformulate a new idea of consciousness and the value of the personal experience of reality?
"If you have an agreement, say that reality is limited say to that which can be measured, then the way that you would change that agreement is to change the method of knowing. Then you would have a new reality." I am impressed that we even have John Mack telling us about a new reality on "New Realities."
"It's not enough to simply have the fact that somebody records an experience that nobody ever had before. But for something new to be considered real in a culture, whether it's apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary or near death encounters or UFO's, the definition of reality to be expanded and there has to be a kind of agreement around the method of knowing." I wonder what that new method would be.
Alan is not to be deterred by the biases of our western culture and asks, "So if all these people have had these experiences and something real is happening, how come it's not on the front page of the newspaper? How come everyone doesn't want to know about this? What is it in our culture that's so afraid of the dark?"
"The deepest resistance to it has to do with..."
John pauses as he ponders this weighty topic and proposes that, "It's more of a gender matter, it has to do with the whole western enterprise of the past millennium which has been to separate us from nature, to create nature as the adversary, to conquer nature, to demonstrate masculine prowess with weaponry, to gain control of the world, through conquest but also through science, through the sense that there is a finite conquerable, masterable universe before which we need not quake, we need not feel afraid, we need not surrender, because we can master it."
To me this may seem very male but this delusion goes beyond gender, this is the human dilemma in a nutshell, we have an illusion that we could be in control of our destiny if we were just smart enough.
John calmly points out that, "This phenomenon above all challenges that notion. It tells us that we are not in charge, that we cannot conquer nature. If anything it shows we are one of the dumber species in the cosmos as a whole and certainly not masters of our own destiny and not even able to protect ourselves from funny looking little beings that can come and whisk us off, or show up in any form they want. And this pierces the arrogance of the ego and most resistance has to do with the ego's wanting to maintain its own value to itself. And when that's challenged the reaction is really rage and if the weaponry is there, rage and murder." He is oddly serene as he ends on such an ominous note.
This to me encapsulates the crisis of modern man: the fear of being some meaningless pawn in a random universe where nobody cares what happens to us. At least in the bad old days, those superstitious dark ages, we had our place. We could have a modicum of control by appeasing a vengeful God or basking in his praise through good works even if it meant the sacrifice of a few innocent victims.
Alan smiles at John's assessment but he's not buying into the dark side at all and says, "Well you said that the ET's are designed to blow the western mind."
John says with a certain glee, "Yeah they're perfect." His leftist leanings are showing. Alan laughs and John continues, "It's perfect. The ET's are perfectly designed. This whole ET abduction phenomenon is perfectly crafted by the ultimate creative principle to shatter the arrogance of the western mind. If you had to design something that would piss off the military industrial ego, the masculine ego, you couldn't have done it better."
I love his perspective. I had never been able see any possible purpose for how all this could fit into the big picture and this is a good a reason as any. "Here is something, which seems to come in high-powered craft that can run circles around any kind of technology that we have in the transport area. Also because of the telepathic communication, which is instant and total, it runs circles around any communications technology that we have.
And most of our investment in our pride is in technology. So it makes a mockery of every pridefulness we have around any technologies that we've created and shows these to be primitive at best. And that is really a terrible blow to the ego's notion of its collective successes in the science and technology area."
"Well..." Alan tries to interrupt but John is on a roll and doesn't notice. "That's just one thing that it does. The other thing it does is we also have this idea that we can protect ourselves. The whole notion of private property, which is built into the law and goes back thousands of years. There's no privacy here at all. We don't own anything. They come take us. They can land whenever they feel like it. The sanctity of the home, they violate that. The sanctity of the body, they violate that, anything that we take pride in as being special about us. The body-ego is the first ego that the infant develops. It violates that ego. It violates everything that the ego is attached to. It shows that to be absurd."
John's words may sound like the perfect solution for those who want to attain enlightenment and fast-track their stay here on earth, but to me, this is one of the most terrifying aspects of the abduction phenomenon, or frankly life in general, for it indicates how helpless we are in the big picture. And yet this is where enlightenment could be helpful.
Enlightenment as defined as the relinquishment of ego, a letting go of control. Ultimately we can't control what we are experiencing, only our attitude towards it. If one can be like Christ when he endured Crucifixion with equanimity, then one can never be victimized.
Alan brings the topic back to earth. "And the most sacred thing that you've come up against at Harvard is the intellect. Could you talk about how they gave you a hard time?" (Mack was investigated for 14 months in what he described as "Kafkaesque" as the nature of the complaints constantly shifted but eventually lost their validity since there was clearly no ethics violation or professional misconduct. Although in the end he was declared free to study as he pleased, tensions are still simmering.)
John says evenly, without emotion, "Well, there's the Dean at the medical school, who I'd known very well, who said very soberly, not realizing the implications, that I wouldn't have gotten into trouble if I hadn't suggested that this requires that we think about reality differently. Well what that implied was that they knew what reality was. That they knew, scientifically, or biomedically, what the world was like. So maybe that's another arrogance. The arrogance of knowing.
The idea that we know something. We don't know anything." To me this is the mark of a real scholar, and mystic for that matter, that ability to pursue knowledge to its logical end and yet realizing that no matter how far you go there are always deeper layers and that ultimately we may never know the complete truth.
