For more than 10 years, John Mack explored alien encounter experiences deeply, revealing a world of meaning and power that can revolutionize our understanding of who we are and our place in the cosmos.
This is not, primarily, a book about aliens or abductions. But Dr. Mack asserts that these experiences reveal to us a universe which, far from being simply an empty place of dead matter and seething energy, is filled with intelligence and life, though this may not always take the densely embodied form with which we are most familar.
This book brings us to the edge of material reality and beyond, shattering the boundary that has separated matter and spirit and scientific or spiritual ways of knowing.
Dr. Mack asks us to move beyond the largely useless debate about whether UFOs or abductions are real in a purely material sense. He shows us the limited way that we have used ourselves in learning about the cosmos, and challenges the limitations of traditional science as a way to learn about the multi-dimensional world in which we reside.
Insights about the relationship between spiritual and physical energy; trauma’s role in transformation; information about the ecological crisis facing the planet and the urgency that we do something about it; the possibility that human beings are participating in the creation of some sort of interdimensional hybrid race; the expansion of human consciousness and our spiritual reawakening; and the apparent evolution of extraordinary relationships that some human beings may be developing beyond the earth plane — these are the matters this book includes.
Dr. Mack demonstrates that the investigations of a skilled clinician, exploring human consciousness through in-depth conversations, can reveal to us a multidimensional, apparently intelligent, cosmos whose nature is fundamentally consistent with the discoveries of leading scientists who have been gaining knowledge primarily through exploring the physical world.
Read Dr. Mack’s remarks from a book release event in Cambridge MA:
Commemorative Edition with new illustrations, photographs, and foreword.
Publisher: White Crow Books
Published January 2011
Original Publisher: Crown
“John Mack and I became close friends when, in 1990, I first introduced him to the complexities of UFO abductions. By the time of his death, he had moved to a more spiritualistic view of these traumatic experiences, and Passport to the Cosmos remains an eloquent, insightful statement of his approach to an extraordinary phenomenon.”
“…because of its conspicuous attempts to be even handed and the introduction of cross-cultural material, Passport to the Cosmos breaks new ground. …A credible work on an incredible topic and worth reading.”
“Dr. Mack is one of the more credible writers and researchers in the UFO scene and a man who has earned the right to be accorded some consideration.”
“In my opinion, Passport to the Cosmos is a monumental – I almost want to say, definitive – contribution to our understanding of the meaning of extraordinary experiences. It is also a very brave book, passionately written and deeply engaging. And more than that – its provocative thesis strikes me as being absolutely on target.”
“Passport to the Cosmos provides the most sophisticated and insightful analysis to date about alien abduction phenomenon. [Mack deserves] thanks for holding his ground in the face of critics.”
“Dr. Mack is, in my opinion, now the world’s leading authority on alien abductions. Do not assume that [Passport to the Cosmos] is a sequel to Abduction. It is far beyond that. The close encounter experience as it really is. Dr. Mack is probably as close to the truth about this as anyone ever has been.”
“…a stunning breakthrough in our understanding of ourselves and our place in the larger cosmos. With a rare combination of empiricism, reason, and empathy, he skillfully guides us to reconsider our attachment to the bankrupt materialist worldview and open our minds to the possibilities of a universe of awesome diversity.”
“What do people really want when they think about UFOs? According to John Mack’s newest book Passport to the Cosmos, the first thing they want is for their experiences to stop. Only after they realize they have no power to stop the experience do they begin to to accept a process that is informative and transformative – a process that propels them out of their narcissistic concerns and towards active involvement with environmental values, the survival of humanity and an exploration of spiritually-based consciousness. …Perhaps Wilber, the philosopher, might discover he has more in common with Mack than he realizes.”
Perspective by John E. Mack, M.D.
I am not a ufologist per se. I am a psychiatrist and a consciousness explorer, a clinician and a co-investigator in this grand mystery called “alien abduction.” This book is my perspective as experienced by my work with thirteen individuals, given my background and interest in political and transpersonal psychologies. I am not attempting to explain the entire UFO field, nor should this book be read as such. There are many others who have been studying the field far longer than I. I am presenting the piece I have experienced with all my senses and intuition. It is one piece of the puzzle offered to shed light on a much larger whole.
