Stop the presses! It wasn't me! The "JS" referred to in "JSUFO.TXT" is an unknown friend of Wendy Silvers', who happens to have the same initials as YourIllustrious Sysop. I haven't even finished reading JSUFO.TXT! But other than that, this article by John White is very interesting and well-written. (I just hope his book hasn't gone to press yet with my name in it....) -Jim Speiser----------------------------------------------------
A RESPONSE TO SPEISER'S EBE 'EXPLANATORY HYPOTHESIS'
By John White
The following is excerpted from an essay entitled "UFOs and the Search for Higher Consciousness" to appear in my forthcoming book, The Meeting of Science and Spirit. I offer it as a response to Jim Speiser, who asks in his April 1988 Paranet essay (JSUFO.NEW), "Éis it possible that EBEs are members of an advanced evolutionary level of life who are tending this planet as a garden? Might they be cultivating human life, not as a food source, but to give humans the opportunity to become, through their choices, potential members and contributors to the EBE's advanced level?ÉMaybe we should be asking: Are we growing in the right way? How should we conduct ourselves in the presence of these individuals and how should we conduct ourselves with each other? What do we have to gain by treating EBEs as hostile invaders? What is the real purpose of these visitations? Since we seem to be far less advanced, maybe the only way we can gain is by concluding they are here for our benefit."
My briefest response to Speiser would be to acknowledge the legitimacy of his questions but to disagree with his conclusions. "By their fruits ye shall know them." Judging from what abductees report as the "fruits" of alien abduction, the EBEs are here for anything but our benefit. I see nothing--absolutely nothing--about the abductions which is positive, which provides new and useful knowledge or which is growth-inducing for humans and which can be attributed to the EBEs' intentions. Yes, abductees do report long-term growth as a result of being terrorized, traumatized, emotionally and physically raped--but that is in no way to the credit of the EBEs. It is due solely to the resilience of the human psyche--its self-reparative quality and its inherent urge toward health, wholeness and self-transcendence. Some people survived the Holocaust, but it does not then follow that their survival and consequent gain in strength, understanding and even compassion [see Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning] was due to the good intentions of their captors. Speiser is leaping to a premature conclusion, and a very dangerous one at that. But the danger is spiritual as much as it is physical, and I think his position typifies a widespread attitude which needs to be recognized and corrected. This excerpt explains what it is and why it is dangerous to adopt the perspective Speiser advocates.
The term "metaterrestrial" was coined by J. Allen Hynek to denote something that originates outside the familiar space-time framework in which we ordinarily function. Also called extradimensional, interdimensional, ultraterrestrial and ultraphysical, this category provides evidence that some UFO experiences are due to nonphysical but real entities that come not from other locations in our universe but from other sets of dimensions that interpenetrate our space-time. Materialization/dematerialization and some other psychic or paranormal phenomena are best accounted for this way, and are theoretically possible within modern physics' view of reality. In short, many UFO incidents appear to be contemporary versions of what was recorded long ago in mythology, religious scripture and spiritual traditions as encounters with angels, demons and the various inhabitants of other planes of existence. These metaterrestrial (MT) beings materialize into our space-time from other levels of reality--traditionally called heaven and hell in the Judeo-Christian world view, but modernly understood as hyperspatial dimensions or supersensible space-time frameworks with a wide range of beings native to them, just as ours has creatures ranging from viruses to whales.
Thus, the UFO phenomenon suggests that other life forms are present in the universe--the evidence from exobiology supports this idea, quite apart from the UFO data--and that they have contacted the human race throughout history and are still interacting with us in various ways. The interactions range from benevolent, such as warnings from Space Brothers and Galactic Confederation emissaries about the threat of nuclear war, to malevolent, such as the abduction of Whitley Strieber, who told in his bestseller, Communion, of being captured, brain-probed with needles, anally examined with a rough instrument and having his memory altered.