Alan adds wryly, "It's funny because this is coming from the institution where William James spent his whole life; the guy who said that 'our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness, is but one especial type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different.'"
Alan say to me later, because he didn't want the conversation to go off in another direction: "The William James quote came as a response to James' nitrous oxide experience…This suggested a foreshadowing of Timothy Leary's LSD experiments at Harvard. My point being, Harvard, whether they like it or not has a long history of being at the cutting edge of consciousness."
Frankly it doesn't surprise me that Harvard is still having a reaction, we all like the idea of independent thinking until we are confronted with actual independent thinking.
Back to our conversation, take a swipe at the future, Alan adds: "There's seems to be a shift right now within the mind of western civilization to a more spiritual understanding of who we are."
This seems like a benign statement to me and I am surprised when John rejects this notion of progress. "Well you see that this is where I get into an argument, not with the principle of what you are saying because I certainly think that shift, which is long overdue, is happening. I just don't accept that it has gone nearly as far as you would think. And being in a conference like this you'd have the feeling that if you only stayed for a week or so in this environment that everything was kind of solved. That the military industrial complex had flipped over. That they're not destroying the rainforest at an accelerated rate throughout Southeast Asia and Brazil.
That species are not dying off at an accelerated rate. You'd think the whole thing was turning around and it isn't turning around. It looks like it ought to turn around. The ingredients are there to turn it around. But to simply speak to one another like it's all done and sing together, which is wonderful, but it hasn't happened. You'd think it was to listen to ourselves here." This is when that hopeless feeling creeps back in and I think that it's absurd to think that one person can have any impact.
I look up and see my brother smirking at John's comments. I have to laugh at John's hilarious cynical attitude but I also see sadness in his eyes as he relates this unfortunate truth. This is where I really connect with him.
He grounds all this lavender talk in the grim reality of where we are and shows that we still have to do the hard work of taking these fine thoughts and making them happen in the real world. I am still banking on that silver lining of the hundredth monkey that will achieve critical mass and the pendulum will swing in the opposite direction. It would be so much easier if the ET's would just step in and save us from ourselves.
Alan sidesteps the obvious jab at the Pollyanna attitude of the conference and keeps it on the positive and what we can do, by asking, "What do you feel like your basic role is in this transformation?"
ohn explains, "I think my job is to be a witness and a bridge." He feels that by hearing people's stories impartially he can help them work through their fear of humiliation if they speak publicly. "Because I can go on and on about this, but it does not have nearly the power as a person who's had these experiences who comes to audience clearly with passion of sound mind and cannot be dismissed as a kook or somebody going through walking sleep paralysis, or something weird like that, which is what the mainstream science is trying to say." And the fact that he has never been abducted helps him because it means he is more objective.
Alan beams as he thanks John for all his great work.
Alan is truly sincere in his appreciation and I don't always see him this connected to his subject. I also feel like this has been a privilege to be with John Mack in the flesh. It takes courage to step out from the herd in such a dramatic way. It's so easy to buy into the mass hallucination without ever taking time to analyze it with any kind of objectivity.
Alan would say to me years later that his favorite John Mack quote is, and one that he uses to get a laugh and make a point at his lectures is that Mack said: "UFOs/ET are like a wake-up call from the cosmos for the consciously impaired."
he end of the weekend comes sooner than I would have liked and we find ourselves at the afterparty savoring one last group hug before we go back to the other world. Will is there and is acting so much like my ex-husband it is uncanny. His hilarious manic humor has me under its spell. We flirt and I laugh to myself when I think of what would my family think if I brought home a one-armed, UFO abductee who looks and acts just like my ex. Life can just be too wacky for words.
I also meet a guy who claims he was telepathically in communication with some ET's from Mars. Apparently there is life on Mars, just not life as we know it. Ever the journalist I am never one to pass up an opportunity and ask, "Oh really, what did they say?"
"They said they had lost their permission to travel at light speed and asked if I would help them travel to earth telepathically."
"It sounds as if there is some cosmic DMV out there who revokes permits." He laughs at the thought and I realize maybe 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' was right after all when it proposed that earth was being demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass. I have a theory that often humor offers a door into the true nature of reality because it is allowed to be absurd and by suspending the rational mind, creative thought can happen.
One psychic moment in the classic comedy show, "Laugh In," in the 1960s was during the skit, "News of the Future" when Dan Rowan uncannily predicted that in 1989 Russia would become a democracy, which seemed so unlikely at the time.
Even though the conference has ended, I still feel like my mind is literally expanding from the steady stream of heady information. It feels as if my brain is pressing against my skull. My mind has been in expansion for a while now, starting soon after I arrived in Harbin for the gathering with Paul Lowe.
All I know is that I like the feeling. I like stretching my mind, shall I dare say it to "new realities" and then grounding it in science. I like John Mack's work because he follows a rigorous protocol while keeping an open mind. Just like the Sphinx project, confirmation is key.
One tragic footnote is that little did I realize that this would be the last time I see John. A few years later a drunk driver killed him while he was crossing a street in London. My immediate reaction was that this was no accident and that the 'Men in Black' had succeeded in knocking him off. If it had been hit and run and the guy hadn't gone to trial I would have been really suspicious. Regardless of the cause, his death seemed premature because I feel like he still had so much to give but maybe he had earned the right to a little rest since he had given so much or maybe when you tangle with such volatile energies it can catch up with you, who knows.