My friend with the time machine has brought me back another gem, this time a 23rd century translation of the Bible. I was going to post the whole dynamic-equivalent translation of the Sermon on the Mount (in an approximation in modern English), but decided to just share a few highlights instead:
- Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the galaxy.
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall have it replicated unto them in abundance.
- If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also, and the other, and the other – as many as your species may have.
- If a Klingon compells you to go with him one parsec, go with him two.
- Whoever hears my words and puts them into practice is like a wise species that built its civilization near the galactic perimeter…
On a more serious note, I hope to discuss with my religion and science class next week what the possible implications might be for terrestrial religions if we made contact with intelligent extraterrestrial life. One possible response is found in this early 20th-century poem:
CHRIST IN THE UNIVERSE
by: Alice Meynell (1847-1922)
WITH this ambiguous earthBut not a star of all
His dealings have been told us. These abide:
The signal to a maid, the human birth,
The lesson, and the young Man crucified.
The innumerable host of stars has heard
How He administered this terrestrial ball.
Our race have kept their Lord’s entrusted Word.
Of His earth-visiting feet
None knows the secret, cherished, perilous,
The terrible, shamefast, frightened, whispered, sweet,
Heart-shattering secret of His way with us.
No planet knows that this
Our wayside planet, carrying land and wave,
Love and life multiplied, and pain and bliss,
Bears, as chief treasure, one forsaken grave.
Nor, in our little day,
May His devices with the heavens be guessed,
His pilgrimage to thread the Milky Way
Or His bestowals there be manifest.
But in the eternities,
Doubtless we shall compare together, hear
A million alien Gospels, in what guise
He trod the Pleiades, the Lyre, the Bear.
O, be prepared, my soul!
To read the inconceivable, to scan
The myriad forms of God those stars unroll
When, in our turn, we show to them a Man.