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    6 MIN READ

    Musings on mortality, space and time

    We get one opportunity to exist here. Make it count.

    Let’s agree aliens exist. No? Ok, yep, it’s complicated – how about we just agree there’s definitely “life out there”, and staring at the stars is the only context in which to consider such an unfathomable reality for us simple homosapiens.

    Because there’s just gotta be, right? Every star is a sun or something. Take galaxies and black holes. Either way, the tapestry is just too rich not to house other self-aware beings. Aliens, somewhere, whom we invariably presume to have accessed unimaginable technological capabilities.

    In fact, that’s a better word for them than aliens. Beings. Let’s agree there must be other beings out there. Beings that, with such advanced technology, might exist in some thus-far unfathomable divinity beyond the constraints of space and time. And, simply put, isn’t every human lusting for this outcome in some way or another? An existence beyond space or time?

    It’s our truest common denominator. The only thing that every single human seeks – in at least some capacity – is more space, more time. And alas, they’re some of the only things that can’t be purchased or found. Space and/or time is sorely beyond our reach. Beyond money! Beyond science! All life fears mortality, yet none may live forever and all will die sooner or later; the most heartbreaking existential paradox of all. We turn to religious doctrines for scaffolding to reconcile this painful reality, but only through true meditation is true reconciliation ever built. And for most, it’s a slippery old thing to hold on to.

    “All life fears mortality, yet none may live forever and all will die sooner or later; the most heartbreaking existential paradox of all.”

    So we do what we can for our spiritual fitness. We pray and we ritualise, we doggedly hunt flow states that transform anything and anywhere into our church; church offering us freedom from our fear.

    Fear of running out of space, and running out of time.

    To sum up so far: our search for church – independently and collectively – is because of our fear of death, and all that comes with it. So do we call this the real definition of religion then – trying to exist beyond space and time?

    Be it through a book, or ceremony, or music, or a drug or toy or computer or anything else that repeatedly reveals an extrasensory realm beyond measure or tangible description. We pursue these rituals to help us reconcile our own mortality, by hinting that we’re part of something bigger. Constantly and ubiquitously experienced, but different for all and never the same twice.

    Anyway. The point of this is that the structure of the following hypothetical – ahem, rabbit hole – depends on what we’ve just clarified about space and time as a baseline.

    Aliens must exist and have figured out how to bend space and time to travel the universe.

    So… conceivably the most religious beings ever.

    So what if one of them travelled here, to Earth.

    Maybe 4 billion-ish years ago.

    And got stuck. (Please keep your brain open.)

    4 billion years ago, an intrepid alien got stuck visiting a far-flung place called Earth in a far-flung galaxy called The Milky Way. Remember, the universe is huge, wayyyyy beyond what we can understand. So that alien being getting stuck here would be like one of us homosapiens getting stuck on some teeny tiny island in the middle of the Pacific, that’s literally only just big enough to stand on.

    Remote. You’re all alone. And on that island, you are everything. That island – or planet, for this wayward alien, this being – may as well be its own universe. You are everything.

    Surely if it’s got the technology to get there it would have the technology to get out? How could a being this “evolved” get stuck?

    Look, I don’t know. There could have been technicalities. A gigantic pulse of energy for example. What if right after the alien being arrived, the sun – the one that heats the Earth and grows all of our things – farted or something. It would have probably made a pretty Big Bang. As a travelling being, you might not have had a contingency for this unpredictable solar occurrence, in a foreign place so far from where you came.

    So this being gets stranded. Stranded on Planet Earth. It isn’t too stressed about it, as it doesn’t exist with stress – remember, it’s holier than thou can comprehend – and knows how to get back. It’ll just take a while, and, mechanically speaking, a good bend of space and time. But before we talk about what happened next, let’s confirm some present-day technology and theology.

    The year is two thousand and twenty-one. (2021 whats? “Years”? Since when?)

    Human beings are unrelentingly progressing technology towards artificial intelligence with rabid fervour. Meanwhile, we’re using social media to combine our emotional brains into a joint consciousness, with the entire world’s information in the palms of our hands, at all times. Singularity, incoming.

    What’s gonna happen when we eventually reach it? When we arrive at this point in “time” where every mind and thought exists as one? What does that make “time” if we can live in one another’s memories? Can’t we do that already? So is our concept of “time” already a flawed metric? Hmm. Perhaps.

    To me, it seems like what’s gonna happen when we eventually reach it, is we’ll break free from space and time. We will unify, we will depart our misunderstandings of one another’s church and mortality, and we will exist together, forever. Just like those other beings out there in the universe, one of which got stuck here.

    Hold on. Let’s go back? Back to the intrepid alien being who ran afoul on Planet Earth after some unforeseeable solar explosion. Imagine slowly waking up after accidentally falling off a cliff that suddenly appeared in the footpath, and gradually realising you have become severely impaired.

    Hmm, you, the Being, thinks to itself. “How do I get myself out of this one?”

    Already the Being was compulsively trying to use its energy to communicate but found it couldn’t access anywhere beyond the constraints of what it could see and feel around it on this strange new rock. Which was weird, because even with its recent impairment, it knew the answers to its calls were out there, in the beyond, somewhere in those sparkly freckles in the sky.

    “I guess it’s back to square one”, it mused unconsciously.

    And so, 4 billion years ago, broken down to its base level of energy, the Being began splitting itself up. Reduced to pure energy, and with nothing left to combine but behavioural will, the Being duplicated and evolved.

    Spreading its energy – its intelligence – across the full spectrum of evolution meant that this Being was giving itself the best chance of one day returning to divinity. It could only use what it was surrounded by, so only through infinite biodiversification could it control the production and distribution of available resources and amass what it needed to leave Planet Earth, and in doing, reunify all of its energy, and return to the realm of singular immortality beyond all space and time.

    (Big breaths.)

    I wonder if this is what every single religion in the world is getting at. The “Holy Spirit”, however, defined by whatever individual in whatever church it resonates best. “Universal energy”, the “hum of life”, aspirations of “heaven”. Sounds like it’s all the same thing to me?

    This theory makes me feel better about human beings, and the things we’re doing that makes my gut churn. We’re still learning the sermon! We’re still figuring out what we like, what we disagree on, how we should behave. Right and wrong, and all the murkiness in between.

    But it means we’re needlessly stalemating on the fundamentals, even though we’re the one species that the Being, via its divine biodiversity, gifted with its consciousness, and the most critical task of assembling and combining resources for reunification and departure. Right now we’re bickering about who’s got what, which in the scheme of it all means absolutely nothing. What’s important is we all only get one go at it! One opportunity to exist here, between these dimensions in the Milky Way, consciousness – the most special feature of the Being – within us, ready for ultimate unity.

    So if you blow it, well, struth. Maybe next time your energy resurfaces in biology it will be confined to a lesser role? A weed, or a slug. Instead of the most spiritually rich opportunity to contribute towards birthing the singularity and unification of all energy on the planet, your only task will be to leave silvery trails on shoes by the back door. Crime meeting punishment.

    I think we’re aligned on this. You are the Being. I am the Being. Your dog, that tree, the ocean, Donald Trump: all life is the Being. Presence! Access the Being right now, tomorrow, next Thursday, any second you need reinforcement.

    Heed the opportunity, homo sapien, privileged by being.