COPYRIGHT CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION
Ring - The thing that's impressed me about the people that have UFO enounters including abductions has been the physical changes and the changes in consciousness that they've reported. I have evidence from my study that there seemed to be physiological changes, even neurological changes - all seeming to be indicative of a development of a higher consciousness. Since there are many many people, we don't know how many who have had these kinds of experiences not only in this country but in others as well, this possibly could be like an evolutionary wave toward higher consciousness and in this connection I relate the effects of near death experiences and the effects of UFO encounters in much the same way. So I see these as possible catalysts for a higher evolution and for a greater ecological consciousness among humankind just exactly at the time when I think the earth needs it.
Can you expand on that, what kind of evidence you see from a neurological..?
Well I have only self report data in my study but what I find is that many people who report these experiences in contrast to the person in my control group report a consistent pattern of physiological changes, neurological changes, physical sensitivities, an awakening of intuitive and psychic capacities that they say followed their UFO encounters or also followed their NDE's. They also show the..have many of the characteristics of persons who have experienced a kundalini awakening which many theorists hold is the kind of energy that underlies the kind of psycho spiritual transformation. This particular pattern is so consistent among the people who I've studied that I feel like it points to something very significant in terms of the after effects of the experiences suggestive of an evolution toward higher consciousness. We need to take these people into the laboratory to have objective measurements made to see if we can verify the claims. But the claims were made so frequently and so consistently that I think there's a real phenomenon here to be looked at, and someting that shows at the very least that this is more than just a psychological experience because it has apparently lasting physical effects.
Yeah, well people for example say they have on the average there are decreases in blood pressure, in metabolic rate, in body temperature - very substantial number of the people in my study report that they feel that their nervous system functions differently than it did before. About one third of them say that their brains have been structurally altered by this experience, that there's a difference in not only brain functioning but in the structrure of the brain. Now our brains change all the time but most of us obviously are not aware of these changes. Something is happening to these experiences..to these experiencers to suggest to many of them that somehing is really radically different in terms of their brain and neurological functioning. And one curious thing that probably is more amusing than edifying but I still think it's interesting - a lot of people that report near death experiences and UFO encounters also report that they have strange encounters of the electrical kind, if I can put it that way. They cause malfunctions to occur in electrical or electronic devices, both near death experiences and UFOers. I think that may be related to kundalini activation and furthermore quite a few of the people that I've studied, and this has also been found by other researchers for at least the near death experience have reported the emergence of unusual healing capacities in the aftermath of these experiences. All of this suggests to me a kind of psycho physical and psycho spiritual transformation may be the fruits of these experiences.
Gotlib - One question I've got is - are there people that get stuck in the process of the transformation? Are there people who may not complete the transformative cycle or might end up being obsessed about the phenomenology and not evolve to the healing power and the psychic abilities in a positive view?
Oh I'm sure that that's true. I haven't made a special study of that but other people such as Sherry Sutherland who's an Australian sociologist have, and it's clear that..at least it's clear to me and I think some other researchers that these experiences are like seed experiences. Seeds may or may not mature, or will mature at different rates. Some of these people I think go through their transformative process pretty fast, others are arrested. I think some of the evidence although scanty suggests that to a degree that the people are accorded respect for the experiences, are helped by competent therapists. It's like nurturing a tender shoot, a tender plant. If you have a positive nurturing environment that the transformation will undergo its processes of change in a very beneficial (CLOCK BONGING IN BG) way for the indivdual. Otherwise it might be arrested, delayed or not appear altogether.
SO HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT SOMEBODY WHO'S HAD AN EXPERIENCE BEING WORKED UP SAY BY AN INVESTIGATOR OR SOMEBODY WHO IS A UFO INVESTIGATOR PRIMARILY VERSUS A THERAPIST, A COMPETENT THERAPIST?
Gotlib - I think there is a dilemma there because I could imagine at least that for some UFO investigators the extraction of data might be more important than the servicing of the individual from the standpoint of the spiritual or transformative potential that may be inherent in the experience. I guess from the standpoint of getting information about the experience I could see it from the researcher's point of view but from the benefit of the person who has the experience I think I'd side with the therapist.
That's been my feeling too that this is..This seems to be so heavily biased towards an internal experience that it's evolved away from a bunch of people that have seen something outside and there've been photographs and made our tracings and we want to document everything that's been seen so we can present it. This is an experience that is within the individual. And in the process of investigating it, in the process of collecting this data, what youre really doing is engaging the person in a process of therapy and experiencing and amalgamating a new belief system, and I have a lot of concerns about UFO investigators who don't appreciate the effects of that.
I think ther's maybe a conflict between people that are searching for an explanation (BELLS BINGING IN BG) and people who are interested in exploration, you know to explore the experience, to savour the mysteries and really to ponder it. I think that's maybe the key. But to find an explanation for it just wraps it up and may not be a real service to the individuals who are reporting these experiences.
Most of the people that come to me in my office in the first meeting they want to know..they want an explanation. They want to know what's happening, who are the aliens, why are they here, why did they choose me? They want to know.
SO WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THEM AT THAT POINT?
I say to them we don't know and I can't tell them and that's exactly what Ken says, that I can help you explore the experience and I can be a partner with you in this. And based upon my experience with the other people I've worked with and colleagues like John Mack, thta in the course of the investigation people do seem to come to a greater peace about it and they transform from being frightened to being curious and intrigued. And those people usually report that as being a positive change in their lives.
MICHAEL, YOU STARTED ASKING KEN ABOUT EV0LUTIONARY..
..STATE. DO YOU THINK THAT, OR ARE..?
