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If God Was an Alien… 7 November, 2009

Posted by paralleldivergence in astronomy, Earth, God, Hubble, My Thoughts, Religion.
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The Parallel Divergence blog has been around for over three years now with sporadic articles being posted covering a wide range of topics, all carefully crafted with the intention of making the reader think, question and respond. I’ve enjoyed the large number of comments that most of my articles attract and I’ve learned from people who both share and completely oppose my various points of view. But recently, a reader comment was posted that grabbed me totally.


The comment was quietly added to “Which is Stronger, Manfluence or Godfluence?“, one of my popular earlier articles. Comment #62 suddenly appeared, and it was close to two years after the last comment was submitted. At 6:30 in the morning I was alerted to its arrival and as I started to read, I was taken on a wondrous journey of intrigue and awe-inspiring writing. Perhaps I was only half-awake, but this comment with its generous use of ellipses made me pause, reflect on and react to each and every carefully crafted statement. Who is this person? Was this really typed in one session as a reader’s comment on a blog article? There is not a single typographical error! Surely this is a cut & paste job? No, the almighty Google says it’s completely original, written just for my article.

Anyway, I’ve since had a lengthy email discussion on various subjects with “Mr Barry H. Browning“, which is still continuing, but I thought his original comment deserved a wider-audience, so I’ve decided to centre a new article around it, posing his unspoken question, What if God Was an Alien?  Here is Mr Browning’s comment posted in full and unedited. Please check his comment in the context of the original article at the link above, as well as the discussion that followed.

4th November 2009, and last night I stumbled upon this your blog…how cool is that? Just finished e-mailing an old friend that “checking out the Hubble pictures is one h-ll of a way to worship, and a lot more effective than the spiritual gatekeepers and spiritual-tax-collector-franchise-owning ‘Sunday morning country club directors’ can ever be.” Then I run into your blog…. Go figure.

It’s one thing….to “play” with what first seem like abstractions like “parallel universes” and “black holes” and “changes in the space-time continuum”….and it’s quite another thing…for those of us under I.Q. 160, to be able to “image”, without a little photographic help….what all that might look like….and the Hubble has done that, for me anyway….while looking at “deep space”, for example, I can just hear Carl Sagan’s voice from PBS broadcasts: “Mill-yuns….and-mill-yuns….and-mill-yuns….” (only he needs to juice the figures up a little, as in “bill-yuns…and-bill-yuns….and-bill-yuns…) If realizing that each of those at-first-glance “stars”, is actually a galaxy, itself containing-billions-of-stars, doesn’t give us a “Za-Zen” into a limitless….if not “primitive humanoid-bound”…sense of the Infinite…I don’t know what will…. Wow! It takes a good university to hear about Martin Buber’s “Ich-Du versus Ich-Sie”, and Rudy Otto’s “Mysterium Tremendum Et Fascinans”, much less Aquinus’s “That-than-which-nothing-greater-can-be-thought”….(I think what the Hubble stimulates in us humans even-goes-beyond-thinking….but I digress)…

…and after four years of bathing in this in academic splendor, so many years ago, of “decent and scholastically-grounded” Comparitive Religious Studies(Religionswissenschaft), and Philosophy and Psychology, (yes, this included Jung), both in the U.S., and abroad, I have yet to hear anything but a paucity of this from any so-called “Christian” pulpit in the U.S. Well….the Inquisition forced Galileo to “recant”….d’ye suppose some “fundamentalist”idiots will declare Hubble itself “a work of the Dark Side”? I can just hear-it-in-my “mind’s-ear”….”Don’t-confuse-us-with-the-facts, Barry”….

….Now…..and again, this from looking at pictures from the Hubble….how can we….doubt the possibility, given the permutations of billions of billions of stars, and the infinite number of planets that presupposes…..the Europeans of late have done a good job of “proving” from Hubble and other sources, the existence of a specific number of observed faraway planets, which is growing….

….How can we doubt the possibility of other beings?

