Ifeoma Mbue
Texas Women’s University

There are multiple ways to obtain a serene spiritual life. For me, my relationship with the spiritual world is grounded in Catholicism. In general, Catholicism is a well known and misconstrued faith. Understandably, most of the misapprehension is stemmed from the Catholic church’s own initiatives. This is due to the horrible mistreatment of individuals outside the realm of the church and the misuse of God’s name to justify heinous actions. There are a lot of divisions within Christianity that goes against Jesus Christ’s teachings for unity. There is dissonance between the way Christians profusely evangelize about the love of God and behave towards people with different faith & lifestyles. Even the skepticism from devout Christians that this author incurred by publishing this novel was probably abysmal. Still, I am proud to be a Catholic because of the ideals and principles that my religion represents: faith, hope, and love. It is through these ideals, I’m able to truly open myself up to the possibly of manifestations of God’s Word from this novel.

Reading this eccentric novel, I can’t help but be completely amazed at the details and specificities of Michel Desmarquet’s writing. It’s truly sad that the eloquent and vivacious nature of the book is blocked by the speculation on the accuracy of his intergalactic journey. Even with Desmarquet’s remarkable writing, I have certain doubts on whether he was actually abducted by aliens. No doubt, I do believe that Michel did have a real divine experience and an extreme manifestation from God. Whether or not the basis of his alien abduction is true, I feel as though this book is meant to teach the world something. God manifests himself in innumerable ways whether it is through our family, the Bible, or a random television commercial. Many people look for supernatural, voluminous expositions of God that we miss His little signs. I feel as though this book is that little sign. Forty pages into the book, I got a multitude of revelations & confirmations about God and His divine relationship with humans. This book actually inspired me to fall back on my Holy Bible to further deepen my spiritual relationship with God. Looking past the book’s controversy, you will see that Desmarquet’s journey can be likened to prophetic events that take place in the Bible. The spiritual lessons that Desmarquet learns from Thao are parallel to knowledge communicated within the Bible.

In chapter 3, titled “The first man on earth,” Thao told Micheal that the people of Bakaratini were sending themselves to earth and mars in order to save whatever is left of their population. The Bakaratini consisted of a black and Chinese race that constantly butted heads against each other. Before their atomic destruction, the people of Bakaratini were living lives analogous to our industrialized society: greedy, envious, fast-paced, and profit based. Both races were highly intelligent to the point they built weaponry that lead to their own demise. The Bakaratini’s focus on the physical world lead to their destruction. Likewise, the Bible prophetically emphasizes that “if you live according the flesh, you will die” (Romans 8:13). After 150 years, Thao’s people quickly helped the Bakaratini revert back to civilization and neglect their semi-wild state. The Bakaratini took it as a divine intervention and became a spiritually/materialistically advanced people that a friendship between the races was established. It was through Thao’s intervention that the Bakaratini became strongly connected to the spiritual realm. In this chapter, Desmarquet wants us to realize that the “physical body is merely a vehicle which, in most cases we abandon when we die,” so we have to be careful not to develop a dependable relationship with the corporeal realm. Both Desmarquet and the Bible are trying to get the reader to enlighten our spiritual relationships. Throughout this novel, Desmarquet wants us to unravel the truth about the “Spirit” within us to deepen our connection with the spiritual world.

As a Christian, I have two fundamental jobs to help promote a better world: spread the Gospel message and love my neighbor as Christ has loved the world. For so long, Christians have focused solely on the former and forget about the latter. They want to argue with other religions, have debates, or be religiously correct. Jesus never spread his message because He wanted to prove Himself to be self-righteous but solely because He had love and compassion for us. Even though Christians spread the news about God’s love, the words get lost in bodily communication. People forget that 97% of all personal communication is body language including tone or microexpressions. This period of racial injustice & worldly destruction is comparable to disputes between the black and Chinese race of the Bakaratini people. If it wasn’t for Thao’s “divine” intervention the Bakaratini people would not be spiritually saved. We in this world need that type of divine intervention and the way God helps people is through other people. Likewise, as Christians we are part of God’s intervention through our two fundamental jobs. For Michel and the Bakaratini, Thao was the mediator that helped them attain a new spiritual life. Christians are meant to be a hope to those that are hopeless. It is through our acts of service we are meant to be a light of truth and connection towards our divine creator. That is exactly how I plan to promote a better world: to be a beacon of hope and a divine connection to our creator.

I want to have a career in the medical field. There’s no better way to provide hope than when people are in their most ill and vulnerable condition. I want to travel the world and help underdeveloped countries get the most basic human right: good healthcare. I want to use my medical degree to help advance healthcare in underdeveloped countries. I want to help bring better scientific technologies and assistance to these countries. Science itself is not independent meaning it can be applied to and affect numerous fields i.e. politics. I also want to become a clinical scientist as well. Researching to me goes beyond having my name in mass media but about public service. I so desperately want to become part of a team that finds cures for the diseases that are deemed incurable. That is hope for not only underdeveloped countries but for all humans. Scientific research to me is THE center of hope. It is because of the persistence, tenacity, and audacity of these famous researchers that we are able to live our lives longer to see our loved ones thrive. I want to become that doctor that helps someone wake up the next day and be thankful that they are still alive. Though, I can do all the research possible, but if I don’t strive to make our environment clean then these health diseases will procure. Part of public health is educating the public on alternative and greener lifestyles. It involves letting institutions know how their harmful carbon print affects those destitute in society. I have seen the repercussions climate change has done to my extended family members in Africa. There is still a lot of research that can be done in developing greener technology that can reach people on a global scale. Everybody deserves the right to breathe and live in a clean environment. Everything that God gave us on this earth is meant to reach an elevated relationship with Him. This planet is not meant to be exploited for our own selfish needs. It’s mainly through the actions of spiritually advanced individuals can we inspire others to take care of this planet. We have to strive to not let a fear of people’s opinions derail us from promoting a better, spiritual world. Michel did not let the dread of criticism keep him from writing his spiritually wakening book, so why should we?

Runner-up of A Better World" Spirituality and Technology Advancement Scholarship for 2020