I was asked recently at a conference, “What do the aliens think?” I don’t know what they think. This is not an attempt to tell you that.
I am telling the story of thirteen individuals with whom I have worked closely. This book is as much or more about the human psyche and its potential for extraordinary experience as it is about alien beings.
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Originally Published April 1994
Note: Two versions of the Abduction text exist. The original text was presented in the 1994 hardcover. After reaction from colleagues at Harvard who felt that Dr. Mack’s reporting seemed unduly credulous, Dr. Mack revisited the text (with input from his friends and peers) and added phrases (such as “it seems” or “he says”) to make it more clear that he does not presume the reality of these experiences before he offers his interpretation / analysis. Additionally, a new foreword answering the first wave of critics, and a new appendix, were added, and the beginning of the book was restructured. This revised text of Abduction is the author’s preferred text. It premiered with the 1995 paperback and has been the edition released in all subsequent iterations, with one exception:
The new Kindle edition and print-on-demand edition from Simon and Schuster accidentally reused the original 1994 text. We have requested that the revised text replace these, which may happen in 2013.
Translated editions were created in 1994 using the original text. Efforts were made to present the revised text in a recent French edition, but the publisher was unwilling to pay for a new translation.
“Fascinating, suggestive, and even inspiring.”
“Only once in a great while does a scientist encounter evidence that challenges our fundamental understanding of the cosmos and humankind’s place in it. Dr. Mack’s extraordinary research with alien abductions represents just such a phenomenon, and he has engaged that challenge with singular courage and integrity. Abduction is a landmark work.”
“Controversy. Clarity. Courage. These three qualities permeate every page of Abduction by Dr. Mack. The current psychological and spiritual paradigms that define the nature of being Human and probe the potential of our capacity are under challenge and change. This work is mind-provoking, awakening and a compass point in the search for new directions to understand ourselves and our place in the environment and the Cosmos.”
“A transcendent, landmark work. …An extraordinarily rich and strange mind-expanding book.”
“In the history of science, radical progress has always required individuals of extraordinary foresight and integrity who had the courage to ignore the intellectual taboos of their times and to explore phenomena that challenged current belief systems. John Mack’s research into the phenomenon of UFO abduction is a ground-breaking work that belongs in this category. His book Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens is a major contribution to modern psychology and psychiatry; however, its importance reaches far beyond that. His study has profound implications for the philosophy of Western science and the power to radically change the worldview of our generation.”
“John Mack has written a gripping and fascinating book. As with Frazier’s The Golden Bough and as with William James’ Varieties of Religious Experience, and perhaps as with the Brothers Grimm, Abduction is a book that repeatedly leads the reader to psychologically important sources of wonder about worlds beyond our ken.”
“Provocative…This book is a challenge to any reader. It raises questions about how we live on this planet and with each other that the Western mind and culture will not be able to ignore for too much longer. It also raises questions about the nature of reality; of time, space, energy and the true nature of humanness. It opens the door to a very serious redefinition of life as we know it.”
“Where Mack’s report differs is in its emphasis on the purported spiritual aspects of the abduction experience. Many of his patients reported deep personal growth and heightened awareness of human destructiveness and of Earth’s ecological crisis. Some abductees seemed to relive past lives during therapy sessions; others became open to contact with spirit-entities; still others said they possessed a ‘dual identity’ as both alien and human. Unlike Hopkins and Jacobs, who tend to view such phenomena with skepticism … Mack wishfully embraces them as signs that a higher intelligence is attempting to intervene in humanities destructive course. Whether that intelligence involves extra terrestrial humanoids or multidimensional spirits is a question Mack leaves open.
When this Pulitzer Prize-winning biography first appeared in 1976, it rescued T. E. Lawrence from the mythologizing that had seemed to be his fate. In it, Harvard professor of psychiatry Dr. John Mack humanely and objectively explores the relationship between Lawrence’s inner life and his historically significant actions.