…And if we don’t doubt this, why, why, WHY…..do we insist, that if-they-exist, they-must-be…..anthropomorphic, bifurcated….humanoids? This is one of the “bastard children” of bad theology….we aren’t aware enough of what goes on inside ourselves psychologically, to recognize a spiritual projection of ourselves on any outside phenomenon when we experience it…..300 hours of good psychological training BEFORE candidates get to go to seminary would fix this….fat chance of that…..

…We are in the process of….”having-the-doors-blown-off”….of what we experience as “real”, and this has not substantially happened in the West, give-or-take-a-few-exceptions, since the Greeks-Presocratics….(but perhaps in the East has been available conceptually ever since the Brahman-Atman Union was described in Sanskrit)….

…and in the midst of this experience…of these discoveries…..

…How are we going to handle the discovery of “intelligent life in the Universe, other-than-our-own”, when on our own Earth, we can neither collectively fathom nor accept the universality of our own encounter with the Infinite in its various and long-established permutations of the world religions, at least one of which is, as this blog’s author has informed us, is more populous in believers than Christianity, and several of which pre-date Christianity by any number of years? How can we HOPE to handle….”intelligent life”, which in all probability, WILL NOT be anthropomorphic, (but may well have the intelligence to appear to us in anthropomorphic form, to save us all from an initial heart attack), when, on earth, and in as “progressive” a country as the U.S.A., we cannot even UNDERSTAND, much less TOLERATE….other world religions…..and when within the revelatory religion of Christianity…..we have a multiplicity of sects, if not of rules, (in direct proportion, apparently, to the lack both of direct experience, and/or paucity of I.Q.)….and where we….can’t….even…..on Sunday mornings….deal with someone next to us with a slight difference in SKIN PIGMENTATION?

…I, for one, suspect that Science has taken us FAR BEYOND the hypocrisies of U.S. religious “fundamentalism”, and that we-have-been-necessarily-lied-to, about what Science and our government actually knows, from EXPERIENCE, about the Universe…..

….but for now am willing to live with Sir William of Occum’s famous Razor…..until-the-little-green-men-come-knocking-at-my-door….I don’t need to modify my life style just yet….

…..and I think this began in the late ’30s, when my mom was leaving Brown University for the weekend, and got caught up in a four hour traffic jam while traveling to East Providence, as the Mercury Theater’s War of the Worlds was being broadcast…

…I’m suspecting that it was decided then, that “we could not handle the truth”, and I must admit, having read the mass psychology studies arising out of that U.S. broadcast event….and its subsequent application in such subsequent world events as Hitler’s Blitzkreig….that they were, and perhaps still are, right…..

….but….a few fun details since then….such as…..rumors of “reverse engineering”….and….perhaps an ulterior motive behind Regan’s “Star Wars” weaponry….and certain observations made by our own and other countrys’ astronauts….and, of late, a suggested other reason for the Hubble’s soon-to-be-engaged, if-not-already-engaged, competitor….the Keppler…..

…Occum’s Razor notwithstanding…..if any of this takes us in the direction which I think it is taking us…..

….then how can the way many, if not most of us, practice Man’s Religions, handle what we next discover, (if we have not already discovered it and are-sitting-on-it)?

…I think……that Man’s Religions….are due for some massive revisions…..

….I think…..that it is well past the time when we….perhaps need a “Religions Race”, to catch up with the results of the “Space Race”….

….I think…..we need a “Weltanschuuang”(World-view)…which admits not only of the existence of other of Man’s world religions, but of their discoveries and unique contributions, collectively, to-what-we-can-claim-to-know-about-ourselves…..

….and I think….it is well past the time for us to accept, much less give lip service to, one unique theology to the exclusion of all others….

…..when there is enough evidence over the centuries, that the Infinite can be experienced by humans, in a multiplicity of ways….and when….for those not “intellectually challenged”, the much overtouted and supposed “differences” between man’s religions, are more a sign of the limited outlook of some individuals….of limited vision….

