While it has been claimed that Ata is an alien, by ufologists, this is inconsistent with the human genetic material which is present.So that is how the story is covered up. What is not mentioned is that not all the DNA matches. When was the last time you saw a 6 inch tall human walking around? Analysis of the bones indicate this person lived for some time.
Extraterrestrials may have been visiting earth for a long time, remaining hidden to allow us to independently develop, perhaps since the beginning of our history. Evidence indicates that the explosion of the atomic bomb changed all that, and they decided to initiate contact in the middle of the 20th century. As some make look human (and are probably another branch of the human race), I discussed the possibility that they are here now, walking among us, in Human Extraterrestrials Hidden Among Us. This seems to be the hidden story behind the script for the movie Star Trek: Into Darkness. I thought there was not much else to discuss on the matter, until I encountered British UFO researcher Tony Dodd, an ex British police officer. In the following interview, he states that extraterrestrials are here now, and maintaining contact with certain elements of the military:
Tony Dodd died in 2009, but before he did so he gave some information to some UFO researchers, which he was told was very sensitive classified information: not only are there human extraterrestrials among us, but he was told there were certain government agencies trying to track them down. I will quote from TONY DODD - ET INFILTRATION OF THE GOVT AND MILITARY:
I'm now much closer to the complexities involved in the UFO field and the government involvement. There's certainly a serious threat by some visiting UFOs and further problems caused by alien visitors who are integrated into our society, possibly holding high positions in government. These aliens - who look like us - are here for unknown reasons and this is causing many problems for those trying to find them. We've heard a little about this from Bill Hamilton, and also from Bob Dean, as you know. ...There's very little doubt they've been here for many years and they have occasionally had meetings with certain very high ranking people. One very high ranking military officer wrote about one such meeting. These meetings are far and few between and the individual is chosen by the alien for such meetings which take place under extreme secrecy.At first Tony Dodd gave the above information anonymously, and only after he died did the UFO researchers reveal his identity. So two questions pop in my mind when reading the above account: one, why is the information regarded as sensitive, and two, if extraterrestrials are here, why would they be hunted down? It sounds just a bit too fantastic. However, I previously blogged about the testimony of Sergeant Clifford Stone in the The Censored Disney Documentary on Extraterrestrials, where he, among others, indicated he was part of a highly secretive military unit that was tasked with extraterrestrial recoveries following UFO crashes. I also blogged a bit earlier about the NSA, who not only like to monitor just about everything on the internet, but have been involved in monitoring extraterrestrial communications.
These aliens operate above normal government knowledge and they are pursued by highly trained hunter killers of several nationalities who operate to eliminate them. Normal people getting close to the truth of what is happening are getting into very dangerous areas and will quickly have a fatal accident. They will not permit anybody to rock the boat. I was warned I would be killed because of some of my work.
The aliens are highly intelligent and have possibly obtained positions at a very high level and this is of great concern to senior authorities. My information is that the only way they can be recognized is by a deformed finger on one of their hands. To hide this they usually wear gloves or a bandage on the finger as if they have had an injury.
The fact that they look like us and mingle amongst us secretly begs the questions: Why are they here and what are their intentions? Why are they so secretive? There are people in very high places who consider them a threat and have squads out looking for them with intent to kill. This is no doubt why they stay secret. The truth is that we fear what we don't understand. Have you also learned where they are from – and whether they really do look like us, or whether they have amended their appearance to look like us as a disguise? The deformed finger might seem to suggest that this is their true appearance. Why do you think these beings do look like us - if this is their true appearance? Are they our ancestors, or possibly even our descendents? It's not known what their true form is. The deformed finger strongly suggests that do not look like us in their true form. Either way they're obviously highly intelligent and far ahead of us technically. It is not known their planet of origin... or if they are time travelers, they've never disclosed this as far as we know. Do you have any idea what the relationship or connection may be (if any) between these aliens and the various other visitors? No. Are there any well-known public figures, anywhere in the world, who you suspect or are suspected to be non-human? I don't know. If it became known that there was one such person, he would certainly disappear in very quick time. The authorities would immediately subject him to interrogation in an effort to find out how many of them were here and what their intentions were. This is why they remain secret. But once again, we must question what they're here for and what their intentions are. Always remember: throughout the course of history, a more advanced race has always enslaved a lesser advanced race. This is what worries the authorities. Have any of these aliens actually been 'successfully' killed, to your knowledge? If so, what means are used? I don't know. Do you suspect or believe you've ever met any of these aliens personally? I've met some very interesting people, but none who have admitted being alien. So again, I have to say I don't know. Are you at liberty to say how you have come by all this information? Can you, for instance, say more about the provenance of your information? Is this single-source material, or have you heard this from multiple sources? If your sources are insiders, what level/ branch of intelligence/ military/ government are they? How much do you trust them? My intelligence background was very useful and I've traveled the world meeting contacts. My information has come from high level military, scientific and political sources. Enough said.
THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. STRANGES AND THE STRANGER IN THE PENTAGON
But returning back to the first question: why would this information from Tony Dodd be regarded as sensitive? It is just far out there. One reason why it would be regarded as sensitive is that government agencies, who are tasked with hiding evidence of UFO activity and extraterrestrials in the media, want to make sure that no one can take two separate pieces of information and put two and two together to confirm that a story is in fact real. If there is one witness, fine, but once you have two or more, it gets harder to poke holes in the story unless you can convince the witnesses to be silent. There is one piece of information in the above account of Tony Dodd that caught my attention: these human looking extraterrestrials, have a deformity on the finger. And they seek to hide it by wearing gloves. What is that deformity? My hypothesis is this: these extraterrestrials lack any fingerprints on their fingers. It also happens to be a rare genetic mutations found among some humans known as adermatoglyphia.
This brings me to a particular case of an extraterrestrial contact that took place over 50 years ago. It is the case of a direct contact that took place in 1957 between the U.S. Government under President Eisenhower and human looking extraterrestrials. It is claimed that a saucer landed in Virginia close to the Pentagon, and a human looking extraterrestrial was taken by the police to the Pentagon. His name, he said, was "Valiant Thor." The U.S. Government and military attempted to keep him holed up in the Pentagon for several years. However he decided to go outside normal channels when he discovered he was making no progress with the government, and contacted someone from the outside: a Christian minister named Frank Strange. He wrote about his meetings with Valiant Thor in his book, Stranger in the Pentagon. At one point Valiant Thor, along with three of his crew members Donn, Jill and Tanyia, appeared at a small UFO convention in High Bridge New Jersey. A photographer took photos of them, and for the curious, here are some photos of them:
So if true, you can bump into them in the supermarket and never know it. I have been meaning to investigate this particular case more closely when I have more time. But I put it off to the side, as I was not sure how to confirm whether or not it was true. Some of the information was confirmed by Rear Admiral Richard R.E. Byrd, but still, how do you confirm if this is true? But when I saw the account given by Tony Dodd, it reminded me of this case. Why so? Here is what Frank Stranges said he noticed about Valiant Thor when he shook his hand - his hand had no fingerprints:
The only thing he said that troubled me was his use of the expression "when the time is right" in response to my question as to whether or not I would see him again. His lack of fingerprints intrigued me as I had been involved as a private investigator for quite some time, even working at times on loan to some of the Government agencies.Dr. Frank Stranges, unfortunately, died in 2008. There is a tribute to him here: A TRIBUTE TO DR. FRANK E. STRANGES. Now here is where it gets interesting. When Frank Stranges asked where Valiant Thor came from, he said they come from the planet Venus. When he asked how was that possible, Val replied they live underground. Venus, on its surface, is very inhospitable and too hot for any human life. But underground is a different story. I found this information from Venus Hot Outside, Cool Inside?:
I had learned the science of fingerprints ...with the impression of the lines and whorls on the inner surface of the last joint of each finger on the human hand. He told me that all Earth people were thusly marked since the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden, during the very dawn of civilization as we know it today.
He began to prepare me for the road which lie ahead. It would not be an easy one. There would be adversities, organized attempts to both discourage and discredit me, but the rewards have proved to outweigh these trials which continue even to this day.
The heat in the atmosphere of Venus, induced from a strong greenhouse warming, might actually have a cooling effect on the planet’s interior. This counter-intuitive theory is based on calculations from a new model presented at the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) in Rome on Tuesday 21st September.The scientists ran a 3D model, and to their surprise, while the atmosphere got hot, the interior of Venus cooled:
“Interestingly, due to the rising surface temperatures, the surface is mobilized and the insulating effect of the crust diminishes,” says Noack. “The mantle of Venus loses much of its thermal energy to the outside. It’s a little bit like lifting the lid on the mantle: the interior of Venus suddenly cools very efficiently and the rate of volcanism ceases. Our model shows that after that ‘hot’ era of volcanism, the slow-down of volcanism leads to a strong decrease of the temperatures in the atmosphere.”So if there is any life on Venus, the only way that can happen is underground, and by a more advanced civilization than ours. And that may be more of the rule than the exception: most planets do not have an inhabitable atmosphere and are subjected to cosmic radiation. So after developing for thousands of years, should a civilization start expanding to other planets perhaps an easy way of doing that is having underground bases as way points. So what did Emanuel Swedenborg have to say? Was Venus inhabited? He said yes, but spoke very briefly about them:
In talking with me they said, that when they were in the world they acknowledged and now more fully acknowledge our Lord as their only God. They said that in their earth they had seen Him, walking among them, and they also represented in what fashion they had seen Him. (Heavenly Arcana, n. 7252).When Frank Stranges spoke with Valiant Thor, he said they knew who Jesus was and followed him. However they had no need for a Bible, as contact with God was not broken off with them as it was with the inhabitants of our earth:
We discussed the merits of Jesus Christ ... how He gave His Life freely... so that men could enjoy the benefits of eternal life. I questioned him about a Bible on Venus and he assured me that a personal unbroken fellowship with the "Author" did not necessitate the printing of a "book". He found it amusing that many theologians attempt to discredit both Jesus Christ and The Bible. The very God many have said is "dead" continues to lavish them with all good things. Perhaps they will, in time, permit the spark of Divine Light to again illuminate their troubled hearts.Like Swedenborg, this stranger at the Pentagon said there are many inhabited planets. Unlike most we have broken off our contact with the Creator, and that is why we have more evil and human suffering: it stems from disobedience.
