Rad Trad has just put up a posting on apparitions – Josephology Appendix 1: Apparitions & Visitations. It is often a tiresome subject when people for whom faith, belief and religion are an external mask that affirms their personal agendas.
I have visited Lourdes and Fatima, and am deeply moved by the heroic piety of some of those on pilgrimage. Many seek healing from sickness and disability. Others seek redemption from a life for which they are deeply ashamed. Each is seen walking on his knees with discomfort visible on his face, touching the rock of the Lourdes grotto, drinking holy water. Who are we to judge when we don’t know ourselves, let alone others?
I added a comment to the Rad Trad posting:
My own mind is attracted to a notion of a holographic universe made of universal conscience and energy, and that matter is only an illusion. Don’t ask me how, because I don’t have scientific training in quantum theory. The universe would be a kind of “multiverse” comparable to a band of radio frequencies to which a single radio set can listen one at a time. Our experience as human beings represents only a very narrow segment of the whole. Another analogy is the narrow frequency width of light that we can see.
In an “altered state of consciousness” a human being may experience something of another “frequency”, very near our own, but not quite. Thus, what we describe as heaven, hell and purgatory may be in the exact location of where we are, but on another “frequency”. The same idea would extend to UFO’s (I have never seen one) that would travel through the “frequencies” rather than through space in the fashion of an Apollo rocket sending three astronauts to the moon. This idea would revolutionise psychiatry, giving credit to those who are called psychotics and schizophrenics of an experience of voices, visions or “feelings” that no one can describe.
Perhaps what I write seems crazy or sceptical in religious terms, but I see it as a way of escaping the usual dialectic between materialism or an infantile caricature of God. Thus I do believe that people have experiences with beings from other “dimensions” who identify with characters from our Christian scriptures. Perhaps more of us than would want to admit it have had some kind of experience that escapes materialism, but only exceptionally do people hear voices and see a transfigured Mary or one of the saints. I often wonder how such an experience would change my life!
We seem to be on a track that can transcend the usual soul-destroying war between fundamentalists and atheists.
There are “Fatima fundamentalists” like there are fundamentalists referring to Scripture, canon law, Papal documents and just about everything to give certitude to their doubting or tortured souls. Certainly, such apocryphal messages are open to allegorical interpretation as are the canonical Scriptures. We should not discount them. I have mentioned before that I tend to be sceptical, and have an extremely enquiring mind. Faith does not come to me easily. Miracles can be a lot less convincing to the sceptic than many of us would like to think.
Perhaps if we try to take a higher view, things might become easier to grasp when we accept the illusory nature of everything we believe to be real, even our very lives.