Reflections on Ken Wilber's The Religion of Tomorrow (2017) - Parts I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII - PDF
INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
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Giorgio Piacenza Giorgio Piacenza is a sociologist student in the Certificate program leading to a Master's degree in Integral Theory at JFK University.

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Extraterrestrial Contact
and Integral Theory

An Attempt to Use Integral Methodological Pluralism to Investigate Extraordinary Claims within Social Groups

Giorgio Piacenza Cabrera

Introduction

It is a fascinating, frustrating, controversial and elusive field that—like religion and politics—elicits high degrees of passion and skewed views.

Certain unorthodox fields of research should offer unique opportunities to expand the human mind and our knowledge about the nature of reality. UFO research requires an intense knowledge of the methodologies and perspectives found in each quadrant of Ken Wilber's Integral Theory model. This research is one of the most challenging there can be due to its many intense sociological characteristics and people tend to justify their involvement with it in an idealistic and intensely skewed way.

Nonetheless, let me start from the beginning:

In 1975 (and gradually diminishing but into the 1980's) there were many UFO sightings just south of Lima and I found that some relatives and their friends claimed to be telepathically and psychographically communicating with UFO entities. Thus, in 1975, about 12 of us went to the beach around where a large amount of individuals had witnessed all kinds of strange fly-bys, landings and happenings. Late at night, we witnessed a very bright, lens-shaped object hovering (within 300-500 feet from us) above the Pacific Ocean in a beach of the town of Chilca. Some people became nervous; others quiet and some showed an emotional, welcoming (perhaps worshipping) attitude. Nevertheless, my cousin Sandro and I tried to coordinate a coherent response by sending flashlight signals. There was no response from 'them'. The object disappeared and reappeared a few minutes later in the same fashion. An alleged physical contactee leading the group approached with his hands open. My cousin and I also approached. We signaled with our flashlights again and asked the people to focus and to call 'them' closer but…again no response. That thing seemed to be about 30 and 40 feet in diameter and hovered above the water, illuminating it and creating a reflection of itself on it. It made no noise. Nevertheless, it became clear to me that being able to communicate with an intelligence capable of creating classical physics-defying devices would be a unique opportunity for the human world to acquire scientific, historical, ethical information and other cultural references from a more advanced civilization. The era seemed ripe for a world-shifting revelation since the Cold War and the possibility of universal oblivion raged, Man had reached the Moon and –in some intellectual circles- the arrival of esoteric publications and Gurus from India was news. Thus, in preparation for what could happen, I began to pursue the possibility of extraterrestrial knowledge disseminated by contactees and, over decades, read many books, met many experiencers, participated in many groups and went to many conferences.

Over the years of being involved in UFO research, I discovered that one has to be able to integrate honesty, scientific methodology, physics, anthropology, psychology, spiritual approaches, social skills, sociology, spirituality, philosophy, openness, critical thinking and paranormal research, to say the least. It is a fascinating, frustrating, controversial and elusive field that –like religion and politics- elicits high degrees of passion and skewed views. In fact, this research field has gradually accumulated interesting data and good degrees of evidence that there actually are non-earthly (and-or 'other dimensional') beings possessing a very advanced technology. Some of it seems to be hyperphysical at a macro scale. Nevertheless, UFO 'visitors' seem to be as elusive as the brief sightings perchance allowed or granted and –even after some curious people satisfy their need to know- the UFO field and its aggregate findings seem to be of no serious consequence in world politics or science. It still lingers as an undercurrent. This may be because –in the long run- it still feels 'visionary' and not as permanently real enough to merit most people's practical attention and concern.

Rationally speaking, some well educated people recognize the importance of UFOs but avoid the subject so as not to lose credibility. It doesn't seem to coincide with what is expected of serious, respectable individuals in a modern culture. Some religious conservatives condemn all plausible non-human intelligences as 'demonic'. Others (also with alternative religious tendencies) join charismatically-led ET contact groups to welcome the 'space brothers' as masters and teachers. Apocalyptic and millenarian expectations are often associated with.

From the very beginning, I could see that an integral approach was lacking. Researching alleged contact experiences deserves a highly nuanced, analytical methodological study but most individuals personally 'researching' seem to be satisfied with the information given by one contactee-supporting group or another. In 30 years of active research, I found that the parties involved tend not to speak with each other or not to take each other seriously. There are subgroups whose emotionally satisfying worldviews do not exactly match and thus tend to avoid each other. Contactees tend to be jealous of each other and not to trust abductees. Abductees tend not to trust contactees and to think of them as 'delusional'. Researchers tend to divide themselves between those inclined to a 'nuts and bolts' materialist approach and those inclined to a spiritual-philosophical one. Moreover, recurrent expectations of a world-wide UFO disclosure (either from governments or from the UFO intelligences themselves) have always been intense and in many instances have also been confounded with Christian, messianic expectations. Close-minded skeptics have a strong say that sways a significant portion of undecided public opinion easily. The media has traditionally used the phenomenon for ratings or entertainment and people that depend upon upholding a sober public image (like politicians, law enforcement, airline pilots, military officers, priests and scientists) normally prefer to avoid openly talking or writing about it. In 'our Universe', the UFO field begs for an integral approach.

Over the decades I read many of the contactee books that were written since the 1940's until today. I also befriended some contactees and participated in some of their groups as well. The sense of mission was high in each group but people didn't analyze or compared what they had already accepted with information from other contactees and groups. In some sense they were more open-minded and 'integral' than those that rejected the phenomenon and considered it ludicrous, but in other ways they were disappointing. As in the New Age Movement, all sorts of details didn't seem to match except for a general series of expectations. Now (after interviewing dozens of witnesses, alleged contactees, alleged abductees; after analyzing photos and exchanging information with other researchers) I understand that there is a genuine aspect to this phenomenon, which sometimes can be interactive (and even life-changing) but which is typically interpreted with very strong biases and, emotional filters. I know that most sightings are not genuine signs of otherworldly ET intelligence, but misperceptions. Nevertheless, I also know that a small and persistent percentage of the sightings cannot –in all honesty- be explained away with a prosaic explanation. This percentage of cases seems to indicate that the physics involved distorts some of the elements used to interpret reality as we know it. The human mind feels like confronting a semi-real, dream-like event that intrudes either producing spiritual inspiration or fear. Nevertheless, serious research groups (like the ad hoc French 'COMETA' assigned to research an alleged anomalous landing) have found enough objective evidence to merit scientific and governmental interest. The (1999) COMETA report can be read at http://www.ufoevidence.org/topics/cometa.htmI.

The UFO phenomenon is elusive but recurrent and worldwide. Like paranormal phenomena, it cannot be replicated at will. Potential implications continue to be enormous and research (as with the 'paranormal') has been principally advanced by well-intended (and not institutionally bound) individuals. Nevertheless, we could say that their efforts are not complemented by highly inclusive Meta paradigms or an integral approach: They are inspired by their preferences and tend to study the phenomenon in a segmented way. This phenomenon is so complex that it deserves a more integral approach. I think that the time is ripe for more integral thinkers to approach this multifaceted area of inquiry as they might be capable to appreciate all of its aspects more carefully while maintaining an objective, yet spiritually inspired, ethical attitude. For instance, even if preferring the scientific method, an 'integral' researcher might not simply toss out information given by alleged contactees, abductees or channelers. The chance for experiential verification would be given to everyone. Nonetheless, he or she may appreciate the working of group phenomena and use knowledge acquired from sociological studies like Leon Festinger's When Prophecy Fails or like Diana G. Tumminia's When Prophecy Never Fails.

