ExoTheology & Space-Age Interpretations of the Bible

(religious implications of an inhabited universe)

Monthly Archives: November 2011

B’Elanna Torres “ascends to the heavens”

I almost wish I could assemble a list of Star Trek (of all the series) episodes in which a less-advanced species thinks the Star Trek folk (or others) are holy or divine in some way.

Just saw the Voyager episode, for example, called “Muse,” in which some ancient-Greek-like aliens think B’Elanna Tores and Harry Kim are “Eternals.”  These “Eternals” even inspire these aliens to be less war-loving, more peaceful — via one of their poets who writes plays based on the Voyager crew exploits. And at the end of the episode, B’Elanna appears on the stage herself.

Here’s the script for the last scene. Check out all the parallels with Jesus’ ascension (as well as Greek mythology).

CHORUS: Finally, Voyager has reached our shores.
TORRES: And not a moment too soon. Kelis the poet must say goodbye as B’Elanna Torres returns to the Eternals in a dazzling blaze of light.
CHORUS 3: On a far-away, snow-covered peak…
TORRES: No, right here before your eyes.
LAYNA: Wait! She’s not from across the Eastern Sea. She’s an Eternal! I’m telling you she’s B’Elanna Torres. The real B’Elanna Torres! I saw her ship.
CHORUS 1: The lead actress, in a fit of jealousy, brands her rival an Eternal. Our patron rises to his feet to stop the play.
AUTARCH: Nicely done. I almost believed you. Continue.
KELIS: Stay.
TORRES: Voyager needs me.
KELIS: So do I.
TORRES: No, you don’t. You have all that you need right here.
KELIS: I’ll be inspired every time I think of you.
TORRES: One to beam, to ascend to the heavens. (transports away)
CHORUS 1: And so ends the rescue of B’Elanna Torres, half-Klingon. B’Elanna Torres, half-human. B’Elanna Torres, Chief Engineer.
KELIS: These stories will continue for as long as we have the breath to tell them, and as long as our patrons remain wise and compassionate. And Voyager will continue on her journey to the gleaming cities of Earth where peace reigns, and hatred has no home.

And here’s a youtube video of this scene.

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The throne of God in the Orion Nebula?

Oh, this is the first I’ve heard of this. Some think the throne of God is in the Orion Nebula! It means they can imagine “heaven” as a physical place, somewhere in space-time — unless they think this “opening” is merely the place where one travels from the material to the spiritual realms.

Where is the Throne of God? Some Speculate Through the Orion Nebula
By Patricia Williams

Although I believe that God dwells in our hearts, I also believe that He has a physical throne in the Heavenly sanctuary. The Bible is always talking about types and antitypes; symbols and meanings; objects and object lessons. “As above, so below…”

References, and an identifying description of God’s throne, are found in Job 26:9, Job 22:12-14 and Revelation 4:1-3. Some people believe that the Orion Nebula seems to fit the description of the Emerald Tinted cloud mentioned in the last text (depends on your translation) and is located beyond the dark cloud of that Nebula. Since the word Nebula means “cloud” read the texts just mentioned using the word Nebula instead of the word cloud.

If this is the correct location for the physical throne of God and of Heaven, it is approximately 1500 light years away. What is 1500 years compared to a prayer answered within an hour, which Daniel experienced? This is faster by far than the speed of light. What about people who pray for help and are instantly given the strength to lift a car off of someone, or those who are saved from a fatal tragedy?

When the angel Gabriel answered Daniel’s prayer while he was yet praying, he evidently came from Heaven to Earth (transformed into the form of a man) in much less time that it would take ordinary light to travel that same distance – that is, if God’s throne is located within the great Orion Nebula complex, as so many poets, Christian astronomers, and researchers seem to believe.

Once again, God and the angels seem to know a lot about time/space travel. They seem to break all known physical and scientific laws known to man. Even if we have the mathematics and theory to back up what they’re doing, we don’t seem to have the power or technology to make it happen…not yet.