What is the meaning of all this for humanity? In a comprehensive and recent two-volume bibliography entitled UFOs and the Extraterrestrial Contact Movement, George M. Eberhart surveys the literature on UFOs and alleged contacts with ETs. It is significant that Eberhart describes the extraterrestrial contact phenomenon as a "movement." That movement is widespread, albeit unorganized. It goes far beyond mere public interest in flying saucers. In its deepest aspect, it represents a flowering of the human quest for God and growth to higher consciousness. There are many groups founded on the ET/MT-contact premise, often centering around a charismatic figure who claims to be in contact with UFO occupants and to have regular telepathic links with space or hyperspace. These groups range from membership societies such as the Unarius Society (Escondido, California) and Mark-Age of Miami, (Florida) to communal/extended family situations such as that around David Michael the Cosmic Messiah (Berkeley, California) and "The Two" who preached a gospel called Human Individual Metamorphosis that promised followers would be removed from the planet by a flying saucer. All these groups extol the virtue of their unseen communicators and claim they have a mighty revelation to offer for the benefit of humanity. Many of them regard extraterrestrials and metaterrestrials as "gods from outer space." And many of them, such as "The Two," offer a program or prescription for higher human development and extension of human consciousness to godlike conditions if we will submit to "the gods."
But while their appeals to join the movement may be intriguing and enticing, remember that fools rush in where at least one form of ET/MT life--angels--fears to tread. The movement's appeal needs close and careful consideration. My purpose in the rest of this essay, therefore, is to offer a cautionary comment about the proper attitude toward UFOs and ET/MT contact.
FROM OUTER SPACE TO INNER SPACE
First, consider the most intriguing aspect of the UFO experience: the convergence of psychology and physics. As the study of inner and outer space merges, consciousness becomes the key to understanding the situation. The UFO phenomenon actually leads us to still-larger questions. It is not enough to ask what are they, where they come from and what they want. Our ultimate questions concern cosmology and ontology: what is reality and how can we know it?
These questions bring us slowly but surely to the realization that only by understanding the essence of ourselves can we understand the nature and structure of the cosmos, including the UFO phenomenon. It is a paradox recognized in all major religions, psychotechnologies and sacred lifeways that the deeper you look inside yourself, the more universal you become. Scientific and spiritual traditions--the objective and subjective aspects of our attempt to know reality--converge to reveal levels of consciousness far beyond what we ordinarily take for the limits of our awareness.
Conceptualizing these higher dimensions is difficult. Recent models of the cosmos by physicists, paraphysicists and parapsychologists are resorting more and more to the esoteric, heremetic, metaphysical and occult traditions, which claim to have long been aware of other aspects of reality other than the physical-material. These traditions use terms such as the astral plane, the etheric plane, the plane of Mind and so forth to denote hyperspaces--other space-time frameworks, other sets of dimensions-- interpenetrating our own.
Where are these hyperspaces? All sources agree: they are within us, even while they seem to be outside; and at the same time, they are outside (our physical bodies), even though we arrive there by going within.
The cosmos, then, may be conceived as having different but interpentrating planes of existence which are space-time frameworks in their own right. The higher planes are the native realms of angels, spirit guides, ascended masters and other evolutionarily advanced beings reported throughout history as interacting with humanity to guide and protect us.
Protect us from what? Malevolent inhabitants of other planes. Outside the physical plane we humans inhabit is not all sweetness and light, according to these traditions. There are said to be objectively real but invisible intelligences that seek to penetrate human psyches in order to stop our evolution and enslave us to their will. It is said that these malign entities can and do sometimes materialize into our plane of existence in various alluring ways to entice us off the spiritual path.
As a person evolves in consciousness and expands awareness, he passes through these different levels enroute to the highest state of consciousness, cosmic consciousness. Those levels, in Christian theology, are termed "the heavens." In Hindu and Buddhist thought, they are called "lokas." Though the terminology differs from culture to culture, the underlying unity of experience cannot be mistaken. Each level is said to have beings--presumably organized into some social structure--capable of materializing into other levels. As a person moves into those spaces through whatever spiritual discipline he practices to purify his consciousness and develop organs of higher perception, the boundary between "inner" and "outer" events dissolves and a single, unified view of reality is perceived. This is why there has been unanimity of reports from "soul travelers" to the highest regions.
And what they report is this: we humans are confused about ultimate reality and our true identity. Both are something far greater than we ordinarily think and both are actually one.
Next consider what this means for human happiness and understanding. First, there is a core truth to which we can penetrate--an Ultimate Answer which alone gives purpose, meaning and direction to our lives and our search. Second, that truth is accessible to each of us on the basis of direct experience, without need for intermediaries. Third, in order to attain that truth, we must ascend in consciousness; we must personally evolve through our own efforts. And, finally, if many individuals evolve, the result could well be a collective change of society, a transformation of the species, a radical change in human nature.
