No, sorry, this is not about grays with big eyes stepping out of their flying saucer and setting up a classroom…..rather, today we conclude a three-part series on maintaining a balance between an open mind and a healthy skepticism by looking at how our culture has handled the topic of UFOs. What can we learn from humanity’s handling of the topic that we can take with us in our personal evolution of our consciousness?
I remember being interested in UFOs as a kid. I read anything about them I could get my hands on. The mysterious possibility of extraterrestrial aliens visiting Earth excited my youthful mind. As I got older, my interest in UFOs went dormant as I moved on to other mysteries – considering God and consciousness and contemplating why we exist.
I’ve been a member of the Institute of Noetic Sciences for several years. If you read Dan Brown’s last novel “The Lost Symbol”, then you’re familiar with IONS. The Institute studies the power of consciousness as well as some of those other fringe areas that interest me – psychic phenomenon and the like.
A year or two ago I listened to an interview by IONS scientist Dean Radin with historian Richard Dolan. Dolan told of how his efforts to write a history of America’s intelligence community kept bumping him into information about its interest in UFOs and its disinformation campaign around them. He decided to write a historical perspective on this topic and his extensive research led to the single planned volume becoming a trilogy. At the time only the first had been published – I sent for it, read it and it rekindled in me a fascination of the topic. Dolan has since published the second volume which I’ve also read. I highly recommend both books.
Although I’ve never seen a UFO – I believe that UFOs exist, but I’m not a true “UFO believer” in the sense that I believe everything published on the topic. There’s a lot of really strange stuff out there on the topic that’s even hard for me to swallow. However, I do challenge anyone who labels themselves as a “skeptic” and then dismisses the entire area without a proper investigation. Saying things like anyone who believes in UFOs has simply created a self deception based on their brain’ s tendency to find patterns or that they are all either hoaxes or misidentification of terrestrial phenomenon without really reviewing the evidence may be creating the “self deception” in their own mind. Such denials really say more about the so-called skeptic’ s beliefs than they do about the existence of UFOs. The skeptics should read Dolan’s books as well as a new one by Leslie Kean before they make such blanket assertions.
Kean’s book is entitled “UFOs – Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record”. This investigative journalist who has written for many mainstream publications has spent the last 10 years researching the topic. No fringe stuff here. She does a good job of recounting some of the more fascinating UFO cases, especially those involving pilots, the military and other highly reputable sources. The witnesses are impeccable. Many offer their own writings as a part of this book. Some governments around the world are more open about their investigation into the topic than the United States is and some of these officials offer details on some of their country’s more well-documented cases – including ones involving the UFOs leaving trace evidence. It’s hard for me to see how someone could read this book and continue to deny that something is going on here.
To be clear, I’m not trying to convince anyone of the reality of UFOs. Read the books and make up your own mind. My point here is to consider why there is such a taboo in our culture in talking about them? To say you “believe in UFOs” is tantamount to saying you are naive or crazy. At a minimum, you get a laugh and then dismissed. There appears to be only two extreme positions on the topic—-“believers” who are scoffed at and “skeptics” who go out of their way to dismiss the topic. Why is this? How can we move to a middle position of being open but realistic? How can we not believe everything or dismiss everything out of hand? Sometimes I think some true believers are reacting to or pushing back against the mainstream dismissing of the topic. They go to the opposite extreme because the prevalent viewpoint is so much into denial. What do you think?
In the last section of Kean’s book, she examines why the UFO topic continues to be taboo among mainstream science and the United States government. She includes a fascinating essay by a couple of political scientists who outline the common arguments provided by UFO skeptics and why such arguments are false (which I’m not going to go into here – go read the book). Beyond that, these political scientists offer an interesting political take on why governmental authorities are so against giving any validity to the study of the UFO phenomenon. They point to three threats to our existing system.
The first threat is that if a UFO is truly unidentified, then some very powerful “other” might actually exist representing a potential physical threat. Their ability to visit Earth clearly implies a vastly superior technology and our government’s inability to protect us if their interests are hostile. The second threat is that if extraterrestrials are real then it might create pressure for a world government, something which our current nation-state governments don’t favor. The third threat is that the possibility of extraterrestrials raises questions regarding our assumptions that only human beings have the ability and authority to govern and determine their collective fate. Modern states are able to command loyalty in resources from their subjects on the assumption that they have been granted power by our virtue of our “humanness”. This is an interesting take on the subject which I had never heard. The authors conclude that it is in our government’s best interest to maintain the taboo in spite of the growing evidence that such a position is pure foolishness.
I might add that a lot more reasons are offered elsewhere by many other people as to why our government, religious leaders and scientists continue to deny the phenomenon. Many say our government already has evidence of extraterrestrials and is withholding that information from us. There’s a lot of evidence to support that view even though I don’t want to believe it. Many say that our traditional religious beliefs about the relationship of man and God will be called into question by the discovery of life on other planets. Our scientists may discover that some of our cherished beliefs about the creation of the universe and the powers that fuel it will be called into play if ET is discovered.
So what can we learn from all of this? Why bring all this “UFO stuff” up? Well, as I have been discussing for the past 2 articles, there is a barrier to our evolutionary growth if we become so mired in our beliefs that we cannot be open to new concepts and ideas. If the basic tenets of our worldview are threatened by some anomaly that does not fit and we find ourselves bending over backwards to deny or explain it away, we need to stop and ask why.
There is a tendency that once one has established what they believe, they will go to great lengths not to have to change their paradigm. Five hundred years ago, religious leaders denied the findings of Copernicus because it did not fit their belief structure. Today, some scientists do the same with UFOs, psi research, the power of consciousness, and spirituality. People who have invested a career in touting a certain belief have a lot to lose if they are open to letting go of that belief. And, let’s don’t forget that there are great social pressures to fit in and believe as others believe. Going along is easy. It takes courage to buck the beliefs of the majority when you don’t agree with them.
So my question to you is this—moving beyond simply the topic of UFOs—–where do you find your mind closing down? Where do you feel that your cherished beliefs are being questioned by evidence to the contrary? That is the area you need to lean into fully. Challenge yourself. Explore the possibilities beyond the boundaries of your beliefs. This is the juicy area where your inner self is calling you to evolve. Go for it!
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Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his recent one Our Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities. In this book, he offers what he suggests are the 5 basic rights we all possess by virtue of our being these spiritual beings on planet Earth — and our 2 responsibilities we all hold in relation to one another! Check it out!