….and I think…..that if we are to survive spiritually and psychologically in the universe to come, with its implied expansion of intelligent life forms and life-connections…..we need to

…..know ourselves inside more profoundly than we already do…or already accept, is more like it, because the tools to self-discovery have been around for years, and-or are available to us through a variety of introspections and processes…..

….and we need to……expand…..and this greatly…..our SOCIAL model of “what is existentially real”, so that we can HANDLE what we are about to discover, or what we have ALREADY discovered….

….and “not go mad”, as the Greek Tragedies would have instructed us…..

…..”You cannot see G-d and live”……

….We are about to test that statement……can we handle it?

….I suspect….that if what I’ve been suggesting is out there, and is currently happening for us…..

….that we flip ourselves into the category of “meta-cognition”…..(that is, “thinking-about-thinking”), and…..

….ask ourselves, what with the bill-yuns-upon-bill-yuns… of stars-and-planets….”out there”…..


…..culture of primitive intelligence which is trying to expand, such as ours…..

….has ever….encountered….or ever will…..

….intelligence(s) of greater knowing……

….and has survived the experience…..and this, perhaps, under the guidance of the superior intelligences…..(let us, at least, hope so…)

More than any of you may have wanted to deal with on a Wednesday in 2009?

Wow.  Well the odds are, that there ARE powers greater than our own out there in the glorious magnitude of the universe. And while they may not actually be listening to our wall-of-sound prayers, they may well be planning a visit.

Thank you Mr Browning.



1. Kate Mundy - 8 November, 2009

Stu, I remember the original article and how it made me think back in ’06, and it’s good to revisit it to see all the extra comments that have been added over the years. I can see why you were moved by Mr Browning’s comment. There is much to consider in what he has to say. It’s often rambling, yet somehow very coherent.

Those regular pauses really do make you stop and think, just as it appears he was doing as he was typing it, but instead of cleaning up the text to make it one continuous, clean submission, he’s left it as it was created – warts and all – but as you say, amazingly with no typos.

I see in his subsequent comment at the original article he does say, “No, I come by my hyperbole honestly.” I wonder how long it took him to compose?

Barry H. Browning - 9 November, 2009

Dear Ms. Kate,

….”often rambling, yet somehow very coherent.”

…..What a nice thing to say…I shall treasure it…..I am reaching an age when idiosyncrasies are sometimes tolerated… I quip to my son that he may want to visit after Alzheimer’s gets a firmer foothold….but it may not matter, as I may not be aware, except “spiritually”, whether-he-has-been-there-or-not….

….”warts and all”….what do we have to share, if not our “wholeness”? Even the so-called “Fundamentalists” seem to get this once-in-awhile….”Just-as-I-am….without-one-plea”….

“…how long it took him to compose”….about….two hours, I’d say…. I’ve reached the age where the midnight to 3 a.m. insomnia of the sort described by the poet Heine visits….”Denk Ich an Deutschland in der Nacht”….

…but what this may say about me I leave to others more wise…I personally am much more concerned about the ideas being discussed….and what I might learn from what others have to say….

Logicisking - 10 January, 2010

Before any one can confirm or deny the OP question there needs to be some definitions:

God- creator of man and the world
Alien- Life from another planet

Any person who reads and believes the words of the bible by default believes that God is an Alien. So for any “good christian” to hoot and holler about the assertion that God must be an alien would only serve to demonstrate their own inabilty to reason.

For those out there that believe God created the earth, the plants, the animals. and everything on the planet while simultaneously being FROM that planet is absurd.

The Bible itself and all who believe in its teachings must accept the simple fact that the creator of the earth and man must be from some planet other than Earth.

Hence, if you believe in the Bible, and that God created the Earth, you believe…. GOD IS AN ALIEN!

I had the opportunity to speak with a biblical scholar. Upon hearing the logical arguement he profoundly admitted that making the assumption that God is an alien really makes the bilble make much more sense. His mind raced considering every passage trying to find something that could refute the undenyable fact that his faith, more than anything else, only further proves that God is an Alien.

paralleldivergence - 10 January, 2010

Thanks very much for your comments Logicisking. Of course, they’d probably argue that God is not from any other alien world, because he made those worlds too. As to where He is from and where He is right now with His miracles, God only knows.

