Why bother with“galactic thinking”?
Humanity seems destined to become a spacefaring species. But how do we get there? Is it only a lack of technological capability that prevents us from realizing our goals, or are there things we can do today to move that process forward?
Our biggest barrier here may not be our lack of spacefaring technology, but rather our collective obsession with goals and objectives that derive from a scarcity-based form of territorial thinking and the limitations this form of thinking imposes on our future possibilities. It may be the case that until we collectively change our thinking to a more open, spatial, galactic mode, the possibility of actually becoming a spacefaring species will never be real for us. Conversely, it may also be true that once we do change our thinking, avenues and possibilities which presently seem confined to a distant, inaccessible future, may suddenly appear more likely within the temporal horizon of living human beings such as ourselves.
While present generations of humans may not be physically capable of spacefaring in a meaningful way, the change in thought must start somewhere, and there is no reason not to start that change now. Change of this sort is not “relevatory” in nature, but rather progressive, incremental, and patient. One way to begin this process is by trying to think in ways that are copasetic with the real possibility of humans living and being “among the galactics” — i.e., as a species of equal capability and power to those species which are able to travel across immense galactic distances within the range of single lifetimes. While this may seem the stuff of science fiction at present, if beings from other planets really are travelling here, then there should be no a prioribarrier that says we are incapable of travelling to their home planets as well.
By definition, any attempt to “think galactically” is speculative in nature at this point in time. But that is no reason not to attempt the endeavor. In fact, by taking the possibility of our species among the galactics as a “real” one, and by examining our thinking and presumptions in an analytical fashion, we may very well expose errors in our current thinking which are themselves the present obstacles to progress. When we remove those barriers on a collective level, then new possibilities for collective action may emerge — but if those thinking errors persist and are never examined, progress will always be impossible.
We know from our own history that how we think about reality on a collective level can distort our experience of reality if not scientifically accurate. For instance, many people at first assumed that the earth was the center of the universe. They didn’t have to adopt this viewpoint, but they did. Later on, others realized that the movements of astronomical bodies were inconsistent with this belief and began to question it. Once the scientifically accurate “belief” was adopted, then the true motion of these bodies revealed itself to us. Now, some would say, “But it’s not a ‘belief,’ Mr. Miller — it is fact that the earth is not the center of the universe!” To which I would respond: “That may be true today, but it wasn’t in the past….one generation’s ‘fact’ can easily be another’s ‘fantasy’.”
There is no such thing for us as truth unmoored from the flow of time’s restrictions. Our understanding of the scenario of the “Copernican revolution” carries with it an embedded assumption that the true motion was always there to understand. So why didn’t we see it at first? Why did we make the wrong assumption and cling to it? This is hard to answer for a variety of reasons. The truth, however, is that we did make the wrong assumption, and until we corrected our views, we were incapable of taking scientifically correct actions. Over time, as more adopted the correct views, new experiences of time and space presented themselves to us, but those new experiences were incapable of presentation so long as the deluded viewpoint held sway. At the same time, positive change didn’t have to happen either as someone could have annunciated the truth without it ever being accepted by anyone else. Our progress in this area was not preordained by any universal process as far as we know but was actually a product of our collective choice-making power.
This basic thought exercise emphasizes the importance of the relationship between scientifically correct thinking and the creation of new scientific reality and experience.
— Scientific thinking (leads to)Discovered” knowledge that was placed “in advance”
— Discovered knowledge + collective acceptance (leads to)correct collective action over time
— Correct collective action over time (leads to)“new” non-delusional consensus reality
If our thinking remains delusional or “false” the situation is different because the only thing that sustains illusion is the continued belief of the observers. The delusional belief is somehow in tension with some force or principle outside of the observer that provides resistance. Delusions can only be pushed so far until they break down and start causing chaos for everyone around. But “true” insights continue to resonate and build new realities.
