Transfigure: to go from one figure to another. To transfigure is to change appearance. One such transfiguration occurred with the person of Jesus. The Bible states he transfigured from his usual mortal appearance to a glorious spiritual energy. Typical of the Bible, there are few details. [Luke 9:28-36] We get the words “dazzling,” and “pure white.” We’re informed the effect included his clothes and face. It’s important for us to grasp that this was a few thousand years before Hollywood animations.
We’re told two other glorious beings appeared to converse with Jesus to discuss his “departure” or upcoming death. I like the word departure more than death, for reasons that transfiguration suggests.
But I get a kick from the literalists of the Bible. The Bible is quite short on literal facts and quite long on vague suggestion. Who honestly can give us the full meaning of the “transfiguration” story? The literalists with packaged clear answers strip the deeper meanings from the story.
Sketching a Transfiguration: Some thoughts
Angels are among us, and some are of the highest level.
We don’t really see the core dignity of the person before us.
That we don’t have the eyes to see doesn’t mean it’s not there [A point science repeatedly confirms].
Why would advanced beings bother with us, but for love?
“Departures” are beginnings.
If we see something outside our paradigm, we dismiss or forget it.
Be open. Be prepared to see and remember something unusual.
This isn’t a game. This isn’t “them” and “us.” We’re all in a process of aiming for a higher level of being. It’s our choice.
Transfiguration and Science
Here is an excerpt from the short biography of 2004 Nobel Prize scientist Frank Wilczek, taken from his website Wilczek:
Early reviews have called Frank’s latest book, The Lightness of Being, “a lively, playful, and inventive tour de force” as well as “a colorful and masterful treatment of recent developments in fundamental physics.” A central theme of this book is that the ancient contrast between celestial Light and earthy Matter has been transcended. In modern physics, all the stuff out there is unified into a “Being” more like the traditional idea of light than the traditional idea of matter.
Scientists are seeking the Holy Grail of discovery: A unified theory of the Universe. Do you sense as I do the convergence of learning from multiple disciplines that only appear irreconcilable? For a while we the blind men arguing over different parts of the elephant we touch from our separate vantages. But that time is ending. The voices of poetry and science are approaching harmony with each new decade.