There may be an issue of vocabulary here. And there may be an issue of high strangeness.
The word 'angel' sounds about OK. We understand the wings. And we've heard about the feeling.
When an angel's energies intersect with yours, the New Age books report, you see a fuzzy-looking diaphanous light and get an initial creepy feeling in the stomach area. This slowly changes to a deep-down, supportive, humming vibration. Then there is a feeling of melted love being poured all over you, like warm, liquid toffee dribbling nicely over the surface of your skin. Angels? No problem. Even the government tolerates angels.
But aliens? They're different. They're freaky. They're Other. And there's a motive difficulty with aliens. Why are they here? Do they want both my testicles or just one? And why don't they say please?
And there's a subterfuge problem. Why do the aliens beam us up to their ships when we are fast asleep? Don't they understand the social complications of pyjamas?
And there's a security issue, too, with aliens. How come the government says they don't exist? And how come the aliens wipe our memories after the event? And how come that, subsequently, only very expensive and very fashionable, middle-class, regressive hypnotherapy can restore those memory circuits for us?
It's a puzzle. But is part of the puzzle an issue of vocabulary? If I'm an alien and I come into your ambit, you feel alienated. But if instead of being called an alien, I am called a positive, off-planet, extra-terrestrial, and I come into your ambit, you feel honoured.
And if instead of being called a positive, off-planet, extra-terrestrial, I am called a Space Brother, and I come into your ambit, you feel that a welcome guest has arrived.
Could it really be that linguistic conditioning, or the deep-down executive energy of words in our consciousness, somehow generates an anti-reaction? Or is it just the freaky eyes?
But the issue of high strangeness is more difficult than any of this. Is it possible that angels and aliens are the same thing?
Over a quarter of a century ago, the American evangelist, Dr Billy Graham, offered a view about aliens, UFOs and angels which changed the thinking of a generation of Western evangelical Christians. Part of what he said was as follows:
"Some Christian writers have speculated that UFOs could very well be part of God's angelic host who preside over the physical affairs of universal creation. While we cannot assert such a view with certainty, many people are now seeking some type of supernatural explanation for these phenomena. Nothing can hide the fact, however, that these unexplained events are occurring with greater frequency around the entire world and in unexpected places ...."
"Some sincere Christians, whose views are anchored in a strong commitment to Scriptures contend that these UFOs are angels. But are they? These people point to certain passages .... Any attempt to connect such passages with the visits of angels may, at best, be speculation. What is interesting, however, is that such theories are now being given serious attention even by people who make no claim to believe in the God of the Bible."
I quote here from pp 11-12 of the original Doubleday edition of "Angels – God's secret agents" by Billy Graham (1975).
It is suggested that Billy Graham had a carefully concealed vested interest in promoting the covert UFO agenda among evangelical Christians. He is said to be one of the major intelligence-controlled disinformation agents secreted within the American Southern Baptist community.
The story gets more complicated: as well as using religion to make easy money from the gullible, Billy Graham is reported to be a thirty third degree Freemason associated with Henry Kissinger in the P2 Masonic lodge. P2 controls the mafia and the Vatican.
Billy Graham, the narrative runs, was a major player and frontman in Project Blue Beam, the negative Illuminati's space-based hologram programme designed to counterfeit the Second Coming of Christ and install an easily-controlled fake Saviour as Head of the World.
Blue Beam was rumbled and disabled by the Higher Evolution. A benevolent Pleiadian starship turned the orbiting satellite dishes round to face in the wrong directions, and scrambled the electronics.
It is difficult to remain neutral in the angels and aliens debate. An increasing number of post-evangelicals incline to the emerging view that there is a major overlap between the entities we perceive to be angels and the entities we perceive to be aliens.
Perhaps the alien sympathy arises, in part, because in England and elsewhere there have been so many extraordinary agriglyphs to ponder in crop fields over the last three decades.
Some of these crop circle miracles have been so complex mathematically and, at the same time, so benignly beautiful that they cannot intelligently be ignored as spiritual signifiers.
And the fact that in many cases, UFO, or pillar of cloud, activity has been seen above the fields instants before the agriglyphs manifest has tended to dissolve a lot of the negative perceptions about what the UFOs are or may be up to. They are producing truly astounding landscape art. It is the art of angels.
Perhaps the spiritual teacher in England who knows most about aliens and agriglyphs is Benjamin Creme. He runs the Share International website and does a lot of work with what he calls the Space Brothers.