EVOLUTION BEYOND MAN
As I see things, precisely such a change is now occurring. Evolution has not stopped. A new race--a higher form of humanity--is now emerging on the planet. My reason, research and personal experience lead me to this conclusion. And certainly it is not my conclusion alone. Nietzsche, Bergson, Teilhard de Chardin, Sri Aurobindo, Gopi Krishna, Oliver Reiser, R. M. Bucke, L. L. Whyte, Jean Houston and others have proposed the same idea before me: human beings are also human becomings.
The grand theme of history is the evolution of consciousness--a story of ever-more complex forms of life coming into physical being in order to express more fully the consciousness behind existence itself. As this applies to the current world scene, I maintain, the many threats to life on this planet created by Homo sapiens' intellect-gone-wild have caused such pressure on nature that the life force--the intelligence governing creation--is mobilizing to resist the irrationality of Man.
How will it resist? Simply by bringing a higher form of life onto the planet--a form which will recognize the laws governing nature and live in accordance with them. The human race as we know it, in all its combative, divisive, exploitative, self-centered inhumanity-to-man, will go the way of the dinosaur. The widespread signs of world unrest and cultural collapse around us indicate that an historical epoch, a world age, is ending.
Simultaneously, a great awakening is going on around the globe. It isn't merely a generation gap or a communications gap. A new species is awakening to its cosmic calling and is asserting--in the face of the threatening dominant species--its right to live. The planetwide uneasiness and societal upheaval being seen today is fundamentally an expression of people straddling old and new worlds as they try to find out what species they belong to. The dominant species is ego-oriented, technology-mad and unconsciously bent on self-destruction through its materialistic addictions and their unforeseen effects on the biosphere. The emerging species, on the other hand, is life-embracing. It seeks to live in harmony, create a unified planetary culture founded on love and wisdom and, as Native Americans say, walk in balance on the Earth Mother.
In the course of people's effort to find their true identity, many errors and excesses will occur. The "gods from outer space" concept is a notable example.
Now, there is nothing inherently implausible about the notion that more highly evolved life forms exist and have contacted us. Exobiology suggests that life will arise wherever conditions are not simply favorable but merely a little better than totally hostile. Since our sun is a relatively young star, there may be older star systems where organisms developed earlier than here and have become the more highly evolved inhabitants of supertechnological civilizations capable of space travel. They may even have come to Earth in UFOs.
THE DANGER OF "GODS FROM OUTER SPACE"
The immediate allure of contact with such civilizations is the possibility of learning from them. Imagine, for example, being given the means to build power sources such as those that propel UFOs. Some alien communications speak of "free energy devices" that tap space itself and could do away with the need for oil, coal, gas and nuclear fuels. This is an exciting visita, promising--on the surface, at least--a new era of peace and prosperity such as people have dreamed of for millennia. Beneath the surface, however, this is more of the same narrow vision--the unquestioned faith in the power of science and technology to secure human happiness--that is endangering our species at this time.
Thus, inherent in the possibility of ET/MT encounters is a danger we must recognize beyond the mere idea of ferocious killers as expressed in Aliens. We must recognize this danger if we are ever to truly build a "heaven on earth." For such knowledge as we might obtain from extraterrestrial contact still does not give us the most important type of cosmic connection--the type we need to deal with the problems of daily living. Our endless accumulation of scientific facts simply does not add up to wisdom and understanding of the human situation in its cosmic aspect. Every new bit of information, every new answer we get raises a dozen new questions. Gathering scientific data is an endless process, and unless we are properly grounded in the moral foundations of the universe, we will continue to find new ways of misusing science so that knowledge only leads to greater unhappiness, as we see most strongly in our present historically unprecedented threat to all life on the planet. As Krishnamurti, speaking of our faustian quest, says, "Knowledge is only a part of life, not the totality, and when that part assumes all-consuming importance, as it is threatening to do now, then life becomes superficialÉ More knowledge, however wide and cunningly put together, will not resolve our human problems; to assume that it will is to invite frustration and misery. Something much more profound is needed."
