©Peter Edler 2009


How Big is God Today?


Many religions on our planet have postulated an omnipotent, all-knowing god, deity or divinity - creator and master of the universe. This might have been a comfortable niche to be thinking in as long as our view of the universe remained stable. In recent decades, however, we’ve begun to realize that the universe is much, much larger than we may once have thought.


To be sure, eternity and infinity are familiar terms but what do they really mean when all we’ve known of them in visceral, tangible terms is the distance from earth to moon – and only a tiny handful of people have known that. For most of us on earth, regardless of the specific concepts of divinity we have had, God was the creator of earth and of life on this planet, nowhere else, simply because it has been difficult for us to imagine any place else.


Two events in modern history have stirred our imagination more than most others toward widening our concept of God – the 1947 Roswell crash, presumably of an extraterrestrial craft, and the abduction of Betty and Barney Hill by extraterrestrials in 1961.  The Roswell incident, which was covered up quickly by the Pentagon and the US government, gave us only a taste of what might have been, had the facts in the case been made public. Now well into the 21st century, the Roswell mystery may finally be cleared up. But the effect an officially authenticated retrieval of an extraterrestrial craft and crew would have had on the mental constructs of humanity cannot be duplicated or simulated at this distance in time. Thus Roswell must rank as one of the great missed evolutionary opportunities in what we know of human history.


The Betty and Barney Hill abduction, on the other hand, is thoroughly documented. It has permeated human consciousness since it happened in 1961. To be sure, there have been consistent criticisms and attempts to debunk the incident but over a period of near half a century the Hill abduction stands firm as true bedrock of human contact with extraterrestrials.


Taken seriously, both these events must lead us to question the profundity of our concept of the divine. As long as we humans ourselves were the only criteria for the imaginary appearance of God we were secure, as well as safe, in a terra-centric concept of divinity. The moment we understood that the image of God should also include the appearance of sentient beings who look drastically different from ourselves we could no longer postulate humans as created in the image of a divinity with only human-centered qualities. So much for traditional Christian thinking.


Since the Roswell crash and the Hill abduction, traditional Buddhist thinking makes more sense.  Vedic as well as Buddhist thinking evade the monotheistic Christian concept as well as the monotheism of related religions, such as Judaism and Islam - a considerable step forward, one might think. However, the Buddhist universe is filled with deities, god-like beings and perfected human masters ascended to sketchily suggested habitats of divinity. The ordinary human imagination finds little to hold on to in those rarefied realms. A planet in Zeta Reticulum, populated by aliens like the ones who abducted Betty and Barney Hill, would have no credible place there.


All of this suggests that even in the relatively close confinement of our own galaxy reality may far transcend human imagination and religious postulates - and the number of galaxies in the universe keeps increasing exponentially, along with our technological ability to see farther, deeper, into it.


The Christian god and other monotheistic deities now must either expand or be relegated to the role of minor guardians of a small planet in a remote filament of the Milky Way galaxy. This latter of course would be unacceptable to the established priesthoods in charge of promoting the image of their gods which is characterized by omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence.


The aliens who abducted Betty and Barney Hill into a disc-shaped craft some 35 to 40 feet in diameter were short and powerfully built – humanoid in appearance. They had two legs, two arms and a head. They were dressed in grey, close-fitting coveralls, wore caps and moved with military precision. Their skin was grey and leathery. They had large, ‘wrap-around’ eyes, with slits for nose, mouth and ears. This latter might indicate a harsh, inhospitable climate on their home planet. An incident that occurred shortly before Betty Hill was allowed to return to the Hill’s car seems to indicate that they had a democratic social structure that included group decisions. Having traveled more than 30 light-years from the Zeta Reticulum area to our planet their technology clearly was vastly superior to ours. God only knows how their intelligence views the universe, its origins and its spiritual content!


©Peter Edler 2009