Is there an asomatous aspect to space? Are we supposed to traverse it? Might some of it touch Heaven — a sacred aspect — or, at the opposite end, the “outer darkness” (Matthew 8:12)?
Many are the photos taken through the Hubble telescope that show what the eye could interpret as spiritual images — good and not so good, holy ones and unholy ones: as if we are looking into a realm that is part of the afterlife, or at a snapshot of the spiritual war.
Of course, images with what seem like religious aspects also occur here on terra firma. But note that some who have near-death experiences describe going through a “tunnel” toward God while others describe rising from the body and instead of a tunnel, traveling swiftly past planets and stars — into space toward distant lights (and sometimes cities of lights, which reminds one of Mary of Agreda).
Most recently, there was the photo we posted of what astronomers call Galaxy M51. In the center is what resembles a Cross [above]. Astronomers, of course, referred to it as an “X” (which takes more imagination, one might note, than seeing a Cross).
There is the “Jesus Praying” nebula.
Others are less welcoming.
What is a galaxy anyway? Are we certain we have a handle on what outer space actually is?
Many photos of space are simply unfathomable (find what you will in them).
Our discussion comes at a time when NASA has been toiling away on a monster rocket for the past eight years (cost so far: $10 billion). We’re headed back to the moon, and then beyond.
Here’s a more radical question: is there something about the pioneers of space travel that should give us pause?
As a Soviet newspaper recounted in 1985, six crew members on board the Soviet Salyut-7 space station reported supernatural occurrences that included a strange “whisper” and ghost-like voices that didn’t seem like a product of sleep deprivation, anoxia (low oxygen), or anything of that sort. One claimed to have heard the words, “You arrived here too early, and you did it in a wrong fashion. Trust me, for I am your ancestor on the maternal side. Do you remember, she told you; back when you were a child, about your great-grandfather, who had founded the D-s factory in the Urals? Sonny, you should not be here, go back to earth, do not violate the Laws of the Creator…Sonny, you must return, return, return…”
We don’t have the answer to that overarching question of space travel, but there certainly have been rocket scientists and other such types who give us pause. Few realize that Jack Parsons, one of the fathers of modern rocketry — the scientist who invented solid rocket fuel, which has made all the space travel possible (and for whom there is now a crater named after him on the moon) — was a card-carrying satanist who practiced deeply occult rituals in a park near the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena — a laboratory he helped found, next to a rock face known as Devil’s Gate Dam for its peculiar formation [right]. When he was young, Parsons outright invoked the devil to appear, and continued such rituals (including one invoking Pan before every launch) to the end of his life, which ended in a tragic fire.
And then, as far as mysteries, there is — down here on earth — Area 51.
What is this place, rumored to cloak everything from extremely advanced military aircraft development to captured UFOs?
It seems the “advanced military aircraft” idea has been documented. A blog relates that “a 1945 report on airplanes designed by Germany’s Horten brothers included this photograph [below] of an unusually shaped parabolic aircraft. Two years later, after the crash of a foreign disc-shaped aircraft in New Mexico, in July 1947, the Counter Intelligence Corps embarked on a manhunt across Western Europe to locate the Horten brothers and their so-called flying disc.”
And then there are the mysterious scientists — for example, those alleged to have been part of Stalin’s program to learn about so-called UFOs (which we think are spiritual deceptions — “boggarts”).
Below (standing left to right) Sergei Korolev, chief missile designer and inventor of Sputnik; Igor Kurchatov, father of Russia’s atomic bomb; and Mstislav Keldysh, mathematician, theoretician, and space pioneer.
Many mysteries, on this earth, and certainly beyond it…