More Coherence

In the UFO field old themes are reborn again and again (the spiritual messages, the government cover-up, the covert invasion, the search for physical evidence, for official disclosure, the secret technology research, the mockery and avoidance, the impending consciousness and-or physical changes, the dimensional shift, the evacuation) but the interest on 'Exopolitics' (exploring the long-term political implications of genuine ET contact) is slowly growing as a more coherent movement with an attempt to tentatively classify alleged interactions with ET intelligences as apparently showing different interests, technologies, origins and intentions. A good website to look into this area is: http://exopolitics.org/ . Also, thanks to a many decades-long effort and more recently to the valiant efforts of Dr. Steven Greer and serious journalists like Leslie Kean, another interesting area of recurring interest that has become more coherently organized is 'Disclosure'. This is a movement which aims at requesting or forcing governments to reveal what they know about the extraterrestrial presence.

Dr. Greer may not see 'eye to eye' with individuals like Michael E. Salla who (along with some other researchers studying broad patterns of alleged interactions with ETs) thinks that not all alleged ET visitors are necessarily 'benevolent' for humans. Nevertheless, both are doing great pioneering work and the former has interviewed many important past government officials and military witnesses who have publicly declared that at least part of the UFO phenomenon has physical consequences and is related with more technologically advanced intelligences. A good website to visit in this respect is: http://www.disclosureproject.org/

The OIFAA

In the year 2001, just after the ignominious end of the Fujimori regime, the Peruvian Air Force publicly announced in Peru the creation of an office that would research UFO (unidentified flying object) events. These events were technically called “anomalous aerial phenomena” and were of interest to the Peruvian state because of broad national security concerns. In previous months there had been 'flaps' of UFO sightings over Lima, some of which had been filmed or photographed. Obviously, if large solid objects of unknown origin were occasionally flying without restraint over national air space, data gathering and intelligent analysis in relation to their origins was required. The issue of air safety and the recognition that there were non-authorized flying objects and/or unknown devices moving about over the territory were good reasons to investigate more proactively. Moreover, there were credible testimonies that, in 1991, former president Alberto Fujimori had a clear UFO sighting in the Amazon during his first term. After this, I suspect that elements of his administration might have been more inclined to set up a UFO research office.

Air Force Commander Julio Cesar Chamorro (who eventually disclosed Fujimori's sighting after the latter no longer was president) was assigned to lead the OIFAA headquarters located in the modern district of Miraflores, a predominantly middle class, tourist destination in Lima. In fact, Peru was not unique in these endeavors since already in South America the governments of Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina had officially established their own similar offices. Furthermore, it was known that in Chile there was some degree of collaboration between universities, private researchers and the FACH (the Chilean Air Force). In fact, I suspect that the OIFAA followed a structure similar to Chile's CEFAA (Research Committee of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena) which, after being discontinued for some years was reactivated in 2010. Interestingly the original announcement for the prompt inauguration of this office was a public affair to which the Peruvian press, Spanish paranormal reporter Juan José Benitez, contactee Ricardo Gonzales and researchers like me, attended. This kind of openness reminds me of the first attempts made by the U.S. Air Force in the 1940' s and 1950's attempting to conduct similar research by establishing projects Sign, Grudge and Blue Book. Today the U.S. Government denies having a similar research office particularly interested in UFOs but, in Perú, there still is a sui generis degree of openness. While the OIFAA is currently inactive, DINAE (the Division of Aerospace Interests which was the Peruvian Air Force's department under which it operated), is –at least in theory- still publicly accessible for UFO reports.

According to my sociological observations, to those of anthropologist Fernando Fuenzalida Vollmar (an important collaborator with OIFAA), and also to Commander Chamorro's, generally speaking, there's an interesting socio-cultural difference between Peruvian and U.S. citizens: In the U.S. upon seeing a UFO, a typical U.S. citizen will tend to be extremely shaken, perhaps experiencing a life-changing event, but in Peru, he or she may more easily assimilate it, perhaps not even bothering to call authorities. Commander Chamorro recounts that one day the OIFAA received a call from peasants in a remote part of Peru and, rather than being concerned with a scary 'alien invasion' or with a national security issue, they asked the air force to interfere with the unknowns in order to stop the racket raised by their animals every time an unknown object landed near their fields and strange creatures came out. This lack of mind-altering interest (perhaps associated with a greater cultural-attitudinal 'naturalness' toward miracles, mythic and anomalous events) was perhaps one of the reasons why, upon opening the office, many mass media interviews were granted asking citizens to call in and to report any strange happenings. In fact, the degree of openness was exemplary in terms of the spirit that should prevail in democratic countries as even unequivocal UFO cases that involved the military with visual, radar, collective and other strong degrees of evidence were publicly discussed. One such cases was that of Captain Oscar Santa María Huertas who, in 1980 (after approximately 1800-2000 eye witnesses saw a well-defined stationary UFO during at 7.15AM over the 'La Jolla' Peruvian Air Force Base), intercepted and several times shot at the object hitting it with high caliber rounds with no apparent results. A very serious declaration can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8vYDcSGSis

Although I'm more interested in philosophy now, back in the year 2000 I was best known as a 'UFO researcher'. As mentioned, I had befriended and interviewed many alleged contactees, abductees and other researchers and (along with real estate attorney and lively paranormal researcher Anthony Choy Montes and anthropologist Fernando Fuenzalida Vollmar) was invited to collaborate as a civilian researcher with the OIFAA. The work environment in our small budget office was welcoming and friendly and (having conducted some field work and read important manuals –like MUFON's- on UFO field work) I carefully prepared a dossier explaining many conceptual aspects of Ufology including general protocols and specific procedures for conducting interviews and objective UFO research.

At the OIFAA I met some air force pilots that had experienced UFO encounters and did enjoy many learned conversations with the erudite anthropologist Professor Fernando Fuenzalida. I learned that no Peruvian Air Force pilots had been shot down by any UFO-related aggression but that –after a UFO sighting- one of them had experienced three hours of 'missing time' without the corresponding loss of fuel. Shortly before distancing myself from the OIFAA I learned that -after a UFO sighting- a high-ranking military officer began to automatically write latitude and longitude coordinates. I don't know how this case further evolved. During my time at this office, I didn't detect any attempt at covering up any aspect of UFO events to the citizenry. Furthermore, I didn't detect any restrictions from higher military or governmental echelons other than the implicit imperative to maintain a rational-scientific approach that would support the respectable image of the Air Force. Commander Chamorro was always welcoming and mentally open toward many approaches to the UFO Phenomenon and –trying not to overwhelm him with the complexities of the subject matter- I gradually shared in a convivial setting some of the knowledge I had acquired since my initial involvement 1974.

I collaborated with the OIFAA for about a year and a half and also tried to convince its officers to use the abilities of alleged telepathic and/or physical Peruvian contactees in an attempt to witness and to film an agreed-upon extraterrestrial vehicle overfly, or perhaps a unique maneuver or landing. Thinking that the Peruvian cultural mindset was not overtly condemnatory in a religious way against the possibility of extraterrestrials visiting us, and thinking that there might at least be a small chance of success, I wanted the Peruvian Air Force to be the first air force in the world to verify the existence of a technologically advanced extraterrestrial presence. Unfortunately, as feared, I found that there was no interest to this approach. The Peruvian culture also didn't seem to be too original or creative to take the lead in extraordinary affairs in the world today and, moreover (and understandably) there was little faith in contactees who, for the most part, also generate profuse mythic-like cosmologies and who may or may not deliver the expected unequivocal sightings. There was no interest in simply giving it a try. Nonetheless, I understood that, in spite of positive results being of potentially important worldwide consequences, since a public institution was involved, there was a fine line between being democratically open to the public and exposing the institution to an experimental attempt that might not only end in failure but in publicized ridicule. Going out to the fields with contactee and camcorders on tripods, even if for a simple, innocent attempt was not likely due to a combination of fear, lack of interest and prejudice. It might have been a failure but at least a discreet attempt would have been fun and a reasonable part of our research. Once again, I verified that -in the UFO field- lofty expectations for grand disclosure events capable of raising worldwide collective interest and cultural awareness sturdily tend to be –in one way or another and however plausibly and rationally promoted- thwarted and/or resisted upon. This reminds of that my friend (pioneer paranormal researcher) psychiatrist Berthold Schwarz told me when referring to demonstrating to scientists that psychokinetic effects are real: Most of the time, something goes wrong.

