Tuesday, January 18, 2005

In a far-off distant galaxy.

I'm reading Derrick Jensen's A Language Older Than Words. I'm about halfway through it and I have a lot to think about re: the dominant patriarchal Western society's degradation of non-white, non-male, non-human life, and spec. the real possibility that I may need to 1) allow myself to open my internal life to people close to me in order to appreciate the friendship/community neccessary to a spiritually satisfying life and 2) move to New Zealand to live in a communal house with some Maori, but right now I'm just going to drop this excerpt that I read last night and then re-read and re-re-read to make sure that the words on the page actually said what they did:
[Father George V.] Coyne [Director of the Vatican Observatory, speaking on the Vatican's participation in the construction of a state-of-the-art celestial observatory (coincidentally on sacred Apache land)] said the Vatican is involved in this project in order to seek out extraterrestrial beings which "might be brought into the fold and baptized," and defined the protocol necessary on contact: "First of all, one would need to put some questions to him, such as 'Have you ever experienced something similar to Adam and Eve,' in other words, 'original sin'? And then you would have to ask, 'Do you people also know a Jesus who has redeemed you?'"
The power of faith astounds. To, first of all, believe without a shred of doubt in a ghost with superpowers who tells a little man in a ridiculous hat that millions of people should, for instance, not use condoms because they are evil, and to further believe that this idea is so powerful and right that it may very well have occurred to forms of life in distant galleries, blows my fragile mind. If we encounter ET life we should be asking more universal, less fairy tale-ish questions like, "How did evolution work to build life on your planet," "How does your understanding of mathematics compare and contrast with that of the human mind," and "Have you independently invented the four-on-the-floor 808 beat?"

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