Grosso - Well the reason I asked him is 'cause I"ve been thinking a lot about it and becoming a little more skeptical about the whole idea of applying the concept of evolution to these experiences. First of all it's a biological concept and it could be a little confusing. I'm not sure if we're talking about the biological phenomena. I know that Ken has suggested and there is evidence that indicates that we're dealing with some kind of psycho energetic phenomenon and to that extent there may be a relationship to biology. But I like to think of unusual anomolous experiences and particulary the type that we're discussing right now, as useful to individuals to personal evolution or personal (BINGING) individuation or .. I think of these experiences as off..as offering no compelling, shaping consequence, but rather stimuli that each individual can utilize in his or her own self culture. @@ and one of the things that I've thinking a lot about is there really is no one way to interpret these experiences. And there is no one way in which they can be useful in terms of self development or self evolution or self culture. Seems to me there are a lot of different ways. And a great deal depends on the im..on the way the experiences are interpreted. I've noticed the ene..the energy fact seems to be one. There does seem to be an element here of just a kind of shaking up of the whole sensibility and the whole physical, psychophysical apparatus which could bring about changes of a positive nature. Another way in which the experience may be a transformative one is that anomolous experiences just dissolve one's ordinary sense of reality. And again that ..what that is going to lead to, how that is going to change a human being is completely open. In other words I would like to stress the importance of the role of freedom and the response to these experiences. And there might be a danger in suggesting that there is some kind of ..like a kind of a subtle introduction of a mechanistic model that plop, you have this experience, it's going to resolve. I'm not implying in any way that any of us have said this or even implied it. But it seems to me that it's..the importance of these transformative experiences is that they shake up our sense of reality, and providing we have the nurturing environment and supporting paradigm or paradigms - the plurality of approaches - then it's up to you, it's up to the individual to do what he or she wants to do with the experiences. And I know in my case, I mean I just finished writing a book called Soulmaker in which I gave an account of my own anomolous experiences including UFO encounter. And I know that this..the way these experiences have shaped my life are just peculiar to me, and that seems okay. And when I talk to people who come to me to report their experiences, that's what I stress. I stress that there is no.. I mean we're on the frontiers of, if you will evolution and that implies novelty. And I'd like to stress the openness and the support, but also underline the fact that we..it may be a dang..it may be simply dangerous to talk about a single model for how..what the upshot of these experiences should be. And that would be sometthing that I would want to stress.
Mack - I'd like to get back to relating that to the question of the process of the therapy or investigation as it occurs. There is a tendency in western medicine to think of a doctor therapist as over here, and then there's this patient who has this problem or has this experience and then we're going to elicit the nature of that experience in this diotic situatoin. What struck me in doing this work is that the investigation or therapy is so much of a total mutual engagement, unlike anything I've ever done before. That there's a way in which working with an experiencer, abductee or whatever we call them involves me totally. I'm involved intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, physically. This can even be...I mean some of the most powerful, emotional, vibratory, traumatic, physical and emotional experiences occur when I'm with a abductee to the point where I literally have to sit next to them on the bed during the hypnosis session to provide an energy holding to support them through the experience.
I think that's what people are saying about the nature of the energy. In other words there was some kind of intensity of energy, whether it's electromagnetic energy or some other form of energy - we don't know the form of it - but it enters their worlds in the abduction situation with a power that to me exceeds that which I've seen in any other kind of trauma experience. And bringing it forth in the hypnosis or the non ordinary state of consciousness has in its own right this unbelievable intensity and power which engages me totally. Now the point I wanna make here is that what comes forth at that point is much more a product of the interaction or the mutuality or the connection or the mutual belief systems or whatever the product of that connecting consciousness might be, and you know how we balance what's already there in the experiencer, what's already there in the therapist. I for example have always been very interested in ecological phenomenena and I get a whole lot of ecological material in these openings. So how much of this is a product of the two consciousnesses creating something new, and how much is something that can be standardized in the experiencer is a question that I'm struggling with a lot now.
Grosso - Well that raises a whole other question of whether or not the experienced self is the product of some kind of co creation between the precipient or the experiencer in some external amorphous entity that's out there. And we're assuming just as you're suggesting that's out there. And we're assuming just as you're suggesting that the therapist helps co create the experience with the experiencer. Well I'm suggesting maybe the experience itself is the product of some kind of co creation between the experiencer and something out there. I dont know..I suspect that we all agree that there's something out there, something intrusive and (OVERTALKING)..
..fuzzy thing. I mean it has a hard edge to it..
Mm hmm. I'm wondering how hard the ed is..how hard the edge..how hard the edge is and how the edge got to be hard in the first place.
Jacobson - This is..we were talking about this over dinner, about the fact that even before the abduction thing started, if you just look at UFO sightings, things change shape. And they seem to often respond to the expectations and thoughts of the observers. And you see this in spades in the abduction phenomena.And Peter's work too. Your work really highlights that. You've gone and documented how many similar phenomena that are so similar are reported in folklore of other cultures that it almost starts to look like the same phenomena just taking different shades. So it's a very interesting issue, the extent to which the experience itself is formed by the..to reflect the expectations of the people.
Ring - But you know there's another issue here, sort of a larger issue. To what extent is there kind of a metaphenomenon about abduction on the basis of a widespread set of beliefs on the initial abduction researchers?
What does that mean?
What I'm trying to say is okay, there is..people are having unusual experiences but going back to John's point, those experiences may be importantly shaped and interpreted in the light of the point of view of the investigators. And what happened in this field is, certain investigators have achieved prominence and a dominance in the field becuase of a very distinctive point of view, that may then be an additional phenomenon added on to and very much affecting the abduction story itself. And John draws out ecological stories but other people draw stories of victimization.
Jacobson - I was thinking Ken when you were saying what you were sayhing about the possible influence of investigators. Especially, you said early investigators.
You know the force of the Betty Hill case in shaping the whole thing. One of the most embarrassing for people who have hard and narrow theories about what this is is the fact that there are differences across continents in the results the abduction researchers get. A lot of us are aware that Jenny Randalls has told us when she comes over from England that in England the aliens are tall and blonde and nordic.
And a lot of us who've read about South American cases, especially the very nasty book by Jacque Valle recently, in South AMerica the contacts with aliens are often extremely scary and violent and bizarre, and involve beings that have red eyes and claws and hair and all kinds of things that we don't hear that much in NOrth America.
SO WAHT DOES THAT SUGGEST THEN?
Rojcewicz - What it suggests to me is that their..there is a symbiosis between, as Micheal points out, between the prescipient , the witness and the experiencer and factor X,the UFO, whatever it may be. There's also the same symbiosis John points out between the clinician or the therapist and the experiencer. On the other hand we find out that there's at some point we cannot negotiate with the phenomena. That is to say at some point it will be itself, regardless of our cultural training, our biases, what we're interested in, is at some point where it manifests itself what is most interesting in the field of folklore and vertical folklore and the anthropology of belief is that many experiencers often report details which are completely independent or outside of their educational background, their philosophical training and religious training. And likewise many investigators often find out some of the damndest facts which they often either put on the backburner. They often get language inside of the narratives which they think are negative or hyperbolic descriptions rather than accurate descriptions, and so they'll often edit that..
..perhaps too quickly. And so there's a lot of..it's the fringe material, the usual facts that are often telling facts in some strange way. So I think that's what says to me at least that there is a give and take certainly, as most of reality is. But it also says to me that there's something out there that at some point will be what it is.
Mack - WEll Keith Thompson has challenged the very category of inside and outside as having validity at all when you get deeper into this experience. YOu being to wonder because the design, the shape of the thing has such a kind of harmonic between..and residence between the inside and the outside, it's almost uncanny at times. I don't know.