During an annual Air Force public relations fair in a (now closed) air field we set up a booth and I was surprised by the sheer number of individuals that approached eager to give us their UFO related testimonies. Then there were those that called the office and who were later interviewed. Some of them not only referred to possible anomalous sightings but even to alleged close encounters of the third kind. Some others had psychological problems and their ET contact promises led nowhere. Some referred to cases that involved alleged materializations of humanoid beings. It was impossible to follow-up on all these cases. Nevertheless, during 2001 there was intense UFO activity over and about the small town of 'Chulucanas', in northern Peru and (due to a grave illness in my immediate family) I wasn't able to go on site to conduct research on behalf of OIFAA. Nonetheless (with great dedication, professionalism and enthusiasm), Dr. Choy took the bus and traveled there, interviewed local witnesses, and also investigated some anomalous events that were taking place around the nearby Pilan Hill. Then, he returned with interesting videos of luminous objects, one of which recorded a larger, luminous (and rather amorphous) 'mass' hovering over Chulucanas for a couple of hours. We must understand that, due to a very small budget, civilian collaborators like Dr. Choy and I were not paid and this meant that all of us had to find ways and means to conduct research ad honorem. Anyhow, 'Chulucanas' was the 'watershed' case for OIFAA and it was also publicly divulged in local radio and TV stations. Various video analyses showed that the objects were anomalous. In 2003 Dr. Choy travelled to 'Piura La Vieja', a 'sleepy' town not far from Chulucanas and obtained more interviews and videos of other interesting UFO events. Then in 2004, the U.S. Hispanic network UNIVISION came to Peru, travelled with Dr. Choy and filmed some anomalous lights. Dr. Choy subsequently returned many more times to this region in northern Peru. A U Tube link with the History Channel's interview of Dr. Choy's investigation is found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TTDN6DoeFQ

After having left the OIFAA for a few years, in 2005 I returned to its headquarters in Miraflores and found that my carefully crafted UFO research dossier had been lost. Moreover, the many UFO photographs and videos that I had left in custody at the vault had also been lost. Apparently in 2004, OIFAA computers with their digital archives had also been stolen. Unnecessary losses like this often happen in Peru when administrations change and when a commercial opportunity appears and informality is rampant. Another commander was leading the office and, after my succinct interview with him, I realized that there was less interest to relate with the general citizenry as openly as before. Moreover, I was told that – according to new policies- in order to collaborate with OIFAA again, I had to take a strategic defense course at CAEN (the Center for Superior National Studies). Dr. Fuenzalida (now deceased) then taught part of this course which Dr. Choy had already taken. Nonetheless, the latter's continued collaboration with OIFAA had also dwindled as it may not have been as welcomed as before. Dr. Choy now conducts a popular weekend, evening radio show on the paranormal and UFOs (in Radio Capital 96.7 FM) and continues to gather witness testimonies. As of today, the OIFAA office is inactive but, according to Commander Chamorro, it may once again become active when needed. An interview (in Spanish) with Commander Chamorro can be linked at: http://twextra.com/agprwt

How can we proceed with an Integral Method?

There are many ways to use an 'Integral Theory method' as the Integral Model mostly provides us with guidelines on how to understand that parts are connected, not exactly on how to connect the parts. It is also about including many correlated aspects without being overwhelmed by the effort. The following is my attempt at integrally studying two UFO contact groups: Mission Rahma and Unarius:

A Brief Inquiry into Two Alleged Extraterrestrial-Based Sources of “Esoteric Knowledge” Considered Valuable to Improve the World

Preamble

Other than classical metaphysical descriptions and speculations about the constitution of reality, there has also been a long-standing interest to genuinely believe in more esoteric, supernatural descriptions; in accounts of the world that are uniquely revealed in alleged spiritual manners or extraordinarily transmitted and perceived. It would be safe to say that these accounts are considered “non credible” or “suspicious” among a majority of modern and postmodern, green and orange altitude scholars but, nonetheless, they still vie for the influence of many individuals and oftentimes generate social movements promising universal explanations to promote human “evolution” and to usher unity among otherwise disjointed etymologies and philosophies. Many, so called, “esoteric” traditions or traditions outside of mainstream cultural expressions have existed within different cultures and their alleged levels of cultural development. In fact, a great many have recently blossomed perhaps in part as a unique reaction to the modern scientific era. Two social movements based on information allegedly received from extraterrestrial sources are compared by using zones 1,3,6 & 8 of Integral Methodological Pluralism. I venture into their possible validities in relation to the “I,” the “We” and “It” perspectives and to their usefulness in today's world.

Introduction

On the one hand, many traditional views of the world have become disenchanted and postmodern philosophy- with its deconstructive emphasis- may not have provided orienting guidelines that truly satisfy the hunger for meaning in the human soul. On the other hand, next to traditional metaphysical and religious traditions, there have been throughout the centuries, across cultures and across various individual and collective developmental stages, not just mystical experiences but other, so called, “esoteric” ways to allegedly obtain guiding information on the mystery of existence. Some of the ways to “divine” or to receive information from messengers or from sources closer to various ways of understanding the sense that there is a “Transcendental Other” are intuitive, premonitory, mantic, prefigurative, oniric, theophanic, oracular, telepathic, mediumistic, psychometric, autoscopic, telesthesic, ludic, astrologic, augural, trance-induced, prosopopetic, out-of-body, hypnotic and prayer-based. Also, many types of cultures across what Integral Theory considers as developmental levels (shamanic/archaic/magenta, mythical/amber and modern/orange) have sustained secret or esoteric traditions reserved for a few initiates and I don't think that this long-standing tradition of enacting and receiving guidance from sources reserved to a few within a given culture is coming to a close any time soon. Many of these traditions are meant to provide overarching, more inclusive and (in a sense) “integral” explanations on how the world works than what is provided by the “exoteric” (more publicly shared) knowledge at large. For instance, among shamanic cultures there are oftentimes degrees of initiation and wisdom, among deity- worshipping, mythic cultures there are “mystery” traditions and among modern cultures there are hermetic traditions or subcultures, frequently associated with alleged contacts with otherworldly realities. I actually believe there's the possibility that some of these alternative ways to obtain inspiration, information and/or guidance among individuals and cultures also correlates with an important capacity that transcends the rational instrumental mind and makes use of “psychic” abilities that transcend “classical” space and time. In my view, these abilities can, in turn, be coordinated by a higher form of intellection known as “Buddhi” (in Vedanta philosophy) and as “Prajña” (in Buddhist philosophy). In fact, I believe that these unique forms of meaningful information-gathering are probably coordinated by Buddhi or Prajña (which could perhaps also be adequately called “Higher Mind” or “intuitive intellection”). This gathering oftentimes serves to systematize alternative, coherent ideologies which acquire the characteristics of what we might call “a prevailing stage of cultural development” and serve to guide the lives of groups of people. For instance, in the so called “archaic age”, great creation stories came about together with shamanic “voyages.” In the, so called, “axial age,” great doctrines and ethical guidelines came about together with forms of egoic humbleness and submissiveness-related prayer, meditation and contemplation. In the “modern age,” which partially grew in relation to the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, a series of Western esoteric schools (from the Marcilio Ficino's Hermetic Philosophy in Florence to Rosicrucianism, Martinism, Theosophy, Kardecian Spiritism, The Lucis Trust, Anthroposophy, the Gnostic Universal Christian Movement, Triangles, the Universal Great Brotherhood, et al.) probably sprung up as an effort to incorporate an ancient line of revelations, attempting first to incorporate secret revelations and interpretations of platonic schools and then to simultaneously pay heed to the growing rational ethos of their time, associated to the search for empirical evidence and, eventually, to the concept of “evolution.” Almost simultaneously with the appearance of these schools, a small number of individuals claiming to have experienced guiding contacts with otherworldly beings also began to appear, sometimes also giving rise to social movements also generally “esoteric” and outside of the mainstream. For instance, one of the first widely known explorers of “other realities” and also a “contactee” in modern parlance was Emmanuel Swedenborg, an influential polymath and author from the 1700's.

