Fountain of LightFountainofLight.net
News and Information
Alpha Institute | Back to Top | | |  

Last Updated: Apr 18th, 2018 - 17:09:39 

Fountain of Light 
Meditations
Features
Articles
Editorials
Peace-Love
OCCUPY
Did You Know
Free Speech
Environment
Commentary
Letters
Links
Health
Books
Consider This....
News
Blogosphere
Archives
1969-70 FOL



Meditations

What Is 'Intelligent Life?'
By Martin LeFevre
Apr 18, 2018, 5:10pm

Email this article
 Printer friendly page
The search for life on other planets is intensifying. A field that was dismissed as fringe science two decades ago is now closing in from different angles on the question of extraterrestrial life.

If past or present microbial life is discovered in our solar system, it will mean life is the rule, not the exception in the universe. And if it is the rule, then extra-terrestrial 'intelligent life' undoubtedly exists in our galaxy. But what is intelligent life?

Clearly intelligent beings could only communicate with other intelligent beings. Therefore, as long as humankind continues fragmenting the earth and dividing ourselves, wešll continue to be cut off from the universe.

There are about 200 billion stars in the Milky Way. Astronomers have found nearly 4000 planets circling other stars in our galaxy. Most of them are gas giants like Jupiter in strange orbits around their suns, but a few rocky planets in 'habitable zones,' possible water worlds like earth, have also been detected.

Astronomers are sure that many earth-like planets exist. As Dr. Lawrence Doyle of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI) says, soon "we will know whether there are potentially habitable planets around hundreds of thousands of stars."

It's not a case of if but when earth-like planets will be discovered. Of course that doesn't mean wešll have a long distance chat with another species. Many scientists believe technological civilizations are like "fireflies blinking on and off in the night," since, given the unimaginable distances and time involved, civilizations may have to last for tens of millions of years to overlap. If so, the chance of discovery, much less communication, is small.

I submit that intelligent life is more important in the universe than fireflies blinking on and off. I define intelligent life as a self-knowing, scientific/technological species in basic harmony with its planet. Obviously, Homo sapiens doesn't qualify.

Given these premises, probably no communication could occur until humans stop causing the mass extinction of fellow creatures on earth. As with people, it can become too late for a potentially intelligent species to change course. Is Homo sapiens approaching a point of no return?

Technology, time and space are not the prime factors in the equation I feel. When a potentially intelligent species makes the transition from increasingly destructive to basically harmonious, communication with like-minded beings is then not only possible in ways we cannot imagine, but probably a natural outcome, since cosmic consciousness is one.

Is there a universal set of laws that govern the evolution, crisis and transition of creatures like us, with the power to manipulate life on their planets?

I feel so, that all creatures possessing symbolic thought pass through, to some degree, the same self-made crisis we humans are now excruciatingly experiencing on earth. (It's unclear at this point whether Homo sapiens will make the grade.)

I propose that given the right conditions and enough time, thought-bearing creatures evolve on water worlds like earth. Furthermore, given the separative nature of 'higher thought,' science and technology generates increasing division and fragmentation everywhere conscious thought emerges, until and unless sufficient insight is awakened to supersede thought-consciousness.

If so, it is only a question of when, and whether they undergo a revolution in consciousness. One thing is clear: without a revolution in consciousness, psychological fragmentation in sentient creatures results in the destruction of their planets for potentially intelligent life. It's perverse to take comfort in the idea that another intelligent species could arise.

If a sentient species successfully makes the transition, they continue to develop scientifically and technologically, but in harmony with the natural world. In other words, intelligence keeps thought in its rightful place. Contact and communion may then be established with other beings that have also passed through their crisis of symbolic thought and changed course.

There is no perfection or utopia anywhere in the universe. But instead of thought-bearing creatures merging with their thought machines, and heading ever more rapidly in the direction of fragmentation and darkness, we can grow into beings with the insight and understanding to use science and technology wisely. But only if we cease putting science, technology and thought first.


******

Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He welcomes dialogue. lefevremartin77@gmail.com


Published with permission of the author. All copyright remains with the author.

© Fair Use. No Copyright intended by Fountain of Light

Top of Page

Meditations
Latest Headlines
How Does a Nation Recover Its Soul?
Compassion Is Not An Emotion
Nature Is Right, Man Is Wrong
Why Has Cosmic Intelligence Set the Bar So High?
Following the Fire
Downward Spiral To Psychological Revolution?
Lying Is As American As Apple Pie
The Brain Is Much Greater Than the Mind
Patriotism and Nationalism Spell Militarism
It Is Happening to You
Are Monasteries Necessary?
The Brain Need Not Deteriorate
Right Living Is Complete Moments
America Has Lost Its Soul
From Cognitive Shift to Cosmic Consciousness