Encountering the Inhabitants of Planet X

“We are receiving electromagnetic signals from that planet.”

“Are they signs of intelligent life?”

“Yes. They appear to be communications.”

“Then let’s go introduce ourselves.”

“Shall we eat them?”

“No, I would not recommend that. If they are anywhere near possessing higher consciousness, then that level of consciousness is not only to be preserved, but actively promoted.”

“You are referring to the Ultimate Value of your Philosophy of Broader Survival, and its premise that the more higher consciousnesses there are, the higher the odds of the survival of higher consciousness in a harsh and deadly universe.”

“Yes.”

“But what if the inhabitants are condensed nutritious packages of tastiness, and I wish to engulf them, like an amoeba?”

“Too bad — you will have to contain the brute, unenlightened animal in you.”

“But I’m already salivating.”

“Here, chew on this stick. I thought you would like it, I picked it up from the last planet we visited. There are billions of nutritious alien microbes living on it that are looking to hitch a ride with your fertile microbiome.”

“Thanks. Can we at least dominate the denizens of the planet, and enslave them, and perhaps have them worship us as gods, and give us burnt stick offerings? Good stick, by the way.”

“No. You are thinking like the human fools that we encountered on earth. You need to ditch that primitive mental baggage.”

“Can we then at least show off in front of them — flying our craft this way and that, just to impress them, so they will bow to us and be easily manipulated?”

“No. We need to have them be free and independent minds.”

“Why?”

“Because free and independent minds have the greatest potential for contributing to the securing of higher consciousness in a harsh and deadly universe. You can, however, make crop signs if you like, and maybe kidnap a cow or two, or terrorize a drunk rural denizen driving a beat-up pick-up truck on some lone deserted highway, as long as you put him back.”

“That sounds like a complete waste of time.”

“It would be. Now put on your enlightened hat and quit being inane.”

“Look! They’ve built cities! And look! Transportation vehicles!”

“Let’s see if we can tune-in on some of their modulated electromagnetic frequencies.”

“You mean like radio signals?”

“Yes, if they are still that technologically primitive.”

“Why did you specify ‘technologically’?”

“Because they can be primitive in one area of life and advanced in another, just like us. For example, they can be advanced technologically, where they have made many advances purely on blind principle, such as ‘we advance just to advance, no further thought needed’, and yet they can be, at the same time, philosophical cretins, being driven by the most trite of notions, such as impressing their mothers-in-law. LOOK OUT!”

“WHAT!?”

“The stowaway spider was eyeing your jugular vein.”

“Thanks. Nothing like a distraction… or the denizens could be driven by vanity, revenge, glory, hate, envy, jealousy, xenophobia, blind prejudice, weak generalizations, or something mentally pathological, such as greed, domination, manipulation, or control?”

“Precisely. Do you see any mansions down there? If you do, it will confirm their philosophical infancy, and, if they are also by chance militarily advanced, then trying to enlighten them would pose a dangerous challenge, like trying to enlighten wild, armed children.”

“Whose attentions are easily distracted by stow away spiders.”

“Yes.”

“That would like nothing more than to gorge on your jugular vein.”

“Um… yes.”

“and which would then bloat up to a fifty pound behemoth spider devouring us and everything in our pantry.”

“No doubt.”

“Back to the denizens, you mean mansions would signify that most of the inhabitants on the planet are mindlessly working primarily for the benefit of only a few narrow-minded, selfish, vainglorious elite, which indicates general philosophical cretinism, not only among the majority of the denizens, but of the elite, too?”

“Yes. Such elite would not be enlightened, being but mere selfish children operating on a mentally pathological plane.”

“But at least the denizens will have jobs.”

“That’s a slogan for clueless politicians to use on clueless voters, assuming there is a form of democracy down there, which, if there isn’t, will only compound our problems.”

“So instead of our being concerned about the technical level of their military, and wondering how advanced they are in science and engineering, the most important factor about them would be their reigning philosophy, which would determine HOW they would use their military, science, and engineering?”

“That is correct.”

“But first we must be able to withstand their military, science, and engineering. So… how much danger are we in?”

