Story: To the Planet of Nobodies

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“Where are we vectoring to next?”

“To the Planet of Nobodies.”

“The Planet of Nobodies?”

“Yes.”

“What the hell?”

“Yes, that was my first reaction.”

“Do you mean to say that these beings think that they are ‘nobodies’?”

“Sadly, yes.”

“Well… what kind of mentality is that…?”

“A sad one, and an unenlightened one.”

“Have you given the cause of their mental dilemma any critical thought?”

“No, but we can wing it here.”

“OK.”

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“So… we will be faced with beings who think they are nobodies, and our job is to enlighten them, and perhaps an entire planet… of nobodies. The first thing to consider is our facial expressions. What facial expression will work the best toward achieving our goal with such individuals?”

“Let’s consider ‘individuals’: Maybe, considering their mindset, it would be better to address whole groups of them.”

“Ah, gather together a whole group of nobodies — yes, maybe that is a good idea.”

“Yes… but now we have to consider how their mentalities operate in group settings, so we can reach their minds amid all of the inevitable physical distractions…”

“Like their imagining having sex with all the other at least half-way-attractive nobodies of the opposite sex in the group, as any mind anywhere is wont to do?”

“Precisely, along with imagining a happily-ever-after life together after, meaning a life filled with smiles and deep love, eternal commitment, and most of all, understanding, which, I believe, is a prerequisite for the other two, and perhaps all three.”

“Maybe we should just experiment with individuals and with groups; and, since they have mass media, we can try manipulating them with that.”

“Why are you assuming that they have mass media?”

“Because it is a prime cause of ‘nobodiness’ — it brings the entire world to you, aye, even the galaxy in our day and age, and it makes you feel insignificant.”

“If you are still unenlightened, that is.”

“Yes. So… back to facial expressions… should we go with the big toothy-smile of a glad-handing, evangelical used-car salesman?”

“Well, there is also the other end of the spectrum — a disapproving scowl.”

“Maybe we should play Good Cop, Bad Cop — you do one, and I’ll do the other.”

“OK. Who should do which?”

“You should smile — you have a far larger mandible than I.”

“So now that we have our social approach planned out… what do we consider next?”

“I think our Consideration Phase is over. This planet may be better approached spontaneously.”

“OK. Let’s go…”

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“It doesn’t seem so depressing down here, and everything is somewhat clean… where is everyone?”

“Probably reading.”

“Ah, maybe that is the medium we need to use…”

“Maybe… they must go out sometime, however; so we’ll just wait… where should we wait?”

“Well, ideally we would wait wherever the nobodies would expect to find philosophers trying to enlighten them.”

“Hmmm… places like that haven’t existed since the days of the Ancient Greeks back on Earth.”

“Probably because their philosophies have all failed, and people just got tired of them.”

“That is a depressing thought, isn’t it, especially for us.”

“Yes, it is… and now we have the facial expressions that a nobody would have… depressed… maybe it will work in our effort here… hey, here comes a group of nobodies now… I’ll take the lead… ahem… ‘Hello, group of nobodies. We are galactic philosophers, and we are here to enlighten you.”

“Hahaha, thanks — I can speak for all of us nobodies — that was humorous, and you did brighten our day, if only a little, so thank you, and a good day to you.”

“Wait! We are on the level. Can we join you, and at least try to enlighten you while you go about your business?”

“Sure, but if you are merely trying to separate us from our money , forget it.”

“Money? Ha. We don’t need no stinkin’ money. This is a fictional universe… where my friend here just happens to be independently wealthy.”

“Then why doesn’t he flaunt his wealth like a fool.. ah, because he is enlightened…?”

Very good acumen for a nobody. If you are not careful, it may make you a somebody. “So… where are you going, as a group of nobodies?”

“We aren’t ‘going’ anywhere. We are just trying to walk off a little of our excess nobodiness.”

“Ah! Perfect! This is your lucky day. You are trying to reduce your nobodiness, and we are here to enlighten you, which will enable you to overcome your nobodiness, if you choose. So, do we have your serious consideration yet?”

“Yes, as a matter of fact, you do have our attention now. How long will it take you to enlighten us — I mean, is it quick, where we can just stand here, or will take a while, where it will be better if we go somewhere to sit and converse?”

“I think sitting and conversing would serve us better, because, as philosophers, we may ramble and ramble and ramble…”

“And ramble and ramble and ramble?”

“Yes, it is a mood thing — and sitting would be more conducive to such a mood.”

“Then sitting and conversing it is. We have several options.”

“Well, let’s just ramble on until the first one presents itself. We’ll buy.”

“Nice. Thanks. I feel somewhat enlightened already… and I’m sure I speak for all of us.”

“Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes, you do speak for all of us, and I could use a little rest after all of this futile walking.”

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“So here we are, sitting and resting, and soon to be conversing, in this sitting and conversing establishment. A fine establishment it is, too. I must compliment you on your planet’s architecture. Very modern, and I like modern.”

“Why, thank you. I don’t know how we do it when our moods are so morbid, always thinking we are nobodies.”

“Did you know that your planet is known throughout the galaxy as ‘The Planet of Nobodies’?”

“NO! We didn’t… WELL… that… ironically… makes us ‘somebodies~!”

“I hope we didn’t just ruin your ‘nobody’ party…”

“Well, we WERE kind of enjoying our miserable moods caused by our perceiving ourselves as nobodies… so yes, in a sense, you DID ruin that…”

“How does your new mood feel?”

“Not sure — it feels funny, like maybe we are not suited for such happiness… perhaps we NEED to feel miserable, which means we may just search for something else to feel miserable about, though it will not be about being ‘nobodiness’ any longer…”

“Well, you could feel miserable about not being suited for happiness…”

“HEY! Great idea! That DOES sound miserable!”

“So…”

“So… what is this ‘enlightenment’ that you were speaking of?”

“It has to do with your survival, meaning your survival with regards to eternity, and infinity, so it is serious stuff. Are you in a serious mood?”

“Funny how being mentally open and receptive relies so much on feeling and mood… but yes, this is, after all, why we are gathered here in this fine sitting and conversing establishment…”

“Fine service here, by the way…”

“Awe, it’s nothing special…”

“The perfect place for nobodies.”

“What? You mean we are still nobodies, even though we are somebodies?”

“Yes — reality is rather complex, after all… you can be, at once, classified in a million different ways.”

“So… eternal survival… go ahead, continue, and I hope you will not mind our curious interruptions…”

“Of course not, questions are welcome. Well, I began one fine summer morning with the question of, “Why bother?”

“Summer?”

“Yes, my homeworld has seasons — it has a 23.5 degree tilt with respect to the star it orbits.

“Ah, interesting. So… Why bother…”

“Yes, that is where I began, it was really why bother to get out of bed on a Saturday. Now first, consider the general question of ‘Why Bother’ in light of your feeling like nobodies. How do they relate?”

“Well, even a nobody can ask the question of ‘Why Bother?’…”

“Yes — and even a nobody can pursue the Ultimate Answer.”

“But something in your eyes tell me that you have already discovered it, so our efforts would be redundant — rendering us nobodies, with you as the sparkly-eyed somebody.”

“Yes, and I am THAT somebody… aren’t you lucky to be in my presence.”

“Why, yes we are, oh Great Somebody.”

“And I will return your good will, oh Fine Group of Nobodies, and a fine group of nobodies you are, I might add…”

“You aren’t saying that just to make us feel good, are you, because you know we enjoy our misery…”

“No! I wouldn’t not toy with your emotions like that — my socially-experimental teen years are far, far behind me.”

“That is a relief. So, continue. You were at ‘eternal survival’ and ‘Why Bother?’.”

“Yes. Thank you. Now, in pursuing the answer to ‘Why Bother?’ I simply kept asking ‘Why?’ to any answer I came up with, until I arrived at the answer that stood up to ‘Why?’ As you can imagine, I asked ‘Why?’ many, many times as I delved deeper and deeper into the answer, until I arrived at the core.”

“The core?”

“Yes, ‘the core’. Other terms would be the Ultimate Answer, or an ‘objective’ answer, and since there is only room for one ‘objective’ answer, it would be The Objective Answer.”

“So what was the answer?”

“Higher consciousness.”

“Higher consciousness?”

“Yes — it became the basis for my classification system of different levels of consciousness, which I use as a Tool of Perception, which I keep with all of my other Potentially Useful Perspectives in my Perspectives Toolbox.”

“Is it a physical toolbox?”

“No, currently it is in my memory, but having a hard copy, or at least a digital reference, would not be a bad idea, considering how bad memories are. Thank you, I will put that on my To Do List, unless you nobodies would like to tackle the problem… if you published such a reference, you might become somebodies.”

“We’ll give it a thought… personally, I’m not too partial to change, meaning I’m perfectly accustomed to being a nobody… meaning I’m not sure I’d even like being a somebody…”

“Nobody, somebody — it doesn’t make a difference once you are enlightened. You can eat one or the other as you wish, like candy.”

“It sounds liberating.”

“Liberating… well… yes, I suppose it is — I haven’t perceived my philosophy that way before. I will have to add that potentially-useful perspective to my Potentially-Useful Perspectives Toolbox, which, by the way, comes in handy when peering into the unknown.”

