Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Parallel Mythologies

I don’t believe in parallel universes. I acknowledge that multiverses are “possible,” because we cannot prove they are impossible, just like the existence of gods is possible. Its even possible that when when I can’t find the remote, invisible unicorns took it.

The point is, if we imagine a scenario which cannot be disproven, it is “possible,” but by no means plausible. In fact, it has been my experience that human beings are inherently wrong. We are told in school to “go with your gut instict” and “your first impulse is usually correct.” This may be true with multiple choice tests, but not in reality (which is fill in the blank).

While I think “parallel universes” are merely an interesting topic of science fiction, “parallel mythologies” are real. Parallel mythologies are stories which depict the same events, but differently. The Bible is full of parallel mythologies. The three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, & Luke) tell pretty much the same stories, with slight variation in details. However, the best parallel mythologies have entirely different messages between the two myths.

For good parallel Christian mythology, one has to look outside the Bible. Plenty of works circulated around the time of the Bible’s compilation, but few that were not enshrined in the canon survive.

There were gospels which told of a human Jesus, son of Joseph and Mary, who was a prophet empowered with the gift of healing. There were gospels which painted a portrait of Mary Magdalene as the close confidante of Jesus (notably The Gospel of Mary Magdelene). The Gospel of Judas Iscariot says that Judas was instructed by Jesus to turn him in to the Romans in order to initiate the events of the crucifixion, and that Judas was entrusted with secret knowledge of the resurrection. The Jews even have their version of things.

So many Christians know very little about what’s in their Bible, but they know even less about the stuff that didn’t quite make it. I think they forget, in the hurry to follow in their master’s footsteps, that the prints they follow are merely those of followers who came before them, and that the trail of the master is long gone. Christians do not have faith in Jesus, they have faith in those who came centuries later, who defined key aspects of their path of faith.

And if you’re thinking of reconstructing “true” Christianity… good luck piecing it together from what little survived the book burnings.


  1. "You are the messias, i have to know as i followed many before you...!" from 'Life Of Bryan'... nuff said;)

  2. lol

    There were those at the time who said John the Baptist was the Messiah. What's particularly funny is that while 2000 years of Christianity have been waiting for Jesus' return, Jews are still waiting for the Messiah.

  3. yeah, as if there weren't enough messiahs to choose from... muhaha!

  4. Great post, I agree with what you said.

  5. Parallel universes are at least mathematically possible. Different dimensions of our universe are mathematically sound, making them plausible Superstring theory suggest there needs to be a minium of eleven dimensions for a unified theory to work. Although I tend to stick more with M-Cosmology since it takes a more testable approach. Even so, you have to believe in invisible membranes first, and although they work out mathmatically, and are supported by Quantum mechanics, and fit with the observable universe, thus far there is no official way to test them.

    I wouldn't exactly say this is a leap of faith though. Unlike God, the theory of M-Cosmology and multidimensional space/time, is supported by the evidence we do have. Even if it turns out to be wrong in the long run... but then again... it might not. It could turn out to be correct mathematical depiction of reality.

    From what I gather, the next step is to find ways to test these theories, and see if they hold up. Our technology is limited, but that doesn't mean it will always be a handicap. We may one day find out a way to test it.

    God can be tested too. But so far, God's existence (indeed any god) has failed all the scientific tests I know of.

    I agree with physicist Victor J. Stenger that God is pretty much a failed hypothesis at this point. I myself find that I am slowly moving to a position of post-theism. Only time will tell if there is a multiverse, multiple dimensions, and the like. I'll leave it up to the experts, because I wouldn't want anyone to take my word for it.

  6. I don't believe in God because He only appears on paper. The same is true of parallel universes.

    I think it's more likely a paradigm shift in physics will make obsolete most of the fanciful theories that have built up since Einstein pioneered the last one.


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