Rojcewicz - The question might be phrased better - do people around the table believe that there's an authentic and viable phenomena here which at times can be witnessed and even observed and organized. I think perhaps we'd all say yes, regardless of its in or outs, up or down..
What do you mean by authentic? That's..I associate that with existentialism..
That's right, something..
..not just a psychological..
..something outside of hoax, psychosis or the misperception of some natural phenomena. Something powrful and authentic enough to move people, to change them for the better, fill them with awe or terror. To redirect their interests or their allegiances and relationships.
Gotlib - This is what I find really interesting about it in the reading that I've done over the past five years since I've been involved in it, that as I've gone on I've become more sensitized to the kind of approach that Peter talks about and the kind of approach that Ken talks about - a purely phenomenalogical approach. Something anomolous happened to this person. Let's sit back and let us look with all our preconceptions. Let us let go of the particular theory that we want to prove whether it's aliens coming from another planet or from Aries or whatever and let's just listen. And listen carefully and determine what the person experienced, try to separate what the person experienced between the inf..between that and the inferences that they're naturally trying to draw becuase we all have a drive to decrease the ambiguity and the uncertainty in our lives, to try to make things make sense. And when I learned to do that in the course of my work I discovered such a divergence in the phenomenology was a lot more divergent than the kind of rigid templates that you see in UFO books. And when I've taken that one step further I thought about the books that I've read about, and how they all start..they all start and finish with a particular theory. I'm now gonna present to you data that backs up this particular theory. And from we've said around the table so far, if you start out with the particular..you don't even have to start out with the particular theory, there are so many of these background ideas of culture anyway, especially in modern technological culture that if you're looking for alien invaders you're bound to have at least a subset of people who have these anomolous experiences whatever you want to call them that map them into that cultural set. YOu look for them, you find them. And you look for more of them, you find more of them. You look for..in the course of your investigation you'll come up with people who describe experiences outside of your cachement area, then you'll just dispense with them and just collect more that fit your model. So it's not that it's not a valid research pusuit, it's just that it's such a narrow slice of the pie that it ..it's part of the whole, it's not the whole.
Jacobson - I agree with what you're saying as far as methodology and that's my personal methodology and that's my personal value. But I just want to make the point which ...it may be getting tiresome but I'm explaining because I'm almost becoming my job to make this point in discussions of UFO's and abductions but it's not merely bad methodology I think that causes this sort of interpretation and rigidity. I think that it is the phenomena of cult formation. And I think it's really invevitable with this. And I think in ever society there is some kind of a strong ideology that could..that arises as to the meaning of anomolous experiences. And there's often strong procedures that arise as to how you ought to deal with that.
..and I think that that drift in human consciousness, I think it's inevitable. I think it's also a drift in the opposite direction of the way we're talking.
Gotlib - And that's exactly the kind of stuff that Keith Thompson talks about in his book. He says the pepole that get the most personal growth out of these experiences are the ones who can accept the fact that there is a part of this experience that is unknowable. That if they can avoid categorizing it into a particular belief system but they can just accept the fact that there is something beyond their experience that is unknown and unknowable, that that seems to liberate them. But there's such a drive in us to try to nail down..to find out what's going on, define it. And that's I think where a lot of these groups form.
I've had people who've had..who present..come to me because they've had an anomolous experience of some kind and they've seen some of the abduction material in public and it's the closest thing that they can map onto their experience, maybe it's the first thing that resonates but when you talk to them they may have had kundeline opening, they may have had near death experiences or they may have had other kinds of anomolous experiences but they're looking for an explanation and this is the first thing in their explanations that hits them and they grab onto it. And depending upon how much..depending upon how much reading they've done before they get to me, depending upon the kind of people they talk to, they may hang onto this belief quite tightly because it's..they have a..there's a..they have a great need to make it make sense and they've gotten used to this.
Grosso - I was gonna say, it's interesting that the way we're talking is that..like there are two tendencies in terms of dealing with these problems. There's a tendency to try to achieve closure and there's also a counter tendency to try to stay open to it. I'm struck by the fact that almost..I think everyone who's spoken here has spoken on behalf of openness rather than closure especially premature closure. Almost as though, and this is my own point of view but I know it's shared by at least some of the rest of the people here, that the UFO is a kind of ..a con, a cosmic con. It's meant to baffle, it's meant to confound. It's meant to puzzle us, it's meant to force us to think in new ways I think, even though we don't know what those ways are.
Meant to imply some source..(overtalking)
..wouldn't say meant to. Stay with your meant. Meant implies some source, some place that is (overtalking)..designing or directing this show and that requires a shift for us materialists in some kind of spiritual or religious direction to have a meant to in the universe at all..
Ring - Yeah, I like Michael's idea of a mind at large. A kind of planetary intelligence which is benignly oriented toward the earth and which seems to have a kind of guiding or regulating function and I dont know whether this is behind it but if there is some kind of guiding intelligence then perhaps the verb meant is appropriate, that we're as a human species stuck. We cannot continue to act as the way we..in the way that we have and expect to have a habitable planet. Therefore we have to begin to think in new ways so perhaps there is a kind of design to these experiences to force the people who have these experiences to open up in new ways in the way that Micheal was talking about, and to force the rest of us - I don't mean just researchers and academics interested but the rest of us in the population who become in ..drawn into these experiences also to open up and think of new ways. I think waht we're trying to articulate here is almost an entirely different way of looking at this phenomenon than say the investigators who have shaped this field so far. We're trying to solve a problem. I think we're trying to open ourselves up to what this is and not give it any kind of premature answers, sort of easy tidy answers.
Jacobson - When we talk about the meaning of it though I just want to interject another one of my pet prophecies is that this may not be one thing.
Yes, I agree with you.
This may be four or five or six ..
..or seven things and ..
..and the..well and some of these things may be intelligently organized, intelligent beings. And them some of them may have mores different than other ones of them. And of course I get this from the world's great religious traditions and this is what they say is that there are orders of angels and demons that have different motives.
Mack - There's a problem here which might be called professional turf. If you're - and I..correct me those of you that are not in sort of medical profession or supposedly that's part of biological science more or less. But the philosophical, spiritual, religious maybe anthropology I don't know are..it's like okay to talk about meant to or intelligence or divine intervention. But in my area it's bad enough if I talk about you know little guys with big black eyes on UFO's, it's sort of hardware you know and maybe it exists, we have physics of it and it comes in and out of our air space and goes on and off the radar and these little guys take people through the walls, make us speculate how the physics works and you know that can be argued in a kind of an empirical scientific and..that doesn't shatter the paradigm of our reality too much and I can..I'm okay within the medical profession. But as my chairperson said recently, it's that spiritual stuff that drives me nuts. YOu know it's that..and if I start talking about cosmic correctives and meant to and a design and there's some sort of what we're opening to in the next level of our being and conscious, that absolutely drives the part of the university community that's supposed to be empirical and materialist and hard edged absolutely nuts you know and I could..I really get burned at the stake..
