“I just realized that we have been thinking all wrong.”

“You also realize that it applies to a great many things, so what are you specifically referring to?”

“To the common question, ‘Is there life on other planets?’”

“Well, I know how you think, so now you are going to tell me, in detail, how ‘clueless’ it is, right?”

“No, I am going to point out its mental deficiency.”

“Aren’t you being a bit harsh?”

“Perhaps. How about I point out its thoughtlessness and errant aim?”

“OK, we have two point three trillion miles to go…”

“We should be thinking in terms of whether an exoplanet, or any celestial body, or even the space in between, can, in any way possible, harbor structures that can support higher consciousness.”

“Can you get technical?”

“Yes, to get technical, such structures would initially be ‘emergent’ structures within nature, just like our brains ‘emerged’ from networks of self-assembling molecules, which individually do not have consciousness, but collectively they produce ‘us’ — we who ‘emerged’ out of the self-assembled collection.”

“And we, who, if we wanted to, could pick ourselves apart again, just out of bad consciousness.”

“That is a macabre thought.”

“Yes, they help color the day in many hues. So, why did you say, ‘initially’?”

“I said ‘initially’ because, with advanced scientific knowledge, they could theoretically do away with engineering and commandeer natural structures to house their consciousnesses — which means we would be looking in all the wrong places for ‘life on other planets’ — and that ‘life’, even in the form of advanced higher consciousness, would be right in front of our noses, such as in a natural formation of piezoelectric crystals, and we would not ‘see’ them if they did not want us to.”

“Why would they want to commandeer a natural structure?”

“If it offered an advantage in… drumroll please…”


“What else, but to secure higher consciousness in a harsh and deadly universe.”

“You realize that you have said that a thousand and one times now.”

“You’ve been counting?”


“Well, I should begin to vary it soon, just for variety’s sake. But I need to digress for a moment and consider ‘mental modes’.”

“OK. What about mental modes? I’ve never heard of them.”

“You’ve never heard of them because I just created them — in the form of a new classification system. Consider it a new ‘potentially-useful perspective’ to put into your perspectives toolbox, which comes in handy when peering into the unknown — varying perspectives increase the odds that we will find the right perspective to ‘see’ what is out there in the unknown — which, ironically, has often been right in front of our noses.”

“So… the details on these ‘mental modes’?”

“If you are the type of person who is mentally immersed in social issues such as rules, fashions, impressing people, power, control, domination, manipulation, and status, then you are in a lower mental mode of thinking, and I can classify mental modes into three distinct levels:

Mental Mode #1, which is the lowest mental mode — which has not transcended the concerns of base animals. This is where you are consumed with local/immediate concerns, such as immediate food, shelter, and procreation. I would call this The Base Mental Mode of Animals.”


“Above this mental mode I would place the aforementioned mental mode — that which is consumed with social concerns — i.e. with rules, fashions, and status, etc. which would be Mental Mode #2.”

“So you would call this second mental mode the ‘Mental Mode of Fools’?”

“That hadn’t occurred to me, but that is a very good description. I was going to call it the Current Common Mental Mode.”

“One and the same.”


“And the third mental mode?”

“The third, Mental Mode #3, is the highest.”

“And what would that be concerned with… no, permit me… (drumroll…): ‘Securing higher consciousness in a harsh and deadly universe’.”

“Very good, although you could shorten it to simply being concerned with ‘Broader Survival’, which, concerning enlightenment, is really just a priority issue.”

“So you would refer to this third, and highest, mental mode, “The Mental Mode of Enlightenment”.

“You are figuring out how I think, aren’t you. But I would specify that such a high mental mode would be ‘consciously’ addressing issues of broader survival, and not blindly or haphazardly, as any lower mode can do by chance.”

“Can you put all of that on a 3x5 card so I can paste it to my forehead?”

“Yes, here it is.”

Mental Mode #3 (the enlightened): The Mental Mode of Consciously Addressing Broader Survival

Mental Mode #2 (the common): The Mental Mode of Fools

Mental Mode #1 (the base): The Mental Mode of Animals

“Thank you.”

“It looks very becoming on your forehead.”

“You’re just flattering my forehead.”

“Yes. Now back to “Life on other Worlds”. Consider the reverse scenario — that of an exo-planetary explorer peering in on us. How would it classify our platform for higher consciousness?”

“It would see higher consciousness housed in a dense cellular biomass of neural networks.”

“Something like that, we can’t be sure; though it would note that our brains are an emergent platform from self-assembling molecules, and that we have not yet commandeered any natural structures to house our consciousnesses in.”

“So rather than ‘Life on other Planets’, we should alter our frame of mind, or ‘perspective’, to prioritize our efforts toward searching for any structure that can support higher consciousness, and not just for discovering other higher consciousnesses, but for expanding our own options, too.”

“Yes. Now consider that even more vague and nebulous common mental mode question, ‘Is there intelligent life out there?’”

“OK. What about it?”

“You can see that we would want to progress beyond such mentally-insipid vagueness, and put the question in terms of our new potentially useful perspective — that is, asking, “What mental modes are out there?”

“And within our reach in time and space?”

“That would be a consideration, and broadening that reach is a component of further securing broader survival, just to note one detail of my extensive new philosophy. If not in our time, than in our past, as with fossil or archeological evidence, or in our future, as with a prebiotic environment. If not in our space, meaning within reach of physical interaction, the at least signs of activity, if beyond our technological physical reach.”

“And then next, we would want to know what the philosophy is of any consciousness that we encounter. Meaning, are they enlightened, or will they be a big bag of annoying gas?”

“Precisely, because the important question is not how technologically advanced they are, which is a question (and concern) that arises from the current common mode of thinking…”

“The mental mode of fools.”

“Yes. So, when enlightened, the primary question will become, ‘How philosophically advanced are they?’

“Because their philosophy will determine how they use their technology.”

“Good that you can see that, and here is where you may see the value of scouting and intelligence gathering — you would not want to be taken by surprise by an unenlightened race with advanced technology.”

“No, that would indeed be a big ball of annoying gas. Well, all that was very interesting…”

“So… are we there yet?”

“No. We have two point nine, nine, nine, nine trillion more miles to go.”

“Mmmm… wake me up when we get close, I’m exhausted from all that thinking and imagining.”

“Rest well, I will just listen to Numi Who’s music while I switch over to manual navigation (just for fun). It is the only music that can perpetually keep my interest. In fact, there are contests on who can listen the longest. I think 48 hours non-stop is the record. Even more recent, there are contests on who can listen the least — because once you begin, it is hard to stop.”

“He has made that much music?”

“Yes, and far more — you would need a lifetime to listen to it all — and the variety is astounding — precisely what a interstellar space navigator needs.”

“I heard that he often composed with space navigators specifically in mind.”

“He did, and to engage the brain in a rejuvenating way.”

“How would he do that?”

“You’ll just have to read his columns, which are primarily on art, artists, and artistry, and his speculations on the science behind them. Let’s just say the goal is to be able to target the specific areas that need it most.”

“Maybe I’ll listen to the audio versions while I sleep.”

“There aren’t any yet, sorry.”

“Why doesn’t he narrate them himself?”

“Because he makes fun of everything, even his own writing — he couldn’t keep himself serious long enough.”

“My loss… my dreams will be dark, then…”

“I will wake you up if you start to scream.”

“No need — when I wake up from such dreams, screaming and all, it means that I just died in that realm — usually a horrible, tragic, probably fruitless death in a failed attempt at some noble cause or other.”

“Such is the stuff of dreams. Good night.”

“Good night, such as our days and nights are.”







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





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Mr. Numi Who~

Mr. Numi Who~


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