Logicisking - 10 January, 2010

You make a great point and I must agree some might attempt to make that arguement. However, no matter where God’s true origins are, there is no doubt Earth is not on the list of possibilities.

2. Art - 8 November, 2009

One thing I’ve discovered about blogs is their content need never be called “finished” – there will always be new people to discover any blog and add their comments if they choose to do so. After all, it’s a record by the people, for the people. We should never be shy to say something if we’ve got something to say, and personal blogs provide an outlet for that to happen in public.

Barry’s comment does say quite a lot, but it’s not brilliant – it just appears novel to me. His method of writing (typing), is unusual and that’s probably what grabbed you. Still it is worth highlighting.

On the actual subject matter he raises, I do think we are very naive to think we could possibly be alone. But then again, according to a Gallup poll, 18% of Americans still believe the Sun revolves around the Earth. http://www.gallup.com/poll/3742/new-poll-gauges-americans-general-knowledge-levels.aspx

Barry H. Browning - 9 November, 2009

Dear Art,

“We should never be shy to say something if we’ve got something to say…”,

…and I’m…from a part of New England, U.S.A., and “of an age”, where one does not even put a bumpersticker on one’s car….(But I would now….I in particular, like the one which has all the symbols of the World’s Religions, and says “Co-Exist”…)

…so just know….that I’m more-or-less overwhelmed at his reaction to what I had…I thought…”quietly”….had written….and am not the sort to post about this sort of thing on forums…

Credit this all to Stu, and to his “creating a space for such a discussion to take place”. I have wanted to start my own “salon”, for some years now….and he has not only done so, he has done it on a world scale….

What Stu has had to say, and which I stumbled upon, inspired me….and if there is any “brilliance” in this, it is in what Stu has done….I cannot, for example, write code, and what’s more, still stumble with the “chocolate” cellphone I have been coerced into using…

….We all need each other….and we all need each other’s discourse….and we will especially need each other, and need social cohesiveness, if the main “social change” we have been talking about here…an imminent, if not already-in-progress “connection with extra-terrestrials”, is in play.

I actually think…that by the time all becomes, for all of society at large, “an immanent concern”, that much of the groundwork for our handling it…will already be in place. Some of the “science fiction” one sees in television serials these days, seems to have been written, at least in part, to “de-sensitize” us regarding this “probability”….

…Again, (and this so no one need speculate as to whether I need a new home in a state institution somewhere), I must repeat that I have no personal knowledge of anything which would “prove” to me that what-I-suspect-is-happening, has actually happened…. But….and this especially since Hubble….it is more fun-than-scary, lately, to “read between the lines”….

3. City Slicker - 8 November, 2009

What’s with all the “G-D” stuff? I can see the letter O works just fine in other words in his comment. Barry Browning doesn’t sound like a believer although his writing style could be seen as somewhat ritualistic 🙂 So maybe he’s taken an each-way bet on Pascal’s Wager? G-d, I hope not.

Barry H. Browning - 9 November, 2009

Thank you for the observation! (…although I don’t think my poor scribblings merit so much attention!)

….I borrow the “G-d stuff” from the notational conventions of Orthodox Judaism regarding the “Tetragrammaton”(Sacred Name of G-d which-is-not-to-be-uttered). (No, I am not Jewish…).

….The point I would make is…that I do not “mock G-d”, nor take the existence or capacity to influence (earthly) events, of the Infinite, lightly…

…(Is this superstition on my part? Is it, perhaps, my intuitive sense that a primal human need is thereby met, on some psychological or spiritual level, or both? I leave this for “others wiser than myself” to speculate….)

…”Barry Browning doesn’t sound like a believer…”

…..Let us just say….that “Barry Browning’s beliefs…are in evolution”. I rather take to heart what I have learned about dance and meditation from the East….we can take what appears to be a static pose, like a statue….but in reality, we are still in motion, shifting center of gravity, and are “moving even as we appear not-to-be”…

“G-d said it….I believe it….and that’s the end of it”….

