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Passport to the Cosmos Paperback – January 2, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Passport to the Cosmos provides the most sophisticated and insightful analysis to date about alien abduction phenomenon. [Mack deserves] thanks for holding his ground in the face of critics.A" - Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, Center for Humanities and the Arts. 
University of Colorado Dr. Mack is one of the more credible writers and researchers in the UFO scene and a man who has earned the right to be accorded some consideration.A" - Mensa Bulletin: The Magazine of American Mensa Review From Publishers Weekly Here is a fascinating foray into an exotic world. From Harvard psychiatry professor and Pulitzer prize-winning author John Mack comes a second book (after Abduction) based on accounts by people who claim to have been abducted by aliens. While he fudges the question of whether the aliens are real in a strictly material sense,A" he insists that the experience is realA" for the abductees, in the way that shamans' spiritual journeys are real to them; indeed, a couple of his interviewees are shamans. He focuses on the newly emerging spiritual importance of the alleged abductees' message. Their reports, Mack believes, reveal much about human culture and the future of the human race. In extensive interviews with Mack, those who claim to have been abducted report that the aliens are especially motivated by questions of ecological destruction, and that they may even be survivors of a destroyed civilization seeking to breed hybrid children with humans to ensure the survival of both the human race and their own. Overwhelmingly, the abductees state that the aliens visit Earth to warn us that our cavalier tree-cutting, water-polluting, trash-dumping habits will have dire consequences if we do not change our ways. Abductees are left with not only a profound caring for the environment, but with a sense that they have encountered creatures sent by whatever power rules the universe. They particularly find that their experiences resonate with Native American religions. This discussion leads into what is possibly the most intriguing section of the book, the examination of sex between humans and aliens-great sex, by numerous accounts. But as a serious investigation into a mystifying experience, Mack's account poses questions begging for answers. Review From Library Journal Mack, a Harvard University psychiatrist and Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of T.E. Lawrence, created an academic stir with the publication of Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens (1994), in which he argued that tales of alien abduction were true. As a result, Harvard warned him to adhere to its standards of conduct for clinical research. In this follow-up, Mack, still undaunted, argues that our knowledge of reality needs to change and that scientific rationalism alone cannot explain the alien abduction syndrome. He examines traditional views of reality, the implications for humanity in light of the abduction phenomenon, and the traumatic effects on experiencersA" or abductees. Mack's work with indigenous people-shamans and medicine men and women-suggests that the phenomenon is not simply a product of Western imagination. This veritable handbook of New Age philosophy will find a readership in most public libraries.

About the Author

John Edward Mack, M.D. (October 4, 1929 - Sep 27, 2004) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He received his medical degree from the Harvard Medical School (Cum Laude, 1955) after undergraduate study at Oberlin (Phi Beta Kappa, 1951). He was a graduate of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and was board certified in child and adult psychoanalysis. Dr Mack's efforts to bridge psychiatry and spirituality were compared by The New York Times to that of former Harvard professor William James. Dr Mack advocated that Western culture requires a shift away from a purely materialist worldview - which he asserted was largely responsible for the Cold War, the global ecological crisis, ethnonationalism and regional conflict - towards a transpersonal worldview which could embrace some elements of Eastern spiritual and philosophical traditions which hold that we are all connected to one another. He researched how this sense of connectionA" developed with difficulty between different cultures, winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1977 for A Prince of Our Disorder, his biography of British officer T. E. Lawrence ( Lawrence of ArabiaA") whose identity bridged Britain and the Middle East. He interviewed political leaders and citizens of the then-Soviet Union and Israel/Palestine in the study of ethno-national conflict and the nuclear arms race. His early clinical work included explorations of dreams, nightmares and adolescent suicide. The theme of connectionA" to other life was explored most boldly in his study of men and women who reported that recurrent alien encounterA" experiences had affected the way they regarded the world, including a heightened sense of spirituality and environmental concern. Mack's interest in the transformational aspects of these extraordinary experiences, and his suggestion that the experience may be more transcendent than physical in nature - yet nevertheless real - was largely reported in the media as a simple endorsement of the reality of alien encounters. The Dean of Harvard Medical School infamously appointed a committee of peers to review Mack's "clinical care and clinical investigation" of the people who had shared their alien encounters with him (some of their cases were written of in Mack's 1994 book Abduction). After fourteen months of inquiry, amid growing concern from the academic community regarding the validity of an investigation of a tenured professor in the absence of any claim of misconduct, Harvard issued a statement stating that the Dean had reaffirmed Dr. Mack's academic freedom to study what he wishes and to state his opinions without impediment,A" concluding Dr. Mack remains a member in good standing of the Harvard Faculty of Medicine.A" Mack's explorations broadened into the general consideration of the merits of an expanded notion of reality, one which allows for experiences that may not fit a materialist paradigm, yet deeply affect people's lives. Mack's final published book, Passport to the Cosmos: Human Transformation and Alien Encounters (1999), was as much a philosophical treatise connecting the themes of spirituality and modern worldviews as it was the culmination of his work with experiencersA" of alien encounters. Dr. Mack passed away at age 74 in London, England.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 370 pages
  • Publisher: White Crow Books; Commemorative ed edition (January 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907661816
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907661815
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #490,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Esteemed professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Pulitzer Prize-winning author John E. Mack M.D. (October 4, 1929 - Sep 27, 2004) spent his career examining how a sense of connection develops across cultures and between individuals, and how these connections alter people's worldviews.