Extensive interviews, far-flung correspondence, access to War Office dispatches and unpublished letters provide the basis for Mack’s sensitive investigation of the psychiatric dimensions of Lawrence’s personality. In addition, Mack examines the pertinent history, politics, and sociology of the time in order to weigh the real forces with which Lawrence contended and which impinged upon him.
Harvard University Press
5 x 7 3/4 inches, 27 halftones
Originally Published 1976
New foreword April 1998
Table of Contents
Family Background and Childhood
The War Years, 1914-1918
The Political Years, 1918-1922
The Years in the Ranks, 1922-1935
“We are not likely to get as thorough and judicious a biography of T. E. Lawrence for some time.”
“A great book which honors its subject, its form, and its author.”
“A hugely admired, and Pulitzer prize-winning, biography which concentrates on the relationship between Lawrence’s inner life and the actions and events which grew out of them. It is easy to warm to a biographer who, while drawing on his training as a psychiatrist, is never deceived into thinking that theory can ‘explain’ his Lawrence. The more Mack discovered about the social contexts of Lawrence’s actions and the demands on a public man, the more he understood Lawrence’s psychology. The result is a resounding confirmation of this approach to his subject.”
“Unlike many ‘psycho-biographies’, this was written by a trained psychologist who had also done his biographer’s homework: it remains the best biography of T.E. Lawrence.”
“Takes us closer to the core of Lawrence than any previous biography.”
Nightmares and Human Conflict has several purposes. One of them naturally is to provide a general survey of the subject, to try to understand why these particularly disturbing dreams occur, and to set forth the various determinants of the overwhelming anxiety experienced in them. Since the nightmare is the principal condition in which dreaming and severe anxiety occur simultaneously, it affords an excellent opportunity to study the relationship between these two universal human phenomena. Finally, consideration is given to the relationship that nightmares may have to certain forms of creativity and to various pathological states, especially acute psychoses.
This book is based primarily on my own clinical experiences, and actual case examples from child and adult patients in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy form the principal documentation. Other appropriate material from experimental research, literature, biography, and the psychopathology of daily experience of nonpatients has also been drawn upon.
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Published April 1989
with new introduction
Orig. Publisher: Little, Brown
Orig. Published 1970
“Nightmares and Human Conflict is in the best tradition of psychoanalysis. It is well written. It is full of interesting and well documented clinical observations.”
“A work in which the raw data of human experience are incorporated into the body of psychoanalytic theory and practice with a rare, integrative skill. …The entire book is replete with clinical material that is pertinent, beautifully illustrative, and recorded with sensitivity and eloquence.”
“The major work on the nightmare which captures the personal element in the experience. Dr. Mack’s thoughtful presentation of the history of the nightmare and his sensitive use of case material makes this a work of extraordinary value to the practitioner, the dream scientist, and the sufferer with nightmares.”
Rita Rogers grew up in the Bukovina, the once-idyllic heartland of Eastern Europe. As a teenager, she was deported by the Nazis to a transport camp in the Ukraine. There she saved her family from the death camps by impersonating a foundry worker. After years of stateless limbo as a refugee and hair-raising escapes from two Communist regimes, she survived to use her experiences as a child psychiatrist to heal both individual and international conflict.
In this singular collaboration, John E. Mack, psychoanalyst, and Rita S. Rogers, child psychiatrist, together tell the story of her life and explore the mystery of human survival.
Both biography and autobiography, The Alchemy of Survival is a unique addition to the literature of the Holocaust as well as a deeply inspiring story.
Radcliffe Biography Series
Published: June 1988
238 pages, 12 images
Table of Contents
“Internationally known child psychiatrist Rogers grew up in Romania, the daughter of a prominent Jewish family. Her idyllic childhood came to an abrupt end with the arrival of Nazi troops, but the clever, courageous, and indomitable Rita survived to attend the University of Vienna Medical School, emigrate to America, and marry an American. Her story is indeed inspiring but told rather disjointedly by Harvard psychiatrist and Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Mack. While his focus is on “the way she transcended personal suffering, converting her experiences into resources from which to draw,” his explication of Rogers’s professional life seems overly sketchy. Recommended, however, as another moving Holocaust survival story, and an exceptional one.”