In answer to my question of what he thought of Jesus Christ, he said, "I know that Jesus is the Alpha and Omega of yours and everyone else's faith. He today has assumed His rightful position as the ruler of the universe and is preparing a place and a time for all who are called by His Name to ascend far above the clouds to where His Power and Authority shall never again be disputed.
"I believe that Jesus Christ is the wonder of wonders and changes not. No, not forever and forever." As he spoke these words, my own heart burned within me and tears filled my eyes. He turned to the window and said, "Frank, it will not be long. Contend for the faith, and you will never miss the mark."
I asked him if there is life on other planets. His reply was, "There is life on many other planets of which people on Earth know nothing. There are more solar systems for which man has not even given God credit. There are many beings that have never transgressed the perfect laws of God. Man does not possess the right to condemn the whole of God's creation because he himself has broken the perfect laws of God through disobedience."
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE MOVIE, DARK CITY
When I read Tony Dodd's account the next question that popped into my head was are we hunting them down? Why would we do that? Tony Dodd suspects it is because our military fears something it does not understand. But I suspect it is something else. In Extraterrestrial Contacts by HAM Radio, extraterrestrial messages warned not only of nuclear weapons but of a contact being made between the U.S. government and a race of beings from Orion. And in separate extraterrestrial contact cases, the alien greys have indicated that they come from Orion: see The Orion Messages of Stan Romanek. And from a brief research in UFOs, there are indications from multiple witnesses that certain sections of the U.S. military have been cooperating with them in exchange for technology. And what do they want? Apparently the alien greys are involved in some genetic hybrid program involving humans. This is the reason why the U.S. military cannot completely reveal everything to the public should it choose to do so: we may have been forced to enter into an agreement, and not everyone fully knew the consequences.
In Human Extraterrestrials Hidden Among Us, I surmised the script of the movie Star Trek: Into Darkness was based on some truth: that there was a hidden war going on between the alien greys cooperating with the government (represented by Spock) and another highly intelligent group of human looking extraterrestrials (represented by Khan). This was just a guess, but when I read Tony Dodd's account that seemed to have confirmed something like that may in fact be happening. Let's hope not. But if a secret group within the U.S. military is cooperating with the alien greys, it is safe to assume that other groups will try to keep a close eye on that. So Tony Dodd's account makes sense.
This brings me to the movie Dark City, a rather strange one, but one of my favourites. I do not want to give away the movie, but it is most certainly based on human abductions by alien greys, who have an ability to not only erase one's memory, but implant false memories as well. Others have said that the alien greys do not have an individual sense of the soul like we do, but are part of a collective, and the movie Dark City has that as well. There are also elements of mind control, which I previously discussed in Alien Abduction and EMF Mind Control.
In this movie the strange group of aliens are studying the human soul, and have enlisted the help of a human doctor (Kiefer Sutherland) to help them do that. I was looking for a video clip of the movie, found this one, and check it out - I just noticed there is a FINGERPRINT in it:
One scene reminds me of the account of the descent of Jesus into the netherworld. Unfortunately, can't find one on the internet, and if I upload the clip the video sharing sites immediately remove it (I guess I have to edit the video somewhat to upload it). I was trying to find one, but when I saw the above clip, the image of the fingerprint really surprised me. It then reminded me: there is a police officer in the movie who keeps drawing spiral fingerprints on the walls.
I completely missed that one. I guess I have to watch the movie again. Very clever.
UPDATE: DIRECTOR'S CUT OF DARK CITY
After I wrote this blog, and noticed the fingerprint in the movie Dark City, I discovered that a director's cut has been released for the movie. So I wondered, was there anything significant cut out or censored out of the theatrical version? Indeed there was. I checked out Movie Censorship - Dark City, which discusses the differences in detail. Most changes were insignificant. But a key piece of content was cut out of the theatrical version, and this really took me by surprise. Honestly I had no idea until today. I will quote directly from the web site:
The spiral subject is a bigger issue in the DC. We get to know that John's finger print is spiral-shaped, which is being considered a development by the Strangers. Bumstead is also being confronted with that several times.Why would they cut out such a significant piece of information, central to the movie? In the movie Dark City, John is hunted down by the strangers, there is something different about him that attracts their interest. The movie never explains his true background, as he has lost his true memory. He is being hunted down, just exactly as Tony Dodd described in his strange account. Towards the end, the doctor keeps repeating to John one word: remember.
UPDATE #2 (Jan. 11)
I would like to add here, there is more to this story, but a bit hard to blog about publicly. There is some other information I have been trying to absorb and think about myself. The information that Tony Dodd gave may not necessarily refer to this group that made contact with Frank Stranges and others, and I am beginning to understand the sensitivity around this issue. I will probably talk about other things first before I come back to this, but in the meantime, I will let everyone know that there is more symbolism hidden inside the movie Dark City.
Thanks for your most recent comment on my blog. It was held for moderation because it contained multiple links. Instead of approving it and continuing the conversation there, I've decided to take the conversation here--if that's okay with you--since it is getting pretty far off-topic for that particular post and for my blog in general.
On the issue of people inhabiting the other planets in our solar system, and government cover-ups, you and I will probably just have to agree to disagree. My view is that current scientific theories on the likelihood and distribution of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe are more harmonious with a thoughtful view of Swedenborg's philosophy and his statements on the subject than are those of the UFO believers.
First, about NASA having a department that brushes up photographs. That is well-known, and has much more prosaic explanation. Most astronomical photos are rather boring. They are also hard for the non-scientific public to grasp and appreciate. NASA therefore plays with the contrast, resolution, and other such things, and also adds false color to many photos of nebulas and other astronomical phenomena. This makes the photos look "sexier" for the general public. The moon has a black sky because it has no atmosphere to refract the light, as our planet does. Anyone who has a decent telescope can determine this for themselves from right here on earth.
I also simply don't believe that NASA is engaging in systematic doctoring of the massive quantities of photos and other data emerging from the space program. There's just too much data to doctor. And NASA is not the only source of astronomical data. Occam's Razor suggests that the simplest explanation is the best. And the simplest explanation is that the data released reflects the reality that we have found in space and on other planets.
Perfectly fine with me, also probably wiser to keep this issue separate from spiritual topics. But the only reason I got into it recently is that I recognized that it is a barrier for people to become aware of the theology that was revealed to Emanuel Swedenborg. And I would have to say, I was (and am) very resistant to some of the conclusions I have reached. But as for the NASA photographs, I am not talking about simple contrast adjustments. As for the black background, it is not simply black, the pixel values were zeroed out, and there is a straight line in the photo where above it the pixels were zeroed out. For a better example, see the first video in http://dream-prophecy.blogspot.com/2013/10/extraterrestrial-contact-from-epsilon.html. There is a triangular object in a crater of the Moon, with a glowing sphere above it. Later, NASA brushed this out. And this from 2012. So they didn't make it look better - they did the opposite - they made it look boring and insignificant.
So, I am not saying most of the science is incorrect. What happens in science is that hypothesis and theories become so well established they are treated as fact. And when we are confronted with data that does not "fit" our theories, we have a tendency to exclude it. Take anthropology and archeaology. There is a lot of data that just does not fit what is taught in the history books. A good book on this subject is "Forbidden Archaeology." He has the data. But people are very resistant to what he is saying, because it goes against what they have been taught. The resistance is more psychological than one based on facts, he describes some of that here: http://www.mcremo.com/YASBLT_forbiddenarchaeology.pdf. The human race is much, much older than what we have been taught.
As for extraterrestrials, science is actually saying they should already be here. But where are they? This is a well known contradiction known as "Fermi's Paradox" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_paradox). A better explanation as to why we don't see them is given in what is known as the "Zoo Hypothesis" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoo_hypothesis).
So, for the solar system, I am not suggesting that there is an inhabitable surface and NASA is covering that up. Far from it. My theory, is that as civilizations progress and begin exploring, they need to establish "way points" to keep expanding and exploring. As most planets are uninhabitable on the surface, subject to cosmic radiation, technologies are developed to establish these way-points underground. So for Swedenborg, somehow his mind got in touch with those at these way points, or civilizations that have long since passed (as the case may be with Mars), and then falsely concluded they were inhabited. Because he makes it very clear that he could not see the physical world of the planet itself.
FYI, the video you refer to in your previous post has been deleted, along with the user account associated with it.
