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An unexpected, inspiring trip across spiritual terrain
on 11 December 1999
Passport to the Cosmos explores a spiritual terrain that I would not have expected to find in a book that on the surface appears to be about something "alien." What is discovered is a profound reconnection with the sacred, provoked by something as yet unknown.
Dr. John Mack compares the reactions of people in the West who have faced these experiences to a trio of experiencers from indigenous cultures - Native American, Brazillian, and African. The reactions and interpretations are compared and contrasted, and the value of some indigenous perspectives is considered.
In view of his years of clinical work with over 200 people reporting these experiences, Dr. Mack feels that the West suffers deeply when faced with something drastically unknown. But he suggests that if the terror of these experiences is fully faced, even embraced, an expansion of consciousness may take place.
"When these phenomena show up in our world in a way that we cannot deny, this powerfully shatters our worldview, and when you shatter a worldview, then new possibilities for human identity and experience emerge. One of the elements that occur when that worldview is shattered is then the earth and everything in the earth and every human relation becomes sacred. And that kind of consciousness, that return of the sacred, of the reverent sense of connection that emerges from this experience transforms our whole relationship to one another and to the planet itself. And it seems to me that's a good thing."
How the terror of being provoked by these experiences can transform into something truly grand is the journey of the book, told in the words of Dr. Mack and several particularly articulate experiencers (from the over 200 interviewed), so I leave that journey for the reader to discover. It is a journey worth taking.