His best known book on this theme, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1977, is A Prince of Our Disorder, a biography of British officer T. E. Lawrence (who became known as ''Lawrence of Arabia''). He also interviewed political leaders and citizens of the Soviet Union and Israel/Palestine in the study of ethno-national conflict and the Cold War.

His interest in different worldviews was not limited to the terrestrial; for more than ten years he studied people who reported a connection existed between themselves and ''aliens''. Two books detailed how these ''alien encounters'' had affected the way people regarded the world - including heightening their sense of spirituality and their environmental concern. These were widely reported in the media as a simple endorsement of the reality of alien encounters, and he endured an inquiry by Harvard to determine whether this research met the standards of a Harvard professor. (The medical school ultimately ''reaffirmed Dr. Mack's academic freedom to study what he wishes and to state his opinions without impediment.'')

Mack's interest in the transformational aspects of extraordinary experiences corresponded to his own belief that the Western world requires a shift away from a primarily materialist worldview. This worldview, he suggested in his many writings, was the root cause of the Cold War, regional conflict, and the global ecological crisis. He advocated a shift towards a transpersonal worldview that embraced some elements of Eastern spiritual and philosophical traditions which emphasized a sense of ''connection''; Mack believed such a shift could alter the path of the world towards a more sustainable future.

Mack passed away at the age of 74 in London, England.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Ken Korczak on November 13, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Harvard educated psychiatrist John E. Mack was at the peak of a distinguished career as a doctor, Harvard professor, writer and researcher. He even won the Pulitzer Prize for literature and enjoyed universal respect. Then in 1994 he astonished everyone by daring to publish a UFO book.

It was as if every accomplishment of his entire life was now called into question. A Harvard "kangaroo committee" began to investigate him. High-level academic peers condemned him. Public ridicule followed.

Ironically, Mack's 1994 book "Abduction" was a bestseller and probably made him a ton of money - opening him up to that old skeptic's attack over anything to do with UFOs - 'he did it to cash in.' I remember other quotes in the media from egg-head academics that went something like this: "John Mack is a really brilliant guy, but for some reason, he just lost it."

But Mack was only going where the science was leading him. As a therapist, he was intrigued that he was getting an increasing number of patients who claimed to have been abducted by UFO aliens. They were distressed over their experiences, but Mack was perplexed that, outside their bizarre tales of abductions, these people seemed altogether normal and mentally healthy in all other respects. They wanted to stay anonymous; in fact, they were desperate to keep their experiences a secret. It was clear they were not just a bunch of nutty attention seekers, or deeply neurotic or psychotic lunatics. They were ordinary people who needed to deal with a traumatic event.

And so what really got Mack into hot water, especially among the academic and scientific community, is that he had the audacity to suggest that maybe these people REALLY HAD BEEN abducted by aliens! That maybe they were telling the truth!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By The Guardian TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
As Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard University Medical School, John Mack had the highest possible academic credentials. He was also a Pulitzer Prize-winning author for his biography of T. E. Lawrence, 'A Prince of our Disorder.'

'Passport to the Cosmos' (PTTC) was Mack's second and final book on the alien abduction issue, before his death in September 2004. It's a thoughtful, coherent and readable essay; a more absorbing narrative than his earlier 1994 book "Abductions: Human Encounters with Aliens". Whereas the earlier book episodically recounted the experiences of 13 different abductees in their own words but seemed reluctant to draw conclusions - beyond the obvious fact that the phenomenon was not psychiatric but (in some way) external to the experiencer and physically real - "PTTC" explores what it all might mean in terms of human consciousness and why our accepted "ontological notions of consensus reality" need to be expanded to accommodate this subversive intrusion into our world.

The author writes in Chapter One:

"...marshalling evidence that might conceivably satisfy the physical sciences `on their own turf' has proved to be an elusive task. I will document experiencers' reports with physical evidence where applicable, but my principal interest is in their pattern, meaning and potential implications for our understanding of reality and knowledge of ourselves in the universe."

There you have John's fundamental attitude and the thesis of the book, in a nutshell.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By pluton_mare on April 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Most of the authors who investigate alien abduction phenomenon usually just stop at reporting on the phenomenon. John E. Mack has taken it to the next level. He does reports the facts on the phenomenon, but he also discusses how individuals who went through the abduction integrate these highly unusual occurences into their lives. This aspect alone make the book a valuable read. Thereby, he does try to remain as objective as possible, which is also not often the case with other authors whose perception of theese events ranges from downright negative and fearful (like Carla Turner) to downright positive and naive (Dolores Cannon). He tries to be as "scientific" as possible, which is understandable knowing his backgrount. He does acknowledge that his value system underwent substantial changes due to his own interaction with the abductees, but nevertheless he does try to maintain a neutral and objective stance on the issue (even though one must ultimatly admit that there is no such thing as an objective reality). I recommend this book to all those who are interested not just in facts about abductions, but also in how extraterrestrial life and alien abduction phenomenon relate to our own reality and everyday life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Griffin on December 29, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is not too scholarly but is well written. It is very long and sometimes a little boring, but overall does give an important understanding of the possiblity that aliens may be able to manipulate dimensions of reality and may not be 100% physical beings. He gives a lot of depth in why he thinks so, along with many interesting personal stories of abductees that have been checked into thoroughly.
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