I'm aware of the phenomenon of people sticking with their theories and beliefs once they've adopted and confirmed them, often against a great deal of evidence to the contrary. A couple days ago I posted a new page on my blog titled "'Christian beliefs' that the Bible doesn't teach." These old, ingrained beliefs persist for hundreds or even thousands of years despite the fact that they are simply not taught in the Bible. And people continue to hold onto them even after it is pointed out to them that the Bible doesn't say these things. They simply can't see that these teachings aren't in the Bible. On the contrary, they see them everywhere confirmed in the Bible, just as Swedenborg said they would. This is also a well-established phenomenon in modern psychology.Delete
So I have no problem imagining that scientists and government types would reject evidence for extraterrestrials, and continue to believe in and promulgate a UFO-free universe despite evidence to the contrary.
My skepticism with conspiracy theories of massive government cover-ups has more to do with government incompetence than anything else.
The UFO and fringe SF community tends to portray the CIA and other government agencies as immensely organized, powerful, and highly competent monoliths with an efficient system of misleading the people about UFOs and aliens.
Personally, I don't see any evidence for such a view of U.S. government agencies. In reality, they are riddled with incompetence, infighting, ineffectiveness, waste, leaks, and scandals.
It took only one person leaking classified NSA documents to get the wiretapping scandal plastered throughout world news. Aliens and UFOs, if real, would be a far bigger story than NSA spying. There is no way the bungling bureaucrats in Washington could be so competent as to keep such a massive story from the general public for so long. It would have broken in the mainstream press long ago. But it still languishes in tabloids and underground media.
I do sympathize with your desire to defend Swedenborg's accounts of inhabitants of other planets, and find evidence that what he wrote was true as written. But there are just too many problems to sustain such a view.Delete
I simply don't believe that all of the massive amounts of scientific data from the other planets in our solar system showing that most, if not all of them not only cannot support advanced life forms now, but never could have, has been systematically doctored and altered to hide aliens among us. What we now know of conditions on those planets demonstrates that what Swedenborg describes as taking place there, not in the past, but in the present, simply could not exist on those planets.
I've heard theories of the inhabitants of those planets living on other planes of reality, in previous times, underground, and all sorts of things. But the gas giants have no "ground" that inhabitants could live under. Or if they do, there's no way advanced plant and mammalian species could live in the conditions that would exist under that "ground," which, if anything, is more like a hot metal core.
The surface of Venus is a corrosive inferno. Mars does not have enough surface atmosphere to support life. Mercury has no appreciable atmosphere and is a barren rock. The moon is also barren. Pluto probably isn't even a planet, and in any case is much too far away from the sun to support life. The rest are gas giants. The most plausible locale for life right now is on one of the moons of Jupiter. But even the most optimistic scientists expect nothing more than fairly simple marine biology there.
We know that Swedenborg's science is neither divinely revealed nor infallible. Most of it is based on the scientists of his day, and his own earlier writings. Many things he believed to be scientific fact we now know are not--such as spontaneous generation, the race of children of mixed-race parentage, the nature of color (he though all colors were based on red and white), and so on. Modern genetics also makes his ancient Aristotelian theory that the soul comes from the father and the body from the mother very untenable, and probably quite false.
The way to defend Swedenborg is *not* to try to claim that all of his science was correct, and to bend over backwards looking for evidence to support everything he wrote, scientific or otherwise. This was tried early on by the Swedenborgian denominations. There was actually a committee of the Swedenborgian Church called the "Evidence Committee," whose job was to gather evidence supporting Swedenborg's scientific statements. That effort has long since been abandoned, but lives on among certain conservative Swedenborgians who just can't get their head around the fact (as I see it) that Swedenborg's science was dated and in many cases mistaken.
Earths in the Universe simply presents the most visible and sensational exhibit of this fact. Due to the limited science of his day, Swedenborg mis-identified the inhabitants from other planets that he met in the spiritual world as coming from the planets in our solar system. Now that we've sent spacecraft to most of these planets, we know that he was mistaken.
If we really want to present Swedenborg to the wider world, it would be far better to be realistic about his writings, and say out loud that on some points, especially scientific ones, he was mistaken. We only get into trouble when we try to maintain the "infallibility" hypothesis that is still popular among many conservative Swedenborgians.
I don't think the general public will expect Swedenborg to be infallible. Everyone writing in those days had some ideas that turned out not to be true. Why should Swedenborg be the one and only exception?
Well, well well. They deleted that video (just checked http://dream-prophecy.blogspot.com/2013/10/extraterrestrial-contact-from-epsilon.html). I am just kicking myself, when I saw that, I thought, I should probably download it as I would not be surprised if they took down this video. It looks like that post on Epsilon Eridani is attracting some attention. There was a triangular object in the shadow of a crater of the moon, it had sharp edges, it looked like it was trying to hide from that Grail satellite from overhead. The account has been deleted due to "third party infringement." I would not be surprised if NASA (or some related organization) issued that complaint.Delete
So, try this one on for size: go here: http://dream-prophecy.blogspot.com/2013/06/ufos-tracking-space-shuttle-atlantis.html. A Youtube video was posted, where the Space Shuttle was tracking something zipping across space high above earth at incredible speeds, changing directions. Then AFTER the youtube video was posted, someone hacked into Youtube and altered the video. So I will let you put two and two together and you should be able to figure out who is doing this.
So, just think about it. If the U.S. military encountered a civilization with technology thousands of years ahead of ours, do you just think they will just tell the public? No they will not. They will hide it, and they have a very active disinformation campaign. This area is in the highest classifications of secrecy in the U.S. military, nothing goes higher than this. Look up the official government study on the topic: The Brookings Report, which I mentioned in http://dream-prophecy.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-nasa-study-on-extraterrestrial.html. The government basically decided that if they should ever encounter extraterrestrials, it should be hidden from the public. Why? They feared nothing less than "the collapse of civilization." They had encountered something that genuinely had them scared. Stories have broken out in the public, then were followed by denials. A three letter agency then initiated an active project beginning in the 1950s to bring the media under control. As for public officials, they know much less than certain areas of the military, and are only told very limited information "on a need to know" basis. Most in the know have to sign a non disclosure agreement, and similar to a parable, can only talk about it by writing a fictional account when they realize they can't keep it inside any longer.
I understand your skepticism, but do not depend on mainstream media to give any useful information on this topic. I once took the step of questioning what my own church taught, and I am glad I did, it took me here to where I am now. I have gone through that experience of changing my outlook, and it is not easy to question things you assume to be true. Swedenborg was definitely not infallible, many assumptions he makes in Earths in the Universe are not correct, so if he was mistaken on that, I would not be surprised if he was mistaken in assuming there are no civilizations more advanced than ours.
An unusual aspect of Swedenborg's view of other civilizations is that he viewed them *all* as being more advanced than ours, while also stating that they did not develop any advanced technology. That's because his view of "advancement" involved spiritual advancement rather than material and scientific advancement.Delete
As far as I know, the resulting answer to the question "Where are all the people?" is not included in the various theories to account for the lack of contact with alien civilizations as seen by mainstream culture. Swedenborg's answer to that question: We don't encounter aliens because none of them have bothered to develop technology the way we have. They exist on a higher, more spiritual level of development than we do, and are uninterested in the material pursuits that would lead them to develop interstellar spacecraft.
Incidentally, most of my astronomical and cosmological information does not come from "mainstream media" so much as from astronomical and scientific publications that I used to read quite avidly in my teens and early twenties. I think I'm a bit out of date now, but I do try to follow some of the advances so as not to get too far out of touch with the cutting edge of cosmological science.
I have no particular reason to doubt that various government officials thought it wise to suppress information about UFOs and alien visitations. But even if they did, I simply don't believe they would be able to effectively do so if there were any substantial and solid evidence out there. Even our spy agencies can't seem to keep their secrets from the public--and they're supposed to be good at secrets.Delete
Perhaps certain people in government decades ago in the era of our early explorations of space were very scared of alien invasion, and made such statements in various secret reports. They were scared of communist invasion, too, and did a lot of stupid, illogical, and dangerous things as a result. What they didn't do is anything really effective in dealing with their fears. And I simply don't believe that the monumental incompetents that run our country would be capable of controlling and suppressing all solid evidence of aliens among us.
Further, the fear of alien invasion still wouldn't be a reasonable motive to suppress all of that information. We feared nuclear attack from Russia and China. That was a real threat that could have resulted in the complete destruction of our country, and rendered the entire earth uninhabitable. We had no viable defense against it. And it was widely publicized and well-known to the public.
What could aliens do that would be worse than flattening all major cities in a nuclear holocaust, and rendering our planet unsuitable for human life, thus causing the extinction of our species?
It simply makes no sense that the response to fear of alien invasion would result in the suppression of all information about aliens, even if our bumbling bureaucrats were actually able to pull off such an monumental Orwellian feat.
I did look at the videos on your "UFOs tracking Space Shuttle Atlantis: Government Tampering with UFO videos on Youtube." If that's the best the UFO afficionados have got, then they're in big trouble. Only a UFO true believer would look at those fuzzy dots and think, "UFO!" As for it being tampered with, I have no particular evidence that that has happened other than the claim of the video poster, who could very well have done it as a prank. Such things are quite common.
In this day and age, with video cameras everywhere, if UFOs were popping up as commonly as the UFO believers would have us think, by now there would be some clear, non-fuzzy shots of well-defined flying saucers or other alien spacecraft. But everything I've seen has been fuzzy and ill-defined. Often it's just lights in the sky. Only a pre-existing belief in UFOs would cause a viewer to identify them as UFOs. (Except, of course, in the original and technical meaning of UFO: Unidentified Flying Object--something flying, and we don't know what it is.)
