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Record Type: Review   ID: 70

In the Presence of Aliens: A Personal Experience of Dual Consciousness

Bergmark, Janet

This is the best book I have read thus far on the encounter with aliens. I was very moved by Kim Carlsberg's Beyond My Wildest Dreams which is similar to this one in that it is an autobiography written by a woman who is well-adjusted and who is engaged in productive work ... and has experiences with aliens. There is the ring of truth in what both have written. Both were terrorized initially, but after long travail, both came to an understanding that these encounters were highly meaningful and that, in a way, they had been chosen (Bergmark took this to the further realization that she had chosen it, probably before birth). Both came to feel privileged, but also that what they were experiencing belonged to the human species; it also had to do with (at the least) planetary transformation. Bergmark, who writes very well, takes the reader through the entire history of her contact with aliens. The change in the way she viewed them came about in two ways. First, desperate for help, she contacted a past life therapist to help her remember. He not only helped her to enter a state of consciousness where she could remember, but she encountered what she calls "the light beings." This was a pronounced mystical experience similar to some near-death encounters. While with the light beings, she saw them interacting with the little gray aliens. This helped to lessen her fear of the aliens, because she knew the light beings offered her only pure love.

She wrote an Epilogue about what it is like to have what she calls "extraordinary experiences" when you are conditioned as late 20th century people are to think of such things as illusory at best and pathological at worst. She suggests that "maybe we humans have some maturing to do before we can view our encounters with alien beings from the proper perspective … participant versus victim, communicator versus silent observer, and diplomat versus militant. Many human beings are rapidly evolving toward those directions now. Still, it may be important that we collectively change" (p. 206). Alien encounters are certainly at the extreme extraordinary end of the spectrum of exceptional human experiences.

But all EHEs appear to introduce us to new ways of knowing, being, and doing. They open us to our larger human being. But where some experiences, such as being caught up in the wonder of a painting, a line of poetry, the song of a thrush, the benign presence of a special tree, may only whisper to us so that unless we are still enough to hear we will miss the message, those who have encounters with aliens see the message written very large indeed. Many probably repress it utterly. Bergmark tried to and sometimes succeeded, earlier on. But she could not help but pursue what was happening, wanting to get to the core of it so she could understand, mostly scared stiff all the way ... until the light beings. As she puts it so well: "Extraordinary experience is something profound and transforming, though it often leaves the experiencer standing alone. ... there you are, naked with your truth, wondering if you should step forward, while knowing that your vulnerabilities may destroy you. It's not an easy choice to share extraordinary experience with the world" (p. 203). She is indeed right, but she did it, and did it very well. Others who may be holding back will learn much from Bergmark, and they will not feel so alone. They may even be able to imagine the possibility that what appears to be a curse could be a blessing. Unless we all, each one of us, honor our exceptional experiences, no matter how inconsequential (at one end) or extraordinary (at the other) they may be, that collective change that we as a species may now be required to take may never come off. It seems the thought of what consequences that may lead to is a prospect far worse than fear and trepidation at the individual level. Surely adding one's drop to the sea of human being is better than having all overwhelmed by a tidal wave.

Publisher Information:St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn, 1997. Pp. xi + 209; 7 refs
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