The French-influenced, postmodern period in philosophy with its eventual emphasis in “deconstruction” seems to have had a less critical influence on the disenchantment of the world than the alleged major shift between the so called “premodern” to the “modern” ages. In its own way, nevertheless, it does still affect directly or indirectly the ethics and ethos of billions of individuals that (according to developmental studies mentioned by some Integral Theorists) are transitioning between an “amber (mythical) center of gravity” into an “orange (rational) center of gravity” or prevalent way of being in the world and, in my view, seems to enhance cultural and moral relativism as a required condition to make the transition. Although the influence of personal and intersubjective interpretation challenging the, so called, “Myth of the Given” needs to be considered, I think that we are in a perilous globalized position in which, by denying the various forms of mythically interpreted transmental guidance of yesterday, a resurgence of red-level driving forces could fill in the gaps which rationality devoid of inter systemic awareness leaves. Thus, the massive shift from Amber to Orange, together with a wholesale dismissal of the esoteric traditions that accompanied the classic modern period (partially as an emotional countermeasure to cold-hearted materialism), could leave a majority of individuals stranded without ethical direction and willing to fall back into a 'no-holds barred' war for turf in order to make it in the nitty-gritty competitive orange-enacted world. So called, “red needs” and values, at the root of survival mechanisms could blossom in replacement of inexistent, integrating Meta systemic guidelines capable of reconciling mythic structures with orange practicality and mean green deconstruction.

For these reasons I wonder whether there could be salvageable elements among the various esoteric traditions, elements that could be useful in today's circumstances in order to promote a plausible Second Tier, integrating conceptual framework. It is easy to say that perceptions and interpretations of higher states in eras gone by were only useful only for people of those eras but I think that, since previous developmental levels are still (explicitly or suppressed) here with as (as we supposedly transcend and include them), we ought to carry out a comparative and experimental (Integral Methodological Pluralism based) study of the realities that were disclosed by various cultures and developmental levels in the past. This will insure that we don't dismiss too readily what we consider useful “belief” from the past from what we consider useful “knowledge” today. Rekindling my previous ideas, I'd say that the connecting thread among valuable esoteric information disclosed in the archaic/shamanic, traditional/mythic and modern/rational and postmodern/post rational “stages” (partially enmeshed with us still today) is the link with a higher, less dual kind of integrating mind (Buddhi/Prajña) perhaps associated with Ken Wilber's somewhat vague notion of a “vision-logic” correlated with the disclosures of a “Second Tier” awareness. For this reason, I venture to posit the likelihood that some of the esoteric knowledge disclosed and imparted to small segments of individuals across various cultures in different periods of time might be useful and valid across cultural developmental levels and could, therefore, be necessary in the creation of an integral map for the enhancement of human knowledge and integral applications. It is likely that some of the valid esoteric disclosures related to this alleged “Higher Integrating Mind” were also instrumental for maintaining a continuous link with the Ultimate Absolute or “Transcendental Other,” for initiating the mystical states that led to establishing the world's great religions, moral principles, philosophies, metaphysical systems and secret revelations claiming to offer more encompassing explanations stemming from the “Spiritual Heart” of all things. It wouldn't be a surprise if our budding integral vision were also being inspired by this “Higher Integrating Mind” disclosing aspects of truth across stages and cultures.

Following this introduction there's a brief exploration of two exemplars in relation to allegedly disclosing and/or receiving culturally orienting information from non conventional, esoteric sources. I'll use IMP zones 1, 3, 6 and 8, to “disclose” and comment about aspects of what I consider to be one more objectively credible and one less objectively credible UFO-based movement.

UFO-Based Social Movement One: Mission Rahma

Since 1977 I've known participants of a group that started in 1974 after an experimental method to attempt communication with extraterrestrials was performed by the children of the Paz Wells family and a few of their close friends in Lima. An unusually strong compulsion to write manifested in a few individuals and was followed by messages from an allegedly extraterrestrial person or being called “Oxalc,” supposedly a colonist living in Jupiter's moon Ganymede under artificially enhanced conditions. Oxalc asked these people to go south of Lima to KM 54 in the Panamerican Hwy on a certain day and time. They climbed a hill close to an abandoned mine and, although everyone was sceptical, several people went along with it and indeed, as witnesses even today insist, a large, metallic-looking, hamburger-shaped object came out of the Pacific Ocean (in front of the towns of Pucusana and Chilca) and approached them, flying closely overhead. As some of them became frightened they heard a voice saying that at that time there wouldn't be a landing or a physical contact because emotions in the group were running high. Then the object left. They were also told that there would be another opportunity to meet face to face.

As communications continued, Juan José Benitez, a Spanish EFE news Agency reporter, was invited by Carlos Paz Wells to the desert area of Chilca to witness the approaching of an extraterrestrial craft. He witnessed the events on two occasions after which he wrote the book OVNIS: S.O.S. to Humanity (which also launched him into a long career as an investigative journalist of mysteries, UFOs and the paranormal). Eventually, (as some participant-friends tell me in earnest) physical contacts took place, starting with the brothers Sixto and Carlos Paz Wells. A specific method to prepare other people for contact was then devised, along with a way to hermeneutically discuss whether any particular information or communication that had been telepathically and/or psychographically produced and received from alleged extraterrestrial intelligences was genuine or spurious. A certain emphasis was placed upon empirical corroboration. By the mid 70's UFO sightings became commonplace in and around Chilca, a small vacationing community south of Lima and dozens of individuals began to experience different kinds of direct contacts. Some of these contacts included walking into visible domes of light forming temporarily on the ground and –as a small minority claims- being transported to an advanced and friendly alien environment were experiences passed more rapidly than on Earth. The messages multiplied and the group grew, became international in scope and came to be known as “Mission Rama” or in Spanish, as “Misión Rama.” Later on, the letter 'h' was added to 'Rama', turning it into 'Rahma' both in English and Spanish). Soon -as enthusiasm and participation grew- the problem of sifting genuine messages from mentally constructed ones (so called “mentalisms”) became relevant and guidelines were devised allegedly with the assistance of whom became extraterrestrial friends, mentors and …yes “older brothers” (as are known elsewhere by genuine and non genuine “contactees”). The messages spoke of a dimensional shift, of reintegrating Earth to a different timeline and of imminent sweeping social, spiritual and historical changes. They partly reflected what seemed like a combination of theosophy with messianic Christianity.

Some of the guidelines to recognize genuine communications indicate that genuine messages should not promote any individual above the rest; that they have to be consistent with other messages; that physically separate participant receivers (also called “antennas”) of the same message should receive complementary messages; that messages should better be corroborated by clear, unequivocal sightings; and that the person receiving messages should demonstrate self control, a desire not to stand out and a responsible, balanced attitude toward his family life, and his social and work life.