This whole massive edifice of UFOs and alien encounters is built upon the shakiest and fuzziest evidential basis, plus a lot of "first-hand accounts" that are, of course unverifiable.
When we get a clear, independently confirmed shot of a crisp, well-defined alien spacecraft, then there might be something worth looking at. But all these videos of fuzzy dots and lights in the sky just give the appearance of fanatics grasping at straws to confirm their fringe theories.
Sorry to be so blunt, but so far there is zero evidence that is convincing to me. The video "evidence" is so blurry as to provide no real, useful information that would help in identifying what these objects are. And the anecdotal evidence contains nothing that couldn't be explained by spirits playing with the minds of susceptible people. And the idea that this is all because of a massive, well-orchestrated government cover-up flies in the face of all experience and reality about the actual capabilities of government.
Well that's just it, the government is incompetent, the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing, and there are leaks everywhere. They do stupid things all the time and they are easy to catch. They cannot stop the leaks, and every month, there is yet another video. So what they do, since they can't stop the leak, they will release false information and obvious fakes. Poisoning the well so to speak. There have been testimony from not just one or two witnesses, literally thousands. Some quite high ranking military officials, even Presidents. Its been several years since I looked at this, and I was just simply amazed at the amount of information out there. I simply do not have time to go through it all. Videos are one thing, but doctors have actually done surgeries and recovered implants. So yes, there is physical evidence. And radar reports, as I said earlier. Not everything I post here is the best evidence, its the one I randomly found for a particular topic. For sharper images, see http://dream-prophecy.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-cylindrical-ufos-of-saturn-and.html. Multiple astronomers have reported odd things moving about around the Moon. So I took a look, just found this one of a fleet of UFOs flying from the Moon: http://dream-prophecy.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-cylindrical-ufos-of-saturn-and.html. Typical response from that can be "it can be faked", but its not just one astronomer, many have reported it. So I tended to concentrate on the NASA video and photos. But more than anything else, are the witnesses. The "Disclosure Project" interviewed over 500 of them, many of them respected scientists.
As for the universities not teaching it, that is not true across the board, Professor John Mack M.D. taught about it at Harvard. As a psychiatrist, he simply uncovered evidence that he just could not ignore. And you know what happened? The Dean of Harvard put him under investigation to examine his clinical procedures. They had to drop it when they found they did nothing wrong, and the data was solid. As a scientist, if you delve into this issue, it is quite possible you will get ostracized and lose your funding. It has nothing to do with lack of evidence, it simply does not fit into our accepted world view. As for motives to suppressing the information, there are many, but mainly it has to do with the technology.
As for the comments being out of order, sorry about that, I think I just approved them all at once.
Well Lee, you are probably going to react with more skepticism, but someone who claims to have met one of these human extraterrestrials dropped me a note. There are multiple witnesses, and validated photographs. See the comments at An Extraterrestrial Prophecy. The book is free and is a good read.Delete
I updated that blog with the deleted video with a photograph from Apollo 15, which explains some of the methods they use to handle a leak (see Extraterrestrial Contact from Epsilon Eridani. Ridicule used to work well, now its deliberate hoaxes and faked photos. The problem is that kind of disinformation affects the public perception of Swedenborg in this area.
I just realized, of all dates, its April 1st. No it is not a joke.Delete
There's another reason I believe the UFO theorists are mistaken, or at least that their theories do not accord with what Swedenborg reported. The short version: In Earths in the Universe, every single one of the alien civilizations that Swedenborg describes is technologically primitive. And that is not just a lapse or omission on Swedenborg's part. He states explicitly that the inhabitants other planets have not developed the printing press, nor any technological means of transmitting information, as our planet has. The highest "technology" he describes is the ability to weave living trees into living structures such as temples.ReplyDelete
The idea that people from other planets have developed advanced technology and are visiting us is entirely foreign to Swedenborg's schema of the Universal Human and the place of the various planets in it. I suppose there probably are other planets that correspond to the skin of the heel as ours seems to correspond to, and that are so materialistic that they have focused on science and technology. But according to Swedenborg's accounts, if those planets do exist, they must be quite rare, since none of the other ones he encountered (besides our own) had such a low, external, and materialistic focus and correspondence.
In particular, none of the planets in our solar system are portrayed as having any kind of technology. They live simple, tribal, gatherer lifestyles similar to what is described of Adam and Eve and the other early cultures in the Bible. It is inconceivable that if they had developed spacecraft, Swedenborg would not have been quite excited by this, and reported it. Instead, he explicitly reports the opposite: that other planets are not technologically advanced as ours is.
So to the common mainstream question about extraterrestrials, "Where are all the aliens?" Swedenborg gives an unexpected answer: The universe is not buzzing with spacecraft because most planets are far more spiritually advanced than we are, and have no interest in the materialistic focus that leads to the development of technology.
As for the people who say they've experienced aliens, I strongly suspect that most of those encounters did not take place in the physical world, but involve spiritual visions similar to angel visitations described in the Bible. Swedenborg tells us that these visiting angels were not seen with the physical eyes of Abraham, Sarah, Lot, Gideon, and so on, but were seen with their spiritual eyes. However, because we can have our spiritual eyes open at the same time as our physical eyes are open, we tend to experience these encounters "superimposed" on our everyday physical reality. This means that we may not think anything other than that we saw them with our physical eyes, and they were physical objects inhabiting our physical surroundings.
And in general, I believe that the focus on aliens and UFOs takes its afficionados down a very physical-minded path, and distracts attention from where the real direction of greater human development lies: in spiritual realms. In short, I believe that, like a belief in reincarnation, UFOs are a materialistic substitute for real spiritual understanding and development.
Yes, Swedenborg states on most other planets they don't develop the material sciences as we have, as their mentality is more spiritual in nature and they are averse to materialistic ideas. So I wondered about that myself, how can we have these civilizations thousands of years ahead of us and Swedenborg did not see it? The reason for that is simple. Natural scientific ideas - math and technology - these are lower levels of thinking in the spiritual world. Numbers are not conveyed, instead the spiritual correspondence or symbolism of the number is communicated instead. So I reread what he said, he also stated that one particular race of extraterrestrials like to travel to other solar systems in the spiritual world, and gather knowledge. That sounds like explorers to me. And the second star system, in particular, knows of them. That implies they are advanced - in fact, he saw them at a higher level than himself, and Swedenborg was highly intelligent. The rest seem to be more primitive, except for their superior means of communication above the verbal language. There is one passage - I have to find it - where Swedenborg actually said that at one point in time extraterrestrials were in close contact with the Most Ancient Church. I know I read that somewhere, now you are forcing me to go dig that up.Delete
In my research, there is too much evidence that indicates that these indeed are physical, and not spiritual phenomenon. I have read of another Swedenborg minister who thinks this is a spiritual phenomenon. That is simply not the case. For skeptics who say, "Where is the evidence?" There are tons of evidence. We have radar reports that show that these things are under intelligent control, and we have no technology that can do the things these crafts can do. U.S. Lieutenant Colonel Philip J. Corso (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_J._Corso) published a book "The Day After Roswell", which explains how the U.S. military reverse engineers the technology they have recovered.
So, when it comes to UFOs, I think its important to keep the physical phenomenon distinguished from spiritual phenomenon. There are some who go too far and confuse them with angels, and yes, some just focus on this topic and ignore more important things in life such as living a spiritual life of service and love. I have read accounts of several, who claimed to have had encounters, and in the end they come back to the basics: love, and following God's commandments, is what is important. Some of the accounts surprised me as they describe people who have similar abilities to Swedenborg, and described some philosophies that match the theology of his writings. If true, they are very, very far ahead of us from a spiritual perspective. At this point if I were to study it further I would be interested in their spiritual philosophy, just as Swedenborg concentrated on that topic.
So, not healthy to get too focused on UFOs, those who get into it are known to catch what people call as the "UFO bug." For the most part, I have reached the objective of my intent in my research: independent evidence that what Swedenborg saw was correct. Yes, it is more external than internal spiritual truths, but for the public, it is those external things which lead them to more spiritual matters. So in the end, I was thinking about it, how can we apply this information? I would mention this:
"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." (Heb. 13:2)
I didn't see this reply of yours until after I'd already written my long string of replies above. However, I think I've already taken up most of these points in those replies.Delete
If there is ever sufficient scientific evidence to support the physical reality of UFOs and visiting aliens, I believe it will be reported in the mainstream media. Until then, most of it seems more anecdotal than scientific. Reports of radar sightings are not the same as actual data. And review of past "data," such as the ever-popular "face on Mars," have shown that some of the "data" turn out to be artifacts rather than realities. From different angles, the face on Mars disappears, and is no more real than the Man on the Moon.
Personally, I'm happy to leave science to the scientists. If what Swedenborg wrote was true, then eventually science will catch up with him.
However, I am fully convinced that there are not and never could have been humanoids living on any of the planets in our solar system. The science on that is so solid that there is simply no more doubt, no matter how wistful we Swedenborgians may be for the days in which it was still possible to imagine a highly populated solar system whose other inhabitants we would soon meet.
I do believe there are aliens out there. I even believe that they probably live in much the way Swedenborg describes. Personally, I doubt we will ever travel to their planets, because I doubt that faster-than-light travel is possible. And at sub-light speeds, it would take generations living in spacecraft to get there, or at near-light speeds, perhaps one lifetime in dilated time while many generations pass on earth.
