Archive for May, 2008
In the last post, I quoted Christopher Partridge’s article in UFO Religions as follows:
“Whilst there are some differences between the theosophical masters / mahatmas of wisdom (who were usually thought to reside in Tibet), and the early accounts of aliens, in actual fact the similarities between the two are striking and the differences fairly superficial.”1
I’d like to elaborate a bit on what Partridge means by these “striking similarities” in this post. Partridge lists (p. 12) the following features shared by the ascended masters of Theosophy and early accounts of aliens:
- Both are considered to be highly spiritually evolved, morally superior, and technologically advanced.
- Both are considered benevolent beings with a deep salvific concern for a humanity bent on the destruction of the planet.
- Both the ascended masters of Theosophy and early aliens who allegedly contacted people during the “contactee era” were said to be from Venus.
Partridge finds it of great interest that the only thing that appears to be markedly different between the Theosophical accounts of encounters with the ascended masters and later aliens contacts in the mid 20th century is that, after 1947, the Venusians/aliens/masters come to earth descending in flying saucers. Before 1947, and with respect to theosophical contact with the ascended masters, contact occurred via astral travel or during sleep.
Partridge then refers readers to the work of the most famous early post-1947 contactee, George Adamski. Adamski was in fact
“. . . a Polish-born Californian occultist who, in 1936, founded the theosophically-oriented Royal Order of Tibet . . . Hence it is unsurprising to find in his influential book, The Flying Saucers Have Landed (co-authored with British occultist Desmond Leslie), not only numerous references to theosophical themes and doctrines, but also a bibliography that is little more than a short list of key theosophical and occult writings by authors . . . Furthermore, Adamski’s ‘Space Brothers’ are not the almond-eyed aliens most commonly reported by contemporary contactees, but are rather ‘humanoid,’ resembling popular theosophical descriptions of the masters.2
Nope . . . nothing occult going on here, Monsignor Balducci.
In case you haven’t heard, here is the news story. I won’t often post news, but this is might be of interest to some.
I decided to start this discussion a bit before I had planned. Yes, I’ll be going back to Partridge’s book and the problems with Balducci’s oddly uninformed position (this week, too). I keep getting links and emails related to the “compelling” evidence for UFOs in Renaissance art, so my annoyance meter has passed the tolerable level.
The UFOs in Renaissance art nonsense primarily extends from Matthew Hurley’s website. An informed rebuttal to this has been out on the web for some time, but it apparently hasn’t been widely discussed or circulated — likely due to the fact that most of it isn’t in English.
Art historian Diego Cuoghi (yes, a real art historian) has a website devoted to analyzing the paintings on Hurley’s website. Sorry, they aren’t extraterrestrials and space ships. The main site is here, but it’s in Italian. But Parts 1 and 5 have been translated into English. I highly recommend them – very interesting and informative, but not for those who are fundamentalist ETH’ers.
You definitely need high speed for all these images, too.
t’s not Balducci speaking (yet). There have been a lot of articles lately on how the Vatican’s chief astronomer says there might be ETs. I’m trying not to yawn.
Actually, this is OLD news–as in CENTURIES and even a MILLENNIUM old. Amazing how people don’t know that Christianity has asked many times whether there are other worlds and whether those worlds might be inhabited. Even more unknown (except to people who have read The Facade) is the fact that an ET reality would not of necessity be a huge theological hurdle (it depends on how the data is processed–there we go again). Here’s the first paragraph of an article entitled “Vatican Astronomer Cites Possibility of Extraterrestrial ‘Brothers’“:1
The Vatican’s chief astronomer says there is no conflict between believing in God and in the possibility of extraterrestrial “brothers” perhaps more evolved than humans.
No kidding. But what he’s NOT thinking of here is what Msgr. Balducci is apparently thinking of (hey, he’s been courted by retail ufologists for years).
- Thanks to Matt Landis for this! ↩