Thursday, September 10, 2009

999 Is The New 666

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped some photographs recently and, surprise surprise, some folks see a robed Jesus basking on the planet’s surface. This Telegraph UK report says it all: “If looked at from the right angle – and with disbelief suspended – this photo released by NASA can appear to show the face and robed body of Christ.” On display once again the human proclivity for seeing what we want to see where we want to see it.

I couldn’t help but think of this while reading news of the half-hearted hijacking attempt by Jose Marc Flores Pereira a k a Josmar Flores. About an hour after an Aeromexico flight departed from Cancun on its way to Mexico City, Flores got the attention of the crew when he threatened to blow up the plane, brandishing a fake bomb, according to this Bloomberg report (apparently passengers had no clue what was going on until the plane landed in Mexico City and was surrounded by emergency vehicles). His demands? A visit with Mexican president Felipe Calderon to discuss a pending earthquake.

Originally from Bolivia, Flores has lived in Mexico for 17 years, has spent time in jail, was a drug addict and is a born-again Christian. According to Public Safety Minister Garcia Luna, Flores also “is a reverend . . . He said it was a divine revelation that drove him to this action.” The revelation? The date – an inverted 666, the Mark of the Beast a la the Book of Revelation.

No two people see the world the same. Some look at images from space, from places where humans have never set foot, and impose human mythology in the name of meaning; others see a calendar, isolate a single day in a certain month in a single year and see divinity.

As always, I ask: What do you see?

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