….No, that’s-the-beginning-of-it….

…and as far as…”tak[ing] an each-way bet on Pascal’s Wager…”….isn’t this the sort of thing which has given the legal profession a bad name?

….I’m amused, when I’m not….appalled….by a supposed G-d who gives one a “last minute reprieve”, for an, as-it-were, “deathbed confession”. Is G-d a bully who “does not care how He wins, as-long-as-He-wins”? It sort of reminds me of St. Augustin(e)….”Oh Lord, Thank You so much for having forgiven the (sexual) transgressions-of-my-youth”….(but they sure were a-lot-of-fun-whilst-I-was-so-engaged)….”but if I….only had comported myself as did Brother Aelred here…..virtuous and pure, all through his adolescence….at no time dallying with strumpets…” (And Brother Aelred, becoming more and more bitter-by-the-minute…”Oh-do-shut-up!”)

….I describe “The Sacred Name of G-d” both ways, because I experience the Infinite “both ways”….

…and as I remarked to Stu off-line….in things religious….I rather tend to “trust the confusion”, as indicating the real state of things…..and as, from a “mind activity” sort of stance….like a martial arts “stance of preparedness for all which may occur”…a way to “keep the mind supple and ready for all eventualities”…

….whereas….when I encounter…someone(such as a convert, and in particular, a RECENT convert)…who is…..ABSOLUTELY SURE…of his or her position…..

…What is that expression, and who said it….

…”An extremist is….someone who, encountering the weakness of his/her argument…..redoubles his/her efforts….”

….”Taking an each-way bet on Pascal’s Wager”….this seems a more intellectually HONEST way to tackle…the dialectic….of an Infinite which/who is…”both imminent AND transcendent”….

….and playing out Pascal’s Wager with a “deathbed confession and capitulation”, seems to me, at least, the path of the petrified or the lazy….

….”Being Scared” is not only “acceptable”, I would say it is a sign that “one has understood things as they really stand”. “Letting the fear overcome one”, howeever, is for me, at least, inacceptable…

…It must be the “English Hobbit” in me, if not the “Wanderer without a Comitatus”….”Get-on-with-it, Man!” “Buck-up-and-Carry-On!”

4. Vern Mike - 8 November, 2009

Nice – I enjoyed that. I’ve been telling people for a while that the possibility in my mind is very strong that our predecessors (sp?) might well be 2 alien kids that won a science class competition for creating the planet earth and all the rules that are intrinsic to it… gravity, sunrise, types of matter, genetic codes for all the variety of life – or – a basic one that mutates enough to provide the variety we see here.

Having been in the Air Force with a Top Secret NATO/SCI clearance I’ve seen things that are very strange in the intel briefings to 4-Star Generals (I was at PACAF headquarters at Hickam in Hawaii). Even at that level – they are talking around what they found when it comes to alien visits, and crash sites. In particular I saw something referencing a crash in England in which at the TS level – the intel was not specific about what they found. They found it – but, they would not describe it exactly or describe where things went that were picked up at the crash site.

Why is THAT?

The idea that we would “know” if other worlds were contacting us – arriving, etc. is false because the widespread panic and total revolution of religion, culture, etc would set the people of the earth on such an unpredictable course – that it’s too frightening for any government to consider. In an instant the world would change faster and more totally than has happened over millenia.

I couldn’t guess what the ramifications would be. Though I’m sure there are books out about it – I’m not a sci-fi reader much.

Governments too – couldn’t guess what the outcome would be. They’d best sit on it until the white elephant in the room turns flourescent yellow and says – I’m HERE – FROM THIS DISTANT PLANET – there are 65 million universes and 1,498,032 human like and beyond, intelligent species in these other universes. You have been an experiment that 2 punks in a science class made a couple million years ago your time. We’ll give you a couple years to come to grips with that – and monitor you here so no nuclear weapons are fired. Other than that – do as you will.