What if everything is situated in layers – one on top of the other or side by side? Past, present and future would all be back to back (even though physical distance and space would supposedly hold us back). Traveling from one place to the other would just mean changing mental frequencies, like tuning to a different radio station. Could that be possible?
( Resource: “Marvels of Radiation in Nature and Industry – a study on Sound, Light, Heat, Radio and Electromagnetic Waves” – by Edward Bowman)

And here’s a video with an animation showing a trip from earth to the throne of God and Jesus’ second coming.

And here’s another short article: “Ellen White and the Orion Stargate

AND a response from the Adventist Defense League.

“I had a pit inside me,” a friend said, “and then I saw it was a galaxy.”

Open my lips, O Lord, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. Closing my eyes, I see a void shot through with dots and dashes of light, untempered by time or space, as if the universe had turned itself inside out through my mouth. “I had a pit inside me,” a friend said, “and then I saw it was a galaxy.” Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

— from Lindsey Crittenden’s “The Water Will Hold You” (in Jonathan Cullick’s Religion in the 21st Century, p. 31).

Mark 13:24-32 “and the stars will be falling from heaven”

I was just thinking this morning about “stars falling from the heavens” being taken literally. The gospel reading for today was Mark 13:24-32 in which Jesus says,

“In those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven…”

It’s fairly easy to imagine what could be meant by the sun and moon being darkened — pollution and/or altered weather patterns. But since stars do not literally fall from the heavens, I’m not sure what Mark meant by that (and maybe he isn’t either! or maybe he’s just using hyperbolic non-literal apocalyptic language). It could theoretically be meteor showers. But there’s nothing unusual about meteor showers, so… Could be another effect of pollution or altered weather patterns OR fallout from some natural or man-made disaster.

Anyway… I found this interesting.

From The Press-Enterprise (San Bernadino County, California)…

meteor16.jpg1833 meteor shower’s effects are seen to this day in religion
10:31 PM PST on Sunday, November 15, 2009

By DAVID OLSON
The Press-Enterprise

The Leonid meteor shower makes its annual appearance tonight, and it’s expected to be mediocre at best. You’ll probably see a few sporadic streams of light through the sky.

But imagine multiplying those streaks of light by the tens or even hundreds of thousands. And transport yourself back to 1833, before anyone knew that meteors — commonly known as shooting stars — are tiny particles of comet debris that illuminate when they slam into the Earth’s atmosphere.

What would you have thought when you saw what appeared to be tens of thousands of stars falling from the sky? You might have thought it was the end of the world.

Many people did. Read more of this post

a good life, animated by love — then resurrection

From Catholic News Agency’s article on Pope Benedict’s homily for today (November 15, 2009)…

In a well-known parable in the Gospel of St. Matthew, Jesus compares himself to a sower and explains that the seed is the Word. “The ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit” are part of the Kingdom of God, the Holy Father said. “That is, they live under his rule, remaining in the world, but no longer part of the world. They bear in themselves…a principle of transformation that already now manifests itself in a good life, animated by love, and in the end, will produce the resurrection of the body. Behold the power of the Word of God.”

“We Are All Connected” and “the stars are other suns” (music video)

We’re all connected – to each other, biologically; to the earth, chemically; to the rest of the universe, atomically.

The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it
But the way those atoms are put together
The cosmos is also within us
We’re made of star stuff
We are a way for the cosmos to know itself

Across the sea of space, the stars are other suns
We’ve travelled this way before, and there is much to be learned

“We will one day venture to the stars” — “A Glorious Dawn” (Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking)

The sky calls to us
If we do not destroy ourselves
We will one day venture to the stars

A still more glorious dawn awaits
Not a sunrise, but a galaxy rise
A morning filled with 400 billion suns
The rising of the milky way

Jill Bolte Taylor: “the deep inner peace circuitry of our right hemispheres”

Around 16:00. “And I pictured a world with beautiful peaceful compassionate loving people who knew that they could come to this space at any time and that they could purposefully chose to step to the right of their left hemispheres and find this peace.”