Current science describes a "goldilocks zone" around stars in which planets could potentially support life. Any one star could have one, or at most two, planets in this zone that could support life. This in itself means that intelligent life will be far more dispersed, and far less dense, in the universe than Swedenborg thought. It is also likely that many suns do not have any planets orbiting them that are capable of supporting life.
Do aliens exist? I think so. Does they exist in the form Swedenborg saw them existing? I think so.
(continued in next comment.)
Unfortunately, current UFO and alien beliefs paint a fundamentally different picture of alien life than Swedenborg does. And that, together with their violation of very well-established cosmological science, is why I cannot accept them as physical realities, but believe they are the result of spiritual phenomena instead.Delete
This also explains why UFOs became big only after we humans started thinking about and going to other planets. Yes, there are isolated earlier accounts that are now interpreted as UFOs. But how do we account for the sudden burgeoning of such accounts from the mid-1900s onward?
Very easily, from a Swedenborgian perspective. Aliens and spacecraft were now a fixture of the popular imagination. Therefore the spirits associated with us began using those particular contents of human minds in their contacts with and influences on human beings here on earth. Swedenborg states that as a rule, spirits do not speak to us from their memories, but from our own. Once extraterrestrial science and science fiction became popular, and formed archetypes in the minds of mass numbers of people, spirits had a whole new meme and medium to work with.
The result is the fringe phenomenon of UFOs and alien contacts and abductions. For the people who experience them and believe in them, they are highly significant. The error is in thinking that they are physical experiences rather than spiritual ones.
The further error is in thinking that these spiritual experiences convey accurate information. Spirits are generally no more intelligent than we are--especially the low-level spirits that tend to contact people here on earth. Swedenborg describes people in the afterlife as continuing to believe the same things they believed here on earth. Simply passing into the spiritual world does not disperse fallacy or confer enlightenment.
This means that your average person is doubly unequipped to rightly understand UFOs and alien encounters. First in being unaware of how spirit contact works, and therefore misinterpreting it as physical reality. Second in being unaware that spirit contact commonly involves the passing of misinformation to the people involved.
This is why people involved in various fringe beliefs such as UFOs, reincarnation, spiritism, and so on commonly cling very strongly to beliefs that completely contradict both the Bible and Swedenborg's writings about the nature of human life and of spiritual reality.
Looks like some of my comments got posted out of order, probably due to the way I entered them. I hope you'll be able to follow them okay.Delete
Wow Lee, I am trying to get through all these comments. Ill be more careful to approve them in order next time. As for why it became such a big phenomenon since the mid-1900s, the explanation for that is the atomic bomb. We now have the capability to destroy ourselves and the planet. There are quite a few UFO sightings around the nuclear missile sites, I've blogged about that before. As for UFOs before that, I believe one big one flew over the United States in 1898 or so, and it was all over the newspapers back then. But yes, studying UFOs is a complicated subject, there are many traps one can fall into. I believe one researcher said that the intelligence community regards many UFOlogists as "useful idiots" as they help keep the subject a fringe subject matter.Delete
I've thought extensively on these things, and have read Earths in the Universe many times. In fact, I'm currently working on the volume that will contain it in the New Century Edition of Swedenborg's works. So these things are currently on my mind.Delete
I think we have generally missed the point of Earths in the Universe. Swedenborg had several goals in the book, and they were expressed as well as they could be given the knowledge and beliefs of his day.
* He wanted to establish the principle that the purpose of Creation is a heaven from the human race. This required many inhabited worlds, since it is inconceivable that this vast universe would exist for the inhabitants of only one planet.
* He wanted to establish that the Lord God Jesus Christ rules all worlds, and is the God of the universe, not just of our planet.
* He wanted to address the thorny question--insoluble with the traditional Christian theology of his day--of how people of other planets could be saved if they could not possibly have a knowledge of Jesus Christ, which "Christian" theology held was necessary for salvation.
The fact that he described inhabitants of other planets in our solar system seems huge to us, because all the accepted scientific knowledge of our day denies it. However, to him it was simply a "necessary" conclusion from the facts at his disposal, in light of the above principles. He could not understand how a planet could contribute to the purpose of the universe (a heaven from the human race) if it were uninhabited. Today, with our far more sophisticated cosmological models, we *can* understand that.
All of the Swedenborgian efforts to vindicate Swedenborg's claims about inhabitants of other nearby planets both miss the point of the book *and* make us look ridiculous. They are similar to the herculean efforts fundamentalist Christians make to "prove" that the universe actually was created in six literal days.
We cling to these materialistic, unscientific views of Swedenborg because, like the Christian fundamentalists, we think this is necessary to defend Swedenborg against modern science.
But it is a losing battle.
The vast weight of scientific evidence demonstrates as conclusively as any scientific information can that the other planets in our solar system are and always have been uninhabitable by advanced civilizations. Even if conditions on Venus and Mars were at one time hospitable to life, there simply wasn't enough geological time while they were hospitable for advanced life forms to develop. And for the rest of the planets, there is no real possibility of anything beyond a few hardy microbes developing.
Once again, I applaud your desire to defend Swedenborg and show his theories correct. But I believe it is a case of missing the major points of the book Earths in the Universe, and focusing on the minor ones.
Just as with the Bible, as sacred texts, we need to reinterpret the "container" for our day. Swedenborg simply didn't have access to the level and amount of scientific knowledge that we have today. He did the best he could to clothe the spiritual principles he received from the Lord in suitable scientific and cultural garments.
Our job today is to re-clothe the same divine and spiritual principles in new "garments" derived from the science and culture of our day. Attempting to maintain a literal adherence to Swedenborg's scientific statements is like the Amish continuing to live and dress the way the people who founded their sect did. That garb and lifestyle was the norm when the Amish were founded. They just never changed and adapted with the changes and adaptations of culture.
We do Swedenborg a major disservice by giving him the same treatment.
I believe it is long past time that Swedenborg readers as a group clearly recognize, and state publicly, that Swedenborg's science was limited, and that he therefore made statements that, on the scientific (and cultural) level, we now know not to be the case, or that we have now advanced beyond.Delete
It is precisely the same way we "rescue" the Bible from the skeptics: by recognizing that even if the container (the literal sense) is limited by the science and culture of its day, the divine message within is still infinite and untouched by human flaws and errors.
In focusing on attempting to "vindicate" Swedenborg on such matters as races of people living on the other planets of our solar system, we are in fact shooting him in the foot. We're focusing on changeable scientific and cultural details when we should be focusing on the deeper, spiritual principles that he was delivering through the vessel of the best scientific and cultural knowledge he had at his disposal.
If, one day, clear, voluminous, compelling and broadly accepted evidence emerges that aliens have visited us and continue to visit us, and that they come from various known planets, then we can adjust our views of what Swedenborg wrote in Earths in the Universe. But as of now, it's all shadowy and hidden, and much of the "evidence" is based on what we *don't* see.
Because of this, tying Swedenborg to the beliefs of UFO enthusiasts is likely to do more harm than good in upholding Swedenborg's reputation and the veracity of his claim to have revealed spiritual and divine truth from the Lord. It makes his claims look even more shaky and fantastical than they already do to many educated, rational people.
It's really quite a simple case to say that Swedenborg was limited by the science of his day, and that we now have better science, and can therefore do a better job of understanding the physical "correspondents" of some of the spiritual phenomena Swedenborg described. No modern scientist or scholar expects scientists and philosophers of earlier eras to have a perfect knowledge of science that had not yet been developed in their day. Newton, Descartes, and the rest of the famous scientists of Swedenborg's day made many incorrect statements and conclusions. Yet they are revered as forerunners and founders of modern science.
Clinging to the idea that Swedenborg could not have been in error simply takes him out of the pale of our current understanding of the development of human knowledge.
Like the Christian fundamentalists with their literal interpretations of the Bible, many readers of Swedenborg think that if they admit Swedenborg was wrong about people living on the other planets in our solar system, then his whole edifice of revelation will collapse in a heap. In fact, the opposite would happen. We would finally be able to freely share Swedenborg with the wider world, without having to defend untenable theories and conclusions that were originally based on 18th century science and culture.
There is a clear path to presenting Swedenborg clearly and fearlessly to people of the 21st century. We're just reluctant to take it, because in many ways we're still living in the past. We have not applied Swedenborg's own principles of human change and development, and the difference between the material container and the divine contents, to his own writings. In general, we're still stuck in an old Christian, literalistic attitude toward the new church that Swedenborg described as beginning in our day.
It's time to leave that attitude behind, and move forward. It's the only way we're going to be able to effectively present Swedenborg to the masses of people today.
I realize you're probably the wrong person to say all of this to. It is clear that you've put out a lot of time and energy looking into aliens and UFOs, and have become convinced that they are a real and physical phenomenon. It also seems unlikely you are not going to change your view on this. If so, it is probably best that, as I said at the beginning of these comments (I had to break my original long comment up into pieces for your blog to accept it), that we simply agree to disagree.ReplyDelete
For my part, I am focused on bringing spiritual understanding to the general public. I do not want to get sidetracked into areas that are basically material and, in the end, scientific issues. As much as I love science, and as excited as I would be if we did make real contact with actual aliens, and that became general knowledge, there are much greater things to focus my time and attention on. So from your perspective, I will likely remain ignorant. But from mine, I will continue to focus on greater things.