Creme says that most of the agriglyphs are manifested by Christ with the assistance of Martian and Venusian lightships. His ideas are compelling and fall sober and four-square within the Western esoteric tradition.
Many agree with Creme. And it is not difficult to agree with those who have always argued that, in the Bible, there is ample evidence of extraterrestrial spirituality intersecting with human spirituality.
Of the many instances of intelligent extraterrestrial activity recorded in the Bible, alien-friendly Christians tend, these days, to concentrate on things like the Bethlehem starship (Mt 2:1-12), the pillars of cloud and fire (Ex 13:21-2, 14:19-24, 33:9-10, Num 12:5, Deut 31:15), the ascensions, or lift-offs, of Melchizedek (implied), Enoch (Gen 5:24, Heb 11:5) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:1-11), and the work of the Elohim geneticists (Gen 1:25-27).
But for many it is the extraterrestrial encounter recorded in Ezekiel 1:4 - 3:15 which is one of the most notable.
The noisy intersecting wheels on the landing craft are a curious feature (Eze 1:15-21 & 3:13). The psychotropic drug given to Ezekiel by the extraterrestrial visitor is of interest (Eze 3:1-3). And the prophet's subsequent abduction (Eze 3:12-15) is an entirely familiar motif.
The psychotropic drug bothers people. The full text is found at Ezekiel 2:8 - 3:1-3: "But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you." Then I looked, and I saw a hand stretched out to me. In it was a scroll, which he unrolled before me. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe. And he said to me, "Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the house of Israel." So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat. Then he said to me, "Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it." So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.'
We have a scroll described here, the text of which is turgid with lament, mourning and woe. One might expect that such a document, if ingested, would taste foul, bitter, sour or indigestible. In fact, Ezekiel says: ".... it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth."
This suggests that an ingredient of the 'scroll' may have been psychotropic, affecting Ezekiel's mood or sensitivity.
Modern alien abduction scenarios do sometimes include the giving of drugs. And in the particular context of the larger story, the drug administered might also have had a stimulant effect on Ezekiel, quickening him for the difficult preaching tour he was about to undertake on the alien's behalf.
The 'scroll' itself may have been a roll of ingestible material not entirely dissimilar to those rolled-up, coffee-flavoured wafers you can get at Sainsbury's for poking into the top of ice creams. But this is vapid speculation.
However, no one uncritically immersed in Western popular culture will raise an eyebrow at Ezekiel's abduction after this drug has been taken.
The text is found at Eze 3:12-15: "Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a loud rumbling sound - May the glory of the Lord be praised in his dwelling place! - the sound of the wings of the living creatures brushing against each other and the sound of the wheels beside them, a loud rumbling sound. The Spirit then lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit, with the strong hand of the Lord upon me. I came to the exiles who lived at Tel Abib near the Kebar River. And there, where they were living, I sat among them for seven days - overwhelmed."
Ezekiel's mood seems equivocal. On the one hand, he appears resigned and obedient about his abduction - or might this be the late gloss of a redactor? On the other hand, and paradoxically, Ezekiel is, at the same time, bitter, angry and overwhelmed by the experience. He should cheer up. At least he hasn't lost a testicle.
This is, of course, a personal reading of the Ezekiel poem; others will intuit alternative subtexts. Perhaps it is true that there are as many scriptures as there are readers.
But as modern, open-minded Christians become more and more conversant with the emerging teachings which the Holy Spirit is now giving through transpersonal psychology and transdimensional spirituality, the awareness will inevitably dawn that every angelic encounter recorded in the Bible might not necessarily have been an encounter with an angel at all; it may simply have been an encounter with a benign extraterrestrial or with an ascended master (a saint). The 'shining ones' may not always be, indeed may not usually be, angels.
One danger of this developing view is that it tends towards a downgrading of the perceived importance of the devic kingdom. Angels are important. It is suggested that there are trillions of them in our immediate planetary ambit. Indeed, like music, we ourselves may be made of angels. To be made of intelligent light-forms is to be made of the substance of God.
The fact that the occasional benign extraterrestrial or ascended master chooses to present to spiritualised human consciousness in apparent angel-form should not reduce our awareness of, or gratefulness to, the parallel and supportive evolution we call the angels.
Without angels, the universe would not cohere. And as a microcosm of that universe, nor would we.
Angels are, perhaps, the aliens closest to the heart of our modern God-consciousness.