As time went by many mistakes were committed due to the excessive enthusiasm of the (mostly young) participants and also to the nature of the messages received, messages that didn't primarily relate with ecological or scientific issues but mentioned a cultural, spiritual and individual transformation. These messages were similar to those represented by other contactees from the 1950's early “contactee era” in the U.S. and they were also quite compatible theosophical teachings. They provided an alternative history for humanity and a “mission”: To work in several countries so as to awaken the sleeping consciousnesses of reincarnated individuals that had a commitment with this contact experience. The mission also included efforts to enhance interdimensional energy vortices through the use of collectively focused human feeling and intention so as to eventually reconnect the Earth with another time and “dimension of consciousness.” The reception of a unique historical and scientific book from the hands of extraterrestrials and from the hands of ancient spiritual masters living in underground monasteries was also advertised, but –as far as I can tell- hasn't taken place yet. Nonetheless, several arduous, interesting and relatively successful expeditions in search of archaeological sites have taken place in all continents, including journeys to various parts of the Amazon jungle, Mongolia and Egypt. The idea of living a simple, balanced and exemplary life of love and service, following the teachings of the great wisdom masters, (especially Jesus Christ), was emphasized. Vegetarianism, the practice of daily meditation and of psychophysical or psycho energetic exercises was also suggested to prepare the body to the “vibrational shift” that meant having interaction with extraterrestrials (as they would have to lower their vibrations and Rahma participants raise theirs to reach a tolerable meeting ground). Nevertheless, none of these guideline was ever forced upon participants.

As time went by, other news reporters were also invited and some experienced interesting sightings after having made an appointment with the extraterrestrial “guides.” The year 1989 in particular was a watershed year for these events and reporters from the U.S. (Mr. José Grey, Mrs. Leticia Callava from Univision & Telemundo), from TV Channel 2, Argentina and one from “Diario Expreso” in Lima filmed, saw or took photographs of anomalous objects at a certain distance. Also, as time went by, a few persons from other countries and who became supporters of Mision Rahma also allegedly began to establish contacts with the same beings from Ganymede and with beings from an association of worlds (among them, “Apu” in Alpha Centauri, “Cerpican” in Andromeda, and “Xilox”) . I know some of them personally.

Leaders in this UFO “alternative” social movement claim that their contacts are part of a long list of similar contacts taking place with other groups and individuals around the world. Unfortunately, every time I have tried to assist contactees from different groups asking them to connect with each other, no productive dialogue ensues. Moreover, the leaders tend to contradict and accuse each other of distortions or deception while considering themselves more sincere. Also, over the years, the intensity of predictions suggesting almost immediate upheavals, and changes in awareness accompanied by social changes has somewhat decreased along with the missionary the zeal of the early period.

UFO-Based Social Movement Two: Unarius

A few years ago I made a phone call to “Unarius Academy of Science” and Mr. Charles Spaegel answered. We held a long conversation as I wanted to share information from the Mision Rahma contact group in relation to alleged extraterrestrial communications. Mr. Spaegel sounded kind and very willing to share the “truth” with me but I soon noticed that his enthusiasm was one-sided. He told me that Unarius was the name of a “plane of leadership” in Shambhalla and that it stood for “Universal Articulate Understanding of Science.” I sent a donation and received several booklets and a video on the teachings and rituals imparted at the academy. Over the years, I also occasionally followed news about this organization that was founded in 1954 by Ernest Norman and by Ruth Marian after they met in a psychic fair. The organization settled in El Cajon, CA and was based on the inspiring channelled teachings of the founding leaders as the first one claim to have been Jesus Christ in a former life and the latter, Archangel Uriel. Both leaders also claimed to be in contact with beings from other planets and from other planes of existence. As far as I can tell, and concurring with Dianna Tumminia (who presented an essay about Unarius at the August, 2001 meeting of the American Sociological Association) the “Unarians” survived based on a mutually enhancing complicity between the leaders and their close followers. Basing her assessment on ideas from sociologist Max Weber, her insight is that close students/devotees entered into “reciprocal relationships of charismatic validation with their teachers.” [1]

Mr. Norman passed away and Ruth Marian (Uriel) took over the reigns of the organization that distributed educational material through correspondence. I found that every now and then documentaries and TV specials showed Ruth (a.k.a. Uriel) heavily dressed as a flamboyantly colourful and exotic goddess or queen. After Ruth Marian died, Mr. Spaegel took control of the organization and, after a small schism, the organization officially announced that there would be a massive UFO landing for all the world to see in the 2001. Even I kept an eye for it but, needless to say, no such landing took place. His tenure was legitimized by “channelled” material that mentioned he had been atoned for by serving Ruth for many years, even after having killed Norman in another life as an extraterrestrial. Some time later, Mr. Spaegel (also known as “Antares”) died and the closest members of the group strengthened the board of directors, consulted with the (now departed) extraterrestrial leaders through channelling and continued with the organization, in spite of failed prophecies and such.

The mission of the Unarians was to disseminate an alternative history and spiritual teachings to assist humankind to awaken to the truth about its origins with information on how to evolve. I read part of the imparted teachings and found them partly inspiring but also vague. I found that not even the names of the alleged planets of origin seemed to be original. The main planet was called “Orion” and another planet was called “Eros.” The group was a self-reinforcing collective that survived due to their member's subjective experiences since, as far as I know, there have been no confirmed sightings or physical contacts. An understanding of the teachings is supposed to occur in an inner personal level, basically as a revelation. Memberships and courses by correspondence are offered. The development of psychic abilities and the discovery of past lives is emphasized since it is taught that humans have lived many lives on Earth and also in extraterrestrial planets. Visions are taken very seriously and many symbols are used to promote an otherworldly atmosphere conducive to this remembrance.

In the Unarian website, explicit and bold predictions are made offering the hope for an interesting future. Sometimes these predictions resemble fragments of the information being used within the Mision Rahma group. More specifically, the prediction that planet Earth will become the 33rd member of an Interplanetary Confederation was a coincidental reason I decided to call the organization and to speak with Mr. Spaegel.

“The year 2000 will mark the close of this major cycle and will initiate a new society--a spiritual renaissance of logic and reason--wherein humankind will be joined with other humankind in the recognition that life as we know it exists on countless other terrestrial planets throughout the galaxies.
An Interplanetary Confederation will be seen as the existence of highly advanced humankind who have attained to a higher level of awareness of their spiritual nature. This will be the future prognosis for all people on planet Earth, as it is destined to become the thirty-third sustaining member of the Interplanetary Confederation.” [2]

A Brief Explanation of Integral Methodological Pluralism (IMP)

Philosopher Ken Wilber conceives that there are 'perspectives' which are of a truly fundamental nature. In fact, all things and events can be either observed under four fundamental 'perspectives' or known as expressing their being through any of them These 'perspectives' are formed by the four ways in which the fundamental 'dimensions' of expression of any 'thing' or existent (the subjective, the objective, the singular and the collective) can combine. These 'perspectives' can be drawn into four 'quadrants' and are the 'Subjective' (or 'subjective-singular'), 'Intersubjective' (or 'subjective-collective'), the 'Objective' (or 'objective-singular') and the 'Interobjective' (or 'objective-collective'). Thus, four 'quadrants' and 'perspectives' are formed with which all things can be described and also experienced from. Furthermore, things and events are also described as simultaneous 'wholes' and 'parts' (or under Arthur Koestler's neologism 'holon'). This is not a 'holism' in which the whole is prioritized. It is an equal acknowledgement of the 'whole' and the 'part', extending in transfinite hierarchies as each 'part' and 'whole' is defined in relation to a context.

In my current view, 'holons' are metaphysical principles that act as epistemological and ontological structural determinants for everything that exists. They act under consistent rules which, in turn, are rational-manifestation by-products of a more primordial duality-based perspective. The duality-based holonic patterns form 'quadrants' (which in turn can be subdivided) and also organizational hierarchies and can be inductively discovered by observation or rationally deduced a priori through the analysis of complementary poles.

All objects (mental or physical) share the same holonic patterns and can thus be understood under a common, integral model. Therefore, an 'Integral Theory' or, rather, 'Metatheory' which can subsume anything that exists is possible. After reading Professor Steven E. Wallis' Avoiding Policy Failure, I reckon that, in its current state of development, internally 'Integral Theory' is not structurally robust in a way that can allow us to use it to make predictions with ease and reliability. Nonetheless, I also think that Ken Wilber's 'Integral Theory' is close to a 'cosmic level' or 'universal' model that could be a major theoretical step outside of the typical parochial, exclusivist, monological and reductionist approaches that have accompanied cultural human discoveries until our days. I know that there are errors, blinds spots, exaggerations; that there is room for improvement, etc, but it's a good start and –in my view- reflects some genuine universal patterns needed to be recognized in order to move philosophy beyond its current state.

