Gremlins & visionaries

The scriptures are full of dreams and visions; taken in themselves they seem to promise a good time. For these dreams and visions come mostly from God, who is, we are assured, favourably disposed to us. There are also warnings, and perhaps the most signal are warnings against demonic dreams and visions. All such “psychic” events need testing. The evidence that one may be inspired by demoniac sources is all around — in the Bible, as in life.

Some priest, and not I, will be the expert on evil phenomena; as a priest, and not I, can perform exorcisms. I will simply point to the obvious: Satan is not your friend (and in fact wants you dead); Christ wants to save you. They evidence much knowledge of each other, although a theme of Satan’s teaching is that neither he nor Jesus Christ exists. This he finds convenient to his background message: that you shouldn’t exist, either.

But I am interested, for the moment, in the existence of gremlins. These are creatures depicted in low-tech modern folklore, but omitted from consideration in the high-tech literature. Still, they are perfectly common, in everyday experience, as one may learn by consulting a computer techie, or other advanced engineer. They take pleasure in flipping levers and switches in mischievous ways, and in other whimsical acts of sabotage. They do not leave evidence of their ministrations, and may thus be thought of as “the devil of the gaps.” This skill makes them, occasionally, the ally of the Luddite, but no one will wisely depend upon a devil.

The “gremlin” label arose in the Royal Air Force in the ‘twenties, in the Middle East, to explain mechanical events in aviation, I am told by the Wicked Paedia. The Old English term, gremian (“to vex”) was the presumed source. It seems that, in order to discover gremlins, we had first to invent aeroplanes. The gremlins then discovered how to make them crash.

What we haven’t yet grasped, is that gremlins may sometimes act in a co-ordinated, organized way, for their own ends. I suspect this is what they are doing when creating the evidence for alien spaceships, which defy not only gravity but every other physical law, and seem to have travelled from “distant planetary systems” — from which nature was designed to prevent travel. (Only God or the angels, including the fallen, could ever exceed the speed of light.)

Our dreams and visions of the future (modest ones like sending people to Mars, immodest ones like Alpha, Beta, and Proxima Centauri) currently assume that we will harness the magical power of gremlins. But my own complacency about the physical laws preserves me from such tawdry dreams and visions. One might say that physics alone has saved me.