..the public fascination about this, is that what's holding people's attention and ..
Gotlib - I think what's holding people's attention is four foot tall gray guys with big eyes abducting people and inseminating our women. Mars needs women. That's what's grabbing them. Because Bud Hopkins' book Intruders and Whitley Speevers Communical grabbed big bucks, and then Ken Ring's book the Megaproject ..
Jacobson - YOu know it's also what John just said works for the public at large, at least in North America and Europe. I mean you can say a few..most of us are sort of you know new age people. We are, really, compared to the midwest or somewhere like that..
..most people in North America or in Europe are much more ready to believe that aliens can fly here in spaceships than they are to believe that some spirit manifests interdimensionally and gives you a kunevede.
Mack - I agree with that..(overtalking) I think he's right. I think that it's much harder to take the idea that we've ridden the universe with you know William Barret's book about the de-insoulment of the western mind and I think we have so de-insouled, despirited, removed the sacred, removed design in the materialist world that that shift in a paradigm is much worse than these little guys in funny ships coming from someplace we have measurements can they get here in so many light years and you know all that.
Gotlib - IN the first place I don't think you need to assert an intentionality behind the phenomenon to accept the fact that it causes changes in an evolution, a consciousness and evolution of responsibilty and social awareness and so on, I mean it ..that is one premise but there's another premise in which there is no you know mind in the background directing it. I don't think..I don't see that as being essential. The other aspect is about how medicine and psychiatry deals with this. Medicine and psychiatry deals with pathology, it deals with states of being unwell. And most of these people have nowhere to go, so they end up coming to us as generic counsellors and they're..we don't really have too many diagnostic categories for people who've had anomolous experiences that are pathological but we don't know what they are because we're not allowed to say we dont know what they are. So if there was another category of counsellor created then they would be outside of our domain and then would be able to an area of explanation. Or maybe we could do that in our business, to recognize that just because we don't recognize a particular syndrome or experience it doesnt necessarily mean it's pathological.
Rojcewicz - That's the whole idea behind the shamans isn't it? That is to say that these individuals certainly had experiences that were outside the mainstream but insofar as they were grew to greater or lesser extents their own experinces of dying, being dismembered of however they envisioned or whatever the subject is subjective experience was that they had, there was a place for them in society. They were someone who had suffered and survived the night who went through the dismemberment, who came to it a new reconstituted self and therefore could say somethign to the society which may be in danger of dying, who needed reconstitution.
Gotlib - And the shaman had a role and then the healer had a role. They weren't necesarily the same people. Although the functions overlapped. We have healers but we dont have shamans.
Ring - And maybe this..these experiences are a way of shamanizing, through this kind of initiation a large segment of society where we don't have a shamanic tradtion but need to have one. Need to have the kind of healing to give these people come back with.
Jacobson - ** I'm sort of inveterantly the devil's advocate and whatever the dominant opinion is, I'll voice the opposite. So I wanted to do that and say that although I certainly agree with all this stuff about the need for shamanizing and the need for ecological, I mean I would agree with it all, I just want to remind ourselves that there are not insignificant numbers of people running around, maybe more on the west coast than on the east coast, talking about underground bases of aliens who harvest human body parts and who have ...with the U.S. government. I mean that whole side of this thing is going on and I don't think we should assume that that's just ideology. I think that if we're going to think that there's an experiential side to all this positive stuff, I'm sure there are people who have extremely negative experiences about this thing too. And I think that this thing can drift either way, frankly. I agree with you about the way I'd like it to drift but I think its, like we were saying at the beginning of the conversation, it depends on a lot of different factors. Some cultural, some social, some individual, which way the drift goes when you get into an individual. But there are ...forces in our society.
Gotlib - I have a question. I think one of the important aspects in pursuing this area is differential diagnosis of what is a true anomylous experience from what is a dissociative disorder, from what is a highly schizophrenic and so on, which is not at all to diminish the experience, and I still believe that there is a core of anomalies but I believe that if you're not a careful diagnostician, you're not going to ... on a lot of these people. And I wonder, and I wonder how, let's assume for a moment that our formulation is correct. How many of the people who are running around thinking that there are underground bases and that the government is involved in all these intrigues, how many of them would have, would we consider as having true anomalous experiences versus how many are really, let's say for the sake of the argument, highly functioning schizophrenics who have been caught up in the mythos.
Well we'd have to research that.
I'm just wondering.
Jacobson - But we assume that if somebody has a belief system about UFO's, that we're giving them the credit that they've had an anomalous experience, and I'm not --
I don't assume that. I think large numbers of, for large numbers of people, its simply an ideology and a personal fantasy. But I believe there's a core of people who do have the experiences. But I just --
What kind of experiences do they have that give rise to these ideas?
Jacobson - I think some, well you know, if you read the... literature, not all these, before we were all obsessed with abductions, there was a thing called close encounters, and some of them are rather nasty. And people died from some of them, or were scared pretty much out of their wits. I mean it hasn't --
Ring - Well that's true for some, yeah but that's true even for abductions. But you know, I resonate with the, the implication of your remark within myself. I know that I'm far more drawn to these psychological experiences of the abduction episodes than I am to the kind of paranoid tinge side of ufology. I notice I am not as interested to read those articles or to explore it. So I suspect there may be a kind of a selectivity of exposure to some aspects of the field that draw one personally and corresponding avoidance of it or aspects that don't quite mesh. And it does say yeah there is a big phenomenon here and we're probably each selecting segments of it that have a personal kind of appeal for us.
Mack - Yeah I know, I avoid those tracers too. I mean I get a number of calls of people, anxious people on the other end of the line from all over the country who are describing rogue kind of military operations involving UFOs and people are upset that if they want to have some special meeting with me someplace under special secret conditions because they have very important information about what this splinter group of the government is doing that's making exchanges of information with the UFOs and the aliens and it's very threatening and somebody got killed because they revealed this and etc. etc. and will I meet them in such and such a place and have this meeting because they want me to evaluate whether they're saying or not saying and I say gee I don't really think this is in my area of expertise. And so I don't explore what the possible involvement is because it all sounds kind of not only maybe crazy, but maybe not crazy. If its not crazy, its very dangerous. So --
-- would avoid it.