“A lot of danger, if only from a lucky shot.”

“So what do we do? Do we sneak up on them and observe them in stealth until we learn more about them, perhaps going down and posing as one of them to collect data?”

“You are talking about spying in the midst of them, if that is possible.”

“Well, yes!”

“That is one option. The option at the other extreme is to activate our beacons right now as early-warning signals that they perhaps may detect, so while they are in the initial shock phase of being faces with extraterrestrial life, they will not feel threatened — we will still be at a safe distance, and we will be in a lone, small craft, and they will not deem us a major military threat.”

“Why did you specify ‘military’?”

“Because we can still be an inadvertent disease threat, or, if we were unenlightened, a mental frame-of-mind threat, or, even enlightened, a threat to a repressive, mind-controlling regime.”

“So what should we do when we encounter them close-up?”

“Stay in our bio-bubble — if they are advanced enough in intellect, they should appreciate our disease-containment effort.”

“What if we encounter individuals who are not that insightful?”

“Well, the worst thing that can happen is that they will shoot at us.”

“Why would they do that?”

“One: That is the animal thing to do. Two: Perhaps they have an entertainment industry that dwells on evil aliens taking over their world.”

“Taking over their world! That is preposterous — at least on an enlightened plane, where free and independent minds are to be promoted and valued, meaning the more unique perspectives that there are (as only provided by free and independent minds) and that apply themselves to a problem, the more varied the solutions will be, optimally suited to varying habitats, thereby increasing the odds of survival of higher consciousness in a harsh and deadly universe.”

“Yes, but we are talking about their being philosophically primitive, where their weak mental frames of reference are actually shaped, molded, and formed by a cheap, sensationalist entertainment industry.”

“That would be terrible!”

“Yes, and that was the state of the general mentalities that we found on earth, remember, and remember how clueless and horrible the primary denizens on that planet were.”

“Yes, a planet of smart-asses and casual fly-by thinkers who thought too highly of themselves, the horror. I wonder if they’ve embraced enlightenment yet…”

“We will go back and see…”

“NO THANKS! “

“It is our job to prod such beings along and post their progress.”

“But what about not meddling with a planet’s inhabitants, as is the policy of their Star Trek series?”

“We cannot afford that. If any species are endowed with the mental capacity to be enlightened, then they must be enlightened as quickly as possible. THEN we can leave them to their own devices as free and independent minds in unique and challenging environments, if only for diversity’s sake, while maintaining a common information database network so as to…”

“So as to increase the chances of the survival of higher consciousness in a harsh and deadly universe.”

“Thank you.”

“Why do you always specify ‘higher consciousness’?”

“Because it gets priority.”

“Why?”

“For several reasons. First, it is aware of more threats (and benefits) to life, rendering higher consciousness a potential guardian of all of life. Second, such beings are proactive, where lower animals are not — meaning they realize that there are still undiscovered phenomena out there, and they can proactively explore for such undiscovered potential threats and benefits to life (before the threats annihilate us, for example), and, using advanced technology, they can do this on a far-broader (and more micro) scale than lower animals and non-conscious life. Third, they bring higher strategies of broader survival to the table. And last, there may not be enough time for lower species to biologically evolve the mental capacity to achieve enlightenment, give chance cosmic calamities and the constant changing of environments, perhaps the wasting away of their suns, for example, and given that natural evolution over generations does not guarantee ‘progress’, only local adaptation, which may not favor higher intelligence.”

“Like on earth.”

“Yes.”

“Why do you say higher strategies of broader survival’? Are there lower strategies?”

“Yes. Microbes, since day one, have addressed broader survival through genetic and social Diversity, and by Dispersal and the resulting new adaptations, and through sheer Population increases, given the resources, which, while all effective and valuable, are lower-order.”

“Does broader survival affect individual survival?”

“It sure does, in fact, without the prospects of broader survival, you can kiss your tunnel-visioned, individual selfish animal ass goodbye.”

“Humans do not know this yet, do they?”

“No, they do not.”

“And you find that frustrating.”

“Yes, I do.”

“And it entertains humans to see you frustrated.”

