Please join us in welcoming, for July 2012 Author of the Month, researcher and writer Thomas Streicher, who has written on human extra-planetary experiences. Thomas James Streicher, Ph.D., a student of Dr. John Mack, earned his doctorate in psychology from Saybrook University. The founder and director of Divine Spark, a nonprofit dedicated to helping people through free meals and other means to activate the divine spark within each of them, he lives in Nevada City, California.
Since prehistoric times all cultures report encounters with strange beings and crafts from the sky as well as stories of extra-planetary experiences–that is, travel to other planets, moons, and stars. In the case of modern accounts, these benevolent alien-human interactions bear striking resemblance to one another, even among people with no knowledge of other alien-human claims. And all experiences marked a spiritual turning point in the person’s life, providing a loss of the fear of death, enhanced spiritual insights, a connection to cosmic consciousness, or increased motivation to be of service to humanity.
As a child, I did not believe in the Bible or the biblical “God,” although my parents wanted me to, I just couldn’t relate to it. Obviously a great narrative, the Bible ended up being stored in the fiction section of my bookcase. How could one story be everybody’s reality? What about my story and those of others? My parents sent me to parochial schools and even had me live with a priest during one of my summer vacations, hoping that someday I might join the Jesuit order and be saved. But by the age of twelve, although neither an agnostic nor an atheist, I had already gone astray. At that time, I had saw and felt what many people might consider to be the “heavenly realms.” And the creation story of the Bible just didn’t line up with what I was experiencing. The Church was proselytizing that life originated on Earth, that Earth was the center of the universe, and there were no such beings as extraterrestrials. I was interacting with beings from other worlds that seemed much more advanced then anything here in this world, but I kept it a secret in fear of being criticized and ostracized from society.
Now that I am an adult and could not care less what other people think of me, I have more to contribute to the world than I did when I was younger. There is absolutely no reason not to assume that highly intelligent life forms from other planets exist, with an intellect far superior to that of humans, and that those life-forms are with us today. No matter how fiercely both dogmatic religion and science want to convince us of who we are, we ourselves are the only ones who can truly answer this question. As we stare out into the abyss of the evening sky, the abyss stares back, reminding us that the Earth is really not that special or ancient as many would have us believe. Earth, in fact, is a relatively new planet in comparison to the ageless universe. We no longer have to rely on the dogmas of religion and science to answer the question of who we are. We just sometimes need to be reminded that we are a significant part of everything. We are all connected. This connection offers us the ability to tap into the limitless mind or consciousness of the universe to find the answers.
I do not believe in a lifeless universe, although many of my teachers wanted me to make that assumption. I have always maintained an innate sense of there being other intelligent life in the universe. Even when the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) concluded their program with “no contact,” I thought how ridiculous it was to assume that, simply because ET’s have not answered our radio transmissions, we are truly alone, even though some people would prefer it that way. I no longer supported what the scientific establishment had to offer in this area, for I thought they had sold out to consensus reality. Also, I do not believe in the big bang theory, where something supposedly came out of nothing, or in Darwinian evolutionary theory, where we supposedly evolved out of the organic soup brewing on the Earths surface, although I support the theory of evolution. Of course, ETs could have evolved elsewhere. Call me a bad student…..or maybe a good student with bad teachers? Most of my teachers were persuaded to accept consensus reality, or whatever dominant worldview teachings had to offer, in exchange for a good paycheck. There is plenty of financial gain in supporting the status quo. My view is different, because my experiences are different, and I will not be swayed into adopting popular opinion, not even for social approval or financial gain.
I do not believe that life originated here on this planet and that we are the superior beings of the universe, although many of my teachers tried to convince me so. Just think of how convenient it would be to consider ourselves the “masters of the universe” where we can take anything at will! This is a problem today, as we continue to kill or own species and everything else on the planet. How could life have originated here with what we now know of planet formation? Scientists tell us that the Earth is 4.6 billion years old, but the universe is older than old, with no conceivable age or boundaries; moreover, it includes a limitless number of other planets, suns, moons, and stars. I believe that life is everywhere, even sometimes we can’t see it, not only on this planet but on others that are much older than our own. Also, I am not suggesting that I am the only one who knows what is going on.
