If Religion is No Longer Adequate…What About UFOs?

The media is a’buzz with the Office of the Dali Lama’s recent statements regarding organized religion. A FaceBook message posted on September 24th presented the following provocation for fundamentalist and arm chair devotees:

” The reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate.”

Nor was it ever so, and Buddhism has long held to this fact in its diverse applications of the simple monikor – If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.

So let’s move past any undue shock over those statements and get straight to the UFOs.  In 1992 John E. Mack, the noted Harvard Professor who specialized in abduction experiences, had the opportunity to meet with the Dali Lama and discuss his views on the UFO phenomenon. Central to this is Mack’s theory, similar to that of Jacques Vallee, that whatever is behind the UFO phenomena, and specifically abduction experiences, is central to changing our perceptions of reality and the progress of our culture.

It is interesting to hear Mack discuss the difference in how the Buddhist world view integrates these experiences, juxtaposed with how the ‘Western materialist’ mindset faces these anomalous encounters:

10 Comments on "If Religion is No Longer Adequate…What About UFOs?"

  1. Ted Heistman | Sep 29, 2012 at 12:51 pm |

    Comment on first clip: Are they abducting Monsanto and Haliburton execs? Seems like if they understand hierarchy that’s who they would abduct the most.

  2. Ted Heistman | Sep 29, 2012 at 12:51 pm |

    Comment on first clip: Are they abducting Monsanto and Haliburton execs? Seems like if they understand hierarchy that’s who they would abduct the most.

    • Sorry I missed this discussion. I think they understand hierarchy very well, and that’s why they ‘abduct’ (visit) people who are thought to be insignificant. Incidentally, I really like your commentary on the second video clip and I resonate as well.

  3. Ted_Heistman | Sep 29, 2012 at 1:03 pm |

    Comment on second clip: I feel like I am in a cultural millieu of people overcoming western culture. I am into shamanism, low brow art, Green anarchism, permaculture, holistic medicine, eastern spirituality, such as Yogam Buddhism Forteanism, animism, conspiracies.

    I don’t think I am alone or particularly unique and people younger than me, often are completrely on the same page.

    I think Western Culture is in its death throes.

    Not sure if Grey Aliens are real though. I think they could be holographical projections. I think of them as comic book characters come to life, like Tinker Bell when enough people think she’s real. They are as real as Odin to me, which is pretty freaking real!

  4. Ted Heistman | Sep 29, 2012 at 1:20 pm |

    Comment on clip three:

    Yeah, I dunno, if Shamans are lower than Buddhists, but maybe I am just being a bleeding heart liberal.  But anyway, I understand his point. Buddhists are all about the formless and the ineffible. Even Eckhart Tolle said that “lucid dreaming is interesting but not liberating” Which brings up an interesting point from the Bagavhad Gita, that having a relationship with the ineffible is reall hard!So better to anthromorphize it slightly into Krishna, which transliterated into Greek is Christos, which transliterated into English is Christ. So Christianity is a form of Yoga.

    anyway I’ve had contact with various beings my whole life. So if visitation or abduction is meant to shatter my westertn worldview that explains why I haven’t met the greys. Of course, reptoids I’ve met!

    • David Metcalfe | Sep 29, 2012 at 5:26 pm |

      Interesting points Ted re: changing world views, which leads into the fact that the contactee/abduction narrative started in the 1950’s, so we’re 60 some years out on the changes. And the early contactees were at the tail end of a more Theosophically oriented channeling contactee narrative, which even in the 19th century, included “astral travel” to Mars, Venus, etc. and past life regression narratives to off world civilizations. So really any cultural change has been occurring for quite some time, whether through the stories, experiences, or however you want to couch the phenomena.

      In regards to Shamanism, Mack is merely differentiating the levels of engagement with reality, so I think you’ve hit on this in what you’re saying. As you can tell, even he has difficulty making the point, as one of his South American “experiencers” was from a shamanic background.

      It’s interesting in that Tibetan Buddhism is one of the lineages that still holds vestiges of the indigenous practices that are close to shamanism through the Bon transmission.

      What is unfortunate, I think, is that the West has all of these things in place via the Pre-Socratics, Hermetic tradition, Alchemical tradition, and Goetia. It is our forgetfulness that makes us turn towards the East for answers, when they are sitting right in front of us. A much more fruitful dialogue could be had if it were a dialogue, rather than a weird syncretism, or abandonment of our past in order to try to integrate other cultures traditions. We have an equally rich noetic history that would aid in our ability to talk unilaterally, as opposed to trying to adopt ideas. Although in bringing these other traditions in, we can begin to see our own indigenous traditions and lineages for what they are, and in the end we reach the core, but again I think we have to have an awareness of what we have at hand in order for this to happen.

      It would be interesting to see a study done on experiences with the different mytho-types of “alien” to see what the commonalities in backgrounds, social position, etc. exist across the experiencers. I wonder if Mack’s research has this, I haven’t read deep enough into his work.

      • Ted Heistman | Sep 29, 2012 at 5:52 pm |

        Yeah, I feel a big loss myself, within Western culture, of a coherent mythos. Its like Christianity created this big tabula rasa and modern materialism kind of carried the baton on from there erasing further.  

        On a personal level, I dredged up some “past life memories” or “ancestral memories” to kind of fill the gap. I think Tolkein did a similar thing with the Hobbitt and the Lord of the Rings. And it really resonates with people on a deeper level than just good fantasy.

        I find the Star seed stuff really interesting. I might write a blog post about my experiences. I feel like I have a shamanic connection to animals that often appear in heraldry. They are totem animals in a way. When I first witnessed Elk (the American counterpart to European red deer) and Wild boar, I felt a very deep connection that I never felt with North American native species like white tails.

        But yeah, the Hidus and Tibetans have a long unbroken chain of Mythology going back to pre-history.  

      • Ted Heistman | Sep 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm |

        Aliens are difinately a big part of a type of neo-mythology. And there are some very meaningful archetypes there.

  5. Mark Sykes | Aug 16, 2013 at 5:45 am |

    Meh, what he says is hardly paradigm shattering, yeah mankind is screwing up the planet and just reiterates what s been ignored before.
    the fact that he has the most droning voice on the planet doesn’t help

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