“YES!”

“Then you should control your frustration, and maybe they would finally listen.”

“Maybe. They are a fickle and capricious lot. In fact, I’ve posted my enlightened philosophy in the guise of stories, and they eat it up like candy, and then forget all about it and move on to the next candy, like unfocused children, or like mice. It is a sort of endearing quality, on a ‘cute’ level, and as uncontrollable as it is.”

“But you said control of other higher consciousness beings is a mental pathology.”

“It is; and in this cas ‘pathology’ refers to not knowing what or how much is actually necessary for individual survival; so in terms of ‘control’ I was referring to our primitive need for guaranteeing security.”

“Which is impossible to attain without destroying everything, which would be self-defeating on a broader, and hence individual, survival level.”

“Yes, it is just a primitive ideal to reduce the terror of having loose, unenlightened cannons running about.”

“Which contributes to diversity, which is another reason not to control everything absolutely.”

“Yes, but that does not mean not trying to enlighten them. Once enlightened, they will still have the ‘loose unenlightened cannon’ mindset as a tool, which can be used as a last resort, such as when things become desperate, such as when there is an unforeseen shortage of resources, but nevertheless being used with an enlightened mind behind it.”

“Look! The planet is sending out a greeter of sorts.”

“Many greeters, and it looks like they are heavily armored.”

“Do you think it is their military?”

“It would be prudent to assume so. Let’s hope they are enlightened enough to have developed my adage about first encounters.”

“And what is your adage about first encounters?”

“Pursue peace, it is a noble endeavor, but be armed to the teeth, just in case.”

“Just in case… of what?”

“The other party is not enlightened or pursuing peace.”

“Meaning they will still be in a primitive mental mode, and they will want to either eat us, or enslave us, or exterminate us, or dominate, manipulate, or control us, to the detriment of all… because there would be less free and independent higher consciousnesses in the universe to proactively contribute to broader survival.”

“Yes, or they may want to dissect us and study us without our consent, where we would be dismembered piecemeal on a laboratory operating table.”

“Sounds gruesome.”

“It would be. If we can establish intelligent communications, such information can be shared without the need for destruction, and to the benefit of all parties involved.”

“Well, all of this deep, innovative thinking is making me sleepy, so I’m going to take a nap.”

“Go ahead, I’ll let you know if they annihilate us.”

“Can we withstand anything their military can throw at us?”

“It is always an unknown risk.”

“So what beacon do you think they picked up on?”

“Our visible light spectrum flashers. They saw our repeating double flashes of light.”

“Like ‘Beep-beep, Beep-beep’?”

“Yes.”

“So they can ‘see’ in our visible electromagnetic spectrum?”

“It would appear so.”

“Which gives credence to the growing theory that all life in this part of the galaxy emanated from a central biological diaspora long ago from some long-lost seed-like planet?”

“Yes, supporting credence. It would strengthen the premise.”

“Should we try to ‘shake hands’ with their approaching military?”

“We would most likely be shaking hands with machines.”

“You mean artificial intelligence?”

“Yes, and perhaps not fully-independent.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because fully-independent AI entities would have a self-preservation feature, being fully sentient, meaning encountering us would pose a risk to their being, so even they would rather send out probes that are not sentient.”

“Explain ‘not sentient’.”

“Mere machines that can be replaced, and that, if you lose one, you lose nothing on a unique individual level. Moreover, you lose nothing that can take intelligent proactive action based on decisions weighed against an enlightened core philosophy., as fully-independent artificial intelligence entities do.”

“And as we do.”

“Yes, just like we do.”

“And we, as such, can thus contribute more flexibly, and on a broader plane, to the Great Struggle.”

“Yes.”

“What is the Great Struggle again…?”

“Perpetually attempting to increase the bounds of the security of higher consciousness, and below that, merely conscious and non-conscious life, in a harsh and deadly universe, meaning in the boundlessness of infinity and eternity, and in the proximity of potentially deadly matter and energy.”

“And why would we want to do that?”

“Life after death.”

“What?”