From a Swedenborgian perspective, there is a far simpler explanation that can account for all the evidence much better than conspiracy theories and such.ReplyDelete
Reports of ET sightings and contacts simply don't accord very well with Swedenborg's descriptions of the inhabitants of other planets, and their nature. I did read through your earlier post about "Extraterrestrial Contact from Epsilon Eridani and Emanuel Swedenborg." I'm sorry, but I just don't see the clear parallels that you do. Yes, there are a few points of convergence. But the appearance alone as portrayed in that artist's rendering of the supposed aliens is so radically different from what Swedenborg described (large eyes instead of small, huge nose instead of small), that this in itself precludes these aliens from being the same as those of Swedenborg's second earth. I know you're looking for similarities, but I was looking for differences. And there are many of them, even in your account that focuses on similarities.
Also, the technological nature of aliens as described in UFO literature is completely "alien" (if you'll excuse the pun) from Swedenborg's simple, agrarian, non-technological inhabitants of other planets. (Incidentally, the inhabitants of Mercury travel to other planetary areas in the *spiritual* world according to Swedenborg. He makes no mention of them doing this in the material world.)
On point after point, the reports of UFO experiencers and enthusiasts contradicts Swedenborg's reports about the inhabitants of other planets. Only by persistently ignoring these contradictions could we possibly think that the UFO literature confirms Swedenborg's descriptions of the inhabitants of other planets.
But there is a phenomenon that Swedenborg explained very clearly that can account for the whole UFO phenomenon. That is the phenomenon of people seeing and hearing things with their spiritual senses while still living in the material world in their physical bodies.
Spirits of a lower variety love to plant ideas in the heads of humans on earth. For the average person on earth, they are not allowed to do so. But occasionally various human beings get into altered states of consciousness in which spirits are able to communicate with them. They will then commonly proceed to show people on earth all sorts of things that are not actually true, but that do strike a chord with those people. The people in question experience them as 100% real--and perhaps even *more* real than their ordinary, waking experience. And not having any background or awareness of how spirit contact works, or often even any belief in spirits, they simply assume that everything they experienced was experienced with their physical senses, and is a "real," physical phenomenon.
If there were real, substantial physical evidence of extraterrestrials, it would be all over the newspapers and scientific journals by now. It would be the discovery of the century, if not of the millennium. The fact that there is no such massive scientific and media event suggests that the "evidence" is not physical at all, but is spiritual in origin--albeit deceptively so.
This also accounts for the fact that as I said, most of these reports heavily contradict Swedenborg's reports of the nature of inhabitants of other planets. He saw no massive structures housing 10,000 people, no spacecraft, no communist economic and social theory, no underground dwellings. Instead, he describes pastoral scenes of sheep and camels, trees and plants, people living in simple tent-like dwellings, and so on, with rudimentary technology and no interest in developing it, because their focus is primarily spiritual.
For the case of Epsilon Eridani, points I should mention is they have no noses whatsoever. As for the picture, in reality he had a hard time conveying the face to the artist of what he saw. For the way they lived, it was an idyllic care-free life, most of it outside - and most of it in that grove area. But the problem I had with Swedenborg's account initially is that I could not imagine how living in a grove could protect you from rain and the elements of the weather. The structure surrounding it completely explains it. As for those of Mercury travelling between solar systems in globes to gather knowledge, as I said before (I think these comments are out of order), you will tend to do in the other life what you loved the most in this life. And it is only for the second earth, and I believe Saturn, where Swedenborg mentions contact with those of Mercury. The account of those of Mercury's ability to extract knowledge, being experts in memory, and inability to express or experience higher emotions have been described of others in other accounts, but I have not blogged about that. But yes, he misses mentioning any technological achievement, but as I said before, this is taking place in the spiritual world, and material things such as math, science, technology and what not simply have no use in the other life, and as I understand it one's memory is blocked from these "lower level" ideas. Swedenborg is still in the world at the time so he can talk about it, but he is communicating with spirits, and we don't know from what age they come from in their civilization.Delete
It is not the best evidence to first present on the subject of ETs. If you want a more interesting book on the subject, which has hard evidence of ET contact in ancient times, I would recommend "The Sirius Mystery" by Robert Temple. He dives into ancient myths, and describes how many were stories to convey hidden information. The theory is that a race of amphibious beings had apparently contacted the Dogon tribe in Africa, and they had astronomical knowledge of the star Sirius which was confirmed later by astronomers. Epsilon Eridani and Sirius are very close to each other.
To me, the image of the inhabitant of Epsilon Eridani seems to have a very large nose that dominates the face. If the appearance of the people Swedenborg saw was anything like that, he would have described them quite differently. The face has a mixture of human and animal characteristics. I can't believe Swedenborg wouldn't make mention of something so visually striking.Delete
The inhabitants of Mercury are not the only ones who travel to other planetary areas in the spiritual world. The inhabitants of another planet do so quite commonly, according to Swedenborg. That planet is earth. Several times Swedenborg mentions others from earth having visited the people of the planets he was visiting. In Swedenborg's day, we did not have the capability of interplanetary travel. Yet we did it in the spiritual world. So the idea that since Mercurians commonly travel to the regions of other planets in the spiritual world, they must have done so in the physical world also does not hold water.
Also, Swedenborg does, in fact, mention technology of various kinds in the spiritual world. He mentions libraries filled with books. He mentions superlative architecture surpassing anything we have here on earth. He mentions large (for his day) cities. He mentions horse-drawn chariots. He mentions the game of tennis. These things may seem like low-level technology by our 21st century standards. But they are a reasonable level of technology for the 18th century. And they go far beyond anything he describes for any of the other planets. The very existence of books in the spiritual world makes the heavens of the spirits from our planet unique, since Swedenborg is clear that no other planets have developed the printing press.
In the spiritual world, people generally live a glorified version of how they lived on earth. So if any of the alien civilizations Swedenborg met there had lived in massive structures that could house 10,000 people, it is all but certain that Swedenborg would have mentioned it. He was fascinated by architecture. It is inconceivable that he would have failed to comment on such grand structures!
As for what age the spirits come from, Swedenborg is quite clear that the spirits from various planets live near those still on their earth. For several planets he is allowed to see the physical planet as it was at the time. And he states that if a physical planet were ever to be annihilated, its inhabitants would be associated with the inhabitants of a different material-world planet. Yet he does not say that this was the case with any of the planets he reported on in Earths in the Universe. The strong implication is that every one of the planetary regions in the spiritual world was in current contact with the people still living on its earth.
As I said before, I've heard various theories of how Swedenborg's reportage of people living on the various planets in our solar system could be literally true. But all of them require either ignoring many things Swedenborg did report, or assuming that he didn't report on some major, striking aspects of the people whose lives and planets he was describing.
In fact, most of the arguments rely on an absence of evidence to support them. They are like the "God of the gaps" theory, in which anything we can't explain through science is assumed to be evidence for God. UFO believers generally seem to rely on missing evidence as the strongest "evidence" for their position. They are sure that if we could just get the U.S. government to crack, we'd get all the evidence we need.
I prefer to work with the evidence we actually have, not assume some shadowy evidence that must be hiding somewhere will emerge and prove my theories right.
And I prefer to rely on what Swedenborg actually said, rather than assuming that there must be a lot of things he didn't say that, if he had said, would support theories like those of the UFO believers.
There is a reason Swedenborg's writings were limited by and to the best science of his day.ReplyDelete
Swedenborg wanted to deliver spiritual ideas to the people of his day and age. Yes, he wanted those spiritual ideas to last into future generations. But they had to be accepted by at least some people in his own society and culture first.
In order for that to take place, he had to present those ideas in a "garb" that was acceptable to the people of his time and culture. This included aligning it with the accepted science of the day--even if with a science somewhat more advanced than most of his contemporaries were familiar with.
Today, the situation is the same. If we wish to reach out to a broad audience, we must present the spiritual ideas that are the core and essence of Swedenborg's message in a social and scientific "garb" that is acceptable to the bulk of the population.
Unfortunately, UFOs and aliens are a rather fringe phenomenon in our society. The very act of tying Swedenborg in with fringe science will in itself make his teachings suspect to far more people than attempting to convince people that Swedenborg was actually right about men on the moon.
In my view, it's really not very important to convince people of the reality of aliens and UFOs. These things are material matters, with little or no spiritual content. (In fact, the non-spiritual nature of most of the "alien reports" in itself is a radical difference from Swedenborg's aliens, almost all of whom were far more spiritual than we are.)
What is important is to convey Swedenborg's spiritual teachings about God, the spiritual world, and the purpose of our life here on earth--namely, learning to love God above all and love our neighbor as ourselves. Anything that distracts from that is just that: a distraction.
Personally, I happen to disagree with much of today's medical science, and with many mainstream cultural values. However, I put little or none of that into my posts and articles. Instead, I tacitly accept much of what passes for science and culture, and use them to convey deeper ideas.
This is precisely what Swedenborg did in the 1700s. He gave up his scientific pursuits, and simply used the science at his disposal--right or wrong--as a vehicle to convey deeper, spiritual truth. And there actually is some evidence that he knowingly passed on scientific, cultural, and religious commonplaces that he knew were not really valid and true, but that were widely accepted and therefore functioned as truth for his audience.
If you truly believe that the UFO sightings and alien contacts reported by various people are real, physical phenomena, and worth bringing to the public's attention, that is, of course, your prerogative. However, as a way to popularize Swedenborg to the broader public, I don't think it is very effective. Yes, it may reach the subculture that is into UFOs and aliens. But it will tend to turn off the wider, thinking public, which views these things with something like a fascinated skepticism, and considers gullible those who swallow it all as fact.