What is needed? A change of consciousness. Only a change in the state of human consciousness will allow us to find the knowledge and wisdom necessary to survive the threats facing Homo sapiens. For there is a type of knowledge beyond science--beyond even the science of supertechnological extraterrestrial civilizations--that is nevertheless democratically available to every one of us. It is the core truth, the eternal message of all the world's sacred traditions. It is knowledge that anyone can obtain directly from the cosmos, without intermediaries, without being dependent upon benevolent superior beings, whether they are angelic messengers, Space Brothers, spirit guides, ascended masters, walk-ins, EBEs or whatever. Call it God-knowledge, mystical union, attaining yoga, finding the Tao or achieving enlightenment. These terms all refer to the same thing: the fundamental apprehension of Cosmic Wholeness transcending any and all parts of creation and its creatures. This is the knowledge that gives purpose, direction and fulfillment to our lives by answering the ultimate questions which spiritual traditions and science alike have tried to answer: Who am I and what is existence all about?
That is not to depreciate the value of whatever wise counsel or technical information humanity may be offered by extraterrestrials or metaterrestrials in the matter of evolving to higher states of being. But in the last analysis, it is up to us to take responsibility for our own growth into higher consciousness. Nobody can do that for us--not through neurosurgery, genetic engineering, chemical implants, hypnosis, EBE "gardeners" or any other forms of outside intervention such as various theorists are hypothesizing today. What is "out there" cannot save us. The impulse to grow must come from within as an organic expression of a person's total being.
THE MEANING OF 2001
That is the unanimous advice from sages around the globe throughout history. Deep inside us, not far out in physical space, is the channel by which we can make the cosmic connection--the one that really counts. A powerful illustration of this is seen at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The film is a classic for many reasons, but the chief one is its insightful treatment of the grandest theme of all history: the evolution of consciousness and the growth of humanity to a godlike state. 2001's "hero" is the astronaut Bowman. His technology-denoting name symbolizes an intermediate stage of human evolution that is still relatively crude but nevertheless well beyond the ape-man stage with which the film begins. At the end of the film, we see Bowman traveling on the (symbolically sperm-shaped) spaceship (symbolically) named Discovery through the atmosphere of Jupiter, preparing to land and begin searching for the advanced life forms who created the mysterious black obelisk. This is the famous psychedelic scene in which the audience goes through the streaming colors representing the atmosphere and surface of the planet. During the passage, an image of a human eye appears briefly now and then, filling the entire screen so that only the pupil and iris are seen. This is director-producer Stanley Kubrick's way of saying that the film's explicit journey to outer space is implicitly a journey to inner space, to the center of the mind. Because as the audience passes through Jupiter's atmosphere, it also passes through the giant eye into the brain-mind behind it.
And there, in the center of the mind, is an amazing discovery, a startling revelation: we ourselves are the real extraterrestrials for whom Bowman has been searching. Humanity has gotten so "spaced out," so far from home, so out of touch with the Earth that we have forgotten our origins and lost our roots. We've become alienated--aliens--to ourselves and the planet. And because of that, we are in danger of destroying life on the planet, and perhaps even the planet itself, just as some purported messages from space beings warn us.
In that alienated state of consciousness, we are searching for advanced life in the universe--searching for higher consciousness--in outer space. Now, there undoubtedly are such life forms out there. But it is deep within ourselves, not out in astrophysical space, that the true cosmic connection exists. So long as we have not discovered our own potential for growth and further evolution, we have become terminal--the dying old man that Bowman is at the film's end. So long as we look for gods from outer space or any kind of saviors "out there," we are lost and alienated from Truth. But when we "look within" and find the power of consciousness directing our destiny and the destiny of all creatures, no matter how highly evolved, then we realize paradoxically that we are one with that consciousness, that cosmic intelligence, that transcendental reality.
The basic situation facing us today is a crisis of consciousness. Human consciousness is in a disturbed, unstable state and through what could be called "extraterrestrial materialism," many people are making idols of UFOs and extraterrestrial life--false gods from outer space. But if we are ever to build paradise here, we must first heal ourselves, not rely on surrogate parents from the sky or wish for saviors from beyond the planet.
