China’s new search for extraterrestrial civilizations, and rationality unlimited
The beautiful Buyei ethnic people in China’s Pingtang County may not yet be aware their mountainous valley has since July 3 become a link to life in galaxies far, far away. Last Sunday, China installed the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) in Guizhou Province, and it became Asia’s latest, largest contribution to answering that timelessly engrossing question: are we alone in the universe?
As far as I know, no, we are not alone. They are already here.
Award-winning Chinese science fiction writer Liu Cixin (‘The Three-Body Problem’) said at the FAST installation in Karst Valley in southwest China: “the telescope is of great significance for humans to explore the universe and extraterrestrial civilizations.” But does Cixin know or believe that “aliens” or extraterrestrial life forms are already in contact with humans, helping and protecting us. And that at least two presidents of the USA, including ‘Ike’ Eisenhower, may have negotiated with beings from an advanced extraterrestrial civilization?
In the first week of June last month, I came across a documentary on YouTube that made the famous Roswell UFO crash of 1947 seem a reality and part of the biggest cover-up in history.
This extraordinary film with footage of an actual ‘alien’ living being from outside Earth (visuals of the ET are about 30.1 minutes into the one-hour documentary) becomes a personal choice in the Believe it or Not realm. I believed.
I do believe China is not wasting its $180 million spent on FAST. Nor the likelihood that cutting edge technology in use worldwide has for long been secretly “reverse engineered” by governments from crashed UFOs. And apparently the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is also working with extra terrestrial technology – and India might become the first country to officially reveal to the world the existence of civilizations from outer space.
A day or two later after seeing the “alien” footage, I came across another and even more remarkable transcript of a telepathic ‘interview’ with an extraterrestrial citizen.
Some bits of this “alien interview” (sometimes more like an analogy) resonated with personal experience – particularly the reference to bodily sensations and sensory experiences as a trap keeping us in delusions. Or the reference to the mysterious, eerily brilliant scientist Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), but most importantly to another fully enlightened super scientist who developed the actual process, method, universal practice to liberation from the cycle of birth and death.
You have to go through the telepathic “extraterrestrial interview” text with an open mind, and objectively see how much of it fits in with your own experiences, intuition or gut feeling.
Realities like telepathy are not “super normal” or “paranormal,” but just subtler levels of what is perfectly normal. We have already experienced it in life – like “knowing” when someone close but geographically far away is in some trouble; or doing or saying something after sensing someone’s thoughts – and the other person says in surprise, “that’s exactly what I was thinking. How did you know?” It happens often in daily life, but we do not notice it because we are not aware of what is happening.
Telepathy – like the telepathic “interview” with the alien and ability to read thoughts of others — are merely innate faculties that get more clearly opened up as the mind gets purer and is able to experience subtler realities. It’s important to remember though that these faculties are completely unimportant and irrelevant to the real and most necessary work of cleaning up the mind, and smashing the chains of suffering.
To believe or not to believe is less a question about life’s mysteries; it’s more a question of how objectively open is one’s own mind. Believing in existence of ghosts, celestial beings called “gods” (who also are subject to impermanence) and ETs need proof. But likewise to declare their non-existence also needs proof. How do I know they do not exist – just because as yet a ghost has not personally popped up before me and said “boo,” or I have not yet been abducted in a flying saucer? So do I casually dismiss other people’s experiences as their imagination?
As I mentioned in an Asia Times article about a college in Mumbai organizing a seminar on ghosts, just because I have not met a ghost does not mean that ghosts do not exist.
Blind belief is unhealthy, so too is blind disbelief.
And here, some conventional scientists get caught in a rationality trap of the ego – dismissing subtler realities of nature as out of the realms of possibility because it does not fit in with what they know. The wise men of yore took some time to even accept that the Earth is not flat, and the Sun does not revolve around the Earth. 500 years ago, what would have happened to a fellow explaining the idea of televisions, cell phones and Boeing 787 Dreamliners? The same as perhaps as what happens to people now claiming contact with extraterrestrials.
Across millennia, many normal, intelligent people have reported interacting with non-human intelligent beings – while other normal, intelligent people have snickered calling it sheer bunkum, imagination, delusions. And some other normal, intelligent people like at the California-based SETI Institute work to sift the facts from fiction.
A few know, but do not tell. I know from experience that some truly saintly people — such as very advanced meditation teachers — have not even bothered to talk about celestial beings regularly visiting them from other planes of existence.
That is why casually dismissing any reported genuine experiences of others (not of hoaxes and fraudsters) is what I categorize as the “arrogance of misinterpreted rationality”: the definition of rationality confined to currently known boundaries of knowledge. But as bewildered quantum physicists delving into the sub-atomic realm know, what we already know is very little compared to what we will come to know – gradually.
That it is possible China’s FAST, or the Allen Telescope Array in California, may contact beings from outer space is part of the hope that the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) took a big leap in 2015, with a $100 million grant from Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and the Breakthrough Foundation. Earlier usual scraps of annual funding were about $2 million. But then radio signals may not necessarily be the preferred choice of contact for extraterrestrials — to these evolved beings our human communication may seem as primitive as a dog barking is to us humans.
Conventional science tries to know the (apparent) reality of both the macro and micro-universe: whether it is in the subatomic world where all known rules of physics go out of the window, or in the infinity of what is there in outer space.
I grew up delving eagerly into both, the likes of atomic physicist Richard Feynman and Carl Sagan’s book “Contact” – about planet Earth receiving a coded radio signal from outer space. And then circa 1993, after I started the life-changing Vipassana journey into the inner world of mind-matter, I experienced subtler realities of nature not as yet known to conventional science.
Even as I write this, there could be a less visible or invisible being standing behind my chair reading what I am writing now. I am okay with that – it’s just another fellow being going through another lifespan in the cycle of birth and death, until liberated, and I wish it well.
In the alien footage documentary, a scientist asks the extraterrestrial being whether it (he/she) knows how the process of how life transforms after death. A revered being from our human world has answered that question, and this explanation of what happens at death is for me the most important article ever written in history.
Are ETs spiritual?
The subtler realities of nature, terrestrial and extraterrestrial, is experienced within oneself as a combined, continuously changing mind-matter phenomenon. But conventional scientists study matter separately as physicists do, or study the mind separately in psychiatry. Mind and matter cannot be understood separately at the quantum level. Theories won’t work at deeper levels of reality, such as in quantum physics, because our world is of mind-matter phenomenon constantly interacting with each other. And that is why in the alien video, Earth’s scientists are surprised at the extraterrestrial being making “spiritual” references.
Without the analytical study of mind-matter interaction within — as part of the process to remove accumulated garbage from the mind — only gross, partial truths are revealed. Subtler realities remain far away; the subtlest truth can only be experienced — not described, imagined or intellectualized.
To experience deeper realities, the powerful observing instrument has to be a pure, penetrating mind: to objectively observe one’s own mind-matter interaction, as it is, this moment, from moment to moment. All we need to necessarily know – not gratifying curiosity – comes with taking the all-important voyage through inner space: of experiencing impermanence every moment, in the arising and passing away, at the level of bodily sensations, this rapidly changing phenomenon we call “I.”
Then priorities in life become clear, and doubts disappear –about this terrestrial or extraterrestrial world, the mundane or supra mundane. Good that powerful radio telescopes peer at galaxies far, far away, but all there is to know is waiting to be discovered — within.
Raja Murthy is an independent journalist who shuttles between Mumbai and the Himalayas.