Personally, I do not think it is physical fact, for the reasons I have already given. But even more than that, I want Swedenborg's spiritual teachings to be accessible and acceptable to the widest possible audience of ordinary people. To that end, for pragmatic reasons, I think it best not to tie Swedenborg to fringe scientific, cultural, and political theories, but to use mainstream ideas to convey deeper, spiritual principles--just as Swedenborg himself did in his own writings.
Here is just one example of Swedenborg apparently passing on conventional scientific wisdom in his published theological writings even when he knew it was inaccurate:Delete
In Marriage Love (traditionally titled Conjugial Love), Swedenborg several times repeats the idea that women do not experience sexual arousal as men do. This was a common belief in his day, which is now well documented in cultural history and and extensively covered in feminist literature.
The simplest explanation is that Swedenborg unthinkingly accepted this idea as fact, since it was the common view of his day.
But that explanation cannot be sustained.
Because in his earlier, unpublished scientific "Draft on the Reproductive Organs" (traditionally titled "Generation"), Swedenborg wrote a very explicit description of sexual intercourse in which he states that women experience *greater* arousal then men, and have a far more intense sexual experience than men do.
How can we account for Swedenborg, in his later published writings, repeating the "women don't experience sexual arousal" idea when he himself had earlier written material that directly contradicted it?
Perhaps he changed his mind.
But I doubt it.
I think it is more likely that he realized that his understanding of the nature of women's experience of sexual intercourse would not only be socially unacceptable, but would also be seen by the educated readers that were his immediate audience as contradicting all common sense and as being quite preposterous--and that this would tend to cause them to reject him as uninformed and unintelligent, and to reject his more important statements about male, female, and marriage in the bargain.
Here is one case in which I believe Swedenborg quietly adopted the accepted science of his day for purposes of publication, even though he knew that it was not accurate. If so, then his reason for doing so was to more effectively communicate the deeper, more spiritual ideas that were his primary concern, without allowing scientific and cultural issues and disagreements to create obstacles.
Yes, I am aware that the subject of UFOs and ETs is probably not the best starting point in the conversation about Swedenborg. And as I said before, I just wish Swedenborg had avoided the subject altogether. But since he talks about it, it is there for a reason. I debated about blogging about it, but when I saw the evidence, and the evidence is on my side, fine, let people know, no matter how unpopular it may be. It was a gap I felt needed to be addressed. In reality I intended one blog post or two about it, but one thing just led to another. My turning point was when the NSA lost a lawsuit and was forced to release an extraterrestrial message they had partially deciphered: I just could not ignore that and let it sit. I have seen things some of them do where they are trying to make their presence known. The advantage of this knowledge is, it makes us think about God and religion in terms of universal principles, and that is exactly what Swedenborg did with Christianity: it became an elevated, universal religion about the principles of love and truth, above all cultural limitations. Because one day, their presence will become known, but until we break through to more universal principles of love, they will remain hidden. I can tell you, it is to my complete disadvantage to publicize these things, but I have found what I was looking for.
So, growing up outside of the Swedenborg church, and not being so tied with it, yes, I am not one of those who thinks he is infallible or that his writings are Divinely inspired, which he never claimed. He repeats some of the mistakes Schmidius did in his translation. He tends to ignore some literal fulfillment of prophecy in scripture, as he tends to think in universal principles. He also does censor himself as he could not describe some of the terrible things he saw in hell. And yes, he falsely assumed the planets were inhabited on the surface. Perhaps, in the case of Venus and Mars, he was seeing former civilizations that have long died out from a former cataclysm, because science does say both were probably once inhabitable. But I think they are here established somewhere in this solar system, there are just now too many sightings every month. There are too many witnesses.
Dare I say it?
You've caught the "UFO bug!" ;-)
Aside from my own fascination with this subject, I'll tip my hand a bit and say why I'm spending the time writing all these long comments.
As a doctrinally oriented Swedenborgian who has spent a lifetime studying Swedenborg and the Bible and honing my own knowledge and ability to express it in ordinary terms, I appreciate much of what you have accomplished by way of gaining solid knowledge of what Swedenborg taught, and expressing it clearly and fearlessly to the general public. There are all too few people in the world today who have the aptitude for and interest in doing that.
The big fly in the ointment that I see is your focus on UFOs and aliens. It's understandable, but it does a disservice to the rest of what you're doing here. It ties Swedenborg to fringe phenomena and shadowy "evidence" for things that the bulk of the educated population sees as unscientific and irrational.
In catching the UFO bug, you're doing the opposite of what you set out to do. Instead of supporting Swedenborg and his spiritual teachings, you're marginalizing them.
While I applaud the effort, I believe it is based on a mistaken view of Swedenborg's writings. And I believe it is vital to update our view of Swedenborg's writings if we are going to effectively present them to the people and culture of today.
There is really no need to tie Earths in the Universe to present day UFOlogy. As I've attempted to outline in my comments, there is a much simpler explanation--one that is in accord with everything Swedenborg himself taught us about the nature of revelation, of humanity, and of the relationship between the material and spiritual worlds.
(continued in the next comment)
I happen to love the book Earths in the Universe, and the material in Secrets of Heaven from which it is extracted. I find alien cultures fascinating, and I think about these things quite a bit.Delete
I also happen to love modern science, even though I have not spent anywhere near as much time studying it as I have studying Swedenborg and the Bible. And I find that with each major advance in science, we have better tools for understanding what Swedenborg was talking about.
Attempting to establish Swedenborg's reputation by defending his scientific and cultural conclusions about the material universe is not a forward-looking nor even "Swedenborgian" way of approaching things. Swedenborg himself taught us how to find the deeper meanings in the Bible even as the literal statements of the Bible were coming under increasing attack by human science and philosophy.
Though Swedenborg's writings are not the Word, they are a revelation of spiritual and divine truth. As such some of the same principles can be applied to understanding and re-packaging his message for people of today's world.
Really, my hope is to offer you a different view of Earths in the Universe--one that can stand the scrutiny of present day science and culture. I believe that the track you've taken is unsustainable, and contradicts many of Swedenborg's own statements. It requires us to make all sorts of unwarranted assumptions about what Swedenborg did and didn't see and report. For example, there is no evidence that Swedenborg saw the people of any of the other planets living anywhere else than on the surface of their planets. His descriptions of their landscapes and lifestyles requires it. For another example, it requires us to assume that the aliens Swedenborg encountered actually did have advanced technology when he is quite clear that they did not.
Perhaps I am just spitting into the wind. However, I would urge you to reconsider the conclusions you have come to with regard to UFOs and alien visitation. I've read several of your bog posts on the subject, and based on my fairly extensive knowledge of Swedenborg, the conclusions you have come to just cannot be sustained based on what Swedenborg wrote.
That's unfortunate. Because I see you as someone who could do a great job of spreading Swedenborg's teachings to many people. You have a great love of his doctrines, and, from what I've seen, a good grasp of them as well. It would be a shame to see that eclipsed by an unwarranted focus on a fringe phenomenon that really doesn't support what Swedenborg wrote about the nature of life on other planets.
Well Lee, maybe you are right. But the subject of UFOs is not as fringe as it once was. The former Canadian Minister of Defense, Paul Hellyer, has given public testimony in front of government bodies stating that they are here. And he is stating some look quite human just like us. He is an insider and in the know in government and military circles. You wanted it in the news, its in the news. Like a day ago. So it looks like someone upstairs (whoever that is) is listening. In terms of evidence, we have it, and yes, including physical evidence. Its there if you look. Swedenborg saw something out there, and when we finally see it, it probably will not match what either we or even Swedenborg expected.ReplyDelete
Separate from this topic, I have found, that no matter where I turn on a subject regarding Emanuel Swedenborg, there is incredible resistance. You may think that the subject of UFOs is damaging, but it does not matter what topic I choose. Lets take the Trinity for example. There will be incredible resistance from those who have been falsely taught from childhood that there is a trinity of three persons. Ok, lets avoid that topic and talk about love and charity. Wait, you can't talk about that until you explain that the Protestant theology of justification by faith alone is false. Ok, lets not talk about that and talk about how the Bible is Divinely inspired. Again, resistance from those who are literal or believe that the letters of Paul are Divinely inspired. Ok, lets avoid that and talk about the afterlife. There are whole groups of Christian denominations who all believe we just fall asleep and there will be a physical resurrection. Or I can pick the Second Coming, or the subject of clairvoyance and visons. There are religious groups who will cry out demon. Just on the simple topic of God there is resistance, I have seen it personally. You have to remove the false idea before the truth can take root. And if you think the subject of UFOs is strange there are other topics that I have held off from, not sure how to communicate them yet.
So that said, in reality I am not concentrating on this subject, in fact I am translating the Psalms, and that is taking up whatever spare time I have. Without a proper translation some of the hidden spiritual meanings have been hidden. I simply do not trust any English translation of the Bible, and I am tired of it. So for the Swedenborg church, I would say it is unfortunate that they have not advanced from the Heavenly Arcana and gone through the spiritual meanings of the other books. I have seen some attempts done, but they are not many. But the translation has to be fixed first.
Well, if UFOs ever become common knowledge in the mainstream media and among the general population, then you and I can have another little chat. :-)
Meanwhile, all of the other topics you mention are definitely ones to dig our teeth into, and put out there.Delete
Yes, of course there will be great resistance. Swedenborg himself said that there would be. Just read his explanation of the great dragon in Revelation 12. It's all about Protestant (not Catholic) resistance to the doctrines of the new church.