Jesus – what a free-for-all that might end up, yes?


Maybe I’ll write a book about that… or read one. Thanks Stu – great comment up there, topic of post, and your entire site – as usual.

Vern aka: italktogod aka; farkedlife aka; mikeFOOK

Barry H. Browning - 9 November, 2009

Dear “Vern Mike”,

Thank you for what I might crave to have experienced myself…some possibly near-direct experience of any number of “military” things, which any number of us may now be wondering about.

….On the other hand….”and this too, is second-hand, and is nothing I have experienced myself, but may have ‘heard about” from other sources which I cannot now recall”….

…I understand in the late ’50s and early ’60s, on U.S.A.F. tarmacs….the orientation may have gone something like this….

“This is a….’stealth bomber”….but-it-doesn’t exist….

….You will be oriented for the next several days, in how this thing-which-doesn’t exist, operates, and you will FLY this-thing-which-doesn’t-exist….however….
…should you be so foolish….as to suggest….anywhere…
….that such a thing as a ‘stealth bomber’, DOES exist….

…..a less-than-comfortable berth will be prepared for you in a U.S. federal prison in a secure location well-out-of-the-public-eye…..and this, for a long-long-time…
…DO-YOU-UNDERSTAND….GOOD…” “Now-we-can-begin”…

“2 alien kids that won a science class competition for creating the planet earth and all the rules that are intrinsic to it…”

…I love it….I mentioned to Stu, a sort of “terrarium” affair, containing our planet, in some 8 year old’s bedroom in a terrifically advanced extra-terrestrial civilization somewhere, wherein the reaction to what was going on in our puny world, was not unlike how we, except for Buddhists, react to stepping on an anthill, or how we react to the “savage primitiveness” of Darwin’s discoveries about us in action….

….and Stu….reminded me of an even better paradigm….an episode of “The Simpsons”, where Lisa is part of the terrarium, and where Bart takes the entire as his science fair entry, and wins top prize… ( G-d how I love the Simpsons….)

…We were discussing, too, the “perspective”…using Carl Sagan’s “pale blue dot” picture of Earth taken from Mars….how that should suggest to us how insignificant we must appear to a truly developed….any number of truly developed…and advanced….extra-terrestrial civilizations….who no doubt have billions of more-advanced-civilizations with-which-to-commune….why-would-they-then-bother-with-us? (Just-who-do-we-think-we-are?)

…I’m guessing…..that any number of the “connected” military, know quite a bit more than the public at this point does….(and you, Vern Mike, have given yet even a few more possible clues in what you have written above, thank-you-very-much….)

….But in all of this…..possibility…probability….
…roswell…..”reverse engineering”….”psyco-kenetics”…..”telepathic spying”….”abductions”…..”possible summits and agreements already-probably-made”….”worldwide accords negotiated on what-may-be-publicly-disclosed-and-what-may-not”…..

…..Our capacity as a world society….to “digest” all or any of this, and this ‘without a mass heart attack”, is perhaps our current problem, and if what I am saying is in any sense so, perhaps earth’s whole society as we know it, it’s greatest current challenge….

….Enough of this speculation for the present….time to pull in the kite string before it breaks….

…..In any event, thank you for sharing, and thank you for providing a possible anchor, from what may be at least in part, direct experience, so that the wildness of anyone’s imagination does not carry us beyond the realm of what may be “really real”…we have enough to do accommodating ourselves to that.


Vern Mike Fook - 16 December, 2009

Dear Appreciatively,

I like the terrarium idea. There’s just no solid facts about the matter… whether we’re here as a result of “creation” by a god that left us to it on our own or evolved over eons from nothingness… or were the result of science experiments – nobody here knows the truth. Or, maybe, nobody here that knows the truth knows how to get it out to the masses so we all can believe it!

Yes, I found it really, really strange about what was in the TS documents… no clearly stated facts about things, but still talking around them. Do even those with Top Secret NATO SCI clearance still not have a “need to know”? Apparently that’s the way it is.