I don't open that front. Now what is going on in that whole kind of apparent, you know, worry that the government is out to kill people and or paramilitary people are and whether there's something going on there that's really significant and substitantive, I just don't know. Now there may be people that do know something about that.
Grosso - That's why I would like to ask -- to throw out this question. What is, does anyone really, can anyone cite any really compelling hard evidence for the physical existence of extraterrestrial craft, or is it still floating in kind of this limbo of uncertainty?
What's been called hard evidence?
Grosso - Well you tell me. I have yet to see anything that is suggested to me in a compelling way that we're dealing with anything that's physically, in terms of physical spacecraft, and physical aliens.
Well I mean --
I have yet to see any account that's really --
Jacobson - We don't have the spacecraft but we have sightings that are simultaneously radar we have trained observers on the ground and in the air simultaneous. We have guys who, what's the guy who's the man in trace expert in the midwest. 1200 cases of landed ...
Phillips, Ted Phillips. 1200 cases, photographs... samples, everything.
Grosso - Isn't that a little bit like big foot. We have these footprints that experts say are real, these anomalous monsters, but we never catch one. What does that imply?
Rojcewicz - Well isn't that, just extend that for a moment. Isn't it also like some of the experiences of the operations of the Virgin Mary. .... you have sometimes hundreds if not thousands of witnesses in close proximity to each other, some of them have taken photos, some people who do not see them take a photo and yet it shows up. I mean what are we dealing with. Something that's physical and not to leave -- but then it's not. To show up on film and yet not to be seen by.
Mack - --- this physical thing, I've done a lot of thinking about this because again it's, I'm supposed to be an imperical scientist, okay. What is data. We are trapped in the very paradigm that we're trying to work on, which is that the only data is the data of the instruments. The data of our consciousness which is ultimately the source of all the data we don't trust. I had this argument with Philip Morrison, a physicist at MIT. Basically he said the instruments at least are difficult enough, but consciousness as an instrument of knowing, its so vague, its so strange, its so complex. Well I think that is basically what we are as instruments of knowing is our own psyches and consciousness and how we trust it. But we're falling into the trap of saying its only the instruments that modus physical things that we would consider to be data. So I mean I've had people tell me who are trapped in this paradigm as much as I'm describing now, who say I don't care what you show me in the way of physical evidence, this cannot be and therefore I don't believe it. It doesn't matter what the physical evidence is. It could land on the, on the Boston common and the whole television networks of Boston could all film it and I would not believe it because its not possible and it would have to be a hoax and we would find ways to find that this was put on by somebody and we wouldn't believe it. I mean it depends when a culture is ready to perceive something before it can show up apparently. I mean this is, you must find this phenomenon.
Rojcewicz - I think that's the burden that's taking a strict materialist point of view. It may be however that you have ...experience and other transpersonal experiences is not simply scientific problem. That's to say it might be, it might be bigger than the dualistic kind of perception that that science takes. And the whole question is, you raise about data. Well as a, someone taking a phenomenological approach, effect as you well know John, is a kind of data.
What's the word?
Rojcewicz - Affect, excuse me. Affects the kind of data, in fact in many instances perhaps the most profound. That is to say if we're dealing with transformative experiences where people's lives are redirected in very observable ways in terms of the way they deal with their lives, interpreting experiences, the jobs that they see, how they treat the children. I mean very specific observable changes in a person's life that comes from a sense of awe, of fear, or insight or mission in life. I mean these are powerful affects which I think are the kind of data from a phenomonological point of view are interesting. It may be therefore ....a scientific problem.
.....to that which can be known with the sensors and which is the physical world only. I mean the construction of the fistomology it seems to me.
It's true that knowledge may begin with the senses but it doesn't end there. Information that comes through the senses has to be interpreted and this is where the question gets into have meaning.
Gotlib - ** Is it not a fair question to ask what component of, is it not a fair question to ask, does this phenomenon have some objective physical component.
Yes it does. It does.
I think that's all that your question --
Grosso - And I think the answer is yes, as far as I can make out, but what an affect of what. In other words, in other words the fact that we see gear marks and even in radioactive influences on the body, all kinds of physical affects doesn't tell us where those physical affects are coming from.
That's the puzzle here. I mean. And I mean it just seems to be that I mean I'm just, it seems to me that there's almost as though there's a kind of systematic bafflement involved. A footprint without an animal, a landing gear without an aircraft.
What about the photographs?
The photographs are well, okay a photograph without the actual aircraft. The photographs of the apparitions of Mary without any kind of real convincing presence of what we would call the Virgin Mary. So what does that, what is that all about. --tantalizing playing around with us.
Jacobson - Even more... like craft that land in France and little guys get out and ask the French farmer what country is this. And he says France and they say it can't be France and get back in the car and ... .... or Betty's talking to them telepathically on the ship and they're telepathically conversing about things and then she says something that includes the thought of something being yellow, and they say yellow. What's yellow. Its absurd. They can understand the whole rest of the conversation but they say what's yellow. It's obviously some kind of joke.
Its the trickster architecture.
Mack - There's a lot of here, a lot of trickster stuff goes on here. I mean they make such a mockery of our technology for one thing. I mean it's just they make a joke out of our radar, our guns, our missles. We can't touch them, they flip in and out, they're thumbing their nose at us.
And they're not that bright at the same time about some things.
Downie - Let us go back to, you said before that you shy away from the examples or the stories of underground bases or government involvement. Why, I mean if you're interested in the whole picture, not --
Ring - I'm really not. I mean see, I think one of the things going back to Michael's point, can anybody here offer physical evidence or indisputable physical evidence. Its a fair question but not for the people in this group because none of us are those kinds of investigators. None of us is a Jerry Clark or a Bruce Mackabee who has taken the time or has the interest to do the detailed investigative work that would allow an answer to that question, even though for 40 years that work has been done and we still don't have an answer.
Downie - But I've heard that question more from people when they knew what this program was going to be about. They said if there, if this is real, if something real is happening, there would surely be a piece of physical evidence, and I don't know what to say. I don't know how you answer that.
Ring - Well, I think the phenomenon can be real without their being this kind of physical aspect --
But they want proof. I mean they want to see or touch --
But that's their problem, that's not my problem.
The whole question --- in what sense for you.
What kind of reality -- yes.
--the kind of reality I'm talking about. That's what makes it so interesting.
Well... like this table.
Well, but that's a very limited definition of realities.