Depth psychology has shown that a child's parents are his first gods. But growing up, maturing, requires relinquishing that illusion, along with hopes and dreams of invoking magical powers and omnipotent forces to give us our desires and answer all our questions. Instead, we must do the slow, difficult and often painful work of taking responsibility for our own actions and recognizing that if we are presently the real aliens, we are also potentially the gods we seek.
As the author of 2001, Arthur Clarke, put it in his profound 1953 novel, humanity is near childhood's end. We stand ready to become what Carl Sagan calls starfolk. We stand ready to join galactic society--through the mature form of the human race, the higher humanity I've designated Homo noeticus. And that is the meaning of the Star Child floating in space at the end of 2001, silently contemplating the Earth. 2001 is a mighty cinematic saga of human evolution from an apelike condition to a new stage of transhuman development. Star Child is Kubrick's visual symbol of the emergence of a new state of evolution: the development of the coming race--or, as Jesus and the Judaic tradition put it, the Son of Man, the offspring of humanity. Star Child is a citizen of the cosmos, no longer ego-centered or even Earth-centered, but rather is universally centered and cosmically conscious.
That godlike state beckons to us through many manifestations today. Although the manifestations are most often occulted, vague and uncertain, the principal one has long been clearly recognized--and revered. I refer to the true spiritual teachers of history--Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Lao Tse, Mohammed, Moses, Zoroaster, Guru Nanak, St. Teresa and other more recent figures such as Sri Aurobindo, The Mother and Da Love-Ananda. These illuminati, these godmen and godwomen are the people who most clearly demonstrate the future of human evolution. These enlightened ones are forerunners of the "new breed," specimens of an advanced humanity. Their lives have been dedicated to showing those lower on the ladder of evolution that they have within themselves the potential for self-directed growth to a higher state of being. And none of them have claimed to be extraterrestrial. They have, however, claimed to be universal, and have said that all others can be also. How? To quote the Buddha's dying words, ". . . by relying upon themselves only, and not relying upon any external help. . . not looking for assistance to anyone besides themselves." Or as Jesus put it, by seeking first the Kingdom of God.
That is why I caution against deluding ourselves with the glamour and mystery of UFOs and ET/MT contact. The two principal reasons for this can be stated thus:
First, the promise of such contact is tantalizing yet beyond our control. We are wholly at the mercy of whoever or whatever is out there, subject to their whims, unable to communicate except when they want to allow it, and unable the verify the information they give us about themselves. We may theorize and hypothesize all we want, but until we have tangible, testable, sufficient data, it is all mere speculation. And when we do have such data, we may find that some of the nonhuman life forms are truly hostile to human well-being, rather than benevolent, just as many abductees' experiences already indicate. The guidance and warnings of sacred traditions and spiritual teachers about this matter should not be lightly disregarded. Remember that the Bible describes demons as fallen angels. We must beware of false gods.
The second reason is this: the greatest enemy and the greatest ally we have are still to be found in the depths of our own psyche. The proper attitude toward meetings with starfolk can only be that which we have for human teachers and helpers. We should not disregard whatever information, guidance and counsel seems to be offered by starfolk for our growth and well-being, but we should always test it carefully rather than accept it on blind faith or authoritarian command. When our attitude assumes the character of a master-servant relation or a deity-worshipper relation, our own evolutionary potential is discarded and our cosmic calling is unheard. Properly understood, however, ET/MT contact has value in the manner that the signs and wonders of Jesus had for the first Christians. They pointed to a still-higher source which is the creator of us all, and they demonstrated the reality of our own latent ability to become as Jesus was--and even more, as he himself acknowledged. The UFO experience can do the same thing for our time. We must be aware of True God.
We are rapidly entering the next phase of evolution. But evolution is essentially transcendence, and the source of all transcendence is the Transcendental. That is the source of our being, as well as our becoming. Whether our meetings with advanced life forms seem to come from outer space or inner space, we must recognize that they principally reflect to us that which we ourselves shall eventually become, and that all time and space, all worlds and their inhabitants arise from the Transcendental Source whose traditional name is God. Therefore, it is God alone to whom we should aspire in our search, recognizing that the distant goal of our evolutionary journey is also the fountainhead of our existence moment-to-moment along the path, and that what is working itself out in cosmic space and eonic time is, beyond space and time, already so right now.
Paradoxically, our ultimate condition is a present fact: in Reality, there is only God. And rightly understood, EBE stands for "everybody become enlightened."