Tuesday, December 21, 2010

We Are Not Alone

Yummish Meditation number 57 is dedicated to The Senior Member of the Yummish Council*

On this Winter Solstice, the day after the North American continent was witness to a full lunar eclipse, it seems only natural to turn our attention to the heavens. We beg your indulgence, as this post gets a little weird from this point on. We promise to return to our more cookie-based foundation Friday.

One of the more controversial tenets of the Yummish Faith is our unshakable belief in extra-terrestrial life. As you might imagine, this isn't exactly something we open conversations with. Nevertheless, it is a fundamental Yummish belief that “we are not alone in the universe.” 

Our beliefs, we are ashamed to say, don't involve anything nearly as entertaining as the Scientologists' Xenu. We apologize for this shortcoming and remind you this cult is led by a writer of chick lit and not science fiction.

For the Yummish, it is not a question of if  Life exists outside of the narrow confines of planet Earth, but whether we will be clever enough to recognize it when we encounter it. (Assuming, of course, that we haven't already.)

Whichever definition of Life is being applied in a given situation, it seems to us that what is actually being sought is something that we can recognize in some way as being “like us.” For the Yummish, searching for this celestial simpatico is a wholly worthwhile activity, deserving of far more attention and resources than it currently receives. To find even the tiniest bacterium tucked away in the deepest crack on the tiniest asteroid would be, to us, a cause for such momentous celebration that our hangover would be actually visible from space.

The Yummish, however, embrace an even broader interpretation of Life. We are fully open to the idea that there exist other highly organized systems that consider themselves both “intelligent” and “alive,” but whose definitions of those states are so wildly different from ours as to be currently unrecognizable to us.

Though you may be tempted to think we are completely off base and should, perhaps, give science fiction writing a stab after all, it is good to remember that sea sponges were once considered flora and nitrogen-powered deep water denizens like tube worms were considered impossible.  

As is true of basically all Yummish beliefs, you should feel free pick and choose the aspects that are most appealing to you. Unlike many other religions, we encourage this “Chinese menu” approach to faith. However, we would encourage you to, if not entirely embrace our view, at least spend a little time thinking about the possibilities it suggests. Not only will you be reminded that the glory of creation stretches far beyond our atmosphere, you might even get some ideas for a  really awesome sci-fi novel that we'd enjoy reading. 

Today's exercise: Look to the stars and let your imagination soar.

Next: As promised, something to do with cookies. We know not what.

*Who would probably like us to mention that the number is not a reference to his age... exactly.

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