“Peering into the unknown?”

“Yes, that is the way I like to phrase ‘exploration’, and my assumption is that the more ways we have in perceiving things, the better equipped we will be in unraveling what is out there in the unknown, which is often right in front of our noses.”

“Like oxygen to the ancient Greeks who knew nothing about it, even though it was right in front of their noses, indeed, going right up their noses, indeed, it was what their very lives depended on?”

“Yes, like that.”

“Incredible.”

“Incredible.”

“Is that all there is to your philosophy?”

“No, we have only scratched the surface. Perhaps I should open an Academy on your planet in order to fully communicate all of its central tenets.”

“An Academy… let’s order another round and ponder such an ‘Academy’…”

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“Here are your new rounds… why are all of you so quiet?”

“We are PONDERING…”

“What are you all pondering?”

“What a new Philosophical Academy would be like…”

“Well, I’m picturing toga’s already, and grapes, and wine… a Classical Greek setting, ala Aristotle’s Lyceum or Plato’s Academy… which, if you opened it up in Hollywood, would quickly devolve into debauchery, I mean, loose-fitting togas and physical beauties and all… though you would be working on their inadequate mentalities, of course…”

“Of course, and yes, that general scenario was my first vision, too. Thank you for bringing us another round.”

“I think I will just sit here and ponder with you.”

“Won’t you get in trouble with your boss?”

“No. I’m the owner. The round is on me.”

“Woah! Are you a somebody?”

“No. I’m just a nobody who happens to own a sitting and conversing establishment, and who has a nice mansion up on the hill, and a beautiful wife, and spoiled kids, a nice vehicle, and trendy pets, all of which I flaunt day after dreary day.”

“And now you are a nobody who is PONDERING…”

“Yes, though I’m more into the goal than the actual pondering… so about this Philosophical Academy…”

“Ah, how rude of me. Let me introduce to you our new galactic philosophers who have come to our planet to enlighten us nobodies.”

“Are you here to make us somebodies?”

“No, you are already somebodies, according to my philosophy.”

“Even though we are nobodies?”

“Yes, even though you are nobodies.”

“But we cannot be somebodies and nobodies at the same time.”

“Yes, you can be.”

“Preposterous! What kind of ludicrous philosophy are you huckstering?”

“Ha, ‘huckstering’. I hope hucksters have not preceded us on this planet — it would only make my job harder. If I had a button that would vaporize all of the hucksters out there, I would be highly tempted to push it…”

“Why wouldn’t you?”

“Potential.”

“Potential?”

“Yes, even those scoundrels have higher consciousness, though aimless, clueless, and misused, if not depraved, which means they have the potential of being enlightened.”

“Have you tried?”

“Yes.”

“And…”

“Miserably failed. It is like fencing with swords — I have to parry and thrust, trying to cut through their smart-ass mentalities. If I succeeded, they would never admit it… so I have to have patience — perhaps I do manage to plant a mental seed, where it takes time to germinate and grow.”

“Do you have a title for your philosophy?”

“Not really. If it survives, then others will settle on a name. I’ve tried many. Right now I am using “The Philosophy of Broader Survival”, and sometimes I add ‘for the Space Age’, which would make all of those beings not ready for it, or who cannot understand it, feel better — since not everyone is ready for the ‘Space Age’.”

“Broader survival?”

“Yes, of higher consciousness as a population, which would then disperse throughout the universe, and given eternal existence, it would mean ever-broadening our sphere of security in a harsh and deadly universe, which exists over a backdrop of time and space nothingness which we call ‘infinity’ and ‘eternity’. I call this perpetual endeavor The Great Struggle.”

“Where did that loud echoing megaphone voice come from?”

“It appears whenever I say The Great Struggle.”

“Amazing.”

“Thank you.”

“So… dispersal of enlightened minds…”

“Yes, and they key word at this point in my introducing my new life-guiding mindset to you is ‘dispersal’, since it leads us to the Strategies of Broader Survival.”

“Strategies?”

“Yes, which means ‘how’ you are going to pursue your goal.”

“So… let me guess… in this case, our goal would be to perpetually engage in The Great Struggle (woah! it even works for me!), meaning perpetually expanding the bounds of the security of higher consciousness in a harsh and deadly universe, which exists against the backdrop of the Great Nothingnesses of Eternity and Infinity, rendering the struggle a perpetual endeavor, which would be a great struggle, indeed, if only in maintaining perpetual motivation.”

“You read my mind.”

“Well, yes and no, I read your ‘signs’, it is a slight gift that we nobodies have.”

