A documentary I was watching last night about the history of angels got me thinking more about a concept I've written about before in my posts Angels, Demons, and Aliens and Those oh so standoffish aliens. The concept suggests that aliens may be angels and/or demons, or vice versa.
The word "angel" is derived from the Latin word "angelos," which is derived from the Greek translation of the Hebrew word for "messenger." The Bible doesn't really give a clear description of what angels look like. Artistic depictions of angels with wings and halos didn't start appearing until around the 5th century AD. It's pretty obvious that these depictions are just carried over from traditional depictions of pagan gods. Numerous gods from the ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman pantheons were depicted with wings. Cupid, Eros, and Hermes are probably the most recognizable (although Hermes' wings were on his sandals, not his back). Interestingly, Hermes was the messenger of the Greek gods.
In the Bible, it seemed people weren't always aware they were in the presence of angels, such as in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19). But oftentimes, people seemed to recognize the angels as angels. The Bible never really describes in any great detail what the angels look like though.
I think this fits with the modern stories I've heard of angel encounters. In some stories, people don't even recognize the angel as an angel. Typically, the angel just seems to come out of nowhere at just the right time to relay a special message or perform some good deed (read some angel stories here). Othertimes, the angel's appearance may be more obvious, it may be glowing. Or it may just give off a calming 'presence'. So various modern stories of angels seem to fit with the ancient stories, sometimes they look like regular people, other times it's more obvious that they are angels. It seems angels can choose how they want to appear to a person.
Looking to the skies for 'alien' life isn't something new at all. People have been doing this all along. The ancients thought of angels as messengers from heaven, and heaven is just another word for sky. When people capitalize it as "Heaven," then it's considered to be the dwelling place of God. But the word "heaven" is just a word for the sky and space. So essentially, the ancients thought of angels as entities from space.
So is it really any different for us to look for aliens from space? Is it just a case of semantics?
Maybe part of our problem in looking for life in outer space is we are too arrogant. It seems that people are always looking for "life as we know it," meaning flesh and blood beings who breathe oxygen and drink water and like 70 degree (Fahrenheit) temperatures. But who's to say that other life, including intelligent life, couldn't exist in environments totally different from what we are accustomed to? With that in mind, how would an angel from 'heaven' be that much different than an 'alien' from space? What qualifies as an 'angel' and what qualifies as an 'alien'? Does it have something to do with how they look? Or does it have something to do with how they behave? Or does it have something to do with whether or not they travel on a spaceship? Are the angels a type of 'alien'? Or are what we think of as aliens something totally different? And if angels and 'aliens' are both forms of intelligent life, then what exactly differentiates them each other? And how many different types are there?
Typically, Greys, Nordics, and Reptilians are the three most common types of aliens some people claim to have seen. I guess out of those three, the Nordics would be the type that look the most 'angelic'. But are Nordics the same as angels? Or would it be more accurate to ask are angels the same as Nordics? If not, what makes them different? Of course, it may also be necessary to ask whether 'Nordics' exist at all.
It seems that looking to the sky for 'aliens' may just be a 20th and 21st century interpretation of looking to the sky for angels. The big question is are they really any different? And how many different types are there? And if aliens and angels are different, then what exactly is different about them? Is it the appearance? The mode of transportation? Their behavour? Their agenda? Their purpose?
Perhaps sentient life is sentient life, regardless of what form it takes.