by John Lash
from MetaHistory Website
(NOTE: This is an expanded
version of the article, "Abraham and the Doctrine of the Aliens," by
John Lash, published on
In 1968 a Swiss innkeeper named Erich von Daniken published
Chariots of the Gods?, which became an international
bestseller and remains in print today. According to von Danikan's
sensational theory, "ancient
astronauts" from an advanced civilization visited the
Earth in times long past. He found proof of their presence in
rock-carvings, religious artifacts, ancient myths, and, of course,
megalithic monuments such as the Giza pyramids.
With this question planted in the mainstream mind, God, angels, and everything Biblical instantly attached itself to UFO speculation, but von Daniken did not explore these associations in a cogent or consistent manner.. A less-known but far more intelligent study, which appeared in the same year as Chariots, did just that.
The Bible and Flying Saucers was
written by Barry H. Downing, a Presbyterian pastor with
degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary and the University of
Edinburgh. The scope and depth of his book reflect his learning, a
far cry from von Daniken's hokey shenanigans. But this book also
reflects the author's steadfast faith in Christian tradition:
Downing assumes that God and his angels, even if they
are ETs who navigate in UFOs, are implementing a divine plan for
the benefit of humanity.
Some interpretations even regard
Jesus as an extraterrestrial who comes to Earth from a more
highly evolved world, or is cloned as a “model human” by
technologically superior space brothers. Imagine the headline, Jesus
– The First Designer Baby!
Downing wonders if,
He does not merely speculate on the presence of “ancient astronauts” on Earth, but he considers their possible role in initiating and directing the religious experience of humanity. This issue demands a much deeper cut into the human psyche than von Daniken undertook.
Without the benefit of Gnostic materials, Downing was unable to conceive that Biblical religion,
Biblical Ufology is widely developed today, but an optional interpretation that could not have emerged until some time after Downing and von Daniken wrote has yet to be considered. This option arises with the view of alien intervention proposed by the Gnostics of the Mystery Schools.
Although some of the Gnostics' views can
be found in obscure arguments written against them by early
Christians, original Gnostic material was not widely available until
the Nag Hammadi codices, discovered in 1945, were translated
into English in 1978. The Mysteries were destroyed in the 4th
Century CE, when the Nag Hammadi cache was buried, but they are
known to have preexisted Christianity for thousands of years.
Although Gnostic texts describe firsthand encounters with
who "abduct souls by night," their teachings do not emphasize
physical threat. Rather, they warn that the Archons affect us most
profoundly in our minds, especially through religious ideology,
through beliefs about God and what God wants for us.
Although he does not create the world we inhabit, he believes that he does.
Of course, this is exactly what
Yahweh-Jehovah says in the Old Testament. Over and over again,
the Mystery teachings preserved in the NHC presents a view of
Judeo-Christian religion that turns it completely inside out.
The text cited explains how the Archons induce a false plan of salvation into the human mind, a counterfeit of the true path of self-liberation we can take by developing our innate potential of Nous, "divine intelligence." The Gnostic teacher, called Phoster or Illuminator, openly ridicules Abraham, Moses and the prophets for accepting the Archons as divine and putting faith in an imposter god who works against humanity.
The Second Treatise says that the "doctrine of the aliens" is,
What Gnostics meant by "the doctrine of the aliens" is the ensemble of beliefs at the core of Judaic and Christian religion - and, by extension, Islam.
All three of the "great world religions" derive from the revered Patriarch Abraham, thought to have lived around 1800 BCE.
Because the history of the ancient
Hebrews is taken as exemplary or symbolic of humanity as a whole,
our species' "sacred history" begins with Abraham, but Gnostics
considered that Abraham was a dupe, the psychological
"vector" for the intrusion of the Archons. In effect, they trashed
the notion of a “Divine Plan” overseen by Jehovah, and
exposed Judeo-Christian salvationism (the Redeemer Complex)
as an extraterrestrial religion, alien to the Earth and
hostile to human potential.
Against the religious deceit of the Archons, the Second Treatise invokes the "hope of Sophia," affirming our bond to the Wisdom Goddess whose body is the Earth.