A mass heart attack – yes. The world would have a heart attack to know that 95% of the sightings of ufos of the past were genuine instead of false. The world would flip out if there was an advanced civilization looking at us… studying us. Taking some of us for experimentation. I’d love to have sat in on some of the focus groups and think tanks that looked at the result of letting info go to the public about the truth of the matter… wow. Seriously, what would happen? Would we just flip out and live life spontaneously and selfishly because we figured we’re at 2-minute warning?

What would you do on a personal level? Try to hide? Build a concrete bunker and jam it with food and beds and hope you can ride out the inevitable end of mankind? What about when you came out? There’d be you and the aliens… then what?

So, yeah, I think it’s completely beyond the realm of possibility for the government to ever let the cat out. There would need to be an attack on earth – or an infiltration by aliens before the governments of the world would let us know.

And by then, probably too late if there were bad intentions planned for us!

Great topic of a book. Anyone know any good ones about this subject?

paralleldivergence - 16 December, 2009

Hi Vern,

I haven’t read any specific books such as you describe, but I can thoroughly recommend Kathleen Sullivan’s “Unshackled” that I read recently: http://www.amazon.com/Unshackled-Survivors-Story-Mind-Control/dp/1893302350/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1260926271&sr=1-1

A brilliant true story of mind control from the highest levels of government.

5. William B. - 8 November, 2009

…”If God was an Alien”, huh? Yeah right, so God’s going to come here in a flying saucer. You better recant this trash on your deathbed, son. But I pray it’s too late for you. In my opinion, your sins are unforgivable, but luckily for you, Our Father might show you some benevolence, but you better stop sprouting all this atheistic claptrap. The Day of Reckoning is coming and when the Rapture arrives, trash like you will be swept away.

“Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-7)

6. Barry H. Browning - 9 November, 2009

Dear William B.,

….Yes, well….(sigh)…..

…”If God was an Alien”…..For what it’s worth, this was Stu’s title for what I had written and not mine….(but I do think it is a convenient “advertising flag” for what the discussion is about, and in that sense, I do think Stu’s selection was a good one, and not really misleading).

“You better recant this trash on your deathbed, son.”

Please see what I had to say above, about “”tak[ing] an each-way bet on Pascal’s Wager…”

..and if I have anything more to say on that particular subject right now, it is….to reflect on the funerals I have attended where Pastor’s words about the dear-departed seem to have not much to do with the corpse before us which I knew personally while (he/she was) alive….but….EVERYTHING to do, with Pastor’s “party line” agenda….(I must remember to note all of this as a codicil in my will, so no similarly-ordained will take it upon herself-himself, to, “in death”, “steal-my-thunder”, as-it-were….

…but I digress…(It must be that rambling part-of-me)…

“But I pray it’s too late for you.”

….Really? How-very-charitable-of-you….(and is this G-d’s wrath, or-yours?)

The Day of Reckoning is coming and when the Rapture arrives, trash like you will be swept away.

….Yes, well…..the Parousia….”End Time”….has been predicted….as “Immanent”…over-and-over-and-over-again….for the first 300 years of the Church’s history…..

..and over the next….1700….years….it’s….”Immanence”….has become…progressively….more….”Transcendent”……

…which, and this at least for someone trained in, if not completely immersed in the Scientific Method…might make…”The Rapture”….somewhat….”suspect”…in terms of…”prove-ability”?

(Hmmm….”The Rapture” as….”Bad Science”…I-rather-like-that….
Myself, I…have been calling it, “Bad Theology”, for years…)

…I myself might suggest, as a counter-notion, that you consider, (as I have), why….when as “Prophecy Fails”, as this one has….over-and-over-and-over-and-over-again….why….so many have been so persistent in….”extending credit on what is apparently a bankrupt account”, as-it-were…. I would perhaps be more kind than some, in suggesting that…there is some basic human spiritual need….expressing itself here….and that the “mythology” of the Parousia…both in its…”immanence”…AND…”transcendence”….fulfills some essential need….and this I do NOT ridicule….in any sense….

