Lately I have been intrigued by two really different strains emanating from the Vatican. One is the current retrenchment to the view of the institutional church of the fifties and it's emphasis on the truth embodied by an historical --mostly European--elitist male authority. This is a trend which flies in the face of a global and post modern reality. But the other trend is the Vatican's far less well publicised opening to the idea of extra terrestrial life. Before I get into that though, here is an article dealing with last year's Vatican symposium on ET life held in November.
Vatican Holds Conference on Extraterrestrial Life
Written by Nicholos Wethington, 11/10/09--Universe Today
Written by Nicholos Wethington, 11/10/09--Universe Today
Though it may seem an unlikely location to happen upon a conference on astrobiology, the Vatican recently held a “study week” of over 30 astronomers, biologists, geologists and religious leaders to discuss the question of the existence of extraterrestrials. This follows the statement made last year by the Pope’s chief astronomer, Father Gabriel Funes, that the existence of extraterrestrials does not preclude a belief in God, and that it’s a question to be explored by the Catholic Church. The event, put on by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, took place at the Casina Pio IV on the Vatican grounds from November 6-11.
The conference was meant to focus on the scientific perspective on the subject of the existence of extraterrestrial life, and pulled in perspectives from atheist scientists and Catholic leaders alike. It was split into eight different segments, starting with a topics about life here on Earth such as the origins of life, the Earth’s habitability through time, and the environment and genomes. Then the detection of life elsewhere, search strategies for extrasolar planets, the formation and properties of extrasolar planets was discussed, culminating in the last segment, intelligence elsewhere and ’shadow life’ – life with a biochemistry completely different than that found on Earth.
Speakers at the event included notable physicist Paul Davies and Jill C. Tarter, the Director of the Center for SETI Research. Numerous astrobiologists and astronomers researching extrasolar planets also were in attendance to give lectures. The whole series of speech abstracts and a list of participants is available in a brochure on the Vatican site, here.
The event was held to mark the International Year of Astronomy, and the participants hope to collect the lectures into a book. Father Gabriel Funes, the chief astronomer of the Vatican, said in an interview to the Vatican paper, Osservatore Romano last year:
“Just like there is an abundance of creatures on earth, there could also be other beings, even intelligent ones, that were created by God. That doesn’t contradict our faith, because we cannot put boundaries to God’s creative freedom. As saint Francis would say, when we consider the earthly creatures to be our “brothers and sisters”, why couldn’t we also talk about a “extraterrestrial brother”? He would still be part of creation.”
Even with the discovery of over 400 exoplanets, the question of extraterrestrial life still remains to be answered in our own Solar System. It is a pertinent question for the religious and non-religious alike. Though it wasn’t answered at this most recent conference, the existence of life outside what we know here on Earth has an equal impact on the findings of science as it does the meaning of religion. This event certainly brought the two under the same roof for what were surely some interesting and fruitful conversations.
The Indigenous cultures I've worked with, all without exception, claim to be descended from Star Nations. They even point out the constellations. Their creation stories all talk about the evolution of humanity from what can only be considered genetic manipulation or recombination. They maintain the answer to man's evolution as one species, in contrast to all the other species represented in other mammalian populations, has one answer. Human life is a manipulated existence on this planet. In other words Adam and Eve were test tube creations of Extra Terrestrial explorers. We are mostly earth based but also alien in our genetics.
The creation stories also maintain that there have been at least four or five earth civilizations. The history we have knowledge of represents only the last civilization of which we are current members. They also teach the end of each civilization and the start of the next represented a break through in human consciousness and intellectual ability. In this context the Mayan prophecy of 2012 is not about the destruction of civilization, but the evolution to a new understanding of reality with a further evolving of inherent human attributes of consciousness. In other words man will move into quantum thinking and living in which consciousness is seen to be grounded in material reality but capable of using quantum thinking and quantum reality to create an entirely different human civilization.
Some of this will be mirrored in our technology, and those technologies are probably already in existence in places like New Mexico, or any other area which has a very high concentration of DOD, NSA, CIA, UN science agencies, high levels of corporate security and huge numbers of ET sitings. These indigenous elders are convinced that mankind has already made contact with our alien progenitors and other ET's. This face to face contact was re initiated before world war II and accelerated after the US developed nuclear capability. In their way of looking at things, our Michael and Lucifer could be descriptors of the conflict between the Plaedians and Reptilian/Gray races of ET contactee stories. Their own interaction with alien beings has been in the nature of consciousness and not technology. They call their ET mentors the Holy Ones or the Ancestors. The Holy Ones though are not limited in that they also include deceased ancestors, and other disembodied consciousnesses. Our Lady of Guadalupe fit right into this pantheon of beings of celestial material who make rare appearances in every day reality.
I will freely admit this interaction I've had and some of my experiences have been hard to assimilate. They have been well beyond what I thought I was prepared to accept, or acknowledge, or integrate. It's one thing to idly watch some of this in a Star Trek movie or read it in a fantasy novel, it's another thing to experience it first hand.
I'm beginning to wonder if the Vatican's decision to re emphasize faith, trust, and obedience in the benevolence of a divinely instituted paternalism is preparation for something else entirely. Perhaps it's the notion that we are not alone in the universe and never have been, but in spite of that, we still need to trust the Vatican to know how to deal with this truth and to represent us in the new expanded multi dimensional and multi intelligent universe. For some of us, that would indeed be a leap of faith.
"we still need to trust the Vatican to know how to deal with this truth and to represent us in the new expanded multi dimensional and multi intelligent universe. For some of us, that would indeed be a leap of faith."ReplyDelete
The Vatican still can't understand creatures on Earth, the events of WWII, sexuality, women, let alone anyone from another planet or galaxy. I would not trust them to represent me. I do wish that they would board the next space flight out though.
If the church is willing to consider the existence of other intelligent beings, shouldn't they be discussing a new kind of spirituality, maybe something closer to pantheism? I mean this in a positive way.ReplyDelete
It seems that the idea of atomistic, morally autonomous individuals is still the working model in the Church - so much so that they can consider human and alien beings yet fail to recognize the same universe that gave rise to both.