Rojcewicz - Even from the physicalistic paradigm. One of the questions that's raised is something, does something cease to be real simply because it can't be seen anymore? Well, electricity whether its running or not is still real. Subatomic particles, they tell us, are real and physical and at some point at some time perhaps, depending on the viewer and such things. So this whole question is not just academic and philosophical. In some sense it really does have a kind of application to human experience and what you do see, how you see it, how you integrate it, and these questions, one of the things we're talking about here is in fact where we're in the midst of some kind of trickster. I mean and taking a kind of personal evolutionary model which Michael's work is so evocative in getting people to think about, what ...where does ...come from, gain control of your life, don't rely on icons or on dogma. Do some work and find out what life is all about, who are we, where are we going, what is important, what do we want to become? There's a sense to me that there's, there's something basic about life, the answers lie in many many places. And its almost as if this phenomenon you know, causes the, creates this absurdity factor, seems to be contradictory, is physical and not physical. Its not totally objective, not wholly subjective, its both at the same time. What are we to make of these things? @@ And if there's a meant to, it seems to me that this is the almost the kind of imperative that keeps life going. Certainty it seems to me, is the most, is the greatest obstacle to learning, to higher consciousness because when you're certain, there's no, the human spirit does not feel impelled to go off and search, to ask questions. To be under quest means to ask questions and this phenomenon, whatever it is, has got us asking a lot of questions about what it means to be a human being and live in this universe.
Gotlib - The question that people ask you depends on their expectations. When I talk to my colleagues, I don't tell them I'm out to prove the existence of aliens invading our planet and disseminating our women. Then they'll say so what proof have you got. I say well you know, I'm dealing with a group of people who don't seem to have any obvious psychopathology and yet they have these experiences that powerfully affect them, when I work through the experience as if it had some kind of objective reality of an indeterminant nature, I transform their anxiety and their depression into intrigue and into excitement and they do seem to do better. And they say oh yeah, that seems reasonable. They don't want to get involved in it but --
But... I mean you say the questions are raised about what it means to be human. I don't, I mean maybe around this table there are the questions that are raised. People at home watching, I think the questions are what are they, are they friendly, are they going to, I mean they're really simple basic fundamental questions to which there doesn't seem to be any --
That's the answer.
That's the point.
There is no answer. We don't know and you better get used to it.
Except Bud Hopkins has the answer, or other investigators have one answer.
And the mighty --
Mack - What we call, what we call science, what now passes for science which is really a product of the past 300 years could be looked upon as an effort to create certainty and to gain control of the physical world. That if you look at the terror or say the black death which wiped out a third of Europe, and you look at the ... before disease, if you look at the confusion psychologically between the spiritual and the physical domains and the theological discussions before, in a sense of helplessness in the face of the physical universe, science as we know is an effort to gain control. Now this phenomenon is by definition breaks that control. You do not have control here. And what makes this so terrifying is it not only breaks the model of science, but it also breaks the illusion that we have some total control over the physical world. Of course the product of total control of the physical world is the utter destruction of one another in the natural environment. However, this phenomenon represents the people, because he says, they come, they take people at will, they take them up onto craft, they can't do anything about it. You're utterly helpless, you're in terror, your psyche is open, they can come and make you know, bring you anyplace you want, they can do these intrusive procedures. You're totally not in control and that's terrifying. @@ The scientific paradigm we're in is a political decision but we're going to maintain this control and the loss of control at every level that this represents is where I think that the resistance is and what makes us hang on so tight to wanting proof in a purely physical way.
Jacobson - You know, another response though to the question of where is the proof, why don't we have a chunk of one, is its really kind of naive. It's due to our naievite in really thinking about what advanced technology might be. And I think we tend, the people who think of aliens as nuts and bolts aliens think of them as just a little bit better than us. Like they, like the boeing 707s go around and go faster or something like that, and operating tables that are fancier, drugs that are fancier. But if you really think that it took us what, 300 years of science to get here, suppose you have three million years or something like that, suppose you have complete technological control over materialization and dematerialization, just absolutely scientific technological control. How could we ever get a piece of it if they didn't want us to get a piece of it? I mean if you really take seriously the idea that there could be beings unimaginably or technologically advanced enough, this is my point, other people have made it. Then there's no significant difference between technology and magic. Anything that's traditionally thought of as magic could be achieved just by technical means.
Grosso - It's been, for two thousand years, Christianity is based on the premise essentially of a coming rapture and I would suggest that that may be the very important part of the collective unconscious of the western world, and may be a factor in understanding what's happening right now, especially as we're coming to the close of 2000 years of coming to the end of the millenium.
Jacobson - When you were saying about how many people are praying for the rapture, I was reminded of something I learned about ten years ago at a ...meeting that I don't think the American public or most of the UFO community ever knew, which was that ten years ago, I was at a...meeting and we were visited by a UFO investigator from Argentina who just happened to be in the area, came to our meetings, saw what was happening in Argentina. What was happening in Argentina was they were filling soccer stadiums with 30,000 people to hear the latest messages from the aliens. In Argentina ten years ago. I don't think we should underestimate the potential for the numbers of people who could get really involved in a UFO cult in North America.
Is there any way to stop that, Eric, to prevent that?
I really want to know.
I don't know.
Grosso - I mean we don't know what's going on. We've admitted that we don't know what's going on. That's already implying that we know what's happening and therefore we should prevent something from happening.
Well I guess --
Gotlib - I just want to give people choices. And I think once you get involved in a cult, it kind of implies that you don't have a choice anymore. You're subordinated to the dogma of the cult.
Grosso - Oh that's not how I heard him, I just all right I'm sorry. I certainly would agree and that's narrow .... constraint sense but if that is the interpretation of the thousands of people that something is going to happen, I'm not sure why that itself is something objectionable.
Jacobson - I didn't mean to say it was going to be good or bad. It could be either. But I just mean to say that this thing has in recent history been a mass society phenomenon, and it it's getting pretty big.
Rojcewicz - My personal investigation. I now have an informant who is in their late 30s, professional woman, who has been in the arts and a consultant for professional organizations and she is part of a group of ... out west in the United States who believe that the end is coming. They also believe that they're part of a group that is disseminating proper attitudes that will in fact raise consciousness to a certain level sufficient to be saved when the final event happens. She is a responsible articulate educated individual, one of many people in a group out west who not only are paying for this, they believe it would happen quite soon. I don't know that she has a date, she hasn't said anything yet, but has purchased camoflauge, they have a place to live out west when it happens because there'll be destructive cataclysmic events that she believes and they believe will occur before the rapture takes place. So how widespread I don't know but even from my own work, this is something that's quite powerful and I won't say it's the most compelling but it's one of the most important things that she talks about that seems to be a source of how she behaves and sees the world.
Downie - How do you assess the job that the media has done in relating these stories? I don't know if you've seen the tabloid this summer but it was Alien Backs Clinton.
--he did talk with Bush and Perot first.
--the CNN thing on the news where Clinton said I'm really glad he changed his mind.
