This article examines how the myth of extraterrestrial (ET)-human hybridization reworks earlier traditions of superhumanhuman hybridity, how the ETs of current lore represent the morphological projection of the direction of human evolution, and how the myth of ET-human hybridization tracks current developments in reproductive technology and increased understanding of reproductive processes. The myth of ET-human hybridization mediates the tension between individualism and collectivism (one of the most basic concepts of cultural psychology). Whereas the ETs of 1950s-style ET-contactee myth promised salvation from nuclear war, the ETs of the current hybridization myth need us as much as we need them.
ABSTRACT : Korea's JeungSanDo is a syncretistic religion in which elements of religious Taoism, Buddhism, Neo-Confucianism, Roman Catholicism, and Korean shamanism are combined with a unifying millenarian vision that was initially formulated in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the late Joseon Dynasty. JeungSanDo is based on the teachings of Gang Il-sun (1871––1909), who was/is regarded by his followers as the incarnation of SangJe (Shangti), the Ruler of the Universe in religious Taoism, as well as Maitreya, the Future Buddha of Buddhist eschatology. The religion of Gang Il-sun arose as a compensatory response to the defeat of the Donghak Revolution in 1894. The central belief of JeungSanDo is Hu-Cheon GaeByeok , the Great Opening of the Later Heaven, the new age of JeungSan Gang Il-Sun's millenarian vision. A glossary of Korean and Chinese terms follows the endnotes. No religion is completely ““new,”” no religious message completely abolishes the past. Rather, there is a recasting, a renewal, a revalorization, an integration of the elements——the most essential elements——of an immemorial religious tradition. ——Mircea Eliade, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy 1