Contact: C. L. Talmadge, HealingStone Books, 972-227-8233, firstname.lastname@example.org
LANCASTER, Texas, July 28 /Christian Newswire/ -- Is our society about to acknowledge the existence of aliens?
A second credible member of the public has spoken out on the topic. Just last week former NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell, speaking on BBC Radio, said aliens exist and have been observing earth for "quite some time."
The 77-year-old Mitchell, one of only 12 human beings to have walked on the moon, also said that events like the reported 1947 alien spaceship crash at Roswell, New Mexico, occurred and were hushed up by the U.S. and other governments for various reasons.
In a May interview with Italian newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's chief astronomer, the Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, said there is no conflict between believing in extraterrestrial intelligent life and believing in God.
"How can we exclude that life has developed elsewhere?" Rev Funes asked, even implying that some aliens might not have been subject to the separation from God described in Genesis. "There could be (other beings) who remained in full friendship with their creator."
Any extended discussion, apart from the existence question, about intelligent non-human life heretofore has been limited primarily to speculative fiction. Most works in these genres eschew any direct talk of spirituality, religion, or faith, alien or human.
There are some exceptions, however, and if our society is now more open to aliens, then a look at how we have portrayed alien faith and spirituality is worthwhile.
Enemy Mine, a 1985 science fiction film derived from an award-winning novella, depicts an intergalactic war between human beings and an alien race called the Drac. Marooned on an isolated, inhospitable planet, a Drac and a man start off as enemies. Out of survival necessity, however, they make a wary peace and eventually become dear friends.
The Drac shows a sense of his own spirituality and the divine, reading frequently from a small book of religious/philosophical text, and pondering the larger questions of life.
Ultimately, the alien's faith and friendship motivate the human being to consider something other than his prestige as a top-scoring fighter pilot. The alien reminds the human that life is so much more than just a scramble for conquest and material success. The human being is much better off for having encountered an alien of great faith and courage.
An example of fantasy that directly addresses alien spirituality is the Green Stone of Healing epic series. It features an intelligent non-human being, a Mist-Weaver, who exhibits capabilities that human beings more readily ascribe to the supernatural. The Mist-Weaver is able to appear and dissolve at will, transitioning from material to non-material realities in much the same manner as the divine heralds of earthly religious traditions.
As would an angel, the Mist-Weaver assumes physical form to converse easier with the human characters. The Mist-Weaver clearly has a profound sense of the divine and his connection to it and to all life, and tries to encourage that spiritual connection in his human counterparts.
The Mist-Weaver's presence spurs his human students to examine the limitations of their faith and their spiritual understanding, just as the burning bush, signaling God's presence, presented Moses with challenges of faith and self-growth.
His spiritual teachings often leave the human beings baffled, however, because they are so different from human understanding. The Mist-Weaver never tries to dictate human behavior or beliefs, solve human problems, or protect his students from the consequences of their actions.
In taking a hands-off approach, he might seem indifferent to some, but the Mist-Weaver simply refuses to intervene out of his abiding respect for free will. Perhaps that's what makes this alien truly strange. The Mist-Weaver doesn't suffer from that all-too-human inclination to run other people's lives or to proclaim God as a similar micro-manager.
A third example of speculative fiction portraying intelligent non-human beings with a highly developed spirituality is Alien Nation. Most of these on-screen "Newcomers" are just regular folks, although there are villains in their midst, too. But the average alien Joes and Jills have jobs, houses, children, and try to live peacefully among their human counterparts. They also have extensive religious rituals and traditions that are depicted throughout the TV series.
Like Enemy Mine and the Green Stone of Healing series, Alien Nation asserts that non-human beings can teach the human variety a thing or two about life and spirituality. The Newcomer police officer is paired with a human detective who is initially very unhappy about the arrangement. But the former earns the latter's respect and affection through his courage, smarts, initiative, and loyalty. The Newcomer demonstrates that these enduring and spiritual character qualities are not the sole province of human beings. Again, the human being is better off for having known the alien.
Tragically, on earth today the concepts of spirituality and faith seem far more alien to many than does the assertion of intelligent non-human beings.
Aliens may give God far more credit than we do. If/when the day comes that we openly encounter intelligent non-human beings, we may find that the experience brings us much closer to reclaiming and living our own spirituality than we ever believed possible.
We can always choose to embrace the unknown--the alien--instead of fearing it.