Downie - I think Carson had on something near the end of his reign the headlines you'd never see, and it was UFO spotted in big city by smart man.
Gotlib - In almost every show that I've been on on commercial television, they make a point of getting me on to discuss the human aspect of it but they end up focusing on the more lurid aspects and they say well tell me more about the really weird things that happen to your clients, and I say well it's not, the really weird things aren't really what's important. What's important is how these experiences are affecting the individuals and what we can do to help them. And they always try to steer away from that and back onto well, tell me more about the alien's experimentation. And the only time that I was able to successfully deflect and engage the interviewer was on Newsworld where she gave me a lot of latitude to talk about my experiences and how I dealt with them. And I think it was a much, it was a better information package for the consumer. But if you're talking about tabloid shows which is what a lot of this stuff appears on, they're going for entertainment and they're going for sensationalism and the kind of stuff that we're talking about here even though I think its a lot more important, it's not particularly sensational.
Ring - It doesn't lend itself to sound bite treatment. My experience is similar to yours. It seems as though you have to fit into a particulair category. Either you're somebody who believes in these things and are helping to spread the myth of these lurid stories about experimentation blah blah blah because it does make a good story, it's good material for television or for the tabloids, or you're a debunker. I mean you have those choices. Either you believe it or you don't believe it, and any position in between those two extremes on the spectrum, especially if its complex, is not of interest because they need it to be sort of presented in a simplified way, which distorts the comlexity of the phenomenon and its essential ambiguity.
Gotlib - One show I was on had an archbeliever, an archskeptic, and myself. And the third guy was a guy who wrote tabloid stories about UFOs. And that was the only reason that he was on the panel. Its like if you were having a show about journalistic integrity, and you had the guy who draws Hi and Lois or Beetle Bailey because it happened to appear in the newspaper too, its associated with the word newspaper.
Jacobson - You know I think that the news media are way behind the curve of where the society actually is. And the biggest evidence is the popularity of Hollywood movies that are about UFOs. And we think about ET, think about Cocoon, think about Close Encounters of the Third Kind, all films which gave very complex very funny ...elaboroations of the possible meaning of UFO that were tremendously popular. And the news media just don't reflect that. And a lot of people think that way now about UFOs, a lot of people have those images and those understandings of what the possible meanings could be.
Rojcewicz - Yeah. Just to put myself at risk here and maybe as Eric..does argue the other side, is something about the humour or the kind of buffoonery that comes out of watching a national broadcast on a show that's meant for entertainment. Part of, its undeniable to me, I think, to look at the phenomenon and see clear positive effects as well as clear negative effects in some people. One of the questions I have is why, is it something in the phenomenon, is it something in the individual witness, is it some kind of mutual collaboration with both. And one thing that's interesting is the whole role of laughter in whether or not one fares well or one does not fare so well in an encounter with the unknown. If one looks at the history of what we know of the mystery rituals, we know that some people you know, prosper spiritually, psychologically, other people would turn into birds as a result of improper attitudes or wanting to make money after going through the ritual. If you look through anomylous experiences, you see positive and negative consequences. If you look through artists, the history of talented people, who are somewhat like mouthpieces for this thing called art, this energy they call creativity, of which we know very little, you see people whose lives are destroyed or who prosper. Some people who are destroyed as artists because they're successful and don't know how to deal with this. Laughter's a kind of interesting, puts you in an interesting posture. It places you, it says that you are involved and invested and into the experience, but also allows you to be removed and detached and objective. And insofar as we see people longing for deliverance or longing for salvation or may join a cult, you have this ridiculous aspect both in the phenomenon and the absurd aspect, and also played out by the distortions or the sensation seeking mass media where laugher is caused, as if to balance off being sucked into this phenomenon and giving it too much credence or thinking that meaning in life and integrity comes perfectly or completely outside the self.
Gotlib - And what I would say to that is there's a difference between laughter and ridicule. Between laughing with somebody and laughing at somebody. My impression of these programs is that they're exercises in ridicule.
Downie - So what damage does that do, David? How damaging is that kind of constant --
Gotlib - --to the individuals who experience it. It just magnifies the isolation. It magnifies the sense that they're, they're truly losing their mind if they haven't actually worked through this experience of that the special nature of this experience really makes them very alone. For people like me and John, it makes it that much harder to do our work. And for the, in the broader arena of investigating anomalous experiences, it keeps reputable people out of the business. And so and because it keeps reputable clear thinking people out of the business, it tends to attract then a larger proportion of fringe people to fill up the empty spaces which just continues to decrease the quality of the work being done, which makes our work easier and further marginalizes the experiences.
Ring - Yeah, and to add, just to supplement that last point, when I was recently on a tour, I was asked to try to provide people to go on television with me who had had these experiences, maybe people refused or a significant number of people refused because of the treatment, the mistreatment really, that they felt that they were the victims of on previous programs. They didn't want to have any more of the kind of abuse or ridicule that David was talking about. I found the same thing though to a lesser degree on the part of people that had near death experiences. They often commented to me after television programs they weren't going to do that anymore because it was not possible to use television as a medium to talk about experiences so profound and sacred as these because of the kind of lighthearted banter to which they were subjected if not ridiculed. So I think it really does devalue both the experience and the experiencer.
Gotlib - Most of my patients that I talk to about appearing on this program have been reluctant to be interviewed on camera for exactly the same reason. There is a kind of, I perceive at least that there's a kind of legitimacy to media presentation of near death experiences, perhaps because it has some kind of spiritual overtone that at least is somewhat accepted in the society, but the UFO stuff is just so lurid that if one of my clients were to appear on this program, they would go into work the next day and they'd have to cope with all of that ridicule, and that's part of what we're trying to work through in therapy with them.
Rojcewicz - I just want to say that I certainly don't deny the negative effects of ridicule on a person's experience. I'm just simply pointing out what I consider at least philsophically one of the possible positive effects of humour. Well one of the negative effects of the media presenting the material that I deal with, particularly with the men in black experience, is that its difficult to read the materal that comes back to me, particularly after making a television appearance. That is to say, the whole idea of contamination and reflectivity becomes more complicated. With the men in black experience, its pretty much a cryptic and virtually un, still virtually unknown aspect of the UFO phenomenon, and so the chances of a movie influencing somebody or a major book are less. And so I always feel torn between appearing on a show and letting information out there because I am in fact becoming part of that contamination effect. So its a bittersweet love-hate relationship with the media. With the media.
dc: I just wanted to point something out. It seems to me you guys are missing this --- this is a phenomenon that is made by the media. The seminal creative ... in 1947 was created by the mass media. The phenomenon would not have taken on mythological proportions without the mass media, even the most destructive amount of ridicule that's been done has not masked the fact that this phenomenon has reached such incredibly deep proportions in the population. And that seems to me an important part of it.