“A fascinating story of the survival of one remarkable woman through the many terrible transformations of wartime central Europe.”
“Tells us much of a greatest value about surviving, and then bringing meaning to that survival.”
“Extraordinary work … Rita’s life is a paradigm, for individuals and nations, of the transmutation of conflict and suffering into workable existence and coexistance. Superb.”
“A spiritually uplifting experience.”
“A sensitive portrayal of a courageous psychiatrist’s life, and as well, a social history of the twentieth century, through the rendering of one woman’s moral and psychological determination to persist, no matter what the odds.”
“Gives a human dimension to this most dreadful of episodes and, in doing so, makes feeling replace numbness.”
“An extraordinary life story, movingly told in the dual voices of narrator and subject, of the crucial twenty-year slice of interwoven personal and East European history.”
“Fills many gaps in the story of Holocaust experiences. . . Most of all, the book captures the greatness of human beings, the grandeur of one’s potential and fulfillment in spite of tragedy and life’s most cruel vicissitudes.”
It is a rare opportunity for suicidologists to get a detailed, poignant, and clearly stated personal description of an adolescent’s psychological condition leading to completed suicide. The book, Vivienne, The Life and Suicide of an Adolescent Girl, is one such remarkable, monumental, and unusual account. By combining numerous poems and letters written by Vivienne with sensitive interviews of her family, the book offers insights into a teenager’s increasing depression and evolving wish to commit suicide.
“A star is unlit
I know there is a sun
I discovered and wrote this for myself three years ago — but perhaps we all need to be reminded now and then.”
[Above synopsis is an excerpt from a review by Cynthia R. Pfeffer, M.D., 1982]
Publisher: Little, Brown
“Why Vivienne? And why more than 2,000 other teenage suicides in a given year? With the collaboration of the bewildered parents, the authors piece together the final three years of Vivienne’s life in an often moving narrative, informing it with sensitivity and frequently insightful analysis.”
“A wrenching reading experience, valuable in terms of explication.”
“Vivienne’s fall, so sad and paintful to her family and friends, is now at least somewhat redeemed in a plainly written, clearheaded, wise book.”
“Vivienne represents an unusual collaboration between a psychoanalyst, a teacher, and the immediate family of a 14-year-old girl who killed herself by hanging. Although Vivienne was never in psychiatric treatment — a tragic omission — her gifts as a writer and poet, the candor of her family, and the combined clinical, educational, and literary talents of the coauthors have provided us with an extraordinary account of adolescent suicide. This book can be viewed as a monument to Vivienne, a gift to teen-agers and their families, and a challenge to the professionals who study and care for adolescents.”
“A beautiful book – strong and stirring and unsentimental…. Holly Hickler and John Mack have done a fine job of translating this tragedy into an understandable and healing work of art.”
“There is no doubt that teenage suicide has become one of the most critical and terrifying issues of this century. In Vivienne, John E. Mack and Holly Hickler may well have produced the landmark book, and one that comes, thankfully, at a crucial time. With extraordinary skill and taste, Mack and Hickler present the life of a very special child, whose own voice and writings come to us with a plaintiveness and urgency and wisdom…. This entire volume, and the life-and-death-matter it reveals, demands our most abiding and assiduous attention.”
Books with chapters by John E. Mack
Some of the nation’s best thinkers — Henry Steele Commager, Erik Erikson, Robert J. Lifton and Stephen Jay Gould among others — put their minds to the moral and psychological aspects of nuclear winter (as depicted in grim detail by Carl Sagan). The volume grew out of a symposium that was presented in Los Angeles as part of the scientific program of the 1983 Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association.
Publisher: Yale University Press
Published: September 10, 1986
Paperback: 217 pages
Dr. Mack’s chapter is “National Security Reconsidered: New Perspectives Generated by the Prospect of a Nuclear Winter”, and is 38 pages in length, pp. 103-140.
