A Little-Bit Alien
Updated: Apr 13, 2022
Collage by D.K. Spencer
I often reflect on sci-fi author, Ted Chiang’s story, The Great Silence. It’s about a parrot that’s desperately trying to get our attention while we humans are busily looking for intelligent life elsewhere. I think there is something to this.
Seemingly we have missed the point and given up on our fellow compatriots, human or otherwise. We dissect frogs for example, to gain better understanding. But after it’s done, we’ve no more idea what makes a frog a frog. What gives a frog its frog-ness? What pleasures does a frog seek? A shady little spot in a shallow under some leafy skunk cabbage, he sits there happy, as well … a frog.
As we try to understand the universe and the world around us, we often lose sight of how truly incredible our experience of living on a planet full of life is. We’re willing to risk it all with life ending war, for instance.
Our cosmic view of reality shapes our individual beliefs and actions, which causes the collective harmonic dissidence we experience every day. Our views are reinforced, be they correct and good or not, by holding them up to a world that does not in reality, exist. The world we see is mere illusion. We are not paying attention to the frog or the parrot.
What if, instead of the well-worn stories of Alien invasions, Aliens were not trying to steal our planet and our resources? Why would they need them? The Universe is aplenty.
And where are all these Aliens anyway?
Maybe we haven’t found Alien life yet because we’re one of the first to arrive on the scene. The Universe is young, it’s still making new planets, stars, and blackholes. Is that how an old, dying Universe would behave?
Earth formed 4.5 billion years ago making it 8 billion years younger than the oldest planets closest to the Big Bang. If you were to consider the age of the Earth as a single epoch, there would only be three Universal epochs since the beginning of time. Regardless, the number of earth-like planets in the Universe is astounding, but the reason we haven’t found life beyond Earth is because space is vast, life is rare, and the Universe is young.
Maybe the Universe is only just waking up. Life is about to pop wide open in a new Universal era, like an unattended bowl of spaghetti that’s been left, forgotten in the fridge. We’re right in that perfect amount of time where other forms of consciousness might spring forth and into the forefront. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
In that sense then, couldn’t we imagine the Universe being alive with a collective consciousness? With an inter-modal web of communication between planets abundant with life? Think if we could achieve this without the use of vital resources required for interplanetary travel. How would our culture change? Would we value Earth more or continue to take it mostly for granted if we knew others were watching?
Sometimes I feel a little-bit Alien, like I’m on a planet I’m seeing for the very first time. I look in wonder upon all of the flora and fauna here. I think it’s a place where I’d like to live. If only Humans could see the Earth for the very first time like me, they might take better care of it.
They might like to live here too.