If we still believed today that the earth was the center of the universe, we would not have many of the technologies and understandings that we possess. These technologies and understandings now exist in a space that is independent from belief even though that wasn’t always the case for us. This is an example of real resonance. It may seem mysterious to accept the fact that we create our own reality but cannot create something else which acts as “reality itself” (and that we apparently have no direct way to distinguish the between our “created” reality and a reality which seems “independent” from our ability to create it), but yet it seems that is how things stand at the present in the mode we use to distinguish true reality on a scientific basis.
All this is simply to bolster the argument for correcting our thinking now in relation to our future possibility as a galactic species regardless of when we think that reality might take shape. Just like the true nature of astronomical bodies was “always there” for us to discover, our existence as a galactic species is “right here” as well even though it remains invisible to our present experience. We might say it is “unmanifested” for us and cannot be manifested until our thinking is scientifically accurate in this domain. So when will we choose to embrace this possibility?
Another way we could look at this conundrum is to say that if we wait “forever” to think of this possibility as real for us, it never will be. We must make the possibility real “now” for it to happen. We can do this in our thinking without being delusional if we take steps right now to ensure our thinking is scientifically accurate on these points.
One of the first steps we can take towards thinking galactically, is to strip ourselves of the illusions of humanity’s universal self-importance. We should assume that no one in this dimension of reality cares about our fate and future other than we ourselves — if we don’t care about our future, no one else will either. If we self-annihilate or stay “stuck” in our present state, the universe will go on just fine without us. By correcting our thinking on this point, we stop “waiting” for the change to happen and shift into a viewpoint which places the responsibility for it actually happening squarely on our shoulders now.
Galactic thinking is spatial, open, and non-linear. It is the opposite of the territorial, close-minded, straight line thinking that dominates our collective social thinking and creates all of the systems that we rely upon to order our world (e.g., capitalism, socialism, democracy, authoritarianism, and so forth). Therefore, if we want to get serious about being in space one day, we might want to consider adopting a different mindset on all of our problems and bring our home planet into balance and stop fooling ourselves about how good we are really doing.
I’m not saying we can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, but many smart people spend way too much time and money fantasizing about colonizing Mars or other planets, while neglecting our own. This type of avoidance seems neurotic and contrary to the possibility of us becoming a galactic species. If there is a galactic law, one of its initial premises should be that a species must get its home planet in good working order before it can even begin to get too invested in trying to go somewhere else.
If we apply galactic thinking to our present situation, we must start viewing all of our systems and interests from the perspective of our species as a whole, instead of at the level of the “nation-state”. So long as we are attached to nation-state thinking, none of our problems will ever be solved because these problems occur at the level of global ecologies, not regional ones. Climate change is a great example of this. It does not seem advantageous for any nation state to commit itself to a strategy of climate change reduction, unless all others are doing it at the same time. But if a group of people quit caring how certain actions affected the nation state unit, and instead focused on what was best for the species as a whole, some actions would be indicated, and some would not. This type of mentality and attitude is bold, daring, and risky, but is precisely the kind of thing we must do if we want to address problems that manifest on a global level and have species-wide effects. We can’t solve global problems by relying on a style of thought and action that is dominate by regional perspectives.
As we work on getting our home planet situation straightened out so that we can get ready to go into space, we also need to learn to directly communicate with the extraterrestrial visitors that frequent earth. They will obviously be a source of important information for us on the topic of galactic travel. But in order to learn whatever it is they know about time and space that permits them a galactic range as opposed to a merely terrestrial one, we first need to learn to communicate with them on an intentional, collective level. It is not enough for an individual here or there to claim to understand them. Instead, we must develop a body of knowledge regarding extraterrestrials that can be transmitted among individuals in a scientific fashion over time. Without that, we cannot make any real headway in this area. This is one of the fascinating challenges that lies before us. While visionary communication is important and meaningful, it has its limits which must be appreciated and understood.
Over time, we will evolve in unanticipated and unexpected ways. Humans 1,000 or 10,000 years from now may not even be able to relate to us at all, just as we would likely not be able to relate to our ancestors from 250,000 years ago, even though we must still consider them part of our tribe. Still, we should do what we can today if we ever want any generation of humans to do the things that we know we are capable of doing. By seeing beyond this one lifetime, we make our own future possible.