…and as far as….”trash-like-me-being-swept-away”….this will happen in any event….rapture-or-no-rapture….

With my very best wishes,

7. paralleldivergence - 9 November, 2009

Thank you everybody for your comments. I was going to respond to each of you this morning, but since the topic of the post is Barry’s original comment, it’s great to see that Barry’s taken the time to respond, so with all due respect, I’ll leave it to him.

In regard to the title of the article, Barry had nothing to do with that. It’s just the sensationalist in me. 🙂

And for those thinking that Barry did make a typo – when he refers to the Rapture being “immanent” rather than “imminent” (very soon to happen). “Immanent” and “Immanence” are beautifully chosen words in this context.

As for the answer to Pascal’s Wager? “I will put all my faith in the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM). He asks for no prayers or rituals and He has not been responsible for the violent deaths of millions throughout the ages. Since the FSM is just as likely to be the real god as YOUR god is, I have just as much chance of getting into Heaven (and avoiding Hell) as you do.”

8. Barry H. Browning - 16 December, 2009

Barry H. Browning Checks In:

Stu, it’s the 15th of December and we are full into Advent….

…almost time to “Beeb” in King’s College on Christmas Eve-(10:00 a.m. our U.S. East Coast time), and “John Rutter” it through the Holidays…”A Ceremony Of Lessons And Carols”, if you’re into that sort of thing….done with the “right touch”, and the appropriate Cambridge-Oxon intonation…”Life is like….a tin of sardines…..we’re always….reaching into the corners, to get that last little bit, aren’t we?” “I-know-I-am…”

In the meantime…try….printing out your jpegs of Hubble galaxies and cut them out for Holiday ornaments….

…and the right….exploding…supernova….cutout…

…..looks great as a “star of Bethlehem” backdrop for your manger/creche scene…(wasn’t the historic equivalent supposed to have been a super nova?)

Nevertheless…something else does puzzle me….

…as I appear to see….nothing….

….in the way of Hubble images, since last we corresponded.

….At the same time, we now have…..a Kepler…..and…..at least one other, an Infrared thing, sent up, I believe, by the European Space Agency….

…..Where are the pictures?

….Wasn’t Hubble refurbished, and if so, why no new image postings?

….(Could it be that something else is going on? Just asking….)

…Also, and this on an entirely separate subject…..(maybe not)…

…..ran into an old posting about a supposedly-smuggled 1994 Hubble image which is anything-but-distinct….but which was touted by some as being “Heaven”, or “The City of G-d”, or some-such…
(although why they took the image that I just saw, as “Heaven”, is beyond me….IF…what I just saw is not some sort of composite hack piece….)


….I suspect….that what is going on here is similar to what goes on when someone sees “an image of Our Lady” in a cloud, or some-such…

…It’s not that “nothing’s happening”, but rather that someone might have more success understanding what they see by looking within….

My best holiday wishes to all,
Barry H. Browning

paralleldivergence - 16 December, 2009

Welcome back Barry! I can assure you there are many new images appearing both from Hubble and the new Kepler telescopes. http://imgsrc.hubblesite.org/hu/db/images/hs-2009-32-a-full_jpg.jpg from here: http://hubblesite.org/

More images from the refurbished Hubble: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/multimedia/ero/index.html

And what about the new VISTA Infrared Telescope in the Chilean desert? http://www.popsci.com.au/new-views-vista

And these: http://www.eso.org/public/news/

If people believe that “Heaven” is a mere spaceflight away, then their “faith” has truly shrouded their view of the universe.

Heaven is right here on Earth – you have the free will to make it what you want it to be. You can choose to waste your only chance on someone else’s promise to you of an unknown, unseen, unproven fantasy land where you can dance with God, or you call Pascal’s bluff and take the pot right here.

Your choice.

Merry Christmas Barry. 🙂

9. 2012 The Year Of The Dragon Could Be A Year Of Wonders | Living History - 22 March, 2012

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