The natural, hardwired human response
to "others" anyone we define as being outside the bounds
of "us" is rejection and aggression. In large part, the progress
in recent millennia toward a global society has been driven by a
slow but persistent battering down of the walls between us, and
the creation of a larger and more universal "we." This has been
done through communication and trade, but also through conquest
and assimilation. Time and again, our enemies, branded as subhuman
or inhuman while we were fighting, have been accepted as fully,
equally human once they were among us (or we among them).
Now, however, our naturally xenophobic
brains (and the society we have built with them) are being confronted
by an even more perplexing challenge: what if there were a bunch
of "people" who looked quite human but were clearly not of this
earth? What if, instead, they came from outer space or even
appeared out of some unseen higher (inner?) dimension and
zipped around our skies in all manner of flying contraptions that
made our fighter jets look like toys?
What would we do? The first thing we
would do and there is ample evidence, spanning more than
a half century, that this is what we have done is reject
them, pretend they don't exist. We would also try aggression, and
there is evidence we have done that, too.
But one way and another, the "Aliens"
have wormed their way into our collective mind (both conscious and
unconscious). They're here, and we're going to have to live with
Don't think so? Think it's all a long-running
hoax, a joke, government disinformation (to cover up "black" weapons
programs, perhaps), or simple-minded fantasy? Well keep thinking
but don't forget to check under the bed tonight.
As usual, I'm
not going to try to prove to you that this is really happening
there's no way I could effectively do that but I am going
to state right up front that I have had occasional but very powerful
and convincing contacts with beings who appeared to be "Aliens;"
and I'm going to share some of those experiences
make of them what you will.
me referring to these Others as "Aliens," "Visitors,"
or "ETs" all common enough terms but I'll
also simply call them "Others."
If these ... beings are here, what
are the implications? First, I should note that quite a few serious
researchers suspect (without yet being able to prove it) that they've
been here all along; in fact, that they may have created us in
their image. That is, most of the Others that have been encountered
are distinctly humanoid, and that may be why we are humanoid too.
(The opposing school of thought would have it that we created them
in our image just made them up, in other words
but I don't think that thesis holds water.)
have been around from the get-go whether they are our progenitors,
or not the fact that their presence is so strongly and widely
now, is interesting from a timing point of view: here we are perched
on the cliff-edge of Apocalypse, and these obviously superior
humanoid beings show up. Are they going to save us? Take
our planet? Some of both? I don't know, but I bet they're going
to be players in what comes down (and goes back up).
my fictional take on it all.
But other writers
have done it better than me, and none has explored extraterrestrial
contact more brilliantly than Arthur C. Clarke. In Childhood's
End he posits a (friendly) Progenitor race of 8-foot-tall,
black-skinned beings with horns and barbed tails! thus confronting
us with the other little strategy we like to employ against "others":
demonization. But Childhood's End also delves into the spiritual
possibilities of Apocalypse, as does his famous 2001:
A Space Odyssey (and sequels).
The Significance of Ducks