Friday, November 21, 2008

Intelligent Life

We would not know it if an intelligent life form or species of life forms was attempting to contact us even if they were. We lack the openness and unbiased power of observation that would allow us to perceive intelligence in an organism or system which was not very much akin to ourselves in physicality and ideology, but neither of these attributes signify intelligence in and of themselves.
Consider that as human beings we have been unable throughout the course of our brief history on earth to grant that other human beings who were physically different from us and whose language and culture varied from our own were equal in intelligence to ourselves. We have been unable to recognize intelligence in others of our own species. We have denied them freedoms, taken advantage of their perceived weaknesses, abused and tortured them, and only now, in the 21st century, are we beginning to consider it politically incorrect to assume supremacy based on race, and that is still up for private consideration in the minds of many. As long as the bigotry can be thinly veiled, it will still be granted entrance into mainstream politics and our day to day interactions. Supremacy based on creed yet runs rampant and no consideration whatsoever is given to the notion that our philosophies, our ideas and habitual mind sets are not inherently worthy, they are just ours.
We as a species may not even be adequately equipped to interact in a meaningful way with an intelligence functioning on a vastly different level than our own. For example, something could be transmitting a message to you right now, but, without the appropriate aperture to receive that message, it will go, metaphorically speaking, right over your head. Forget that what we consider a message and what we consider intelligence may not in fact be very intelligent or ripe with meaning in a more universal context.
We are not alone in our ability to self perpetuate and colonize, we are only unique in some of our methods, in the applications of certain tools. Are we really better than all the other life forms present upon this planet because of our linguistic skills and cognitive reasoning? Perhaps these are aberrations more than special qualifications.
Evolution functions via mutation, and that mutation which caused our Cro-Magnon ancestors to beat out (possibly even violently, contributing to the course of their extinction) the Neanderthals may be the cause of our isolation. We perceive ourselves as being alone in the universe because we are mutants, creations with an deviant consciousness that has been cut us off from the rest of the cosmos. Skills that have allowed us to flourish as hunters and conquerors, have usurped abilities that would make contact with intelligent systems possible. We may be the psychopaths of the natural world, deaf to the voices of those that we crush, unable to feel the harm we cause ourselves through the course of our conquest, because we are somehow neurologically damaged.
Our cunning, our breed of intelligence, may be our Achilles heel; the secret to our success and our debilitating weakness. We are surrounded by life, by organisms and systems which behave intelligently, which reach out to us with soft tendrils of warmth and light, speaking to our disabled senses, the senses that we have written off as nonexistent. The hardware may be there, but the software is damaged, infected by a virus that we have misnamed intelligence.
We have supposed that our own abnormal consciousness is the real deal, and that the rest of the universe is cold and dead, but it is the other way around. Our primary waking consciousness is cold and dead, and all of those things which we have considered beneath us from that vantage point, are in fact vibrant, and primal, they comprise the true kingdom which has been patiently awaiting our return.

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