Gotlib - But it has distorted its evolution.
dc: No question about that.
Mack - I think its important to distinguish between the UFO phenomenon per se which is outside of my expertise really, and the experiencers themselves and their, how they're treated, their rights, whether they appear, how they're dealt with, how their investigators are dealt with with them. One of these in our group that now we, there are now about forty to fifty active people in our group. We've become much more politically proactive. We set very strict criteria as to when we'll meet with people in the media. We cross examine any media person to get where he's coming from, what his purpose is, and absolutely won't go on the program if that's not satisfied. And we have contact with a good number of the abductees in the New England area and we take it upon ourselves to educate every media person as to the terms of the debate. @@ And we make for example the point that it is about as impartial to have one of these hired guns sort of debunker thugs on the program is about as legitimate in terms of balance as everytime you discuss the European holocaust, you have somebody on the program that says it never existed. I mean you're dealing with true human rights minority violations here and we're quite clear about that. And we make a political statement among ourselves and we plan this and discuss it and are very very careful what programs we go on, partly because of some of you guys talking to us about that.
Downie - ---I'd kick myself if I didn't ask you, although it may anger some people I think because you're talking about remaining open to the possibility, but I still wonder what you think it is. You must have, you must have inclinations about what the hell's going on. John, do you?
Mack - Yeah, I mean what it is. I mean again, people have, it's been a very complex discussion. People have said there may be many phenomenon. It seems to be some something which seems to be shattering a paradigm of reality that is entering our world and whether we like it or not, whether it exists in the conventional terms of existent physical reality, it is opening this up to another notion of what reality includes and who we are in the universe. That seems to be happening now.
Downie - --extraterrestrials?
Mack - Well extraterrestrial already is a term within the paradigm that we're already stuck in. In other words, that implies that there's the earth and then there's some other planets and stars in the physical three dimensional throw in Einstein's fourth dimension of time, but its still in our conventional framework. So extraterrestrial would be the little guys from space ships coming in and out and of our worlds. This phenomenon and the abductees themselves, they're my teachers in this, seems to involve transit among dimensions. In other words, they exist in our physical world at one time but they seem to have mastered passage from other dimensions. So extra terrestrial carries the implication of outside the earth in space time. This is outside our paradigm of space time reality. So I would not call it extraterrestrial. I would call it other dimensional perhaps.
Downie - So would we ever, I mean well we don't know if we'll ever find the answer or we'll ever --
Mack - @@ Well until we respect consciousness as an instrument of knowing, I don't think we will. If we're still stuck with the only thing we trust is what a machine shows us and we don't trust our psyches as the instruments of an expanded way of knowing, yes we won't know. We're only going to know this through consciousness. That's been at least the information that I'm getting. We're not going to get it through the machines of the old paradigm. Henry Adams saw the catastrophe of confining ourselves to machines in the education of Henry Adams and this is, this is calling upon us to use our psyches as ways of experiencing expanding and knowing and trusting our own inner experience and developing that experience as a way of growing and knowing. I think Ken's work shows that this has to do with an expansion of the faculties of experiencing and knowing so that we do move beyond the limited confines of the physical world as the only reality that exists in the western mind's horizons.
Anybody else got anything they --
Jacobson - I asked a very ... meditation teacher once if there were UFOs in Tibet and he said oh yes, lots of them. And I said what do you Tibetans think that they are. He said some of them actually are ships from other planets, he said but most of them are spirits.
Ring - Okay. What I say about this is this whole discussion oh sorry, when I say that I'm moving my hands this whole discussion is meant to frustrate the viewer of this program just as the phenomenon is made to frustrate the mind of the scientist who's trying to box it up in a tidy package. It's just a John says. Each individual has to make himself the centre of his own experience and understanding. He is or she is not going to get the answer from science, not going to get the answer from us. He or she is going to get the answer by exploring the phenomenon for himself or herself I hate to use this himself or herself stuff but do you understand it's like people are looking for these answers but they're not going to find it in the usual places. Science is the imprimatur of what is real and what is not real, is not going to be able to answer this question. At the end of the program, this viewer should feel frustrated, and it's right that he or she feel frustrated because they're going to have to search for the answer for themselves. It's not going to come from us or from any authority. There's in a sense I don't want to say there isn't an answer to this question but each person must seek the own answer and @@ the seeking is the answer. Not the solution.
Mack - That would mean an expanded inner responsibility for what is and for each person that's right. That's a shift in itself.
Ring - It's almost saying something like this you know we have been dependent on a body called science -
For the answers.
Ring - For the answers, and that has to change. We all have to assume that responsibility.
Mack - The politics of the real then is shifting in this - as you describe it.
Jacobson - If I could just draw from what I mean as a corollary to what you're both saying which again I take from my involvement with religious traditions, is that scientific truth is amoral truth. Our whole idea of a scientific fact is something shorn of moral evaluation. And what I get from what I know about the great religious traditions is that one of the strongest messages is especially when you're dealing with something numinous and of the other world your moral orientation is crucial in terms of how it turns out for you. And that's very different from the science idea.
Rojcewicz - I would say you know if I was going to conjecture on what it is and this big questions what I think is important as a folklorist I feel that it's part of my tradition to ask the big questions of whither and whence mankind and who are we ans such things, it's perfectly okay to do that. My work started when I began my doctoral dissertation with a personal anomalous experience at a time when in my field of folklore the question of whether to - what the source the potential source of these alleged experiences was not allowed. It was verboten to entertain whether or not there was an objective reality. Whether or not there was a material basis and so the experience led me in many respects and I would think that there's anything here it seems the phenomenon seems to be reality itself, manifesting itself to us in ways that get our attention, and I think what the lesson is, if there is one is how to live meaningfully amidst paradox . The phenomenon is not wholely this not wholely that. It's not particularly objective, not totally subjective, it involves an inner and outer experience, but so much of life, so much of everyday existence, we are not wholely physical, we are somewhat transcendant in so far as we have a consciousness, we're not only male chromosomes we're female chromosomes. We have a mind that we can recall, we have a mind we can't recall. We ourselves are somewhat akin to this very thing we can't understand. It well may be that UFO's are coming from other planets to us or we may be going towards it in our own understanding but to live meaning and develop recipes for meaningful action in our life, how to deal with the unknown thing called the self called the psyche which is as alien to our egos and everyday consciousness as anything we can conjure up while there. So perhaps it is at least for me today at this moment, reality trying to show itself above and beyond any one paradigm or model of it.