Inspired by my rational-Platonic leanings, I think that this theory is hitting upon the A B C s of some truly universal patterns of organization probably known under a greater level of complexity by more advanced extraterrestrial intelligences. Perhaps by including the Aristotelian concept of that which is 'potential' and that which is 'actual'; by including the recognition of quadrants as interpenetrating, causally relating and mutually immanescing; by continuing to explore the integrative patterns given by a trinitarian principle; and by revealing the interactive patterns across (the Gross, Subtle and Causal) realms of being, Integral Theory will advance to a more mature stage capable of providing more specific guidelines to scientists. However, the development of those ideas corresponds to another paper, so let's continue.

Now, the four 'quadrants' or 'perspectives' can also be understood under greater detail or complexity by dividing them by their 'inside' and 'outside' aspects and, therefore, generating a total of eight main perspectives. These subdivisions generate what are called 'methodological zones' or, simply, 'zones' and normally refer to the main research methods humanity has found to understand, disclose and-or 'enact' reality. Zone 1 (the 'inside' of a subjective-individual perspective) refers to methods like 'phenomenology', 'introspection' and 'meditation' and serves to disclose very intimate, 1st person experiences. Zone 2 (the 'outside' of the subjective-singular perspective) refers to methods like 'structuralism' (which is used by psychologists using tests) to disclose structures or patterns that may correlate with intimate, subjective experiences. It is an attempt at obtaining an objective measurement of the otherwise intransferable (without telepathy and psychic empathy) inner life of a subject. Zone 3 (the 'inside' of the subjective-collective perspective) refers to methods like 'hermeneutics' in which shared, subjective experiences are explored in a group or community operating under subjectively shared cultural rules. In other words, they gather and explore their shared understandings to move on onto new understandings. Zone 4 (the 'outside' of subjective-collective perspective) refers to methods like 'ethno methodology' used to understand the conducts or practices used by communities of people to organize their lives. Zone 5 (the 'inside' of the objective-singular perspective) refers to methods like 'autopoiesis' (which attempts to disclose the self-organizing patterns of singular objects). Cognitive scientists correlating objective brain states with experiences are beginning to explore this method. Zone 6 (the 'outside' of the objective-singular perspective) refers to the classic scientific method using empiricism to disclose the observable patterns of objects and then to deduce these patterns into highly stable laws. Zone 7 (the 'inside' of the objective-collective perspective) refers to methods such as Niklas Luhmann's 'Social Autopoiesis' and to the autopoiesis within living systems explored by biologists Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela. Zone 8 (the 'outside' of the objective-collective perspective) refers to methods such as those found in 'Systems Theory' which disclose the interactive patterns of objects forming systems.

Integral Methodological Pluralism is the recommendation of combining methods appropriate to each 'zone' (or in as many 'zones' as is manageable) in order to study a phenomenon. Each 'zone' discloses its own truths and all are necessary to understand any phenomenon more integrally. Thus, perhaps 'Zone 1' meditation may have disclosed the higher states of 'Consciousness' (or of the 'Mind' in Buddhist terms) but would have never been useful for disclosing the brain patterns that accompany it or the cultural ideologies, values, myths and norms that would have been used to interpret what was disclosed in meditation. For this, perhaps 'Zone 6' and 'Zone 4' methods (discovered in the modern era) should have been more appropriate. Integral Theory aims at recognizing all the methods (and there are many more methods within each 'zone'). It also aims at including all valid discoveries made by using all the methods across different cultural stages. Furthermore, in recognizing these methods as stemming from a shared metalogical pattern corresponding to the same model, Integral Theory transcends the simplifying, reductionist claims their practitioners may tend to experience without knowing about 'the pattern that connects'.

Accompanying Integral Metaphysical Pluralism is the proposition of a way to define 'valid' knowledge. Wilber recommends using 'three strands' of valid knowledge. In Eye to Eye Wilber tackles the “Problem of Proof” (Wilber, 2001, pp.76-79) and basically suggests that (in order to recognize the intellectual demands of the modern and postmodern ages) what should be integrally recognized as 'valid' knowledge (obtained by applying the methods in any of the 'zones') should have been revealed, discovered or 'enacted' by individuals following the same 'injunction' or practice. Then (according to this 'injunction' or practice) the individuals would have experienced an intuitively grasped apprehension or 'result' and would later have to compare each other results to confirm or reject information. This practice would be valid for exterior-objective, cultural-ethical, interior-phenomenological and even for mystical, esoteric, psychic and interdimensional disclosures of knowledge. Subjective Quadrant disclosures would relate valid knowledge to 'truthfulness', 'trustworthiness' and 'integrity' and would correspond to the 1st person perspective; Objective Quadrant disclosures to 'truth', 'representation' and 'correspondence' and would correspond to the 3rd person perspective; Intersubjective Quadrant disclosures to 'justness' 'rightness' 'mutual understanding' and would correspond to the relational 2nd person perspective generating a shared 'we'; Interobjective Quadrant disclosures to 'functional fit' 'social systems mesh' 'structural functionalism' and would correspond to the 3rd person perspective in plural form.

An observation: I think that individuals can also have valid disclosures of knowledge without following Wilber's 'three strands' of valid knowledge. What Wilber offers is a recommendation, not an unequivocal formula (much like Occam's 'Razor') for multiple forms of knowledge to be accepted under modern and postmodern academic strictures. Nonetheless, for any kind of research (including UFO research), using the 'three strands' (whenever possible) provides a useful verification structure that gives more credibility to knowledge gathering.

A Preliminary AQAL-Integral Methodological Pluralism Analysis of UFO-Based Social Movement One

Zone 1: As a participant in gatherings with this group, I've felt a deep sense of greater possibilities. I've experienced a sense of commitment and inspiration and some sense of brotherhood. I've also experienced much emotional distress due to physical discomfort while fasting and camping out plus the frustration of not being able to share points of view with an informed, intellectual group. Asking others about their inner experiences, I've heard reports of intense emotions of fear and hope before contact experiences, emotions which turned into deep feelings of peace and love which changed outlooks in life towards a general understanding of the sacred mission human beings have to enhance life. I have been repeatedly told that these feelings were also intensely transmitted by the extraterrestrials themselves during the contacts. Inner feelings of satisfaction keep individuals interested in participating with the group. Approximately one in 30 individuals is capable of significant “teleprehensive” abilities, oftentimes manifesting as telepathy and automatic writing. Some members of the group seem to resonate with amber altitude, mythic values but many also are professionals capable of operating at orange altitude. From their expressed values I surmise that their self-identity line tends to be at least Worldcentric.

Zone 3: Dialogue and intersubjective harmony is emphasized as much as collective paradigms and practices that are aimed at producing beneficial results for the world. These collective paradigm/practices on regular occasions do enact physical and subtle energy phenomena. Although there are leading figures, there's a cultural emphasis in independent development and thinking and, as years go by, more leading figures emerge without a pattern of contending for supremacy. There's a general good standing relation with non-group members of the community at large and most Rahma participants don't stand out in society as odd or pathological. The relation with extraterrestrial beings is one of respect but not one of servitude or divinization. As the group has matured over 33 years of existence there's less of a tendency to mythologize these space individuals. Most disagreements among group participants are dealt with in a friendly manner and everyone is given a chance to vent their issues which tend to be organizational. A feeling of camaraderie prevails in most subgroups and the larger group in general. There's an evolving ideology dependent upon the continuous reception of information stemming from an association of extraterrestrial beings through ongoing contacts experienced by different Mision Rahma subgroups in various countries. Nevertheless, as is the case with other superficially similar groups, there are some similarities with the theosophical tradition in the connections between the idea of more evolved, helpful beings, reincarnation and the evolution of the soul.

