About 20 years ago, I met the Psychiatrist Dr. John Mack at a gathering to celebrate his new book, PASSPORT TO THE COSMOS, which was about his work with people who had experienced what were called “alien abductions,” and this week, I am finally reading it. I don’t know why I waited so long to pick it up – perhaps because, soon after that evening, he was ‘mysteriously’ run over and killed by a drunken driver and his work had all but gone underground. The possible implications of his untimely death felt too awful to focus on at the time, but now I am ready. This book is affecting me deeply now, as the testimonies of these people who sought help from Dr. Mack all describe their experiences in essentially positive terms. It is what they learned in the process that resonates for me – and did for Dr. Mack, as well.

 I wish I could meet them all now. They express feelings that resonate for me, experiences I share even though I have not gone through anything even vaguely like these ‘abductions.’ They speak of being shown how they merge with the whole Universe, body, mind and spirit. They experience what one woman calls the ‘love glue’ that holds everything in the world together. One speaks of her abduction experience as a ‘school to help her remember what she already knew about herself and all things being part of God.’ They are shown that death is nothing to fear, that we cycle in and out of material existence on the earth plane in the natural course of events.

Imagine…there is nothing to fear…     

These days on Earth we are terrified as our environment breaks down under the mistakes caused by our culture’s limited vision of the material world and the economics based upon it. We quail under wars and deprivation, pandemics and rising seas. Like masked bandits, we put distance between ourselves and our friends, and teach our children to be afraid. We’re at a tipping point, no doubt about it, and it is goading us into making some essential changes in our ways of thinking about the world before it is too late. Can we do it? I believe we can, because, well, we must. 

When I feel hopeless – and relatively helpless, as I do now – I remind myself of that broiling late-summer day several years ago at a rain dance in New Mexico, when dancers and drummers beat out repeated rhythms under a relentless sun in the pueblo dancing grounds, hour after hour from early dawn to day’s end. It looked a hopeless task if ever there was one, but also an ancient one that, I was assured, mostly always worked. 

Heat and dust and the pounding of tireless feet, hour after hour until, just before sunset the clouds moved in as if from nowhere, the skies opened up and the storm came on, huge raindrops pelting down on us and turning the dust to mud in minutes. Water gushed through the pueblo and the dancers, one by one came to a halt, lined up quietly and got pelted by the rains they had magically called up by dancing non-stop together for a whole day.

Magic? Well, yes, but we live in a magical world, even when all evidence seems to point to the contrary. But there it was, cold rain on my skin and puddles at everyone’s feet as the elders took their places on the roof of the Kiva and sat quietly together, getting soaked. The evidence was indisputable; whatever we happened to believe or not believe was not the point: a community dancing together all day long had brought the rain!

It is my memory of those young dancers being pelted by the rainstorm at the end of a scorching day of dancing and drumming in the desert that gives me hope now. In a purely material world, it makes no logical sense. Such a thing cannot happen. But in a world open to the unknown, where even “magic” may be real – as it always has been for indigenous people – then anything is possible – even spaceships from other worlds. Who says we know everything there is to know? After all, it did happen.

Anyhow, if we can walk, we can dance; if we can talk, we can sing which means most every one of us has access to this magic. Whyever not let it in? Shakespeare says it in Hamlet: There is more in Heaven and Earth, than there is in your philosophy, Horatio. Why turn down such a gift, and stay afraid? 

 I learned something profound that day in the desert sun, and it has informed my life ever since, so I dance and sing frequently to find that subtle balance-point where ‘all is well, and all manner of things are well’ no matter how horrendous the news. It helps; it really does.

I have also been at the bedsides of friends and family as they lay dying – especially during the early days of the AIDS epidemic – and I watched as they made their transitions. In almost every case, as they took their last breaths, their expressions shifted into something like wonderment, or joy.

“Big love!” whispered Jim, his eyes shining just before the end.

“Wow, oh wow!” mouthed Steve Jobs as he passed over.

My husband, a stalwart scientist all his life whispered to me in awe on his last day, his weakened arms tracing spirals in the air as he showed me the “worlds and worlds” he was seeing, his eyes like candles, “This is so profound, this is so powerful…”

Apparently, it is that larger picture that was revealed to those people “abducted by aliens” (our language, not theirs) and given a glimpse of the larger picture of a multi-dimensioned reality that encompasses our 3 dimensional material world. 

“I am an infinite being connected to all that is,” said one person who consulted Dr. Mack after her abduction experience.

Said the ancient Chinese sage, Chuang Tzu, in 300 B.C.

Birth is not a beginning, death is not an end.

There is existence without limit; there is continuity without starting point.

Whyever would we not believe such testimonies?