Friday, January 10, 2014

Thoughts - Alone in the Universe

Thoughts - Alone in the Universe

I think...the thought that humanity is the only thing in the universe, that we are completely alone out there is one of the most terrifying things.

What why?  Why do you think it's terrifying to be alone?

It's terrifying because it's all on us.  I mean if you believe in a universe that has some kind of progression, understanding, futurism to it, then it remains entirely for all the secrets of the universe for us to unlock.  Us.  If we screw up, and we already almost have a bunch of times in history, if we screw it up then the whole thing remains a mystery forever. 

We are the single light, the single blue planet of light in the darkness to uncovering anything.

And we're alone.  Have you ever thought about the implications of us being alone?  We're alone to experience society, community, war, hate.  There's never going to be another intelligence, another alien world that comes down and visits us one day, says "Oh wow, you did it that way hey?  This is what we discovered.  You did well, you screwed up here and here, but we did too..."  There will never be that sharing, there will never be that moment of looking back across time and space and seeing it through another lens.  There's never going to be 'another way'.  Only our way.

And our way...oh man our way?  The idea that we're the only slice of intelligence in the universe makes all our weird and petty squabbles, our politics, our selfish and hurtful interactions all the more damning for all of us.  It means that people in charge of nations, are more invested in telling people who to marry or stealing more money or eating more food than they are steering the ship that is our entire race.  Huge swaths of our planet are dominated by people who have no comprehension of how they are placing the responsibilities of an entire possible enlightened universe aside for their own selfish desires.  They are destroying our blue planet, dumping its garbage, polluting its water, shooting bullets at one another, raping, pillaging, destroying.  They are obliterating it and ourselves, and we are the only light.

They intend to accomplish goals that are so minute, so tiny on a cosmic scale that they have literally thrown their worth, what little possibility there was into the ephemeral and disposed of it.  All for a bigger slice of pie, or a more luxurious 'home'.  And we are the bastions of the universe.  We risk in those decisions, those politicians, those people who are so concerned with their petty, selfish, short-sighted, money-grubbing thoughts, the entire universe's potential.

Imagine all the things humans could accomplish, imagine the state of the cosmos in a thousand years.  Have we terraformed other planets?  Do men and women stand on some strange planet somewhere and watch three moons rise over the wild vistas?  Have we seeded other planets with unique and curious life?  Imagine the wonders of space and time we have crafted.  In sixty years, we went from fixed-wing flight to landing on the moon.  What could we do with another thousand?  Two thousand?  Ten thousand years? 

We could spread across the heavens, discover new and fascinating things, experience and explore, enjoy and wonder.

And know that we are risking that future, risking that possibility for the universe every day, every moment when we talk of war, of atom bombs and nuclear warheads.  When we talk of hate, and destruction, when we envision destroying and killing.

That's why being alone in the universe is terrifying.  We are the stewards, you and I, the people you walked past on the subway this morning, that boy with his headphones in rocking out, the old lady who just grunted at you as you walked by.  The man on the television calling for the killing of people he doesn't even know for their skin color.  The other man saying the same for the symbols and imagery they believe in.  The men and women making bombs, drilling holes, dumping garbage, stealing money, inciting hate.

We are the stewards, the ones who hold in our hands the keys to the universe.

And we are squandering it.