Extra-Solar Religion and Science

 

Another Vision

So, I think there was a communication from beyond spacetime, that lacked the cognitive detail of Hamlet’s father describing his murder by poison in his ear. How Barbara could appear like that, I do not know. In fact, the message may not have come from Barbara, but some other source taking advantage of the respect for Barbara's opinion buried in my memory. Having not paid much attention to such spooky stuff, to use Einstein’s adjective, I have little to compare it with. The one account of a comparable transcendental message I can recall, although it does not involve a vision, I heard in Sunday school. It was the story of Saul setting off to Damascus to persecute some Christians. Checking the description in Acts of the Apostles, I found the story goes like this:

A great flash of light from the sky interrupted Saul’s journey, sending him to the ground.

A voice said, “Saul why do you persecute me?”.

Saul replied, “Tell me, Lord, who you are”.

The voice said, “I am Jesus, the one you persecute. Go into the city. Learn what you must do.”

And those with him who heard the voice from the sky saw nothing and were amazed.

I have shortened the biblical text, I hope without removing essential information. My experience was of the same general type as Saul's except vastly less dramatic and significant, and much lower in information content.  Bright light and emotional shock occur again, much more intense and the emotion is different. There is no vision but we are not given Saul’s account of the event. Its absence is suggested but not confirmed by Saul's question. The details of the message are of considerable interest to theologians.

 From the point of view of message size, the information content is comparatively large, including the cognitive detail in the names and the direction to go to a city. And a conversation occurs rather than a brief monolog. The message appears deliberately short, because the city is left to fill in the details. And the fact that Saul followed instructions, reversing his pattern of behavior completely, organizing Christians to survive in the long term instead of persecuting them, shows he treated the message as real. The implication is that the source of the voice was well aware of Saul's organizational and personal talents.

 7/13/2020  6:45

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. . .a moment expressed while the poet is not   . . .