Responding directly to the events of September 11, 2001, an outstanding interdisciplinary group of academics, clinicians, and activists from around the world united to produce this clear exploration of terrorism. Contributors, including Pulitzer Prize-winner Dr. John E. Mack, present an enormous range of terror-related factors in this important multivolume set. Following a foreword by Prof. Klaus Schwab, president and founder of the World Economic Forum, chapters address terror and violence perpetrated by children, compare terrorists to cultists, and separate the fact, fiction, and hysteria surrounding bioterrorism.
Other topics include:
· Historical contexts
Also presented are global perspectives on issues such as: Understanding and empathy · Bias, prejudice, and racism · Hate · Sexism
Dr. Mack’s chapter is “Looking Beyond Terrorism: Transcending the Mind of Enmity”, pp.173-184.
Increasing numbers of people are moving beyond psychological therapy to seek alternative spiritual perspectives to medical and mental health care such as yoga and meditation. The Psychospiritual Clinician’s Handbook: Alternative Methods for Understanding and Treating Mental Disorders provides the latest theoretical perspectives and practical applications by recognized experts in positive and integrative psychotherapy. Leading clinicians examine and re-examine their therapeutic worldviews and attitudes to focus on the right problems to solve—for the whole person.
This essential handbook is a window on the quiet revolution now sweeping the field of psychology, that of locating the whole human being in the center of the therapeutic process. The Psychospiritual Clinician’s Handbook helps you effectively treat the whole person by providing a practical introduction to some of the worldviews and most effective practices like yoga, meditation, and humanological therapy used by psychospiritually oriented therapists. Helpful illustrations of body positions used in yoga and meditation, plus photographs, tables, figures, and detailed case studies illustrate the process. An invaluable resource for those interested in treating patients with a therapeutic process that is effective, adaptable, and wholly transformational.
The Psychospiritual Clinician’s Handbook will show you:
Published: July 2005
Dr. Mack’s “Approaching Extraordinary Experiences in the Mental Health Field” is chapter one, on pages 17-32.
About the Editors
“Provides a wide range of clinical cases, innovative techniques, and illuminating discussions on how to treat the whole person.”
“This is an interesting and informative book for any mental health professional who wishes to expand his/her knowledge to incorporate a spiritual dimension. The strength of the book lies [in] the coverage of a range of experiences and behaviour, from those defined as extraordinary without constituting mental ill health, to those which are recognized as such.”
“When I first read the title of this book, The Psychospiritual Clinician’s Handbook, I needed to do some translating between a language for spiritual counseling and the pastoral care language with which I’m more familiar. …The term psychospiritual clinician, while new to me, seems to be an attempt by the editors, who come from ancient Sufism and Kundalini yoga backgrounds, to cast a broad net in the spirituality and psychology world….I found most of the articles had something helpful to offer. For example, an article suggested that for patients diagnosed with Adjustment Disorders, treatment could be seen as an invitation to a journey of transformation to developing new life structures….I found helpful perspectives in other chapters that contain insights on understanding and treating depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, spirituality and sexuality, obsessive-compulsive disorder, among others.”
“I frequently found myself stopping for several minutes at a time, thinking about the implications of what I was reading and how I might apply the concepts to specific clients and to my own personal growth. Some of the concepts I was familiar with; some were new and required closer reading to understand how to incorporate them into a particular therapeutic context. With few exceptions, I think readers will find The Psychospiritual Clinician’s Handbook a fascinating read. Even if they choose not to personally adopt all of the approaches into their work with clients, the book will educate them about the spiritual approaches out there and, along with the multiple resources provided, allow them to make a referral to a provider who is more skilled in the psychospiritual approach.”
Human Feelings provides a comprehensive overview of the role of emotions in human life. Growing out of the research and writing of members of the Harvard Affect Study Group, the volume brings to bear different disciplinary outlooks and different modes of inquiry on various aspects of human affective experience.
The book opens with an section of “Theoretical Considerations” that includes an overview of affective development across the life cycle, an examination of affect and character, and an empirical analysis of gender differences in the expression of emotion. A series of clinical reports involving patients in different age groups comprises the next section, “Affect and the Life Cycle.” Subsequent sections on “Trauma, Addiction, and Psychosomatics” and “Transformations of Affect” traverse the realms of neurobiology, addictive suffering, stress disorders, epistemology, creativity, and social organization. A final section, “New Directions,” further extends the frontiers of inquiry into nonordinary states of consciousness and the vicissitudes of well-being.
