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Current Update as of April 08, 2002

Inspired by The Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies

Edited by HENRY REED, Ph.D.

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Jesus and UFOs:
Riders of the New Wave of Imagination

They can appear to us coming out of the sky, at the foot of the bed, or even inside our heads. They may seem subjective as a dream yet leave a physical trace of their visit. They may feel real to the touch yet abruptly dissolve through a wall. However they appear our lives are never the same. As momentous the encounter may be we hesitate to mention it to anyone less our credibility be questioned.

Jesus and UFOs have a lot in common. Their appearances in people's lives actually share similar traits with apparitions of Mary, and angels as well as demons. All such visions are occuring more frequently than before. There is a foreboding feeling that in this "age between gods," there is a hole in the ozone layer of the psyche leaving us vulnerable to alien thoughts and images which, like awesome asteroids from the far flung corners of mindspace, threaten to collide with our worldview.

There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come. What if the idea is something that spells the end of the world as we've known it and the end of the future as we've imagined it? One definition of the millenium may be that it is the time in the crack between the worlds when all that is imaginable becomes real and all that was real becomes imaginary. Maybe "New Age" means the world is undergoing a visionary siege accompanying a near-death experience.

It is perhaps no coincidence then that it is Raymond Moody, author Life after Life, who writes the introduction to the new book by Gregory Scott Sparrow, Witness to his return: Personal encounters with Christ (A.R.E. press). Sparrow, who's previous work, Lucid Dreaming: Dawning of the Clear Light, is generally regarded as a contemporary classic, now brings us accounts of people who have had personal experiences of Jesus, face to face meetings with the Messiah returned. These stories of encounters with special beings of light who inspire awe, who perform physical healings, and who transform lives carries the same sort of potential impact as Dr. Moody's groundbreaking book about near-death experiences.

Sparrow's book should stimulate excitement and debate on many fronts. Think of Sophy Burham's surprising bestseller, A Book of Angels (Ballantine). It spawned an immediate sequel, Angel Letters, because there were so many more people who had had these encounters than the author had originally realized. Sparrow's book is so convincing that a sequel feels inevitable.

Was the encounter real or was the person just imagining it? This question may be the hallmark of the mentality of the rational age. By giving the first name, "Just" to imagination, the rational mind clearly puts the experience in its place, a spot inferior to "reality."

One of the paradoxes of these apparitions, however, is that they are challenging our views about the imagination and blurring the distinction between subjecive and objective, inner and outer. The rational age seems threatened with extinction. Nowhere is this threat more clear than in UFO sightings and abductions.

A new book, Angels and Aliens: UFOs and the Mythic Imagination is probably the most profound book on the UFO controversy yet to appear. That a respected academic press such as Addison Wesley published the book makes you take notice. The author, Keith Thompson, an independent scholar who, by first interviewing Robert Bly in New Age Journal, is credited with unleashing the Men's movement. Here Thompson chronicles the unfolding of the UFO story from flying saucer sightings in 1947 to the millenial mythologizing they've stimulated today. Rather than deciding whether UFOs are nuts-and-bolts flying machines or subjective, symbolic experiences, he allows that they are both and then some. Denizens of the mythic imagination, they are messengers from a deeper reality, he theorizes, who have come to help us let go of our old world and prepare for the new. Like Sparrow who writes that we tend to "create our identity by excluding aspects of ourselves rather than by embracing our wholeness," Thompson suggests that UFOs force us to grant reality status to the imagination, thus admiting into our world regions we've long excluded.

That it is the imagination indeed that is both the source and the target of what we call the "New Age," or millenium, is a subject treated with even broader historical perspective in another recent book, Reimagining the World: A critique of the New Age, Science and Popular culture (Bear and Company). A record of a public dialogue between two great metaphysical philosophers, David Spangler & William Irwin Thompson, it is an intellectual feast that provides a good context for digesting Sparrow's and Thompson's reports. The authors are both mystics who have "retired" from the "New Age." Spangler, once of Findhorn, and Irwin Thompson, once of Lindesfarne, identify the imagination as the creative spiritual force moving us into a completely new future. They condemn the "New Age," however, as vulgarized by the media serving our desire to "perpetuate the familiar in the guise of the new." Specific images of the New Age must die, THEY ARGUE, for the New Age to live. Worship no graven image. It's too easy to get stuck on a particular "image" of the future, they contend, rather than the force of imagination itself.

The new wave of the imagination sweeps upon our shores many travelers. What type of passport will help us discern the dark invaders from the bright avatars? The encounters Sparrow describes all have constructive side-effects--lives are changed for the better. There is no such consistent positive impact in the encounters Keith Thompson surveys, even when he places them in the politically correct context of shamanic initiations. This distinction readily suggests the ideal of "fruits of the spirit." God is love, Jesus is comforter. Yet if we assume we can always recognize the fruits, how do we know we might not exclude a new form of fruit never before encountered? Prepare to imagine the unimaginable.


Buy I Am With You Always: True Stories of Encounters With Jesus now!

Buy Angels and Aliens: UFOs and the Mythic Imagination now!

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