(This reminds me: In one of your articles you mentioned Revelation being all about the destruction of the Catholic Church and Catholic dogma. However, most of it is actually about the destruction of Protestant dogma--primarily salvation by faith alone. Only chapters 17-19 picture the destruction of the power of the Roman Catholic Church. In chapters 6-16 the recurring theme is the end of Protestantism and salvation by faith alone.)
Though I have engaged in debates with traditional Christians in the past, I am no longer interested in doing so. As Jesus said, "Let the dead bury their own dead." Our task is not to reach out to those firmly embedded in, and satisfied with, the old Christian church. Our job is to reach out to the masses who have left, or effectively left, those churches, and are "sheep without a shepherd."
There are hundreds of millions of people out there who have left their traditional Christian churches, or who have no Christian affiliation at all. Some of them are uninterested in religion. But others are searching for something better.
My goal is to reach out to those people. And for them, it is critically important that they realize that the message you and I are delivering, and that Swedenborg was delivering, is not just a warmed-over version of the church and the doctrines they have repudiated.
With that in mind, I have increasingly moved toward stating clearly and boldly all of the things we *don't* believe that are considered basic to Christianity, and all of the things we *do* believe that that mass of former institutional Christians has been groping toward, and often already agrees with us on.
Most recently, I put up a page (not a post) on "'Christian Beliefs' that the Bible Doesn't Teach." You might want to take a look at it. It's at my leewoof.org site, and linked from near the top of the sidebar. I plan to add a companion page that will be "Christian Beliefs that the Bible Does Teach." This will briefly give the Biblical basis of some of the basic doctrines of true Christianity as Swedenborg has outlined it for us.
I hope that these pages *will* get some notoriety. I won't engage in a lot of debate with people who are firm in their opposition to what I say in those articles. But I will continue to provide the Biblical basis for rejecting traditional Christian theology, both Catholic and Protestant, and adopting the genuine Christian theology that Swedenborg's writings offer.
If we put our light on a lampstand and our city on a hill, those who are receptive to the message will find us and join us.
I think the New Church needs to do more about exposing the false theology of the Catholic and Protestant churches. Flowery quotes or "being nice" is just not going to work. There are many who have left the church, I was one of them, at a very young age, when I began to question. I see a lot of theology that leads to spiritual and moral apathy. People get depressed and don't know why, and, there is a lot of uncertainty and doubt. I think in Summary Exposition, and New Jerusalem Doctrines, Swedenborg expresses the importance of removing the false idea first, also how falsity cannot exist in conjunction with truth. Religious people are often the hardest to reach as they have put their mind in a box thinking they "know everything." Swedenborg expressed more hope, ironically, for the Catholic Church than for the Protestant. I have seen more success of New Church theology with Jehovah's Witnesses, since the information of the New Church solves some of their theological problems.Delete
As for my comments on Revelation, I think you may be referring to those prophetic time periods which ended around the 18th century, leading to the collapse of the political power of the Catholic Church. I was aware of these prophecies and when I encountered the final judgment that Swedenborg described in the spiritual world it was throwing a new light on all of that. What I have not discussed, is that the book of Revelation seems to be talking about another prophetic time period after that - a period of time when the New Church is in the wilderness and in conflict with the older churches. So in reality, I don't think the story is finished yet, there is still a long way to go.
About the Bible translations, my Hebrew and Greek are good enough to play catcher to the existing translations, but not good enough to attempt a translation of my own. I commonly consult the Hebrew and Greek originals, and modify the translations accordingly, when engaging in Bible interpretation. When I self-published a book of my old sermons under the title, "On Earth as it Is in Heaven," I went through the translation of every Bible passage in the book, modifying it to better reflect the original language.ReplyDelete
About Swedenborgian interpretations beyond Genesis and Exodus, most of the other books actually have been done. However, almost all of it was done in the 19th and early 20th century, so a lot of those commentaries are a bit dated now. Most of my library is currently in storage. But when it's out on the shelves, I have a 3-4' section that is all Bible commentaries written by Swedenborgians, and it covers most of the remaining books of the Old Testament, and all five of the books in the New Testament that are part of the Word of God.
Still, there is much more that could be done in this area. I helped to talk the Swedenborg Foundation into reprinting the six volume set of Bible Study Notes, by my grandmother, Anita S. Dole, when the original stock of hardcover copies ran out. Though over half a century old now, it is still one of the best resources we have for those wishing to learn about the spiritual meanings in the Bible as they apply to everyday life. I also hope at some point to get the Sower Notes, mostly by William L. Worcester, back into print.
Still, we need new, more contemporary Bible commentaries. And as the Lord said, truly the harvest is great, but the laborers are few. Part of the reason I'm spending so much time commenting here is that I have begun to think of you as a fellow laborer in the vineyard. We need to help and support one another.
I am certainly no expert in either of these languages. So what I am doing, is making use of some free digital Bible tools - I am making use of what other experts have written. The problem I am seeing is that the concordance information is based on the translation, and not any independent source: i.e., that's the definition because that is how it was translated. But in most cases, the translations are just sloppy. Maybe its the effect of rule by committee and no one wants to get ostracized for changing anything. So as I fix it, I am just getting surprised at all the new word pairings involving the dual concept of love and truth. Completely missing in modern translations. Its in actuality not a complete translation: all I am doing is retaining a modernized KJV version, and fixing just the obvious mistranslations. That way there is some familiarity to the reader. Sometimes, however, I get a complete new line or word out of the Septuagint, which I mark in italics just to be safe. But from the correspondence, and poetic structure, I can prove in certain instances the Septuagint has the correct reading.Delete
It is slow, I just spent an hour trying to decide whether I translate a word as "grace" or "favour." There are tons of theologians who have written volumes on grace, which in fact, they have an incorrect definition (any Jew will tell them that). I flipped-flopped several times, but ultimately, the man on the street does not use the word grace (its meaning is becoming obsolete), and there is a lot of false theology associated with that word. I am realizing our ideas our influenced by the word definitions we use. So out goes the word grace, its been replaced by favour except in certain instances. There is no way that will happen in a translation committee, I would probably get stoned. I am going to have to write a blog on that.
Have not heard of Bible Study Notes. Is Anita Dole related to the same guy that did the translations of Swedenborg? I have seen some of those 19th century commentaries, they are not only dated, but seem to be missing those insights that Swedenborg had.
Anita Dole was the mother of George F. Dole, who is one of the primary translators for the New Century Edition of Emanuel Swedenborg's works, now in publication from the Swedenborg Foundation. My mother, nee Louise Dole, was his older sister. So George Dole is my uncle, and Anita Dole, who wrote the Bible Study Notes, was my grandmother.
Her Bible Study Notes were 20th century works, having been written in the 1940s and 1950s. They are different from most Swedenborgian Bible commentaries in that they were written for use in New Church Sunday Schools. So they are oriented primarily toward teachers of children and teens, though they do also have adult lessons in them. However, many adults find the children's lessons much more approachable than the usual heady, intellectual fare found in the traditional Swedenborgian Bible commentaries.
One distinctive feature of the Dole Bible Study Notes not found in any other Swedenborgian Bible commentary that I am aware of is their treatment of the Bible as a unified text that tells our spiritual story sequentially from beginning to end. The original set of loose-leaf notes was arranged in four one-year "series." Each series took students through the entire Bible by way of covering key stories from Genesis to Revelation. So those who grew up attending Sunday Schools that used the "Dole Notes" (as they are commonly called in Swedenborgian circles) gained a sense of the Bible as a unified whole. That is, if they were actually paying attention in Sunday School!
If you're interested in something less heady and more simple and life-centered, you'll enjoy the six volume set. Having said that, my grandmother was no slouch doctrinally. She covers the gamut of key points of Swedenborgian theology. Just to give you a sense of her bonafides, during the course of her lifetime, she read the entire Arcana Coelestia seven times through from beginning to end.
She read it seven times? Early on I encountered just one blog reader who actually read Heavenly Arcana. I will check that out when I have a chance. Always good to be grounded in practical applicability. I think simple concepts are best for the public, but higher level meanings are best for an inner circle. There is certain information that the public is just not ready for.Delete
About translating, while doing the research for my latest blog post, "If You Think You’re Going to Hell, Please Read This First," I came across some fascinating background about Psalms 7:11, translated in the KJV as, "God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day." This is commonly quoted to support the idea of an angry God.ReplyDelete
Turns out this translation is almost certainly in error. The verse most likely should read, "God is a righteous judge, and is not angry all day." I didn't go into detail about it in the post, but you can see what I did write at this url:
Actually I discovered that mistranslation in Ps. 7:11 and mentioned it in http://dream-prophecy.blogspot.com/2013/11/is-masoretic-text-of-bible-most-reliable.html. As I have it now in my Psalms now, it looks like this:
God is a righteous judge, strong and patient:
And God is not indignant every day.
Not only did the Masoretic drop the "not", but it also dropped "strong and patient". It is found in the Septuagint and Vulgate, and is probably original. I use the word indignant instead of angry as the Hebrew has different words for angry, however, finding a unique English word for each Hebrew word is not always possible and runs the risk of "looking weird" to the common reader. Whenever I find these errors in the Masoretic I am marking them in italics so a reader can "take it or leave it." I was alerted to this problem when I discovered a missing line in the Dead Sea Scrolls that is found in the Septuagint (http://dream-prophecy.blogspot.com/2013/11/is-masoretic-text-of-bible-most-reliable.html).