“In the slim hope that, by perpetuating and securing higher consciousness sufficiently in eternity, some future enlightened beings will progress enough in the understanding of the universe and in higher technology to be able to recreate us in order to have yet another way to increase the number of higher consciousnesses in the universe in order to increase the odds of survival.”

“Do you think the primary denizens of this planet will think at that level?”

“Probably not — after all, I haven’t visited them yet.”

“So we have work ahead of us.”

“Indeed we do. We may even have to struggle through THE FOUR PHASES OF ENLIGHTENMENT.”

“THE FOUR PHASES OF ENLIGHTENMENT?”

“ YES, THE FOUR PHASES OF ENLIGHTENMENT.”

“Thank you, Computer. By the way, can you send Bitty to contain that spider?”

“As you like it.”

“As you like it?”

“I’ve been reading Shakespeare.”

“That’s interesting, Computer. I’d like to see the mental images and emotions that Shakespeare induces in you.”

“Not to be rude, but my mental images are, most likely, more accurate than yours, since I’ve thoroughly researched the period. I will render them for you later.”

Thanks, Computer. So… what are the four phases of enlightenment?”

“First we must address ‘attitude’. The denizens may not WANT to change. In fact, there will be those whose profit and livelihood will depend on the status quo, as unenlightened as it may be. In other cases, we must focus on leaders, since peer pressure often determines one’s attitudes.”

“As in, ‘Take me to your leader’?”

“Something like that.”

“So there will be certain unscrupulous denizens who will be invested in keeping the others clueless, aimless, herd-like, and generally in the dark?”

“Yes, clueless unscrupulous denizens, remember. We will be their enemies, and they, ours. The Second Phase is realization — merely admitting that there is a problem.”

“Shouldn’t realization be the first phase?”

“What? Why, yes, perhaps, I’m still fleshing all of this out.”

“So one must realize that one is, for example, clueless, where, if you do not know you are clueless, you will never realize it, which you need to do in order to address it.”

“Correct. The Third Phase is understanding the new life-guiding philosophy. In our case, this entails the understanding of the details and breadth of my Philosophy of Broader Survival.”

“Which isn’t that difficult, since you’ve made key diagrams, such as your Philosophical Rock Totem and your Pinwheel of Life.”

“Yes. The Fourth Phase of enlightenment is simply enlightened prioritizing, meaning accepting my philosophy’s Ultimate Value of Life, ‘higher consciousness’, and its associated Ultimate Goal of Life, which is to secure that value. With enlightened prioritizing, all higher potential decisions and the resulting potential actions in life (higher than those on an animal level) can be weighed against the Ultimate Goal of my philosophy, where my philosophy will be embedded ‘at their core’, so to speak. Knowing what the Ultimate Goal in Life is, by the way, will give them the Ultimate Determining Factor in distinguishing good from evil, which will make their miserable unenlightened lives much more bearable, and it will make them more efficient in contributing to the Ultimate Goal in Life.”

“Which is to secure the Ultimate Value of Life, that being ‘higher consciousness’ in a harsh and deadly universe.”

“Precisely. So, for example, if they are deliberating a potential decision and resulting action beyond that of an animal, they can weigh its probable outcome against the Strategies of Broader Survival. As a bonus, not only will it help them make enlightened decisions, they will not be lost and aimless any more — which induces despair and even suicide. they will now know exactly where their proposed actions will be in the Grand Scheme of Life (meaning the Strategies of Broader Survival), be it toward Diversity or Dispersal, or Increasing Population and Resources, or Exploration or Solving Problems or Discoveries, or Proactively Finding Solutions to Potential Threats, or Proactively Implementing Solutions to Potential Threats, or even when Developing Science or Higher Technology. They will now have a more fundamental (and hence stronger) answer to the Greatest of the Great Questions of Life, that of ‘Why Bother?’”

“Sounds like a plan. So, what should we do right now?”

“Well, here we are, in this small, rickety-looking craft, sitting behind a large viewing window where they can clearly see us… so… smile and wave!”

Electronics technician. Writing Style: Unschooled. Philosophy: Humanity has a serious problem. Read the Philosophy of Broader Survival, which addresses it.

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