An integrative collection of multidisciplinary sweep and scholarly integrity, Human Feelings is a readable source book that brings together rigorous theoretical and developmental studies, experientially vivid self-reporting, and a wealth of illustrative clinical material. An invaluable addition to the libraries of mental health professionals and developmental researchers, this volume will be illuminating for philosophers, social and political scientists, and lay readers as well.
Published: August 1993
Hardcover, 456 pages
“Human Feelings is essential reading for all mental health works who wish to free themselves from those archaic, 19th-century conceptions that still haunt psychoanalysis. Here, gender differences in the exprience and expression of emotion are finally discussed. We are introduced to a variety of approaches and emphases: emotions from the physiological point of view, emotions in relation to modified states of consciousness, emotions as they develop beyond adolescence and into old age. We see emotions in the context of meditation, music, and poorly understood states of the self. In short, this is a book that is bound to expand rather than limit the reader’s mind.”
“I wish that Human Feelings had been published before I completed my PBS series, Healing and the Mind, as it is a feast of plenty for a hungry seeker. A wealth of insights spreads through these pages, the gift of an audacious and original exploration by pioneering researchers into the core of human experience. We can be grateful these men and women did not stand apart from their subject, satisfied with merely observing and dissecting the feelings of others. Instead, during five years of collaboration they allowed their own emotions – over the death of colleagues, personal hurts and wounds, their private and communal joys, the life cycle as each encountered it – to instruct their rigorous scholarly thought with the transforming realities of personal experience. There is much here to stimulate the mind, including some fresh perspectives on gender differences in feeling, but there is also much here to affect the heart.”
“With exquisite dedication to human feelings, Steven Ablon and his collaborators explore the terrain of affect from Charlotte’s Web through transcendental states. The focus is always on the inner experience of the human, ‘feeling,’ and is thus quintessentially relevant both clinically and figuratively.”
“This interdisciplinary dialogue of members of the Harvard Affect Study Group is eclectic but remarkably integrated, comprehensive, and engaging. Affect, like art, is conducive to genuine contact and engagement – the glue of interrelation, mutuality, and community. In the light of a current world situation threatened with such destructive forces as pseudo-speciation, every thrust toward interdependence and integration must be vigorously promoted. This study presents such a timely contribution.”
Alien Discussions is the proceedings of what may be the best scientific conference ever convened on alien encounters, held at MIT, Cambridge, MA, June 13–17, 1992. This volume serves as a multidisciplinary introduction and a research reference to the alien encounter phenomenon. It is a 684 page volume containing a glossary, a 50 page index and audience questions and critical comments made after each paper or group of papers.
Among the experts presenting are:
Co-chaired by David Pritchard, physics professor at MIT, and John E. Mack, professor of psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School, this invitation-only conference was designed to bring serious investigators and clinicians together to assess commonalities and differences in their findings, interpretations, and approaches to the alien abduction experience.
Publisher: North Cambridge Press
Limited Edition Hardcover (750 copies printed)
683 large (8.5 X 11) pages
Note: A German translation was also published in the same oversized format.
Note: C. D. B. Bryan also wrote a book about the conference titled, Close Encounters Of The Fourth Kind.
“Many years down the road, [Alien Discussions] may well be looked at as one of the pioneering volumes that started the work that eventually led to the solution of this mystery.”
“This conference was deliberately eclectic. The field of study is new and in much internal debate. … The subject matter is astonishing, and perhaps astonishingly important, but to this reviewer is not in a state of fixed certainty. In fact, this is the charm and the value of this book. In these pages are all the puzzlements, complexities, and arguments of an exciting something, bursting to be revealed.”
“Every once in a while a book comes along that defines an era. Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams was one such book. It closed the books on prior strands of dream theorizing and started a new era in which thinkers, whether for or against, defined themselves in relation to Freud’s ideas. Alien Discussions is another such book. Its publication marks the transition to a new era in thinking about UFO related issues.