Utopia on Mars; or the Boundaries of Human Intellect

An Opening Salvo About Zen and Speculation

I’ve been travelling to Mars – off and on – since 1975, just before the first Viking landers arrived there. Now, I really didn’t have any plans to go there, but ever since I can remember, alien entities have been interactive observers of my life. As a young kid, you don’t think of your invisible playmates as ‘alien’, and it was quite fun seeing them up to mischief (such as switching my parents in their double bed overnight which always gave Mom and Dad a very puzzled look in the morning. Like many married couples, you see they always slept on the same side of the bed!)

The Apollo Moon missions and Viking changed everything though… I was mesmerized by them, but my extraterrestrial friends could see that the time human beings would land on Mars would then be only a matter of decades, and as essentially scientists (as most visitors to Earth are – and you should really know that by now if you’re a ‘visitor’ to this website), I think they wanted to see first how human beings could survive on the red planet – if possible. A precocious child who trusted them and was open to relatively strange, non-human ideas was an ideal candidate. Until I spoke to my closer friends at high school (and fortunately, most of them just thought I had an over-active imagination!), you have to remember this is how I thought this world worked. I really did think everyone had these types of ‘invisible friends’, and I certainly never knew anything different! And until now, I have never spoken about these events in public… I quickly realised as a teenager not to talk about my ‘invisible friends’, especially to adults. (You know so many things get trained out of us as children… and I think these adults sincerely hoped that I was insane or just over-imaginative, but from the fear in their eyes, I could often see I was rekindling very old memories for them that they’d rather forget. And fear of ‘the unknown’ is the biggest fear that you can have…).

Anyway, as you’ve bothered to read this far down, dear reader, I’ll give you something. I do know my alien friends are from outside this solar system. I won’t be telling you where exactly – it probably wouldn’t be safe for you to know – but I can tell you that their original home planet is thousands of light years away. This is why they can only reach our solar system through the combined use of astral projection and wormholes. You have to remember that mind, as most human philosophers of the West understand it, doesn’t actually exist as ‘pure mind’, and if it did, probably couldn’t go through a wormhole! Still living in the 19th century, my friend? Think about it logically: How can a sentient mind evolve from the matter created at (and after) the ‘Big Bang’ if it doesn’t have a ‘physical element’ to it? If mind and matter aren’t created from a more ‘fundamental substance’ then you need to explain when and how ‘pure mind’ suddenly appeared in this Universe. (Answers to the editor, please!) Anyway, to expand on this a little, this process of evolution (from matter to mind) might take billions of years, but rest assured, readers, ‘mind’ evolved from ‘star dust’. Using modern science and logic we can now see that we simply live in a pan-psychic universe; not one made from two completely different substances of ‘mind’ and ‘matter’. Moreover, human beings (certainly in the Western world) have only been aware of evolution (let alone cosmological evolution, which shows this connection) since the late 18th century…

‘Organic life beneath the shoreless waves
Was born and nurs’d in ocean’s pearly caves;
First forms minute, unseen by spheric glass,
Move on the mud, or pierce the watery mass;
These, as successive generations bloom,
New powers acquire and larger limbs assume;
Whence countless groups of vegetation spring,
And breathing realms of fin and feet and wing.’

The Temple of Nature by Erasmus Darwin, published 1802

Eramus was the grandfather of Charles Darwin (who was in a safer position – politically – than his grandfather who, even in the late 18th century, had to be mindful of religious authorities). Hence, Eramus used poems to introduce ‘the theory of evolution’ rather than a conventional scientific textbook. Though freedom from religious authority was asserting itself in England during the late 18th century (largely thanks to the French Revolution), it was still dangerous then – certainly socially – for a British philosopher or scientist to be ‘too literal’.

Anyway, every so often, my ‘invisible friends’ still visit me, and we take a trip using wormholes to a base on Mars (not too far from the Viking 2 lander actually – those NASA scientists of the 1970s had something right!). Though I find it generally an unpleasant experience the ‘journey’ through a wormhole only takes a few minutes. You also have to have the right, relaxed frame of mind and imagine yourself where you want to go. A meditation session before helps. If you’re interested, the actual journey is like being on top of a mountain with a gale rushing past you, while simultaneously immersing yourself in a 3-D version of the opening credits to Doctor Who. (Doctor Who was a Brit sci-fi TV series and screened in the New York area during the late 1970s; just in case you’re too young to remember it!) And, by the way, you can’t go back in time using wormholes, only forwards! Doubt this? Have you met a descendant of yours yet from centuries ahead? The answer is sadly ‘no’, isn’t it?

However, when I was younger, I had planned to jump a couple of decades on Earth using a wormhole (and, yes, you can travel forwards in time… as was even proved using atomic clocks and supersonic jets by human beings in the 1970s). But these days with increasing human populations, global warming and constant wars, I can’t be sure if Earth’s environment will even support human life in only a few decades, let alone centuries. I could jump ahead a few decades on Mars but, the ‘problem’ there is that things change so slowly in these ancient alien bases (they have been built to last thousands of years), it hardly seems worth it. However, having said that, human interference might just change things there soon, in a radical way, and this is the primary reason why some late 20th century people have had these types of alien encounters. In other words, we human beings have to learn to look after Mars before we’re allowed to do any serious environmental damage to it!

About Anthony McWatt 1 Article
Dr. Anthony McWatt is a philosopher and artist lost in a world of multinationals and Platonism. His PhD and subsequent philosophical career has been based on researching and exploring the work of Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

1 Comment on Utopia on Mars; or the Boundaries of Human Intellect

  1. Dr. McWatt seems to be keenly intelligent and imaginative. I like that his character isn’t unrelatably “futuristic”. The character not only narrates but provides editorial opinions and philosophical insights. Do I also detect a note of mischief and a wholesome cheekiness as a cantus firmus of the piece?

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