Clearly, we are continually being told by authority figures who we are suppose to be, to the point that we are forced to question our own antiquity and our place in the universe. Nonetheless, I am the expert concerning my own life. As we eventually acknowledge the existence of life beyond Earth, we must also acknowledge that our science, religions, belief systems, and entire worldview are no longer adequate or acceptable. This is reason enough to cause panic in the masses. I think the process will unfold slowly and will proceed for those who are ready and available to see it. As we acknowledge extraterrestrial life, we are really answering the ageless questions about ourselves and who we are in the deepest sense of the cosmos. If extraterrestrial life were demonstrated tomorrow, do you think most people’s self-image would change?
Birthing the Extra-Planetary Experience (XPE)
In March of 2003, I presented my first dissertation proposal, which I had titled: “Self-reports of People Who believe Themselves to Have Had Experiences on Other Planets,” to students and scholars at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, California. At that time, many people at the school were unaware and skeptical of the content and validity of this topic. Even a leading psychologist and scientist there said to me privately, “There are no damn aliens.” Another psychologist accused me of misinterpreting Carl Jung’s work concerning the veridicality of UFOs and extraterrestrials. Thus, for me, researching this topic turned into an underground activity during which I met privately with extraterrestrial researchers and experiencers across the U.S. and Europe.
Believing in the possibility of extra-planetary experiences was a huge and painful stretch for most, if not all, of my listeners at the Institute. With this in mind, I approached my audience from an anecdotal, historical, and qualitative stance. I felt bold and daring, as I surrounded myself with the historical accounts of such people as Orfeo Angelucci, George Adamski, Elizabeth Klarer, Claude Vorilhon, Woodrow Derenberger, Michael Desmarquet, T. Lobsang Rampa, and Eduardo “Billy” Meirer, and their reports of alleged visits to other planets. I also collected historical records from the Sumerian Scriptures and Vedic Texts, along with other reality expanding experiences such as alien abduction experiences (AAEs), near death experiences (NDEs), and out-of-body experiences (OBEs). The audience appeared entranced, seemingly astonished by the amount of evidence I was presenting to them. I acknowledged my intent to further seek, confirm and explore this phenomenon through a qualitative study based on questionnaires and interviews. Many questions and answers remained, but the uphill battle had gained momentum and the revolution had begun, as I was granted approval to pursue the research.
Next I struggled to assemble a dissertation committee. The school had no one qualified as an expert on my topic, and most of the prominent professors had no experience or didn’t want to get involved with such a controversial area of research. So I had to look elsewhere for an expert in the field, which was not easy. With luck and perseverance, I was able to sign on the prominent Harvard professor Dr. John Mack, a leading extraterrestrial researcher. Then tragedy struck less than six months later, as Dr. Mack was involved in a fatal accident in London, England. Following the death of my main dissertation committee member, The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology withdrew its support for my dissertation and ended my research. You might imagine how upset I was. I then decided to withdraw from the school and try to find another credited institution that would help me complete my research.
After a couple of years in a tailspin, I decided to stop being intimidated by mainstream science or consensus reality. Every part of my body and mind was telling me to continue on and complete my research. But how? Schools were turning me down, convinced that my research was not valuable because it did not fit into the status quo. So I decided to dig deeper within myself for the answers to this dilemma. In the course of this journey, one evening before entering my sleep and dream state, I asked for clarity concerning who to contact next. Awakening with the answer to my question, I approached Dr. Stanley Krippner with the Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center, now Saybrook University, in San Francisco. It was a perfect fit, and I was on my way. It would still take me two years to finish, for I had to meet all the new school requirements, which alone took a full year.
My research was finally finished in 2010. I received my Ph.D. with a dissertation titled: “Interviews with people who report having had experiences on other planets, moons, and stars.” I was grateful for the opportunity to bring this information forward in a scholarly manner and proud to have accomplished it after the obstacles that had been in my way. Toward the conclusion of the dissertation, I suggested that, in order to help legitimize this experience so the topic can be discussed without prejudice, the term “Extra-Planetary Experience (XPE)” might be added to join the lexicon of NDE, OBE, and AAE as a descriptor of extraordinary human experiences. And bingo! The birth of the extra-planetary Experience (XPE) had come about.
As my thoughts shifted to a larger audience, I wanted to restructure the dissertation into a more reader-friendly version for the wider world to enjoy. With a new book and title in mind, I revisited the dissertation to make it more attractive to people with no knowledge of the topic as well as to experts in the field. After some help from professional editors, such as Rosemary Coffey, and the staff at Inner Traditions/Bear & Company, the result is my new book title “The Extra-Planetary Experience; Alien-Human Contact and the Expansion of Consciousness.”