“I won’t tell you that you are becoming more ‘somebody’ish’ the more I get to know all of you.”

“Good, because telling us would ruin our nobody mood, which we have grown accustomed to… so what are the other Strategies of Broader Survival?”

“There are several, and I would not bore you here… it is something that an Academy would be ideally suited for…”

“An Academy with gleaming white alabaster walls and soaring erect marble columns…”

“Sounds OK… I was thinking more of compartmentalization.”

“Compartmentalization?”

“Yes. Different areas of the academy, open-air would be nice, a hanging garden or two… such as a compartment for new students just learning the basics of the philosophy, and another for those researching any new verified knowledge.”

“New verified knowledge?”

“Yes. This philosophy is not static — it is dynamic — meaning it reassesses its own overall structure, which I refer to as my Philosophical Rock Totem, which shows the relationships of its core premises, assumptions, classification systems, generalizations, and the Ultimate Value — higher consciousness — which affects the Ultimate Goal, all of which is reassessed as new verified knowledge is gained. Note that anything that changes will affect everything higher up the Totem.”

“So this Reassessment would be another ‘compartment’.”

“Yes. Now we have compartments of ‘new students’, ‘information gatherers’, and ‘reassessers’. Note that most students would just ‘pass through’ — meaning they would be there to become enlightened so they could then go back out in the world and pursue their true interests, and, being newly enlightened, they would now know just where their endeavors fit into the broader scheme of life, so they would no longer be aimless or clueless. A few would be interested in staying and working in the academy, perhaps in seeking-out and gathering new verified knowledge, or perhaps in reassessing. There is a fourth compartment I had in mind.”

“What is that?”

“One that is itself engaged in new discovery, meaning doing research, meaning actually pursuing new verified knowledge, and disseminating that knowledge.”

“That sounds like two compartments, maybe even three — discovery, archiving, and communicating, or maybe they can be sub-compartments. So… ‘doing research’… you mean like doing scientific research?”

“Yes. Remember, I call it ‘peering into the unknown’, the ‘scientific’ aspect is merely the method of verification, and being intellectually honest.”

“So, what is the value of ‘peering into the unknown’?”

“To discover what is still unknown to us, the premise being that the more we know about reality, the better equipped we will be to survive in it, especially when our Ultimate Goal is to maintain our individual higher consciousnesses forever, and especially in this harsh and deadly universe that we have just awakened to. You don’t think we could exist forever, or at least secure the perpetuation of life, and in particular ‘higher consciousness’, on sheer blind dumb luck, do you?”

“Well, I was hoping that was possible… it would require less effort; but you do have a point — it stands to reason that verified knowledge would serve survival better than blind dumb luck.”

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“Why are you all quiet again?”

“I think I speak for all of us nobodies here, and perhaps our galactic friends — my mind has just burned-out. It had become a blank.”

“Here. Here.”

“Perhaps it was the fine spirits. Well, I think my philosophical seed is planted on this planet. The best I can hope for now is for you to remember the few points I presented, and if not that, then that there is a new philosophy out there, and you can dig it up whenever you are ready to understand it better. If you pass this mental seed on to your progeny, then they can continue on the path to enlightenment, which is merely placing the proper priority on broader survival — and where the priority should be, just to note, front and center, and, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but anyone who engages in broader survival is no longer a ‘nobody’.”

“Thank you, my galactic philosopher friend… you may be known as the person who destroyed The Planet of Nobodies….”

“And inspired your first Academy of the Philosophy of Broader Survival?”

“Yes, if we build one, and it is likely, if only for the togas and the architectural challenge.”

“You can also build an attractive, even noble, museum for your nobodiness, so you will not lose touch with the mood and the mentality, and then you can think of a new name for your planet…”

“Like ‘The Planet of the Academies of the Philosophy of Broader Survival for the Space Age…”

“Kind of long, but it does serve a descriptive purpose. You might try for a catchy acronym…”

“Like the ‘Planet of Other Thought Yieldings” or the POOTY Planet?”

“I would keep trying… and I may return just for rest and relaxation, I do enjoy your architecture… and your female beings are beautiful when they gaze at you…”

“Ah, that, my philosophical friend, is just you — you do realize that you are physically attractive?”

“No… and I know that I could take better care of my physical self… but thanks for the sigh…”

“Are you from the Planet of Sighs?”

“We call it ‘Earth’.”

“Earth. Well, whenever I need a sigh, I’ll be sure to visit.”

“It will not disappoint, considering the unenlightened mess it is still in.”

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Copyright 2018 by Wayne P. Biro
aka Numi Who
All Rights Reserved by Wayne P. Biro

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

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Mr. Numi Who~

Mr. Numi Who~

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

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