Collapse of Worldviews
- Collapse of Western Worldview caused by UFOs
World view = another word for 'belief system'.
In a book by John Mack: Passport to the Cosmos, he talks about what I have been going on about - the UFO phenomena causing a collapse in what we have been taught to believe from Western science education. It just does not fit in with what we have been led to believe from our schooling.
The psychological nature of people is such that we try to fit in an explanation of the unknown with what we believe. From our science education we believe that our outlook is rational. But to understand the UFO phenomenon we have to throw away the world view (beliefs) that we have been taught. Personally I am unhappy about having to do this. But according to Mack most people in society are now ready to accept the alternative world view that goes with ETs.
John Mack is Harvard professor who has researched abductee cases, and believes that their experiences are 'real', and had to fight against peer pressure opposed to one of its own group taking such a radical outlook.
When I first heard of the alien abduction phenomenon, I tried to fit it into my knowledge of psychopathology. But no consistent psychiatric disturbance has been found that could account for these reports, nor has a major psychological study of this population demonstrated more psychopathology than a matched comparison group (McLeod et al. forthcoming). I soon realised, therefore, that no plausible fit was emerging. A purely intrapsychic or psychosocial explanation - that is, one that did not include the possibility of another intelligence or force entering the experieners' lives, as if from outside - was not consistent with my diagnostic assessment of what these clients were presenting.
I was then faced with the choice of either trying to fit these individuals' reports into a framework that fit with my worldview - they were having fantasies, strange dreams, delusions, or some other distortion of reality - or of modifying my worldview to include the possibility that entities, beings, energies - something - could be reaching my clients from another realm. The first choice was compatible with my worldview but did not fit the clinical data.
Now the peer pressure in the science community would be for him to stick to the first choice. Mack was radical and took the second choice, which he describes as:
The second choice was inconsistent with my philosophical grounding, and with conventional assumptions about reality, but appeared to fit better what I was finding. It seemed to me more logical, and intellectually more honest, to modify my cosmology [which I take to mean his beliefs of how the universe operates] than to continue trying to force my clients into molds that clearly did not suit them.
i.e. Mack rejects what he has been taught to believe is reality, and adopts a version of reality that fits the facts. This is the proper scientific method. Unfortunately the psychological nature of scientists and other people is to try to fit the facts to what they already believe, and then pretend that they are engaged in science.
The correct approach to science is very radical, and I do not think that Westerners are really ready to throw away their existing cherished set of beliefs. Especially since 'they' have faithfully sat exams to endorse these beliefs, and the people who are the best at reciting these beliefs 'they' have labelled clever, and promoted to the top of our social hierarchy.
i.e. the facts overthrow our Western schooling of how we expect reality to behave.
Is the West really ready to accept something like this?
In 1995 a close friend, a psychologist who is herself a pioneer in working with nonordinary states of consciousness, challenged me with the question, "John, where do you think you are on the weakest ground with this work?"
I assumed correctly that what she had in mind was my crediting the possibility that beings, spirits, or anything at all could "cross over" from the unseen or "other" world into our material reality. This crossover seems to be regarded as a regular occurrence in many if not most indigenous cultures, but in our Western or scientific/materialist society, the domains of spirit and matter have been kept separate and distinct, and the possibility of traffic between them is looked upon as doubtful if not altogether impossible. When I pointed out to her that in other cultures in which I have tried to investigate the abduction phenomenon, such interchange is "no big deal", she replied that in our culture it is indeed a big deal..
Western society think ET contact is a big deal. But other cultures do not think that. In particular native Americans think it is no big deal. Mack talked to some of them:
Frequently these informants will tell me that, according to tribal legends, their people came from the sky and their cultures were founded by "star people", arriving sometimes in what they call UFOs or something like them.
Daniken's ideas are no big deal to such people, they knew all the time. However from Western way of thinking it is difficult to understand what is being said from these people:
I have found it difficult to interpret such communications, primarily because of the different relationship between the spirit or unseen and the material worlds in native cultures.
We have been taught in the West to think the wrong way about things. Mack gives an example:
... according to Bernardo Peixoto, a shaman who was raised by the Ipixuma tribe of the Brazilian rain forest, "our legends say that a long time ago a flying saucer landed in the Amazon basin" and that men emerged from this spaceship. He said there were even cave drawings, made hundreds if not thousands of years ago, that showed some kind of craft. These beings were makuras, or spirits that came from high up in the sky." When I asked him if among his people this legend was to be regarded literally as referring to the material world, or should be seen rather as metaphoric, or crossing over from the unseen or spirit realms into the material world, he replied succinctly that among his people "this makes no difference."
In this particular case the Western mind cannot therefore comprehend what the shaman means.
Shamans from other cultures have different ways of describing the relationship between reality perception, and the Western mind fails once again with them.
The Western mind is trying to comprehend things as a 'nuts and bolts' way - is the thing a physical space ship, is the entity a physical entity. But these other cultures don't think that way.
The situation is like in the film Contact (written by Sagan) where the heroine meets the alien(s). Or, did she meet the alien(s)? Did she instead meet God? Or was she hallucinating? Or was she seeing the ghost of her dead father? Or what was happening?
The Close encounter (greater than number 2) is supposed to be like this.
Can we really swap worldviews to accommodate the facts? I think not.
It would be much easier if it fitted with 'nuts and bolts' of what we believe a ET encounter should be like. We prefer the facts to fit what we already believe, instead of change our beliefs to fit the facts.
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