16:51. So who are we? We are the life-force power of the universe with manual dexterity and two cognitive minds. And we have the power to chose, moment by moment, who and how we want to be in the world. Right here, right now, I can step into the consciousness of my right hemisphere where we are, I am, the life-force power of the universe. I am the life-force power of the fifty trillion beautiful molecular geniuses that make up my form, at one with all that is. Or I can choose to step into the consciousness of my left hemisphere where I become a single individual, a solid, separate from the flow, separate from you. I am Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, intellectual, neuroanatomist. THESE are the we inside of me. Which would you choose? Which DO you choose? And when?

I believe that the more time we spend choosing to run the deep inner peace circuity of our right hemispheres, the more peace we will project into the world, and the more peaceful our planet will be.”

— reminds me of Why God Won’t Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief and, of course, A Course in Miracles.

daily prayer to “reshape my life back in a Godward form”

Did a google search for “Benedictine Daily Prayer” (the title of the breviary I use) and came across a blogger, Joel Martin, talking about beginning to pray this breviary. (“Benedictine Daily Prayer” 08-08-2007)

I love this last clause:

Now, I am new to this and very un-disciplined. I’m lucky if I pray 2 or 3 of the hours, and do it at the right time. But my hope is that it will become a discipline which will start reshaping my life back in a Godward form.

And I like this idea, too.

So this Breviary is a great step, in line with the Book of Common Prayer. Another practice I am picking up from my friend is to write the prayer requests of others in a journal and open it up when offering prayer.

The London Times: “Does Jesus save aliens?”

Does Jesus Save AliensDoes Jesus save aliens? (11/11/09)

Four hundred years after Renaissance philosopher Giordano Bruno was burnt at the stake for his belief in the “plurality of worlds” (aliens), scientists and religious leaders gathered this week at a seemingly more open-minded Vatican for a conference on astrobiology (aliens).

The meeting focussed on current science, rather than the theological quandaries thrown up by the possibilty of other life forms beyond this planet. But that hasn’t stopped debate spilling over outside the conference.

Yesterday I spoke to Paul Davies, a cosmologist from Arizona State University, just after he addressed the conference. In his view, the possibility of other civilisations – potentially more intelligent than our own – puts Christians “in a real bind”. Specifically, he says that nobody’s satisfactorily addressed the question of whether aliens get saved. “The Catholic church offers a very species specific brand of salvation. Noone says that Jesus came to save the dolphins and certainly not little green men,” he said.

The possibility of extraterrestrial life does not pose the same problems for Eastern religions, which tend to be less Earth-centric, or Islam, which speaks explicitly of life beyond Earth, he said.

The Vatican does not have an official position on alien life forms, but a number of its scientists have spoken out on the issue. Father Jose Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory told the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, that the possibility of “brother extraterrestrials” was not incompatible with Catholic theology.

William Stroeger, an astrophysicist at the Vatican Observatory Research Group and a Jesuit priest, agreed: “There might be fundamentalists for whom the two things are incompatible but mainline congregations – Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists – would not have a problem with this,” he said.

Stroeger pointed out that the Catechism introduced after the second Vatican council states that there can be no conflict between science and religion. “If there’s a contradiction it means that we haven’t understood or interpreted one of them correctly,” he said.

This may be the case, but I agree with Davies that this isn’t a trivial issue for theologists. Giggle factor aside, the question of whether Jesus would save aliens goes right to the heart of Christian beliefs. If you believe that “intelligent life” equals having a soul, then you have to ask where you’d draw the line. If scientists found dolphins on a distant planet, they would be mad with excitement at having found something so smart. But what would theologians make of them?

Stroeger conceded that the discovery of intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe would pose a challenge, but said that it would not be insurmountable. “There are some difficult issues to resolve, such as whether Jesus as saviour is the one who saves everyone in the Universe or if there are other equivalent salvation events that take place elsewhere in the Universe,” he said.

I was left feeling slightly mind-boggled at how you would even begin to answer such a question.

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