Zone 6: Individual and collectively verified physical phenomena which include close and unequivocal observation of extraterrestrial vehicles, visible pyramid-shaped crystals, nighttime-turn-into-daytime flashes of light, visible holographic-like tall humanoid forms, apparent bilocation events and the transformation of physical bodies into more energetic forms, spatial displacement, physical contact with tall extraterrestrial beings, entering mildly luminous but clearly visible domes of light where the air temperature and the passing of time can be experienced differently from the outside and being physically taken onboard a physical craft, do take place.

Zone 8: In each country where Mision Rahma exists, there usually are several small units or groups generally consisting of 5 to 15 individuals. These groups operate quite independently from the directions of a controlling or parent organization. Many of them work with one or more participants called “antennas” who are capable of communicating more clearly with the extraterrestrials. A pattern of meditation practices, sharing and analyzing information as well as planning and conducting field trips to specific sites is followed under a collective regnant nexus that normally emphasizes discipline and mutual respect. After one or more “missions” are carried on information is shared in large gatherings once or twice a year and through the internet. There's a minimal hierarchy, usually based upon experience, charisma and proven trajectory. There are regular camping excursions and sometimes major journeys to remote regions of the world. It is also interesting to mention that there's like a self-selection system in the sense that after new people join after the public conference of a major contactee in the group, the ideology of the group is shared along 24 weeks. If 100 interested participants join in disseminated among the various subgroups, 10 may remain at the end of the 24 weeks. Of these 10, maybe 3 or 4 remain for the long run since, quite often, after seeing a UFO many feel satisfied and then leave while others leave because those external results sometimes take long to manifest or because of personal circumstances, different preferences or disagreements. Quite often, followers of new age channeling and ascended master information do not find themselves as fitting right in with the group.

A Preliminary AQAL-IMP Analysis of UFO-Based Social Movement Two

Zone 1: Initially, I felt intrigued and hopeful that, at least part of the information offered by the Unarians was genuine and compatible or complementary to that I found in Mission Rahma. Then, I felt disappointment that the leader I spoke with over the phone just demonstrated his friendly but completely one-sided enthusiasm. Definitely, enthusiasm is what I felt was coming from him and from the videos I've seen showing the activity of participants I'd say that they must have a personal inner experience of satisfaction, joy, meaning and acquiescence. A part of me resonated with their experience in a compassionate manner but maybe a greater part of me felt dismay about the disservice a group like this seems to do for society at large, unable and unwilling to discover that some other groups are experiencing a very significant and real encounter. Also, having participated in various Indian sects, new age and contact groups I feel like I understand aspects of the Unarians self-validating experiences. Because sometimes I also fell for equating feeling good with the validity claims of a group in relation to every quadrant-perspective I get a sense of why they could be so enthusiastic. Many individuals attracted to far out explanations about reality based on the charisma of certain individuals rather than in carefully discussed alternatives seem to be prone to zone one imperialism and in need to belong and to believe in order to function adequately.

Zone 3: As far as I can tell, the group's ideology is reinforced by subjective experiences and by the intersubjective testimony of these experiences. Those closer to the leaders promoted mythologizing them in such a way that their alleged ineffableness and inerrancy generated group rules and understandings based on the primacy of authority. Then, as particular kind of participants (probably prone to confusing feeling good with having found truthful answers) are led to mutually reinforce emotional paroxysms through communal rituals that involve singing and praising, the validity of ideology is reinforced. I believe that the attires and customs of this particular group would not fit in with society at large. They would probably be seen as amusing and tolerated. I think that the group needs to maintain unquestioning and close adherence to its norms in order to survive. The group's methods or paradigms enact solidarity and good feelings among participants. The possibility of being taken seriously as a scientifically-based group is almost nil. Most participants seem to be strongly amber/mythical in overall altitude. I seriously doubt that there's a genuine relationship with a community of otherworldly beings. A central tenet of Unarian ideology is that everything is 'energy', a fact that denotes its modern era philosophical influence. There are some similarities with the theosophical tradition in the connections between the idea of more evolved, helpful beings, reincarnation and the evolution of the soul.

Zone 6: External correlations involve listening to channeled expressions of the leaders and communal expressions that are in line with the main ideology. I'm not aware of prophecies (such as the mass landing in 2001) coming to pass. The long endurance of the organization since 1954 is taken as proof that it's genuine and blessed by higher beings.

Zone 8: There are strong outreach organizational efforts to share teachings, promote memberships, sell courses and articles online and to recruit participants. Their concept of “love in action” is also channeled through donating books, becoming a sponsor for videos to air on public or access TV, printing texts, starting a study center, providing past-life therapy and art classes in person and through live streaming, etc. Unarius Academy of Science has its physical headquarters in El Cajon, CA, but also satellite centers in Mission Hill, CA, Tijuana, Mexico, Vienna, Austria and, perhaps, Canada, Japan and Nigeria. A small board/council keeps the organization functioning and continuously rehashes, sells and promotes the same channeled material year after year.

Validity Claims

Zone 1 validity claims (in the “I” space) pertain to authenticity, truthfulness or sincerity and, in this sense, it is likely that sincere participants of either UFO-based social movement are experiencing valid claims, according to their levels of understanding and development.

Zone 3 validity claims (in the “We” space) aim at cohesion and goodness. What is good for the group depends on the hermeneutical interpretation of what is adequate or inadequate for group participants. In relation to these cases, I find Mision Rahma to be more authentic and less prone to schisms or self-injury because of the more open and mature nature of dialoguing rather than of trying to enforce a rigid set of beliefs.

Zone 6 validity claims (in the “it” space) refer to correlates in the exterior, objectively verifiable perspective. In this respect, I find Mision Rahma as a social movement more evolved and mature in its efforts to deal with information that shares similar superficial structural cultural characteristics with Unarius Academy of Science. While the Unarians feel satisfied with enacting an organization that promotes exclusive channeled teachings and mutually reinforced exclamations, participants in Mision Rahma know that their claim to unique and potentially useful and communicable knowledge is backed by very special, objective experiences.

Zone 8 validity claims (in the “Its” space) depend upon interobjective correlations. In the case of Mision Rahma there's a more fluid, more autopoietic kind of organizational system which correlates with a smaller psychological and cultural need to defend a particular set of beliefs. On the other hand, Unarius appears to survive due to a tight control of the organization. While Mision Rahma is not a formal or legal organization, Unarius is a formal, non-profit organization. While Mision Rahma participants are open to change, partly due to the evolution of their experiences among the many independent subgroups in different countries, Unarius requires strict reinforcement of what they stand for.

I think that, on final account, what could be considered knowledge rather than belief in relation to what is normally deemed as “esoteric” information (whether UFO contact-based or not) are truth claims that arise with a clear, strong and simultaneous correlation in the four quadrants as revealed by their corresponding methodological injunctions.

Conclusion

Groups which constitute small scale social movements such as Unarius Academy of Science and Mision Rahma persist in today's world offering meaning and alternative, encompassing views to a small but noticeable fraction of people. Shared commonalities among many of these groups (like The Etherius Society, Ashtar Command, Mark-Age, et al) include a belief in higher or more evolved beings trying to assist humankind and a belief in reincarnation. Oftentimes, these commonalities seem highly related with the general outlook offered by the Theosophical Society and similar “esoteric” schools of the hermetic tradition. I think that some of these groups mostly rely on charisma and very few rely on concrete experiences enacted by an orange altitude (or higher) socially-orchestrated paradigms. In some ways, Mision Rahma seems to be more an example of the latter. Then again, there are some UFO-based social movements like the ones that promote The Urantia Book and The Book of Oahspe, movements which allegedly rely on impressively long and complex pieces of automatic writing. Also, a few of these groups (like the Raelian Church), deny ideological ties with the theosophical/hermetic teachings and offer more technological worldviews. In any case, charismatic leaders seem to be a common feature.

Are any of these groups/UFO-based social movements effective in today's world? Thinking with Wilberian terms, are we witnessing a pull from “Eros” making use of the higher intuitional capacities of Buddhi or of Prajña in any of these cases? From what I have seen in my involvement and observation with these and other alleged UFO contact groups, levels of self-denial and pathology run high in most cases but these hold on to supposedly universally meaningful revelations or disclosures of information that cannot be replicated or openly questioned. Nevertheless, it seems that a very small percentage of these groups fostering their own expansion in social movements do indeed promise kernels of genuine revelations from a higher origin. Case in point, Mision Rahma seems to show mostly a harmonious grouping of well correlated validity claims related to the methodological zones we began to superficially touch upon. Thus, in the “I” perspective natural emotions (given the unique circumstances) tend not to fall into unquestioning fanaticism. In the “We” perspective, open-ended hermeneutic questioning and sharing, coupled with time-tested collective injunctions lead to the enactment of uniquely important emergent phenomena and to a self-correcting interpreting mechanism. In the “It” perspective, hundreds of individuals since 1974 have directly experienced objective and extraordinary physical effects in relation with what arose along with the previously mentioned perspectives and practices.

Time will tell whether the inter-reality experiences emerging within humanity, (experiences as those now had by individuals associated with “Mision Rahma”) will also stabilize as “Kosmic habits” in the purportedly simultaneously emerging “Integral Age.” Phenomenologically, I feel that my own “Higher Mind” intuition tells me that what is occurring in “Mision Rahma” is part of a healthy, bona fide process that unfolds more successfully than in other groups because key values of humbleness and service added to some degree of objectivity and hermeneutical sharing, plus a unique inner voice stemming from the whole Kosmos are touching the hearts of a good number of participants. I may be a poor observer due to my partiality towards Mision Rahma but classic “Integral Theory” developmental lines observed in most people don't seem to apply very well for many individuals in this group. Thus, it is interesting that, in some sense, a fraction of participants seem to be mostly “Amber altitude oriented” (because they seem to accept what appears to be mythical information a bit too unquestioningly, romantically or idealistically). In another sense, a few participants (generally the main contactees) seem to be intellectually restless and active enough to self-organize themselves with some intellectual discipline and with a moderately questioning attitude. From what I've seen, these latter individuals sometimes attempt to influence the rest of the group towards thinking more for themselves and towards being more responsible while not falling into a “follow the leader” (the main experiencers) pattern. In still another sense, many participants seem to be in a predominantly Green-centered altitude or higher (in that they outwardly claim not to identify primarily with a group or a nation but with the world, humanity, an intergalactic confederation humanities or, even, with the Kosmos at large). Overall, participants seem to stride within a syncretic and synthetic combination of developmental levels inspired by a unique calling that can embrace them all.

In his latest (2010) book titled 2012: Contacto Con Otras Realidades, the most influential contactee, Sixto Paz Wells, wrote that December 22nd, 2012 signifies the reincorporation of humanity's artificially created alternative timeline back into the original timeline of the Universe, an event that also involves a sudden major ascension shift into the “Fourth Physical Dimension.” Not all Mision Rahma participants agree with this idea or, at least, with an acceptance of the purported suddenness. Here I see a recurring interplay between the “ascensionist millennial” and the “apocalyptic millenial” versions within a recurring “cargo cult” tendency found in many spiritualist-theosophical-esoteric “saucerians” since the 1950's (something not evident in most “nuts and bolts” and scientifistic approaches to the UFO mystery). This follows the pattern of other “contactee” groups that also have a tendency to discover and associate a new cosmology and major world shifts with UFO experiences. As usual, whether there's any objective truth to these claims, only time will tell. I personally think that there might be a barely perceptible turning point on December 22nd 2012 and that, from then on, there might be a gradual increase of events that will make humanity more aware of contact with other realms and their inhabiting beings.

After personally knowing several contactee-experiencers from Mision Rahma, I think that they are trying to interpret the best they can a series of extraordinary and genuinely objective experiences which, sometimes, have been collectively repeated and validated.

As was typical of contactees from the 1950's (like George Adamski, Truman Bethurum, Daniel Fry, George Van Tassel) Mision Rahma contactees, either genuinely or self deceptively (and partially following Sixto Paz's charismatic lead) acquired an alternative cosmology and history of the Earth, Humanity and its place in the Cosmos. This cosmology and history is claimed to have been received from telepathic, automatic writing, and also directly before the physical presence of extraterrestrials (inside “Xendras” or dimensional doors and during extra planetary excursions to orbiting spacecraft or to other inhabited worlds existing in a physical “Fourth Dimension”). Some of this complex cosmology called “The Cosmic Plan” (partially original and, as usual, not incompatible with Theosophy and Rosicrucianism) can be read at: http://www.exopolitics.org.uk

A related version is found at: http://www.atsdeck.com

It is conceivable that perhaps more “evolved,” benign beings (themselves in a closer, conscious contact with their own Buddhi/Prajña Mind) have sought to establish an initial level of contact with humanity through simple (and simple minded?) human (yet well intended and good natured) representatives that (according to orthodox Integral Theory) could be said to mostly enact the world from an “Amber altitude” (this simplistic classification might apply more to the typical members of social movement one) and, occasionally, from an orange altitude. I say “perhaps” because, in spite of they seeming to be not too analytically questioning and pseudo religious and myth prone (at least in Mision Rahma's case) they also seem to relate well with the modern world in all practical and relevant areas of personal life just as many of them seem to be ethically concerned with the environment and humanity as a whole. In a way, they are a sample of what most humans in today's economically developing world are evolving to. Although participants in the “UFO-based social movement one” may also not knowingly feel part of the call from “Eros,” they may fall short of having the required purity or healthy balance that could be associated with the unique experiences many Mision Rahma participants are undergoing. This lack of purity (and extra levels of bias) may block the required healthy levels of tetra-enaction called forth by “Eros” through the inner spiritually aware mind of Buddhi-Prajña.

What looks remarkable to me is that a certain level of sincerity, good intentions and purity of heart (if not, even of innocence), seem more crucial to establish contact with certain kinds of more evolved and friendly “extraterrestrial” beings than other streams or lines of development of the self. Perhaps this purity and innocence is more closely related to the Higher Mind (that generates vision-logic) than other lines being currently studied and it may be more essential to advance into a true “Second Tier” way of being-in-the world. To end this essay, I want to emphasize once again that what could be considered knowledge rather than mere belief in relation to what is normally deemed “esoteric” information (whether UFO contact-based or not) are truth claims that arise with a clearly strong simultaneous correlation in the four quadrants as revealed by their corresponding methodological injunctions. In this sense possibly the UFO social movement called “Mision Rahma” presents a stronger case for at least some genuine knowledge derived from ETs than some other social movements which superficially-speaking seem to be similar.

Studying UFO cases may help us understand the human responses in relation to encountering concrete displays of our evolutionary potentials ahead of time. Our interpretive mechanisms become deficient. UFO approximations tend to remain uncertain and elicit extremes of belief and disbelief offering a window into unique social and psychological human characteristics. The imaginal world seems to become objective and the objective one imaginal. In genuine close encounters, the simple distinction between interiorities and exteriorities often becomes blurry when the phenomenon gets close and personal. Visionary and objective aspects (even collectively objective ones) become blended as if we were contacting something that has not been completely actualized in our ordinary structured reality. All of these also are interesting reasons for an inquisitive, 'integral' mind to become involved into the ongoing mystery challenging what we may think the nature of reality is.

Endnotes

[1] Partridge, UFO Religions, 2003.

[2] Retrieved from Unarius Academy of Science, March 15, 2007, from http://www.unarius.org/start.html

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